Category Archives: Meta

The category for blog posts about the blog. This is stuff like the introductions of themes, conversations about types of content I make, or posts examining trends or stats from the blog.

Decemberween 2022!

It’s been a year. It’s been a full year. There’s been a lot of losses and there’s been a lot of gains and there’s been some really, really good memes. It’s been a complex year of navigating a new example of normal; I’ve seen a lot of people mourning for the ways that a world momentarily made more understanding of disability whipped back into its hateful norm. And you may be coming to this blog for a day this week thinking ‘it’s time for my daily dose of semi-intellectual academic complaining about how tube tops are racist’ or something, but no!

No, it’s Decemberween!

Named after the holiday represented in Strong Bad Emails, as a sort of generic season-of-Christmas-and-adjacent stuff, Decemberween is the term I use for the entire month of december when I change the kind of content I make here. Instead of my usual content, where I want to do researched posts into histories and contexts, or talk about specific ideas I can use in games or you know, just a few posts about screaming about my feelings into a void, every post this month is going to be about promoting or sharing something I like, usually someone I like, and just posts about my friends, about content channels I engage with, and most importantly, I aim to make sure it’s stuff you can partake in for free.

See, right now a lot of people are going to be advertising their thing because Christmas sales are super important. But those Christmas sales are about getting things in time for Christmas. It’s about ‘order this and we’ll get it to your door in n time’ and all that. Also, odds are good it’s time when your work is either super busy, or your work is super relaxed and everyone’s kinda chill, so you need stuff to fill in time.

What I want to use December to do is to talk to you about things that you can enjoy that make no demands of you. Things that are interesting and things that are sweet and things that are big and time consuming but also, importantly, things that are present. It’s a time where I can point you to a friend and their work, and just talk about how much I like them and like the things they do, and put them on your radar, try to make you aware of them. It’s a kind of gratitude journaling I guess, where I want to make sure you understand that there are people in my life who I am grateful to know and connect to.

Game Pile and Story Pile posts are going to try and focus on things you can have for free or cheap. There will also be some end-of-year posts about ‘articles of the year you might want to check out,’ in the Game and Story Piles, and a summary of stuff that you might have missed, because – I mean I don’t know if you noticed, but I make a lot of free content!

What to Write About

Tonight, I sat down to make, in the organiser I use to track the things I post on this blog, a google sheets function to pick a random topic I’d like to write more about and share it.

That function by the way is:

=INDEX(A:A, RANDBETWEEN(1, COUNTA(A:A)))

Fill up column A with ideas, and then this field will just go ‘hey, picked one at random.’ Really handy. I use it for randomising things like who to call on in a subject, for example. Set it up, put it down, then immediately couldn’t think of anything to put in that column.

This is annoying. I also have to accept that this tool – which by now I may have been using all year – may get made at one day, but populated another day.

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Taking a Breath And Waiting

You know the weirdness with time?

This was written back at the end of October. At that point I was looking at the schedule for the blog and seeing that I had posts lined up and set up to fire on schedule for the next four days. Four!

For the first two thirds of this year, my schedule of posts was somewhere between thirty to forty days ahead of me. I had holes in it — videos get made a lot closer to time, for example — but I was working with effectively, a long corridor in front of me of safety. Now this means that sometimes things aren’t timely and there can be weird coincidences. Back in October, I had a pair of articles set up about Alex Jones that dropped the day of his billion-dollar judgment. Kinda weird.

Right now I am sitting in bed, with the dog next to me. It’s 9pm. I woke up this morning, on a saturday, and did work, to make sure I was ahead of work for the coming week. I have a meeting on Monday. I need to make sure I’m prepared for it. I need to make sure that this work, which is very important to me, is done, so if I can get it done before it’s due to be done then I can use that time for other things.

The overall effect however is screwing me up like a rag and wringing me out. I have four days ahead of me and yet I am feeling an anxiety about not having done something today to extend that bridge. I’m only writing this now because I know getting it done will give me a feeling of reassurance, give me some comfort despite my tiredness, and maybe in the morning I’ll trash this and restart the idea.

