Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Game that Will Live in Infamy

I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant
and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Admiral Yamamoto

In my spare/parenting time I’m preparing a Wings of Glory scenario for Pearl Harbor. My son, the Little Guy, now eight years old, has discovered that his ability to read means he can explore different books that interest him, both fiction and non-fiction. Earlier this year he and a friend developed a fascination for books about the Titanic disaster they found in the school library. I shared with him a few Titanic books from my own library. Then he discovered a book about Pearl Harbor. He started asking me questions. I encouraged his curiosity and we both undertook some research, exposing him to some historical events for the first time and allowing me to revisit them. Ultimately it led him to ask me if I had any games about Pearl Harbor we could play, one in which he could play the Japanese. I took it as a challenge, one to enhance his knowledge and fuel his curiosity. And I’ll admit it’s put me in an odd bind I’ve faced before: how do we feel about wargaming events in our nation’s past that evoked – and still evoke – deep feelings.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Evolving Periodical Content

In a world where everyone is a publisher, no one is an editor.
And that is the danger that we face today.”
Scott Pelley

The announcement of Google+’s eventual demise prompted many users to migrate to other social media platforms, a movement I explored in my last Hobby Games Recce post. Some have re-dedicated themselves to blogs – some faithfully maintained, others neglected over time – instead of or in addition to their engagement in social media. Part of my satisfaction with Google+ came from others sharing links to blogs to further inspire my own interest in adventure gaming. I likened my Google+ feed to old-style gaming magazines, like Dragon or Challenge, beloved print publications whose passing I frequently lament. Although I’m still building and exploring contacts through my MeWe presence, I find the platform lacking in providing easily noticed updates to my old favorites and interesting possibilities for new ones to follow (understandable in this period of nascent gamer communities there). So I’m focusing on re-evaluating my current browser bookmark folder for game blogs, combing my old Google+ feeds for interesting blogs to add, and reorganizing it for more efficient access.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

(Re-)Forging Gamer Communities

We fear change.”
Garth, Wayne’s World

The announcement that Google is shutting down Google+ by August 2019 has sent shock waves through the gaming communities that found refuge and flourished there in recent years. Many users are migrating to other platforms – MeWe seems to stand out for me, and I’ve joined – but others seek to retreat to their blogs and no doubt some might withdraw from this kind of social media engagement altogether (goodness knows I’ve considered it). Amid all the social media turmoil I look back and examine how essential platforms like Google+ have been in forming gamer communities that share inspiration, give us voices, and connect us through a common hobby.