Monday, February 29, 2016

Narrative Warfare: How to Construct a Threat Narrative (Summarized)

A threat narrative is where the story-telling party spins a bullshit tale of woe and dread that inspires third parties to act against the target of the narrative, which is set up as the bad guy by the real villain. The short video below, by Alison Tieman of the Honey Badgers, demonstrates this by example.

This coincides with the revelation that wretched hive of scum and villainy, The Mary Sue, got Sokaled and many keks were had.

The Mary Sue is a major player in promulgating threat narratives against anything and anyone that opposes the Social Justice cult, so seeing that they really are just a useless and fatuous blob of bullshit should go some ways to punching holes in their hull and send that ship to the bottom.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Recommendation: Tragedy & Hope (The Community & Podcast)

The Deep End episode 006 features an interview with author Joseph Plummer on his recent book "Tragedy and Hope 101: The Illusion of Justice, Freedom and Democracy" which summarizes Carroll Quigley's "The Anglo-American Establishment" and "Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time". You can get Joe's book at:

Tragedy & Hope is the center of a major alternative media circle that includes Gnostic Media, The Corbett Report, Media Monarchy, BoilingFrogsPost, The School Sucks Project, and many others of like mind. What I've embedded below is very much what you can expect from Richard Grove: in-depth discourse, verifable sources, and links to sources in the Description of his videos or podcasts. This means he doesn't do short videos, or mind candy videos; you need to make the time, and you need to focus your attention on what he's doing to get the most out of it. It's for individuals seeking to improve their minds and knowledge, and not for those looking for the next Charlie the Unicorn phenomenon. In short, for adults. If you want to know where I came upon my concept of Narrative Warfare, here's one of them.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

My Life in Fandom: Gundam Thunderbolt

While not brand new in Japan, the release of Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt online, subtitled into English, is a big deal for the rest of the world's Gundam fans. The usual suspects are cock-blocking its spread as best they can (i.e. ineffectually), and this looks to be another good entry in the sort of story the Gundam franchise is famous for. Nothing ground-breaking, but for fans (especially fans of the Universal Century) it should be a good time.

I had an embed here, but it got borked. Go here instead.

Friday, February 26, 2016

My Life as a Gamer: It's About Testing Your Skill

And the response:

Jesus H. Mother-Fucking Christ, this.

Gaming is, at its core, a Problem-Solving Activity. Boardgames, videogames, RPGs, whatever: the point of play is to engage the scenario before you, assess the problem, and then solve the damned thing. The specifics of how you go about doing this is where we get genre differentiation, and gamers don't give a shit about the fluff and dross that makes no difference or has no impact upon solving the damned problem. It's why these fundamentals transfer across genres, with only the development of specific skills and practices being the factor in making that transfer effective.

If you want a fucking story, go read/view/listen one or roll your own. Don't use the wrong tool for the job. If you want an experience, get offline and go encounter that shit first-hand in meatspace. If you want to test your skill, sit your ass down and get ready to put up or shut up; it's as close to a job as it gets without getting paid (or ripped off), and the same habits that work to succeed in work life will serve you well as a gamer.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Paul Joseph Watson on The Music Industry

Paul Joseph Watson is an independent journalist, often paying his bills by reporting for Infowars, but in recent years he's slowly pulling away to establish his own brand (though, for now, still doing so as part of Infowars). He's interviewed the Syrian Girl, reported on Gamergate, and otherwise staked out beats beyond the usual faire that you'll get at Infowars. Based out of the United Kingdom, Watson's demonstrated that he gets what's going on and is willing and able to articulate it to the rest of us. That alone is good enough to recommend him as part of your media curation.

If politics is downstream from culture, then it follows that paying attention to who shapes the culture and why they do so is vital information for the people to have. What follows below is Watson doing just that, with a focus upon the music industry and what they're doing. "Why" isn't addressed here, as the data he's working from doesn't do that, but following this video with some reading about the history of the music industry (as part of the culture industry) will easily fill that gap- and, quite frankly, you likely already know why.