I feel that one of the most boring things I can post about on this blog is posting about posting on this blog. I try to limit myself to one a month, like it’s a monthly subject along with Transformers or Magic: The Gathering. They’re here to serve a useful purpose; to demonstrate engagement and to explicate process. I want you seeing that I’m trying and I want you to know that there are going to be days when it’s hard. It’s not all just the easy mode, I don’t just drop a thousand really good words out of nowhere.

Tonight, I brushed my teeth early and retired to bed to sit and type on my laptop and know that when I’m done, I’m going to put the computer down and hug the dog and go to sleep.

I am thinking about this as No Effort November, which is a month to celebrate minimal effort. To look for things that seem easy, things that I would normally forget about or ignore because they’re too simple, or because surely everyone knows that. To accept that there are areas I’m weaker and times of year when it’s harder to write interesting things every day.

Anyway, g’night.

Dread Month 2022

As the good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
Night’s black agents to their preys did rouse.

It’s the season of the spooky; when the internet slowly fills up with people sharing art of skeletons, and not just the ones they want to have sex with. In the United States and Canada, the days are growing colder, the leaves are turning, and people are staying in to watch horror movies or TV shows. The Satanists are up to something, I think, and there are probably some variety of ghoul or witch about under the doorsteps, which is where I guess they hang out.

Here on Press, October is dread month. The Story and Game Piles are about horror media, games and media that gets to delve into things like slashers and guts and serial killers and hauntings and all that.

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Tricks Month 2022!

The consensus reality is created by perception. Not that the reality of material objects is influenced by what you perceive, but humans do not act on reality of material objects, they act on their perceptions of the reality of material objects.

August is here, and with it brings our month’s theme. The theme is tricks, which I use to broadly refer to stage magic, con artistry, and in general, the way people are deceived.

This year more than most, I have been sitting seeing the theme of ‘tricks month,’ a time when I talk about goofy things brains do, lies, cons, scams and flimflam, and ‘dread month,’ a month where I feel free to talk about grim, fatalist, dreadful and terrible subjects, and those two things have been very rapidly growing their middle space in the venn diagram recently. Like early 2021, I wrote an article about the Human Mars Base That Definitely Exists Dude Just Trust Me thinking I had to explain what Qanon was in it, and oh lordy I did not expect things to get dumber.

I’ve got my subjects lined up this month and what I’m going to try and do is tell stories. Last year, I wrote about Henryk Orenstein which is still an absolute favourite bit of writing. But also I liked talking about Jasper Maskelyne, which way less popular as a post goes.

Don’t worry, though, my desire to keep things perky will keep the topics light. I hope. I’m going to tell you the story of one of my favourite conspiracy theories where the explanation is legit more interesting than the myth, about the murder mystery of the author, and one of the greatest liars of World War 2.

July 2022 Wrapup

July draws to a close and with it, a new semester begins. It’s a non-theme month which means like the other odd months, you can see some truly weird grab-bag of stuff finally getting attention. If you don’t check my blog regularly, you might not have caught these, so I’m going to highlight some stuff that I did this month that I think is particularly cool!

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Some Junked Drafts

Time to time it’s worth it to check the drafts folder and see if something’s been there for oh, say, a year and I don’t know when I’m doing it, to get rid of it. Presented here with minimal notes are some articles I’ve been meaning to do and have absolutely not done.

  • Windle Poons Says Trans Rights — looking at Reaper Man including a conversation about how a wizard was hoping to be reincarnated as a woman. This was going to include a whole conversation about the Dame and Panto and how in British media, there’s this sort of culture of ‘closeted trans character blurts it out at some point,’ and nothing comes of it.
  • Cooking Mama’s Interface — Back in 2020, because god damn everything was happening, a Cooking Mama game came out. The game had accusations of it being a bitcoin miner lined up, and then it got pulled from the store for muddy reasons. This made me think about the way that Cooking Mama’s interface, ala Wario Ware, was able to communicate an idea really efficiently.
  • Pride of Frankenstein — hey, there’s an overlap between horror and queerness. What have I got to say here that’s interesting?
  • Are Food Challenges Games? — This one feels kinda silly because at the most obvious level, yeah. Food challenges are games. They’re not necessarily widely accessible and they have their own demands, but it’s very obvious if you have a handle on the model of what makes a game, that food challenges are games, even with competitors. It’d be a rare chance to make an ilinx game that is also agonic — a measurable success you can compete over and also giving yourself over to voluptuous loss of control (whether or not you barf).
  • The NFT As Pre-Sold Soul — Thankfully, Dan Olsen’s Line Goes Up over on Youtube covers everything I was going to.
  • Ai Generation And Art Assets — This whole scene moves very fast, and seems to rely on somehow making something without copyright out of things that do have copyright, so I’m cautious about using the graphics here for card games without some way to say ‘I have an agreement that makes this okay.’

