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General Forge Forums => Site Discussion => Topic started by: Clinton R. Nixon on December 04, 2002, 06:53:34 PM



Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on December 04, 2002, 06:53:34 PM
Moved by some of Irmo's discussion in Ron's "The Forge as a community" thread, I decided to look and see where the Forge is succeeding and failing in relation to the cultures that make it up. I looked at the first two pages of the memberlist, organized by the number of posts, which seemed to the most accurate method.

Instantly, I realized that we have no women there. That doesn't surprise me, but does sadden me a bit. We also have no African-Americans that I noticed, which also saddens me. (I note that women and African-Americans to tend to be heavily marginalized in gaming. This is not a good thing, but also not something I have to fix alone. Women and African-Americans get equal time in my games, though.)

On the positive side, I saw the following:
 - People from Taiwan, the UK, and New Zealand
 - Caucasians, Asians, and Native Americans (didn't know that about me, didja? It's a small amount, but legally correct, and something I'm very proud of.)
 - People from the West Coast, East Coast, Midwesterners, and even some Southerners. (I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.) Within the US, we seem to be very culturally diverse. (For those who don't know it, the US is a very diverse place.)
 - Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, atheists, pagans, and perhaps some Wiccans, as well as a mix of people I got no idea about. I'd put money on some Buddhists. I was surprised to not see anyone I recognized of the Jewish faith.
 - Goth kids, punk rockers, classic rockers, and some hip-hop kids.
 - Capitalists and anti-capitalists
 - People who like narrativism, gamism, and simulationism. I like this one a lot.
 - People who started posting the day the Forge opened, and people who started posting two months ago. This is also exciting.

I see a pretty damn diverse tapestry in the first 40 top posters. While it could be improved - as always - it's pretty exciting, if you ask me.


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Irmo on December 04, 2002, 07:42:28 PM
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Moved by some of Irmo's discussion in Ron's "The Forge as a community" thread, I decided to look and see where the Forge is succeeding and failing in relation to the cultures that make it up. I looked at the first two pages of the memberlist, organized by the number of posts, which seemed to the most accurate method.


The top posters hardly show you who feels NOT welcome here. And looking at the countries alone is not an accurate method to identify culture. It is no indication whatsoever if the person is a native, or part of the native gaming culture. There are, for example, plenty of US roleplayers in Germany, not all of which are integrated in the german roleplaying community.
It also doesn't tell you how much they contribute to the general Forge forums as opposed to restricting their discussions to specific games. If you look at some of the international posters, you will see that some of them don't get involved in GNS discussions, or discussions of gaming community.

Quote
Within the US, we seem to be very culturally diverse. (For those who don't know it, the US is a very diverse place.)


Yes, GMC and Chrysler make pretty diverse cars, too. That doesn't change the fact that there's a wholly different order of magnitude of diversity if you look outside.

But hey, what do I know. I just happened to discuss the other day with the publisher of the english translation of a French RPG how entirely different the feeling is we both get from reading most french RPGs than from reading RPGs originally written in english and wondered if the French language itself is a factor in that or whether it is more a cultural issue. But thanks to you, I know by now that neither can be considered in any way relevant, and both factors can happily be ignored.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: C. Edwards on December 04, 2002, 08:53:49 PM
Quote
But thanks to you, I know by now that neither can be considered in any way relevant, and both factors can happily be ignored.


There's really no call for that kind of attitude.  Clinton was not purposefully slighting your opinion or input and taking his post as such is just really... well, it's very small of you.  

That said, there are a lot of factors involved which Clinton doesn't seem to take into account in his post.  Could The Forge be more diverse? Of course.  That doesn't make the diversity that The Forge does exemplify any less impressive, in my opinion.  

-Chris


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Valamir on December 04, 2002, 09:06:31 PM
Irmo, I have to say I am saddened, disappointed, and frankly disgusted by your commentary.

It is absolutely devoid of anything constructive.  I'm not sure why you feel the need to voice your concerns so venomously, but I, for one, don't appreciate it.  You will find the Forge is about as open a community as you're likely to find on the internet discussing a fairly narrow topic, and thereby limited by the population that already exists which is interested in that topic.  You will also find that your points will be taken much more seriously and with people actually interested in honest discussion about them, when they are presented logically and rationally.

Your last few posts have been nothing if not spiteful.  Whatever chip you are carrying around on your shoulder, leave it home.  I suggest that you attempt to make your points and raise your issues without resorting to snide and vicious attitude.

Clinton has gone above and beyond to give your concerns serious concideration despite the manner in which you made them.  But your response, instead of seeing the attempt at dialog and participating openly in it; is nasty, absurd, and completely inappropriate.

I suggest you take a good hard look at the posting habits you've learned on other internet sites and reevaluate them.  They don't belong here.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on December 04, 2002, 09:23:30 PM
Ralph and Chris - thanks for watching my back.

Irmo - I'm sorry that you felt hurt by this thread. It was started because I was moved by your comments - in a positive way - and wanted to at least start an analysis as to who makes up the Forge.

Two small points:

1) I forgot to mention one other thing about the top 40 posters - most of them are friends, and the rest are people I like, even if I don't agree with. To be honest, I think this defines the Forge more than anything else, and I realize why it makes the Forge seem exclusionary: when you're new, you're a stranger in a group of friends. I find we do accept new people as friends pretty quickly when they act like one.

2) I think you think I'm someone I'm not, Irmo. I do have a wide range of cultural experience: I've not only been in many different US cultures (which I still think are more diverse than you think), but been an active participant in Korean culture, which has had a tremendous influence on me. Also, I'm not particularly academic or intellectual. I'm a blue collar worker (I spent all day working as an antiques mover today), a college dropout, and a former farmer from a dirt-poor part of the nation. I like to think I'm bright, but I speak like my roots. I apologize for when that devalues your academic discussion.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Irmo on December 04, 2002, 09:35:08 PM
Quote from: Valamir

It is absolutely devoid of anything constructive.  I'm not sure why you feel the need to voice your concerns so venomously, but I, for one, don't appreciate it.  You will find the Forge is about as open a community as you're likely to find on the internet discussing a fairly narrow topic, and thereby limited by the population that already exists which is interested in that topic.  You will also find that your points will be taken much more seriously and with people actually interested in honest discussion about them, when they are presented logically and rationally.


Quite to the contrary, my points have been ignored, and instead things have been put into my writings that had no place there, by several different posters.

Quote

Your last few posts have been nothing if not spiteful.  Whatever chip you are carrying around on your shoulder, leave it home.  I suggest that you attempt to make your points and raise your issues without resorting to snide and vicious attitude.


How has my post to Rich been spiteful? I suggest you try and look at what is cause and what is effect.

Quote

I suggest you take a good hard look at the posting habits you've learned on other internet sites and reevaluate them.  They don't belong here.


What I have learned on other internet sites, Ralph, is that the minimum I can expect of other people is to read the posts they reply to and reply to the points made, not something completely unrelated to what the poster said. If I have to reevaluate that for here, if that doesn't belong here, that doesn't speak very well about the Forge. It is neither fair nor honest to attack others for positions they never held, yet no less than two people have done so today alone. I suggest you take a look at the actual thread and reevaluate who said what. It might be that you missed that Clinton actually apologized for some of his comments in the other thread.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Irmo on December 04, 2002, 10:12:34 PM
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Ralph and Chris - thanks for watching my back.

