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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in escapist_rss' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, July 16th, 2009
12:38 pm
A reminder to Livejournal fans
This is just a friendly reminder that, as I announced earlier, I will no longer be updating the Livejournal feed. So if you would like to continue following news and updates to The Escapist, you have a couple of choices:

   - Add the RSS feed to your newsreader: feeds.feedburner.com/TheEscapistBlog

   - Follow The Escapist on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RPGadvocate


I'm still open to keeping the LJ account active, if I can find a suitable method of auto-updating it. I considered using LoudTwitter, but it's been down for some time, and its future doesn't look good. If anyone has any good suggestions for this, I'd greatly appreciated them.

While I'm posting, I'd like to add that the Escapist Blog is up and going strong, and you can now sign up and post comments on my updates. So if you haven't already, head on over and join up!
Monday, July 6th, 2009
12:42 am
Origins 2009 Report
The Origins 2009 Report is up. Read it here!
Saturday, June 20th, 2009
1:00 pm
Escapist Tweeting at Origins
If you're a Twitter user (which is a bit longer, but a lot more polite than calling you a 'Twit') and you would like to follow my escapades at the Origins Game Fair this upcoming week, then be sure to follow the Escapist Twitter account at twitter.com/RPGadvocate

And if you're going to the convention and would like to meet up, send me a message through Twitter! (I won't have email after Tuesday morning when we head out, so this will be the only way to reach me.)
Friday, June 19th, 2009
11:54 am
Free RPG Day is tomorrow!
I've been so busy making last-minute preparations for Origins, that I almost forgot to mention Free RPG Day, which is tomorrow!

Free RPG Day is a yearly event where game publishers offer special promotions to customers, to get the word out about their products. It's also a great way for people who have never tried RPGs before to check out a free game and maybe even find some people to show them the ropes.

So head out to your Friendly Local Game Store, score a free RPG, and have fun!
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
10:06 pm
Origins = T minus 7 days
This time next week, my family and I will be making our 10-hour trek from Delaware to Columbus, Ohio for the 2009 Origins Game Fair.

This will be my eighth Origins, the sixth with family in tow, and our fifth one in a row. And every time we've attended, we've played a lot of games, made new friends, and had a lot of fun.

I will be continuing my tradition (now in its third year!) of running RPGs for kids - and I've even added a game for the grownups this time. I'm running two games of 'Toon, and one each of Faery's Tale, Fuzzy Heroes, Mazes & Minotaurs, Monsters and Other Childish Things, and Tooth & Claw', and the 'grown-up' game is a very special episode of 'Cartoon Action Hour.

My kids' games have been known to sell out quickly - last year, most of them were sold out two weeks before the convention! So if you are interested in any of them, be sure to sign up as soon as possible.

If you will be attending the convention and would like to meet up, I'm always happy to do so. You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter - I'll be posting Twitter updates regularly at the convention.

Hope to see you there!
Monday, June 8th, 2009
7:00 pm
Here comes the die


Boingboing's Cory Doctorow blogged about this D20 wedding cake today.

It's so awesome that I'm at a loss for words.



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Friday, June 5th, 2009
9:12 am
The truth about the Voynich Manuscript!
XKCD demystifies one of the greatest literary enigmas of all time, the Voynich Manuscript:



Yeah, I should have known it all along...



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Thursday, June 4th, 2009
10:00 pm
[Terra Libris] More from Liz Danforth on roleplaying games in libraries
Over on libraryjournal.com, Liz Danforth has posted a new piece on roleplaying games in the library  Don't miss it!



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
11:10 am
RPGgamefind.com
Finding other gamers in your area to enjoy roleplaying with has always been a challenge, but the internet age has been making it a lot easier.  I recently received an email from the admin of RPGgamefind.com, asking if I would help spread the word about this new networking tool. Check it out, sign up, and find some people in your area to adventure with!


[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
11:09 am
Worldwide D&D Game Day
This Saturday (May 23rd) is Worldwide D&D Game Day! Play some D&D!  Find a WWDDGD event at a store near you! Teach some new gamers to play! Teach some kids to play! Start up a group at your local library! Share the hobby, and share the fun!