No intention to follow through on these, but it’s worth the time to clean out the drafts folder, just as much as it’s worth the time to throw things into the drafts folder.

Pride Month 2022!

Ah, Pride is here, Pride is here. Life is skittles, which I don’t play, and life is beer, which I don’t drink. Pride is a time for us all to look at ourselves, consider our places in the queer community and definitely, definitely the time to start shit with one another about whether or not we’re waving the proper flags.

Pride month here on Press has a pretty simple theme: I try to talk about Queer Shit. I try to talk about Queer Media, but like, not just ‘media I, a queer person, like, and will do all the hard work to make look queer,’ but also, just, queer media where characters are queer and the people who made it are queer. And that doesn’t just mean pointing out that any movie with Christopher Walken or Marlon Brando in it is queer media.

Look, expect me to be a bit salty about things, but my aim is to spend Pride Month being nice. Pride is an emotion I struggle with, something about the upbringing and all — but Pride is a community thing. It’s a time to stand up for one another, and also to center ourselves and our work.

Look at me, ‘ourselves’ and ‘our’ work, pfft.

Anyway, point is it’s Pride Month, and I’m going to try and talk positively about small queer indie media, get mad at companies, talk about queer tropes and maybe make games that touch on spaces of the queer experience. Buckle up!

May 2022 Wrapup

I uh, I started out looking for an icon of a jar of mayonnaise and the result I got is this, here, a blank jar.

Let’s crack on shall we?

I blog daily. I have regular features, where every week I’m going to talk about a game, and a piece of media. I’m also going to talk every month about something to do with worldbuilding, games like Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. Chances are good, you haven’t caught everything I’ve written about this month. That’s why at the end of the month I write you a neat little summary and give you some suggestions on stuff you might have missed that I think is particularly worth your attention.

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Complaining Is Fun

One of the reasons that Talen Month is segregated away from the other months it is, with the careful buffers of May and March on either side (the M&Ms that aren’t going to try and restrict your access to basic human rights like water), is because I know full well that when left to my own devices, my blog will generally degenerate into me saying mean things about, well, probably Peter Molyneux, or maybe Hideo Kojima, if I didn’t deliberately make it so I have a limited number of complaints every year and those complaints have to land in one spot and it’s months away.

It’s like fermenting, or winemaking, where if I’m going to spend some time to really have a good complain about something then that complaint has to be the best possible complaint and I have to be okay with it waiting until April and it has to be something that lasts. I cannot simply vent my spleen about any random happenstance that bothers me, it has to be something worth the patience. Hating is, after all, an art.

The problem is that complaining is fun.

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Talen Month 2022!

You might be surprised to hear this but I am, in my mind, extremely restrained. Oh sure, this blog is full of content of me, every day, just trotting out a few hundred words about whatever nonsense I want to think up. There are nonetheless, a ton of topics I avoid. Particularly, I will often avoid talking about things I really like for entirely petty, personal reasons, since I find that I think that’s hard for you to relate to, and I will sometimes avoid talking about things I actively want to just be mean about or air petty grievances on, for, well, again, the same reason.

My entire article about how Magic: The Gathering isn’t a gacha system was based on being mad at some random’s complaint that he couldn’t make a full-time living playing competitive legacy as a brand new player, for example. It is a beef writ large.

