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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 93 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Jargon and legacy  (Read 14078 times)
Emily Care
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2004, 01:00:30 PM »

Best to you, Dana. Hope your stress decreases.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
But I'm serious about the classroom thing. I think this stuff should be in textbooks and taught to people. I think those textbooks should be as easy to understand as possible.

Great idea. A Forge online tutorial would be the swank.

Quote
To make an analogy, would you expect doctors to create a "Medical Jargon to English" translation? To what end? They already are smart enough to do such translation when they think it's neccessary. And, really, what does it matter to the patient what the jargon means? As long as they understand in the end what they need to know?

It's more like we're talking to other doctors here. But think of translating for players in general as medical advocacy. The more easily accessible the info is, the less time doctors have to spend explaining things and can spend more time playing golf.

Quote
I'm not saying we shouldn't do any of that. I'm saying it's already being done.

Check. My take is that it's all timely, and needed. And may it continue.

Best,
Em
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Black & Green Games
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2004, 01:08:18 PM »

No apollogies, I've been offending people left and right lately. Guess I'll have to start thinking about retirement or something to somewhere where crochety is more accepted.
Quote from: AnyaTheBlue
"I understood this stuff by jumping in, and if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for anybody else who wants to jump in."  Maybe that's not your point, but it still seems like one you are making, even in the post I'm responding to.
Ironically, I didn't have to learn most of this by "jumping in," I've been working on this suff since before there was a Forge. So, apparently my position must be that I've put in many, many years, and so too must others before they are worthy.

Which would be true if it weren't for the fact that I work constantly to try to help poeple get up to speed and accept them after, oh, about a day of work. But, then, we all have blind spots - maybe I'm missing something.

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I agree with Emily -- I think there is an unnecessarily steep learning curve here at the Forge.   I think you are saying that while it might be steep, it's climbable, and therefore not worthy of, say, a bike-path or a set of steps.
No, I'm saying we build those steps every day. All while making more of a mountain of new theory to climb. Realize that, since the theory is never going to be "finished" that the process of making it more accessible is never going to end. Never.

I see the learning curve as a side effect of the quality of discourse, and something that's impossible to eliminate. Try as we might.

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I don't see how that's good or useful to the long-term goals and health of the site.
Here we go again. The goals are to support publication of good Indie Games. What part of that is being harmed by the learning curve? Note that John Kim should rest easier knowing that I don't think that this means "as many indie games as possible." That's not a goal, AFAICT.

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As for a classroom -- I certainly think it belongs in a classroom about game theory and design.  As you say, we have a lack.  So why don't we do something else to help teach in lieu of these sadly scarce classrooms?
I'm all ears? We write essays, we discuss with people here - I'm at a loss.

One of these days I'm going to get my classroom.

Quote
I think the Forge community could be doing a better job of it, and it would benefit everybody.
That's all well and good to say - but "The Forge" is you and me. I'd like to think that I'm doing my part in the trenches every day (and about seven other's). What are you doing?

Not to be offensive about it, but with any community, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. Calling for others to do stuff and then waiting for it to happen doesn't get it done. At the very least, throw out an idea for what can be done that somebody else might pick up and run with.

Mike
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2004, 01:14:54 PM »

Quote from: Emily Care
Quote from: Mike Holmes
But I'm serious about the classroom thing. I think this stuff should be in textbooks and taught to people. I think those textbooks should be as easy to understand as possible.

Great idea. A Forge online tutorial would be the swank.

No. That's already being done (Jonathan et al). That's not what I'm talking about. People will think I'm crazy, but:

I want a classroom. At a university somewhere. With students who come in and sit down and take notes. And who get a degree when they're done taking the course. A classroom.

Quote
It's more like we're talking to other doctors here. But think of translating for players in general as medical advocacy. The more easily accessible the info is, the less time doctors have to spend explaining things and can spend more time playing golf.
But follow up on your analogy - what is it that we do here that's parallel to advocacy?

