Killer App

When I bit the bullet and bought an Xbox 360, I knew it meant I was years away from buying a PS3.  Sony would need to bring out something truly special to justify the sticker price.  Much as I LOVE Metal Gear, MGS4 wasn’t going to be enough.  Little Big Planet isn’t enough.  Nothing else even had me excited. 

Last night I decided I needed to get a PS3.  Last night I saw my friend play Flower.  

Fearless’ List

I was watching this tv show, and one of the characters had a list of one
hundred things he wanted to do before he died. Hard things, unique things,
crazy things, socially frowned upon things.

It’s a cute conceit, if not an original one. And while I admire the notion
of pushing yourself to do as much as you can within one life, my first
impression was that “the list” was a cheat. That it was an easy substitute
for having a genuinely adventurous outlook.

Somewhere along the line, my outlook flipped. Life settles into
routines. Sometime
it is not enough to be open to new things, you have to seek the adventures
out. So I think having the list can be a good way to encourage you to shake
things up.

I’m compiling my list now. I’m not going to post it. Instead of denying
myself something for Lent, I’m going to try new things.

Ain’t getting younger, might as well do it.

Last Monday my best friend decided to get married to her longtime dude on
Valentines Day.

The ad hoc ceremony was lovely. Angie’s uncle walked her down the stairs to
The Final Countdown. Mike’s ordained buddy gave a sweet speech that
included a recitation of that profound proverb, Let’s Get Married by Jagged
Edge. As they were pronounce man and wife, the (Harmonix’s) Rock Band
played White Wedding.

Theirs is now the wedding to beat.

Congratulations Angela Ryan Greth and William Michael North.

Don’t Read This

25 Non-Random Things about me.

1. I am compelled to respond to freeform memes.

2. That doesn’t mean I approve of them.

3. I reckon that makes me some sort of hypocrite.

4. Fortunately I don’t care what you think about me.

5. I’m writing a list about my attributes.

6. So, clearly I do care what you think about me.

7. Obviously I’m a liar.

8. Anything I list here is therefore suspect.

9. I stole the Lindbergh baby.

10. There is no way to prove or disprove anything I say on this list.

11. I mean, except Google.

12. Anyone who uses Google is a cheater.

13. Cheaters never win.

14. Winners don’t use drugs.

15. I’d say my best trait is the way I balance my smug smarty-farty
knowledge of useless shit against my ironically self-effacing knowledge of
other, different useless shit.

16. I’d say my worst trait is my enormous penis.

17. Seriously that thing’s huge.

18. They call it King Dong.

19. Y’know, Like King Kong only it is my penis.

20. Ok, I’ll stop now.

21. There are only 3 full time Master Builder/designers employed by the LEGO
company in North America, and all 3 of those Master Builders are over 6′ 3″.

22. That previous thing wasn’t about me even a little bit.

23. But at least it wasn’t about my penis.

24. Unlike that one.

25. Sorry.

It has been HOW long since my last post?

I love playing games. Absolutely love them. Board games, roleplaying games, card games, video games, backyard sports, I eat them all up. I like the act of play, double so when I can do it with my friends. I’ve played many many games, and of all of ‘em, my single favorite game is Magic: The Gathering.

Magic created a whole new type of game in 1993, the collectible card game (CCG), and crazily, the first is still the best. The conceit of the game is that each player builds a deck of sixty or so cards. The players are in the roles of dueling wizards, and their hand of cards represent a library of magic spells that they can cast. While this might just seem a gimmicky concept, it actually opens up a depth of gameplay options that is without parallel.

The game has the greatest variety of play you’ll ever find. With dozens of deck-types and an infinite number of possible deck combinations, no two games are going to play the same. There are fast decks, slow decks, offensive decks, defensive decks, sneaky decks, brute force decks, combo decks, tribal decks, equipment decks, aura decks, token decks, and many many others. This variety helps keep the game from being reduced to “whoever bought the most powerful cards wins.”