(Boy how the time flies. It seems like the last Worldwide D&D game Day was just a couple of months ago...)





[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
1:37 pm
D&D as a saving throw vs. life

It's funny the way things happen, sometimes.  I recently found the ad on the right while fooling around online. I'm not sure where it ran, or if it's even legitimate, but it made me smile.

Then, I received the following email, and it made me smile even more. It wasn't until I was getting ready to post them seperately that I realized how they were connected.

Dear Escapist,


I just recently became aware of your site after stumbling on it while I was surfing the web.  I spent what turned out to be a few hours looking through the material and am fascinated by what you have to present.  I’m inspired by what you’ve put together as I’ve faced many of the same obstacles over the years.

 

I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons at the age of 12 by older family members who had discovered it while they were in college.  The game inspired me as nothing else could.  I’m now 33 years old and am still a very active gamer. 

 

I grew up in a small town in Minnesota.  I had been involved with D&D periodically until I was about 16 and then it became a foundation of stability for me. 

 

There were five of us at the core of our group of friends.  From the age of 16 through my early 20’s many weekends were full of drunken parties and wild times.  We often would get very much out of hand resulting in 20 plus run-ins with law enforcement.  To make things worse, home lives for some were less than desirable.

 

To this day I know D&D is what kept us together and prevented us from going over the edge with any of our crazier activities.  When game night came around each week, no alcohol or any other influence was wanted by anyone.  The game was pure and we wouldn’t let anything get in the way of what we could envision with our minds.  The game is what pulled us away from the other “activities”.

 

Over the years each of us faced physical and emotional challenges in life and if it wasn’t for the game I don’t think we would all be around to talk about it.  I very much believe that D&D saved lives for some of us and kept us off a trail leading to disaster.  No matter what was going wrong, our friends and the game were always there.

 

Today we all have families and successful careers.  We can’t get together as much as we would like but still will make game night happen a few times a year.  We often reminisce about the early days, not about the problems but about the great adventures we had rolling dice around the table in my parent’s basement. 

 

We all have faced the negative connotations about the game from parents, friends and others many times over the years and all of us have stood our ground on the subject because we know what it ultimately did for us. 

 

It is really great to see that you had the initiative and took the time to compile this information.  Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

Steve


Thanks for the story and the kind words, Steve.  I always love get emails that share fond memories of gaming, and the good things that come out of it.

Do you have one, too? Why not
send it to me?




[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Monday, April 27th, 2009
5:51 pm
[Terra Libris] Liz Danforth interview on Grognardia
I've been a fan of Liz Danforth's art for a very long time, and even had the honor of meeting her at a convention in 2002. She is a very classy lady, and one of our hobby's true treasures.

Grognardia, a blog that explores the history and traditions of roleplaying, recently published a two-part interview with Liz in which she discusses her artwork, being a female gamer in a male-dominated hobby, and lots of great information about the benefits of all kinds of gaming (including RPGs) and how well they work in libraries.  Read all about it here: Part 1 - Part 2



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
11:50 am
[BeQuest] LPJ offers free RPG for donating blood
Louis Porter Jr. Design is offering a free PDF copy of their upcoming RPG setting book, Obsidian Twilight, to anyone who donates a pint of blood between now and October 30th, 2009:

LPJ Design will give away a free copy of their upcoming patron project RPG setting, Obsidian Twilight, releasing October 31, 2009 to those people who make donation of blood to any local or national blood collection agency like the Red Cross (See http://www.givelife.org/ for more information) by October 30, 2009. All you need to do to get a free copy of the Obsidian Twilight RPG is to send us a copy of your donation via email to LMPjr007 (at) AOL (dot) com with your name, date you donated and where you donated (you can block out all the other private stuff that I don’t need to see). Then on October 31st when the Obsidian Twilight RPG is released, you get a free copy. It is that simple.

What a great way to help those in need while getting the word out about your RPG product. Game publishers, take note!

You can find out more at the LPJ blog.



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]

Friday, April 24th, 2009
10:23 am
Two great blog posts
I read a lot of roleplaying blogs, and I'm always finding posts that I'd like to share. I've been considering posting a list of my favorite blogs, and maybe even listing some of the best posts of the week every Friday, or something like that.

