Reactions

Jul. 21st, 2012 01:33 pm
cloudy_one: (Default)
It bothers me that so many people respond to disasters with outrage that is misdirected.  It often comes in the form of something easily blamed.  Naturally this posting is my reaction to the reactions of people in regards to the Aurora shooting.  Almost every article I've read about it, social networking feeds, has had people very angrily complaining about lack of gun control.  On the surface this bothers me because I don't believe in gun control.  I won't go into all the arguments against gun control, and I won't argue statistics either way here.  Another thing I've seen blamed is lack of mental health facilities.  I actually do believe that there is a lack of good mental health facilities and access to them.  So I guess I'm 50-50 on the reasons people want to cite/ blame for the shooting.  That doesn't help me be less annoyed.  At a time like this the worst thing people can do is look for a knee-jerk patsy.  It's not good, not in any way.

I suppose it's natural for people trying to deal with a tragedy to make sense of it.  For most of us that involves blaming someone or something.  It's there every day, even for the minute things.  It's in those minute things that we can see how it doesn't work.  "I got an F on that exam because my teacher's a prick."  Well, the fact that you didn't study at all and stayed up the night before doing jell-o shots probably didn't help you any either.  I'm guilty of trying to blame things too, even if they're not to blame.  In a lot of ways I see it as a way to not take personal responsibility.  It's easy to apply that reasoning to personal experiences; but surely no one who is making anonymous comments online is personally responsible for the Aurora shooting. 

There's a ridiculously low probability that there was someone helping out the fella who went on the rampage.  In that sense, commentators, online or otherwise, aren't personally to blame for any part of this incident.  Sociologically speaking, though, we're all a little to blame.  It seems esoteric and unsatisfactory (we can pass more gun control laws, but we can't change society over night).  I think that has a lot to do with these knee-jerk reactions though.  Ask most people how they feel about the state of the world today (or even the state of our country) and they won't be satisfied.  Some people cope by ignoring it.  Others cope by blogging about it or complaining to friends and co-workers.  Some people are far more deviant in their coping methods.  They pick up an AR-15, a couple Glocks and a shotgun and find a crowded movie theatre. 

Humans are social animals and there is no denying that the state of the world around us directly affects our personal psychology.  When we choose lack of awareness over meaningful personal exchanges we invite into our minds an apathetic world, an environment where no one really cares what goes on.  Deeply emotional and traumatic events are minimized into soundbites and slightly higher ratings for news programs.  Where once a community suffered a tragedy and people came together to mourn, we now hear about it through our Twitter feed and promptly politicize it.  We've opted to forgo the healthy grieving process in favor of sensationalism and playing the blame game on a massive scale.  That's upsetting to me.

My prayers go out to the victims of the tragedy in Aurora.
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Shapes In The Clouds:

Loss of Enchantment, Return To Wonder

by Jesse Wolf Hardin
www.AnimaCenter.org

“I cannot believe it, I was seeing shapes in the clouds just now!,” my dear friend Daniel breathlessly exclaimed.  He had a rare tear in his eye, admitting to me “It has been so very long, since I have seen shapes in the clouds…”


...

To a young child, the world and everything in it almost invariably appears as alive, meaningful and story filled, a matrix of shifting patterns that are constantly revealing new compositions and juxtapositions, songs and designs, whisperings in tree boughs and soft white dragons floating across bright blue skies.  It is only through the programming of disenchanting, conformist public schools and appearance and money focused television that a youngster slowly ripped away from this essential view of reality as wonderfully mysterious, magical and miraculous, conscious and communicative.  A toddler can often be seen staring intently at a flower-licking butterfly, awestruck at a flash of lightning, or tripping-out on something as commonplace as the intersecting circles created by raindrops falling on a puddle in the yard, or fascinated by the intricate weave of their clothes as seen really, really close up.  What a terrible tragedy, when a child gets to a stage of acting like a common acculturated adult, no longer trusting that there is real magic outside of a movie’s special effects, unable to believe in their own capacities to be heroes and heras, wizards or healers participating in a most-purposeful destiny.  How sad to see someone who is running to get out of the rain, oblivious to the puddle’s patterns, unmindful of the shapes and faces formed by the dense clouds overhead.   How do we know when a society, a culture, is impoverished, un-moored, lost to its highest purpose?  When under any conditions, we can go through the years of our life without being captivated by the creations that wind and cloud do make.

