I definitely agree on the pendulum swing between desire for more rules and desire for less. I see this both in my own wants as a gamer over time and in my own design. It is like you get saturated with more rules or more thorough and intrusive systems, and desire a return to simplicity, but the simplicity can wear thin after a time and you want greater rules clarity. For me this has been a constant thing that you could almost set to a clock. I find it especially so with D&D. For example I recall 3E really feeling like this answer, bur getting burned out on the complexity and suddenly finding the white box, with all its lack of clarity but room for imagination around things like spell descriptions enthralling. I could point to a similar experience with D&D and basic. I also find in design I tend to make my lightest games following the heavier ones. It is like there is an inbuilt need to strip things down to the basics after a while.
Yes, exactly! Although I would recommend at least 10,000 more words and at least one more admonition from Mama Snarf to make the same point.
More often than not in the RPG sphere (and in other areas in real life), people start with a simple concept. Over time, as situations arise, that simple concept doesn't seem to cover all the situations you want it to, and you begin to add additional rules, because rules do have additional salutary benefits- they provide a shared framework for the participants. They can give you the default approaches to common issues. They can offload some cognitive stress from the "decider" (whether that's a single decider or a collaborative exercise) by implementing a "best practice" that will always be used. And so on.
Eventually, however, the accumulation of all of those additional rules leads you to question the purpose of them at all, and to want to go back to the simplicity you started with. And the cycle begins anew. While this isn't true for everyone or everything all the time, it certainly seems to be an oft-repeated cycle that we've seen in this area.