This time, it just happens to be two posts from Gnome Stew:

RPGs are Engines for Making Interesting Decisions - A discussion on the opportunity for interesting decisions in RPGs, and how some games promote decision-making in more areas that just combat and skill use.

10 Reasons Why Roleplaying Games Are A Positive Force For Kids and Adults Alike - This would be a great post even if it didn't have a great plug for my lil' ol' website at the end of it. Honest!

If you have a roleplaying blog that you think I may not know about - or you've read (or written) a blog post on gaming advocacy that everyone should read, be sure to drop me a note -





[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
11:42 am
[YPAL] Fear The Boot on Roleplaying With Kids
Fear the Boot, an internet radio broadcast that I frequently enjoy, has recently released an episode about roleplaying with young people. To have a listen for yourself, tune your internet radio to these co-ordinates.

(Please bear in mind that while it is about children, the Fear the Boot show is not necessarily for children. Please listen with discretion.)



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
11:41 am
[YPAL] Origins Adventure Itinerary Announcement
I have submitted the adventure itinerary for this year's Origins Ludic Entertainment Convocation (or as it is more commonly known, the Origins Game Fair), and I am currently awaiting approval from the authorities.

For now, here is the tentative schedule - but keep in mind that this schedule is subject to change. I will post an update to the Dispatch when I have more information, including when registration will begin. Remember, these events sell out quickly - in fact, most of last year's events were sold out two weeks before the date of the convention! So if you'd like to join us, register as early as possible.

THU 1:00-3:00pm  Toon: Supertoon! - The roleplaying game of cartoon madness can only be improved upon when you make it the roleplaying game of SUPERHERO cartooon madness!  Save Stalwart City from evil!
THU 3:00-5:00pm  Fuzzy Heroes - The classic wargame that uses stuffed animals as miniatures. This event will include roleplaying elements in the game. Bring your own toys if you like, and we'll stat them up on the spot! (If you do, please try to arrive a little early to give us more time for adventuring.)

FRI 10:00am-12:00pm  Tooth & Claw - The dinosaur RPG. Need I say more?
FRI 2:00-4:00pm  Faery's Tale - It just wouldn't be right to not have a Faery's Tale adventure this year. This is usually the first event to sell out, so you have been warned!

SAT 10:00am-12:00pm  Toon - Random Adventure - In honor of the chaotic and impulsive nature if Toon, I will generate a random adventure and run it on the spot! Even the characters will be random! Anything goes!
SAT 2:00-4:00pm  Mazes & Minotaurs - The Old School RPG of Harryhausenesque  adventure! Don't know who Harryhausen is? Go watch Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonauts, and the Sinbad movies and get back to me.

SUN 11:00am-1:00pm  Monsters and Other Childish Things - A wonderful RPG about kids and their monsters. See my previous post to the Dispatch for more information on this one.



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Monday, April 20th, 2009
9:45 am
Columbine - ten years later
COLUMBINE - TEN YEARS LATER - Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and themselves in what was, at the time, the worst act of school violence in American history.

USA Today recently published 10 years later, the real story behind Columbine, which brings to light many of the misconceptions that people still hold about that tragic day:
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<div [...] helvetica,>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"> <span style="font-weight: bold;">COLUMBINE - TEN YEARS LATER</span><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><strong> - </strong>Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and themselves in what was, at the time, the worst act of school violence in American history.