There is a way out from under this mess, and he implies it in the video: establish and support alternatives to the industry. The very same thing that forced an improvement in the quality of television entertainment can do so for music, and this is something you can do here and now in a very simple and easy manner: tell the rest of us whose music you like, link to their sites and videos, and share that with all and sundry- especially if you take the moment or so required to link to some way to pay them.

It's no secret that musicians get far more out of performing live than they do from record sales, so one obvious thing to do is to see those live performances. Buy their merchandise directly from them when you do so, as that reduces the losses to middle-men to a minimum. If you are, or wish to be, a musician then working on your live performance game--the parts other than actually playing music, so your showmanship--is necessary here and so is some basic business sense.

But the video implies the power of the Internet to break the industry open, and that means using platforms like YouTube to live-stream as well as upload videos. The musicians should take a look at the publishing world--because that's what they're doing when selling recordings--and see how the independent authors that are making it work do so, and then apply the lessons accordingly: establish your audience, engage with it, and provide to them the best possible value in trade with them. (Which means "Find the price at which you and your audience both walk away happy.", and that does mean adopting and practicing a Win-Win attitude.)

Guess what this means? It means that you can't get out from under this mess unless you want out and put in the work to get out yourself. It will not happen under any other condition. It is not easier, it is not faster, and it sure ain't more seductive, but the results are superior and that is reason enough to do it the straight and narrow way.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sargon of Akkad Presents: Introduction to the Regressive Left (#RegressiveLeft)

Showing that, once again, Sargon of Akkad is a YouTube channel worthy of your attention and support he comes with a good video about what he terms "The Regressive Left". Check the links in the channel description for further information, and his other channels.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Superversive SF Talks Social Media Shenanigans

I intended to catch Superversive SF's livestream over this past weekend, but it slipped my mind completely. Fortunately, Jeffro posted about it at the Castallia House blog, including an embed of the archived stream, along with his own commentary (which you should read because Jeffro's a smart cat like that). The stream notes are here.

On this live stream we will chat about a few things in the news lately, Twitters news Bad Think Patrol and the upcoming Hugo nominations.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Vlog Recommendation: Navigating Netflix

Media Monarchy is part of the circle of alt-media that includes Tragedy & Hope, The Corbett Report and BoilingFrogsPost, and in collaboration with The Corbett Report you'll find Media Monarchy doing New World Next Week on a regular basis. However, that's not all that Media Monarchy does, and what I'm embedding below is one of the ongoing features on offer with Media Monarchy: Navigating Netflix. The series goes into the use of fiction for propaganda purposes, something many of you will be familiar with in another context, but this context is that of Predictive Programming- a far more insidious version of Narrative Warfare than what we usually talk about.

This month on Navigating Netflix we're joined by Eric Mueller from the Tragedy & Hope community who's here to talk about 'The Hunger Games' film series. From brutal economics to child sacrifice, the films (and books) offer up a dystopic world that's like a behind-the-scenes version of 'The Running Man'. Are they a prescient look into our possible future as a "shattered union" - or just another blast of corporate agitprop?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Author Nick Cole on Geek Gab

Nick Cole, author of CTRL ALT REVOLT!, appeared today on the Geek Gab podcast to talk about his experience with the political bias in the Science Fiction/Fantasy publishing world (amongst other things). Hosted by The Man Former Known As "Daddy Warpig", and the usual folks in both the chat and co-hosting with him. Come for the technical hiccups. Stay for the earnest conversation!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mike Cernovich Wants To Make Free Speech Cool Again

Mike Cernovich is one of the producers for a documentary on the fight for free speech online, a film entitled Silenced: Our War On Free Speech.

Things are different than they used to be. We all know the feeling of dread when posting or talking about something controversial, and this dread has silenced us. It’s not censorship. The government isn’t doing it. We are. To ourselves. Across business, education, politics, and entertainment. Many comedians are even refusing to tour college campuses due to the sensibilities of students, and posting one wrong Tweet can get you fired from a job - or worse.

