Balbinus fala, no repositório de todo o conhecimento, sobre o supracitado.
Nem vou dar-me ao trabalho de traduzir, leiam e discutam se vos aprouver.
Sorry to start a new thread, but the incoherence one has totally gone south.
Anyway, TonyLB asked me why I thought GNS central to theory, as he didn’t see that (roughly, I’m paraphrasing). The context was an assertion by me that GNS was blocking the development of useful theory, by virtue of its being both incorrect but central to current theory.
So, to help answer that perfectly fair question, now buried under more than a 100 posts of flameage before I saw it, I started this.
GNS is central to theory because in practice it is impossible to discuss theory without people using GNS terminology. Even if the thread originator does not use it, a high proportion of those interested in theory adopt GNS terminology and use it in discussing theory. GNS therefore becomes central, because it is the common language of discussion.
So, why is that a problem? Surely a common language of discussion is a good thing? In principle, yes. In this particular case, not at all.
The difficulty, is that GNS terminology is sloppy jargon. Jargon, because it involves the use of technical terms with meanings other than the ordinary English usage. Sloppy, because there is no consistent use of those terms and the definitions vary constantly thread to thread even as used by those who argue that GNS is good theory. Sloppy also, because with the noticeable exception of self-identified narrativists, nobody recognises their gameplay within the GNS categories.
So, in discussing theory we have people using words in a non-intuitive way on the basis that those words have technical meanings. That doesn’t help to start with, because the intuitive usage of the words is close but not the same as the unintuitive words. They are unhelpful jargon because they are too close to ordinary language and as such anyone unfamiliar with the jargon can reasonably assume they are being used in their ordinary language sense. That leads to two groups of people in the same thread, those who recognise that jargon is being used and those who do not, both of whom will of course use the terms.
So far, not much communication.
Even among those who do recognise that jargon is being used though there is a major problem. There is no consistent usage. There are definitions in the Forge glossary, different usages in threads which postdate the glossary but which are being posted by people who participated in the glossary, definitions being used on a working level by a great many people. There is no consistency. If someone says “please explain to me what narrativism means as opposed to sim” then you can comfortably expect a very long thread with no agreement even among those arguing that the theory is correct. You expect the haters to not agree, but it is telling how rarely even the proponents do so.
As well as the definitional issue, there is the sheer impenetrability of the essays and underlying threads. In order to get it, you have to read a ton of material much of which is inconsistent one part with the other. Then of course, each poster puts their own spin and so the terms drift further apart.
As well as the core GNS terminology, much of the surrounding terminology has the same issues. Jargon which is used in a way similar to the ordinary English usage, but is not the same as it. Often terms are coined which sounds on their ordinary English usage pejoratitive, but which are ostensibly not designed to be so. No real common sense of what these terms actually mean even to those employing them.
So, the jargon gets used as an aide to communication, but because it is sloppy jargon without consistent definition or consistent usage, it actually acts as a direct barrier to communication. Worse, it can create the illusion of communication where none is actually occurring, people use similar terminology and think they have understood each other, but in fact may be using the same terms in very different ways.
So that’s the answer. It’s central because in practice (if not in theory) it is near impossible to discuss theory without using GNS terminology. It’s a problem, because the terminology lacks consistent meaning. That’s why most theory threads with time devolve into flamewars, because we are crippled from the outset by a terminology that actively interferes with our ability to communicate with each other. We’re like dancers who insist on wearing lead soled clogs before getting on the floor.