Monday, May 28, 2018

Patterns of Revealed Preference: The Preference For The Authentic

What's going on in tabletop RPG vis-a-vis the OSR-v-D&D/Pathfinder, SF/F in PulpRev-v-PinkSF, and in Retail WOW vs. Classic WOW has interesting parallels. Useful for comparison, and the contrasts reveal interesting tells in how patterns of revealed preference repeat (and are used). So I'm going to spend this week's posts talking about them.

The pattern is this, summarized: A thing hits big in the popular culture of the day, achieving influence far disproportionate to its actual presence. Later successors would fail to comprehend (or willfully misconstrue) why the original succeeded, and in their failure to repeat that success go on to undermine and degrade the original in order to prop up their own increasingly-unstable status.

This accelerates when competition arises that successfully repeats the original. The pattern ends either in the entire category collapsing, or in the corrupt successors repenting and reverting wholly to the original- and abandoning as false the entire idea of "progress" and "progressivism" accordingly.

Each of the areas I mention above are at different points in the expression of the pattern, but they are all expressions of it. (Yes, we can see this in US comics also, which I leave to those who know the US comics industry better than I do.) Each one gets a post over the week to itself, and on Friday I'll bring it back together. Ready for an adventure?

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