I recently finished watching a documentary titled “Second Skin” (its streaming on Netflix so you can watch it online if you have Netflix). It was a pretty well made take on how social gaming has taken root in our culture. It dealt primarily with MMOs such as World of Warcraft and Everquest, but has some surprising relevancy across a greater spectrum. What I took from it was not new to me, but I would say my idea on the subject is a bit sharper for watching it.
There were several points in the piece that stuck with me pretty strongly. The first was a woman who lost her son to suicide. She found him dead at his computer with an MMO still playing on the screen. The second is the general group of MMO players represented as being a huge part of their lives and how they generally look like caricature gamers. In essence, pathetic social weirdoes that latch onto something not real. The last is how these games have actually benefitted people with disabilities who can enter these worlds and be something more fantastic than normal which is the absolute opposite of their reality.
Posted by: Ruel Knudson in Developer Blog, E-RPG General Development, Personal Post, Writing Adventures, tags: adventure, Africa, genocide, massacre, rape, Sidetrack, War
I am an avid NPR listener. I listen for about 2-3 hours a day while taking my daughter to and from school (she is in a magnet program so we have a way to travel). Earlier last week I listened to stories concerning a world AIDS organization’s difficulty in fighting the AIDS epidemic in Africa due largely to rape. This got me thinking. This is not the first time that the issue of War Rape has been brought to my attention. Honestly, the concept is disgusting and horrific to me. The overall idea is horrible, but what is worse is the way it is handled, and must be handled, by the victims. What suddenly occur ed to me is that we have, in general, ignored it. Now, I don’t mean we should be addressing it as a subject. What I mean is that we, as gamers and game developers, may want to have horror and horrific war like themes. However, I think we, in general, gloss over the true horror of humans at war. If anything we should not be ignoring what evil truly occurs. However, there is a line between being honest and exploitative. I hope that in my next sidetrack the issue is tackled and seen honestly and with the intent I explain here, meanwhile not opening the door for people to feel alright with doing work that is exploitative.
I am currently being delayed. My online communication has been crap lately for a few reasons. One, I have had some serious physical pain that left me near debiltated for the week. I spent Wednesday evening in the emergency room getting pumped up on all kinds of useless meds and nastiness. Things are resolving, and I am getting better. One thing I was told was to take things while I am taking some meds they prescribed. These meds are supposed to help break this migrain cycle I can’t seem to shake. The past three days have been great, but I am not trying to regress. I am simply dropping a line to say that I am still around, things will resume again, and I should be back into full swing in a day or two. At that point, I will catch up on the blog posts, explain in more detail what has happened, and move forward from there.
Until then, Happy Gaming!
So I spent a bit more than a week in Ohio. We flew up, bought a mini-van (yes yuppie suburbia I have joined your ranks so BEWARE!) and drove it back with several stops along the way. The trip was a bit adventurous for me as we got to have a lot of firsts with the kids, and some firsts for me as well. It may not be RPG related, but this is what you get. Read on and enjoy!
Posted by: Ruel Knudson in Developer Blog, E-RPG General Development, My Gaming, Overall Development, Personal Post, Writing Adventures, tags: campaigns, DPnP, game, gaming, Historical Influences, Historical References, Ironwood, Jon Soto, WWI
So, last week’s game did not happen. However, a week has gone by and things are looking great for today. So far, the weather is good, we have 4 players and one GM (me), and the possibility of two campaigns going to be happening. So, I think that although disappointing, last week’s loss may have been helpful.
I am not one to simply post a message about the loss of a pivotal person in gaming. I was silent on Gygax’s death, and on the ills and tribulations of others. Frankly, I do this out of respect as I don’t know the person and never met them. While I could say it was a loss for a shared hobby, I certainly feel no personal loss and so I will not, out of respect for that person’s friends and family, pretend to simply because said person was part of the hobby I publish in. Dave Arneson is a different person. With his death, I am saddened, as he and I have met. He actually was influential to me, and one of the reason Ironwood exists is because of a conversation of the course of a strange evening out.
I can’t say this week was very productive. In fact, by design and purpose it was not (though some things did get done). Instead, this week was an exercise in frustration. I quite smoking, so for almost a full week now I have been trying to survive through the week without my crutch. I have succeeded at something I thought would be a monumental task with very little true effort. My wife spilled coffee all over my keyboard, thus killing it. I have to settle for a cheap $20 crapper with very poor ergonomic support until some sales bump the good $70 ones down in price. My wife and I shared a cold this week as well. Only one real positive, my wife’s birthday, was fun at all. However, it carried its own stress. All of this made for a poor week to not be smoking. But, then again, there would not have been a good week for it either. So now that its over, it is time to sum it up as a good week for accomplishment personally. I must say, success is a good feeling. With that, lets push on to the next week with some plans.
Due to a string of doctor appointments for my 2 year old daughter (she has a handicap that requires strings of tests periodically) I was severely hampered in my time to focus on development. This week is different, I am choosing to take some time off for one good reason, I need to minimize my level of stress for the next few days while my body attempts to withdraw form a nicotine addiction.
Sorry, I am simply posting to say that I can’t post today and that I didn’t post yesterday due to my daughter having caught some kind of stomach bug. My wife is out of town, so I have my hands full with this.
If things are back on track soon I may have a post tomorrow. Otherwise, I will just have to skip this week. Sorry.
Today, again, America makes history. Unless you are so far to the right that you actually believe that Obama is a Muslim or the Anti-Christ, or a Communist (note: Socialism is not Communism – your local police, fire department, public schools, and churches are all socialist programs), you cannot help but feel a sense of pride about this historic day. You don’t even have to be an American to share this day with us. Today is the day that America welcomes its new President. For good or ill, we have chosen Barack Obama and history will judge this day on that accord. However, that being said, today is, without a doubt, the culmination of so many dreams and hopes for this country. Today is a day of history and I, as an American, am proud.