I keep these personal arguments and motivations close to my chest, in part because I think it’s boring, but also because if I make sure I spend time on it, if I hone it, I will have the time to decide if the complaint is really worth one of the thirty limited slots I offer for these feelings during the month of April, my month, the month in which I was born and the month that I use to publish all the stuff that I look at in the drafts folder and think ‘oh, I’m looking forward to writing that.’

It is April, My Friends.

I think about this as I progress along this writer’s path, as I strive to keep examining my own process, and yes, as I seek to generate something like a thousand words a day of varying levels of appreciable quality. I think about how I can tell there are things I want to focus on, things I think will be enjoyable or exciting to write about, and then there are surprises that I absolutely feel i want to share about, and there are things I think that if I write about them, will provide useful insight into me, as a person, so you can better inform yourself about my opinions.

Basically, if Decemberween is when I can relax a little, April is where I want to show off a little.

One piece of poetry that I have striven hard to be able to recite on spec is by Ogden Nash:

Love is a word that often is heard
Hate is a word that is not
Love I am told is more precious than gold
Love I am told, is hot
But hate is the verb that to me is superb
And love jusst a drug on the mart
For any boy in school and love like a fool
But Hating, my boy, is an art

There is in me a mendacity and a cruelty that wishes to, at times, dance about in the moonlight. There may be mean things said this month, possibly about things you think are good, and there may be indulgent appreciation of things. Probably another article about a transformer, or about how important some particular Animorphs book was to me.

For now, I want my love to be as precious and foolish as a schoolboy’s,

and for my hate to be artful.

March 2022 Wrapup!

The seasons turn, the days end, and we come once more to another full month of articles over here on Press Dot EXE. March is gone, and with it I want to take a moment to talk about what I’ve done this month; what writing is here, what you can check back on a whole month of content and see if there’s anything that stands out to me that you’d like to check out.

One of the strangest things about these posts is that they feel to me like a ‘cheat’ – like I’m doing a bunch of work on these posts, when I’m working hard to present the best writing I can on an interesting variety of topics, and then every month you get one fewer post, because there’s here, a menu.

Except then I find out how even the most obsessively interested people looking at my content tend to miss stuff, because the internet is hard and I realise it’s important to take a moment and reflect like this.

Anyway. Hey, here’s a summary!

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Smooch Month 2022!

Hey, welcome to Smooch Month!

I am not a person given to watch romance movies. Well, no, I am, I think of all sorts of movies as romance movies, because romantic really refers to a sort of simplified emotional language of a media form where the feelings of the moment are what’s meant to make sense and the coincidence or importance of those things in a real space are unimportant and oh my god I am just the most boring guy in the world to talk to when what I really mean is I don’t watch the movies that get filed under ‘romantic’ by the almighty sorting system of Netflix. And since I don’t do it often, I don’t think about them often and that means I have a less well-rounded space for my media diet. And that means that I can run the risk of being someone who has firm opinions about genres I don’t have anything to do with and that means I’m not just boring, I’m an arsehole.

Operating on this principle, then, I try to stake out some time in the year to watch… y’know. Some media that lives in this space. Some stuff that’s smoochy. I chuck it into February, so it gets to be a nice themed month, and then I get to expand my horizons. It becomes part of the game space too – I can make a demand of myself to play around with other genres I don’t deal with much.

Now this does become a wee bit barrel-scrapey. I don’t play a lot of smoochy games, and that’s because, well, most of them are terrible and, as a boy I tend to get positioned, in smoochy games, as one of the worst humans who is expected to also get to kiss a girl by the end. It’s not comfortable.

But this month! This time for sure!

Unstrapping Jetpack

I have been using the Jetpack plugin on my blog for about five years. It comes as a default tool available to free wordpress accounts, you see, and I installed it on my blog when I realised that I really did care about how much or how little attention my work was getting. There’s a long ongoing story that starts with the Long Live The Queen Game Pile review (which, really, isn’t that good, and for all I know the soundcloud has long since been shut down), but which has steadily progressed through a yearning burning nerding over feedback.

I got rid of it because it was doing some things to maintain its own statistics but also in case it maybe sorta wanted to serve ads of its own, or maybe just putting graphics on the page without telling me, but the important thing is that a proper web developer looked at this useful package of tools and recoiled, hissing, like I’d tried to bring a Domovoi over the threshold of the family home it protects.