The link to the documentary above goes to the Kickstarter campaign. If you can spare it, do back it, and thumb the would-be master of your mind in the eye.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Ahoy Presents "CRASH: The Year Video Games Died"

One of my favorite channels on YouTube, Ahoy, just released a new video on the 80s videogame crash. Here it is, as listed. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Based Mom & Milo the Magnificent Do Minneapolis

The Minnesota Republic is pleased to host Milo Yiannopoulos and Christina Hoff Sommers as they interview each other about the awful topic of contemporary Feminism.

This event got streamed live via YouTube. This video is the archive of that livestream. No commentary necessary, as both Milo and Based Mom are quite capable of showing you how awesome they are on their own.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Legion Hype: More Specs Getting Added and Tested

The latest build for the Legion test client added several specializations heretofore missing from the expansion. My favorite folks at Twitch and YouTube have been busy testing and recording their tests. Below I'm embedding some of the notable ones. If you like what you see, click through and subscribe to their YouTube channels.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Narrative Warfare: An Example of Language Controlling Thought

I recommend following Lionel Media on YouTube regardless of your believes or politics. He's a smart cat, and he's sharing what he knows and sees on the regular as a form of public service. Take advantage of this, and enjoy what he has to offer. Mad value here, folks. You're crazy to pass it up.

"Conspiracy theory" is now a method to stop speech much like the left and radical academics and PC students use to shut down speech with claims of "microagressions" and the like. Ian Tuttle's NRO piece claims Trump is an Alex Jones wannabe. Balderdash! Bill Buckley, a paleoconservative and not neoconservative, long ago came out against the invasion and occupation of Iraq, but he's just gone one step further. He said that the Iraq war was not only a lost cause, but that the Republican party may be one too.

You can't communicate effectively if you don't have command of the language necessary to accurately and precisely give and receive the ideas that you want to impart to or from others. This is part-and-parcel of the fact that politics is downstream from culture, which is (of course) why those who dream themselves your masters seek to control it so desperately.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Newsbud Kickstarter and Why You Should Care

I've followed The Corbett Report, BoilingFrogPost, and others in that circle for years now. It's about damn time for them to figure out what others have--that the existing media establishment is beyond saving, and should be abandoned--and strike out to create their own media outlet instead. In this, I applaud this attempt and hope for its success. As Assange, Watson, and the Syrian Girl points out to my fellows in the gaming end of the culture war, what happened to gamers is also happening to others and for much the same reasons towards much the same end. In that spirit, I bring this campaign to your attention for your consideration.

The Kickstarter campaign is officially underway. The goal is to raise $950,000 in pledges by April 14, 2016 and it's an all-or-nothing proposition; either the funding goal is reached and the project goes ahead or the goal is not reached and no money is collected. So if you care about independent, people-powered media, please consider making a contribution. The details are up at and Kickstarter.

But that is not all. I want you to pay attention to how these folks do what they do, and I want you to inquire as how they do it. If they fail, I want you to note what failed and why. If you are at all interested in circumventing the SocJus cult and their puppet-masters, and wishing instead to successfully create your own media, learning from the successes and failures of others is vital to preparing for your own success.

You see how Mike Cernovich built himself up with Danger & Play as well as Crime & Federalism. You see how Vox Day built himself up with Alpha Game, Vox Populi, and Castallia House. You see how Sargon of Akkad, the Honey Badgers, and others build themselves up. All of them created and developed their own media outlets and used them to attract, retain, and build an audience that valued what they produced.

That's what Newsbud is attempting to do, and if you want out from under that's your path also: find a way to attract, retain, and build upon a community that appreciates what value you have to offer and trade upon it for value in return. This is why you should care about Newsbud. Even if you're not interested in the world-news they offer (and you should; that's the level at which real power that runs your lives works), you should take the opportunity to learn how to do this sort of thing for yourself by yourself.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Narrative Warfare: Gatekeeping is for Losers

Neither the Left nor the Right has a monopoly on Authoritarianism or Totalitarianism. Both of these reprehensible expressions of weakness and the resulting fear it generates, and one of the ways it manifests is by the practice of "gatekeeping". This means occupying positions within a social, legal, or cultural institution where one can engineering the body to one's liking by keeping out unwanted elements in favor of desired ones. This, in practice, is how ideas and peoples who otherwise cannot win the argument or peacefully integrate seize and hold the power necessary to prop up their existence- with the aim to hold on long enough for generational turnover to do the converting for them.

