Thursday, June 23, 2005

Linguistic Drift

It is interesting to look at a term that you came up with gain some coinage, and it is even more interesting (by which I mean frustrating) to see how its definition drifts so widely from your original intention that you could never understand it.

Way back in my Great White Games post, I coined the term Journeyman game. Let me just quote the original post here:

I want to borrow, for the community of game designers, some ideas that traditional craftsman have used. Most importantly is the idea of a journeyman work -- the one piece of work that proves you are capable as a professional. It is not your masterwork -- that proves you a master of the craft. And it is certainly not a life's work -- that is the greatest thing you create in your life. Rather, it is a technical piece to show your competence, training, craft and skill. And teach you a lesson about finishing something good.


Check out the difference in usage from that when compared to these posts: Craft and Innovation at anyway, and When I left you, I was the learner at Esoteric Murmurs. Boy, something's really change here.

(And Ed's post needs another response. Next post.)

This isn't so much a "man, you guys, stop misusing this term." I'm fine with the terminological drift. But it is interesting to see how a term that essentially meant "finish a damn game, asshole" has turned into a term that means "I have not yet completed the ultimate game" and then in turn seen as some sort of symbol of oppression.

6 Comments:

Blogger Joshua BishopRoby said...

You offered the possibility that something could be judged as better than another thing.

Heretic! Get the pitchforks!

7:07 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

I was responding entirely to the comments in the Lumpley post cited, not to your original post.

"Symbol of oppression" is certainly an extreme reading of my post. Is that the way it sounded to you?

8:59 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Ack. I just realized chances are very good that I've totally miscommunicated on all this stuff. I tried to clarify in a subsequent post:

http://esotericmurmurs.blogspot.com/2005/06/last-note-before-vacation.html

Ben, do you think we could work on making sure that you're hearing what I meant to hear before you try to correct my foolish relativist misconceptions?

10:57 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Er, hearing what I meant to say. Yeah. Proving my point about my limited communicative prowess here, again and again.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Joshua A.C. Newman said...

Ben, for what it's worth, this is what I got from that post:

Write a game.

Test and revise it until it works.

Publish it so others can play it.

Now you are a Journeyman!

... which is the opposite of "no matter how many games you write and publish, others with more cred might still judge you to be an apprentice," because that prevents you from finishing your games.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Ed --

Word. Response will be to your second post, not to your first.

yrs--
--Ben

11:10 PM  

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