Heh, David I honestly agree with the spirit of what you are saying. I have, however, played enough games with rules lawyers that I have developed a knack for looking for ways in which the semantics of a statement can be twisted and then work towards correcting it so that they are less likely, if not impossible, to twist. Things which may seem obvious to you are not always so to someone with a different background.
While a design may be „finished“ when a designer says it is, that does not mean that they won’t go, „Dang, it’s not finished“ take it back and change it. A question to be addressed may be what is the difference between polish (rewording the rules for clarity) which excludes it from re-submission, and fixing/altering (changing a base mechanic) which will allow it to be re-submitted? i.e. what makes the difference from going to version 1.1 as opposed to going to version 2.0.
"The Competition is open to all original new games which
Ok, umm, and just because I’m going to try and poke holes in this so that they can be fixed before any problems arise from it. Now, lets say I come up with a quick little game which uses Icehouse pyramids. It’s kind of fun and we print it in our club newsletter (which is still actually printed out so we can pass them out to interested parties). I learn about the IGDC at month N+1 and submit it. Should it be disqualified?
Again, semantics. It’s the things we think should be obvious and shouldn’t require argument over that cause it, either due to changes in technology or changes in the points of view of the participants. Perhaps a clause allowing the coordinator to extend exceptions as they see fit (meaning they don’t have to explain to everyone and their dog why they did or didn’t extend the exception) would be a proper addition to the rules, for just such a case.
And, I actually feel that it is better to argue the semantics without having anything invested in the results. After all, we aren’t currently arguing semantics to actually disqualify/include someone in a current competition. Unfortunately, it can end up making things sound like lawyerspeak and making it hard to read.