I just read this article on IGN. As I was reading this article I slowly started questioning how this could possibly have been posted. The author uses Lord of the Rings as his key example and yet doesn't seem to know or understand the world of Middle Earth. He claims that Gandalf and the other wizards could not use magic in the current sense of shooting lightning and fireballs and such. But this isn't true whatsoever.
Now bare with me because this is hardcore Tolkien lore. The Wizards of Middle Earth were not wizards in the traditional sense. They were Maiar, essentially spirits who served Ainur, who are essentially the Gods of Middle Earth. (I know that is not entirely true random Tolkien super fan who reads this, but for the purposes of this post it is good enough). Of the Ainur the most powerful was Melkor whose pride turned him evil. He corrpupted Middle Earth and the souls of men, and created the Orcs from the twisted remains of the Elves, who were the first mortals of Middle Earth. Anyways, Melkor was eventually defeated and sent into the Void where he is to remain until The Final Battle (Which Tolkien never got around to writing). Like all other Ainur he had a Maiar and his was Suaron, who most people know as the villain of Lord of the Rings. After the defeat of Melkor, the Ainur returned to their version of Heaven. But Suaron rose to fight the Elves and other good beings of Earth. To combat this the Ainur sent down The Council of Istar, five Maiar who would become known as Wizards. There are three specifically shown in the books and movies, Saruman The White, Gandalf The Grey, and the Brown Wizard whose name I'm not going to attempt to spell. The other two were the Blue Wizards who leave for The East as soon as they arrive and are never mentioned again. Anyways, and here is the key thing, the Wizards are forbidden from using their powers offensively and are told they must find another way to defeat Suaron. The wizards themselves, especially Gandalf in his White form, are arguably nearly as powerful as Suaron and can certainly perform any sort of magic they want. Saruman does this to create his mutated Orc army and is punished for this as his spirit is not allowed to return to Heaven after his earthly form is destroyed. So the battle in the movies could in fact happen. And according to the books, Gandalf did use magic when fighting the Balrog as it is a twisted Maiar itself and a one time servent of Melkor.
So TLDR - The wizards can use offensive magic in Lord of the Rings but are banned from doing so by the Gods. Hence the key example in this guy's argument is based on a false belief which makes me question if IGN ever takes the effort to fact check its articles. And how the Hell does a site like IGN not have anyone who could have told the author this? I admit I had to look up some of the names to write this post but I knew the history behind the Wizards as any true Tolkien fan should. Maybe if he did more than read the core four novels he would realize how stupid he sounds.
EDIT - To make this clearer since I obviously didn't write it well the first time around (I hadn't slept in like 48+ hours when I wrote this so sorry) what I was trying to say was that the author's argument that D&D and gaming in general has changed the core fundamentals of magic is silly. Many books prior to D&D showed wizards using magic in a physical, offensive manner. This wasn't some new innovation for gaming. The addition of mana or spell points was added to game-ify the subject, but the concept of magic wasn't changed because of this, and many games since that point have removed this feature. Basically, I was mostly upset that IGN would consider this a professional quality article when it was wildly untrue and poorly researched in many ways. I wasn't attempting to sound all high and mighty for knowing more about LOTR than someone else. I was more upset that he was trying to use LOTR as an example when he didn't understand the books. Being LOTR had nothing to do with it. Point is that his examples weren't well researched, whatever form they took, and that isn't something that a professional quality site like IGN should allow.