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."
Remember Sarah Cooper’s brilliant “10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings”? Here are a few choice bits from her new “Meeting Speak Cheat Sheet”: • “This wasn’t on my calendar” = I deleted this from my calendar • “To your earlier point…” = I’m kissing your ass • “That said…” = We’re still not changing anything • “Let’s […]
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Yesterday, MTV, which surprisingly still exists, remembered that its name is an acronym for Music Television, and launched a Prince music video marathon. Unfortunately, they accidentally slipped a Fresh Prince video in there too. (Cinemablend) It's been so long since MTV played music videos, they forgot that Prince and Fresh Prince are two different people […]
Almost everyone has their smartphone in a case of one kind or another. Beyond simple protection, finding a case that can charge your phone on its own, but doesn’t feel like it’s also adding a couple pounds to the phone’s weight is the tricky part. Billed as the world’s thinnest battery case, the ThinCharge iPhone […]
You never know when new projects, ideas or opportunities can drop into your lap at a moment’s notice. That may require you to learn a new programming language like Python. Or maybe you need a primer on 3D game development. Or you might realize you could use a serious brush-up on iOS mobile creation.Point is, […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]