personal history

Recently I had to go through and apportion which of my father's dice would go to a nephew—himself a gamer—and which I would keep. I opted for some of the oldest dice in Dad's old collection, and will be sharing images of many of them here as I get to it.

Dice from Dad

It's 1984.

Dad's in the Navy; receives his orders for where he is to be stationed after our two years in Antigua, and we fly to Orlando, arrange to drive to the Pacific coast in order to catch an international flight to Tokyo International, Japan. Our final destination: Yokota Air Force Base.

In spite of some faulty memories, I'd yet to encounter roleplaying games of any kind, and the most sophisticated game I'd played up to then was probably Risk or Stratego.

Moldvay Dungeon Module X2: Castle Amber

Something tangential to this site's public purpose (but within the bounds of its ultimate purpose) is this artifact from my childhood, from a time when I lived on the east coast and is one of the things that have made me always love Halloween.

This book followed us throught my childhood, in our travels it was always just part of the Halloween decorations, but I always had a great fondness for it, and would often set it aside from the decorations being packed away so it could reside on a bookshelf, handy for perusal. Nobody in the family objected.

Things That Go Bump in the Night-cover
The Hagge's Rough Clutch

Yesterday, I successfully implemented private/direct messages between users of this site. It was a feat, but my next sentence may seem like a non-sequitur, so bear with me a moment. 

I sometimes worry about the trap of nostalgia.


It can keep you from advancing, from trying new things, or, while trying new things, keep you from accepting the way newer, more derived things are. The differences become magnified and made larger at the expense of more meaningful things.

These photos of painted metal-cast toy knights have a story.

12 December 2010:

Recently*, I painted some solid-cast lead toy soldiers and knights for a friend to sell in a craft show. 
 I really miss working with enamels. And how cool is it to help make toys, especially in a December?

That would be Brianne. This moment in 2010 was a rare moment where I was able to paint a little.

Dotted Knight
Dotted Knight

April 10, 1987: a trip from Yokota Air Base, Japan to Osan Air Base, South Korea, headed for Itaewon.

At fifteen years of age I'd lived in three different countries (including the US), and I was now visiting a fifth (including a long drive through Canada), albeit only for four days. The prospect of seeing a bit of South Korea was thrilling.

Lone Wolf: Flight from the Dark

I’ve written before about how limited my experiences with arcades has been, and while that’s a perennial topic with me whenever it comes up, there’s more to tell than what video games I’ve never ever played: the subject of this entry is going to be pinball, and while there are some good associations, there are also some painful ones, too.

This was the year my father passed away, and he was a pinball enthusiast.

Atari bumper from an Atari-made pinball game.

“War” is an easy metaphor often used to describe a given competition, and companies sometimes exploit our tendency to attach ourselves to tribal modes of thinking in order to move product.

In the case of a few media companies in competition with one another, war isn’t a valid metaphor, it’s marketing for invented tribes.

Previously on Game Restart: [it’s a series]


Because of the Wavebird, games which were released for every platform of that generation wound up being purchased just for the GameCube. Wireless was a pretty big deal, especially since the new CRT television didn’t require me to sit so close to the display in order to play. Besides, then you get to use the Wavebird.

Previously on Game Restart: [it’s a series]

The thing about arcades is that arcades are expensive

Adjusted for inflation, a quarter in early 80s money is approximately 63¢ in today’s money at the time of this writing. Most people probably aren’t used to spending money after the initial investment in the console and then the game for their home, but imagine spending that for every three tries, lives, or continues.

Moldvay D&D Basic Rules


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