And of course, Magic’s collectible nature means that there is more to it than just the terribly fun gameplay. Part of the fun of Magic is also getting new cards: Checking out the art, reading the flavor text, reading what the cards do. They’re like nerd baseball cards. And it should come as a surprise to no one to learn that when nerds make baseball cards, you can play a card game with them.

Even better, there’s also the joy of deck construction. With so many cards out there, you can trick out your decks, a sort of personalization that just isn’t available in most games. Some players like to make the sleekest, most effective killing machine that they can. Some folk like to make decks that don’t just kill, they kill big.  Myself, I like exploring card synergies and coming up with new clever ways to kill. There’s real satisfaction in building and tuning your decks.

All that variety make the game appear really complicated. And it is, sort of. But much like a nomic, the basics of the game are really simple. The complexity comes from the weird things that the cards do, and since the cards, y’know, say what they’re doing right on them, whatever is happening is pretty easy to track. The result is a complex game that moves fast and rarely gets bogged down by rules issues. That might not sound like much if you don’t play games, but it is a freaking big deal, trust me.

I love Magic because it never stops being fun and never stops feeling new. You never “solve” the game because there are so many decks and so many cards. It is very complex, while being very simple at the same time. It rewards both creativity and tactics. It has a sweet spot of randomness and control that I love. And in the hundreds (thousands?) of games I’ve played, the game has never stopped producing awesome “I’ve never seen that before!” moments It is a wonderful game, without peer. Tonight my friends are going to play one more set of games, and then retire from playing.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

It has been HOW long since my last post?

I love playing games. Aboslutely love them. Board games, roleplaying
games, card games, video games, backyard sports, I eat them all up. I like
the act of play, double so when I can do it with my friends. I’ve played
many many games, and of all of ’em, my single favorite game is Magic: The
Gathering.

Magic created a whole new type of game in 1993, the collectible card game
(CCG), and crazily, the first is still the best. The conceit of the game is
that each player builds a deck of sixty or so cards. The players are in the
roles of dueling wizards, and their hand of cards represent a library of
magic spells that they can cast. While this might just seem a gimmicky
concept, it actually opens up a depth of gameplay options that is without
parallel.

The game has the greatest variety of play you’ll ever find in a game. With
dozens of deck-types and an infinite number of possible deck combinations,
No two games are going to play the same. There are fast decks, slow decks,
offensive decks, defensive decks, sneaky decks, brute force decks, combo
decks, tribal decks, equipment decks, aura decks, token decks, and many many
others. This variety helps keep the game from being reduced to “whoever
bought the most powerful cards wins.”

And of course, Magic’s nature means that there is more to it than just the
terribly fun gameplay. Part of the fun of Magic is also getting new cards:
Checking out the art, reading the flavor text, reading what the cards
do. They’re
like nerd baseball cards. And it should come as a surprise to no one to
learn that when nerds make baseball cards, you can play a card game with
them.

Even better, there’s also the joy of deck construction. With so many cards
out there, you can trick out your decks, a sort of personalization that just
isn’t available in most games. Some players like to make the sleekest,
most effective killing machine that they can. Some folk like to make decks
that don’t just kill, they kill big.

Myself, I like exploring card synergies and coming up with new clever ways
to kill. There’s real satisfaction in building and tuning your decks.

All that variety make the game appear really complicated. And it is, sort
of. But much like a nomic, the basics of the game are really simple. The
complexity comes from the weird things that the cards do, and since the
cards, y’know, say what they’re doing right on theme, whatever is happening
is pretty easy to track. The result is a complex game that moves fast and
rarely gets bogged down by rules issues. That might not sound like much if
you don’t play games, but it is a freaking big deal, trust me.

I love Magic because it never stops being fun and never stops feeling new. You
never “solve” magic because there are so many decks and so many cards. It
is very complex, while being very simple at the same time. It rewards both
creativity and tactics. It has a sweet spot of randomness and control that
I love. And in the hundreds (thousands?) of games I’ve played, the game has
never stopped producing awesome “I’ve never seen that before!” moments. Magic
is a wonderful game, without peer. Tonight my friends are going to play one
more set of games, and then retire from playing.