Dear Microsoft,

Gameplay is a word.

I have written a lot about game design over the years, and I have finally gotten sick of seeing the red squiggly little lines in Word show up every time I type “gameplay” – the closest thing we have to defining the essence of our art.

Here’s a list of words that don’t get the red squiggle from Microsoft:


…but no gameplay. Or replayability either. Hmmm…

11 thoughts on “Dear Microsoft,

  1. Yeah, I dislike that myself. “gameplay” is a word I use a lot. You’re great though, Soren, putting plot and story on the top of that list 😉

    BTW, my OpenOffice also refuses to take “gameplay” as a normal word, it’ll suggest “game play” instead.

  2. Just add “gameplay” or whatever else to the Word dictionary. It’s easy.

    Or maybe you are trying to make a larger point?

  3. Hmmm…… he’s in Word, writing about “gameplay” and those other words.

    Do I smell a design document? Come on Soren, spill mate! 😉

  4. Hey I used to do that all the time even without design docs :p

    Now, not to go off-topic, but something to say on the subject of stories, since they’re first on this list 😉 I find it interesting that your games are actually the create-your-own-story type. First you made Civ4, which has zero story in the traditional sense, but the game is all about making your own (hi)story. And now you’re working on Spore, which seems quite similar in its own way. You’re creating an epic story that starts with these creatures appearing and evolving, up until their venture to the stars.

  5. @EFT: How our culture uses language – and chooses words – is very significant ( In this case, dictionaries are simply lagging behind reality (people use ‘gameplay’ as a word all the time). This gap is just another example of the fact that the thing which makes games tick (gameplay) is still a foreign concept to most people, who usually think of games in terms of settings (orcs and elves), characters (Lara Croft), or actions (killing hookers in GTA).

  6. But wouldn’t you agree, though, that “gameplay” would anyway remain a very foreign concept to anyone who doesn’t play games? Gameplay, to me, is really more of a feeling… it’s the game experience, what makes the game and what you feel when playing. To people who play games, they will probably always be settings/characters/actions.

  7. I just think it’s funny that Word has no problem with “Xbox,” but underlines Playstation, Gamecube, Wii, and, of course, gameplay.

  8. К слову сказать, компания Microsoft сообщает о распространении в странах постсоветского пространства новоиспеченного бесплатного антивиря Microsoft Security Essentials, обеспечивающего, по словам разработчиков, мощную защиту наших компов от вирусов, шпионов и других вредителей. Данное ПО доступно всем обладателям лицензии Windows бесплатно. По итогам теста проводимом журналом Virus Bulletin этот антивирус обнаружил 100% вирусов из глобальной вирусной базы.
    Лично у меня после доктора WEBа он нашел еще семь червей. Покамест буду им пользоваться. Посмотрим что дальше будет.
    Забрать этот “шедевр” можно на официальном вебе сайте Microsoft.

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