Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Infamous Five

AKA Social Context post #0

There is a famous set of Five Threads (+22 daughter threads) at the Forge by Ron Edwards, dubbed by Matt Snyder The Infamous Five. These are excellent threads, and they are intimately tied into something I've just started to think about, that I think is drastically overlooked in modern game design, even by us swine-headed theorist types (in fact, especially by us swine-headed theorist types). The issue is one of social context, by which I mean all of:

  1. The relationship between gaming and the rest of socialization, for a player.
    • Also, the relationship between your play and the rest of your life, like school or work.

  2. The way that you relate your play to gaming as a hobby and as a subculture.
  3. The way that you relate your play to your culture as a whole, and how your culture percieves your play.

And possible more.

I am deeply convinced that a lot of game designers (myself included, Polaris totally ignores this to its detriment) have their heads in the sand about these issues, thinking that they can design in a vacuum of art and that the social context will just work itself out. This is deeply untrue. And, furthermore, social context ought to have a direct impact on our rules -- we can design rules that take it into account and make better games for it.

More later. For now, go read all those threads. That's what I'm doing.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

My Personal Failings

Could someone who speaks Swedish translate this post for me? I'm afraid that my rudimentary knowledge of linguistic roots has failed me.

It doesn't have to be exact, I just want to get the gist of what they are saying about Sven and I.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005


anyway is back.


I'll try to have something of content up tomorrow.

update: I am apparently lame. Maybe time for a break.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

[Bliss Stage] Stage One

I have a very primitive draft of rules for Bliss Stage written up.

Post here with contact info or e-mail me if you want to have a look.

Monday, June 13, 2005


This isn't really an interesting. I hope to have some better stuff up later today.

As of today, the number of pageviews for this blog in June (2600 in 13 days) is equal to the number of pageviews for May (2600 in 26 days that I had a counter running.) That's exponential growth, and that's pretty cool.

In honor of that: Some factoids from my counter.


  • The most people come from GMT -5 (Eastern Standard Time.)
  • The next most is a rough tie between GMT -8 (Pacific Standard Time) and GMT +1 (Central Europe and Scandanavia -- thanks, Sven and Jonas!)
  • There are a smattering of people from -6, -7, and 0 (Central, Mountain, and Western Europe, respectively.)
  • A very small number of hits come in from +2 (Finland: Hi, Eero!), +7 (China: Hi, Rich and Jonathan!), +9 (Australia: Hi, Claire), and +11 (New Zealand: Hi, person from New Zealand.)
  • I used to get a bunch of hits from +4 (Hi: US Soldier station in Afghanistan?) but that died off recently.


  • Around %60 of you use Windows XP, %10 use ME.
  • %30 use MacOS X
  • A smatter of percentages is split between older Windices, Linux, and "other."


  • %50 (!) use Firefox.
  • %25 use Explorer
  • %20 use Safari
  • The remaining %5 are split between several Netscapes, Mozilla, and many different Operas.

There are 24 subscribers to the LJ feed.

Hey, I told you it wasn't interesting!

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Brand Robins has an excellent point for designers over at Yudhishthira's Dice

So, to all of the revolutionaries of game design, sneering down your noses at the work traditional designers are doing: fuck off, they’re doing good work.

I have nothing to add to it except my comment over there. Go! Read it!

[Bliss Stage] Excuses

Today is given over to editing and Bliss Stage drafting.

I don't even have an excerpt for you guys, that's just how lazy I am (actually, I just haven't written anything excerptable yet.)

But what I can say is: this is an awful, awful game. It is like the opposite of The Mountain Witch.

There's this little voice in the back of my head going "You shouldn't be writing this. You shouldn't write such bad, naughty things."

And, God help me, I think it might be right.