GLOSSARY

Democratic Citizens: Hart-Davidson et al. argue for creating spaces for participation in the digital age:

A major obstacle to a truly democratic ideal of citizen participation is the apparent ineffability of technology, its presumed origin in esoteric and logocentric arenas in which average citizens are neither prepared nor particularly interested to participate. In insisting that the development of technology is a rhetorical project, we seek to disrupt this view and suggest that there are always moments in the development of a technology when the social relations that constitute it are in play, open to and indeed dependent upon the participation of those who would use that technology. (131)

Emergence: According to Steven Johnson, emergent networked systems solve problems by drawing on masses of relatively stupid elements rather than a single, intelligent “executive branch.” He writes, "They are bottom-up systems, not top-down. They get their smarts from below. In a more technical language, they are complex adaptive systems that display emergent behavior. In these systems, agents residing on one scale start producing behavior that lies one scale above them: ants create colonies; urbanites create neighborhoods; simple pattern-recognition software learns how to recommend new books" (18).

Griefing: purposeful practices designed (or not) to spoil or disrupt the gaming experience of other, more typical players.

Human Barnyard: From A Rhetoric of Motives:“Insofar as the individual is involved in conflict with other individuals or groups, the study of this same individual would fall under the head of Rhetoric. . . . The Rhetoric must lead us through the Scramble, the Wrangle of the Market Place, the flurries and flare-ups of the Human Barnyard, the Give and Take, the wavering line of pressure and counterpressure, the Logomachy, the onus of ownership, the War of Nerves, the War” (23).

Identification: One of Kenneth Burke's contributions to the study of rhetoric, identification is a concept suggesting that in addition to agonistic conflict (the classical model of persuasion), rhetorical action is largely about establishing connections with an audience, accomplished by invoking shared values, terms, and beliefs.

The lulz: a corruption/pluralization of the more common internet abbreviation "LOL" (laughing out loud), a term commonly used in the 4chan discussion forums, but used ironically in Goon-speak. More often the uncorrupted abbreviation “lols” is used instead, whereas “lulz” is used to emphasize something particularly goofy or childish.

Procedural Rhetoric: Ian Bogost's central formulation in his 2007 book Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames. Bogost defines "procedural rhetoric" as "a practice of using process persuasively. More specifically, procedural rhetoric is the practice of persuading through processes in general and computational processes in particular" (3). Although primarily centered on the persuasive intentions of game designers/programmers/publishers, we extend the term to include players interacting within the ruleset... and even beyond it.

Pubbie: Term referring to a player who isn't officially part of the core team, but is more of an affiliate.

Scapegoating principle: In Grammar of Motives, Burke details the process of scapegoating an adversary, a process which involves implicitly identifying common ground between the two groups, downplaying or obfuscating that common ground, and reuniting the two groups as dialectically opposed by some new connection characterized by animus, oppression, or strife. In this new formulation, then, the group to which you belong becomes purified, while the opposing group becomes vilified (406).

Swarm Theory: from "The Bottom is Not Enough," Kevin Kelly writes,

But throughout my boosterism [of bottom-up swarm theory] I have tried to temper my celebration of the bottom with my belief that the bottom is not enough for what we really want. To get to the best we need some top down intelligence, too. I have always claimed that nuanced view. And now that crowd-sourcing and social webs are all the rage, it's worth repeating: the bottom is not enough. You need a bit of top-down as well. The reason every bottom-up crowd-source hive-mind needs some top-down control is because of time. The bottom runs on a different time scale than our instant culture.

Terministic Screen: For Burke, a symbolic filter that shapes a person's perception of reality by both selecting and deflecting certain terms; in other words, a common language (or other symbol system) that colors a particular group's way of seeing and understanding the world around them. From Language as Symbolic Action: “We must use terministic screens, since we can’t say anything without the use of terms; whatever terms we use, they necessarily constitute a corresponding kind of screen; and any such screen necessarily directs the attention to one field rather than another.” (50)

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