What is it, that can stand in the way of our view, of the enchanted view of life unfolding?  What preoccupations and distractions, what prejudices and fears, what habits?  A hurried lifestyle, maybe, no time to look anywhere but directly ahead.  Being self conscious about our engagement and amazement, worried about being seen gazing for long minutes at the sunlit veins in a fallen leaf.  Feeling unworthy of leisure and undeserving of beauty.  Being a “hardened man” or a “career woman”.  Abuse that may have shut us down in this and other ways. Residing mainly in our heads, and thus simply missing, missing, and missing things again.  Or perhaps a soul stifling job or disingenuous or unhealthy marriage, that drapes a heavy wet blanket over every light and spark.

Sometimes it is several of the above, and so it was for the 30-plus year old Daniel, ally of and number-one aide to the Anima Sanctuary.  First, an emotional shutting down as a child, that he is only now overcoming.  Then, the distractions of partying as a teen, the necessity of a job, the responsibilities of becoming a father, and the oppressiveness of a relationship with the mother of that child that for whatever reasons seemed to suck the very air and spirit out of him, draining his creative batteries, sending him ever further into the refuge of silence and withdrawal and his own solitary thoughts.  Only now, hurting from negotiations over child custody but relieved of his relationship, is he finding the world wholly fascinating again.  It is this possibility of lifelong excitement and awe, this insistent joy, that he hopes to ensure in his daughter.

“Will you look at that,” he says, pointing at the clouds over our canyon, a huge smile back on his face… and I gladly turn to see.

……………..

(Forward and RePost Freely)

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Recently I've heard about a couple new developments in the fast food world.  Pizza Hut has come out with a pizza that has hot dogs in the crust.  Burger King is now offering a Bacon Sundae.  I heard of them separately and mostly by word of mouth, but here's an article that talks about it a bit.  Quite a while ago now Wendy's came out with the Baconator.  I was working when this thing came out, at Wendy's, and no one, not even people who had been there for years, could believe that a fast food place would put out something THAT unhealthy.  It has beef, bacon, cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise.  That's it.  We were floored.  It would seem that was only a sign of worse things to come.

It makes me wonder about who is eating these types of food.  The Baconator was actually quite popular when it came out, and probably still is.  Then, of course, these places wouldn't put out this type of food if there wasn't a demand for it.  Most young people I talk to (admittedly in the University area) talk about how they are eating healthier, exercising more, and I'm inclined to believe them most of the time.  From what I can tell, at least college youths are making a point of living healthy lifestyles physically.  Knee-jerk reaction is to think that it must be older people indulging in these things, but I go to greasy spoon restaurants too, and I think that even if folks just have one place they indulge at that can still be enough to encourage those types of places and foods to pop up.  I've been making a point to eat healthier, even when eating out; but I still like going to Griff's here in Albuquerque, and they have really delicious (greasy and unhealthy) burgers.  I figure it's not so bad because most every other place I eat healthier.  But if everyone has their one unhealthy place it's still giving business and encouragement to the hot dog crust and bacon sundae people.

I think in another way it's unhealthy for us as a people to encourage food like that because it's so comically unhealthy.  We all have our vices, and I'm not saying get rid of unhealthy food (people should be responsible enough on their own).  What I'm thinking about here is how we (this country) are viewed by the world.  There are those who would say that we shouldn't worry about what the world thinks, but it's important in an international affairs sort of way.  I don't know about others, but I personally don't like the idea of the Ugly American.  I think most of that is because a lot of it seems to be true.  We are already seen as fat slobs, do we really have to up the ante by advertising to the world that we've just created a BACON SUNDAE available on a mass scale to the public?  It's similar to the Dick Cheney shooting his friend in the face thing; it was so comically over the top it turned Cheney into joke (or at least cemented that position) for how "evil" he is.  Few average Joes could listen to a speech given by Cheney today without imagining him blasting some poor bastard in the face with some bird shot.  Do we need that to happen to the image of the American people?

Maybe I'm going a bit over the top myself here, it is just fast food after all, it ain't supposed to be healthy.  I guess I just don't like the idea of being seen as a backward, fat, ignorant country, person even.  I enjoy reading articles from international news outlets for the sake of balance.  When I come across commentary, opinion pages, on-the-street interviews, even entertainment, I find more and more that the rest of the world sees us as a joke.  50% of Americans don't believe in evolution so we're a stupid people.  So many of us are Bible thumping bigots (though that admittedly is purely a stereotype, I think those types of folks are actually in the minority over here).  We eat Big Macs for breakfast, Whoppers for lunch, and a Double Down for dinner.  For those of you who don't know what that is, look it up if you think your arteries can take it. 

