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Subject: "Instructions" VS "Rulebook" rss

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Amanda Zimmer
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WARNING: Silly thread alert

I noticed that the rulebook for Codenames: Marvel and Disney editions both have the word "Instructions" on the front cover of their rulebooks (as opposed to all the other versions of Codenames which, well, do not say that).

Not that I'm saying that the word "Instructions" is inaccurate or anything, but it just made me thing, when I think of what would come with something called "Instructions", I first think of a toy or an appliance. Not board games--those generally come with "rules".

Which got me thinking, are there other board games whose rule books which are labeled as "Instructions"? There's got to be, and I've just never noticed. I've thought about looking through all of the games I owned just to see if any of mine do but it also seemed like a silly use of time when I should be getting ready for BGG-con because I'm not packed yet so I am going to put off doing that for a while... so I thought I would ask ye people of the internets.
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Byron S
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I don't remember what I ate last night
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but I can spout off obscure rules to all sorts of game like nobody's business!
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After browsing through a few games, most don't ever say either "Rules" or "Instructions". They just launch into flavor text or component descriptions, followed by setup and all the rest. The closest I've found is Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, which is thematically labeled: "MANUAL: Instructions for a Better Life on the Havens"

Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem's rulebook actually says "RULEBOOK" at the top.
Yokohama's rulebook says "Rules of Play" on the front.
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No One
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In Disney enemies are never "killed," they're instead "defeated."

So, it does not surprise me that booklets that come in games aren't "rules," they're instead "instructions."

Makes perfect sense. *nods knowingly*

(any other game that does this is obviously in the pocket of Big Disney)

~V
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secoAce -
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They are most likely used interchangeably referring to the same thing.

But since we're picking apart the word selection and usage, to be technical about it, instructions, typically step-by-step in linear order, are guidelines on HOW to do something, whereas rules define the restrictions of WHAT can be done, must be done, or not done.

It might be interesting for you to examine the document layout and sentence structure of the "instructions" books vs other game "rulebooks". Perhaps the publishers are intentionally referring to the printed material as "instructions" with the use of active voice to teach the steps in playing the game to convey a more friendly and approachable teaching tool. Whereas "rulebooks" which many want to be a comprehensive reference, tend to be written in a passive voice, making dry reading and overwhelming for first learning the game.

Then again, I could be over-analyzing their intent and they just wanted to use a different word.
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James Clarke
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Instructions: What must be done.

Rules: The limits of what you can do.

Conclusion: I don't want to play a game that has instructions.
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Pokey 64
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Games are often printed in many languages. "Instructions" might be a better word for translation purposes.
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Ma Johnson
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It should be "Rules & Instructions"

Instructions are about setting up and the basic structure of the game.

Rules are the constraints within which the game must be played.
 
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Amanda Zimmer
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secoAce wrote:
It might be interesting for you to examine the document layout and sentence structure of the "instructions" books vs other game "rulebooks". [...]

Then again, I could be over-analyzing their intent and they just wanted to use a different word.

I wonder if it is more of a publisher thing--Codenames Disney and Marvel are both USAopoly compared to the other Codenames, which now that I think about it--as Byron mentioned--don't actually say "Rules" (or anything) on the cover.

Doing a bit of comparison between USAopoly and the other versions, USAopoly includes a "Table of Contents" and two pages of an example game. The other Codenames (regular, Pictures, Duet) do not have a Table of Contents and have one page or less of an example game.

We have Telestrations, and sure enough it says "Game Instructions" on the rules sheet. No Table of Contents, though could be because it is one sheet of paper with three folds in it.
 
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James C
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What about Ruletions and Instructbooks?
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Joe Leuzinger

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I am having trouble remembering, as I replace all books with a note stating "To learn how to play, go to www.youtube.com"
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Daniel C
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I'll instruct you to listen to the rules.
 
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