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Showing posts from May, 2020

The Pictures...They're Coming to Life: Our History with The Simpsons

Bugsy : Hello, Dear Readers. We have decided that, at this point in the development of Never Say Dice, it was time to reveal our Dark Secret. You see, this is not our first collaborative project. Twenty years ago, in the spring of 2000, we started Disco Stu - to my knowledge, the very first Simpsons Tribute Band. And so, due to having too much going on in the past week in honor of this anniversary, we thought we would talk about our experience with the Greatest and Most Important Series in the History of Television, and something that has shaped our friendship for over a quarter-century: The Simpsons. Andy : Of course. Having watched it for the majority of our lives at the time, and seen re-runs over and over in syndication, it had just become a part of us. You could likely say that about Simpsons and a significant part of our generation. Bugsy : I consider myself very lucky in that I was able to start watching from (close to) the beginning. Probably Season Two? The first "Simpso

Towel Day

Towel Day is upon us once again and… What’s that? You don’t know about Towel Day?!?! Well, pull up a n ice-block desk chair and lend an ear. Towel Day is a time when nerds and geeks of all denominations, Wars and Trek, Who and Dwarf, celebrate the life of the prophet author Douglas Adams. Webster’s dictionary defines a towel as “an absorbent cloth or paper for wiping or drying”. In the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, from the novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy , Douglas Adams defines a towel as follows: “Just about the most massively useful thing any interstellar Hitchhiker can carry. For one thing it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth on the cold moons of Jaglan Beta, sunbathe on it on the marble beaches of Santraginus Five, huddle beneath it for protection from the Arcturan Megagnats as you sleep beneath the stars of Kakrafoon, use it to sail a miniraft down the slpow heavy river Moth, wet it for use in hand to hand combat, wrap it round

Flies and Spiders

"I don't like the idea of giant spiders and flies," my 8 year old worried at me. My response,"who said anything about ‘giant’?," was of little comfort. He didn't believe me. I had just read him the title to the Eighth chapter of The Hobbit as a preview before ending our pre-bedtime reading session. Thorin and Company were about to enter the bleak forest of Mirkwood, and I knew giant spiders were on the way and somehow... so did my son. I don't know if he'd picked it up through pop culture, an educated guess, or if I'd mentioned it at some point and forgotten. The giant spiders were coming though, and I couldn't stop it. Or could I? I've already caused him some fitful sleep with the scenes between Gollum and Bilbo. Would the encounter with the spiders be the same? Would it start some deep-seated fear of spiders that might keep him up at night or harm him for years to come? As a kid around his age, I certainly had an irrational fear of sna

Adventures of the Starkiller

Star Wars has been a part of my gaming experience for a long time. I was born in the middle of the original trilogy releases, and it has certainly had an impact in my life. Whether through lightsaber battles as a kid, my introduction into role-playing, or my large amount of digital games, Star Wars has always been incorporated in my life in some way.  Some of my earliest memories of imaginary play were of Jedi and Stormtroopers. Sure, Pirates, Knights and He-Man may have all been in heavy rotation, but Star Wars was certainly up there. Just picture a young jedi, brown towel slung over his head as a robe, card board tube swung around to self-made sound effects, slashing off the arms of invisible stormtroopers. All kids dismember their imaginary friends right? Or slightly later, with the official Kenner “the Force” lightsaber, hollow green plastic tube and black handle whistling through the air as I charged through the house. It didn’t sound like a real lightsaber, but it was a pri

Star Wars Radio and Shared Action

Let’s start this off by establishing my relationship to Star Wars: I love Star Wars. Love it. I still spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the brilliant storytelling of the Original Trilogy. I should emphasize, however, that I tend to think of anything outside those three films as addenda of sorts. To me, the prequels and recent trilogy occupy a similar space to novels, video games, The Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour , etc. Being addenda isn’t a good or bad thing in itself - in fact, my very first exposure to RPGs was the original West End D6 Star Wars. It taught me a lot about gaming could be, and gave me my first lessons in the methodologies of storytelling.   I also love addenda that stretch the idea of what Star Wars is, especially at the very beginning when the first film’s success took everyone by surprise and imaginations went wild. The early Marvel comics, for instance, are an exercise in playful genre-bending as tropes from  westerns, monster movies, 50s