Free Association

Posted in Making Magic on February 5, 2004

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

Regular readers know my love of metaphors. But why do I use them so much? The answer is that they are a very effective tool for explaining offbeat and new ideas. Why? Because people understand what they know. The quickest way to explain a new concept is to attach it to something people already know. This is by far the quickest way to get people to grasp larger concepts.

Be aware that metaphors are not good for explaining fine detail as things lose similarity the smaller you shrink the detail. But if you're trying to get across the “big picture”, nothing beats a juicy metaphor.

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