Quote
Check. My take is that it's all timely, and needed. And may it continue.
Well, then, amen. I'm not sure where to go from here, however. See the post to Dana.

Mike
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AnyaTheBlue
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Posts: 187


« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2004, 01:48:25 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
No apollogies, I've been offending people left and right lately. Guess I'll have to start thinking about retirement or something to somewhere where crochety is more accepted.


You may be crotchety, but you're loveable!

Perhaps there should be a Forge "Crotchety Old Fogey" forum.  I'd probably qualify, too! =)


Quote from: Mike Holmes

Realize that, since the theory is never going to be "finished" that the process of making it more accessible is never going to end. Never.


Er, well, at the risk of sounding irreverant:  "Well, Duh!"

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I see the learning curve as a side effect of the quality of discourse, and something that's impossible to eliminate. Try as we might.


This is a point that hadn't occured to me.  I don't think I agree, but I'll have to think on it.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Here we go again. The goals are to support publication of good Indie Games. What part of that is being harmed by the learning curve?


If this is the primary, sole, or overarching goal of The Forge, then I'm probably completely off base.  But the Forge should realize that many designers and players of potentially excellent Indie Games are finding it hard, impossible, or not worth their time and effort to get up the learning curve.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: Me
I think the Forge community could be doing a better job of it, and it would benefit everybody.

...
Not to be offensive about it, but with any community, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. Calling for others to do stuff and then waiting for it to happen doesn't get it done. At the very least, throw out an idea for what can be done that somebody else might pick up and run with.


Man, you are crotchety today!  =) Fair enough.

 * Start a "forge newbie"/"introductory" forum

 * Somebody other than Ron should summarize and/or paraphrase and/or restate his GNS essays.  I started to do this about six months ago on my own initiative, but real life intruded and I never got very far.  Ideally, three or four different people should each do this independently, giving us a number of different approaches and perspectives.  Keep this up as new theories and essays are presented and refined.

 * Start a Glossary Wiki or FAQ-O-Matic, so that terms and definitions can be defined, refined, edited, and have useful and important annotations provided by a wide group of people -- many hands make light work.  Thankfully, the Glossary is already reaping the benefit of a so-called "thundering herd", but there's still a manual collation step being done at the end.  If you're unfamiliar with a Wiki, go look at The Wikipedia.

I'm sure I could think of some more with a bit more thought.  I'm unfortunately in the middle of the aforementioned Big Life Change and not really available to do any heavy lifting -- I'm far more a dilletante than I am a real member of the community, although I do enjoy the place immensely, and appreciate the fruits of everybody's labors.

I was mostly chiming in to support Emily's attempt to start discussion -- I agree with her that there is an issue.  I haven't any silver bullets, but I hope that a discussion will flush out some new ideas.  I'm not sure I have any good ones to add, however.
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Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2004, 02:06:35 PM »

Quote from: AnyaTheBlue
If this is the primary, sole, or overarching goal of The Forge, then I'm probably completely off base.  But the Forge should realize that many designers and players of potentially excellent Indie Games are finding it hard, impossible, or not worth their time and effort to get up the learning curve.
Well, again, I think that we lower the bar in actual play where I think they'd get the most use. But as to what the precise mission statement is, from the link at the top of the page labeled "About the Forge":
Quote
This site is dedicated to the promotion, creation, and review of independent role-playing games.
I didn't write it. Take it up with Ron. :-)

Quote from: Mike Holmes
* Start a "forge newbie"/"introductory" forum
Proposed many times. Always shot down. Check other threads in this forum about it.

Quote
* Somebody other than Ron should summarize and/or paraphrase and/or restate his GNS essays.
Already done. See MJ's article Applied Theory in the articles link above.

