We accept all playstyles here. That doesn't make them all equal, and that doesn't make all aesthetic choices made in playing or constructing an RPG of equal value.
Some theories of aesthetics hold that what constitutes good art is merely a matter of taste-- that is, that it is entirely subjective and, in fact, all art is in some sense equal. Other theories hold that there are real differences in the value of different works of art, and that those differences are in some sense knowable. There are also people who claim that there are or may be differences, but that the differences are inherently completely unknowable.
While all of these meta-aesthetics are accepted here, our policy of tolerance means that expressing any of them should be done carefully. Our goal is to avoid belittling, invalidating, or dismissing people, and to avoid doing that to anyone's belief set without significant justification is an important part of presenting such a question, answer or comment. That doesn't mean, for example, that the idea that freeform play is inherently inferior to structured play (or vice versa) is wrong, it just means that you aren't allowed to express that view without meeting a higher bar for topicality and support.
- For example, I might ask "What is X group's position on structured
roleplaying?" and you, being a part of that group, might respond "We
believe structured roleplaying is inherently inferior to freeform
roleplaying because of X, Y, and Z.". That's fine.
However, when someone asks "How do I structure my roleplaying?" and
you respond "Don't! It's bad!" because you think it's an X Y
problem where the querent refuses to provide the X, that's not-okay.
It's basically a mild form of systemic oppression, which is what we
are trying to avoid.
There are groups that think various methods of RPGing are better than others for whatever reasons, and there are groups that think all methods are always exactly as good, and we want to be a place where as many of these groups' participants can come to ask questions and get good answers as possible.
Our position on playstyle is that proselytizing is not what this site is for. If someone indicates that they want to play or are playing a game a certain way, telling them to instead do it differently is outside of the solution scope unless it is really and truly directly related to the question being asked.
The reason I'm bringing this up is that I think you are confusing "all playstyles are welcome" with "all playstyles are equal." This means that when you accept our nice-sounding policy, you are setting yourself up for failure because anything that is clearly not an equally valid choice to you must, then, not be a matter of playstyle. This limits your conformance to our policy to a tolerance of playstyle decisions that you see as equally valid, which sort of defeats the entire point of the policy.
Furthermore, while our policy is about playstyle differences, because those in particular draw a lot of loud and vexatious discourse, the principles actually apply equally well to most matters of aesthetics in RPGs. The best way to go about supporting the goals of that policy is as follows:
- Don't casually dismiss anything, regardless of how you feel about it. If you can't avoid casually dismissing something when posting about it, avoid all Q&A where you would end up doing so. Casually dismissing someone's position is a violation of our Be Nice policy.
- If you're going to say something or someone is wrong, bad, evil, etc, be really extra careful. Make extra sure you support each and every aspect of each such claim, and that they are all necessary to your answer and pertinent to the question. Avoid doing any of these things in comments (if it's important enough that you really should post a comment, it's likely important enough you should post a meta instead. Example). If you do it in a question, make sure they are all central to the question, make sure the question is not just a veiled attack on someone/thing but an honest effort to learn, and don't support your accusations, since they had better be what you are asking about, and supporting them just leads to comment arguing.
- If you think something is an X-Y problem, check yourself. In fact, you should probably post a comment before answering, in this case: "It seems like you're asking about Y but really you want to solve X. Would an answer that solves X without doing Y be acceptable?" Be extra careful about this when the problem is a gm-techniques or group-dynamics thing.
- If you think something is an X-Y problem, where Y is something well-scoped and answerable, but X is something like "get my players to have more fun" or otherwise patently overbroad/opinion-based/etc, don't frame-challenge with an answer addressing X. If 'X' isn't something we think it's okay to directly ask about, it's not something that you should be treating the querent as indirectly asking about either, because we have good reasons for disallowing those sorts of questions. If you really think that the querent doesn't realize the situation, a comment on it might be appropriate, but probably not.
- If you know you have problems with a subset of the RPG community, don't answer questions primarily for and by that group. If you hate optimizers, don't answer optimization questions. If you hate D&D 4e, don't answer questions on it. Answering out of hatred is just not a good idea. This is related to not casually dismissing things.
- If someone posts a wrong-headed comment on your stuff, saying something like "no sane GM would allow [your suggestion]"or whatever, flag it for deletion, don't respond. Engaging leads to pointless arguments. Ignoring it leads to someone else engaging, more pointless arguments and your answer getting drive-by downvoted and/or not drive-by upvoted or your question getting not drive-by-upvoted and/or closed on fictitious grounds.