Besides that we seem to be uncommonly ignorant of the rest of the world.  From talking to people (even college students) it seems folks are limited to knowing only who the President of the United States is, and maybe the governor of their state.  Few know who the congressmen or senators are.  Few know who the Supreme Court Judges are.  Fewer still know who the leaders of other countries are.  I think a part of this is the fault of mainstream media not being willing to cover international stories as much.  Most international publications I visit have quite extensive coverage of American goings on.  Der Spiegel even covered the Republican Primaries!  Other countries are lucky if we cover their main elections, even if they are close allies or active enemies.  Of course in the end it comes down to people choosing to be ignorant.  If CNN doesn't mention it it's not important.  Few think to check other sources from other countries to compare reporting of facts.  I feel pretty disorganized with my ramblings but it helps me get my thoughts straight.
cloudy_one: (Default)
As the elections creep up on us more and more I find myself seeing and hearing a lot more political impressions.  I find that one idea still has not changed even given the events of the last ten to twelve years.  People are still willing to vote for the lesser of two evils.  One person put it as the "lesser of two fascists."  These people are stupid.  I'm not one to get too wound up about things that aren't personal, but this pisses me off. 

A bit of context... I'm not an American citizen, and I can't vote.  I was born in Germany to two German parents (Holger and Gudrun) and moved to the United States after my mom divorced and then re-married to an American Soldier (Antonio).  I was between second and third grade when this happened.  Since then I've lived in America, in Kansas, Arizona, Tennessee, and now New Mexico.  I've been here long enough people tell me I have a Midwestern accent, I get funny looks when I explain I have a green card.  I have thought about where to live, country-wise.  I have a lot of family in Germany, and folks have expressed that they'd be willing to give me a place to stay until I adjust.  Of course as I've gotten older I've thought about other countries to move to with systems I believe in more.  In the end though I've chosen to stay in America.  I don't like how things are going here, politically, economically, militarily, etc. but I strongly believe in what this country stands for, or at least used to.  This was a country built on live and let live law.  The Bill of Rights enumerates and guarantees these rights.  Today, theoretically, the people still have a voice to change what they don't like.  That is why I choose to stay.  Eventually I plan to become a US citizen, because I feel like I can make a difference with a vote, be it cast at the ballot box or at the grocery store in the form of my hard-earned cash.  The downside to this plan is that it costs a hell of a lot of money to become a citizen and I just don't have that cash lying around yet.

Having said all that, I can't understand why people are still willing to put others into office that they don't believe in, and in some cases know will mess the country up even worse.  I don't like the idea of a basic theocracy forming due to the clowns on the Right.  I don't like the idea of a nanny/surveillance state being set up by the Left.  Because I don't like these ideas, it logically follows that I wouldn't vote for them.  These two premises ring true to most people that I've encountered (online and offline) and yet they don't draw the same conclusion.  This isn't the conclusion to all vote for the same third party candidate mind you, just a conclusion to NOT vote for the people we don't support. 

In my mind it's a matter of winning.  I hear over and over and over about how voting for a third party candidate is a waste of a vote.  I am currently resisting the urge to write a long string of expletives here.  "A third party candidate could never win so why bother voting for them, you might as well at least vote for someone who could actually win."  ....resisting the urge....  Who gives a rat's ass if the candidate you voted for wins if they still fuck up the country?  Congratulations, your "winning" vote helped constrict civil liberties.  Congratulations, your "winning" vote has helped America fall further into debt.  Congratulations, your "winning" vote has contributed to the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in a war no one wanted.  Aren't you PROUD of yourself?  The man (or woman) you voted for won the election, and you were a part of it.  This is why I get so pissed off when people complain about what's going on in the government, not just at the presidential level.  Most of the time THEY are the ones who voted them in.  There is no sympathy for the person who aided this situation.  I'll stand for the moaning and groaning if it comes from someone who actually had the cojones to vote for someone they believed in instead of helping to aid this mess. 

