Blog posts are hard to write.

I've been trying to write here more often, because it does me good and because I enjoy arguing, but to be honest, it's hard. With the exception of the worklogs, which are written to myself, my blog posts are arguments. I try to make what they're about important, because the world has enough arguing about dickwolves[1] already. But there are two universal rules that trip me up:

- it's simpler than you think.
- it's more complex than you think.

Everything I write seems to want to become a tweet or a book.

For example - I'm considering a post about learning and games.[2] Boiled to tweet level it comes down to: "Games can be seen as primarily about acquiring mastery, aka learning", which is pretty succinct even with all the academic hedging in there. But of course, expanding on that statement and the (largely obvious) ramifications thereof could fill a book. Indeed, I'm reading a book on pretty much that right now.[3]

I guess everything can be written about in various levels of detail, and it is only my inexperience with the form that causes me to be at all surprised by this. I guess with practice, I'll be able to judge the scope and detail a post needs to be writeable, and I won't wander down so many intriguing sidestreets on my way to the fucking point. I guess that keeping on experimenting with the choices available to me, and trying to perfect my execution until I have control over the end result will be an occasionally uncomfortable but ultimately rewarding learning experience. Like ... a game? Hmm.

[1] if you don't know, you don't want to.

[2] as is Joe Bain. I may well wait til he writes one, then write a riposte.

[3] James Paul Gee's What Videogames have To Teach Us About Learning And Literacy. But I'm ripping off Jesse Schell's The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses a lot here, too. [Edit: Oh Christ, and Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun]

03 February 2011