Irmo - I'm sorry that you felt hurt by this thread. It was started because I was moved by your comments - in a positive way - and wanted to at least start an analysis as to who makes up the Forge.


I apologize if I misinterpreted your intention. As I pointed out, interpretation of intent when dealing with non-native speakers is sometimes difficult -in both ways. Obviously, it was my turn this time.


Quote

2) I think you think I'm someone I'm not, Irmo. I do have a wide range of cultural experience: I've not only been in many different US cultures (which I still think are more diverse than you think), but been an active participant in Korean culture, which has had a tremendous influence on me. Also, I'm not particularly academic or intellectual. I'm a blue collar worker (I spent all day working as an antiques mover today), a college dropout, and a former farmer from a dirt-poor part of the nation. I like to think I'm bright, but I speak like my roots. I apologize for when that devalues your academic discussion.


Clinton, I live in the US, and while I agree that there is a lot of cultural diversity, there is also a whole lot of bottom line. It seems to me, however, that frequently, to people sharing a bottom line, the diversity between them is more obvious, since they take that bottom line as obvious, self-understood, and unremarkable. As such, it is frequently more obvious to outsiders, who don't share it, than for those who participate in it. Notice vice versa many Americans speaking of "the Euros", despite a diversity that includes a multitude of different languages.

I never expected you to be academic. Several posters, in a variety of threads, declared the discussion of roleplaying at the Forge, with respect to the GNS model, RPG theory etc as semi-academic. That's what I was referring to, in part. On top of that, I was referring to the goal of academic work: Gather and analyse data, and draw conclusions from it.  Academic procedure is good at it, because that's what it was developed to do. Diversion from it happens (even many academics divert), but that frequently changes the chaff vs. wheat ratio in an unfavorable way. If one is fine with that, that's ok. That's what I tried to point out. As much as we cherish our friends, we should be realistic enough not to generalize from them.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: C. Edwards on December 04, 2002, 10:14:10 PM
Quote
It is neither fair nor honest to attack others for positions they never held, yet no less than two people have done so today alone. I suggest you take a look at the actual thread and reevaluate who said what. It might be that you missed that Clinton actually apologized for some of his comments in the other thread.


Precisely Irmo, which is why I think you need to apologize for your attitude in your initial post of this thread.

-Chris

*Edit to note the cross-post with Irmo.


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 04, 2002, 10:21:31 PM
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Moved by some of Irmo's discussion in Ron's "The Forge as a community" thread, I decided to look and see where the Forge is succeeding and failing in relation to the cultures that make it up. I looked at the first two pages of the memberlist, organized by the number of posts, which seemed to the most accurate method.

Instantly, I realized that we have no women there. That doesn't surprise me, but does sadden me a bit. We also have no African-Americans that I noticed, which also saddens me.

...



Wow, I had no idea one could discern so much just from looking at the member list!

Wonder where I fall into your categories.  I mean, can you really tell the crunchy bits about me just by looking at the member list?

Clinton, as always, your insights about the board are fascinating.

Just thought I'd take the time to let you know that, case no one else said so.


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 04, 2002, 10:26:01 PM
Greetings Irmo,

Long time no post, relatively speaking.

Quote from: Irmo
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
The top posters hardly show you who feels NOT welcome here.


True.  Then again there are many reason why a person might not feel "welcome".  Me, I've seen the high and lows from behind the scenes when I ran a BBS so I know that a person can post, get no responses, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people don't care.  It's about having something worthwhile to say.

Wonder how many have come here, posted, gotten no response, or not as much of a response as they hoped for, and went away thinking they weren't welcome.

Something to think about.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 04, 2002, 10:30:57 PM
Greetings Valamir,

How goes your Christmas shopping?

Quote from: Valamir
Irmo, I have to say I am saddened, disappointed, and frankly disgusted by your commentary.


Whoa!  I must be missing something 'cuz Irmo's post didn't seem all *that* negative to me.  Just read like a bit of commentary, possibly slightly aserbic.

Hmm..   I mis-spelled aserbic, didn't I?

No matter.  We're still all friends here.  Right.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius


Title: more for Mr. Nixon's data gathering efforts...
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 04, 2002, 10:38:16 PM
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Ralph and Chris - thanks for watching my back.

Irmo - I'm sorry that you felt hurt by this thread. It was started because I was moved by your comments - in a positive way - and wanted to at least start an analysis as to who makes up the Forge.


See, I knew I was missing something!

Amazing how that works.

Yes, I know I could just read the thread in full.  Not bother to post.  But that becomes a bad habit.  The more we read thining "maybe I'll post later" the less we post.  Thus giving less for others to read when they come along.

Does that mean anything?

Not really.  Or maybe it does.

Certainly it proves that no one's posts are being ignored.  Even by those of us who wander into conversations a bit late.  Personally I like most of what I read here.  Otherwise I would A) take the time to read it; B) come back to read the things I read in the first place.

Does that mean I read every post, or think others should read every post?

Nope.

Shadow Government's withstanding this is still a free country.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on December 04, 2002, 10:53:25 PM
Quote from: Kester Pelagius
Wow, I had no idea one could discern so much just from looking at the member list!

Wonder where I fall into your categories.  I mean, can you really tell the crunchy bits about me just by looking at the member list?


Kester,

I apologize if I'm wrong, but you sound a little sarcastic. Anyway, I could tell all that only because I get to know the people who post here - especially those who post a lot - pretty well. I've met 14 of the top 40 posters, and the rest I've known online anywhere from 1 to 3 years.

Best,
Clinton


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 04, 2002, 10:57:59 PM
Greetings Mr. Nixon,

Great weather we're having, is it not?

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Quote from: Kester Pelagius
Wow, I had no idea one could discern so much just from looking at the member list!

Wonder where I fall into your categories.  I mean, can you really tell the crunchy bits about me just by looking at the member list?


Kester,

I apologize if I'm wrong, but you sound a little sarcastic. Anyway, I could tell all that only because I get to know the people who post here - especially those who post a lot - pretty well. I've met 14 of the top 40 posters, and the rest I've known online anywhere from 1 to 3 years.


Ah, the joys of posting!  *smile*

Wasn't being intentionally sarcastic.  Maybe subconciously, but I really am interested to know how you came to your conclusions.  Of course it has been a while since I looked at the member list so it could just be I've forgotten all the wonderful information contained therein.  *shrug*

Of course that you've actually met some of those people, well, that's just cheating isn't it!  *wink*



Edit:  Hmph.  I'm not even in the top 50! (was #51)  Didn't write much either about myself, did I?  Ah well, I still say your insights are fascinating friend Nixon.

Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius (still wondering how Mr. Nixon would classify him)


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Fabrice G. on December 05, 2002, 02:39:23 AM
Hi Conton,

I can give you the reason why I don't post more than I do, even if I feel welcome here.

