Archive for the ‘General’ Category


A Month of Vintage Gaming

   Posted by: Jim   in General

You may have heard of Movember. Well, a group of us do our own little thing we call “How Not To Grow A Beard Month,” where like Movember we grow facial hair for charity (yeah, not the most challenging event), but in our case it’s breast cancer rather than testicular cancer.

So what does this have to do with games? Well, some of us think just growing facial hair for a month isn’t enough effort, so we try to blog every day for the month as well. And my theme this year was vintage games, where I would post a picture representing a vintage game each day, and reveal it the next.

November is over, so it’s too late to contribute financially, but if you want to check out my posts for entertainment’s sake, you can do that here. Hope you find it enjoyable.


Balticon Appearances

   Posted by: Jim   in Computer games, General

For those interested, I will be attending Balticon this weekend, and have more than my usual level of panels:

Saturday, 9:00 PM (New Media Track) Chesapeake, Everything Old Is New Again: Now grandma and baby can both love Battlestar, If Hot Topic weren’t proof enough, all the stuff that’s old is new. Power Rangers, Doctor Who and many anime and science fiction shows aimed at younger audiences still keep their followings as they grow up. We explore favorite franchises and how much better they’ve aged than their fanbase.

Sunday, 12:00 Noon (New Media Track) Derby Room, Lovecraft Mythos Cagefight: Who Would Win in a Fight? Moderator Norm Sherman Cthulhu vs. Dagon? Yog-Sothoth vs. Shub-Niggurath? Would the match be a TKO or won on points?

Sunday 3:00 PM (Gaming Track) Parlor 1041, Creating Aliens and Their Culture, Moderator Kory Kease – One of the most exciting elements of a campaign, game world, science fiction/fantasy series (book TV, etc.) is the adventure of meeting and discovering new cultures that

Sunday 4:00 PM (Readers Track) Belmont Room, The Heinlein PanelModerator David J. Williams – How much math do people really need to know in our Age of Computers? Should we really have to solve a quadratic equation to be eligible to vote? How necessary is it to know calculus nowadays? Is there value in learning math beyond the solving of such problems?

Looks like there’s a little something for everyone there and I’m looking forward to every one of them.

In addition, I’ll be trying to attend all of Mur Lafferty’s events, and John Cmar’s events, and Command Line, and Jared Axelrod, and J.R. Blackwell… and… and…

Somewhere in there I need to sleep, too. Whew.


Buy Playing for Keeps!

   Posted by: Jim   in General

For those who don’t follow both me and my wife, Mur Lafferty, you may not be aware that she is a prolific podcaster and writer as well. And I’m pleased as punch to announce that her first novel, Playing for Keeps, is now available from Swarm Press and launching today on

If you like superheros and in particular works that deflate the somewhat overblown tropes of the genre, then I recommend this book. Keepsie Branson is one of a group of people with apparently useless superpowers — hers is the power to prevent anyone from taking things from her. But when she is given a mysterious object by a supervillain, she and her friends become embroiled in a conflict between both “good” and “evil” — and it’s not clear which side is which. The results will change the destiny of Keepsie and her city forever.

But don’t take my (admittedly biased) word for it — go to Amazon and read some of the other reviews there. And buy a copy today, if you can!


GameOn Videogame Exhibition

   Posted by: Jim   in General

[Found at]

For those of you in the southeast of Australia, there is a major videogame exhibition going on now in Melbourne until Sunday, July 13:

The largest ever exhibition dedicated to the past, present and future of videogames, Game On has toured the world, being presented at major international cities across the globe including Helsinki, Chicago, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and London.

Unfortunately for those of us in other locations, I couldn’t find any information on future appearances, so you Aussies enjoy it while you can. Perhaps someday it will return to London, its original home.



R’lyeh is for lovers!

   Posted by: Jim   in General

R’lyeh is for lovers!

Originally uploaded by jvsquare

When the heat goes up, the photographer gets silly…

[From Purple Pawn] Yet Avalon Hill favorite has been republished. This time it’s Blackbeard, Richard Berg’s pirate game. Players take on a role of a pirate from history, and can also act as British naval vessels hunting (presumably) the other pirates. The new version is redesigned by Richard Berg himself, published by GMT, and features simplified movement and combat, as well as more opportunities when playing as the Royal Navy. Pre-release sample art and rulebook are available on the GMT site.



Risk: Black Ops and Next Show

   Posted by: Jim   in General

One of the downsides (besides there not being stuff for you guys to listen to) to not doing podcasts for a while is that I miss out on reviewing games that this show is actually qualified to do. Seems like Black Ops would be a natural. Oh well. I’ll see about covering the revamp when it finally comes out for the public.

As far as the next show, I’m working on it now. With the recent (as in the past few months) passing of Bobby Fischer it seems appropriate to finally cover chess. I’ll be talking about my personal history, ways to get into it for novices, and ways to make it more interesting for those who either are tired of it or didn’t think much of it in the first place. If you have thoughts along those lines, drop me a line. Hopefully I’ll be recording this weekend, though with my daughter’s play and my friend’s seder, it might be tight.

And don’t worry Gygax fans, I’ll be doing D&D at some point, too. Fischer’s just first in line.

According to a Geeklist on, Z-Man games will be reprinting this classic game in 2008. If you recall, I discussed it back in Episode #28.

As far as other news: Yes, I’m still here, and the book I’m working on is almost through the worst of it. I’m hoping to be done with rewrites by the end of the month, and then it’s just copyediting and layout. Oh yeah, and coding for the CD — but that’s fun! In any case, there’s a good chance there will be an episode in December sometime.

Until then, thank you for all the cards and letters.


Feed restored

   Posted by: Jim   in General

Apologies to those who downloaded those PDFs. I tried to update my copy of PodPress, and for whatever reason, that screwed up the feed. I’ve restored the old version and I’ll take another look at it when I have more time. Until then, let me know if you have any further problems.


Appearance on Geeklabel Radio

   Posted by: Jim   in General

In addition to the podcasting panel, I had the honor and pleasure to participate in Geeklabel Radio #50, recorded at Origins. Along with the usual hosts — The Vicar, The Kingfish, and Billy Flynn — there was also my wife Mur Lafferty (of many podcasts), Victor from Fistful of Comics and Games, and Chris Miller and K.J. of The House of the Harping Monkey.

The Vicar and The Kingfish are great guys, you should really go buy a t-shirt