Friday, May 29, 2009

Spirited Away?

OMG WTF has happened to Friendless? He hasn't written on his blog for a month except for that piece of crap about the harem which wasn't even funny, and just look at how few games he played in April:

Has he lost interest in blogging? In gaming? Has he stopped playing with himself?

I think it is a bit of some of those. I know I haven't felt like playing complex games so much, preferring to carry around games that are easy to teach rather than those that are interesting to play. Sometimes, when you teach five games in an evening, it's just not so relaxing. Critical Mass is now every week, which is kinda good, except I'm teaching games all the time. New people are being trained up as geeks... one day they will teach me games.

Besides that, Scrabblette is working hard in the evenings and I have no regular opponent. The kid is now obsessed with youtube and some sort of really fricking annoying dancing and music and on-line games and so on, so he's no use to me either.We've also started going to the gym so I spend quite a bit of time physically exhausted. However, there is one much more sinister thing going on in my life...


I bought the kid a couple of volumes of manga (Japanese comic books) for Christmas, and read one of them on the bus on the way home from work. It was Death Note volume 1. Holy dooley, it was so good! Over the next few months I bought all of the other Death Note volumes (12 volumes at $15 each), and several other series as well. None of them are anywhere near as good as Death Note, but some have my interest.

Then in about March we discovered there was an anime (Japanese animation) meet-up near us, so we started going along to that. The kid had a great time because he got to hang out with cool people who knew the same pop culture as he did, as opposed to people like me who got bitten once by Harry Potter and aren't having a bar of that Twilight crap. So I asked the guys for anime recommendations and ended up watching X by Clamp and some Studio Ghibli movies (such as Spirited Away).

I recognised what was happening to me from what happened to me when I discovered BGG - I'd found a new topic of interest and I was trying to become an expert in it. That's how I operate. I was reading anime sites, browsing shops, asking for recommendations from everyone I could find. Once I realised that, though, I decided I could do it a bit smarter than I did with board games where I had to buy pretty much everything I wanted to try.

I discovered that the Brisbane City Council library has a reasonable range of anime and manga, so I've been borrowing lots of those. I've discovered I don't much like the boys' manga (such as Naruto) and the girls' manga (such as Peach Girl) is more readable but tediously boring. I do like Hayao Miyazaki's movies, but otherwise the things I enjoy are pretty hard to find. That's why I'm confident that anime won't take over from board gaming.

Nevertheless, doing all this research takes a long time. I almost own all of the Studio Ghibli movies now, which Scrabblette's niece approved of when she visited, but it took me maybe a dozen evenings to watch them. Hayao Miyazaki is the creative genius behind most of them. He combines "nice" stories with stunning art and (preferably) some spiritual elements to produce some very cool works of art. When I get my harem my concubines will love them.

There's a whole new world in manga. Japanese people have very different ideas on sex to Westerners, so there are genres like "yaoi", which titillates teenage girls, and "ecchi" which titillates teenage boys... and these are astonishingly popular. Everyone's heard of "hentai" which involves tentacles, and then there's all the fighting anime which is put on Western TV to get five year old boys hyped up. In Japan, there's manga or anime for every taste, and I really do mean every taste.

Anyway, this thing will sort itself out. Eventually I will be sick of crappy anime and look for something to do, and Runebound will still be there, waiting for me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

By the Time You Read This I Will Probably Have a Harem

I just went over the road to grab my lunch from the cafe, and while I was waiting started reading a teen-girl magazine - it might have been called "Girlfriend" but as the masthead was torn off I can't be sure. Anyway, the first 20 pages or so were various quizzes and self-assessment tests such as "What's your Facebook IQ?", "Does he really love you?", "What's your dominant chakra?" and all that sort of crap. It occurred to me that this is exactly the sort of thing BoardGameGeeks ask all the time - "How many plays have you recorded?", "What's your favourite genre?", "What game should I buy next?". And if there's one person poised to exploit statistics for personal fame, it's me. With a few tweaks I should have some star sign histograms and Ladio Gaga vs Pink comparisons running pretty soon, and then the teenagers will adore me.

I will just talk to Scrabblette about adding a room onto the house to keep the girls in and I can start inviting some fans over. I bet this is how Hugh Hefner started.