April 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 2012
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A short time ago, BBC Radio 1’s website Newsbeat featured an article by Dan Whitworth, calling attention to a British price hike for the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The new Call of Duty will apparently retail in the UK for £55, rather than the usual £45. Apparently UK gamers are up in arms about it, although judging by the reactions from Dan’s interviewees, it’s not going to affect their purchasing decisions. Maybe that’s because they’re already willing to pay the equivalent of US$75 for a game Americans only pay $60 for. What's another $16? )
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It’s been a little more than a year since Dungeons & Dragons, 4th Edition, launched, and after six months of playing it regularly and six more of watching it evolve I think I have finally defined what it is I don’t like about it.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy D&D4. I’ve come to terms with it in a way that allows me to enjoy it a great deal as a sort of beer-and-pretzels, fantasy-combat board game, in the same vein as the old DUNGEON! game or the more recent Descent and Runebound. I’m not being flippant – I really do enjoy these games and I consider D&D4 to be one of the best. In a lot of ways, I’ve been waiting for a game like D&D4 my entire life. But I don’t consider D&D4 to be a roleplaying game.

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I’ve been meaning to write this piece for a while – since shortly after we acquired our new kitten, Jones the Cat – but actually having a kitten around the house made me that famous extra bit busy that knocked this journal off the bottom of my high-priority list for a few months. My apologies; I’m going to try to get back into posting regularly again now that she’s been spayed and the stress is slowly wearing off. I’ve got a few things stored up that need to be given voice.

Jones the Cat is not named after T. S. Eliot’s Bustopher Jones, nor is she named after Ellen Ripley’s cat from the Alien franchise. I admit to being pleased by the unintended relationship with the latter.

Jones is named Jones the Cat to distinguish her from Reverend Jones, Jones the JP, and Jones the Prize Cabbage (which describes both his hobby and his personality). If you’ve not seen The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain, it comes highly recommended. While it is at its core a romantic comedy, I suppose, it is also a really great look at how a village is a living entity and not just a collection of shops and an inn. So in that regard it might even have some roleplaying application, for fellow dungeon masters.

I’m writing about Jones because she’s unexpectedly taught me a great deal about gaming in the five months we’ve had her, and I think her lessons are worth spreading around. She has shown me that cats are consummate and capable gamers, and that I had forgotten a great deal about what that means.

Lesson 1: Frugality

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Lesson 2: A Change in Scenery


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Lesson 3: Do What You Love

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Lesson 4: Get Plenty of Sleep

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Lesson 5: Hallucinate


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UPDATE:

So much for the stress wearing off. Jones' keen gamer instincts have helped her to circumvent all five protective measures we've taken to prevent her from pulling out her stitches. I've already had to rush her back to the vet once. We're hopeful that her duct-tape-enhanced Elizabethan collar will hold until she gets the stitches out on Friday, but it is difficult to be optimistic in light of her terrifyingly advanced problem-solving ability. If anyone's reading this, your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.
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I find myself troubled.  This journal is not, as a rule, for detailing my personal life, but this particular issue is somewhat thematic, so I hope you’ll indulge me.

 

Last month, I turned 30. )
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