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Friday, 12 July 2019

"Yes, I include roleplaying games in art!"


These days, if you want to get your work out there, you have to plunge into the world of social media. Recently I remarked how polluting and disappointing that experience often feels, and somebody said, "Hell is other people." But that's not it. I like people -- that is, in real life I like them. Some of my friends (OK, not many, but a few) support Trump and deny climate change, and I even like them, because in real life they're also warm, funny, provocative, caring, interesting, infuriating. All the things people are supposed to be.

But humans in other situations don't always come across so well. Driving on the motorway, for example. And you might say the arseholes who tailgate and make V-signs are just the vile minority, and I'm sure that's true of many of them. But I'm just as sure that many dangerously zig-zagging road ragers get out of the car at the end of the journey and promptly turn into perfectly nice people.

I used to commute out to Woking. At Waterloo, at the end of a long week, passengers would be scowling, snarling, barging past others in their haste to get on. Manners were in short supply. But those same people, getting off the train half an hour later, would be smiling, holding doors for each other, saying sorry if they bumped into you. Circumstances change us.

Somebody with a beer or a book in his or her hand can be pleasant company. Give them a pitchfork and a burning torch and you've got the makings of an angry mob. Social media too often works as the latter. So I liked this video by James "Grim Jim" Desborough because he absolutely nails what I think about all the intolerance, cult-justice and groupthink that sloshes around the internet. Or maybe it's just because I've always had a soft spot for a blistering full-on rant.

And for another take on games (computer games this time) as an art form, here's Ernest W Adams.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Lasciate ogne speranza


Edizioni Librarsi, who are the publishers of the Italian editions of Blood Sword and Fabled Lands, have revealed Mattia Simone's breathtaking cover for Cuore di Ghiaccio (aka Heart of Ice, as if you didn't know).
At last you see a streak of dark rubble against the dazzling skyline. You fear it might just be a line of hills or even a trick of the light, but as you approach on quickened footsteps it is possible to make out the details of brooding towers, empty palaces and gargantuan snow-bound walls. You have arrived at the lost city of Du-En.
You can find the English edition here or, if you're so hard up that you can't toss a few shekels to a starving writer, why not try Benjamin Fox's online version here? (And if you enjoy it, and can find the time to write an Amazon review, it all helps.)