Congrats PC Gamers, On Being Leet in the Sack


  Helluva comeback article, but after finding this story I just HAD to blog: Get those numbers up, though. 20% at excellent is But half of us are ONLY "good". Get out there and warm those beds, PC gamers! Show them our leet skillz in the bedz! In before the "they suck" puns ... In other news: Doone will not blog much during the holiday season ...but I'll be back for the new year. … [Read more...]

Making Developers Out of Gamers

This has been sitting in the drafts box, mostly fully formed for about 2 months. Jasyla would be amazed. Unleash the drafts! Well this is definitely not a new concept. If you've been playing games for a couple decades you've no doubt bought a few that came with map or campaign editors. This is interesting if you think about it: why did their creators believe their players were interested in developing content for the game? How did game development come to be seen as something players would enjoy doing? Maybe part of the answer rests in the fact that 20th century nerds grew up in a table-top DnD environment, where creating game content is a main part of the game. Maybe another part of the answer comes from how computer gaming itself was conceived: by tech geek tinkerers who made … [Read more...]

Tech Moms and Tech Dads

This draft has been sitting on ice for a few months. I only recently rediscovered it so ...yeah :) Enjoy. Inspired by this article, I (like a lot of dudes apparently) couldn't help, but think about the sacrifices I make as a father to have a full-time career and take care of my rapidly exploding family. Then I thought ..."that's bullshit". I have seen first hand how the culture I live in, no  matter how well-intentioned I am or how hard my wife and I work to divide kid time equally between us, is still a 20th century culture. As a dad, this is in no way an equivalent experience to my wife's. Our jobs, friends, school teachers and family are always there to remind us that they expect certain things of someone called Mom and other things from those called Dad. They aren't bad people. … [Read more...]

A Great Farce: The Primacy of Entertainment in A Game of Thrones


It's that time of year again. A Game of Thrones (GOT) has, expectedly, disappointed many fans with yet another gratuitous rape last week. I find it difficult to work up any amount of surprise or outrage about this. Honestly, what is anyone expecting of this series? The elephant in the room? Entertainment and how we use it, which isn't really good. The thing is, the show is pure entertainment. It's not commentary, it's not critique. Game of Thrones, scene for scene and character for character, is gratuitous. Hopefully that surprises no one. It is, in the strictist sense, a great farce. Are we hoping the writers and directors do better with drama? Of course. As an audience we want our arts to excel. The issues the show presents are all ripe opportunities for leaving the audience … [Read more...]

Update: Content at XPChronicles


Since my latest baby this past January I've been slipping away from my blog writing. The reason is simply: time. I'm not very happy with the quality of my writing lately. But I'm also not ready to give it up. Everytime I think about not writing I feel myself shrinking into the quiet Chris from years ago. Who had so much on his mind and so much to say and share, that finding blogging has arguably opened at least a dozen doors I didn't know existed before. I do some writing for workshops, I mentor, and on occasion I get asked to teach. These are all local community affairs and they all deal with the issues I write about: homelessness, racial equality and sexism. I didn't start doing those things until I started writing. So where does that leave XP Chronicles? I want to keep the quality … [Read more...]

The Game of My Life: Loot


Terran or Protoss? This decision wasn't usually too hard. The Terran were the kind of men and soldiers I knew. Their mission was immediately knowable to me. Back then these decisions weren't so complicated. I would sit there and just build my economy to ridiculous proportions whether playing against Mike, Rico or some one online. Back then I was pretty good at Starcraft and somewhat addicted to it. It's gameplay processes were in harmony with my new daily life. It was all about acquisition, gathering resources and cranking out new stuff until I won the game. It was time to win at life after losing exclusively for so long. After the night of the black out, it seemed like things took a turn. That night for some reason is very clear in my memory because of everything that happened … [Read more...]

The Game of My Life: Leveling

"Wanna play Diablo?" We always played Diablo. We'd get home from work, drop our stuff at the door and sit at the computer. We had no TV, no couch. We didn't even have desks and chairs. The computers sat on the floor against the wall. We sat on pillows and the monitors rested on crates. It was our first apartment. Before then, we slept on benches under the stars every night. Diablo was amazing. I'd never really played computer games before then, only console and arcade hits. We got our new gaming machines from some guy's basement. He must have worked as an engineer because he had wall to wall shelves of just computer stuff. Sometimes I saw his ads in newspapers. He'd sell the old parts to whoever else was collecting them I guess. When he heard we'd moved into the neighborhood and where … [Read more...]

NBI 2015 Talkback Challenge: To Kickstarter or Early Access, or Not


This week's challenge is "Do you support unfinished games?" by which the event means to ask how I feel about funding games while they're still in development. And the short answer is yes. I've written some of my thoughts about Kickstarter in the past. It's not so black and white and the platform still has a lot of improvements it needs to make to the service, both to add more accountability for producers and protecting supporters, which aren't mutually exclusive. In the early days of crowd funding I remember looking at it as an opportunity for gamers and game developers to finally get what they want out of this. I thought that if people with shared interests got together for the sake of games, we'd get more of the kinds of games we want to play and build healthy relationships with the … [Read more...]