Gaming made me
- RPS writer Patricia Hernandez on how Fallout 2 shaped her world view, her politics and her sexuality.
is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry
back in 2002 (previously
). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government
, the game starts
by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions
like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom
, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types
like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum
, practice wargaming in International Incidents
, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities
), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly
(so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.
). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki
, which provides a detailed legislative record
, gameplay guide
, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations
, 8,000 player regions
, and countless characters
that currently make up the game world.
Following the success of The Haunter of The Dark
, the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcasts presents two new readings, From Beyond
and The Picture in The House
, by Andrew Leman and Bruce Green. Both recordings are available "In 3D". Alternatively if you like your Lovecraft with both pictures AND sound, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society version of The Whisperer in Darkness
is complete and being shown at worldwide film festivals - it's a talkie! (The HPLHS are now also offering a rather handsome "official membership"
pack.) Want something more interactive? Cthulhu Dark
offers a complete Lovecraftian tabletop RPG system that fits on two sides of a sheet of paper. Please note: "If you fight any creature you meet, you will die. Thus, in these core rules, there are no combat rules or health levels. Instead, roll to hide or escape."
Lovecraft 101: Get To Know The Master of Scifi-Horror
. For more detailed insights into each of Lovecraft's tales
in publication order you might want to follow the H.P.Lovecraft Literary Podcast
. For another story-by-story guide to Lovecraft you might want to check out Kenneth Hite's Tour De Lovecraft
(also available in expanded form as a book
). China Mieville on Lovecraft and racism
and a lecture at Treadwells
by Archaeologist James Holloway which delves deep into Lovecraft and identity
. The making of the Call of Cthulhu RPG
. The making of Cthulhu
(Hipsters! Ego! Madness!). Happy Halloween with H.P. Lovecraft!
The New York Times profiles Jack Vance
(but fails to mention Vancian Magic
. (Curse you Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition!)
Editor Marty Halpern looks back at the career of George Alec Effinger (part 1
, part 2
, part 3
), a prolific author best known for his work set in the Budayeen
, a walled city in a future Islamic state, teeming with gangsters, hustlers and transsexual prostitutes, many of them habitual users of plug in personality modules. The noirish tone and exotic technology of the Marîd Audran
books (When Gravity Fails, A Fire In The Sun, The Exile Kiss) made Effinger one of the leading lights in the cyberpunk movie, and spawned a videogame
- a rare attempt at a graphical adventure from Infocom - and an RPG setting
. Sadly Effinger faded from prominence
after that, and he suffered from a number of health and financial setbacks before passing away
in 2002. His work has had somewhat of a resurgence in popularity of late, with the Marîd Audran books coming back into print in 2007, a long with a collection
containing The Wolves of Memory, Effinger's personal favourite amongst his novels.