As many of you know, it’s San Diego Comic-Con time this week and thousands of geeks/nerds will be making their way to the promised land to experience all the Con has to offer. I will not be one of those geeks/nerds.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I will be going to San Diego, but just for one day. That’s it.
So, for those of you who care, I will be at the Con on Saturday and will be wandering the halls getting into adventures. If you happen to run into me, feel free to say “Hello.” But no, I won’t be giving out any free hugs. Sorry.
Why am I only going on Saturday? Well, let’s just say I’m trying to avoid any Imperial entanglements. That sounds a lot cooler than the real reason.
Happy Nerd Prom to one and all!
I have not made the change to a “better” console for gaming yet. I’m still using my trusty old XBox 360 (and occasionally the PS3) for all of my console gaming needs. And for me, it handles the task nicely.
In truth, I don’t have a lot of time for gaming these days and it didn’t seem like a priority to upgrade for what little time I do have. Also, I hadn’t really found a game compelling enough to make me want to switch.
But now, perhaps, I have. Enter Project CARS. Simply put, the game looks amazing and shows what real power these new consoles have. But don’t take my word for it, check it out below.
Fortunately, the game doesn’t come out until November, so I have some time to save up. Excuse me while I go check the sofa for change.
In case you didn’t know, the venerable-yet-shows-no-sign-of-slowing-down RPG Dungeons & Dragons turned 40 over the weekend. No, I wasn’t in line to grab it when it first came out. Although I was, in fact, alive.
I did, however, start to play the game at a very young age, right before the first set of “Advanced” D&D books arrived. The game was great fun and allowed my friends and I to have lots of adventures. Sure, we didn’t have any “Next-Gen” graphics or “Force Feedback” controllers, but that was okay. Those things hadn’t even been invented yet and we wouldn’t have needed them even if they had been around.
What we did have (in addition to pen, paper and some cool rulebooks) was one of the most important things a kid (or anyone, really) can have: Imagination. With imagination you can see, do and experience amazing things.
Without imagination we wouldn’t have all of the things we take for granted: cars, planes, iPhones, the computer I’m writing this post on right now or D&D. Imagination is the key.
For me, and a lot of people I grew up with, D&D was one of the hands turning that key. That and a bag of many-sided dice.
Happy 40th D&D. Thanks for all the adventures.
I still remember that day in 1983 when this show graced the Saturday Morning Cartoon airwaves. To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember for sure if I loved it or not. I think I did, but that was a long time ago.
No matter, it’s always fun to check out things from my past, especially the mostly innocent ones. Here’s a bit of the series in all of its 1983 glory.
Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons and the man most closely associated with the boom in popularity of roleplaying games, would have been 75 today. When he died in 2008, I wrote two pieces about his death and my personal connection and experiences with him.
You can read my piece for ComicMix right here. I’m including the one from this site below. He would have been 75 today.
Sad news today. E. Gary Gygax, the man widely considered the “Father of Role-Playing-Games,” has died. He was 69 years old. I already wrote a piece about Gygax and his death over at ComicMix. What I didn’t mention in that piece was that, like ComicMix’s Glen Hauman, I also had a personal connection to the man.
I was fortunate to meet Gary Gygax after some friends of mine and I decided to have a D&D marathon at my house one Summer weekend in the late ’70s. We decided to invite Mr. Gygax to join us by writing him a personal letter. We even enclosed an article from the local paper (the Coast Dispatch in case you’re curious) featuring our upcoming marathon in order to try and entice his participation a bit more.
Sadly, he wasn’t able to attend, but he did write me a personal letter with his regrets and also graciously included several D&D adventure modules, as yet unpublished, for us to use during the game. We used them and had a great time, all the while praising Gygax for being cool enough to not only respond to us, but for caring enough to send us stuff to help make our marathon D&D session a success.
Several years later, I was able to actually meet Gygax in person at GenCon after I had convinced my parents it was a good idea to drive me across country so I could play D&D with a bunch of other kids in Wisconsin. My parents were cool like that and did it not only once, but twice.
When I met him the first time at GenCon we spoke for several minutes and he even remembered me from when I had invited him to our game. He was a great guy to talk to. Over the years I would run into him again at various events and each time he would, somehow, remember me and we would have another very nice conversation. At each and every meeting he was gracious and generous with his time.
The magnitude of Gygax’s influence on gaming and pop culture, both directly and indirectly, isn’t something that can easily be measured. He was extremely popular among those who played his games, of course, but his creations, particularly D&D, also had a profound effect on kids of my and later generations.
D&D helped us learn to think logically, to solve problems, to work as a team and, more importantly, to use our imaginations. As someone who has the privilege of using his imagination on a daily basis and gets paid for it, I , for one, have a debt to Gary Gygax that can never be repaid.
I feel confident there are others out there working away creating the current and next generations of games, comic books, movies and TV shows that feel the same way I do.
Thanks for the help and inspiration Gary. We need more people around like you. You will be missed.
I loved, loved, loved LEGO as a kid (That’s a lot of love, I know). I’m pretty sure I’ve spent thousands of hours building things with those little multi-colored plastic bricks over the years.
I still have all of my sets too. They are currently in boxes in storage until H and I move into the new house. Then, I will be able to fully unpack all of my sets of bricks and marvel, once again, at the vastness of my empire.
That brings us, somewhat indirectly, to the upcoming LEGO movie. Yes, a LEGO movie. I don’t know about this. What do you think?
For those who know me well, this may come as a shock . I don’t always have something to say. In fact, finding something so say here, for this blog, is often difficult.
I spend a lot of time writing for The Flickcast and on my other comic book, TV and film projects that by the time I get to this blog, I’ve pretty much lost whatever modicum of creative mojo I had. It’s a sad state of affairs really.
I would like nothing better than to have a bottomless well of creative juices. That just isn’t the case, though, at least not anymore.
I remember a time when that wasn’t true. And it doesn’t seem all that long ago. I distantly recall being able to work hours and hours and not only not be tired, but to have lots of fresh, interesting ideas as well.
Dare I say it but I guess this is one of the things that comes with getting older. I just can’t do it like I used to.
Of course, it could also be that I’m just lazy and this is all just an excuse so I can play Mass Effect 3 or some other new shiny. I guess that’s possible too.
No, now that I think about it, I’m sure it’s getting older. Yeah, that’s it.
Let’s go with that.
Even though I try to stop myself, I’m still a slave to some conventions. One such convention is the “Best Of” lists that invariably crop up at the end of the year.
Of course, I bowed to convention and did one. It was published over at The Flickcast. However, because I like to help and I like you, I’ve included it below as well.
No need to thank me.
As is the usual practice almost anywhere were column inches or post counts matter, writers such as myself take to their keyboards and make lists. I am no exception and, with a great deal of difficulty and toil, have managed to cobble together a list of what I think are some of the best things of 2011.
I don’t really want to bore you with a lot of explanations as to why I picked what I did. Suffice it to say these picks are mine and mine alone. Also, they are not in any particular order, mostly because I find it hard to rank them that closely. Or, I was just too lazy.
Either way, here you go.
Attack the Block
X-Men: First Class
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Game of Thrones
Sons of Anarchy
Games, Gadgets, Software, iOS Apps, etc.
Apple iPhone 4S
Apple iPad 2
Apple iOS 5
Batman: Arkham City
Cal of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Saints Row: The Third
Forza Motorsport 4
Detective Comics Batman (DC)
Justice League (DC)
Green Lantern (DC)
Irredeemable (BOOM! Studios)
Criminal: Last of the Innocents (Icon / Marvel)