This is not reliable. Gatekeepers become obsessed with rooting out and extinguishing alternatives because it directly threatens their control, and no more obvious examples exist as when new technologies come along that threatens the existing gatekeepers. The printing press, the telephone, radio, television, and now the Internet all challenged the existing gatekeepers. The gatekeepers changed. Sometimes they got replaced, sometimes they adapted in time, but the overall issue--that gatekeepers exist--remained.

So, why is the Internet--so far--different? Because it is not just one form of tool, but an entire infrastructure. It's not the press. It's the road. Such a fundamental change in how we can communicate exists due to the Internet that even now the elder generations don't fully comprehend what it is, nevermind how it works, and so far are using old methods--financial power and state pressure to install like-minded agents or convert vulnerable individuals--but even that won't work for long.

You see, all of these can be and will be replaced with network-based alternatives that are decentralized and route around damage dynamically, and gatekeeping is damage.

Below I embedded Sargon of Akkad's episode of This Week in Stupid as an example of this is action. He's using YouTube, but should that get suborned or destroyed an alternative will arise that replaces it and surpasses it. The Internet Gun Community already has one in Full30, and there are others in the works for other needs and communities.

Other sectors are dealing with this in the predictable manner, which is to freak out. Specifically, it means lying, double-down, and projecting those fears upon those you fear in a desperate attempt to stop time from moving. Author Brian Niemeier explains how the gatekeepers in Science Fiction/Fantasy print publishing are (not) handling this:
Predictably, my recent post about how advances in media technology are driving the Sad Puppies phenomenon--and the hostile reactions of its detractors--drew hostile reactions from SP's detractors.

I argued that new tribes of science fiction fans are forming around movies, video games, and eBooks; leaving the New York publishing establishment ever more obsolete.

That's not to say that the folks in charge of NY publishing are politically neutral. To the contrary, the clear pattern of behavior on display at the Big Five leaves little doubt of their left wing bias. But that's tangential to the real casus belli.

The main reason why the NY establishment's knickers are in a twist is that the medium they control--books printed on paper--is losing cultural prominence.

The gatekeepers' identities are invested in their control over mainstream publishing. Any serious threat to their control causes cognitive dissonance: a physiological; not a rational, response. As independents who threaten the gatekeepers' identity, the Sad and Rabid Puppies are convenient scapegoats for their irrational frustration.

Brian goes on to give a detailed example later on in that post. Read it for a good example of how gatekeepers and their followers react, as it is quite illustrative of what you're likely to encounter.

The gun grabbers are still freaking out over 3D Printing and other new and improved home tools capable of manufacturing high-quality firearms and ammunition casings from billets and sheets, making gatekeeping there irrelevant in due course. (Now to just make it easy to make powder and primers from scratch, returning ammunition to the user as it was in the days of black powder and smoothbores.) Knives, swords, and other melee weapons are already easily done at home as the tools are now affordable and learning the skills easily done. (I have one such homemade weapon as a gift made for me.) Bitcoin may not be the future, it will pave the way to a decentralized banking system (which is the real killer app; a way to kill off Banksterism and Central Banking forever).

The Internet is the way to kill off gatekeeping, as it exposes gatekeepers for the losers that they are. Defend the Net. It's where the next stage in Civilization will come from.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Legion Hype: Legion Alpha Dungeon Race (First Aired Feb 11 2016)

Several top World of Warcraft streamers and personalities from Europe and North America race against the clock—and each other—in two of the new max-level dungeons coming in World of Warcraft: Legion, including the Maw of Souls, which has never before been seen outside of the Blizzard offices! Assistant Game Director Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas joins Community Manager Josh “Lore” Allen to provide commentary and insight.

Friday, February 12, 2016

It's Okay To Keep The Passion to a Hobby

Last night I caught Last Call with Carson Daly, and by coincidence one of the featured people was British actor Rob Kazinsky. His big break comes in June, with the release of the Warcraft feature film, where he plays Orgrim Doomhammer.

