Just claiming the title, because it's funnier than what you were going to call it. Wall of text for the edit:
So I've taken care of my emotional problems so there shouldn't be anymore crying. Expect to get poked if you read further, Luke.
Let's start with a quibble. Luke says Shaun and my definition of a bang differ. They don't. I suck at explaining it and Shaun took basically the tack I've decided on, since this debaucle, for explaining bangs. Which is just explain it by using one. To give Luke a fit, I'll also mention this is a Holmesian bang
, not an Edwardsian bang. Heh. No one really makes that distinction, but it's why it's confusing. Edwards coined the term like 10 or 12 years ago in a book I don't think has been updated. The understanding of a bang has changed since then. Some people don't know because they're referencing the book even today. Anyway... Shaun and I... bang... same thing.
So here are the problem's with trying to rewrite confusing jargon with an absolutely clear word.
Let's say I talk with Video Game Designer and talk about giving a player our "rewritten choice."
Us: "I had their cousin fall out of the second story window."
Video Game Designer: "Ummmmmm...."
Video Game Designer is going to write me off as a loon. Choices are made by the designer, and given to the player to choose. They are figured out in the design phase. It could be cookie, or brownie. It could be Templars, or Circle Mages. It could be head or gut. It could be a choice that invalidates the articles primary example of a problem, like PVE or PVP for gear in WOW. Our "rewritten choice" happens in play and does not correspond to the video game designers idea of choice in design, because we are giving infinity. The only infinity in programming is an infinite loop. So our "rewritten choice" does not match a video game designers choice and thus is not choice as written by video game designers.
Next you have to explain how our "rewritten choice" is not a particular kind of choice to the layman trying to understand.
Layman dude(tte): "If I give the player a choice to shoot the guy with their ray beam eyes, or astral bazooka, that's choice, right?"
Us: "Well no. You see, when I say choice, I mean something like, your cousin falling out of the second story window."
Layman Dude(tte): "What!?!"
Us: "It's kinda like a koan, dude. There is no right answer. It's the choice of creativity; beautiful, wondrous, and infinite."
Layman Dude(tte): "What!?! Wait. How about if I give them the choice between using their device to open the door, breaking the device, or opening the door and having the guards appear in four minutes."
Us: "Fuck. No. That's not choice either."
Layman Dude(tte): "What!?! I don't get it. That's clearly a choice by the definition of the word."
Us: "No dude, I'm telling you. A choice is their cousin falls out of a window."
Layman Dude(tte): "Garble, garble, garble." *sinks into the murk*
Now, Layman Dude(tte)'s examples are video game choice, but they aren't our "rewritten choice." Funny thing is substitute bang for choice, it's the same conversation.
The crux of the issue is video game choice is a good way to look at things when you are designing a game. You could say Dogs in the Vineyard is a game that makes you choose what it means to serve God in a real world. Video game choice could never bring this, because video game choice isn't broad enough. It can try to show you, but it can't give you the choice, it's too broad. But thinking about choice is obviously beneficial, but video game choice makes the word choice really confusing. Then if you try to substitute it for bang, it's even more confusing.
I think this is why Shaun is stumping... he's confusing design choice, the choice discussed in the aforementioned article with the special kind of choice that only exists in roleplaying games, or improv. In improv a bang would be called an offer
. They would go on to slice things so more and talk about an offer from space, etc. This has it's own bit of problems as a replacement word.
To end this rambling thing, jargon is useful because you can give the word a new definition, like many words in English. This let's you explain what you mean with the new definition. Eventually the word will meld together with this new definition. This isn't as important for video game designers as the end user experiences the art. They are not involved in the crafting and their choices are limited to the choices the designer has given them. With roleplaying games the end user also crafts the experience. This means the end user has to understand what is meant, and while bang isn't great, choice is even worse, and this is before the Illusionist part of my argument.