Jetpack has problems, see.

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The best of 2021, Part 2 – Game Making

Alright, so yesterday I established we’re going to talk about some ‘best of’ writing in 2021, but then I went and banged on about some nerd stuff like elves and dragonborn (two things that actually didn’t come up but you’re not going to go check, not really, who cares). Today we’re going to push that nerd crap off the table and instead focus on the much more interesting question of hey, what about making games?

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The best of 2021, Part 1 – D&D

I wrote some bangers last year.

I sat down at first to give a sort of top ten articles of my own last year, that weren’t covered by specifically the header of How To Be, Game Pile or Story Pile. I tried it, and found that I had run out of slots for ‘absolute banger of an article’ in two months of summarising posts. Then I realised there were whole trends of things to write about and then I realised, hell, this is my blog, you’re here for my content, and unless you’re Vincent or Tab or Kate (hi, you three), odds are good you miss an article or three I write.

We’re going to do three of these this week. A whole bunch of bangers, divided up by the type of writing it is, and why I might want you to go reread it. First we’re going to talk about general content – stuff that I think you should link to other people outside the blog, posts that explain some complex concept in a way I’m proud, but also which doesn’t necessarily fit the other stuff.

And so here, I’m just going to bring your attention to a big pile of things I’d already written that are really good and which I know have escaped your attention, yes you, and today, it’s going to be about the Dungeons & Dragons, DMing and Worldbuilding articles.

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Big Blog Reorganisation

Hey, you probably don’t pay attention to this stuff, but I sure as shit do and I’ve been ignoring it for a long time.

Here’s the TL, DR: I have restructured the categories of the blog. Now there are clear descriptions for each category. The tag system is going to get used too, to group types of blog material like Audio, Video, How To Be segments or major subjects I like to revisit.

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The Press Plan: 2022

With 2021 behind us, we have some developments and we have a plan to enact.

First up, we’re going to do some things that I think worked. There’s the theme months:

  • February is SMOOCH MONTH
  • April is TALEN MONTH
  • June is PRIDE MONTH
  • August is TRICKS MONTH
  • October is DREAD MONTH
  • December is DECEMBERWEEN

These have proven to give me enough sinew to work with throughout the course of the year and they also help to break up content. One month of spooky-and-grim content is a lot better than you just getting whatever unhappy brain droppings spurt out of my ear at any given point. A month dedicated to paying attention to smooch media is an important thing that I would otherwise completely ignore. Plus, Talen Month gives me time I can feel I have the right to air some fucking grievances without it being the whole purpose of the blog.

We’re going to keep going with the two Piles:

  • Every Friday is a Game Pile
  • Every Monday is a Story Pile

These features work out well, and we’ll talk more about the Game Pile in a bit.

Something I want to work on further this year is to try and stop using ‘good’ and ‘bad’ as much as I do. These terms are ones I’ve had beef with for a while, and I’ve taken to using them in an almost sarcastic way. You know, I’ll say something like ‘look, if you’re asking if this is ‘good’ thing, sure, it is, but now I want to talk about what’s more interesting.’ And that feels more and more like it’s a concession I shouldn’t be making. I’d rather tell you what I liked and why I disliked it, and give an overall positive or negative impression: “I enjoyed this” instead of “It’s a good show.”

This is gunna be hard. I honestly think that the basic toolbox of ‘this sucks’ is something I need and need to rely on, but that’s kind of the point of setting itself as a challenge. I know already that I have an article that was going to go up in four months that was meant to open with ‘this story sucks’ and like, time to go back to the drawing board on that.

There are a few other features that I have found going well, which I want to treat as sort of ‘hypothetical maximums.’