Quote
* Start a Glossary Wiki or FAQ-O-Matic, so that terms and definitions can be defined, refined, edited, and have useful and important annotations provided by a wide group of people -- many hands make light work.
Proposed and shot down. Again do a search in this forum for reasons. I'm a big Wiki fan, and play Uni by Wiki. But you'll have to convince Ron.

Like I said, this isn't something new, we've been working on it forever. Hmm. Maybe what we need is a status report page for projects so that people can see what is being done, and volunteer to help out?

Quote
I'm unfortunately in the middle of the aforementioned Big Life Change and not really available to do any heavy lifting
No big deal. Remember, I'm the person who thinks that the problem is already being addressed.

But if you do come up with something, let us know.

Mike
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Adam Dray
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2004, 02:09:33 PM »

These discussions are pretty far off topic (using jargon to establish a legacy with one's name on it).  I've started a Forge pedagogy thread to continue discussion about teaching methods and goals.
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2004, 07:46:54 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: AnyaTheBlue
* Somebody other than Ron should summarize and/or paraphrase and/or restate his GNS essays.
Already done. See MJ's article Applied Theory in the articles link above.

Thanks for pointing to that. Although that's not the purpose of that article, I think it does much to clarify the concepts.

The theory expounded here does get expressed elsewhere in drips and drabs, reaching the gaming community generally through the efforts of those here. I'm recalling that roughly three months back one of my Game Ideas Unlimited articles got very positive responses when it dealt with Credibility, Authority, the Shared Imaginary Space, and the Lumpley Principle, all quite directly in a context of "here is some of what is in the forefront of theory, attempting to understand what it is we are doing in our games and how we might do it differently". A couple months before that I was writing about adjusting the challenge level within a game, and there was a certain amount of theory brought forward in that. The column is not strictly a theory column--it is intentionally set up to be different every week--but it returns to theory frequently, and its readers appreciate the concepts presented when it does.

I doubt I'm the only one who does that. I know that Seth Ben-Ezra has been influenced by the theory discussions here and tried to talk about them elsewhere, and I'd wager there are a number of people doing so in articles on other sites, one way or another.

Beyond that, there are frequently threads here from people trying to explain what they've learned here to their own gaming groups. Sometimes they have success, sometimes they have problems. We hear more of the problems--but then, do we expect to hear of the successes? I explain RPG theory to my kids all the time; they get it. I don't mention that here, usually, because I'm not looking for advice on how to do it.

So I'd bet we're having more impact than we think. Sure, the R&D department at Microsoft are a bunch of geeks, and no one understands a word they say to each other--but they've impacted quite a few people because of those discussions. I suspect most of us would take a bit of time to get up to speed if we attempted to get involved at the Rand Corporation or other think tanks, but the people who work there have influenced the world without us understanding what they said. There is a strong think tank aspect here. The ideas do get out to the people outside.

--M. J. Young
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2004, 08:43:58 AM »

Quote
So I'd bet we're having more impact than we think.
Actually, I think that we have more impact that I think most people think we do. So maybe we're all thinking that? ;-)

In any case, again, I'm personally only concerned that those who come here looking for help, get it. As such, your article is precisely what the doctor ordered, I think.

Mike
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matthijs
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2004, 09:26:50 AM »

Wrt the impact of the Forge: It's certainly reaching Norway. Several of the most active game designers here are, at least, relating to GNS / Big Model, though not necessarily accepting it as gospel. I'm one of those designers, and reading / posting here has certainly changed my way of thinking. (But then, so has the whole process of writing a game).

Wrt classrooms: What about having seminars at cons? Of course, that'd be nothing like a whole semester at a university, but a whole day of Forge theory lectures and Q&A sessions would definitely help a lot of people get into the concepts.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2004, 11:20:12 AM »

Seminars have been discussed. I'll have to think about putting one together for some con, myself. Of course, anyone else who wants to do so should probably be encouraged. Lots of seminar topics. General Indie Publishing. Theory Seminars. Technique Seminars. Hmmm.

Mike
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