Wired's Adam Rogers wrote a lovely, sweeping obit for Dungeons and Dragons creator Gary Gygax in this weekend's New York Times that included this flowchart showing how D&D was a gateway drug into every kind of nerd-dom:
We live in Gary Gygax’s world. The most popular books on earth are fantasy novels about wizards and magic swords. The most popular movies are about characters from superhero comic books. The most popular TV shows look like elaborate role-playing games: intricate, hidden-clue-laden science fiction stories connected to impossibly mathematical games that live both online and in the real world. And you, the viewer, can play only if you’ve sufficiently mastered your home-entertainment command center so that it can download a snippet of audio to your iPhone, process it backward with beluga whale harmonic sequences and then podcast the results to the members of your Yahoo group...
Geeks like algorithms. We like sets of rules that guide future behavior. But people, normal people, consistently act outside rule sets. People are messy and unpredictable, until you have something like the Dungeons & Dragons character sheet. Once you’ve broken down the elements of an invented personality into numbers generated from dice, paper and pencil, you can do the same for your real self.
Update: Alan sez, "that great D&D geek flowchart from the Times should really be credited to Sam Potts, who also happens to be the designer of John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise."
Lindy West is one of those web-writers who’s done consistently great work over the years, whether it’s talking about boobs or talking about trolls, and so I expected to like her memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, but I didn’t expect to find myself laughing aloud over and over, nor did I expect to end up crying — and having done both in great measure, now I can’t get that most excellent book out of my head.
The winner of Saturday’s College World Series game between the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and the Texas Christian University Frogs was decidedly this kid.
Sometimes, publicity and editorial photos don’t quite match the tone and relationship of the show’s characters. Case in point: the plethora of X-Files shots in which Scully and Mulder look like a couple instead of coworkers.
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