In the Mail: Acquisitions Incorporated (D&D).

I was on the fence for Acquisitions Incorporated. Truly, I was. I like Penny Arcade a lot, but I don’t play D&D right now.

But then this review made the sale.



You want your kid to do better at math? Get him into D&D!

…Yeah. You know that, I know that, people who game know that perfectly well. Certainly Gabe of Penny Arcade knows that; he’s been using his pirate D&D game to reinforce some math skills for his kid. Check out the link for how well it worked.

Still, best to get it out on the Internet, hey? You never know when it might be useful. Although I personally checked out when GURPS Vehicles expected me to do cube roots. It’s not that it was bad, precisely, but I didn’t want to go through all of that trouble just to make some Autoduel cars.

Moe Lane

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The Penny Arcade/Lone Shark Games ‘Thornwatch’ Kickstarter.

I ain’t buying it – like the idea; don’t have the dinero – but good golly but look at that crowdfunding well.

Turned it on yesterday, and they’re already 300% funded. Penny Arcade is kind of frightening, sometimes.  In a good way, to be sure; but they are the Alpha Ultra-Ninja Grandmaster Flash Nerds, huh? – Said he, with pure admiring envy in his voice.


This is a fairly creepy Penny Arcade cartoon.

I have a plethora of opinions on the subject it describes.  On the one hand, it’s definitely creepy to be in a situation where you’re in the middle of something bloodily occult, and your best friend isn’t believing you because ha-ha, it’s a joke.  On the other hand: can’t you just text, I don’t know, 9-11 or something?  They’ll come even if they think it’s a joke, because they have to arrest you anyway at that point.

And, on the gripping hand: who, exactly, would pay for a continuing story made up of texts?  Because that’s always going to be the prize that the eyeballs are going to be focused on, here.  The height of literary success and majesty is getting paid to write. It’s not the floor of success, mind you; getting paid is the roof. Still… if people give you money, you unquestionably win.


Quote of the Day, Never Forget This About Gawker edition.

Penny Arcade, on the Hulk Hogan / Gawker affair:

I don’t wish ill on anyone who works there, obviously.  I mean, I guess their every action technically does sustain a legitimately evil beast of legend, some Revelations type shit, and they ruin lives for profit whenever they aren’t simply wasting your time.  It’s like, oh, this other Gawker site does that.  That’s not the site I read.  Well, no, it’s all one site.  It’s just the one site.  Oh, but I only detest the mouth of the lion, where its fangs are kept; I do not detest the ear of the lion, nor its tail.  But the ear is how he found your brother, and when he leapt on your sister, the tail kept him straight.

…That last bit is rather good, isn’t it?  If Tycho came up with that, that’s some primo literary stuff, right there. I approve.


This Penny Arcade comic…

…about the parable of the Games Journalist and the Developer doesn’t precisely correspond to how things can work in the political blogosphere; but neither is it completely alien to my own experience, either. Politicians hate both Old and New Media, and Old and New Media both despise politicians. But we can’t operate without each other, and we all (both sides) crave the access. And if you have the access, you may not understand how having access looks to people who don’t*.


I was going somewhere with this, I swear. Danged if I know where, though. It’s still a pretty good comic.

Moe Lane

*Speaking as someone who has some access; you legitimately forget that you have more of it than most people. And that your life got steadily weirder as a result of that access.


Quote of the Day, I Have This Problem Myself.

Not as badly as I used to have it, but still.

Most of the words I know I got from books, which I thought were my friends, but they don’t necessarily have pronunciation keys and also the English language is a kaleidoscopic whorehouse.

It won’t surprise you to learn that my stunted, hairless translucence was borne of a largely solitary childhood that involved me learning words alone, and then saying them to myself, without the civilizing benefit of the social mirror.

As you can imagine, being in a situation where most of my communication is done via text – yes, like we’re doing here! – and my verbal communication mostly involves small children hasn’t exactly helped matters, either. I probably need more hobbies. Ones that maybe don’t require a wifi signal.


Quote of the Day, Teach… The Parents Well… edition.

Gabe of Penny Arcade:

Last night I was a guest speaker during a PTA meeting at my son’s school. I spoke about video games, ratings and the importance of paying attention to what your kids are playing. I thought it went really well and I figured I’d break down my talk here in case anyone wanted to take some of my ideas and do something similar at their kid’s school.

You know… people probably should. I remember what many parents (including mine!) got pretty wrong about roleplaying games, when I was a kid; I imagine that it’s a lot worse for video games, given that there really is a lot more in the way of objectionable material that’s accessible to kids. Sharing one’s knowledge on this topic seems like a mitzvah.


I *was* going to comment on this…

…but after looking at it a little, I have instead decided on the alternate tactic of ‘backing away slowly.’ My kids don’t play this game, they’re not likely to any time soon, and clearly This Way Lies Madness. I’ll just assume that Tycho… no! Bad Moe! BAD! No biscuit!



Penny Arcade and Black Friday.

I have to admit, this is pretty much my reaction:

As someone with experience in these matters – on both sides of the retail divide – Gabriel simply stays home for Black Friday.  And it’s not because he doesn’t like to buy things.  We discussed it all in the podcast you may absorb at some future date: he feels that the “deals” are illusory and that he doesn’t especially relish the thought of his heel on a retail worker’s trachea while he pours into the Consumer Battle Arena.  He has been that motherfucker in there, the one with the human throat, and even if there is still a pitched melee with or without him he can (at the very least) guarantee one less heel.

I don’t particularly criticize Black Friday on a regular basis, because there are elements of the criticism – and, more importantly, some of the critics – that taste more than a little of class snobbery. But I’ve done holiday retail. Pleasant, it is not.

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