After explaining how World of Warcraft got him through a very bad part of his life, he went into an anecdote regarding a teacher of his. It is this anecdote that got me to make this post. Summarized: incoming freshmen would say they wanted to pursue a passion of theirs, but upon graduation they would say they're off to pursue a profession- having surrendered the passion in the process.

Now, Rob goes on to talk about how acting is a passion he pursued and did until he made it. That's fine, but what he left out--what these stories always leave out--is all the time before you start getting paid for doing it. You still have to support yourself somehow before you get paid, and that's why most folks give them up: they never get paid. (Nevermind paid well enough to do it for a living, we're talking about getting paid at all.)

In short, this is a rational decision for most people. All people are not equal. All talents are not equal. All passions are not equal. Failure is all that awaits most who attempt to make a go of that pursuit, when it would be far more beneficial for both the individual concerned and society as a whole if they instead take up a useful trade or profession- and confined the passion to a hobby.

The world needs tradesmen and professionals far more than it does anything else.

Being a hobbyist is fine, folks. There's no shame in that. We've got a glut of musicians, sculpters, potters, actors, painters, etc. and a lack of machinists, technicians, carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers, etc.; that's one of the reasons why too few passion-pursuers get paid, and a big reason for our present situation.

Besides that, we are now in a place where even hobbyists can make a little extra cash--not enough to significantly improve finances, but enough to relieve some pressure--thanks to the Internet, so those who aren't good enough (and never will be) to make this a living can still find a niche if they want it.

Don't presume that your passion is worthwhile in the marketplace, or that you're good enough to make it so for you. If you fail, it may well be one or both of these factors at work, and if that is the case then reconsidering another path should be what you do in assessing how to recover and go on. I'll never be a fighter pilot, and I'm okay with that; I can write stories and play games about them instead.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Podcast Recommendation: The Core Report

One of the streamers I follow is a Canadian expatriate who goes by the name of "Lauralania", and she is a massive fangirl for all things Blizzard. Her game of choice is Heroes of the Storm, and I've watched her go from derptastic fangirl to an up-and-coming figure in the nascent Heroes e-sports scene. In addition to her Twitch channel, she is now the Heroes Team Manager for eLevate, and she just got into podcasting. I am please to see her growth, and I wish that you give her a chance to show you her worth.

It's this new venture that got me to make this post. It's called The Core Report, and it's a Heroes podcast. It's new, so the show is still inchoate as it finds its footing, so if you want to get in on the ground floor and help a fledgling gaming podcast find its niche and flourish now is the time. I'm embedding the first two episodes below, and I recommend giving this a shot. Send useful, actionable feedback on how to improve the show, and help your fellow gamers make their own media as part of developing a healthy community.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Minnesota's Elections Are In Need of Reform

A note on how the state of Minnesota does its primary election cycle, by someone who's participated in it:

This shit is complicated unnecessarily because the two major parties want it this way.

In Minnesota, we have a caucus system like Iowa. Unlike Iowa, this is not the end of the system; it is just the start. The actual primary election is in August. I'll get back to that in a moment.

The Minnesota caucus system exists solely to determine who, amongst those of that party in your neighborhood, go on to the Senate District convention. This is a gathering of the party that lives in your part of the state, which is usually about the size of a county. There they do the caucus thing again and determine who goes to the state party convention that Summer. Then, and only them, does the public at-large know who's on the fucking primary ballot.

That's right, there's two caucus-style events and then a convention before the common Minnesotan gets to vote. What a fucking waste of time and resources.

Okay, now the actual elections.

Primaries in Minnesota confuse the hell out of people. The reason? All parties share a date and space on a ballot, and despite the Election Judges telling people (as required by law) that you can't vote cross-party, folks still fucking do it because they think this is the General Election.

It's not.

What's actually going on is that all parties agree to just get this shit done on the same day. You are still forbidden from participating in more than one party's primary election, so the smart thing to do is to choose the party primary whose races are most important to you. The process is designed to minimize outside participation by the public.

The General Election is in November (of course), and that's when the participation is botched by people mostly not properly filling out the damn ballots.

