Did you ever notice that some buskers (street performers) bring a box or milk crate to stand on while they perform? They do that so that more people can see them. Some people may choose to pass by without watching. Heck, some people may turn away after the performance has started because they don't think the performance is worth their time. But if passersby never see the performer, there's almost no chance that they'll stop and watch and maybe drop a few coins or a bill in th
I got my start as a writer by writing for shared worlds—and I don’t mean writing fan fiction (for my opinions on copyright theft, see my short story “Hell to Pay”). No, I started as a role-playing gamer. You know, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Top Secret, Boot Hill, Chill, Timemaster, Paranoia, James Bond, Cthulhu, etc.), playing in the many convention tournaments put on by The Role-Playing Game Association Network (RPGA).
In my career, I played more than 600 different chara
Despite the fact that I am heading off to my 34th GenCon shortly and that I was the world's top-ranked player of Classic RPGA tournaments for fifteen years (1985-2000), I've never really thought of myself as an early player of Dungeons & Dragons and, by extension, modern roleplaying games. After all, my first Dungeons & Dragons experience was in a camper in the parking lot of University of Wisconsin Parkside the night before GenCon XII in 1979, after I had already graduated f
Credible Dialogue Makes Reading a Bit Too Successful:
A fellow in my writers group is doing a documentary on such groups and has interviewed me and many other members. He recently decided he would like audio clips of his interviewees reading from something they wrote to use as voiceovers for some of the overview shots of the group or their books or whatever, so he asked me and another author to hang after group today and read 3-4 minutes from one of our works. I read the sc
There are plenty of games out there that kill people. Those of you who read my my recent blog post on “The Future of Gaming” or who caught my article “Proud to Be a Roleplaying Gamer,” in connection with Speak Out With Your Geek Out last year, know which games those are: games like football, hockey, boxing, and ... good gosh ... even competitive cheerleading. If you aren’t killed, maimed, or paralyzed during the actual playing time of the sport, itself, where an ambulance sta
Lots of the people who read this blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter are writers--and most of the rest are pretty avid readers. Some are probably also role-playing gamers. So, when we run into one another, we tend to sometimes talk about fiction--not just about what book or game we like or why ("the pacing was slow" or "awesome effects"), but about things that happen in the book or game as if they occurred in real life. This can be especially noticeable with gamers, who