December 4, 2008

Debate Class

[Official transcript of the West Hope Middle School debate club meeting, 3/3/2006]

DYLAN: "We are going to argue today that 'video game', two words, is the correct spelling, and 'videogame', one word, is wrong. For our first argument, we note that the Oxford English Dictionary defines 'video game' as two words, and so the dictionary agrees that we are right. Because we use the dictionary to spell things correctly, we think this is definitely the right way to spell 'video game'. Thank you."

MADISON: "Good afternoon everyone! Thank you in advance for listening to us. As our opening statement, I would like to point out that many popular videogame writers spell it as one word. For example, Kieron Gillen spells it like that. Kieron Gillen, for those of you who don't know, invented New Games Journalism, which basically is a better way of writing about videogames. Also, it's 'new'. And because Mr. Gillen knows what is new and better, we trust him about the best way to spell 'videogame'. Our opposition can hold on to their dictionary, we want to know why they don't want to hold on to the future."

ETHAN: "Now I am going to rebut you. Ol' Kieron's so-called New Games Journalism manifesto tells game journalists that essentially they can write anything they want and it doesn't matter. They can say crazy things that have nothing to do with games, or use reviews as their personal diary or something stupid like that, and it's all okay according to Kieron Gillen! So we think people should keep on spelling 'video game' as two words, like it always was, to uphold order and stop anarchy."

ASHLEY: "Another thing we would like to point out is -- "

DYLAN: "Madison! Can't you see this is tearing our relationship apart -- "

[Transcript ends.]


Unknown said...

The real problem, I think, is that the collocation of "video" and "game" just isn't working out for us.

"Ractive" (coined I hear by Neal Stephenson, though I have no citation; of course I could be misremembering, and it was actually William Gibson) will save us.

Steve gaynor said...

Someone merely mentioned the word "ractive" in the car one day and every occupant simultaneously barfed.

Unknown said...


Someday I'm going to have to look up the barf-related history of "movie."

What's your non-barf candidate, Steve? Or do you think we'll be able to keep calling them games?

qrter said...

What does "ractive" even mean?

I instantly associate it with "radioactive". Coolz0rz!

Anonymous said...

It's from Diamond Age:

blog is to weblog as ractive is to...?

That being said, although the basic idea of the term is correct, and even though the current term video-game is so hideous, I still can't see myself laying back and 'playing ractives' any time soon.

Travis Megill said...

I like ractive. But I don't like the way videogame looks, or the red line that always comes up underneath it. What's wrong with space? That said, I don't judge anyone on their usage, as long as they can spell video.

qrter said...

I'm giving up, back to reading books and crocheting.

Duncan said...

"Ractive" is also new to me, and I fear it.

Duncan said...

But I think I would like it better if it was spelled "rac tive".

qrter said...

The thing about 'ractive' (or 'rac tive') is that when you say it, it sounds like you're coughing up a hairball, just plainly coughing and sneezing at the same time.

Andrew said...

Haha, what on earth is Ractive?

Anyway, I'm for videogame. If other industries concatenate words just fine, I don't see why these can't be one word. You don't read it out as two words anyway.

But in the end it doesn't matter much. It's not like we decided "film" is any different then "movie"!

qrter said...

After thinking really, really hard - I believe it comes from 'interactive'. Which doesn't make it any better.

"I'm off to play an interactive."