November 2018: Words

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

It feels like we’ve gotten here too quickly. 2018 is on the way out, and it’s we’re not far away from the new year. In addition to holidays just around the corner, this month is National Novel Writing Month for the writers of the world. For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo—as it is usually abbreviated—is a month for writers to work hard and pen 50,000 words or more in the brief 30 day window. In short: write one novel in one month. Given that, this month feels like a good time to settle in and write about Words. They’re tricky things to pin down, can be thrown haphazardly in order to encourage levity and haste, or belabored at length to produce gravity and weight. For many games, text-based adventure and role-playing in particular, a single word can make a world of difference. Words have weight, and some games tackle them with panache, others with chaotic joy. So, this month, let’s put down words on the subject of words.

A well-placed word can change or ruin the tone of the world. Games themselves often lean on words to make or break themselves, from sprawling RPGs with thousands of lines of dialog to the smallest lexical choices in making the user interface understandable to the player on the fly. Do words have a lot of power in game, or just enough to sully an otherwise good experience? Should word choice be considered a powerful part of a game’s story? Do words pale in comparison to the acted talent of game’s recorded dialog? Is the written word becoming less relevant as games find more and more cinematic ways to tell their stories? Give us your perspective on the nature of words in gaming!

As always you have until the end of the month, November 30th, before we rope off the entry line. We’ll have a new topic coming in hot, or rather cold, in December. As always, you can email your submissions or tweet them to @NukeLassic or @critdistance with the #BoRT hashtag. Happy blogging!
Suggestions for the Round Table:

  • Blogs of the Round Table is not curated. If you write it, we’ll publish it, as long as it’s connected to the topic and has been written specially for BoRT or up to one month prior.
  • Think of the BoRT topic as a starting point. Connecting your piece to the topic can be as creative as you want. We’re interested in both writing and play, so be playful when you approach the round table!
  • This BoRT post is the home of the discussion. Regular reading of other BoRT participants isn’t required, but highly encouraged. Feel free to browse the #BoRT tag on twitter to see if there are any words submitted already that you could use as a springboard for your own posts.
  • As a knight of the round table we encourage you to leave a comment on a blog to which you respond with a link to the response piece and give the original writer a ‘right of reply’. Keep the conversation going!
  • If your work contains potentially disturbing content, please include a suitable warning at the start.
  • You can submit as many articles as you like throughout the month, and it doesn’t matter if they are commercially published, paywalled or available for free. However, we can’t include paywalled material in the round-up without access to the article text or a transcript.