There is an attitude in discussing DMing. It is an attitude that says there are many ways of DMing, and they are all valid.
If you've been on roleplaying forums, you've seen this. It says, "You do it your way, and I'll do it it my way, and we'll both run great games."
This isn't politics. This isn't consensus-brokering. We don't all have to get along. I'm not in your game and you're not in mine and it's just fine to claim that one is better.
This is where roleplaying suffers. If DMs were companies, selling a product, some would have more customers than others. Some would have a lot more customers than others.
We need competition; we need debate that won't settle for less than victory. We need to take the position that some games are better, and find those games, and learn from them. We need to remember that although bad DMing is a forgivable sin, it's still bad DMing, and improving involves more than just finding players who are on your wavelength.
Let there be debate. Let there be pride. Lay on, and let there be no quarter.
After all, don't we want a better game?
Cut and Thrust, Part 2: This Time It's Impersonal
A late addition to the original post, 15 June 2009
Wow! Well, this post stirred up some disagreement. Which is great. Possibly I've not phrased my argument terribly well though; that's what comes of posting late at night, perhaps. The argument is this:
(a) Some games are better than others. If there can be a "bad" game, which there plainly are (the entirety of this blog being dedicated to that proposition), it follows that there are other games which are better.
(b) Games which are better are better for reasons which are identifiable and recreatable.
(c) All DMs can benefit from having the tools used by "better" games in their toolbox.
(d) We may disagree about which games are better.
(e) If we all agree to disagree we never identify those better games or raise them to the highest level of analysis.
(f) We should therefore not be afraid to defend our beliefs and advocate our ideas to the fullest extent possible.
I'm not sure if it's still so controversial now that I've put it in those terms. Let me know.