This system is old and busted. It's a relic of the days when folks were mostly rural, and communications were entirely by mail. While I wish that the former were still true (just under half of us now), the latter is entirely different and that change alone justifies reform in favor of the superior communications technologies we possess now.

At least Minnesota allows absentee ballots. By the way, vote absentee if you can. No time pressures. No need to take off work, find your polling place, or any of the other election day hassles. Absentee voting is the single best way to vote, and most folks have no idea how to do it. Until we can get serious reforms that take the gatekeeping and byzantine bullshit out of the system, this shift in individual behavior will be the best option for the most people to make elections work for them again.

Minnesotans: GO HERE. Get a fucking absentee ballot. Kill all of the pressures that voting at the polls put on you by doing this. Vote at home, before Election Day, at your own pace and with access to information to inform you about all the races and questions on the ballot. I--an Election Judge--do this, and so should you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Narrative Warfare: John C. Wright on the RooshV Press Conference

(From this comment at Vox Populi:)

Reporter: So you don't agree that that is a legal definition of rape?

Roosh: I don't think that they are being honest.

Reporter: If they were?

Roosh: If they were, look man I'm not a lawyer.

I am a lawyer. Having sex with a drunk woman is not rape. Blackstone defines rape as "carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and against her will" (p. 210)

In some cases, sex with an unconscious woman is rape, if the surrounding circumstances show it to be with force and against her will.

The reporters are liars. Notice that they are arguing with him, not asking him questions.

Notice that none of them asked the basic questions of who, what, when, where and why to explain what the event was that happened. Not one.

The Jihad is not the enemy. They only have power because the Democrat party aids and abets and sustains them. The Democrat party is not the enemy. They only have power because a majority of the American people are addicted to foolishness. The American people are not the enemy. They are addicted to folly only because a pusher has addicted them.

That pusher is the media. They are the enemy.

They are the enforcers. They wage Narrative Warfare on behalf of their fellow-travelers who own the media and use it as the Weapon of Mass Distraction that it is, fucking people in the head to create illusions and reinforce false views of reality that only benefit them. Now that we have the means to cut them out of their gate-keeper positions, more and more of us will do so until we reach critical mass and they fall of their own accord- but not without a fight.

Roosh, whatever else you think of him, has scrupulously stayed within the boundaries of Civilization in his actions. He has NOT violated either the principles underlying the Rule of Law or specific arbitrary rules enforced by hard men with guns. He's successfully figured out the media's game--the enemy's game--and this episode demonstrates that he is already inside their OODA Loop, living rent-free in their heads and freaking them out due to his violation of their precious Narrative.

Good luck taking him out without outright murdering him, and doing that does nothing more than let the mask comes off entirely and shift this to a proper fucking war, something the enemy isn't ready for and knows it.

Monday, February 8, 2016

How to Play a Tabletop Role-Playing Game: The Foundation

A proper tabletop role-playing game (RPG) builds off a very simple foundation. That foundation is a feedback loop, summarized as "What do you do?", and it works like this:
  • The Game Master (GM) briefs the players on the situation.
  • The Game Master fields relevant questions and reminds them of resources at their disposal.
  • The Game Master asks the players what their characters do.
  • The Game Master administers the chosen actions, adjudicates the results, and announces results to the players.
  • The Game Master updates the situation, and the loop repeats.
As this loop implies, it scales up from the individual scale of moment-to-moment interactions to long-time and impersonal/institutional ones. With the original campaigns--Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Tekumel--this feedback loop drove everything, and got applied to every situation. Mechanics did not need to be developed; the GM enjoyed the trust of the players to properly make spot rulings as required to handle specific situations.

This is one of the strengths of the medium.

The ability to stick to this one feedback loop, in the hands of an average man, allowed gameplay to go from searching ruins for treasure to travel across the stars to dealing with court intrigue--all with the same characters in the same campaign--without needing to switch entire games or rely on external content producers. Content could be produced more or less on the fly, entirely local, and entirely suited to the specific individuals that consumed it.

This is another strength of the medium.

