[Gaming] Why LotRO Hits the Spot

Before I get into the actual story, I should provide full disclosure of bias here. I’m on the official LotRO stream team and am privileged to be friends with a couple of the devs at Standing Stone Games. That being said…

I’ve been a Lord of the Rings fan since I was in single digits *mumblemumble* years ago. I was ‘forced’ to read The Hobbit when I was in school, and the teacher of course mentioned LotR, saying it was a bit more mature reading (not as happy/playful as The Hobbit). I remember the school library having two versions of the trilogy on hand: a large hardcover edition featuring nifty fold-out maps and the paperbacks featuring the amazing realistic art by the sadly late Darrell K. Sweet. Fun fact: Darrell K. Sweet’s art was also on the cover of the edition of Elfstones of Shannara where I originally derived my nom de plume of Druidsfire. I also went back years later and found used copies of that original paperback edition of LotR but never found reasonably-priced versions of the hardcover edition.

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[Opinion] Women and Mothers in Star Wars

I have a problem with the depiction of women in Star Wars. Don’t get me wrong, I love Star Wars, and I love what it’s done for the advancement of women’s roles as lead heroines and character roles in media of all kinds, but I still have a problem with how women and motherhood are portrayed in it. For 40 years now, women and girls have been taught about the awesomeness that is Princess Leia, how she kicked ass, took names, and is a rolemodel to all of us about the power of women, rawr. However, for those same 40 years, women and the notion of motherhood have gotten some treatment that I’m not even going to call ‘problematical’, because that’s far too polite for what’s happened. I’m gonna just outright call it some serious bullshit. Let’s run down the list of the various women in Star Wars and how they’ve been treated, how moms in the stories have been written or portrayed, and we’ll go from there. I’m going to go in RL chronological publication/release, because that’s easiest for me to wrap my brain around.

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Writing – Excerpt from an Old A-Z Guide

This is an excerpt from a 20-page A-Z reference guide I once wrote over a decade ago about seaQuest DSV… yes, that TV show from the 90s that had the dolphin.  This excerpt is used to illustrate the results of painstaking… and sometimes painful… research.  You remember their use of the internet, yeah?  The names in parentheses at various points refer to shorthand names for the various episodes, although these days, I would have been better using a numeric shorthand such as S01E04 to refer to the fourth episode of the first season.

[ Begin excerpt ]

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Chronology: seaQuest DSV and 2032

Just for grins, I excavated this from my archives.  It’s part of a 141-page document I have with a number of cool quotes from the early 90s TV show seaQuest DSV and the rebranded seaQuest 2032.  The first 20 pages of the document represent an A-Z glossary of people, places, things in the series and their relationships to one another, such as Robert Bridger being the son of Nathan Bridger who was killed in action before the series started, that sort of thing.  This is one of the earliest fun non-gaming chronologies I ever researched.  Do enjoy!

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Official Incarnations of Immortality Chronology


This page represents a reprint of my chronology of Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series that was hosted on http://www.spundreams.net/~phoenix/IoIChron.html which I ported here to my site.  The original page remains on Spundreams as an archive with a redirect here so I can keep all the good stuff in one location. Please note, this is considered by his own words as his official chronology of the first 7 books of the series.  It is listed by URL and me by name (although Mr. Anthony thought I was a bloke) in the Author’s Note of the 8th book in the series, which takes place in the past of an alternate reality very much divorced from the first 7 books, so I never revisited the history.  That being said, do enjoy the chronology as much as I enjoyed doing the research, because I’m a lore nerd.

EDIT: Feb 10, 2018:  I have since learned through social media and research that a specific word is in lamentable frequent use in pop culture that refers to certain nomadic peoples once thought to originate in Egypt.  I had unknowingly used this slur in this text, as it was in the books as such.  However, I choose not to contribute to the ignorant use of this slur, so I have changed the references to Nicolai and Tinka’s people to call them by their polite and correct name: the Romani.  For any Romani whom I had unwittingly offended by this ignorant use of the slur, I sincerely apologize and will do my best to never commit such an error in the future.

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[Gaming] Vol’jin

WoW has a leadership problem. I’m not talking about the executive team at Blizzard Entertainment, but rather how Blizzard writes the leaders of their MMO. The history of the Warcraft universe has never been one of much peace because peace is boring and hello, it’s not called Peacecraft. However, as players who focus on one of the two primary factions to the exclusion of all else, we can see how each faction is treated by Blizzard, how their leaders are written, and we tend to get riled up when we see our faction losing out to the other. Myself, I’m primarily Alliance-leaning, although I play Horde almost as much. I can see both sides of the argument as a proper moderate should.  The rest of this article will contain massive spoilers for the upcoming expansion Legion, including the Broken Shores instances currently live in-game.

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[Spoilers] Star Wars: the Force Awakens Belated Post-Mortem

Note: This article contains SPOILERS for the movie. If you haven’t seen it and miraculously haven’t seen spoilers on your social media, you might want to give this a miss until you’ve had a chance to see it or just don’t care anymore if you’re spoiled as to most/all the major plot points.

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