Fixing Gaming Theory Terminology Once and For All

Alright, kids, it's time.

As has been pointed out in numerous threads of late, the terminology we use is terminally doomed. They're either poorly-chosen to begin with ("Bangs" don't actually make noise), carry inadvertant connotations ("Simulationism" has nothing to do with The Sims), are perjorative in nature ("Impossible Thing Before Breakfast" discriminates against late-waking Impossible Things), or a deadly cocktail mix of all three. It is perfectly astounding that we have been able to communicate thus far at all. I submit to you that perhaps, just perhaps, we haven't actually been communicating. You never know; there may be some amateur chefs active on these boards thinking that we're talking about cheese souffles and eclairs. I know it took me a long time to realize that wasn't the topic at hand.

In any case, the only reasonable solution is to chuck absolutely everything and rebuild from the ground up. We need to select terms that are clear, carrying no extra connotations, contexts, or relationships. We cannot, absolutely cannot, borrow from other fields like we have been; down this path lies madness and endless metaphorical debates. Any word already in the Engligh language is already burdened with a history of meaning that will only obscure what we're trying to describe. So we must make new words entirely.

I'm going to propose a couple new terms to start off with, and I hope you'll all pitch in, too.

Bargleflap - what goes on in a roleplaying game. Once the dice hit the table, the bargleflap was on!

Zimmy - the people participating in the roleplaying game. The convention was packed with zimmies.

Wangdoodle - any person with greater authority than the other Zimmies. Our gaming group is made of five zimmies, but three of us trade off wangdoodling.

Ansa Dansa Mo Go Fop - the enjoyment, satisfaction, and pleasure that zimmies derive from bargleflap. He's an awesome wangdoodle; he just hosed us down with ansa dansa mo go fop.

Plat - the means by which zimmies acheive ansa dansa mo go fop. We learned some fantastic plat from Primetime Adventures.

Ten-ten tiri - zimmies who prefer ansa dansa mo go fop and plat which emphasize strong wangdoodling influencing the bargleflap. My experience with Dogs bargleflap is relatively ten-ten tiri, but I can understand games where the zimmies plat more than the wangdoodle.

I'm looking forward to seeing your suggestions. The very fate of roleplaying theory may very well rest in our hands.
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Comments

  • Can I respectfully suggest that we have no business whatsoever mucking with Game Theory? That's all.
  • Genius. But it needs a diagram.

    Graham
  • Posted By: Joshua BishopRobyZimmy- the people participating in the roleplaying game.The convention was packed with zimmies.
    I object; this term is too close to saying that all roleplayers are the love children of Invader Zim and South park's Timmy!

    And this term doesn't describe the participation. Is someone who watches a roleplaying game a zimmy? How about if they give suggestions to others?
  • Judson: fixed. Wouldn't want contamination from another source!

    Graham: make it!

    Aaron: propose a better one, or propose terms to clarify. What shall we call somebody who watches the bargleflap rather than contributes to it?
  • Posted By: stack0v3rflowI object; this term is too close to saying that all roleplayers are the love children of Invader Zim and South park's Timmy!
    Well I, for one, will stand behind that assertion.
  • I suggest an alternate definition for Wangdoodle: a randomizing element used to determine Zimmy Bargleflap.

    Furthermore, I suggest the term Humchuckle for the decrying of the use of these terms in favor of the Chumwuddle Model.

