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This question on rpg.se asks for the meaning and origin of the phrase "Bad-Wrong-Fun" or "badwrongfun". RPG.net lexicon defines it as:

Illegitimate enjoyment. Saying that a game is "bad wrong fun" indicates that the game is somehow broken, unplayable, poor quality or weak - in ignorance of the fact that many groups are playing and enjoying it regularly. As such, this is not normally something that a person will say themselves, but something they will accuse other people of having said. For example, "John said that d20 is bad wrong fun" indicates that the speaker believes John's criticism of d20 to be foolish given the large number of groups playing and enjoying it. Rifts is often cited as a "bad wrong fun" game. Often written as a single word, badwrongfun.

"Bad wrong fun" is also often used in a more light-hearted sense to indicate the gamer equivalent of a guilty pleasure. "I know it's bad wrong fun, but I loved every minute of it!"

The earliest reference I can find to its usage is from RPG.net in 2004.

It is clearly a concept that is not peculiar to role playing games. For example, football matches could be badwrongfun for people who prefer opera (or, of course, vice-versa). In a more general sense, it encompasses a concept where the enjoyment of one social group is derided as not "proper" by another social group.

This is not a "guilty pleasure" because that implies that the participant themselves considers that there is some sort of illicitness in the pleasure. To the participant this is a perfectly acceptable way of having fun, it is only the observer who finds it offensive.

Is there a general term or phrase for this phenomena? Alternatively, are there other phrases that encompass the concept in other social settings?

  • ...except guilty pleasure does work, esp. when 'badwrongfun' is self-deprecatingly self-applied. – lly Jul 21 '18 at 19:01
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Alternatively, are there other phrases that encompass the concept in other social settings?

Snob and related terms (snobbish, snobbery, etc.) are general terms for this kind of behavior:

3 a: one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior b: one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste

(Merriam-Webster)

You could also call this a form of elitism:

2 : the selectivity of the elite; especially : snobbery

(Merriam-Webster)

Both of these terms are pejorative towards the person who is disdaining the entertainment or other social activity. If you want to be pejorative towards the participant, just drop the scare quotes on "proper."

  • Those describe the people who'd condescend and look down on those enjoying the badwrongfun. They don't apply at all to the badwrongfun itself. – lly Jul 21 '18 at 19:02
  • @lly: I responded to the part of the question which I quoted. – Kevin Jul 21 '18 at 20:51
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I think it derives from Newspeak so I would call it such.

To communicate a greater degree, either of negativity or of positivity, requires affixing the prefix double to the other two prefixes to the root word good (doubleplusungood), as in the phrases "Big Brother is doubleplusgood" and "Emmanuel Goldstein is doubleplusungood".

"Bad wrong" is similar to the concept of "double plus". You could even flip it around and say a game you approve of is "goodrightfun".

It comes from the same mindset as the totalitarian regime of Ingsoc in George Orwell's 1984, and it has a similar word structure. The way I see it, when someone uses that word, they are implying that it's wrong to enjoy something like that for forced cultural reasons. Either the speaker or some group they're aware of would not approve of fun being had with a given game.

  • Except both “bad” and “wrong” are not NewSpeak- their equivalents are “unfold” and “thought crime” – Dale M Mar 23 '18 at 21:08
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    @DaleM Like I said, I'd say they derive from it. The kind of person who would come up with "badwrongfun" is the kind of person who has read 1984 and had a conception of newspeak put in their mind. They would start using double negative/positive adjectives to emphasize things if they are feeling cheeky. – Dispenser Mar 25 '18 at 14:32
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I wonder if that particular illegitimate enjoyment is listed in The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures: 1001 Things You Hate to Love, by Sam Stall, Lou Harry, Julia Spalding (c.2004)?

Guilty Pleasures

  • Taking poetic license and punning are my guilty pleasures.
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Ostensibly vulgar? It explains something that is not proper, but it isn't generic enough to work for all of your examples. Ostensibly <pick a word that works in context>

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