See, I’m about to link to a post on a pink, happy blog. Moreover, the post on this pink, happy blog requires a knowledge of Pride and Prejudice to get. My only possible hope of redemption is that this post is also a bit about Facebook.
So, um, here it is:
I laughed a lot when I saw this.
For the game thinkers out there, check out this story:
Amid the grieving, a rare act of sportsmanship
So, two things.
1) Games matter. Elsewhere I wrote, “‘Game’ does not equal ‘frivolous’.” Both coaches understood the larger issues at play in this case, and they both handled themselves well.
2) Did you notice how the coaches maneuvered through the rules? No rules were broken in making this situation come together in the desired method. At the same time, the rules were being subverted for a higher purpose. That’s just…interesting…to me. The grey line in between what is permitted and what is acceptable is fascinating to me.
…but it’s a great tool! Check out Peoria CrimeView. I was pretty happy to see this, but I was blown away when I discovered that you can run searches based on neighborhood association borders. That’s tremendous!
Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be a way to export to Google Earth files, but that’s probably a fairly specialized need. Still, it would be nifty if that were to become a possibility.
In lieu of a real post, I give you this:
Ninja with guitars
Anna Kreider will be doing the art for Showdown. She’s posted some of her initial cover sketches here. Check it out!
Dark Omen Games has been getting a bunch of good press lately from Paul Tevis of the Ennie-winning Have Games, Will Travel podcast.
On The Twelve Days of HG,WT: For A Few Games More-mas: Day 6, Paul discussed his top five favorite new roleplaying games of 2008. A Flower for Mara was his number two game, being beat only by the fine Zombie Cinema. Where was Dungeons and Dragons, 4th ed. on this list? Number three.
On The Twelve Days of HG,WT: For A Few Games More-mas: Day 7, Paul reflected on his roleplaying in 2008. He said that his favorite new game that he played in 2008 was Dirty Secrets.
On The Twelve Days of HG,WT: For A Few Games More-mas: Day 8, Paul reviewed A Flower for Mara and had a number of good things to say about it.
So, thanks for all the good words, Paul!
Michael Miller of Incardine Press just announced that Serial Homicide Unit is available for purchase in electronic format at Indie Press Revolution. Our playtest group tested this back in November 2007, and it was a deeply affecting game. Plus, Michael sent me a copy of the electronic version, which is just really cool.
Have I mentioned that the entire game is an audio recording? It is! Yes, there are printed instructions, too, but you don’t need them. Just play the mp3s in order and learn how to play as you actually play. It’s a great idea, and I look forward to hearing how this release format works out for Serial Homicide Unit.
This would also be an excellent game to use to introduce someone to roleplaying who is already interested in crime stories, especially true crime or police procedurals. The rules are simple and straightforward, yet the end result is deeply moving.
As one who is part of the current wave of crime RPGs, I’m trying to point out quality examples of the genre to as many people as possible. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say. So, if you’re at all interested in this genre of game, do yourself a favor and check out Serial Homicide Unit.
Barb, I still owe you an answer. Between being sick and the blog server being switched over, I haven’t gotten there yet. But I will! I have a draft started and everything!
But, in the meantime, Paul Czege happened to link to something really, really useful for Dirty Cities:
The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s database of street terms for drugs.
I mean, how cool is that?
I can already envision portions of this working their way into Dirty Cities.
Plus, I am a geek.
When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness. (Proverbs 11:10)
That’s for those of you who have been wondering why I’ve been so happy about this.
Also, for those who are interested, you can find the affidavit here (PDF) It makes for some fun reading, actually. I’ll admit to only having glanced at portions of it, but the chutzpah that Blagojevich displays is pretty impressive.
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown. (Proverbs 11:11)
Recorded at GenCon, but now available for your listening pleasure, Rob Bohl and I talk about Dirty Secrets.
For a little bit of context, Rob Bohl is actually a convert to this game. He raised some difficult questions about Dirty Secrets in a forum post on Story Games, specifically having to do with the treatment of race in the game. Then, a crazy thing happened: a productive conversation broke out. By the end of it, Rob’s concerns were addressed and all was well. (Plus, I got another plug for The Wire, which resulted in my watching it, which has resulted in my wanting to design another crime game. So, I guess it’s all Rob’s fault.)
I was really glad to have the opportunity to be interviewed on Rob’s podcast. I enjoy listening to his long-form interview style about other games, so I was looking forward to having the opportunity to wax eloquent about my game. Hopefully you will find it as interesting as I do.
You will, right?
Guess what? Today is the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition! (Well, technically, it’s the day that Utah became the deciding state to ratify the 21st Amendment.)
You know what? I think that a momentous day like this requires some celebration. Like, figuring out that we got it right 75 years ago and finish what we started then.
When repeal came, it was not just with the support of those with a taste for alcohol, but also those who disliked and even hated it but could no longer ignore the dreadful consequences of a failed prohibition. They saw what most Americans still fail to see today: That a failed drug prohibition can cause greater harm than the drug it was intended to banish.
(Fun fact: When I was visiting someone in the hospital recently, one of the medical professionals said that alcohol is the only drug that can actually kill you during withdrawal.)
Hey, Carl, you were right. The Making Magic column really is that good. Thanks for the link!
“I’m Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq” by Matthew Alexander
Amid the chaos, four other Air Force criminal investigators and I joined an elite team of interrogators attempting to locate Zarqawi. What I soon discovered about our methods astonished me. The Army was still conducting interrogations according to the Guantanamo Bay model: Interrogators were nominally using the methods outlined in the U.S. Army Field Manual, the interrogators’ bible, but they were pushing in every way possible to bend the rules — and often break them. I don’t have to belabor the point; dozens of newspaper articles and books have been written about the misconduct that resulted. These interrogations were based on fear and control; they often resulted in torture and abuse.
I refused to participate in such practices, and a month later, I extended that prohibition to the team of interrogators I was assigned to lead. I taught the members of my unit a new methodology — one based on building rapport with suspects, showing cultural understanding and using good old-fashioned brainpower to tease out information. I personally conducted more than 300 interrogations, and I supervised more than 1,000. The methods my team used are not classified (they’re listed in the unclassified Field Manual), but the way we used them was, I like to think, unique. We got to know our enemies, we learned to negotiate with them, and we adapted criminal investigative techniques to our work (something that the Field Manual permits, under the concept of “ruses and trickery”). It worked. Our efforts started a chain of successes that ultimately led to Zarqawi.
So, the man who located Abu Musab al-Zarqawi says that torture techniques don’t work. And then the military shuts him up.