A short note on the literary offenses of modern writing

As many of you who follow this blog, I came across this yesterday. Naturally, the general objection was about calling out a dead man while profiting from his name and all that.

(click on the tweet to see the image and see what I’m talking about)

Well, sure, but before my mind was even able to process that, what struck me the most was how uncomfortably written the entire thing is (or, at least, the first paragraph.) And I don’t mean typos, grammar errors, and such, but something that is deeper and harder to explain but is quintaessentially modern.

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Level Inflation is a disease even clerics can’t cure.

I recently read a Twitter conversation about high-level cleric characters in D&D and their effects on the game, and I thought about writing something on that. But as usually happens, I can’t tell the difference between things I have already written or just things I have thought about, because as it turns out, I already had a post about this very same thing. But it was in my drafts folder, from July of 2016, unpublished. For reference, this is the tweet that triggered memories of that three-year-old dusty draft:

So here it is, with some minor variations, the post I wanted to write three years ago but never did for some reason:

Continue reading “Level Inflation is a disease even clerics can’t cure.”

‘Dangerous Gamers’ paperback version available.

After a long struggle, the paperback version of my book, “Dangerous Gamers,” is available. Now you can read my ramblings critique of the new over-bloated class of cultural commentators and their latest controversies concerning allegedly violent, sexist, and racist media, including entertainment and (video) games.

Continue reading “‘Dangerous Gamers’ paperback version available.”

Update: final version of my book. Paperback incoming.

The final version (1.2) of my book, Dangerous Gamers, is available. Typos and some odd grammar constructions have been fixed. To ease reading, the formatting of the e-book is now as close as possible to how it is going to look in the paperback version. If everything goes well, that should be available next week. I have already bought one proof copy to see how it looks. There shouldn’t be any problem, but there may be some complications with the stupid cover (curse you, KDP and CreateSpace!) which is why the book isn’t available yet.

I also have added a few extra “mini-chapters.” This is stuff that, for one reason or another, I failed to add to the original version. It’s not essential material, but it’s stuff that helps to get the point across:

-A few paragraphs about the influence of globalization and foreign (i.e., non-American) markets in the content and criticism of mass culture. That’s something that’s actually very important since the business of politicizing culture is, well, a business in the English-speaking world, but it’s also inextricably linked to marketing and consumption, which nowadays is global.  I added this at the end of Chapter 1, starting at “The questions and issues  I talk about in this book cannot be…

-The inevitable suckiness of “political” or “message” fiction, explained by pointing out at their extremely short and shallow range of emotional expression, meaning that the protagonists and characters are humans in name only. Unlike other chapters, where my point is mostly about unnecessary or misplaced content and readings (“this shouldn’t belong in entertainment and games”) here I explicitly mention that the narratives of politicized storytelling are false since they are a gross mutilation of human nature.

I added this part at the end of chapter 12, starting at “The problem with so-called “political” stories is not…” and it may be one of the best parts of the book.

-A few paragraphs about the importance of “nicotine” and “poisoning” metaphors when talking about media effects. Those appear at the beginning of chapter 20 (or Part 2, Chapter 4 in the paperback version)


 

Unless I come across another minor issue (probably a typo or some annoying comma that refuses to stay where it should be,) I won’t make any more updates until (and if) I make a second edition.

Now you can buy the final version of the best book out there about the politicized commentators of games and entertainment and our contemporary moral panics. Why the best? Well, because I say so and, besides, it’s the only one.

 

You are (probably) doing it wrong: Hit points, literature, and D&D.

This will the first post in a series where I will address a gaming topic that has intrigued me for a long time, the suspicion that one of the games many people love (Dungeons & Dragons) has been seriously misinterpreted even by some of its most ardent followers. In other words, that you have been playing or -at the very least- interpreting it wrong. If nothing else, that at least there is another, and better, way to play it. As the title says, it’s a probability, not a necessity.

Some of you reading this may be grognards with a lot of practical experience with this stuff, and because I know some of you are also very interested in the literary side of D&D (and, as you will see, this is as much about books as about games,) your opinion and criticism would be greatly appreciated. You may consider many of this stuff “obvious,” but from what I have seen and read, I suspect it’s not for the majority of people.

Continue reading “You are (probably) doing it wrong: Hit points, literature, and D&D.”

Optional Strength rules for unarmed combat [D&D]

It’s a fundamental element in most RPGs: Strength modifies hit chance and damage. From time to time, a few heretics claim that the main attribute for close combat should be speed, dexterity, or something like that, but the answer to these people is always the same:

“You are as ignorant as you are [probably] ugly. For a trained warrior, speed is strength, and strength is speed. The damage any object may cause is basically speed x mass, so the bigger and stronger you are, the faster you will hit, and the more brutal you will be.”

The idea that, somehow, a nimble fighter would beat a 240lb man probably comes from the same crazy hole that gave us Waif-fu and similar nonsense.

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