I think the overwhelmingly more interesting issue is in your phrasing of this.
One - and I suspect this is just an accident, but your post makes it sound very much like you're deliberately setting up arguments and contentious issues just because you would "love to see a discussion". We who are about to die...
As I say, probably an accident but just be aware.
Two - "Obviously this is symptomatic of a larger issue, but I was hoping to be able to set up something small scale to see where people agree or disagree without immediately building into the big stuff."
Dear god, why? Why on earth would that be a good thing to do? "Obviously there's a lot to discuss here, but I don't want you to." Doesn't that strike you as rather pointless? If there is a larger issue then conversation will be necessarily stunted by this stricture.
(This, incidentally, also adds to the gladiatorial nature of your post - I'd like to see a discussion about this with the two teams being a and b, no discussing other topics, no kicks to the face.)
In general, I think the more interesting issue that your post raises - considerably more than this roominate thing - is whether anything can be gained from artificial discussion or whether this is solely a form of entertainment. For example, there seems to be a trend for "debates" between various creationists and scientists. Is that sort of stylised discussion useful? Productive? Etc. Clearly you see nothing wrong with them and feel they can be useful but I'm honestly not so certain. Artificially constraining a conversation can't possibly be the best way to come to the truth, and artificially ensuring that people will disagree on the topic also doesn't strike me as conducive to a genuine desire to determine anything useful.
Well, in the other thread, it jumped into feminism, which then became the textbook definition of feminism vs. the practiced version and whether feminism means for one person what it means for others, and so on.
It may ultimately be impossible to avoid. I'm trying to set up a debate area without creating something which is going to quickly become passionate. Admittedly I'm not that great at it.
As far as seeing debates between two sides, absolutely. I watched the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, and before I did, I had no idea that Ken Ham thought all the animals were vegetarian before the flood. It gave a useful perspective on what he'd have to believe in order to make his version work.
We have a lot of people who disagree based on little more than preconceptions of the other side. This fosters all sorts of problems as time goes on and people stop speaking with each other, instead trusting their particular sides to give them the alternative perspective. It's far too easy to judge a particular group based on the actions of an individual, and then to stop listening to anyone who carries that particular label.
The best way to learn about two disparate views is to let educated people discuss, find out the real differences and observe without the polarizing propaganda that inevitably occurs when one side tries to tell their people what the other side really thinks.
As I see it, if it's just a conversation about whether or not we should market specifically towards girls for toys which many would consider gender-neutral, we don't have to branch out to the questions like whether someone is "really" feminist and all that.
You taught me that not even the people who make the dictionary consider their answers a finalized concrete explanation to a word's meaning, and I appreciate that. However, it ultimately seems to derail the conversation. Far better to discuss whether we should do X than whether a particular word means what people say it means.
I'm sure that those kinds of things will naturally come up as we move past a simple toy into other equivalent matters. I just hope to avoid the angry feelings if at all possible.
Any controversy is going to have multiple sides, and I'm not even certain that I understand both/all of them. The best way to learn is by discussion, at least in my experience, and by listening with an open mind.
I apologize for not doing a great job on the opening post.