My main problem is that english is my second language (learned in school) and that I consider myself no very good at it. The highly theorical discussions are just hard for me to contribute, even as I anderstand them, because I mostly reason in french at that level of discussion.
So if you combine that and the quite powerfull minds at work here, it can explain the behavior of some of the non-english native member.

Anyway, those people seem to be a minority around here (am I alone ? :) ).

Fabrice.


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Paganini on December 05, 2002, 08:02:18 AM
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon

 - Goth kids, punk rockers, classic rockers, and some hip-hop kids.


And a professional classical violinist!

(Although maybe I'm not one of the top 40... hmm.)


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on December 05, 2002, 08:05:01 AM
Quote from: Paganini

And a professional classical violinist!

(Although maybe I'm not one of the top 40... hmm.)


Actually, you are, and I didn't know that. Looking at the list, you're one of the few I haven't had a lot of interaction with. So, hello - I'm Clinton, and I like to cook.


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Emily Care on December 05, 2002, 08:20:16 AM
I'm Emily and I have too many hobbies to name.  I'm Pagan.  I do martial arts.  
That's what we need, a Forge personals! (joke--please, believe me, it's a joke!)

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Instantly, I realized that we have no women there.


But Laurel is #41. I'm even (barely) in the top 60.

There are few of us, though. Offhand, I know of only 4 including myself.  

Part of my decision concerning my choice of handle here was that it be recognizably female.  Just a whim at the moment when I joined, but I've been glad of it since.

--Emily Care

make that 6 that I know of.


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Mike Holmes on December 05, 2002, 08:21:24 AM
Quote from: Kester Pelagius
(still wondering how Mr. Nixon would classify him)


When Clinton says that he knows these people, it's because they've revealed facts about themselves. One can, of course, lie about such things, but given that we do occasionally meet each other, and that I think we have such a community here, I think that people just don't lie much. In fact, I think that it's only internet paranioa that keeps people here from acting completely as themselves.

By which I mean to say, is that really your name (sorry, it looks too much like an RPG name for me not to question)? Where are you from? Is Kester a male or female name? And are you so damn polite in person? I find your opening salutations to be an interesting, and sometimes humorous statement (it is a statement, isn't it?).

Clinton woudn't dare classify you yet. I haven't seen any information from you that was revealing enough to do so.

In the name of full disclosure (and because I like to talk about myself), My full name is Michael Christopher Holmes, and I live in Wauwatosa, WI (which is acttually a suburb of Milwaukee). I am a computer programmer/analyst/statistician/whatever-computer-thing-needs-doing for a company called eFunds (www.eFunds.com). I am a caucasian male of German, Sweedish, Scottish, Austrian, Check, and various other small percentages of other european, descent. And I look it, which is to say that I'm vaugely northern european in a heavyset, balding, yet hairy sort of way. I have been married to my wife Marjorie Silverness, for seven years, and I have one child, a boy named Alex, who attained the ripe old age of two last month. He is Sweedish, a fact that I deduce from his very blonde hair, his accent, and the coincidence of my wife's ancestry and my own.

IOW, I'm yer stereotypical White American Male, at least statistically.

What's the point? I'm hoping that I can get to know the backgrounds of more of the people here in order to better understand them (not that I've been bold; revealing as a member of the empowered majority is relatively easy, I suppose). The internet paranioa I refer to leads people to guard these sorts of details, I think, and that's not good. Perhaps if people were more forthcoming with their backgrounds, we could be more responsive to their particular needs.

For example, what the hell are you doing in Taiwan, Christoffer? I don't imagine that the whole Taiwan/Sweeden exchange program is all that large? Or am I mistaken about that?

And, Irmo, take this as a compliment. I thought that Irmo was just a silly screen name (I take it that it might actually be a part of your name?). Your English is good enough that I thought originally that you were an American. In fact, I kept wondering when the Texan Drawl would crawl into your text.

I think that it's a good thing that Ziriel was able to disclose here that she is a she, despite her problems with doing so elsewhere on the internet (by her own testimony). That's a good sign. But then I wonder why there aren't more women here. Are any of you posters with ambiguous names actually women? I hope so, but then it alarms me that you don't feel safe enough to come out with your gender. Emily, Maryanne, is The Forge a comfortable place for women?

To quote Pete Townsend: Who are you? Who, who? Who who? I really want to know.

Mike

(edited to say, oh, cool, look, it's already happening)


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Irmo on December 05, 2002, 08:53:37 AM
Quote from: Mike Holmes


And, Irmo, take this as a compliment. I thought that Irmo was just a silly screen name (I take it that it might actually be a part of your name?). Your English is good enough that I thought originally that you were an American. In fact, I kept wondering when the Texan Drawl would crawl into your text.


Actually, no, Irmo isn't part of my name, it's a name from Tolkien's works. Since I started using it as my username in Tolkien forums, I expanded it to use in most RPG-related forums I participate in, for simplicity's sake :) My real name is Oliver


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: GreatWolf on December 05, 2002, 09:03:20 AM
Well, I'm certainly willing to spill some beans about myself.

I'm Seth Ben-Ezra.  I'm 25 years old, married to Crystal, with three lovely children (Arianna (4), Isaac (3), and Samuel (1)).  I currently work at a Christian medical needs-sharing ministry in Marquette Heights (which is near Peoria, IL)  The website is here (http://www.samaritanministries.org).  I do customer service work, IT work, and even some writing and editing.  I enjoy all sorts of gaming, including various roleplaying games (obviously), but also wargames, CCGs, and even the classic games.  One of my greatest joys is learning a new game of any kind.  Recently I've begun digging into classic Oriental games like go, shogi, or even xianqi (sp?), as well as pursuing a desire to learn bridge, spades, and maybe even pinochle.

Religiously I am a conservative Presbyterian.  Racially I'm a mutt.  My mother is Swedish.  My father is Hispanic and Jewish (with a bit of Turkish thrown in for fun).

Outside of gaming, I enjoy martial arts (particularly kenjutsu) and reading.  Fantasy and SF, to be sure, but I've begun to appreciate poetry and have been working on developing my tastes in that area.  I wish I could afford to be a wine snob, but I'll settle for being a tea snob.  I'm an unashamed Japanophile and my idea of a good time could include sitting in a Zen garden sipping tea and eating rice with chopsticks.

I like weird movies.  Like Blade Runner or Memento.

I love Jesus.

Of course, can you sum up a person in a few sentences?  Of course not.  However, perhaps you'll have a better idea of where I'm coming from when I next decided to pipe up on something.  (Must...cling...to...top...40...status.)  Which is good.  From the beginning, the Forge has encouraged posting under your real name.  This seems to be the next logical step:  getting to know each other a bit better.  Long-term, this will encourage the community that everyone seems to want to preserve and develop.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Clay on December 05, 2002, 09:53:03 AM
Before we hop on the diversity bandwagon, let's keep in mind that the narrow focus of this community by definition makes us very non-diverse in some ways. You're not going to find religious fundamentalists who think that rpgs are evil. Given the euro-centric background of most rpgs, we're gonna come up real short on militant black muslims.  Pretty much assured that any participant can also read and write English. Fabrice describes himself as too English challenged to participate in our debates, yet when he writes I can't tell that his native tongue isn't English.  

