September 2022 Wrapup!

You know that joke people tell about Billie Joe Armstrong and the end of the month and whatnot? Yeah, don’t make them.

Man, if I wanted to I could make some sort of argument that this month’s theme was all about fan produsage since all five Game Piles are about fan-based game experiences (with a bit of a reach for one of them). But instead!

And the Story Pile articles this month, where I just talked about a bunch of things I saw that I really liked:

  • Dark Winds, a Reservation Noir detective story
  • My Dress Up Darling, an anime I really liked that is nonetheless, really super horny
  • The Owl House (part one, part two), which I’ve already talked about and I really want to enthuse about

The articles this month I’m the most proud of are the pair of posts examining the Elf cultures and types in Cobrin’Seil, (part one, part two). This is the kind of world building I find personally satisfying – so that when you’re a member of a culture you have some experiences or cultural ideas you can use to inform others. I don’t know how any individual members of these cultures feel about everything, but my aim is that any time a player chooses to have an opinion, they can put it in a context that ‘feels right.’ Do Shadar-Kai hate deserts, or are they proud of their place in them? The choice is up to you, but you have an answer as to why. I also dug into what I mean when I say ‘magepunk.’ I made a big longform article version of my ‘Fifty States Of America America’ twitter thread, which is hopefully more shareable and convenient than a twitter thread. I also did two posts this month re-examining game prototypes throughout the year and I think that’s been good practice to get into.

This month’s t-shirt design is, in my opinion, a banger:

It’s meant to look like a sports logo but it’s a reference to John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, where a man who wanted to stop slavery by any means finally took that to heart, and raided a weapons cache. You can get it on Redbubble, as a sticker, shirt, hat, or whatever!

Okay, okay, personal life. What happened this month? Well, first I got my COVID booster. That’s nice. I once again had no side effects, and even forgot I’d had it until two days later when I noticed the bandaid on my arm in the shower. It’s a mid-session break for University, which means my days as I write this are made up of PhD work, and marking work, all while trying to make sure my friends don’t think I disappeared.

Oh hey, here’s a special one. Back on the 19th, I wanna say, and I’m putting it here because I might forget it otherwise, but back on the 19th, I had just finished the shopping, got myself ready to get on the bus, then as I got on, I realised there was a fight in the back of it and we needed to clear a path to make sure the fighting people could get off the bus.

It was weird because I kept feeling like ‘shouldn’t I get involved somehow?’ but doing so would involve shoving other people INTO the fight to get to it, and I was off on the edges who could mostly make things worse by being in the way. When we were on the road, driving in the bus, we realised one of the people who’d been attacked was bleeding – he’d left a substantial bloody patch on the floor of the bus.

And what was really weird during and after is realising how I’d felt about it. I wasn’t excited or scared or upset. It’d just been ‘well, this is happening.’

I wonder if there’s something going on with me lately if my reaction to violent assults in front of me is ‘well, this sure is what’s next.’

The bed broke again this month. That makes it basically a year since it happened last time. This time the break was discovered earlier, and all the things we’d done to prepare for a leak last year worked. There’s no stored and forgotten books and clothes, found, after weeks of mouldering. The wood that got wet was treated, so the leak dried up. The bed is split into two chambers, so we only needed to drain one, which took an hour or so with hoses and a bucket, which we had measured to the right size.

Still super exhausting and I’m sleeping on the sofa, instead of in a bed.

Oh and the Queen died, but who cares.

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