Over at Gnome Stew, John Arcadian writes about exposing yourself to many game mechanics, and the reasons why this is important. He says that this comes down to opening your perspective to other mechanics helps you create the game you want, and that mechanics are meant to cross the boundaries of games themselves. He also gives some examples of game mechanics that he’s found interested and integrated into other games.
OSR players are well-known for kitbashing and cribbing mechanics, rules, and content from various sources, but generally game systems tend to stay reasonably static. Even then, as we continue to play games, sometimes we tend to stay with the tried and true too much, or just look for simple variations in what we play; it’s like trying different flavors or vanilla ice cream from different manufacturers. Exposing ourselves to other games and mechanics can help build a better game for everyone as we find new or different ways to do what we want within our particular games and groups.
Even the new version of Dungeons & Dragons seems to have taken this to heart, applying some mechanical or conceptual game elements from other systems while developing newer innovations and expounding upon previous rules that exist in older editions of the game.