Personally, I think this is an outstanding idea, and could really help to provide a common ground for all of us who prefer an older, more Gygaxian style of play, and want to help others at least have a choice between what WotC feels is the “best way to play” and what has gone before.
Such an organization could be set up as a 401(c)3 organization, a non-profit corporation with a stated goal of popularizing and promoting old-school role-playing gaming and games as a literary form (literary societies are explicitly allowed as non-profits under IRS regulations). Ideally, I would like to see such an organization approach WotC to obtain a license to republish the original AD&D rules, to help generate interest in the older form. Since the license would be going to a non-profit, I’m certain the financial folks over at Hasbro would be able to turn that to their advantage.
There would be a number of advantages to such an organization. I would think of it as a combined industry association and player community. It would serve to promote gaming using the 0E/1E rules. That includes the clones as well. The very small and not-so-small companies producing products for that market would benefit by having a place where they could pool their marketing and market research dollars. The OSGA would conduct such research collectively, and turn around and produce targeted marketing campaigns aimed at three audiences:
- New-style gamers who might be interested in playing using the old-school approach
- Current gamers already playing 0/1E games who might not know there are others doing the same and companies selling product
- Former gamers who might be persuaded to return to the hobby given a proper marketing approach
(Bear in mind this is just off the top of my head and certainly not set in stone.)
I’ve got a background both in non-profit orgs and market research. If there was some support for the idea, I’d be willing to step up and start some wheels moving. The question is… do folks support it?