I support, my for sins, West Bromwich Albion, the greatest football club in Smethwick if not the entire known world. I was born into it, it's an inherited right and tradition and privilege and being a local club and the club of my Father and Grandfather and the part of the world they sprang forth from I feel a strong affinity for the club, region and it's supporter base. I reconnect with family and native soil when I go to The Hawthorns. I could never support anybody else.
So obviously, I loathe and detest everything Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa stand for. That's a given. This too is an inherited right and privilege and pleasure.
But seeing kids walking around locally in Wolves and Villa shirts is OK with me and makes the world just a little bit a nicer place. I'm pleased that the younger generation are doing the same as me and following the team that was selected for them before birth by ties of blood and regional loyalty even when it is the enemy. This is much better than seeing them wandering around like gloryhunters in United and Chelsea shirts. They are supporting relatively-unfashionable West Midlands teams and sticking with them. Good. The little bastards.
What's this got to do with RPGing?
This. According to Amazon UK, the D&D 4E beginner box set (aka D&D Essentials) will have an RRP of £12.50 and WOTC intend it to be in print throughout the lifetime of 4E. (TBH with a US dollar price of $19.99 I suspect we will see it at £15 actually. But I digress). This means that 30-something gamers like myself can buy three or four copies without feeling the expense and pass it onto nephews, nieces and friend's children. Even if it's not birthdays and Christmas. Even when we think 4E is badly wrong on so many levels.
I don't like 4E, to my eyes it's just not Dungeons and Dragons. But I'd rather kids played it and loved it than played nothing and loved nothing.
If nephews and nieces announced that, in a massive act of betrayal and treachery, that they were going to follow the Wolves, I'd have to say - OK, but stick with them through thick and thin. But that would be through gritted teeth.
So, despite version wars, I really hope this move is a massive success for WOTC and I hope they do it properly and they get stocked in places like Toys R Us, supermarkets and WHSmiths in the pre-Christmas run up, not just the ghettoes of gaming shops. I will even buy one just to show my support for it.
Roll on the hordes of Wolves and Villa shirt wearing kids playing 4E and identifying themselves as roleplayers.