Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy (Wikipedia)
Leonard Nimoy (Wikipedia)

In terms of cultural impact, few shows have been as successful or a more positive force for change than Star Trek​ and its sequel shows and movies. The writers and creators dreamed of a future without want, where petty bigotries and inconsequential differences no longer plague our species, at least not to the degree that they do now. Commander Spock served as a counterpoint to the brash and cocksure Kirk, and helped highlight both our foibles as emotional beings as well as the strength we can gain from them, in the form of love and compassion. Leonard Nimoy’s stentorian delivery and gentle good humor made what could have been a somewhat dry and even unpleasant character into someone to be loved and admired.

He was, and always shall be, our friend.

Video: How to Make a Nic Cage Film in 6 Minutes or Less

We always knew that Nicolas Cage was a…National Treasure, but thanks to the folks at CinemaSins, we have a concise breakdown on exactly what it is that makes him so great. A disturbing number of the clips from this video are from the film we watched for the pilot of Green Light, Red Light, the 1989 classic Vampire’s Kiss, so we were excited / horrified to see them.

We’re glad the CinemaSins folks were able to watch so much Nic Cage without succumbing, unlike poor Abed…

Book Review – ‘Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It’

Chicks Dig Gaming Cover
Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It © Mad Norwegian Games

It’s not usually in the purview of what we do here to review books, but when the good folks at Mad Norwegian Press sent me a galley copy of their new book, Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It, it seemed like a good opportunity to do just that.   Chicks Dig Gaming, part of the Mad Norwegian Press’ Chicks Dig series (including Chicks Dig Comics and Chicks Dig Time Lords), is an anthology of essays  by women who game and interviews with women who are involved in the gaming industry.  Editors Jennifer Brozek, Robert Smith, and Lars Pearson have assembled a collection of essays and interviews which revolve around the central theme of what it’s like to be a woman working on games and growing up as a gamer,  a hobby and an industry still largely dominated by men.

The greatest strength of Chicks Dig Gaming lies in the personal stories shared in the essays, stories of growing up both a girl and a gamer, a position that made many of these women outsiders in their own passion.  For anyone paying even a shred of attention, some of the stories shouldn’t come at as a great shock: stories of exclusion, ridicule, and harassment are obviously going to be part of any discussion of women in gaming.  What was nice to see, though, was the inclusion of stories of success in the industry, valuable proof that while there’s a long way to go, it is possible for progress to be made.  I especially enjoyed reading the interview with Lisa Stevens, Editor and CEO of Paizo Publishing, makers of the Patfinder RPG, about her time with Wizards of the Coast during the early development of Magic the Gathering.

If Chicks Dig Gaming has a weakness, it’s that the message likely won’t make it to the people who need it the most.  A person who might be likely to read a book called Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It is probably also the type of person who is already aware that we still have a long way to go as a society when it comes to how we treat women.  As the horrendous misogyny and vitriol leveled against women by the “Gamergate” / Men’s Rights Activism assholes has shown, we could stand to have a little more understanding when it comes to women in games.

Rating: Nothing out of Nothing.  I don’t believe in numbers in reviews.  I enjoyed the book, you should read it.

Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love it at Mad Norwegian Press

 

From Mad Norwegian Press:

In Chicks Dig Gaming, editors Jennifer Brozek (Apocalypse Ink Productions), Robert Smith? (Who is the Doctor?) and Lars Pearson(editor-in-chief, the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig series) bring together essays by nearly three dozen female writers to celebrate the gaming medium and its creators, and to examine the characters and series that they love.

Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland…,Indistinguishable from Magic) examines Super Mario Bros. through the lens of Samsara, the Wheel of Birth and Rebirth; Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series) details how gaming taught her math; G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen) revels in World of Warcraft; and Rosemary Jones (Forgotten Realms) celebrates world traveler Nellie Bly and the board game she inspired.

Other contributors include Emily Care Boss (Gaming as Women), Jen J. Dixon (The Walking Eye), Racheline Maltese (The Book of Harry Potter Triffles…), Mary Anne Mohanraj (Bodies in Motion), L.M. Myles (Chicks Unravel Time), Jody Lynn Nye (the MythAdventures series), and E. Lily Yu(“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”). Also featured: exclusive interviews with Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens and Dragonlance author Margaret Weis.

Dark Dungeons Premiering at GenCon

As the leader of a dark coven, it might seem to be against my interests to promote a film that exposes our evil scheming, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  You see, we are already everywhere, and Jack Chick and his cronies are too late.  TOO LATE!  As I sit on my throne of blood, this sort of pitiful attempt to defend children from our machinations is simply amusing, so I pass it on to you, my good victims.  So I ask you:

ARE YOU READY TO RPG?

Let’s get ready to R! P! G!

 

Good night, and good luck,

– Jim, Evil Dungeon Coven Master

P.S.  If you want to see the movie, and will be attending GenCon, it premieres during our premier evil convention for evil RPGs on Thursday at 7pm (event link).  Check out http://darkdungeonsthemovie.com/ for more details.