October 2021 Wrapup!

Another dread month draws to a close! Dense with content, rich and redolent with big spooks, and now let’s give you a guide to blog articles you may have missed this month that I recommend you check out.

This month, there were four, count ’em, four Game Pile videos! I don’t know why this year – and last year! – there was enough time and energy to get four videos done. It may be because I have a bunch of horror games I wanted to play and talk about. Dunno!

  • I made an article about The Bloodborne Card Game, which disappointed me.
  • I talked about A Mortician’s Tale, a game about rituals of death.
  • I made a video about Tamashii, a puzzle platformer game, and about how hard it is to mimic a medium.
  • I made a video using Underhero (which is cute and I liked) as an explainer for postmodernism.
  • I also did a video where I read and played through Creature Of Havoc, a gamebook from the 1990s.

This month’s Story Piles were:

  • In The Mouth Of Madness, a John Carpenter classic which I really liked and just happens to be actually happening right now
  • Below, a haunted-not-haunted submarine movie
  • The Plagues of Breslau, a thriller suspense movie about medical debt from a smaller country’s movie industry
  • Chainsaw Man, a manga that I freaking loved but which is also definitely about blood and demons

This month I also did what I call ‘dread readings’ – simply reading some classic horror stories and providing a little commentary on them. We talk about classic stories all the time, but I realise that not everyone has read or even had a chance to read them. I like these stories and want to talk about them – so why not just share them, then talk about them?

It feels a little weird recommending articles in this month because this is where I isolate some articles with grim overtones and creepy themes. Like, ‘hey, notice the way that the way we talk about school shootings is directly creating a tool for fascists?‘ I talked about how Gandhi worked in Civilisation and how the real dude kinda sucked ass. A long time ago, thinking about big social projects, in response to disasters, I considered Chernobyl Solutions. I talked about The Minions franchise, which is literally responsible in no small part for enabling some of the worst humans, like, in real life. I reflected on the meaning of Cursed Knowledge, which is becoming more and more present. I also, very personally, talked about what it’s like to have conspiracy seared into your brain, and how it related to my getting vaccinated.

In goofier things, I talked about the Hadalan, a concept I’m using in my D&D worlds, and the Necropolitan, 3.5’s weird Level-adjustment 0 undead player race, with the special rules that entailed and ways to get more hit points.

There’s also special mention for my 2021 Camp Osum Dev Diary. This is an article I worked on week to week, to create a version of this card game I’ve had on the backboard for a few years. What do you think of this kind of project? Should I do more posts like this, showing just ‘this month, I spent a few hours working on this one idea?’

This month’s shirts are a reference to Chainsaw Man and Madoka Magica:

You can get these shirts here: Pochita and Kyubey.

I talked about the biggest drain on my strength this month right at the start. A Mortician’s Tale video includes me being honest about things that have been imposed on me.

Other than that? Like, other than the ‘fearing for a friend and caring hard for someone who’s recovering for surgery?’ This month has honestly been pretty cool.

We got a new fridge. That means that suddenly my food storage options and ability to plan ahead long-term for meals is genuinely easier. It was also really painless? Like it woke me up at an inappropriate time, I wasn’t expecting it or preparing for it, but in less than a day, Fox was able to completely swap the fridges, then we just put the old fridge in a convenient place for someone to take it away when they have the opportunity. I would expect this kind of thing to be more annoying!

I’ve been marking student work? That’s hard, but it also means that I’m spending a lot of time immersing myself in the writing of people I’ve been speaking to for twelve weeks, and it’s a testament to seeing who has actually been listening. It’s super rewarding, and also, it shows me a lot about things I can do to improve as a teacher. That’s great! I also got to do my ‘hey, here’s Loss and this is my shirt design all semester’ trick that I love to do.

Backlog wise — I mean, right now, as I write this and October isn’t properly over yet? I’ve also got articles all through November and December. I’m honestly looking at the writing and work in the new year!

The weather is getting warmer. Spring is drawing towards summer. We’re going to see how things go from here.

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