robin_d_laws (robin_d_laws) wrote,

Gen Con Buzzword Preannouncement

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Gen Con is not only the world’s biggest adventure gaming show. For those of us in “the industry”, as we so quaintly like to call it, it is a massive LARP event, wherein we get together and pretend, for four glorious days, that hobby gaming is like the real entertainment industry. Most of us would really hate it if it abruptly became like any facet of the real entertainment industry. If that happened, the business would in short order be inundated with creepy Armani-clad slicksters. They’d suck up the bulk of the sudden money and insert stupid notes into the creative process. But for four days in August we can talk SKUs and mindshare and say the word “demographics” and generally roleplay the personae of the aforementioned slicksters.

To this end we must periodically refresh our buzzwords, to keep up with the ever-evolving parlance of the genuine articles.

Accordingly, this year’s designated buzzword is “wheelhouse.”

Wheelhouse is presently all the rage as a thing to say in Hollywood trade paper interviews. Usefully for a bit of jargon, its meaning is somewhat stretchy.

Meaning A: Refers to something that’s the sort of thing we do, as in, “CCGs are definitely in our wheelhouse.” Sort of a synonym for the term “core competency” without sounding too MBA-ish.

Meaning B: Indicates that a project is in some vague state of development. Example: Sam Raimi’s recent pronouncement that “Evil Dead 4 is in the wheelhouse.”

Not unlike the Dying Earth RPG tagline system, points are scored for each appropriate, natural use of the word “wheelhouse” in a bit of Gen Con shop talk.

Bonus points awarded for successful non-ironic use.

Bonus points also awarded for expanding the meaning of the term in a way that nonetheless makes sense in context.

Super duper extra bonus points awarded for introducing the term to someone else, who then later goes on to use it non-ironic fashion.

That’s wheelhouse. For this Gen Con only.

Prizes to be determined.

Tags: gen con

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