Why you need to learn about E-Prime
John Wick is one of the most important creators in the RPG games industry. I had the pleasure to meet him in person just once, for a short time, when he was a guest at one of the Polish conventions. I’m that guy from the board games industry, and he’s the star of the RPG scene, but we somehow always manage to pass by each other.
John designed some of the best games in the history of RPG—Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea. I had lots of fun playing both these titles, but what’s equally important, they heavily influenced my beginnings in the industry. John is also a great writer—his series of articles about Orkworld, published online in 2000, had a huge impact on my narration style and marketing of my first games. This legendary collection of opinion articles, printed and bound, proudly stands on my RPG bookshelf to this day. Right next to the Orkworld, of course.
Today, John Wick has a YouTube channel where he posts advice for Game Masters and general thoughts on the game industry. Today I’d like to give the floor to John and cite his words here. Words he says in his materials on a regular basis:
When I am speaking about a game, I try my best to use the rules of E-Prime, which is: I can’t use any conjugation of “is”, “was” or “were”, I can’t say the game is bad or the game is good. I have to say I like it or I don’t like it and then explain why. That takes the onus off the game and puts it on the reviewer.
John Wick received the Origins award for his game 7th Sea. He also received the Origins award for his game Legend of the Five Rings. He’s a brilliant designer. But if I could have a say in that matter, I’d give him at least three more awards for these words, for that quote, for that concept that is much needed nowadays: my opinion is about me and my taste, not the game itself.
That new King’s book doesn’t suck. It’s just that I don’t like it.
That Taylor Swift’s new album isn’t terrible. It’s just not for me.
That new game from Knizia isn’t bad. It just doesn’t suit my taste.
You all have opinions. The Internet has to carry the weight of your judgments on every possible topic. Remember John’s words. Remember them every time you use your keyboard.