Not to beat a dead horse too much, but I thought I'd chime in with just a brief comment on the recent debates raging in the "old-school" blogosphere regarding the term "old-school," what it means, or should mean, etc.
In a nutshell, that's all old news.
Walk with me on a little tour. Open another tab in your browser, and paste this link...
Now click on the link to the left for "Genre."
Now click "Fantasy."
Now click "Old-School/Classic."
Scroll around a bit then tell me which of those 500+ products you think are "old-school."
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Before RPGnow merged with Drivethrurpg, that category pretty much only held OSRIC products, with a few stragglers from other areas. After the merger, it is a full-fledged "genre." The OSRIC and Labyrinth Lord material would be completely drowned were it not for the fact that they gave them their own categories. I mentioned in my interview from Knockspell #2 that the term "old-school" will pretty much just become a commodity. I wasn't really correct in that, because it already is.
But that's all old news. It's been merely a commodity since the birth of 3.x. The term "old-school" was really burned into meaninglessness long before the old-school "movement" (does that make anyone else chuckle a little?)
Long before many 1e compatible products were being created commercially, the old branding was already being "hijacked" for "old-school" 3.x use. By the time we showed up on the scene it was already too late to make it mean anything. No one who cut their teeth on 3.x can really be expected to "get" where we're coming from. Our crusty 1e format looks just like the crusty 3.x Goodman Games module format. What's old-school?
To me, it's pointless to spend energy trying to wall off old-school. Just let it go. It is far more productive to talk about specific games and how we like to play them, rather than create a hypothetical category of game. Besides, we're spinning our wheels by trying. Many people, when it comes down to it, don't give a crap about what the system looks like so long as the cover art tickles the old-school funny bone and the ad text claims retro-heritage. It can be poorly written, have miles of errata, not be as advertised, etc. I can't count the number of posts I saw around on forums from people who were never interested in Hackmaster 5e* before they saw the Erol Otus cover art. But slap an Erol Otus cover on something and it becomes old-school. The point is, these things are all shallow anyway.
*Before I'm bombarded by comments about how HM 5e will be a great game, I'm not denying that it will be. Will it be old-school? Well if we could answer that this debate wouldn't be happening.