Why does 4e (as opposed to any other edition) have to have anything to do with this?
The original articulation of the concept was specifically--and explicitly--targeted at 4e. It was, specifically and explicitly, intended to show that by using mechanics of this (alleged) kind in play, 4e was less of an RPG. I already gave the quotes above, but I can dredge them up again if you like. Others have validly said that a concept can grow beyond the way it was originally articulated, but I have yet to see real evidence that it has done so--people still use the Alexandrian's formation uncritically.
Realism vs dissociation (and-or its just-as-bad twin brother, gamism) is a debate that far predates 4e. The only thing the 4e era gave us is a term "dissociated mechanics" for something that had been bugging us all along ("gamism" was the 3e era's similar contribution). The debate itself is edition-agnostic.
That's an interesting
position to take. I would fundamentally disagree, if only because 4e was so specifically targeted on this one axis, when no other edition--neither before nor since--has had quite so much
vitriol thrown at it for this very specific
area. (Some criticism of 3e was vaguely similar, what with the comparisons to Diablo and such, but in general that arose from a "ew, filthy powergamers
/Monty Haul players" position, rather than a "you literally cannot roleplay
in this system," which, yes, is a position I personally saw people express more than once.)
It would be like saying that, I dunno, market deregulation is a wholly history-agnostic debate, when one has the examples of the Great Depression and the subprime mortgage crisis as examples to point to. The history of the concept matters. This comes across more like wanting to plug one's ears and pretend that history doesn't exist because it's not pleasant and has a tendency to make conversations messy--but that's the whole point
, the topic isn't clean to begin with and it feels disingenuous to pretend that it is.
Dragging 4e into it just makes the debate another front in the edition war as people start viewing the question only through the lens of how their favourite edition handles it, rather than what's better for the game regardless of specific edition or version.
If people don't want 4e edition war stuff brought into it, they shouldn't be the ones bringing in "dissociated" mechanics
. Or if they must
do so, at least clearly state, "I know what the Alexandrian used this for, but I disagree with that. I just want to talk about these kinds of mechanics in general, and I reject the use of this kind of argument to dunk on any system, D&D or otherwise."
Because, again specifically and explicitly, that's what the concept was invented to do
, to dunk on 4e for being less of an RPG than prior editions. To reify the "it's a boardgame" criticism--hence why he literally compared it to board games
(Arkham Horror and Monopoly, specifically).