In physics we called this an instrument function. Basically, because of the population that we're taking a measurement of, our population can't be representative of the world population.


As far as my own stats: Prior to coming to my current position, I was a senior programmer at a very nice high-tech start up. Currently I'm an FNG as a systems programmer, due primarily to a change in my development language (a change I actively sought). I'm a liberal Methodist, and I can't afford to be a wine snob, so I settle for being a wine sot. I have a lot of guns (although not nearly enough), and not enough time to shoot them.


Title: Full Disclosure
Post by: Le Joueur on December 05, 2002, 09:56:22 AM
Hi.  My name's Fang and I'm a designoholic.

[Hi Fang.]

I was born (Irish, English, German, with a bit of Swedish, Welsh, Norwegian, and Cherokee) Allan Thomas Meyer in a small, rural, southern Minnesota town in the United States.  My stepfather, Steven Langford, adopted me when I was six (and that wiped out my college fund forevermore).  A year after marrying Dawn Marie Ebel, we changed our names (she was one of three Dawn Maries in her High School and I was tired of being named after a pair of Catholic Saints - makes me sound like a British orphan - and I'm not even a Christian); I'm Ajmir Einstein Fang Langford and she's Caroline Elaine Cynthia Langford.  And we (Fang and Caro) are Impswitch, makers of the Scattershot role-playing game system (now with a website for playtesters (http://www.scattershotgames.com)).

I've never been outside of the middle of this country and yet somehow grew up too cosmopolitan for my hometown; so I moved to the Twin Cities.  I've tested in the top 1.5% of the population even though I had poor study habits.  I also have Asperger's Syndrome (you'll have to look it up) (http://www.aspergers.com).  All of this led to 'outsider status' which in turn made acquiring and self-teaching Dungeons & Dragons quite simple (I even tried to design it, sight-unseen, until it was available, based on its reviews alone).

I am currently employed by one of the nation's largest non-profit health organizations as an executive assistant only minutes from the apartment my family of four (Tadhg - like the 'tig' in tiger - my six-year old son, also with Asperger's, and Tailltiu – rhymes with 'salty' – my perfect three-year old daughter; Irish names, what can you do) share.  I have attended both Mankato State University and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus where I was majoring in art (illustration) and computer science.  While I was at 'the U,' I joined a trio of role-playing game clubs sponsored by the University, one of which apparently was originally named TSR and had a pre-publishing E. Gary Gygax as a member.

We live on the poverty line with one income, so what you see here is the lion's share of my free time.  My wife and I met through campus gaming and share this avocation.  She was trained as a fine artist (two years at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design) and we both work on our own comic book (when time permits).

So yeah, I'm 'just another white guy' (which is the only reason being 'poor as church mice' isn't terribly frustrating, but a deliberate choice).

Fang Langford (in the interest in demographic exposure)


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Jared A. Sorensen on December 05, 2002, 10:03:49 AM
I'm "Jared A. Sorensen," born Thundarr Gunsmith Darkblayde. I'm currently halfway through serving  a 5-7 year sentence for explosives trafficking (fireworks, but whatever...) in Waltham, Massachusetts. I'm the yard bitch, in case you were wondering.

I'm a divorced dad formely married to Juergen Mayer. I'm from Meztizo ancestry and am the proud papa of four psychotic little bastards (literally!) named Oscar, Anthony, Hugo and Emily (yes, named after the awards). I'm currently confined to a wheelchair after a "basketball accident."

I like taking the piss out of people on the Net.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Mike Holmes on December 05, 2002, 11:01:15 AM
I've met Jared personally. What can I say. All true...

Mike


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Mike Holmes on December 05, 2002, 11:05:15 AM
Quote from: Irmo
Actually, no, Irmo isn't part of my name, it's a name from Tolkien's works.


Damnit, now they're going to take away my Tolkien Fanclub card for not recognizing that. Does it make me culturally insensitive that I thought that Irmo might be an actual German of Scandanavian name? Hey, give me some credit, lots of Tolkien's elvish names sound intentionally like Scandanavian names.

Mike


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: xiombarg on December 05, 2002, 11:20:39 AM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
I've met Jared personally. What can I say. All true...
Well, then, as of now I'm basing a character on Jared. I'm thinking a d20 Modern character.


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 05, 2002, 01:19:15 PM
Greetings Mike,

Long time no chat.  You make some very interesting points.  Alas, in order to properly address them, I have had to do a virtual line-by-line response.  Apologies.


Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: Kester Pelagius
(still wondering how Mr. Nixon would classify him)


When Clinton says that he knows these people, it's because they've revealed facts about themselves. One can, of course, lie about such things, but given that we do occasionally meet each other, and that I think we have such a community here, I think that people just don't lie much. In fact, I think that it's only internet paranioa that keeps people here from acting completely as themselves.

By which I mean to say, is that really your name (sorry, it looks too much like an RPG name for me not to question)?


Yes, in a manner of speaking.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Where are you from?


I was born in Offut AFB, Omaha NE; during the height of the cold war.  Father was a 6 (or was it 7?) striper.  Mother hailed from Greece, originally.  Grew up primarily in Arkansas until I was about 7, when the family moved to the state shaped like a giant... peninsula.  *smirk*

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Is Kester a male or female name?


Depending on the book of names you look it up in Kester is the Scottish/Celtic equivalent of Christopher (my name).

Male.  So far as I know.  (I'm guessing Kestria might be a fair female conersion.  Doubt it though.)

Quote from: Mike Holmes
And are you so damn polite in person? I find your opening salutations to be an interesting, and sometimes humorous statement (it is a statement, isn't it?).


I try to be (polite) when possible.

Mostly I'm just boring, I think.  If that helps any?


Quote from: Mike Holmes
Clinton woudn't dare classify you yet. I haven't seen any information from you that was revealing enough to do so.


Well, the fact I put in "Earth, Mutter's Spiral" as my point of origin should instantly identify me as a fan of Dr. Who, if nothing else.  *wink*


Quote from: Mike Holmes
In the name of full disclosure (and because I like to talk about myself), My full name is Michael Christopher Holmes, and I live in Wauwatosa, WI (which is acttually a suburb of Milwaukee). I am a computer programmer/analyst/statistician/whatever-computer-thing-needs-doing for a company called eFunds (www.eFunds.com). I am a caucasian male of German, Sweedish, Scottish, Austrian, Check, and various other small percentages of other european, descent. And I look it, which is to say that I'm vaugely northern european in a heavyset, balding, yet hairy sort of way. I have been married to my wife Marjorie Silverness, for seven years, and I have one child, a boy named Alex, who attained the ripe old age of two last month. He is Sweedish, a fact that I deduce from his very blonde hair, his accent, and the coincidence of my wife's ancestry and my own.


Congrats!  (On getting married and having a healthy child.  Yes, a bit late, but as I only just found out...)

Ok, I guess fair's only fair.

At the moment I am listening to a MP3 of Black Sabbath, which most would find odd if they were aware that I am Greek Orthodox.  Then again for the longest time the members of my gaming group had no clue either, and the one wiccan lady, when she found out, was flabbergasted.

Never really understood why.  Guess it was because I was GM and created a magic rich world?