  • A maximum of one article about the topics of The Transformers, 3.5 D&D, 4e D&D, and Magic The Gathering. I like having this constraint because it means that if I get a wild hair to cover a bunch of these, I have to space them out.
  • At the start of each month, there’ll be a post showing you the full spoiler and notes of the previous month’s custom magic cards. That way you don’t get a full spoiler of the cards before the end of the month, if you’re following them day to day, Tabs.
  • One How To Be post. I still like doing these and I especially like how they show the way that a game system like 4e is still able to do a lot of interesting character designs, and also give you room to see how I would approach asking for DMs these kinds of interesting ways to represent characters.
  • One T-Shirt design post. I’m growing to think of these as also including ‘sticker and mask’ designs as well.
  • One Asset Brainstorm post. I am trying this out, but a regular feature just looking at some art assets (or even mechanical pieces) would be good practice. These aren’t the same as when I jot down a game idea, this is specifically about looking at tools that I can use and you can use and hopefully inspire you.
  • Each month, depending on PhD demands, I’m aiming to provide a single post explaining a diary of work on a game that month. Each month I’ll be changing it up. I meant to do this in 2021, but the game development was somewhat choked by transport restrictions and shipping problems coming out of the US!
  • I’m going to try to make a Story Pile about one Anime a month. Anime requires me to slow down a little in my watching – I watch them subtitled after all. I fell out of watching anime for a while there and I really like the art movement, especially given how silly and varied it can be. I watched more anime in 2021 than I had in multiple years prior and it made me remember how much I loved it.

Something that happened in 2021 that you may not realise is that I managed to maintain a fortnightly schedule of posting a video Game Pile. That involved learning a lot about fast production (which I can more readily do when I’ mnot just so exhausted all the time). There were more videos with more interesting varied topics and yes, using other people’s video recording. More chat, more long-form slow plays, and more, I hope, variety without necessarily being boring.

This kind of video schedule is doable especially with a variety of video types. Hypothetically, a regular schedule is part of what helps a channel grow (and it hasn’t worked out that way). It has however been good for my skills and also made the task of making each video a little easier.

I’m still very jealous of content creators whose structure and template lets them do things like appear on camera and talk about things, but we may be developing technology there too.

Oooeeeoooo.

(It’s the pngtuber avatar, I’ve shown you before.)

Decemberween 2021!

It’s Decemberween! Don’t know what Decemberween is? Well, here on Press Dot Invincible Dot Ink, a branding exercise that was, when I did it, funny and clever to exactly myself and Fox and maybe Vince, because they know who ‘Swivel’ even is, I put a theme on the even-numbered months. That gives me a good mix, you know, some months have a theme and that gets me to focus on ideas that work for that theme then, or maybe save things up over the course of the year, and then some months I can just do whatever and you get some really weird random articles like about how water rats don’t exist and also they tear out cane toad hearts.

December has an obvious theme of ‘The Holidays’ if Im being vague, or ‘Christmas’ if I’m being 100% honest with my personal background and cultural space. Christmas runs out as a theme for me real quick because Christmas being so very Christian means I get kinda mad about it, and mad about the people who are defensive about it, because they suck and it sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m gunna talk about some Christmas movies! Because when else am I gunna do that?

But Decemberween, the point of it, is instead to focus on freely available cool things I want you to know about. It’s a chance to celebrate my friends, to talk about how proud I am of them being extremely cool. It’s also a chance to show off things I’ve collected through the year that are neat, but aren’t like, individually worth an article. It’s a time for deep dives, or podcasts or youtube channels I like.

What you can expect this month is games that are free, games you can share with people, games you can get into now when you’re dealing with a family situation, or games you can play over the internet, conveniently. Don’t expect any big deal articles on game design or media studies or anything weird until, you know, at least after Christmas.

Let’s have a bit of a break, okay?

But! I promise that nonetheless, this month is going to be about stuff I think is nice, or cool, and good, and people I want you to know about and who do cool things you could spend some time investigating. That’s a Decemberween promise.

Tricks Month 2021!

I like magic.

I am not an expert in magic; I am not particularly good at magic. There’s a handful of magic tricks I know, and they are, I think, good tricks for the kind of skills I want to have. Once I understood how magic happened, as someone who believed in real actual sorcery I started to see the world unravel around me. It taught me that people around me who seemed to have powers were just liars. Then when I realised that, I realised the techniques for convincing people of these tangible tricks were also good for intangible tricks.

