Vocabulary plays in important role in any thesis exploration. Accurately defining terms reduces ambiguity and guarantees that your audience understands your intentions. However, in cases where your thesis is in active development, clearly articulating definitions and refining vocabulary can be equally helpful in discovering the meaning of your work.

I have had some clarity issues in the past that, I believe, stem directly from the structure of my problem statement. I have a statistic that claims 1 in 5 deaths worldwide are caused from a lack of basic physical activity. Following that statement, I present a hypothesis that the cause may be related to the traditional gym experience and the myriad of problems that exist within the institution.

Much of the work that I have produced so far aims to instigate "basic physical activity," but since I had positioned that phrase next to traditional gym culture and exercise, the audience doesn't see my solution as a substitution for the gym, or a valid form of "exercise."

So, I need to first define what exactly I want my audience to do. What is exercise? What is basic physical activity? Exercise seems like a word that is so loaded, and stigmatized that I am hesitant to continue with that vocabulary. Either way, I need to understand where on that spectrum I am designing for, and define what I am trying to instigate from my user.

"Social" has been a new word that I have been throwing around, and I also need to decide what that means for my project. Is this two player, multiplayer, over a network, for friends or strangers? What do I want social to mean to me?

The title for my thesis is "Instigationism;" a word that I made up, and have defined as "a designed intervention that instigates action from a living being." The dictionary definition of "instigate" is "to bring about or initiate (an action or event)." I feel pretty solid about that definition, and it is exactly what I am hoping my work will do.

Right now, I have a series of words that I would likely to take the time to clearly define, and find how they fit into my thesis work. These words are:

Exercise
Instigate
Activity
Play/Playful
Healthy
Regular
Game
Generative
Interpersonal
Social
Solo
Sedentary

Michael Lee Kenney