USA Today recently published <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-04-13-columbine-myths_N.htm">10 years later, the real story behind Columbine</a>, which brings to light many of the misconceptions that people still hold about that tragic day:
</font></font><div style="" arial,="" helvetica,="" sans-serif=""><blockquote><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">They weren't goth or emo or members of the Trenchcoat Mafia.</font></font></font></font></font>
</blockquote><blockquote><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Their crime wasn't inspired by playing <span style="font-style: italic;">Doom</span>, or <span style="font-style: italic;">Quake</span> or <span style="font-style: italic;">Dungeons &amp; Dragons</span> or <span style="font-style: italic;">Vampire: The Masquerade</span>, or listening to Rammstien or KMFDM or Marilyn Manson, or watching <span style="font-style: italic;">The Basketball Diaries</span> or <span style="font-style: italic;">The Matrix</span>.</font></font></font></font></font>
</blockquote><blockquote><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">They didn't seek&nbsp;out victims based on their religion or ethnicity. They didn't target jocks or Christians. Cassie Bernall's martyr story is a complete fabrication. </font></font></font></font></font>
</blockquote><blockquote><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">They didn't do it because their science classes taught evolution, or their school refused to hold mandatory prayer sessions.</font></font></font></font></font>
</blockquote></div>In short - the terrible killings at Columbine didn't happen because of something that you don't like. It just happened. It was a horrible act of savagery performed by two deeply disturbed youths who felt that they needed to get even with the world. It is careless and irresponsible for any of us to try to attach our own agenda to it in the hopes of eliminating the parts of our culture that we don't like.

For the rest of us, the questions we should be asking&nbsp;ourselves are these&nbsp;- How much of this is news to&nbsp;us, and why did it take them&nbsp;ten years to tell everyone?

(If you'd like to do a little time traveling, check out the <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/19990507091121/members.aol.com/waltonwj/advocacy.htm">Escapist's Advocacy Page for April of 1999</a>)



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit <a href="http://www.theescapist.com">www.theescapist.com</a> for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
11:52 pm
Dave Arneson, R.I.P

(photo by Kevin McColl)

It's been a year and a month since we lost one of the co-creators of the original Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax, and today the news comes to the roleplaying community that Dave Arneson, the other half of that creative team, has passed away.

I didn't post anything more than a picture and a caption when Gary left us last year, and I think that was mostly because so many others had covered his life and contribution so well, from the blogs of some of my close friends to Time magazine and Stephen Colbert. There wasn't much that I could say that hadn't already been said.

Mr. Arneson's passing, however, will probably not receive the same amount of attention.  Some have remarked that he was more of a silent partner, and uninterested in being known for his contribution to the game. Because of this, his name hasn't gained the same level of recognition as Gygax's.

Regardless, both men were responsible for a wonderful creation that inspired millions of players to create heroes and stories, and worlds to contain them both.

It would never be possible to estimate the positive effects that Dungeons & Dragons had on our present day culture - the friendships that were forged, the artists and authors who became inspired, and the imaginations that were set free - but we can make a pretty good guess that they were great.

Thank you, Dave and Gary.



[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
10:35 am
Fetch Me Some LARPers
For a couple of years now, my daughters and I have enjoyed Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman, a spoof game show on PBS that encourages a group of six kids to earn points by exploring and thinking creatively.  Today I read a blog post by GeekDad writer (and friend of The Escapist) Daniel Donahoo (who in turn found it on Purple Pawn) about an epsiode of Fetch! that features LARPing as the theme.  

Okay, maybe it's not LARPing as most of us know it - it's really just a bunch of kids in costumes, running around and solving riddles and physical puzzles. And the fact is, that's really the content of every other episode of Fetch!, minus the costumes, of course. But it's good to see LARP mentioned on a show that promotes creative and critical thinking for kids, and in a way that presents it realistically - as a little bit geeky, and a lot of fun.

And who knows? It could inspire a few viewers to explore the LARP hobby further!

(Visit the site to see the videos - and watch them soon - you know how YouTube is!)


[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
Saturday, March 28th, 2009
11:20 am
OGWWTBATE, Day 69
It appears that our target, Wil Wheaton, has recently been involved in two things that are relevant to our interests:


He began blogging about playing the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons with his son and some of his friends. (You can read the posts here - part I, part II, part III, part IV, and a few thoughts...)

I would imagine that someone holding
an important position like US Secretary of Geek Affairs would want to have access to every available resource that would help them serve the interest of geeks all over the country. Gee, if only there was a website that would provide him and his readers with all sorts of information on roleplaying advocacy, playing RPGs with kids, and other ideas and inspirations for the positive promotion of roleplaying.  

Gosh, just think, if there were such a site, he could post a link to it in his blog!


[This update comes to you from The Escapist. Visit www.theescapist.com for more on the positive promotion of the roleplaying hobby.]
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