Last night I was on twitter when I ran across this post from @DailyDwarf that highlighted a dissatisfied customer who was reviewing the recent TSR, Inc. publication Unearthed Arcana (1985). What got my attention was the line:
English is not what’s in a dictionary but rather the living language of most people. Writers of dictionaries are eventually forced to accept this and rewrite their books.Miles
That line better encapsulates why editions change over time than any other I’ve ever seen – though I doubt Mr. Miles would appreciate that conclusion. Over time the game changes as players perspectives on what “good” and “acceptable” change with each generation. So if the writers of role-playing games would like to sell more books then they are forced to rewrite their game, just as dictionaries are rewritten to reflect changes in usage, so that they can reflect the mode of the day.
It’s definitely something to think about as role-playing games are continuing to rise in popularity and we’re seeing a wider audience seeking to join the hobby.
Miles, Allan. “Arcana or Errata” WHITE DWARF Magazine #89. Games Workshop Ltd., 1987. pg 54