|Think, think, think, think.|
For a few weeks now, I've been pondering the difficulties of introducing a new game to the masses, particularly when those masses have a massive pile of games from which to choose. There's no disputing the flexibility of a group depends on its age - younger players with fewer mandatory responsibilities can invest more time into learning a new RPG versus their older counterparts with many obligations to fulfill before fun time can even begin. Back in my high school heyday, tackling Advanced Dungeons & Dragons wasn't an issue because we were playing at least 30 hours of roleplaying games in a single week. Today, it's nowhere close to that amount (and that's with fewer responsibilities than most other players and GMs my age - no kids and no job.)
Is it really that simple? While it makes sense in one degree, something about "older players don't have as much time to learn new games" sounds like a scapegoat because if there's one thing social media has also taught us, it's that older players still make time to read new games. On bus rides to work and during frequent downtimes set aside to catch up on casual reading, learning a game from its core rulebook doesn't carry the same demands as actually running a new game for the first time.
Reading a game and playing it can be two dramatically different things, something I learned when I first starting running the Marvel Heroic RPG. Scouring through the book, I was floored by what I was reading and made three passes through the core rulebook just to ensure I had it down. When it came time to drop dice with players, I had a hard time keeping up with certain aspects (but that's a reflection on my limitations, not the rules). And that's why games have house rules.