Brathwaite is blogging, which is another blog I have to keep up with. :P
She mentions the idea that we could really use some kind of game design language. As you might suspect, I have strong opinions on the topic.
One of the things I don't like about language is that it rapidly divorces itself from the reality it is theoretically based on. Once you get a language that is self-sufficient, it can go on forever without any kind of anchoring and, in fact, become more important than the thing it is supposed to refer to.
As an extreme example, astrology. Astrology clings to popularity despite the utter and undeniable truth that it is total crap. This is because astrology has a really strong language that represents a really coherent set of ideas.
Those ideas just happen to be total crap.
You actually see this quite a lot, especially in the more woo-woo segments of America, in politics, and in law. That user agreement you agreed to on that last install? Total crap. It bears no relation to reality. It is simply The Law cycling, feeding on itself, and bloating. Yeah, a lot of big corporate stuff is like this, too. You can probably think of a dozen more examples. I certainly can.
Languages are emergent, and they tend to rapidly outgrow their original bounds.
The good science-y languages (such as the medical profession's, as Brenda mentions) are anchored, strongly anchored, in reality. I don't think a day goes by without some doctor somewhere putting the slam down on some pseudo-medical linguistics that have no reality. Not just flat-out wrong terms like made up parts of the brain, but also using generally correct-sounding language to say really dumb things.
And the medical profession is still surrounded by crap language, language that has absolutely no relation to reality. Most "alternative" medical practices, such as magnets, reflexology, and homeopathy. Millions of people believe in these things - or their cultural variants - because the language is so strong, so plausible, so self-sufficient, and the concepts it embodies are so attractive.
If you can explain why something works, then the fact that it doesn't work will be overlooked.
That's a profession where people DIE if you get your language twisted, and despite that, they get their language twisted.
There's no denying that language is critical in teaching skill. Doctors spend an awful lot of time memorizing ninety syllable words, and that's why we trust them to gut us like fish. But they're not just memorizing words: they're (theoretically) understanding the reality that drives those words. Dramapraxelbenzine interacts with orispartamenthium in a specific way not because the language says so, but because they have a chemical makeup that WILL REACT, regardless of what the language says.
Honestly, I don't think that game designers are in that kind of a situation. I think that game designers will let the language control them, and wave their hands in a black-magic voodoo dance of ivory tower linguistics. I believe that for a reason: every game designer I've seen that uses specialized language during their design lets the language control them. It's just too damn difficult to get hard data on the way things interact in a game.
For the moment.
For right now, I would prefer to focus on figuring out a good way to research games, rather than trying to develop a language. The language will arise naturally from the research. Force it, and we'll end up poking our players in the toes to give them their adrenaline fix.