Archive for September, 2007

Pretty People

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Patch says,

One of the things that puzzles me about countercultures is how conservative they can be.

Science fiction and fantasy, for example, is consumed mainly by people who live at least a little bit outside the norms of society. A lot of sf&f fans are socially awkward and out of shape; they’re the people who were picked on by the pretty and the popular in high school. They could be classified as part of a “geek” counterculture.

And yet science fiction and fantasy art and literature is suffused with images of “pretty people” — the fit, socially gregarious sorts with perfect bodies and outgoing personalities that are just the sorts of people that used to walk all over the people consuming said art and literature. (more…)

Rant: Boring Game Tutorials

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Dear Game Designer Who is Unwittingly About to Push my Gamer Rage Button,

Game manuals are boring to read, this is true. But taking the content of your game manual and scattering it amongst the NPCs in your game world, making it accessible only in agonizingly slow chunks, doled out via tiny speech bubbles, diluted with poor attempts at “witty dialogue” … well, that’s not less boring, that’s more boring. It’s not a solution; it’s the direct inverse of a solution. It’s an anti-solution that threatens to blow up your game in a great big 100% matter-to-energy explosion of Boring.

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First Impressions: Terakh

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Patch Says,

So I recently picked up a little board game called Terakh from Tanga.com, and Red and I made time to sit down and play a couple of games last night.

First Impressions:  Red thought the game was just a tad bit on the fiddly side, but for me, it struck some nice balances between flavor and abstraction, and between skill and luck.  The game players a little bit like a cross between chess and WizWar, with some nice twists.

(more…)