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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Tropes: An Addition to the Forge Lexicon?  (Read 1169 times)
xiombarg
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« on: March 21, 2003, 08:03:39 AM »

http://www.livejournal.com/users/bruceb/24788.html

Now, general Forge wisdom is genre isn't a useful thing to discuss, but what about Tropes? It's certainly true that we've discussed, in essence, certain Tropes that apply to RPG design -- Hell, the whole "D&D fantasy" thing is full of them, like the "dungeons filled with monsters" trope.
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love * Eris * RPGs  * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2003, 08:14:02 AM »

Hi Kirt,

I was sort of under the impression that we already used "trope," "motif," and maybe a couple of other similar terms for the purposes that you're implying.

I guess my point is that these are important and useful terms, and that they're very good for making lots of points about what we talk about here, but they're not really "jargon" in the sense of having a unique meaning at the Forge.

Best,
Ron
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xiombarg
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2003, 08:48:31 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I guess my point is that these are important and useful terms, and that they're very good for making lots of points about what we talk about here, but they're not really "jargon" in the sense of having a unique meaning at the Forge.
Hmmm, that's a good point. I guess I haven't been reading the right threads, because I don't remember it being used. However, a quick poke around with the "search" function shows a lot of threads it's been used in, so that's what I get for relying on my memory...

However, it's not exactly a word in common usage either, outside literary circles. I guess I was sort of thinking that while we're considering the Forge lexicon, we also need to consider jargon from other areas -- such as literary jargon -- that are useful, and know how to point to it. Heck, I was an English major, and I'd forgotten about "trope" until I saw Bruce talking about it. Just as we need to exclude jargon that seems applicable, but isn't, like genre, we need to figure out what to include as well.

Obviously there's a line to be drawn -- we don't need to define, or point to a definition for every word in the English language -- but I guess I sort of had an eye toward making things more accessible. I mean, there's Forge jargon, and then literary jargon on top of THAT...
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love * Eris * RPGs  * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT
clehrich
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2003, 07:35:32 AM »

Hmm.  I once heard a distinguished University of Chicago professor describe himself as a "tropologist," which I considered (and consider) a vile use of the term by someone who should know better, but nevertheless I quite like the idea of importing this term and kicking it around.  I don't think it is a regular feature of Forge vocabulary, though it gets used nebulously on occasion, and perhaps it should be.

To my mind, it might make a useful alternative to Genre, since it's a far more atomized category, and thus wouldn't run into the usual "is that part of the Genre or not?" problem.

Before we consider doing this seriously, though, could we get a real definition from a real literature person?  There are several of you out there in Forge-world, I know.  Johannes, want to give it a stab?  

If you leave it up to me, you're going to end up with weird structuralist-cum-morphological terminology.  Be afraid.  :>
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Chris Lehrich
Bruce Baugh
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2003, 11:06:51 AM »

Actually, my LiveJournal definition is a formal one. It's just couched in non-formal terms. But I checked it against several of my own references and an English professor of my acquaintance, who felt that I had done justice to the essential concept of it. I simply set out not to use what would strike most of my readers as jargon in presenting the concept. A trope in this sense is pretty much any isolatable element of the work, so that there are tropes in characterization, plotting, prose, and so on.
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Writer of Fortune
Gamma World Developer, Feyerabend in Residence
http://bruceb.livejournal.com/
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