  • Posted By: TonyLBWell I, for one, will stand behind that assertion.
    Count me in. I'll back that.
  • Alas, I find that Ten-ten tiri is too like Chim Chim Chiree which confuses me in my alternate role as a chimneysweep.
  • Posted By: Joshua BishopRobyAaron: propose a better one, or propose terms to clarify. What shall we call somebody who watches the bargleflap rather than contributes to it?
    Shoo: One who is within observation range of a bargleflap. With the advent of the Internet, includes everyone. In Bob's Basement, we had to be quiet after midnight when we bargeflapped because of the Shoos upstairs
    Goo: The act of a Shoo actively observing a bargleflap. I think that Shoo is Gooing us
    Koo: A suggestion without mechical authority but weight in the social contract at the bargleflag or the acting of offering a Koo. Damn it Chris! Stop Kooing, you are only a Goo Shoo.
    Voo: Having mechanical authority within a bargleflap. I'm too tired tonight to Voo, I think I'm just going to Goo Shoo and maybe Koo Shoo.
    Voowangdoodleshoo: a voo with some of the traditional powers of a wangdoodle.
    Koowangdoodleshoo: an observer who has influence over bargleflap through koo to the wangdoodle (in old terms usually a GM's SO).
  • Very illuminating, Aaron.

    Do you think Goowangdoodleshooing exists, such as in the case of a game where the Voo Shoos just take an idea and run with it, so that the Wangdoodle doesn't have to do much but watch, er, Goo?
  • Let's not forget the ever present influence of shoowangdoodleshooing, given that the act of shooing a bargleflap influences it, given that the voos are aware of any shoos whatsoever.
  • Posted By: Joshua BishopRobyVery illuminating, Aaron.

    Do you think Goowangdoodleshooing exists, such as in the case of a game where the Voo Shoos just take an idea and run with it, so that the Wangdoodle doesn't have to do much but watch, er, Goo?
    I think that my use of terms as both a noun and verb is already causing confusion. Henceforth all verbs will end in barglefap (to show that it is in the process of the bargleflap) and all nouns in shoo (if it's a person, other things like dice will need a new term).

    So a wangdoodle that goobargleflaps would be a wandoodlegooshoo, but I think that most wangdoodles will koobargleflap making him a wangdoodlekooshoo and opposed to a kooshoo that wangdoodlebargleflap which as I stated above is a koowangdoodleshoo. But if I was wangdoodlekoobargleflap I'd want to be able to koobargleflap with a koowangdoodleshoo for my ansa dansa mo go fop.

    I'm glad that we are making bold steps to clear up confusion. I can just imagine the relief of other boards when we inform them.
  • Posted By: Judson LesterLet's not forget the ever present influence of shoowangdoodleshooing, given that the act of shooing a bargleflap influences it, given that the voos are aware of any shoos whatsoever.
    A reason that I feel odd larping or even playing in game stores. That shoowangledoodlebargeflap feeling.
  • Oh.

    my.

    God.




    AWESOME.
  • That's all great stuff, Aaron.

    I'm interested in taking a closer look at Ansa Dansa Mo Go Fop, though, because as we all know, there are lots of different kinds, and tons of different Plat to get there. Here's one:

    Kerspotch - an Ansa Dansa Mo Go Fop in which the vooshoo voobargleflops in order to impress another shoo and strike up a romantic relationship.

    Zerphingling - one plat among many in which a shoo voobargleflops or voowangdoodlebargleflops in order to affect another shoo's character in an emotional vein, in the hopes of fostering a similar feeling in the shoo. By contrast, antizerphingling attempts to foster the opposite feeling in the shoo. I kept zerphingling Adam's character, making catty comments and innuendos, but he didn't get the hint until I antizerphinglinged him, slapping him in the face -- then he got this look in his eye.
  • edited October 2006
    Wangdoodle - any person with greater authority than the other Zimmies. Our gaming group is made of five zimmies, but three of us trade off wangdoodling.
    This is bullshit. Clearly "wangdoodle" is a negatively connoted reference to "Wang Dang Doodle" by blues great Willie Dixon.

    I find the term racist, offensive and non-descriptive. I don't even understand what it's supposed to represent. No one in MY group is a wangdoodle, and I think the number of wangdoodles, however offensive a term, is a niche within a niche.

    Also, since I don't like it AND don't actually understand it, no one should use it.

    EDIT: I should add, I'll make every opportunity to bring up my objection at every possible thread and turn.

    Fuck you.
  • Matt, I don't think you are properly examining your own roleplaying. I think if you look harder, you will find that you are, in fact, a wangdoodle of the highest caliber.
  • edited October 2006
    image
  • The last image illustrates Joshua's theory.