Sadly not married, thus have no offspring.  Presently you could say I am doing the "writer" thing.  Which means I am looking for better job all the time.  *snicker*



Quote from: Mike Holmes
Perhaps if people were more forthcoming with their backgrounds, we could be more responsive to their particular needs.


And avoid misunderstandings.

Of course once you start to identify yourself people have a tendancy, however unconsciously, to form labels to pigeon-hole you into who *they* think you are.  Which, too often, isn't who, or what, you are in person at all.  For instance what sort of visual did you get when I mentioned Greek Orthodox?

For those who might have read my other posts, did that astound and confuse you, if did you not care in the slightest?

(Always interested in hearing peoples responses.  I blame that sociology course I took many a long year ago.  *laughs*)


Quote from: Mike Holmes
To quote Pete Townsend: Who are you? Who, who? Who who? I really want to know.


As you see me, I am that I am.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius


P.S.  Almost forgot Pelagius is the nearest Greek word equivalent to my last name.  Anyone want to have a bit of fun and try to guess what it may be?  No fair for those who already know to answer.  (Not that I could stop you.  Have at it!)


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Mike Holmes on December 05, 2002, 02:43:19 PM
Kester,

Air Force? That could be seven stripes then, I think. The Army only does six (the Air Force is always trying to proove their superiority by having nice mess halls, and putting extra stripes on their uniforms).

I was raised Roman Catholic, and I have a large Ozzy collection. I see no problems with that. I should come clean on the whole religion thing. I actually like the religion I was raised in (I hate the whole "recovering Catholic" thing, it was all a positive experience for me). I'm just a bit philosophical about it, and can't legitmately claim to be a practicing member. That all said, I've never been given a hard time about my gaming from anybody associated with the Church, and, in fact, I think that Catholicism is almost responsible for fantasy in some ways.

BTW, answering questions is not line-by-line in any but the most useless and technical senses, IMO. Certainly not to be frowned on, I think. The only time this would not be true is if the question were obviously rhetorical (and even then it's on the asker if it gets answered).

Dr. Who fan? Who isn't (wait, don't answer that; flamewar waiting to happen)?

Quote
For instance what sort of visual did you get when I mentioned Greek Orthodox?
I envisioned the Greek Orthodox church on 92nd street. It's a Frank Lloyd Wright, and pretty sweet. My brother and I dubbed it the flying saucer when we were kids. (http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/flw/orthodox02.jpg)
Milwaukee's a pretty mixed european demographic. I also pictured spoonfuls of wine and Icons, and, yes, the Patriarch, but not you as any of these things.

Mike


Title: Re: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Paganini on December 05, 2002, 03:15:49 PM
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon

Actually, you are, and I didn't know that. Looking at the list, you're one of the few I haven't had a lot of interaction with. So, hello - I'm Clinton, and I like to cook.


Oooh, ooh, this is an awesome thread. This is a great idea. <rubbing hands>

Hi Clinton! Nice to meet you. I finally bought Donjon the other day. It rocks. As expected. :)

(I was worried about how big this was going to be. Then I saw Fang's. :)

OK, in real life, I'm Nathan E. Banks (E. is for Ewell, after an ancestor), much like Mike in descent (mainly British and European). I'm 22, still live at home (I.e., with my parents) in centeral Illinois (which is smack in the middle of the USA, surrounded by cows and corn, for you foreign types). I'm a professional musician, holding a contract with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra (who don't pay anywhere near as much as they should). I also teach private lessons at a local music store. Oh yeah, my instrument is the violin. Sorry Mike, no jam sessions. :)

I too am into the martial arts, specificaly Tai Chi Chuan. I used to like Chess a lot, but I've since discovered the superiorness of Go. I have a really good computer (that that eats up way to many of my $$) that I know a lot about (although likely not as much as Mike) on which I play games like Unreal Tournament 2003 and Total Annihilation. Obviously, I like RPGs, and have for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, due to the rural-ness of my location, there's no one around for me to play with, so I mainly play online. Also, I like playing online because I'm a better writer than I am actor (writing is one of my hobbies, and goes well with game design). Recently (pretty much coinciding exactly with the release of Universalis) I stopped designing games. I like to read, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, but other stuff also, way too many authors to mention. I like movies of the slick hi-tech variety (Matrix, Alien, Abyss, etc.), but I also like fantasy movies (The 13th Warrior) and historical movies (Braveheart) and literary movies (Mel Gibson as Hamlet was cool).

Oh yeah, in case you haven't been following the religion in gaming threads, I'm a christian.

There's a huge map of Middle Earth on the wall over my computer, a chess table (curently buried under a backgammon board) at the end of my bed, a large green desert plant (african milk tree) nearby, a large stereo, two desks, and lots of paper in my bedroom (about an even split between indie-rpgs and sheet music). Most of the rest of my room consists of books alternating with knick knacks (I have a collection of interesting bottles, including a snazzy leather-covered rum bottle, a marble sun-dial, some pewter fantasy minatures, and other nifty shiny things.) There's a Klingon Language poster over the head of my bed.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on December 05, 2002, 03:33:49 PM
I didn't mean to start this, but I like it. My expanded version:

Hi, my real name really is Clinton R. Nixon. No, my parents didn't mean to. I'm originally from the middle of nowhere, Alabama, and grew up on a farm. I'm a college dropout that joined the Army to see the world. I've lived in California, Texas, Arizona, South Korea, Maryland, and now in Washington state. I liked South Korea the best.

I love to cook. I also like cleaning, which my significant other likes a lot. I'm divorced. I'm a white guy, but cling to my sliver of Native American heritage. I have two great cats, Mary Jane Watson and Buckminster Fuller. I also live with my fiancee, Jenaya, who taught me to cook.

I read a lot, especially religious satire like James Morrow, and weird fantasy (Howard, Tim Powers, Gregory Maguire, and Philip Pullman.) I'm currently reading How to Read Superhero Comics and Why by Geoff Klock, and read Children of Prometheus by Christopher Wills before that. I listen to punk rock (Face to Face, the Mekons, the Descendants) and insurgent country (The Waco Brothers, Todd Snider, Old 97's). If you realize one of the punk bands is the same band as one of the country ones, I think you rock.

I got my business license last week, and am trying to start my own web hosting company.

I love my parents, even though they once burnt all my game books. They're ok now, but we don't talk about it. I'm also thinking of moving home for the first time in 8 years - my brother (and best friend) and sister-in-law just had a baby, and all my grandparents just moved into a retirement community. (Together, strangely.) I also have a sister that we adopted when I was 12 and she was 18, and we didn't get along until this year, so I want to be close to her so we can become friends.

I have a dream of forming a cow-punk band with my brother. That's about it.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: quozl on December 05, 2002, 04:10:02 PM
Hi everybody, I'm Jon.

I'm 30 years old, married for 9 years, and have a daughter who is almost 1 year & 5 months old.  I'm a follower of Jesus the Christ and believe the Bible is God's word to mankind.  (I feel this portays me more accurately to others than just saying "I'm a Christian.")  

