Skip to main content

Foundations: Andy's Mission

Welcome to the blog reader. I hope that you are finding the posts entertaining if not informative. I’m Andy, half of the team known as Disco Stu Never Say Dice. In no particular order I’m: a dad, tabletop gamer, console gamer, amateur musician, community theater tech, aspiring tabletop game designer, and all around nerd. Much like Bugsy, I thought I’d write a bit on why I wanted to start this blog and where I want to go with it.
I had a less creative and less interesting answer than Bugsy if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I was a kid, I would have told you an Architect. I was likely told I should say this because of my enjoyment of legos. Certainly sketching out plans for a structure, or anything else really, isn’t one of my strong suits. However, I have always enjoyed building things, I still enjoy building with legos now and again, and I’ve passed the love of building down to my kids. It can be little colorful bricks, or something else entirely, but building has been a part of my life for a long time.

The concept of building spans into a number of my other passions and hobbies. Music and theater have often been hobbies or sources of income over the course of my life. Flute, Chorus, Ocarina, Bass Guitar, Piano, Back-Stage Tomfoolery. That isn’t to say that I’m even to the level of armature at any of these things, but they all were/are part of my life at some point. Theater and music are such very collaborative processes. You can build so much out of the collection of a few notes or lyrics.  You could end up creating something simple you hum along to during your day, or a complicated show that brings out all sorts of emotions. You create, adjust, experiment and most importantly build.

Gaming is another part of my life where I see building come into play. I’ve been an avid fan of tabletop games for almost as long as I can remember. I’ve always enjoyed a variety of different card and board games. I’m still playing these games with my kids.  At some point in my early teens, that focus shifted more towards RPGs. RPGs are a hugely collaborative form of entertainment that can include building on so many levels. Building characters, adventures, towns, small words, all with a small group of friends? Sign me up. When it comes to video games, I see a bit of the opposite. While there are certainly games where you can build that I've enjoyed, these games most often provide a solid framework of rules and limits. I often like to test these limits, forcing the game to glitch and send my character to places that should be unreachable.

My fascination with building and breaking things down has also bled into my media consumption. Watching a movie or a TV show, reading a book, and looking for patterns in plots and character development. When I was a kid, a favorite pastime with my dad was taking movies and TV shows and predicting what comes next. What would the heroes do to save the day? What were the villains really up to? What would be the plot twist this time? What comes next?

I hope that gives you a better background on what brought me to this. Building things brought me here. It could be building stories, characters, music, games or anything really. You’ll see posts from me on stories, games and their paraphernalia, movies, podcasts, books. The blog is just a different foundation for me to build upon. I’m lucky enough to do that with one of my oldest and closest friends. What comes next? I hope you’ll join us and find out.

Popular posts from this blog

The Matt Mercer Effect

Roleplaying games have been around for quite a long time even before the first edition of  Dungeons & Dragons was published in 1974. You can go back into the history of Commedia dell’arte (improvisational theatre) in 16th century Europe and see this form of storytelling (and, if you want to read about similar, but more recent, traditions, take a look at our posts on the Maryland Renaissance Festival .) Even before that, there were ancient historical re-enactments and storytelling in many different cultures. Modern tabletop roleplaying games are quite different, even from their 1974 form, but commonality is shared across all these. After all, we’re still just playing playground games with the assistance of rules and dice. In recent years, there's been a boom in roleplaying games due to a number of factors: The internet making it easier to find new players and even run play sessions online. General dissatisfaction with our own realities, shared or personal. One force driving th

Star Trek v. Star Trek: The Starship Enterprise's Fifty-Year Confusion

The question "what was your first Star Trek" carries a very different weight today than it did thirty-five years ago. All the classic (i.e., pre- Discovery ) series are instantly available across multiple streaming services, and the films aren't much harder to find - they were some of the first shows to be made available via streaming, in fact. And even before then, there were both broadcast and cable reruns, along with physical copies for sale and rental. For today's viewers, the question usually means "which show or movie is the one that 'clicked' for you, that made you want more?" And, from there, we can deduce what they like about the franchise - stylistically, thematically, and tonally, since Star Trek can be a lot of things for a a lot of people. But it wasn't always this way. For a while, Star Trek was only available sporadically. Even while the movies were doing well at the box office, prospective viewers were at the mercy of whoever mad

The Mission Will Be Very Safe and Fun for Everyone: Some Thoughtcrimes on Running Paranoia

  I'm sorry citizen, but the question "why hasn't there been a Paranoia post in over fifteen months" cannot be processed. Records indicate that the previous post, " [Backstory Redacted] - Getting Ready to Run Paranoia " was activated in the Year 214 of the Computer, and, as this is currently Year 214 of the Computer, your internal chronometer must be malfunctioning. Rumors that is has always been Year 214 of the Computer are treason. Please report to Internal Security for cerebral re-adjustment. Have a nice daycycle. So, why hasn't there been a post about Paranoia in fifteen months, anyway? The previous two have been quite popular , and, as I'm fond of saying, I've put more thought into this game than nearly anything else in my life, formal education included. As time went on, I found myself procrastinating on the follow-up. I didn't have enough time to work out everything I'd want to cover, I'd tell myself, or that some other top

Fun With Murder: The Narrative Ethics of Assassination Games

It's funny. As someone who views "detective" as an integral part of their personality , I sure have a lot of crime games. Well, crime media in general, especially movies, but games have certain... implications. You're the one committing the crimes , not watching other characters do them or following a protagonist as they piece together criminal events through evidence and investigation. You're right there, doing all the bad stuff yourself. Recently, in the ongoing quest to tackle my massive game backlog, I've been playing the first Tenchu game, released in 1998. I bought it because the creators would later go on to make my beloved Way of the Samurai series, but if one looked at my shelves, they could easily assume I chose it thematically, as Tenchu 's neighbors include numerous Hitman , Assassin's Creed , and Dishonored games - a subgenre we'll call "assassination games." I've seen it remarked that there's an irony that, while