    The following image explains where Joshua's theory, and all other theories with which I agree, fit in with other theories.

    image
  • edited October 2006

    Graham, what about the people who don't have a theory or understand yours, but want a stake in the dialogue anyway?

    [Edit: What I meant to say was:

    Your theory doesn't include people who don't have a theory and don't understand your theory, but want to participate in the big-words conversation, so it's not all-inclusive.

    Also, it doesn't include people who don't care about theory, like me, who show up in every theory discussion to tell you so.]

  • If Matt Snyder thinks it is wrong, then I think it is right.

    But I need Joshua to tell me what I think, just to be sure.

    Joshua, I hate Matt, right?
  • Graham!

    Honestly, very naughty. I thought we had all agreed to scrub all the bad old theory away and start afresh.

    But no sooner do I stare intensely at your diagram for forty-odd minutes whilst chewing coffee grounds, than I notice that the circular figure in your "region of right" - if I had the time I would put more inverted commas around "right" just to show how little faith I have in your idea of rightness - is in fact the beeg horseshoe theory of the bad old days. A little round Narrativism dot, a little round Gamism one, and Simulationism circling round to connect the two together.

    For shame, Mr Walmsley. For shame.
  • Josh,

    Obviously, those people need to at least pretend one or the other. Or adhere dogmatically to Ten-ten Tiri Paltualism.
  • Hating Matt, you say?

    Sure!

    Matt, I think you're a pigfucker.

  • Your theory is wrong because I interpret it to be insulting to me personally!

    Fuckers! You hate gamers! And yourselves! And you never play any games!
  • Joshua R3D5,

    Not you. The other Joshua tells me what I think.

    Really, I am not a hufenstuffer, and do not follow after the wrong Joshua. I have been a Kalistian for years, and only Joshua RamaGupta can explain game theory to me.

    Though you have somehow seen through your cloud of wrongness to discover the truth at Matt does fuck pigs.

    Edit: Wait, wrong Matt. It is Matt WILSON that fucks pigs.

    Edit on the Edit: Goats. Not pigs.
  • Ben,

    Just last night I played a game with the girl you loved in highschool.

    And she said I played better than you.

    So there.
  • This really helps me! I see that a lot of other games lied to me, implying that zimmieshoos platbargleflap their way to ansa dansa mo go wopshoo through voobargleflap. But in reality the consistent emphasis on ten ten tirishoo meant that my attempts to platbargleflap as a shoo ended up as koowangdoodleshoobargleflap, but I remained convinced that I was voobargleflapping.

    While I escaped most of the effect of this, I have certainly encountered many people who were more channelized into mistaking koowangdoodleshoobargleflap for voobargleflap. The effects on their personal lives are hard to overstate. If they can't tell the difference between koowangdoodleshoobargleflap and voobargleflap you certainly can't expect them to tell the difference between being considerate and being passive aggressive. They've literally been psychologically scarred.

    It's not really that different from traditional game companies putting them through a woodchipper.
  • edited October 2006
    Graham, Joshua, Brand, I don't think you're allowed to have theories anymore.

    Edit: And Ben too. Come on guys!
  • Marhault,

    I accept your theory of the no-theory.

    The Game Theory which can be spoken is no the True Game Theory.

    Um... I should stop here or I'm going to end up posting the picture of the lotus again and I think Andy told me he'd ban me if I did that anymore.
  • The pigs never had it so good.
  • Hi,

    I'm new to the Wangdoodle Theory (I heard about it on RPG.net), and I was wondering if somebody could explain it to me in Plain English?

    Mike

    P.S. oh shit, I promised when I started reading that I wouldn't jump on this bandwagon. Uh, shame on you Josh!

    P.P.S. I don't think this is the first time this has been attempted, truth be told...
  • Mike,

    Read this thread: http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=1639&page=1#Item_1 -- it should answer all of your questions.

