You know what's hard? Writing something about George Orwell. There's so much pressure to do justice to the talent you're describing. He'd probably advise getting straight to the point, so here it is: this week, we review Orwell's famous style rules put forth in his essay, "Politics and the English Language," and try to apply them to video games. I'm pretty happy with the results, so feel free to scroll down if you want a recap of where we landed.
Orwell's rules for writing:
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Orwell's rules for games (as written by Jorge and Scott):
- Do not use a secondary system, mechanic, or sequence simply because players will recognize it.
- Never make a long game when a short game will do.
- If it is possible to cut an interaction, cut it.
- Never take control from the player when you can give control to the player.
- When faced with a narrative, design, or linguistic decision, prioritize accessibility.
- Break any of these rules in the pursuit of elegance.
Direct download: EXP_Podcast_586_-_Orwell.mp3
-- posted at: 10:00am PST