Why I Game – The Star Wars Comparison

This year is the 40th anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons. So, in celebration of that, and in light of the fact that D&D is releasing a new edition this summer, I’m posting some stories I have of playing Dungeons and Dragons and other roll-playing games.

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This week, I’m taking a break from telling stories about my past to give just a bit more context about what it’s like to play a role-playing game. The easiest shorthand to explain the game, of course, is to compare the game to popular movies or TV shows that others are familiar with. When I’m trying to recruit new players, I’ll often say, “It’s like Legend of Zelda, but one guy is the video game and he explains everything you see and everyone you meet and fight,” or “It’s like Lord of the Rings, but even weirder and more awesome.”

The best analogy to describe actual game play, however, is to say “It’s exactly like Star Wars: A New Hope.”

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The Horrifying Implications of the World of “The Truman Show”

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Last month, Paramount announced a new slate of TV projects, including a television adaptation of “The Truman Show,” the 1998 Jim Carrey film about a man whose entire life is fabricated and broadcast as a television series. With recent shows like “Fargo” or “Teen Wolf” spring-boarding off of the success of old movies, this actually feels like a very logical next step – I’ve actually felt like “Truman Show” would be a fascinating TV series, and a real opportunity to explore the possibilities of the premise.

The original film also came at a time when reality television as we know it was just starting to break into the mainstream, and it was a very timely piece of satire. Now, reality television has developed (fallen?) to the point that Bravo is actually developing a show called “Crowd Control,” where the viewers control someone’s life with social media.

Now, more than ever before, a show based on “The Truman Show” could really work well. But it’s worth noting that there is a LOT about the premise of the film that is truly unnerving. I’m not just talking about the idea that one man’s life could be a sham – that’s surface-level stuff. No, as the title suggests, today we’re going to examine the world portrayed in the film, where normal people are obsessed with the titular “Truman Show,” and consider a few ways that this world is truly horrifying.

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“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – 1×07, “Duel of the Droids”

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We are entering a new golden age for Star Wars fans. While the prequel films were generally considered to be mediocre, the recent TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars filled in the gaps and told new stories with the same beloved characters, and was fairly well-received. Since it’s not a show I’m terribly familiar with, I’m going to watch and review every episode, all the way up through the brand new sixth season, which aired exclusively on Netflix. This week, we’re watching “Duel of the Droids,” a follow-up to last week’s R2-centric episode. In this episode, Anakin continues the search for R2, and the identity of a traitor is revealed!

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Because Comics, Episode 1 – Sex, Mermaids, and Captain America

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The first episode of my new podcast is live! In this episode, I spend a whole bunch of time talking about Captain America comics from the ’70s, specifically that time Cap fought a very thinly veiled allegory for Watergate. If you enjoy the sound of my own voice as much as I do, then please check out the episode on the Partial Arc website.

We’re not up on iTunes yet, but hopefully very soon – and we’ll have more content on the way shortly! Be sure to listen and let us know what you think!

Happy Mother’s Day – A Look At Mothers In Superhero Comics

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This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so I thought it would be a fun opportunity to take a look at some famous mothers (and mother-figures) in comics, and see what we can learn. And mostly, we learn that comics writers are obsessed with father issues, and mothers kind of get the short shrift.

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Why I Game – How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Trust The Rogue

This year is the 40th anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons. So, in celebration of that, and in light of the fact that D&D is releasing a new edition this summer, I’m posting some stories I have of playing Dungeons and Dragons and other roll-playing games.

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In a previous installment, I talked about my allies in my first D&D game. One of them, Kalan Lightfingers the halfling rogue, will be the topic of today’s discussion. Basically, we’re going to talk about the fact that rogues have a reputation of being the least trustworthy members of the team (both in and out of the game), and how that is both totally justified and totally unfair.

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Why Living Under the Rule of Robot Overlords Might Not Be So Bad

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In this modern age, science has advanced to accomplish wonders that we previously could only have imagined. 3-D printers allow us to quickly and cheaply produce anything from toys to spare parts for the space station. Special computers designed to duplicate artificial intelligence are able to read and understand human emotions. Even the advent of Google glass and self-driving cars seems like a step towards the futuristic world of science fiction.

This can only mean that a robot apocalypse is imminent.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Mike, you’re absolutely right, the robots are definitely going to rise up and take over, I have to prepare myself for the end times!” But before you rush to the supermarket and stock up on bottled water and toilet paper, let’s take a minute and examine why a future ruled by robot overlords might not be such a bad thing.

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