Then the argument of how no third party candidate could ever win.  There are a number of reasons for this.  One, most third parties, inexplicably, refuse to put up candidates for offices lower than presidency.  Sometimes it takes a low level grass roots effort to get people used to your stances.  It wouldn't hurt the Libertarians/ Green Party/ Constitutionalists/ etc. to try and get some folks in as town councilmen/ women, mayors, state government representatives, etc.  This is a much better way to spread your message, through action.  Then there's the numbers game, probably the biggest reason.  People are dumb.  You know why third party candidates don't win?  Because even though you like what they have to say you still vote for the idiot you keep complaining about.  It's logical to assert that if everyone who supported the ideas of a third party candidate actually voted for them, that candidate could very realistically win!  The other day I heard a classmate say they would vote for a third party candidate if they polled high enough.  This person has researched a particular candidate and is in love with his stances.  He still won't vote for him if he's not popular enough though.  People wonder why these amazing third party candidates can't gain traction; well, it's because of morons like these folks who find them, support them, and then don't vote for them.  So many Americans are slaves to the bandwagon effect, except they're not even the types of slaves in chains or at gunpoint, they're the type stuck in front of the TV who don't WANT to go out and explore the world.

If I could vote it would be for Gary Johnson.  I feel like his views reflect those of the majority of modern Americans.  They certainly reflect mine.  He is socially liberal.  The government has no place in our bedroom.  To this affect, he is in favor of legalizing marijuana, he is in favor of gay marriage, he is in favor of women's rights (including abortion and contraception), he is in favor of making the naturalization process easier for immigrants.  He is fiscally conservative.  He has a plan for a 2013 balanced budget.  43% budget cuts across the board.  This would close down unnecessary military bases across the globe, this would end our involvement in many foreign matters (he is in favor of an alliance with Israel).  This would close the IRS, the Department of Education (Education would become state-run instead of federally), and he would do away with so many of the "security" agencies created by the Patriot Act.  Federal funding would slim down (which is not sexy to a lot of people) which means less government hand-outs, but our government would no longer be owned by China.  We wouldn't turn into the New World Greece.  I understand that these things cannot (and should not) be done by one man and that this "Utopia" would not occur because these things have to be voted on by Congress; but I would feel a Hell of a lot better knowing that the fella I voted for is at least genuinely trying to move forward ideals I actually believe in.  But I guess that's just stupid, after all, he probably won't win anyway.
cloudy_one: (Default)
As the elections creep up on us more and more I find myself seeing and hearing a lot more political impressions.  I find that one idea still has not changed even given the events of the last ten to twelve years.  People are still willing to vote for the lesser of two evils.  One person put it as the "lesser of two fascists."  These people are stupid.  I'm not one to get too wound up about things that aren't personal, but this pisses me off. 

A bit of context... I'm not an American citizen, and I can't vote.  I was born in Germany to two German parents (Holger and Gudrun) and moved to the United States after my mom divorced and then re-married to an American Soldier (Antonio).  I was between second and third grade when this happened.  Since then I've lived in America, in Kansas, Arizona, Tennessee, and now New Mexico.  I've been here long enough people tell me I have a Midwestern accent, I get funny looks when I explain I have a green card.  I have thought about where to live, country-wise.  I have a lot of family in Germany, and folks have expressed that they'd be willing to give me a place to stay until I adjust.  Of course as I've gotten older I've thought about other countries to move to with systems I believe in more.  In the end though I've chosen to stay in America.  I don't like how things are going here, politically, economically, militarily, etc. but I strongly believe in what this country stands for, or at least used to.  This was a country built on live and let live law.  The Bill of Rights enumerates and guarantees these rights.  Today, theoretically, the people still have a voice to change what they don't like.  That is why I choose to stay.  Eventually I plan to become a US citizen, because I feel like I can make a difference with a vote, be it cast at the ballot box or at the grocery store in the form of my hard-earned cash.  The downside to this plan is that it costs a hell of a lot of money to become a citizen and I just don't have that cash lying around yet.

Having said all that, I can't understand why people are still willing to put others into office that they don't believe in, and in some cases know will mess the country up even worse.  I don't like the idea of a basic theocracy forming due to the clowns on the Right.  I don't like the idea of a nanny/surveillance state being set up by the Left.  Because I don't like these ideas, it logically follows that I wouldn't vote for them.  These two premises ring true to most people that I've encountered (online and offline) and yet they don't draw the same conclusion.  This isn't the conclusion to all vote for the same third party candidate mind you, just a conclusion to NOT vote for the people we don't support. 

