Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Archive for July 2008

A touching tale of geek romance

I have to share this great story I just heard on Fear the Boot.

FTB is a podcast about roleplaying games. With a great cast and a wonderful tongue-in-cheek presentation of the subject, these guys veer effortlessly from serious philosophical discussion of the genre to childish junior high-style hazing of cast members.

This story occurs somewhere in-between.

Somewhere around 1996, Chris Hussey got heavy into the community and wrote a Battletech sourcebook

On their latest podcast, Chris tells the story of how he romanced his wife with a series of in-character emails, written as if they were both characters in this game.

(Warning: This episode will be very confusing to non-geeks in the audience and it contains some adult language.)

Battletech is a game of the far future, where soldiers in a (fairly) realistic military simulation fight tactical battles while driving tanks shaped like giant robots. It is much cooler, and much more complicated, than I make it sound.

Chris wrote letters to his wife as if he were a soldier in this world and she wrote back as if she was waiting for him back home. The other guys on the podcast tease Chris as if this were some kind of sex thing but ultimately the hottest thing they did was have an in-character dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

This is all the more remarkable because Chris’s wife is not a gamer.

The tone of this story is very sweet, very romantic and very very geeky.

As they said on the show: “This woman is not a dork, but she loved her geek so much she was willing to get in with his perverse LARPing fantasies.”

Non-geeks probably think this kind of thing is common, but as one host said, “Honestly Chris, I’m a gamer and you couldn’t ask me to do this. His wife went above and beyond the call of duty. That’s a good woman right there.”

Which led to the question, “Isn’t that what every gamer out there wants?”

*LONG UNCOMFORTABLE PAUSE*

“No.”

Written by Michael B. Duff

July 6, 2008 at 00:52

Posted in Games

The Overshare War

I loved the word “overshare” the first time I heard it. Now, six weeks later, I’ll be happy if I never hear it again.

Emily Gould popularized the word in a May 25 article in the New York Times Magazine. That column sparked a massive public debate, with a small army of bloggers trying to judge the value of intimate personal blogging. Call it “The Overshare War” — the battle between fans of artistic personal disclosure and the people who hate it.

The emergent champion of the overshare “movement” is a writer named Rex Sorgatz. There is no movement, of course, but I think this debate is important and I want to link it with big important words.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Michael B. Duff

July 5, 2008 at 01:36

Posted in Columns, Culture, Gawker