2019-01-18 Linking and Not Liking Things

Sometimes I am confronted with people that don’t like labels and categories. I’ll post about not liking this kind of game, or that essay, or discussing what I think are Indie or OSR games, or I’ll link to the series of blog about the OSR survey by Brendan and Ben, and I’ll see people saying “I don’t buy into the idea of categorization of games.” or “It’s kind of like the tiresome discussions about defining music genres.”

For me, categories and labels are words to express concepts. I find that comment about music genres baffling, for example. My half humorous answer to that message was:

And yet, if we didn’t have words to talk about music and were reduced to nothing but “I like it” or “I don’t like it”, then I wouldn’t like it. I like it when I know why I like it and I’d like to use words to describe the things I like and don’t like. I want to talk about the things I like. We need to talk about the things we don’t like or we’ll never get things to be like we like them. Words are important. I like words. There’s more than just liking or not liking.

We need words! I don’t want to limit myself to the 123 words of Toki Pona. And Jazz is not Metal is not World Music is not Chanson is not Schlager – and the fact that one builds on the other and there are cross-overs and hard to pin down developments and nuances we’re not personally interested in doesn’t mean that we need to abandon the words or stop naming qualities that are hard to describe because they are fleeting for all life is fleeting and all sensation is hard to communicate and that’s why it can be art and poetry.

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