In my mind it's a matter of winning.  I hear over and over and over about how voting for a third party candidate is a waste of a vote.  I am currently resisting the urge to write a long string of expletives here.  "A third party candidate could never win so why bother voting for them, you might as well at least vote for someone who could actually win."  ....resisting the urge....  Who gives a rat's ass if the candidate you voted for wins if they still fuck up the country?  Congratulations, your "winning" vote helped constrict civil liberties.  Congratulations, your "winning" vote has helped America fall further into debt.  Congratulations, your "winning" vote has contributed to the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in a war no one wanted.  Aren't you PROUD of yourself?  The man (or woman) you voted for won the election, and you were a part of it.  This is why I get so pissed off when people complain about what's going on in the government, not just at the presidential level.  Most of the time THEY are the ones who voted them in.  There is no sympathy for the person who aided this situation.  I'll stand for the moaning and groaning if it comes from someone who actually had the cojones to vote for someone they believed in instead of helping to aid this mess. 

Then the argument of how no third party candidate could ever win.  There are a number of reasons for this.  One, most third parties, inexplicably, refuse to put up candidates for offices lower than presidency.  Sometimes it takes a low level grass roots effort to get people used to your stances.  It wouldn't hurt the Libertarians/ Green Party/ Constitutionalists/ etc. to try and get some folks in as town councilmen/ women, mayors, state government representatives, etc.  This is a much better way to spread your message, through action.  Then there's the numbers game, probably the biggest reason.  People are dumb.  You know why third party candidates don't win?  Because even though you like what they have to say you still vote for the idiot you keep complaining about.  It's logical to assert that if everyone who supported the ideas of a third party candidate actually voted for them, that candidate could very realistically win!  The other day I heard a classmate say they would vote for a third party candidate if they polled high enough.  This person has researched a particular candidate and is in love with his stances.  He still won't vote for him if he's not popular enough though.  People wonder why these amazing third party candidates can't gain traction; well, it's because of morons like these folks who find them, support them, and then don't vote for them.  So many Americans are slaves to the bandwagon effect, except they're not even the types of slaves in chains or at gunpoint, they're the type stuck in front of the TV who don't WANT to go out and explore the world.

If I could vote it would be for Gary Johnson.  I feel like his views reflect those of the majority of modern Americans.  They certainly reflect mine.  He is socially liberal.  The government has no place in our bedroom.  To this affect, he is in favor of legalizing marijuana, he is in favor of gay marriage, he is in favor of women's rights (including abortion and contraception), he is in favor of making the naturalization process easier for immigrants.  He is fiscally conservative.  He has a plan for a 2013 balanced budget.  43% budget cuts across the board.  This would close down unnecessary military bases across the globe, this would end our involvement in many foreign matters (he is in favor of an alliance with Israel).  This would close the IRS, the Department of Education (Education would become state-run instead of federally), and he would do away with so many of the "security" agencies created by the Patriot Act.  Federal funding would slim down (which is not sexy to a lot of people) which means less government hand-outs, but our government would no longer be owned by China.  We wouldn't turn into the New World Greece.  I understand that these things cannot (and should not) be done by one man and that this "Utopia" would not occur because these things have to be voted on by Congress; but I would feel a Hell of a lot better knowing that the fella I voted for is at least genuinely trying to move forward ideals I actually believe in.  But I guess that's just stupid, after all, he probably won't win anyway.
cloudy_one: (Default)
I just finished up reading a political blog (http://hackwithablog.blogspot.com/) that I enjoy and it got me thinking a bit about my own beliefs with politics here in the States.  One of the first things that comes to mind is part of a lyric from a political song Sam likes.  It goes something like "elephants and asses controlling the masses."  The reason that comes to mind is because I think the two-party system is one of the most crippling things about politics in the US.  People think they have no other choice and so they vote for the "lesser of two evils."  I've heard people use those specific words more than once for several different elections over the years.  Some people don't even vote at all because of this system.  Worse than that, there's a trench that's been dug that third party candidates can't get out of, and that trench is the idea that you're throwing away your vote if you give it to them.  Despite most folks I know being tired of the way things are being run now, they're still going to vote for a Republican or a Democrat because otherwise they feel like their vote doesn't count.  I can't vote (I'm not a citizen), so I'll relay something that happened to Sam (hope she doesn't mind).  While at a very Liberal church politics came up.  This was during the 2008 Presidential Election.  When asked if she was voting for Obama, Sam said no.  Immediately the person she was talking to made an outraged face and complained: "how could you vote for McCain!?" Sam wasn't voting for McCain.  She said she was actually voting for a third party candidate (whom this other person had never heard of) and was promptly asked, "why would you throw away your vote like that?" 

