Munchkin…A loaded word if ever one exists. Calling someone one can get you an argument. Steve Jackson has made a small fortune off the term for humor, both the “Munchkin’s Guide to Power Gaming” and the various Munchkin games.
It was not always that way. In the late seventies the term had no pejorative meaning. It refereed to small gamers. I.E. “This Con is over run by munchkins, did someone let the day care out early?”
However, we know that changed. A pejorative meaning munchkin gained. My personal scientific opinion on the matter is thus.
1 Young gamers are the most into wish fulfillment gaming. Beating the gods (teachers/parents), acting out without consequence, and so forth.
2 Young gamers are the most dedicated to the idea of winning.
3 Let’s face it, some people never outgrow this. (Naming no names.)
So young gamers with an overactive desire to get away with shit and a lack of understanding as to the exact nature of a cooperative game developed the reputation as unrivaled power games. They were called Munchkins based on size, and the term changed meaning someplace before 1982.
Ergo: we end up with a gaming term and Steve Jackson gets a product line. Quod erat demonstrandum.
Phoenix – Rising Above the Flames