Language and Vocabulary in Game Design

How much of the current raging debates in the game industry, or any debate in any industry for that matter, boil down to the opposing sides’ deficiencies in adequately communicating the full nuance of the concepts of which they are thinking?  I think the answer is “a large part”.  And I think the ramifications of such an answer are the following:

1. Since game design, especially MMO design as I see it, is immensely complex and nuanced, getting to the very core of what it is to be human, the most effective conversations and debates will happen among people who “get” each other to a decent degree.  In other words in most cases friends, coworkers, and a relatively small number of outside colleagues.

2. Large-scale, industry-wide debates will tend to be inefficient due to the sheer number of non-common terminology, differing connotations, etc.  Rarely will conclusive decisions be reached.

 By no means am I implying that industry-wide debates are useless or that they should be discouraged.  What I am saying is that the participants of such forums must recognize the situation and be fully aware of the communication problems inherent in it.

The interesting part is that the most meaningful debates on the core issues in game design will be rather decentralized, that is, in each development studio, especially in each team.  As such, it would seem quite important that team members trust each other, both personally and professionally, and it seems critical that the team as a group have regular focused discussions on various “deep” elements of their design.