Specific subsystems built upon this feedback loop, notably the combat systems, but those that worked best kept formal systems to only what was required and left the rest to the GM to rule as he saw fit. The GM is the load-bearing pillar for the medium. A man who is knowledgable, well-read, etc. and confident will recognize the value of this feedback loop and rely upon it to play to the medium's strengths. He will reliably produce a compelling and entertaining campaign experience for players at his table as a result.

This loop means that this is not about telling stories. It's about solving problems, as one expects from a medium derived from wargaming, and as such it is a medium that is about testing player skill first and foremost. The use of a secondary persona is meant as a handicap, forcing the player to deal with deficits that otherwise are not present as well as granting resources otherwise unavailable.

This is the final strength of the medium.

A proper tabletop RPG, therefore, is not a spectator-friendly affair. It is deeply personal, irrelevant to those not there participating in the events at hand, and often not fun to watch if you're not already curious about how the medium works to produce satisfying gameplay experiences.

What those experiences are is another post.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Recommendation: The School Sucks Podcast

I do keep an eye out for alternatives to the present corrupt institutions we endure, with an eye towards those that rely and build upon proven principles with solid records of success. One of these is the School Sucks Podcast, part of the Tragedy & Hope network of such alternatives, and while their videos are long they are worth making time for. You will gain useful knowledge and be exposed to useful skills that will make your life--here and now--better all-around. What's embedded below is typical of what they produce.

For the month of February I will be joined by Steve Patterson, a home-educated and self-taught philosopher, to explore five key principles of learning that are translatable to just about any pursuit. Today's show is an orientation; Steve discusses his background and his introduction to the world of ideas.

Steve: "At the highest levels, the principles of learning blend together. Efficiency, technique, mastery of the basics, relaxation, acceptance of failure - they are universal."

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Signs You're In a Worthwhile Scene: Highlight Videos

Below is a video from the community of Heroes of the Storm players, showing funny highlights of gameplay. You'll find similar videos for Hearthstone, and I expect that other games have similar community-sourced highlight reels going around. In each such scene, I find that the community is somewhat healthy and seeking organic growth by demonstrating both how the game can be fun as well as how its interactions sometimes produce absurd situations.

These videos are not only evidence of existing populations large enough to organically create this stuff as an expression of emergent behavior, but also provide the curious an idea of what actual play looks like (and thus what to expect when you play the game). It's the best form of marketing I can imagine, and it's given for free by fans. This is social proof, and no amount of artifice makes up for this expression of engagement by fans.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Missed Opportunities: A New X-Wing Sim for The Force Awakens

I remember X-Wing back in the day. I wanted to be an X-Wing pilot since I saw the original Star Wars back in the late 1970s, and at last I had a home-friendly sim for it. I sucked, and I broke a few flight sticks in frustration, but nonetheless had a hell of a time fulfilling some portion of my fighter jock fantasies. TIE Fighter delivered the Imperial side, and the later entries expanded in what fantasies got covered (with X-Wing Alliance making good on Falcon fans fantasties flying the Falcon).

And then "poof".

You'd think that the revival of the PC as a gaming platform would have gotten LucasArts looking for the opportunity to bring forth a new sim game, either in-house or on contract, especially after LucasArts (as part of LucasFilm) got sold to Disney (and the Mouse House is ruthless about such opportunity seeking). But no, they missed it.

Imagine that, on the release of The Force Awakens, there was a brand-new X-Wing flight simulator game on sale. Imagine that this new game included the brand-new models of X-Wing and TIE Fighter featured in the film, and included not only Alliance vs. Empire PVP but also First Order vs. Resistance and Republic vs. Seperatist PVP as well as a Sequel-era single-player campaign (whose events serve as a side story to that of the film).

That's an opportunity that got missed, and one that LucasArts could recover in time for Episode 8 (but no, not Rogue One). Some polite letters--real letters, not email or social media posts--requesting just this could get the ball rolling on the corporate end. The other avenue is to demonstrate Proof of Concept, and that means making and playing (streaming, ideally), other comparable sim games like Elite: Dangerous.

