Let me set a scene for you.   Regina and I are at Arctic Con (Oregon Coast Comic Con) in March this year.  I’d taught her to play Sushi Go: Party and we had a fairly good round going.  The lead passed back and forth and going into the final hand of the round I was ahead by about five.  I had a card in my opening hand that I knew could rob her of some points, but taking it would not really advance my board state.  I took a card that helped me and passed her the card that would help her. The rest ofRead More →

Greetings, and welcome to the second part of my 2-piece series on exceedingly nerdy travels. For this bit, let’s focus on one particular MTG tournament. No, let’s move beyond that. Let’s talk about THE MTG tournament. One of the greatest community-held events ever: Grand Prix Las Vegas. Wizards of the Coast-to-Coast First off, you’ll remember from my last piece that I’d just come off the back of SCGCon in Roanoke, VA. Seriously, back home for roughly 18 hours before flying out to the desert in June. Enough time to shower, sleep, and (mostly) mentally prepare for the trip out west. Everything is fine, no worries. LandRead More →

Hey, geeks. What’s happening? Today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite pastimes and how that’s changed — and how people’s perception of me has changed even when the pastime itself did not. Let’s talk video games. I’ve been playing video games since I was old enough to hold a controller. I distinctly remember playing on my father’s NES before school in kindergarten. I am not ashamed to admit that Star Trek was the first game I beat in its entirety. I later had different consoles and handheld gaming devices as the technology and I advanced. My wall of console games eventually morphedRead More →

A nerd, a wrestler, a lagomorph, and a heavy machine gunner get together for a game of poker… No, this isn’t the setup to a weird joke. This is the backdrop for one of the wackiest, weirdest, and best game studios active today: Telltale Games. Sam and Max, The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead, Homestar Runner, Bone, Monkey Island, and on and on. These properties and more have been remade and/or presented by Telltale into some of the best ever narrative games. From character writing to storytelling, adaptations to new series, Telltale’s pedigree is noticeable and not to be taken lightly. And many of their games stillRead More →

With the popularity of franchises like The Hunger Games, DayZ, and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, the battle royale genre has gained incredible traction over the last few years. The idea of many against one and the rise to the top is nothing new in storytelling. But what makes this specific end of the spectrum so special? Competition, conflict, uncertainty, paranoia, and survival, much like my typical Thursday night, are the core tenants of this genre. And, like my usual Thursday, it can leave you guessing as to what might happen right up until the end. So let’s jump into the narrative shallow-to-deep end and discuss what exactly makes the battleRead More →

toxic

Yet Again with the Bullying On Thanksgiving weekend this year, cosplayer and MTG personality Christine Sprankle announced her departure from the MTG community.  In a complete surprise to absolutely no one, Ms. Sprankle cited online harassment and bullying as the reasons for her departure.  Ms. Sprankle identified a YouTube personality as the primary cyber bully, however we will neither mention him by name nor link to his social media presence. A little over a year ago, I ranted about leaving the comic book community over the controversy surrounding Chelsea Cain and the cover to Mockingbird #8.  Granted, I have no influence in the comics community,Read More →

I’ve been a tabletop gamer for most of my life.  My parents kept eternal stalwarts like Monopoly and Scrabble in the house for as long as I can remember.  After my first D&D game at 10 years old, gaming became a lifelong hobby.  Games help me and countless others learn valuable lessons that are applicable at the table and in the real world.  This is the beginning of a series of articles on lessons I learned from marathon nights killing dragons and stealing from cyber-orcs.  Today, I write about one of the more important and difficult for me to learn: expected value. Quick EV LessonRead More →

mtg

Yesterday, I got an idea for a new Magic deck: red & black artifact aggro.  It is still a work-in-progress, but you can see it here.  I use the website TappedOut to manage my deck ideas and share them with friends; it’s typically a friendly site with a ton of great ideas.  While I perused to see if anyone had done anything like my idea before, I found this. I know, I know, you should never read the comments section.  Since returning to Magic, the experience has been wonderful.  Most events I attend are friendly, fun, and everyone just wants to play.  No one judgesRead More →

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about rediscovering Magic: The Gathering.  The honeymoon isn’t over yet, but my return to gaming culture opened my eyes to an intriguing phenomenon that occurs when nerds grow up.  I call it the Neverland Effect. Let’s rewind a tiny bit.  When I moved to Portland a little over two years ago, I worked in a college library.  The college dress code is business formal: shirt, tie, the whole nine yards.  I have a tendency to showboat, so I frequently wore a waistcoat as well.  I often went to my local comic store straight from work on Fridays.Read More →

reconnection

Last month, I had an extended trip back to my hometown: the bustling metropolis of Naugatuck, Connecticut.  I helped my parents pack up my childhood home in advance of its sale, and was a groomsman in my sister’s wedding.  I expected it to be an emotionally difficult trip.  Conventional wisdom says that going back home reconnects you with the person you were before you left.  I didn’t realize how true that was. One of my best friends Jeff and I go way back to 1996 where we bonded over a mutual love of the music of His Weirdness, Sir Alfred Matthew Yankovic, and a shared affinity for aRead More →