Monday, February 6, 2012

Dipping My Toe

It's my Monday off, which means I'm with my boy (currently napping). Just thought I'd throw up a quick "here's what's going on" type post.

The gaming survey seems to be going well. So far, I've had over 400 hundred downloads and more than 100 responses (thanks to everyone participating). I've also received quite a bit of feedback, nearly all of it constructive, and most of which is making me beat myself up for not thinking this through a bit better. As I sometimes do, I've jumped off the deep end with this one (I said it was ambitious) and with only a bare minimum of forethought. Hey, I'm whimsical, what can I say?

People seem to hate the astrological implications in the demographic questions (time and place of birth). I'm not exactly sure why it makes folks irritable.

Finished up he football season for another year. Congrats to both teams in the Super Bowl. People shouldn't have to hear me wax on about sports again until at least September.

[speaking of sports and metaphorical warfare, I know some folks were intrigued by this EN World post about the differences in edition preference (and design) has a little to do with a difference in perspective of whether "combat" in D&D should be more like "sport" or more like "warfare" (i.e. more of a game or more "true-to-life"). I know people have interest in this because there's, like, fourteen pages of response and I've seen mention of it around the OS blog-o-sphere. Personally, I think the whole discussion is a silly one. But then, I feel the whole idea of "combat" being "the first of three legs that comprise the foundation of D&D" is pretty f'ing ridiculous. I might have to publish some (more composed) thoughts on the matter later]

Since football and the bulk of the winter holidays are over, I should really begin to crack down on the writing projects. Ha...I "should be" but we all know that's easier said than done. Well, hopefully I'll be able to get my office workload under control (still trying to dig out of the hole caused by snow and illness), and then I'll have more breathing room at that end.

Also, my family is considering dropping our cable TV entirely and I hope we experience has been that I don't miss television when I don't have it, and in addition to cutting the household costs it will give us more time to concentrate on other things (*ahem*). Lent is coming up in a couple weeks, and perhaps that would make a good starting point for a cable-free household. We'll just have to see, I guess.

I have a shit-ton of ideas that I've been knocking around in my brain lately, and I really need to get some of 'em down on paper. Sometimes it feels like there is too many games and too little time...that I can purchase or think up half a dozen great adventure ideas or campaign settings or completely new games every month, and yet my playing time is limited to a few hours weekly. It's a little depressing when I think about it: while some people prefer their gaming to be an occasional hobby, I would be most satisfied having it as a full-time gig. And yet, there's just no way to get it to pay the bills.

But that's a dead-end road of speculation. I've got more to write, but right now I'm going to grab a quick siesta myself.
; )


  1. I filled in the questionnaire and I didn't mind the astrological implications at all. Not that I'm a staunch believer either... (True Neutral ;)

    I don't really see why people would care though. For sciency types who think astrology's all a load of rubbish, then exactly the sort of statistics involved in a questionnaire like this will per se be the correct method to prove them right or wrong.

    I guess maybe people fear the statistician with a hidden agenda to prove.

  2. "People seem to hate the astrological implications in the demographic questions (time and place of birth). I'm not exactly sure why it makes folks irritable."

    Because they like to believe that they are intelligent, and they've had it drilled into their skulls through extensive propaganda that astrology is inherently irrational. By engaging with astrological information, they damage their self-image as "intelligent".

  3. i have a mac & i was totally not able to decipher the doc, fyi

  4. Hey JB! There's something I've been meaning to ask you: could I get my blog on your blogroll? ;-)

  5. I had no problem answering the 'astrological' questions. I don't think the time of day of my birth has any correlation to my gaming, but the year (73) my place of birth (the U.S. Midwest) sure does.

  6. Disclosure: I am an engineer, and my eyes glaze over every time a post of yours starts talking about signs.

    I can't speak for too many others, but for myself, horoscopes are mildly entertaining as fluff to laugh about now and again, like fortune cookies. I think that a pseudoscience that was discredited three or four hundred years ago makes kind of a weird hobby, but hey, who am I to judge? I've got enough weird hobbies of my own. The thing is, astrology gets really annoying when you aren't interested in it and it starts turning up everywhere you go. A lot of its adherents talk about it so much in every frigging context, that it's like trying to get work done at the office while That Guy keeps going on and on about a tv show no one else watches.

    Let me here clarify that I'm not trying to argue that you shouldn't post whatever you feel like posting on your blog. I might not give a damn about Gary Gygax's sign, but i can skip that part of the post. That's why the ancient Mayans invented Page Down. But I can see why people don't want to answer a bunch of horoscopy questions on a survey about their gaming habits. For one thing, they probably don't care, and for another, i can totes understand being reluctant to reveal location data (even if just birthplace) over the web for what seems like no reason.

    I do take some umbrage to the psychobabble about skeptics not wanting to listen for fear of getting the superstition all over us. While its true most non-scientists I know don't believe in astrology because the science guys tell them its bunk, most science geeks I know have had it demonstrated adequately that astrological predictions are bogus, to a confidence interval high enough that its unlikely you'll change their opinion. One standard exercise in the study of statistics is a pretty cool blind experiment you and a partner can try in that vein if you are ever interested. I'm rambling and this comment is running long, but I'll post the procedure if someone is interested in trying it.

  7. On the survey: I don’t think the problem is that you didn’t think it through. I think it was that you treated it as a secret project. If you’d told people about it beforehand, you could’ve gotten all that good feedback first.

    On “combat as sport/war”: I actually think the name is a misnomer. The “combat as war” half is really about avoiding combat and keeping it short when not avoided. i.e. The “war” side is, ironically, about combat not being a “pillar” of the game.