I do computer programming for a local bank here in Vancouver, Washington.  I like hard music whether it's punk, metal, or rap (it just has to be hard).  I read some sci-fi, fantasy, western, and comedy; Douglas Adams was my favorite.  I also dig James Morrow.  I love the Star Wars trilogy and hate Episode I & II.  I thought the FOTR movie was kind of lame but am still hoping for a good Two Towers.  I have weird humor; my favorite movie is Ice Pirates.

I grew up mostly in Los Angeles and Prineville, Oregon (pop. 5000).  My parents got into that whole "rock is evil" and "D&D is evil" thing but I had already been bitten by the bug and there was no going back (plus I never could find anything evil in it).  I first played Top Secret, then AD&D, an Aliens homebrew game (about the movie), and my parents got me Dragonraid one year for Christmas.  

My first gaming con was last March in Portland, Oregon (Game Storm) and I still remember everything.  It was great fun.  I met Clinton there and joined The Forge right after.  It's good to be here!


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: lumpley on December 05, 2002, 04:42:04 PM
I'm David Vincent Baker.  David's never been the name I've gone by, always Vincent.  I was raised Mormon, in Utah and New York state, but I left the religion when I was 18.  I made an honest go at Neopaganism, but ended up an atheist of the worst sort.  I'm 30.  I've been married since before I was legal to drink (that's 21, in the US).  I've got 2 sons, one 6, one 2.  I'm not out to my parents or sibs.  I like really violent movies but am otherwise kind of a mild-mannered, good-natured person.  Cooking is one of my favorite things.

I, um, like the way ants taste.  They taste like shock tarts, you know, that kind of artifical sour.  The fascinating part is that they taste that way before you crunch them.  They crunch about the same as sesame seeds, which surprised me at first.  I expected them to be grittier.

-Vincent


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: wyrdlyng on December 05, 2002, 05:23:01 PM
Let's keep the stone rolling...

My name is Alexis Hunter, born Alexis Sardina. I am from Miami Beach, Florida and managed to make it all the way across the bridge to Miami, Florida where I currently live. I am 29 and have been married for 8 years come this Winter Solstice. I am a computer technician (aka lackey) for a large, evil electrical utility until the end of the month (my resignation notice has the 27th as my last day). Next month I start Art School to get a BFA in Computer Animation.

My interests are roleplaying (since I was 7), Anime & Manga (with a fondness for romantic comedies and giant robots), Kung Fu movies, Mobster movies, and Comic Books (since I was 4). I am also a video game fiend (all 4 major consoles and a tricked out PC). I have recently dipped my fingers into Miniature Painting and building model robot kits (working on a Deathscythe Hell Custom Gundam and 2 Pat Labors).

My parents are from Cuba but there is also some Puerto Rican, Carib Indian, Spanish and "whatever ethnicity people from the Canary Islands are" in my genetic make-up. I was born and raised a Catholic but it didn't stick and I was never Confirmed. (I was even an altar boy and sang in the choir.) The closest thing to a religion that I follow is the Tao.

I have no children and no pets. I am trying to teach myself Japanese but it's really freaking hard and I am easily distracted. I am also a big fan of all things related to Winnie the Pooh.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 05, 2002, 05:58:50 PM
Greetings Mike,

Ah, the tinny sound of rain rattling against the walls of this small cottage like room behind the fireplace, how like a sullen silence, the deathly quiet of a mausoleum in winter time...

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Air Force? That could be seven stripes then, I think. The Army only does six (the Air Force is always trying to proove their superiority by having nice mess halls, and putting extra stripes on their uniforms).


Funny thing is, once upon a time, I probably could have told you precisely what his rank and grade was.  *shrug*

I know he was a DI for several years before I was born.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I was raised Roman Catholic, and I have a large Ozzy collection. I see no problems with that. I should come clean on the whole religion thing. I actually like the religion I was raised in (I hate the whole "recovering Catholic" thing, it was all a positive experience for me). I'm just a bit philosophical about it, and can't legitmately claim to be a practicing member. That all said, I've never been given a hard time about my gaming from anybody associated with the Church, and, in fact, I think that Catholicism is almost responsible for fantasy in some ways.


If by that you are referring to the fact Constantine pretty much re-created and constituted (the reformed institution of what would become) Christianity, or at least utilized it (great to have leverage against the Mithrais cult, which also happened to be the military power base), and then along came Theodosius who pretty much turned it (society, the religious establishment, et al) inside out and flipped the world on it's ear as he closed temples, shut down all opposing institutions, and burned all books which he thought were remotely likely to allow for any sort of alternative mode of thought all over the place so the Dark Ages could dawn...

Then I'm right with you on "the Church" being purveyors of "fantasy in some ways", more or less, to a degree, kinda of thing.

Sort of.


Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote
For instance what sort of visual did you get when I mentioned Greek Orthodox?
I envisioned the Greek Orthodox church on 92nd street. It's a Frank Lloyd Wright, and pretty sweet. My brother and I dubbed it the flying saucer when we were kids. (http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/flw/orthodox02.jpg)
Milwaukee's a pretty mixed european demographic. I also pictured spoonfuls of wine and Icons, and, yes, the Patriarch, but not you as any of these things.


Ok, now I am intrigued.

What, pray tell, sort of vision *did/do* you have?


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: wraeththu on December 05, 2002, 07:42:42 PM
the short run of who/what I am -
Wade Jones
Welsh descent, US Citizen, living in Atlanta Georgia.
Buddhist
Married, no children.
College Grad
working in the IT Field

That's the stats.

-wade


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Emily Care on December 05, 2002, 08:35:13 PM
I'm so happy to have more background on my fellow Forge-ites!  What a gift to be able, and willing, to share something of ourselves.  That's community.  

My extended version:

My name is Emily Care Boss. I've been known as  Emily or Em all my life and have started using my middle name more lately.  Emily's now like the second most popular name--when I go into stores I invariably hear some mother yell "Emily!" and I look around guiltily until I realize she's scolding the two year old playing on the ground, not me...  But I digress.

I live in Western MA. This summer I moved into a house being built by a good friend of mine, the sister of Meguey in my gaming group. It's been amazing to watch it develop, and to be a part of the community that helped Serena build it.  Vincent and Meguey are my long-term gaming homies and best friends, & are like family, and I feel extremely grateful to have happened upon them in my wanderings.  

My ethnicity is celtic/teutonic: Irish, English, German and Scottish. I grew up in Connecticut and have lived in New England in the states all my life.  I'm caucasian, female, 31, bi, poly, leftist/socialist and pagan.  I used to own two pet rats. I now care for two kittens, named Hugin and Munin. Among my first books read were the LOTR series at age 7.  I have too many hobbies to mention, though at present my spiritual life is taking center stage and I'm loving it.  I also study martial arts as I said in my other post (Tae Kwon Do and also Chi Gung), I silk paint and marbleize fabric--though its been many years since I've done so, I have space to set up a studio so I'll be able to do so again soon.  I study trees. I meditate. I'm an only child.  

My gaming career began with friends with whom I later lived in an urban commune (including Meguey and Vincent).  For a stretch of time, we recorded our gaming sessions on an 8 track recorder set up (with two mics) and the gm transcribed much of it.  It all seemed perfectly natural at the time. :)  I've never LARPed though I did put handcuffs on for a climactic session where my serial killer mage was on trial for killing her master. Good cathartic character that.  (I miss Caleth...)  

