Glossary

Well, for those of you interested in such things, you’ll remember me discussing “Forge terminology” off and on here; like a “Crunchy” game system or whatever.
Well, if you’d ever wondered what the hell I was talking about, but didn’t want to read a bunch of Forge Theory, check this out: RandomWiki – TheoryTopics.

This is a collection of theory topics, concepts, and glossary ideas in role-playing theory — in particular ideas and terminology from The Forge. You can browse by the first letter of the term using the links above.
The idea is for this to be like an encyclopedia with references. Pick a term or topic from browsing or add in a new one. Then add in links to important Forge threads relevant to that topic by putting them in the “References” list.

A glossary of all the Forgeite terms terminology from all over the intarnetweb and RPG theory, including Robin Laws’ stuff and so forth, which IMO makes it even more useful as a reference, complete with definitions and links back to the articles or discussions that coined them.
It’s awesome. What’s even more awesome is that, while it’s on RandomWiki (ostensibly ‘my’ wiki), it wasn’t my work. John Kim, having gotten a green light from me, went ahead and created the whole thing.
In one night.

4 Replies to “Glossary”

  1. Hey Doyce. Could you say just a little about your vision for the future of this thing? I know I can edit in it, and have indeed done so a teensy bit – what I don’t know is if I should. How should I treat the text already present? Given a definition which in my opinion falls short, should I correct it without identifying myself, correct it as though it were a conversation (like “actually, what it really means is…”), or something else? Does Wiki have any conventions for such things? How free should I feel to spin out implications, when I think that a definition is correct but very shallow? How free should I feel to editorialize?
    Should I do my editorializing in a Forge thread and then link it as a reference?
    I think this is an exciting project.

  2. I monitor/moderate the Wiki pretty closely — watching both the RSS feed and checking emails to me from the wiki itself about updates and the like, and yes, the new traffic to the wiki attracted a few wiki spammers, but it was easy enough to fix all that — the added cool stuff MORE than compensated me for any problems.
    Best of all, I’ve started to see folks coming in and expanding entries here and there — adding new links… it’s excellent — it’s exactly what I think a wiki is supposed to be.
    I run other wikis where basically everyone and anyone who feels inspired to do so can monitor and police the integrity of the site (with the wiki code I use, ANYONE with an RSS aggregator can keep an eye on the wiki from anywhere on the net), and more importantly, can improve the quality of the material submitted by updating and editing what’s already there, as well as adding stuff.
    I think a similar philosophy can and should hold true with RandomWiki. Mike Holmes works on his area, but he also drops good info in the Heroquest section, Sorcer, the Theory section and elsewhere — I know I feel a surge of ‘yay’ whenever anyone posts new info to the Sorcerer wiki — I consider section that a community resource at this point, and really most of the sections on games are that way.
    Obviously, some areas make more sense for that philosophy than others — I have wiki pages up there for some of my home campaigns, and I don’t imagine that anyone but I and my players would be editing those areas (unless there’s some glaring typo, of course) — that’s pretty obvious. Sometimes I set an ‘edit’ password on a particular area, while leaving it wide open for public viewing, simply to clarify such things.
    But the bottom line is, if the system lets you edit it, you should feel comfortable in doing so.
    None of which speaks to questions about how and when to correct or add to someone else’s interpretation of an entry. Let’s discuss some guidelines.
    * Be nice – don’t be rude or offensive.
    * Write in a way that is easy to understand.
    * Don’t use too many acronyms (or at least, have a page explaining them)
    * Correcting typos is quite okay – in fact, it’s a very good habit, since it makes the web page more readable.
    * Avoid the “click here” phrase!! Don’t say: “More info about FOO can be found here” but use “More info about FOO can be found at WikiFoo”. I’d suggest avoiding it for external links as well.
    * You are free to contribute anonymously, but I’d prefer that you sign your ADDITIONS (not to be confused with simply corrections and the like) with your name. It is common to prepend the signature with ‘–‘ like this: — Doyce Testerman (While you’re at it, you are free to create your own wikipage under the “Profiles” group and tell us about yourself, but don’t write your email addresses out in plain text.)
    * Remember that Wiki is not a high-speed conversation board. It’s not a news server either. What you say will stick around for everyone to see and comment, but it’s not really good as a forum.
    CHANGING EXISTING STUFF:
    Simply: treat entries with respect. I am, personally, VERY comfortable with ‘deepening’ an entry — I think that’s brilliant — but I want to avoid “revision wars” in which people delete previous entries for their own take on the subject, into infinity.
    Hell, even if you disagree, it’s a simple thing to say “Another view of this topic might be…” and so forth.
    When it comes to changing or deleting text from somebody else’s writeup, put yourself in the other person’s shoes: would they be upset with what you are intending to do, or would they be grateful? If in doubt, ask, and invite some other opinions.
    I think it’s a very good thing to deepen what you feel might be shallow entries, provided it’s done with the kind of respect usually present here on the Forge. Be comfortable doing that… I know I am.
    Personally, I think if you want to add something to the post, add it. If your expansion can then be illustrated with a conversation thread on the Forge, link it. If not, don’t worry about it. Heck, someone expanded the entry on IIEE by linking to part of Clinton’s text for The Shadow of Yesterday… that rocks.
    The glossary can’t BE static. If it is, it’s useless, because it references discussion forums that continue to thrive and grow and expand their understanding — it’s important to acknowledge that it will never be “Done” or “Closed” as long as we keep talking and thinking.

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