Back in my GNS explaination thread on rpg.net, someone observed that if the most misused words associated with a theory are the ones in the theory’s name, there’s something wrong.
The problem of course, is that Gamist/Narrativist/Simulationist are all adjectives and while meant to define only play, end up defining lots of different stuff.
It’s of course too late to do anything about this, given the terms’ sheer saturation in theory-culture. But I thought: what if there was a way to adapt the words to a context where the usage is clearer?
So here’s my random idea: Instead of *-ism, you have *-play.
Gamism, is therefore GamePlay. Narrativism is NarPlay (I’d prefer DramaPlay, but people know what Narrativism and Nar are.) Simulationism is SimPlay.
And people’s creative-agenda preferences? *-player. GamePlayer, NarPlayer, SimPlayer (because people aren’t gamists, narrativists or simulationists!)
A games innate leaning towards one creative-agenda or another? *-playability. GamePlayabiliyt, NarPlayability, SimPlayability.
I imagine most people who knew about GNS who saw these phrases without previous context would know what I was talking about (someone with no GNS experience would probably still be clueless, but that’s not the point), making it better than pulling out entirely new words out of nowhere.
What do you think?