    If it isn't clear, then wait until Joshua finishes the glossary, it will have all the answers you need.
  • Uh, why is the "Region of Right" on the Left?
  • Mike, Mike, Mike. Wangdoodleshoo cannot be explained in Plain English. That's the whole point. Plain English brings in connotations from elsewhere, and that contaminates the pure awesomeness that is Wangdoodleshooism. As the theory develops, I'm hoping we can replace the verb to be and personal pronouns to exterminate the last final bits of English's influence.

    I mean, even Brand understands this bit.

    My advice to you, Mike: go back upthread to Graham's magnificent pair of diagrams and study them intensely. Chewing coffee grounds apparently helps. Then print up the diagram, paste it to your forehead, and play Sinnibar. Everything will become clear.
  • Joel, the Region of Right is fundamentally dynamic and liberal, and therefore cannot be part of the conservative Right. I thought that was obvious.
  • Joshua,

    Your wisdom is amazing. I am so happy that you are the poster with the most posts on this entire board.

    (Really, by several hundred. Followed by Jason Morningstar.)
  • I'm still interpreting this theory to be personally insulting to me! You're all not just elite academic fuckheads who hate and seek to destroy all gaming, you're unrepentant elite academic fuckheads who hate and seek to destroy all gaming!

    I'm going to go denounce you on my blog now!
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanI'm still interpreting this theory to be personally insulting to me! You're all not just elite academic fuckheads who hate and seek to destroy all gaming, you're unrepentant elite academic fuckheads who hate and seek to destroy all gaming!
    Yes, and?
  • I support the DEAD BRAND ROBINS Theory in my pursuit of improving the quality of gaming and game forums.

    The theory includes several characters, various murder weapons, and a selection of rooms within a large manor, all resulting in various means by which Brand Robins will end up dead, and making life coherent.

    If your play preference is Mustard-Candlestick-Library, then I know which games suit you.

    Also: OMG joking about his death is totally not funny. You took it way too far, you freak. BAN3D Fr0m St0ry GAMe5 FOREVER!!!2.
  • For the record, apparently Mo finds jokes about my death to be very funny.
  • Posted By: Joshua BishopRobyPosted By: Ben LehmanI'm still interpreting this theory to be personally insulting to me! You're all not just elite academic fuckheads who hate and seek to destroy all gaming, you're unrepentant elite academic fuckheads who hate and seek to destroy all gaming!
    Yes, and?

    I'm going to yell about it. Shrilly! A lot. Did I mention my blog?

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • What's missing here is application of these terms to explain how to get more women into gaming.
  • Kurly, I suggest you reread the Kersplotch entry again. Try coffee grounds this time.
  • Posted By: Call Me CurlyWhat's missing here is application of these terms to explain how to get more women into gaming.
    Are you saying that woman do not desire to be hosed down with ansa dansa mo go fop? I can see why a female voo are maybe turned off by the fear of abusive wangdoodle in ten-ten tiri or maybe even don't like the idea of koobargle kersplotch, but there are other plats. Kersplotch and zerphingling are not the only plat, even though Joshua does seem to emphasize them in his plat.

    That is why I don't understand the flame wars. Ansa dansa mo go fop is for every shoo! Just find your plat!
  • Posted By: Joshua BishopRobyKurly, I suggest you reread theKersplotchentry again. Try coffee grounds this time.
    Applied ... where?
  • Posted By: stack0v3rflowAnsa dansa mo go fop is for every shoo! Just find your plat!
    Truer words were never spoken.
  • edited October 2006
    Posted By: Joshua BodyRaisin Kurly, I suggest you reread the Kersplotch entry again. Try coffee grounds this time.
    I stand corrected, but no need to threaten me with a coffee grinder incident; you xenu-damned dirty cancelpoodle!
  • And here I was trying to be subtle.
  • I resent you pigeon-holing me as a Ansa Dansa Mo Go Fopper. Besides, I don't know why you need any of this stuff. My Wangdoodler gives me a lot of plat every time, regardless of the zimmies' bargleflapping. I mean, you can always just koo stuff for maximal plat.
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