Good evening, class. Let me start by stroking your egos a little bit.
Do you know what I like about you guys? Not particularly much. But you do have one thing going for you: your nice, soft, squishy gray matter. Your brains are like molding clay in my tiny lil’ moogle hands. I can bend and shape you into smarter people without entirely too much effort. Which is a better use of clay than, say, making a misshapen ashtray for someone as a Christmas gift. No seriously, little 6 year olds… no one wants your shitty arts and crafts, ok? Ok.
What was I saying again? Right, I was saying there is hope for you yet.
And as such, I believe we can correct a few wrongs here on the internet if you guys are just willing to let me do my thing.
Today’s topic: Terminology Burnout.
This is a phrase I’ve coined for the over-use of a term until it’s either lost it’s meaning, or it’s meaning is so muddled that it becomes a pointless term to use.
When you look around the internet, in comments sections and, oh god, 4chan or something like that…
Hold on, I threw up in my mouth a bit… eww…
But if you look around the internet, you see a lot of common words thrown around that have reached a point of being tired or seeming completely useless. I’ll give you an example: “Entitled”.
There appear to be two extremes in thought, because apparently most people only understand things if there are two exact-opposite sides to them. Anything more than that confuses and befuddles most people. Case and Point: American Politics. It’s THE RIGHT vs THE LEFT. If we recognized the gray area, most people would piddle themselves and suck their thumbs. But anyway, two extremes in thought: There is NO SUCH THING as gamer entitlement. Or every gamer that says even one tiny thing negative about a game or dares to complain about any practices of a company at all is an evil entitled twatbooger with “FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS!”.
Both of these cases are stupid, dumb, bad, dumb, derp. Stop thinking either of those ways, or I’ll be forced to bring you to the zoo and have you committed to a monkey cage because you’re on the same intellectual level as something that shits in it’s hand and throws it at children eating ice cream nearby.
Is there gamer entitlement? Yes. Because gamers are consumers, and consumers can showcase disgusting entitlement problems. Don’t believe me? Work retail for roughly… 27 minutes, and you’ll realize I’m right.
However, entitlement, along with many other words, are over-used. They’re used for things that are, indeed, gamer entitlement behavior. But they are also used for ANY behavior where, even if it’s a legitimate disappointment or expectation, someone expects something better than what they got.
And this is what I call “terminology burnout”. Too many people using terms the wrong way too many times that the word or phrase begins to lose it’s meaning. It gets completely lost in the giant puddle of misuse that it’s impossible to actually use the term without it being dismissed as bullshit. One in every ten cases may be using the term correctly, but because the other nine times it’s used as an attack instead of a legitimate point, every case of it being used is looked at as bad.
I’ll give you another example used within the gaming community entirely too often…
Apparently, if a game is anything more advanced than mashing your forehead against an Xbox controller and calling a 12 year old a faggot shit-eating mom-fucker, it’s “artsy” pretentious nonsense. Not every high-concept piece of art that wants to tell a deep story or tackle a philosophical issue or dares to be abstract is “pretentious”. It’s a very rarely correctly used term to express when someone thinks their metaphorical doodie isn’t stinky and they deserve a blowjob from the Pope because they just did Jesus’ work. These people are kinda pretentious. The guy who made Thomas Was Alone is not pretentious because he made rectangles emotional.
While we’re on the topic of “art” and abstraction, there is another phrase I’m tired of hearing. Anytime someone makes something a little weird, a little abstract, you immediately hear about how they must have dropped acid. Or smoked some crack. “Man, what kind of drugs was this guy on!”. Probably none. But your mom is on drugs. Because she’s trying to forget she had such a disappointment for a child.
But Professor Moogles, what CAUSES this terminology burnout?
There is a simple explanation for this: people are kinda dumb.
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but there are like… 8 BILLION people out there on this rock in space, and a reasonable chunk of them have internet access and think they’re really, really clever. And like… 2% of these people are intelligent. The rest are parrots.
That’s what it boils down to though, parroting. People repeat terms they see to sound smarter than they are. I’ll give you an example you’re probably familiar with: Ludonar…
Hold on a second… throwing up in my mouth again… *huuuuuuurl* Ugh… I think… NOPE… *BLARRRRRGH*
I don’t remember eating that…
Sweet Jesus, I had to cleanse my fingers in boiling water to burn off the shame from typing that phrase in it’s entirety. One dude wrote an article making up that term to discuss a concept he discovered, and suddenly every mother fucker on every gaming website has to put it in the title of every article and review about every game ever fucking made. Does it apply? Sometimes. But it’s so over-used people just cringe when they see it.
It was originally put in everything to make their opinions seem more valid, like they had a scholarly weight to them. But really, they might as well just be repeating “Polly Wants A Cracker” over and over until you shove a Saltine in their beak. People take terms and phrases they’ve heard to describe things by somewhat intelligent, interesting people and they reuse them over and over regardless of if they fit or not so they too look intelligent and interesting. The irony is, in using those terms so much, they look like complete nimrods in the process.
The first lemming off a cliff is an idiot, the ones that follow him are just not even trying. (Note: Lemmings don’t actually exhibit this behavior. Interesting, that).
So yes, most of these terms do have merit in individual cases, but because of the derp hive mind that is the internet, they get pushed around so many times that they get burned out completely. One person put the square peg in the square hole and was a fucking genius, then a thousand other guys came around and are sitting around on Youtube trying to shove the square peg into the star hole and shit-eating grin smiling like they just invented gravity.
So, next time you sit down to call a developer pretentious for making a game entirely about how their bowel movements are a great representation of Democracy in the 21st century* please be sure the game is being made with some kind of actual pretension. Otherwise, you’re just a dipshit.
I think we’ve grown today, students. Thank you for your time. Now get the fuck out of here before I slap you with this ruler. That I’ve wrapped in barbed wire and bathed in saltwater.
*copyright GodOfMoogles 2013. This game will be made someday… MY IDEA GET YOUR OWN.