Any gamer who spends time online is familiar with the Edition Wars(tm). On forums across the Internet people rage on about the merits of DND 3.5 vs 4e or Pathfinder. Meanwhile diehard AD&D veterans calculate the THAC0 needed to get a shot in on the fight.
The problem here is not game mechanics and which are superior, but rather the way in which the issue is framed. You see, it really is not a matter of which system is better because that is a question that can never be answered. At least not a universal answer like the absolutists would demand. The answer differs from one gaming table to another.
Gaming, at its best (IMHO), is all about collaborative storytelling. There are many different ways to tell those stories – Fudge, Pathfinder, Jorune, Dragon Age, Savage Worlds and others come immediately to mind – and which one works best is entirely dependent on the group in question.
Each gaming table is populated by a different group of personalities and as a result require different mechanics in order to tell these stories in the way that those participating enjoy the most. For some the rollicking old school feel of 1st Edition is the perfect vehicle, for others nothing but GURPS will do. Whatever best serves the story and the people telling it.
It’s great to have a love for your favorite system, and singing its praises is a great way to show support for the company that makes it. Flame wars on the subject simply breed bad blood where none should exist. Just because you don’t like a particular system or it does not work at your table does not mean that it’s not the perfect answer for someone else.
There is only one true answer to the Edition Wars:
The best possible gaming system is the one that works best at your table and with your story.
Instead of tearing down a system that you do not like consider it a diplomacy check and take twenty (3rd edition humor, sorry). One man’s treasure and all that….