What I want to focus on, is thinking about how games are designed and how skills outside of game might directly help you with system mastery, vs. games where the road to mastery is only through knowing the game itself.

Chris puts into words something I’ve been ruminating about a little, at least in terms of my own preferences. I think my tendency is a preference for what he terms “Parallel System Mastery” games. At least, I think Isolated Mastery is a bigger hurdle for me.

It’s probably why, despite being a huge Burning Wheel fan, I still suck at a lot of the subsystems; I don’t get to play often, and so can never develop the skills required. Even with D&D 3.5, it took me years to figure out how to “game” combat, and I still paled in comparison to guys I knew who were good at abstract mechanics.

Likewise, it’s probably why I fetishize systems like HERO. IME, I felt like I could always approach the game by just reasoning “realistic” solutions, and the game supported me, for the most part. Likewise, games that are very genre-reliant, like MHR. or even Fate.

Parallel vs. Isolated System Mastery

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

This has been making the rounds today, with good reason.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014?o=0

The Great Gloranthan Read of 2017 has completely and utterly failed. It was going okay, then Gameday prep happened, and then I was just losing focus, and now I’m doing a superhero thing with a friend that has me reading old Champions books, which in turn has me eyeing my third edition Mutants & Masterminds PDFs, and then today I was trying to figure out how much it would cost to get a good copy of DC Heroes.

No wonder I have photos of giant piles of unread RPGs to post every few months. I have met the enemy, and they is me.

This is staggering. It’s aggregate data from voter rolls, various conservative think-tanks, and scrapes of Reddit that covers 61% of the American population.

Political data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was exposed this month after a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon server.

More than a terabyte was stored on the cloud server without the protection of a password and could be accessed by anyone who found the URL.

Deep Root’s data sheds light onto the increasingly sophisticated data operation that has fed recent Republican campaigns and lays bare the intricate network of political organizations, PACs, and analysis firms that trade in bulk voter data. In an email to Gizmodo, Deep Root said that its voter models are used to enhance the understanding of TV viewership for political ad buyers. “The data accessed was not built for or used by any specific client,” Lundry said. “It is our proprietary analysis to help inform local television ad buying.”

http://gizmodo.com/gop-data-firm-accidentally-leaks-personal-details-of-ne-1796211612

Supergirl season 2

It’s good! Definitely an improvement over season one, despite still having some weak spots.

SPOILER SPACE
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Winn feels natural as a DEO squint; it feels like he should have been there the whole time. Alex’s coming out and resultant relationship with Maggie adds much-needed depth to her character, likewise the relationship between J’onn and M’gann. I was concerned that Mon-El was going to be another sexy lamp, but Chris Wood plays him with charm and good comic timing, and he has great chemistry with Melissa Benoist. Lena and Lilian Luthor are great additions to the show, too — I love Lena’s I-hope-this-doesn’t-break-bad friendship with Kara, and Lilian, though a little moustache-twirly at times, is so much more enjoyable than Maxwell Lord ever was. (What a relief it is to know he’ll never be a romantic interest of Alex’s ever again.) And, ho-lee shit, Rhea! I was a little worried that bringing Teri Hatcher on the show was just fan-service, but hot damn does she bring the goods. The whole Daxam invasion storyline was a hoot and made for a powerful season finale. Finally, some hard choices for Supergirl!

Oh, and Snapper Carr! Great actor, great character.

Oh, duh, and Superman! I love that he’s a supporting character, almost a sidekick for Kara. Such a better use for him than as too-good-to-appear-here demigod like he was in season one.

But…

I still don’t know why Ace Sexy Lamp Jimmy (sorry, James) Olsen is on this show. He went from boring love interest to boring superhero (seriously, Guardian?). His scenes patrolling with Winn were effectively dead air for me. I was hoping that when they killed James’ relationship with Kara at the start of the show, he could head back to Metropolis, but instead they promoted him and sent Cat Grant on vacation. And then did nothing with his new role as head of Cat’s media empire! “I just want to make a difference.” Dude, you control multiple radio, TV, web, and print outlets! You could throw a national election if you wanted to!

The obsessive nerd in me also twitches a bit at various details presented in the show. Obviously, the series is focused more on the relationship drama and Kara’s journey through adulthood, but the super stuff gets a little too sloppy for me sometimes. I get over it, though.

Overall, I think the show still suffers from the same “problem” as it did last season, which is that everything brightens by a thousand lumens whenever Benoist is on-screen. So when she’s not around the show can be a bit of a slog for me. Which means that when the non-Kara bits are strong (J’onn, Alex, Lena, Supes), I’m content, but when they’re not (James, the lesser villains, the Jeremiah storyline TBH), I’m impatient.

I’m looking forward to next season, as well as finally catching up on The Flash so I can see all of the crossover episodes. Honestly, I would pay good money for a combined “Supergirl/Flash Power Hour” series. Benoist and Gustin are magic when they share the same screen.

Supergirl season 2 It’s good! Definitely an improvement over season one, despite still having some weak spots. SPOILER SPACE . . . . . . Winn feels natural as a DEO squint; it feels like he should have been there the whole time. Alex’s coming out and resultant relationship with Maggie adds much-needed depth to her character, likewise the relationship between J’onn and M’gann. I was concerned that Mon-El was going to be another sexy lamp, but Chris Wood plays him with charm and good comic timing, and he has great chemistry with Melissa Benoist. Lena and Lilian Luthor are great additions to the show, too — I love Lena’s I-hope-this-doesn’t-break-bad friendship with Kara, and Lilian, though a little moustache-twirly at times, is so much more enjoyable than Maxwell Lord ever was. (What a relief it is to know he’ll never be a romantic interest of Alex’s ever again.) And, ho-lee shit, Rhea! I was a little worried that bringing Teri Hatcher on the show was just fan-service, but hot damn does she bring the goods. The whole Daxam invasion storyline was a hoot and made for a powerful season finale. Finally, some hard choices for Supergirl! Oh, and Snapper Carr! Great actor, great character. Oh, duh, and Superman! I love that he’s a supporting character, almost a sidekick for Kara. Such a better use for him than as too-good-to-appear-here demigod like he was in season one. But… I still don’t know why Ace Sexy Lamp Jimmy (sorry, James) Olsen is on this show. He went from boring love interest to boring superhero (seriously, Guardian?). His scenes patrolling with Winn were effectively dead air for me. I was hoping that when they killed James’ relationship with Kara at the start of the show, he could head back to Metropolis, but instead they promoted him and sent Cat Grant on vacation. And then did nothing with his new role as head of Cat’s media empire! “I just want to make a difference.” Dude, you control multiple radio, TV, web, and print outlets! You could throw a national election if you wanted to! The obsessive nerd in me also twitches a bit at various details presented in the show. Obviously, the series is focused more on the relationship drama and Kara’s journey through adulthood, but the super stuff gets a little too sloppy for me sometimes. I get over it, though. Overall, I think the show still suffers from the same “problem” as it did last season, which is that everything brightens by a thousand lumens whenever Benoist is on-screen. So when she’s not around the show can be a bit of a slog for me. Which means that when the non-Kara bits are strong (J’onn, Alex, Lena, Supes), I’m content, but when they’re not (James, the lesser villains, the Jeremiah storyline TBH), I’m impatient. I’m looking forward to next season, as well as finally catching up on The Flash so I can see all of the crossover episodes. Honestly, I would pay good money for a combined “Supergirl/Flash Power Hour” series. Benoist and Gustin are magic when they share the same screen.]]>