Games and Gaming

I enjoy a number of games. Computer games, Card games, board games, role-playing games. Hmmm, or is that roll-playing games for the dice fanatic?. I also enjoy some other games such as darts and aerobee, though they could perhaps be considered sports -- at least compared to the more sedentary games.

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Video & Computer Games

iPhone Games

OK, I've found a buncha games that I enjoy playing on the iPhone. You'll need to visit the app store to find them, but here are some I enjoy.

BlackJack -- 21

Blackjack has moved been moved to be with other card games


OK, So I don't play baseball or softball. I used to throw OK way too many years ago, but my shoulder doesn't like it too much any more. Pretty much lost interest after high school. I don't even know where my glove is any more.

Funny enough, a couple of movies got me interested in baseball again later in life. One was a murder mystery with Roy Scheider, Night Game which uses a baseball series as the background to the entire movie. The other movie was a comedy with Tom Berrenger, Major League, a fictional comeback of the Cleveland Indians. Little known trivia -- Major League was mostly shot in Milwaukee, WI in County Stadium -- home of the Milwaukee Brewers!

Of course I paid random attention to the Milwaukee Brewers as our "home" team. I missed County Stadium when it was torn down for Miller Park and started ignoring them afterwards

A few friends at the Tower Inn are Brewers fans, and it's WI, so the games were on a lot. Can't but help follow the Brewers a bit and listen to the conversation about them. One day one of the season ticket holders wasn't going, asked if I wanted to buy his ticket. I went to the game, first time I was at Miller Park. Enjoyed it a lot, but I asked way too many questions. By the end of that year, 2011, I'd gone to more games than the season ticket holder had gone to! Next year, 2012, I shared season tickets and went to a bunch of games, and dragged people along too. Openning day was a hoot!

It turns out that Baseball is a more complex sport than I realized. The great thing about having so many people who know baseball so darn well is that they could explain what was going on to me. Laps, Sarah, Jason, JJ, they all made me appreciate the complexity of the game. It's more than just a sport, there are strategy and tactics and it is quite complex & interesting. I found a book that explains a lot of this ... but that only led to more questions about What does this really mean? to people ... including me texting Laps during a game to ask if that was a certain situation ... and Sarah asking steve if Joe was asking about that exact same thing!


Here are a couple movies about baseball that I've enjoyed:

Ping Pong & Table Tennis

I used to be pretty decent at Ping-Pong. I could often hold really good players to a small win or beat them occasionally.

We used to play in the hour over lunch-time. What a great way to get out of the chair for an aerobic workout and hand-eye coordination for 45 minutes! Way less time than going to the gym ... and we played a couple of times per week.

It's been way too long since I've played serious pong, but I still enjoy it. I've convinced people to play beer pong with real ping pong, just so there is a sport element involved.


I've been interested in Go for a while. It has been an on-and-off interest. Recently a friend expressed her interest in Go. This started me thinging about it again, and inspired me enough to start looking at it again. I actually started playing some go now, instead of just reading books about it. I also found a nice front end for GNUgo on my laptop.

Mori's The Interactive Way to Go is a great introduction to play skills, patterns, and consequences. I wish I had discovered it a long time ago! Tel's Go Notes are good to look at after getting some idea of what is going on at Mori's.



Role Playing Games

I used to spend an inordinate amount of time with RPGs, or Role Playing Games. My time has fallen rather short as of late, but I try to keep my hand in.

Hmmm. That's not true anymore. I've basically stopped playing RPGs since 1996. Part of that is my house, another part is my work has been hell. Another part is that too many people want to play Dungeons & Dragons, which I just don't care for as a system. This is for a couple of reason. First I enjoy systems that are technical and systematic, and where a character can really die. The other reason is that D&D games are typically Monty Haul in nature, and I just don't care for it. There are some D&D games that I have enjoyed, such as Lane's RavenLoft game mentioned below, or Brett's Game with his self-created Multiverse. Brett's game may have had a bit of haul to it, but it was a fascinating environment to game in.

There is a fascination to creating a microcosm and setting it into motion, allowing internal pressures and the whims of characters to start mutating it and allowing the world to grow. Another fascination is studying the systems used to model the real world in the gaming cosm.

At the moment, I'm involved as a Player Character, a PC in three games. Well, that's not quite true. I haven't been gaming since I purchased by house in April of 1996. Things haven't worked out for me between work and life and I shed gaming as too much work. Something had to give, and unfortunately it was that. I am undoubtedly the poorer for it.

I prefer running (GMing) modern to post-apocalyptic games. I enjoy running Aftermath and similar FGU, Fantasy Games Unlimited systems, such as Daredevil's and Other Suns. Currently I'm hoping to put together a near-apocalyptic scenario using the Millenium's End system. I haven't tried running with it yet, but Millenium's End seems to present a good common area between Aftermath, and the highly realistic and deadly, but time consuming, combat of Phoenix Command

As of March, 2001, my following list of RPG links is horribly out of date. A large part of that is because I haven't done any roleplaying since the winter of 1995-1996. It is strange that I should stop roleplaying, for, like many of the other things I do, it makes me happy. Looking back now, I can see how my job was affecting my personal life very much. For some reason my job had become unsatisfying to me and left me unfulfilled. I think this is because of the changes in the scope of the project, the deadline after deadline with no rest to think about things. And, ultimately, the lack of pride in what I did at work. So, when I came home I wanted so much to do something, to achieve something to satisfy myself. But the problem is that role-playing is not deterministic, and that is part of the joy of the game. However, when you want to get something out of it, instead of enjoying it, then it becomes something that doesn't provide you with inner joy. Instead it becomes as frustrating and unsatisfying as work. I would just get very angry during gaming when things didn't go my way ... and that never happened before to me. I think I stopped gaming because of that, and because I felt that my actions were unfair to the other players in the game. Also, because of what was happening to me, I couldn't maintain a persona, a character, in the game. You have to be able to roll with the punches and not take things personally. And yet I couldn't stop doing that. So I stopped playing. And, inside me, part of my dream died.

I still think about role-playing, and I even buy the occasional game or supplement and go through it. It still feels like I just stopped gaming a short time ago, but I've come to realize that it has been 5 years. That says a lot about what kind of horrible existence that I led in that period of time, and that I am starting to recover from, if only a little bit.


Traveller is a wonderfully simple yet incredible role playing game. It is old, perhaps older than Dungeons & Dragons. Who really knows where the credit for the first popular RPG lies? Although I don't play Traveller much, I admire it greatly. The simplicity and cleanness of the rules, the wonderful background, and the diversity is just wonderful. I often use Traveller things as a meta-system to design other gaming environments.

The mechanics of Traveller are simple. 2d6, some small tables, and away you go. Yet you can add on rules for various activities with ease. It includes such diverse things as world, system, starship, character, trade, encounters, patrons, and creature generation. Sometimes it can be a bit tedious to keep track of all the rule add-ons and such that came in all the LBBs (Little Black Books), but then again, you can probably ignore them unless you want extreme detail. You can do that with Traveller too. It's based upon science and you can go as deep into the science as you want. It is all open-ended.

In some ways the simplicity of the rules made it the first StoryTelling type game. The rules are in no way tied to the setting the provided with the game; you can use the rules as a set of meta rules to go off and create your own game. Many have. However, the setting provided as the default is just wonderful The background the game is set in, the Imperium is wonderful, rich, and absolutely huge.

Board Games


Robo Rally


Links that were pulled from the new things page that are gaming related, but didn't have anyhwere to live yet.

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Last Modified: Mon Jan 6 12:20:46 CST 2014
Bolo (Josef Burger) <>