It became a covert interest of mine, growing up. Reading books on magic, books of how to execute tricks, and then the history of magic, and the techniques of masters and things you could do to cheat at poker and manipulate people. I realised that I lived in a world not haunted by gods and monsters but rather everywhere I went, I found nothing but lies told by evil men to steal money.

What I learned then was that the way the world was, the secrets I was told were, themselves, just another set of lies meant to control me into seeing the world in a particular way. There were no old mansions full of created demonic life, destroyed by fervent hunters; there were no conspiratorial anti-god operations of Jewish people, ardently dismantling the works of Christians to try and repatriate them to Israel; there was no false or secret history of missing coins that showed the truth of the Bible. It was all, again, just lies.

I am very interested in ways people are controlled through lies.

Welcome to tricks month; we’re going to talk about magic tricks and the ways they control our attention. We’re going to talk about conspiracy theories, both widespread ones and small, insular pocket ones. We’re going to talk about the kinds of ridiculous things people actually believe, as horrifying as it can be, and we’re going to talk about the ways these systems connect to what you may think of as ‘normal’ and maybe even creep you out a little with the boundaries of your reality.

You may think you live in a sensible world with weirdos out there, but the weirdoes are right here.

We’re going to talk about ways to manipulate attention, components or problems in magic tricks, and I’m going to share some magic trick work I really like. There’s going to be some interesting history of cards and there’s going to be some thinking about how we use these lies and mistruths to hide reality from one another – and ourselves.

Letting in the Draft

This isn’t about drafting in games.

This is about the process of being creative, and part of how I sustain this blog working the way it is. Undeniable, part of it is practice – just writing every day means that writing every day gets easier. Some projects need a lot of writing, and there are some days when this blog is getting a thousand words out of the ten I wrote in a day. But that’s also my luxury – I am in a job where a lot of what I do comes down to communicating, either in words to one person or on paper to a group.

Still, I have days where it’s hard. Yesterday was difficult, and there have been other days when it’s been difficult. Today, though, I was able to pull up this article, this little stublet, and go: Oh hey, dang. I can work from this. I can belt out a few hundred words on this idea.

A few days ago, I was struggling to write. So what I did was pulled open the blog draft box, and I wrote ten little stubs. Just a single sentence of ‘write about this thing, at one point, in the future.’ And then, a few days later, when I was struggling again, I checked it out. I looked at the ideas I’d put there. Some of them, I went: That’s dumb, or, hey, I have a better version of this already, or this will be a lot of work. Some got changed, some got deleted.

This one got expanded.

This is about practice. This is about spending the time and effort to make sure that you can look at what you do and be satisfied with an ‘enough.’

This is enough.

Explaining to you how I got to enough is enough.

And it’s enough for you too. Don’t beat yourself up for modest goals.

Pride Month 2021

Hey it’s Pride Month! Hey everyone, it’s Pride Month, get a load of this here Pride Month!

June is Pride Month in the United States of America, to commemorate the anniversy of the Stonewall Riots in 1969 (nice, but not nice, but nice). It’sa month that the United States uses, and therefore, the entire English-speaking Internet uses, to talk about queer causes, queer ideology, and inevitably ask ‘why isn’t there a straight pride?’

So this blog is going to be about Pride Month stuff this month!

The plan is that this month we’re going to talk about queer stuff in general, some stuff about language, some queer games and some queer game design ideas. Note that this isn’t necessarily smoochy stuff – so we’re not necesarily going to be focusing on media about say, gay relationships, per se, as much as we talk about queerness in media in a bunch of different ways.

Particularly, this tends to be a time where I’ll talk about things that people outside of LGBTQ communities might think of them or understand them, ways things are communicated, or the way queerness in media and culture gets represented. I’ll probably wind up talking more about gender stuff and fundamentalist stuff than I’ll talk about necessarily romance this month.

Expect some fandom studies, some queer indie games, some not-queer not-indie games that get called queer games, and some reflections on things like you know, how we celebrate and share the works of one another.

It’s Pride month, remember that every day we live is one we’ve stolen from a system that seeks to make us no more.

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