Tag Archives: Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Ars Ludi (The Art of the Game)

Things have been good lately.

For four weeks now, I haven’t had to meet any deadlines, manage any fundraisers, plan for any holidays, or orchestrate the mailing of thousands of t-shirts.

I have to say, not doing these things has been lovely.

You see, I’m a slacker at heart. A dabbler. A dallier. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. You also don’t spend 14 years working on your unpublished fantasy novel if you’re a highly motivated go-getter. You don’t spend 9 years getting your undergrad degree if you’re the sort of person who thrives on a 14 hour workday.

Now don’t get me wrong. I can do the 14 hour workday if I really need to. The last half of 2010 proved that I can do it for months in a row.

But still, it’s not my happy place. I don’t thrive in that environment.

So I’ve spent this last month recharging my mental and emotional batteries. I’ve been catching up on my sleep. Catching up on my e-mail. And hanging out with Sarah and Oot, who didn’t see very much of me in November and December. Or much of October, either.

Also, I’ve been playing some computer games.

That’s one of the first things I cut out of my schedule when time started getting tight back in August. And it sucked. Computer games have been part of my life since…. well… kinda since forever. I played computer games before the internet. Before graphics. I played computer games before a lot of you were even born.

This has given me an interesting perspective on computer games. I played Zork and Bureaucracy and Leather Goddesses of Phobos: text adventure games that have never been equaled in terms of their ability to fuck with and frustrate their players. I played King’s Quest. I played Doom. I MUDed. I played the original Fallouts, both one and two….

So. Nutshell. Me big PC gamer.  Much playing. Much knowing of the games. Follow?

Here’s the problem. The last few times I’ve managed to sit down to treat myself to a game, I’ve found myself increasingly disappointed.

Games have come a long way since I first typed, “Take lamp” back in the early 80’s. These days games have cool things like, say, sound. I like sound. Increasingly, they have fury, too. And that’s not a bad thing either. The problem is when they’re full of sound AND fury. That’s where things seem to start going wrong.

Given the advances in technology, it seems like I should enjoy games more these days. They have all sorts of massive multiplayerness and vast polygonious landscapes to explore. This should be cool, but instead I find myself increasingly dissatisfied with my computer gaming experiences.

I could say more on the subject, but I worry it would grow tiresome. So instead, I’ve decided tell a little story with the help of my good friend and sometime illustrator Nathan Taylor.

The comics are kinda large, so you’re going to click on them so they can embiggen into their full glory.

Oh, and please don’t just take these comics and post them on your own blog. If you want to share them with someone, just link back here.

Why? Because otherwise you’re killing the internet.

Here you go….

Page One:

Page Two:

Page Three

Take that, Tycho. I warned you that writing elaborately interwoven narrative thingers was my bailiwick. Despite this, you continued to interweave them. Moreover, you employed cunning phraseology. Secondarily, you made alluring word usements. Sixth and lastly, you finished your story in a timely fashion. Thirdly, you used the word ‘ineluctable.’ And, to conclude, you are an irritatingly good writer.

This has left me no choice but to do a comic about computer games. I’m sorry that it has come to this, but you really left me no choice.

Later all,


Posted in gaming, holding forth, video games | By Pat151 Responses
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