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'Magnum, P.I.' by Mira Hartford on Flickr

How to Run an Online RPG Convention

  Indie+, an online RPG convention on Google+, finished today. I was one of the four sponsors who co-ordinated and ran the whole thing: 21 games and  7 panels scheduled for all hours of the week, including integration with YouTube, Google+, and a wiki. A few weeks ago, we put out a call for potential hosts, asking them to add potential games or panels to our wiki. Once the new Event functionality appeared on Google+, we switched […]

50 Games in 50 Weeks: Once Upon a Time

50 Games in 50 Weeks: Once Upon a Time

This is a weird game. It’s a storytelling card game. Each player has a hand full of fairy tale story elements (swords, siblings, dark places, etc.) and a single ending (“And she was happy the rest of her days,” “And he never saw her again,” etc.). One player begins telling a story, laying down story elements as they appear in the story. However, if another player’s story element appears in the story, […]

Quick Promotion

Quick Promotion

I’m helping to run an online game convention, Indie+. It’s a con run as a set of independently-run games and panels, all organized centrally and run as Google+ Hangouts. It’s running this week. I volunteered to shepherd the gaming side of things. There are quite a few moving parts, including several different schedules to sync. I figured it’d be no big deal, as we were running this for the first time, so I wouldn’t have […]


From Tim Kreider‘s article “The ‘Busy’ Trap” in the New York Times: Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes […]

The Black Hole

A frustrating day at work. I discovered that a hotel over-charged me for an upcoming trip, because I wasn’t paying attention. I felt despair upon realizing that. Silly, but true. I knew I’d have to call and explain and try to work it out. I felt like a child. Travel arrangements frequently bring out a feeling of helplessness in me. I feel overwhelmed, even though I have few things to do. I worry that I’ll completely foul it […]

Worst Film?

Worst Film?

Tonight, I watched Troll 2. This is considered by many to be the worst film ever made. And that’s a tough pill for me to swallow. I’ve seen pretty much every episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’ve seen some weird, empty films. I see a phrase like “worst film ever made” as a phrase to be challenged. Then I ask myself, Am I looking for bright spots just to be contrary, to “prove” that i really know […]

Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls action shot

My Board Game: Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls

Months ago, I watched a bizarre short film called Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls which threw together clips from various cartoons and space opera serials of the 1930’s. The film didn’t do much for me, but the name stuck. I mentioned that name to Michael R, and we fantasized a competitive board game in which zeppelins fly over a lost world, descending for treasure as their crews fight off pterodactyls. Today, after much play-testing, that […]

50 Games in 50 Weeks: Shadowrun 4E

I’d heard bad things about Shadowrun, that the world was much more fun than the system. Fortunately, I played 4th Edition, which made complete sense. Character sheets were heavy-laden with skills and stats, but easy to understand. The system features a straightforward core mechanic: assemble a die pool out of your abilities and roll it against a target number. If you roll a lot of 1s, something really bad […]

'Game closet' by lkbm on Flickr

50 Games in 50 Weeks, Complete

In July of last year, I took stock of myself as a gamer. I wanted to understand games better, and eventually design games. I realized that I suffered from a deficiency: I could play a few games well, but I knew only a few of them. I decided to fix this by setting myself an impossible-sounding challenge: 50 Games in 50 Weeks. I would play 50 games that I had never played before, all within the next 50 weeks. Last […]

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