Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How The University Sees DTC

Question: In regards to these two articles, how do you think the university views multimedia authoring?

Response: Unfortunately I cannot comment on the two articles just yet as I am still waiting for my books to arrive. Rather than continuing to feed the overpriced college book store's voracious hunger for my money, I am instead choosing to buy my books online where they are more reasonably priced.

That said, Jim Haendiges' opening lecture on Tuesday 8/25/2009 suggested that the university humors DTC and that many professors come from such a traditional background that they aren't sure how to grade assignments done in electronic media. I have to say that this is in all likelihood true, but it does not reflect my experience with it.

In my limited experience with the university, the person who represents the greatest "authority" is Bob Eddy, who, I suspect, is someone who would be horrified at the prospect of being constructed as a representative who speaks for the university as a whole. That said, he is my advisor, one of my former professors, and a person who I greatly trust and admire. The reason I bring him into the discussion is because ever since I first met him, he has suggested that I take DTC classes. Last semester Bob advised me to get into Paul Mulhauser's English 355 class and was unable to because it had already been filled. I had actually already elected to do my minor on CES as a prelude to grad school. Unfortunately my wife, who had worked for the university for two years, was let go because of the budget crunch, and as a result I decided not to pursue grad school and instead go for something more immediately useful. When I spoke with Bob about this, he recommended doing a minor in DTC.

The point that I'm arriving at is that in every way that it counts, I have been encouraged to pursue DTC. It therefore came as a surprise that the university doesn't offer strong support DTC.

And Now for Something Completely Different... Again

Yes, for those three and a quarter people who actually follow my blog, I must report that it is being co-opted once again by coursework.

(Image courtesy of

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook Sells Out

If you're a gamer, but now you've heard the news, so I'll skip all the exposition.

This is a win for gaming, and this is significant. For the past decade I've been concerned that the "only game in town" existed under an extremely large and uncaring corporate entity (even if I for a time worked for said entity). After rounds of nonsensical layoffs and corporate decisions that were misguided and just plain mean spirited, I was losing hope that this industry was ever going to re-balance itself and find some of what it enjoyed under TSR at its height. It was my desire to see the game shift to a company that was run by people who actually played RPGs and worried about the state of the game rather than treating it like it was just another one of many expendable brands. That is not to imply that RPGs are not a business and that the people who work in it do so out of pure altruism, but there is spot where good business decisions meet with good products, as well as the proper respect for the game, the people who originally brought it to life, and those who have worked on it ever since.

Last year everything changed when Paizo committed to a course of action that some decried as misguided, foolish, and destined to fail. "Who still wants to play third edition?" They asked. Paizo asked for the community involvement to tell them what we were looking for in our game, and for a year, we told them. Today we are beginning to see the results of this gambit and they are good. We at last have a strong, viable RPG company that is committed to including the players and the fans. After watching them and their products, and after working with them on several Pathfinder AP pieces now, I can say that Paizo is exactly the company I've been hoping would come along and provide some much needed leadership.

Congrats Paizo! You've come a long way from the jettisoned "Periodicals Department" and I look forward to seeing what's next.