That is why the two-party system is so dangerous.  It's perpetuated itself.  As this upcoming election takes shape I'm finding that none of the Republican candidates really have anything to offer.  Having said that, I wouldn't vote for Obama either.  I would put the vote toward a Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson (http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/)  He was originally running as a Republican but was edged out of the debates and not supported by his party when he asked for their help.  Seems to me that had he had support from the Republican party he probably would have stood a better chance of winning than he does now having moved over.  That's not because his beliefs have changed, they haven't, but people would have recognized the main party line. 

Of course there are those who might say that it shouldn't matter to me, I can't vote anyway.  I do plan on becoming an American citizen (which is expensive as hell by the way), and when I do I'll sure as heck be informed about who I give my vote to.

Game Talk

Jun. 12th, 2011 11:04 pm
cloudy_one: (Default)
Today Sam and I did some more working on our game.  Sam's vision hasn't been the greatest over the last handful of days because of her migraines, but it's gotten better a bit at a time.  With that in mind we went ahead and signed ourselves up for some Battlelords.  It's the weekend and Byron's home, so it only made sense.  So after we went shopping we kicked on the PC and started playing.  Since Battlelords is nice and turn-based, we were able to do some more work.  Sam worked on reworking some of the equations for the game while I remade the templates for the character sheets.  We are going to restart the current campaign.  A little reminder from a previous post, this campaign (which is paper and pencil) will serve to test the equations and such while simultaneously creating a back story for what will become our starter town when the game hits the web.  We had talked about it and decided that we wanted to tweak some things.  With that it made sense to go ahead and restart the campaign to implement these changes, especially since we hadn't actually gone that far into it.  

Some of the changes we made were adding in origin modifiers (whether the character came from mountains, woodlands, etc.) as well as size modifiers.  When we decided to add races into the game instead of making everyone be human we also hadn't yet added race modifiers to our characters.  So we are adding that in as well.  Sam did a great job of coming up with the list for those, so now it's down to us implementing those into the characters we have for this campaign to see how it all works out.  That means re-doing the stats and skills we put together for them earlier.  It'll be a little work, but no big deal really; especially since it should end up working more into the favor of the players.  Besides that Sam also developed some formulas using the stats we are using to help spice up the game choices a bit.  That gives extra meaning to the stats besides the conspicuous points that players will see.  

Working on the game made me think a bit about how we're really looking at things all around.  For one thing, we've come a long way from our first few ideas for a game.  I think neither of us would deny that we're gamers, though perhaps of a slightly different variety than is often publicized.  We met through a friend (on a game) and since the beginning have been able to spend hours talking about how we would alter or tweak this game or that game, or what we would do if we were making our own game.  With the structure of role-playing games it makes it easy to "create" a personalized game.  We have the parts of the DNA that we need to create a full creature.  Being able to code it and put it online where it will be more accessible and likely to reach a large audience also makes it work.  There are big steps between talking about other games and actually creating our own though.

It makes me think about how my own point of view has changed throughout the process.  I think it's exceedingly easy to come up with disjointed ideas about how something could be improved.  The games that we played made it even easier because generally they were based on templates (at least the PBBG ones, that's, Persistent Browser Based Games).  The first time I saw the templates really messed around with was with Torn City.  After that it became more personalized with Kingdom of Riches.  Sam on the other hand had a history of pencil and paper role playing.  Besides that she also played web-based games that were more along those lines as well.  Her major involvement was with a client-based role playing game called Materia Magica which is basically an electronic D&D as well as Cantr, which is a text-based character development RPG.  In a lot of ways those games are major inspirations for out own endeavor.  In addition, talking about how these games could improve (except maybe Cantr, it's already pretty spot on) helped us formulate ideas that we would later decide to use in our own game.

The major place where my point of view changed is when we actually got to some of the application of all of these ideas.  We weren't just talking about what would be cool in a game anymore.  Sam was making usable mathematical stat-based formulas.  I was making spreadsheets for how weapons would figure in and starting on making dialogue for the NPCs (Non-Playable Characters).  The way I'm using the word "was" makes it sound like we're so far beyond those steps, and we're not, but things are actually happening.  The game is working right now in the form of pencil and paper.  We're tweaking as we go along and we have a lot more content to add, but the bare bones are taking shape right in front of our eyes.  The excitement has shifted.  Seeing things come together and be utilized has a wholly different high than just talking about ideas (not to take anything away from that).  I'm really excited about all this, and I'm really lucky that Sam has a persistent enough personality to keep us on track.

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