I was raised UCC, which is one slight shuffle to the mainstream from Unitarian Universalist, so I had an excellent, intellectually stimulating, fairly socially progressive christian upbringing, with none of it stuffed down my throat. My parents didn't baptize me as a child so I could chose for myself. I later found that my desire for spirit in my life fit better with neopagan traditions.  My parents are christian and study buddhism as well as various mystical traditions. We're all geeky non-trads.

I work in the main library at UMass, Amherst.  I'm pretty quiet and unassuming looking.  Several people have told me lately that they'd never guess what I was like from having met me, so I'm glad to be able to be seen for who I really am here as well.

Well met, everyone.

--Emily Care


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: hardcoremoose on December 05, 2002, 08:53:59 PM
Hey there,

I'd like to think I need no introduction, but since my posting has fallen off of late, I realize I'm being delusional.  So here's the pertinent info:

My name is Scott Knipe.  I'm 30 years old.  I'm married, and have been since last October.  I have two cats but no kids, and never intend on having any.  I have the same birthday as J.R.R. Tolkien.

I'm a fledgling game designer and film buff.  The former you could have guessed, and the latter applies most especially to horror films.  I've always been a fan of horror flicks - the sicker the better - but it's only been the last few years that my finances have caught up with my interest, allowing me to acquaint myself with certain elements of the genre that had thus far eluded me.  I'm in seventh heaven right now, finally getting to delve into the realm of European schlock beyond the basic Argento-Fulci-Bava triumvirate, and riding the wave of cool Japanese horror which has yet to crest.

It galls to me to admit that I do not have an All Region DVD player.  And I've never seen a Jean Rollin film.

God, I'm such a hopeless fanboy.

Here's an interesting tidbit.  I work for a major midwestern retailer as "undercover" store security; basically, I bust shoplifters for a living.  It's pretty exciting actually, but I'm always loath to reveal that information to new gamers.  The reason for this, as you might guess, is because I stereotype other gamers as dissidents and anti-authoritarians, and suspect that more than a few of them engage in recreational retail fraud.  Of course, this is terribly prejudicial of me, and I have a considerable amount of circumstantial evidence to point to the contrary (namely, nobody I game with displays any sort of criminal behavior), but the bias persists.  Normally I wouldn't mention this here - I simply don't want what I do for a living to interfere with my fun - but since we've been talking about social context and whatnot, I thought I'd throw it out there.

And that's about it.

Take care,
Scott


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 05, 2002, 09:20:48 PM
Greetings hardcoremoose,

Sometimes I look up at my shelf and wonder... Why am I not playing Dungeon Keeper 2 or The Fallen instead of being online?

Then I remember the hard drive crash and think of all those levels I'd have to redo to get where I was.

Quote from: hardcoremoose
It galls to me to admit that I do not have an All Region DVD player.  And I've never seen a Jean Rollin film.


Believe it or not you can sometimes find a few of them at Best Buy.

Just be aware that certain Franco titles are *very* similar to Rollins (Exorcisms comes to mind.)  Bought that one thinking it was the Rollins title, till I got it home and realized it was the Franco title which, had I given it some thought as I stood there in the aisle, like actually reading the back cover blurb, I probably could have figured out.  *laughs*

Don't much care for the splatter genre.  Nice DVD though.

So, which Rollins films were you thinking of getting?

BTW: if you haven't already, check out the web site for "Something Weird Video".  Back when VHS was reigning supreme they claimed to be the only "official" source for Rollins vids.  Should have info on there web page, if it still exists.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Mike Holmes on December 05, 2002, 09:37:21 PM
Kester,

Um, average height, slim, long brown hair, glasses. Wearing a dark colored jacket, even while typing at the computer.

What does it matter what I envision?

Mike


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Adam on December 05, 2002, 09:45:22 PM
This will be incoherent, because it's late :-)

I'm Adam Jury. Twenty-two years old, born in Southern Alberta, Canada, but moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada just this November to take a full-time job at Guardians of Order. Yeah, it's non-indie, but it pays the bills and I get to do what I love. I've been bumming around the industry for awhile; I also maintain ShadowrunRPG.com for FanPro, and the gig that lead up to that was the twice Origins Award Nominated magazine The Shadowrun Supplemental.

I'm seeing a wonderful woman, albeit longdistance - I'll be spending three weeks with her at the end of this month and the beginning of next, and hopefully during those weeks I'll get the chance to explore some of Europe. I've lived - briefly, for two months this year - in Chicago, and I ocassionally catch myself referring to it as 'home.'

I'm a professional wrestling and hockey fan, and although I technically play guitar I don't have either of them with me now and I'm long out of practice. My hair is long and naturally brown, but I dyed it a natural red shade last year and it's still mostly that tint; except the tips, which are turqoise.

I can't look away from the TV whenever a Grand Theft Auto: Vice City commercial comes on; I want that game.

I'm an atheist and not particularly politically minded. I know it's a cop-out, but I don't have the time to pay enough attention to politics to understand them well enough. I barely graduated high school - mostly due to laziness and depression - and never attended any post secondary schooling. I want to go back, but only in an abstract sense. I've worked blue collar long enough to know that I don't want to go back, but I'm a better person for having been there.

And... I have to be at work in the morning. Back to the trenches. ;-)


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: talysman on December 05, 2002, 10:57:38 PM
I'm not normally a big fan of profiling, but here goes:

as you all may know already from my sig, my name is John Laviolette. I've been active on the Forge for about two months, after being lead here by some reviews on RPGNet. I came looking for design ideas and discussion, leavened with any other serious discussion that could provide inspiration.

I'm male, just turned 39, and just left a web hosting tech job with a major ISP. I've been taking time off and living off my severance pay, although that will have to change soon. (heh).

geographically, I'm a californian, although I've lived in several other states, mostly in the midwest. culturally, I'm mixed scots-irish, french, english, and cherokee, with a lot of other tiny bits. religiously, I was raised sort-of-christian in a mixed religious household; after the highschool years, I became a neo-pagan (druid) for a while, but had some issues with neo-paganism as a movement. now, I'm an independent pantheist with some mild zen/taoist influence, although if I'm in a peevish mood, I will tell people I'm a subgenius or a kibologist instead. you will notice that I don't talk to people on this forum the way I would talk to people on Usenet, though.

one of my other interests, as I've mentioned, is composing and performing experimental music under the name krisTal marimba lounge. I've performed at the Northern California Experimental Music Festival for the last three years and even got to perform on live college radio as a "promotion" for the last festival; it's all very exciting, but noise is not a commercially viable musical genre -- it's even more of a hobby field than RPGs. still, I'm successful enough to have acquired one jealous stalker. =)

another interest is video and animation. I'm mostly taping other people's noise performances and making animations for my musical compositions. I have some other ideas for how I would like to develop that talent, but it's going to take a lot more work...

other interests include pre-'80s music (for listening,) '50s sci-fi (for watching,) humor and swords-and-sorcery (for reading,) writing, and travel.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Jake Norwood on December 06, 2002, 12:01:00 AM
I'm not really sure if I want to do this or not, but what the hell; I've really enjoyed reading yours, and so I should pay for it, I guess.