Until then, well, we'll have to resort to other media for our fixes, which means supporting people who make stuff like this excellent short.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The West Must Love Itself To Save Itself

The Twin Cities had half a foot of snow fall over 24 hours. Digging out is done, but I am tired; it's not that the work itself was arduous, but that it had to be done while keeping warm and dealing with a nasty wind chill. While now back inside where it is warm, dry, and soft (especially soft) I am reminded of a demonstrable truth:

Politics is downstream of Culture.

The SocJus cult gets this. That's why they target cultural institutions first. Convergence is done to spread this infection, transitioning the cultural infection to political power as soon as a critical mass hits and then immediately transformed to legal infrastructure to support the next iteration of the cycle.

While this is not typical of all of their output, this Eluveitie song nails the cultural approach successful resistance to SocJus corruption within Western Civilization and hostile invasion from without must build upon to create the political will that creates the conditions for victory: open, unabashed love of home and one's own people first and foremost.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Group Recommendation: Honey Badger Brigade

If you're paying attention to the infestation of the cancer that is the "Social Justice" death cult in popular culture, then you know about the Honey Badgers and their unlawful expulsion from the Calgary Expo last year. Well, one look at their website makes it clear why the SocJus cult hates them: they don't buy into the cult's bullshit, and--as their namesake implies--they couldn't care less about the cult's degenerate dogma.

They are quite active on YouTube, running livestreams several times a week and then posting them as videos after the fact. Many of them are lengthy, in the realm of multiple hours, and they are prone to being rough at times, but they are an authentic group of individuals who repeatedly demonstrate that they get what reality is about and know that the SocJus cult isn't- and deal with them accordingly.

Below I've embedded Nerdrevolt #49: [UNSOLICITED OPINIONS ABOUT ISRAEL???]. This is typical of the good quality of content you can expect from the Honey Badgers, and from their YouTube channel you can find and subscribe to the channels of the members and regular guests of the Brigade. These are good people, folks, and worthy of your time.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Vlog Recommendation: The Caspian Report

While most of my readers will be dealing with the beginning of the horse race that is the U.S. Presidential Election, there is a much wider world out there and what goes on out there does affect things here (and vice-versa). To that end, it's worthwhile to seek out perspectives across that world and hear what they have to say.

The Caspian Report is one such perspective. The man that runs this place goes by the name of Shivan, and he came to my attention via James Corbett of The Corbett Report. I've put his 2016 prognosis below as a relevant jumping-on point; go through his backlog, especially his History of Islam, for more on what he has to offer. Comparing and contrasting this perspective with that of the Syrian Girl, Red Ice Creations, and others outside the mainstream of Anglo-American Establishment narratives (and their counterparts in other officialdoms) will help in aiding you to make sound decisions in the years to come.

In 2016, we will see the continuation of conflicts and rivalries in the Middle East. More countries will get entangled in the Syrian Civil War, but we will also see a reemerging Turkey. The Saudi-Iranian rivalry will reach new heights and Israel will have to rethink its geopolitical position. Further North in Russia, the low oil prices will force Moscow to push hard for economic reforms. Financial changes will also occur in Europe, where many nations will struggle with their economies, which in turn will inspire the rise of nationalism. However, there are also exceptions such as Switzerland, where are important referendum could trigger a financial revolution.

In 2016, the territorial disputes in the South China Sea will continue to remain the focus of attention in Asia. An important decision by the international tribunal is expected, one that will greatly influence the dispute. China’s economic slowdown will lead to lower metal prices, which will have enormous consequences for commodity producing sectors. Furthermore in India, the country will remain one of the fastest growing economies in the world but the security issues with neighboring Pakistan will continue.

Security will also play a big role in Libya, where the lack of a government will turn the country into a gateway for foreign fighters and arms headed to Central Africa. Aside this, a number of African nations will stand on the brink of civil war. But not everything is bad, in South America, Colombia is well on its way to peacefully settle a 50-year insurgency. And the new government of Argentina will begin addressing its financial problems through negotiations. Further North, the American public will continue the debate on racial violence, but the biggest issue for the United States will be the growing challenges to its status as the world’s sole superpower.