My name is Jacob Peter Norwood (named after two guys in the Bible that blew it pretty badly but turned out okay anyway. I think it was appropriate), I was born in Fort Rucker, Alabama. My father is a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force (although I grew up with him in the army...long story). He's an Austrian Immigrant, and Norwood is his adopted name. My mom's blood is scots/irish/german. She's 6" taller then my dad, whence I get my height.

I'm Mormon, but unlike Vincent (who I respect for making his own decision) my inner-searching led me to stick to it and really become one, not just hang out with my Mormon parents. I served a 2-year mission in Poland, mostly in Warsaw. I married an Albanian, Earta, about a year and a few months after I got home. I've been married for 2 years next week. We don't have any kids yet, as we're both in school still. And probably will be for a long time. I'm a linguistics student. I teach Polish and speak, study, or have studied Polish, Russian, Welsh, French, Bib. Hebrew, Old Anglo-Saxon, Albanian, and Latin. There's more, but I always forget. My wife speaks just about as many.

I've been gaming since I was 11. My first convention was this year. It scared the hell out of me. My first RPG was a D&D LARP. I haven't LARPed since.

I live in a 91-year-old house-apartment in Provo, UT, but I was raised military, and don't consider myself as being from anywhere. Other than RPGs I practice late medieval swordsmanship (ARMA Gen. Free Scholar) and draw (about 1/3 of TROS' drawings are mine). I've recently taken up weightlifting as well, and find myself becoming my father (to the abhorrence of my mother).

I plan on escaping to Europe sooner or later, either to live in Poland or Albania, or to study at Oxford.

Probably more than you wanted to know.

Jake


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Ziriel on December 06, 2002, 01:32:45 AM
It's been so fun reading everyone's bios on here.  It really fleshes some of you out for me.  How cool that we can do this without the afore mentioned paranoia.  I don't feel that I can read all of that and not contribute, so, here goes nothing...

I, Ziriel, am one of the less common, yet ever so sought after, women here on the Forge.  I am a quarter of a century old and have already begun to feel it in my knees, much to my dismay.  My blood iz mostly Dutch, German & Irish which makes me the whitest girl you ever did see.  :)

I was born in Columbus Ohio where I lived in a gigantic victorian mansion until the age of 7 when my parents had the unfortunate luck of going bankrupt.  (It's a long and sorted tale...but trust me when I say "unfortunate luck".)  We then lived in a van and travelled the country for a summer and I, being a child, loved every minute of it.  We then settled here in Colorado where my folks and I still live.  (Although not in the same town anymore to my mother's and my phone bill's ire.)  Riches, to rags, to middle class.

I went to college for English, and dropped out half way through after realizing one day: Yee gawds I hate school!  I worked at The Denver Post for two years as well, until I had a similar realization about journalism.  Now I drive cars, and make chump change, but I'm happier.  I live with a wonderful guy who I have been seeing for 7 years now, yet still hasn't married me.  (He will likely kerthwap me when he notices I posted that, as he reads the Forge as well.)  I have no children, and that makes me smile.  I have no dogs currently, and that makes me frown.

I first learned of gaming from my father when I was six.  He played D&D once a week.  I thought he actually went out and slayed dragons; I occationally worried.  Can't tell you how funny I think that iz now.  I too am writing a game.  If I ever name it I'll let you all know.  Most of my spare time/energy goes into that.  

I play the cello.  I meditate.  I have stacks of anime that my friends borrow for monthes at a time.  I love to read, especially Tom Robbins, Christopher Moore, & (I'm embarrassed to admit this) Laurell K. Hamilton.  One of my two bedrooms iz a library.  I listen to music almost constantly and have more CD's than any sane person should.  My tastes are varied in that arena but I am listening to Deep Forest at the moment.  (I find the new album odd yet interesting...)

I think that's it.  Ahh, no wait... My hair iz purple and black.  I had always wanted to try something wild and fortune gave me a chance this fall.  Ordinarily I'm just a jeans and T-shirt kind o gal but it's been quite fun watching people react to my odd hair, especially since I'm used to blending in.  "Look Mom! That girl has purple hair!" You have to love the honesty of youth.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Fabrice G. on December 06, 2002, 02:34:21 AM
Hi, nice to know all of you a bit more...

My name is Fabrice Gdak (thus the G.), i'm a french guy two weeks from my 28th birthday.

I live with my girlfriend, no kids yet.

My father is a polish catholic-raised and my mother is a polish jew (both are non-belivers). I'm an atheist, but with an (intellectual) interest in religions.

I'm still a student (think the eternal student archetype). I have a three years university degree in history (intermediate betwwen an undergraduate and a master degree), and I'm now preparing a educational engineering degree (master degree, next year).

I discovered RPG at 15, and have been playing since.

I'm too a movie buff. I like orininal and inovative (and extreme) films. I enjoy gothic horror novel and noir fiction (Caleb Carr, James Ellroy, ...).


Fabrice.


Title: Xiobio
Post by: xiombarg on December 06, 2002, 07:44:38 AM
I'm Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer and there's very little I can talk about myself that you can't learn by examining stuff I already have on the 'Net.

http://xiombarg.livejournal.com (be sure to look at my user info, lots of raw data there)
http://www.io.com/~xiombarg
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2016 (don't post to this, it's an old thread)

The only thing not covered there is I grew up in West Virginia, went to high school in Pittsburgh, PA, went to school in Iowa, and have lived at various times in my life in California, North Carolina, and most recently Maryland. I work as a subcontractor for NASA; you can look at one of the projects I maintain (http://www.wff.nasa.gov/~websafs) and stuff about the contract I'm on (http://www.csoconline.com).

Edit: I found the Forge during the "great Gaming Outpost exodus"... I'm your basic Western Civilization white male, only I'm not dead and I'm pagan. I'm always looking for new gamers in Salisbury, MD.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Matt Snyder on December 06, 2002, 09:32:17 AM
I'll bite ...

I'm Matt Snyder. I grew up in (and ended up in) Carlisle, Iowa, though my "home away from home" is Iowa City, where I attended the University of Iowa -- go Hawks!. Iowa boy through and through. I'm 27. I married my high-school sweetheart five years ago, and we now have a wonderful 2-year-old daughter. We all live in an old blue house on Elm Street (no nightmares). My wife is a teacher. Our only "church" is academics and education, though I was raised Methodist. In Iowa, that's mostly like saying "I breathed as a child". All in all, we're about as middle-of-the-road as you can get in nearly all respects, with a healthy dose of liberal academia for good sense.

Living where I do keeps me close to family, and old friends, nearly all of whom are much the same as me -- easy-going Midwesterners who enjoy a good laugh and polite company. I still mostly chum around with guys (and a few gals) I knew in high-school, and we game pretty frequently, though we've also met some new friends and gamers along the way.

My day job is basically that of a multitasking journalist. I work at an agricultural magazine, and I'm spend most of my time editing web pages, creating special projects and features, and doing lots of graphic design, both for print and online media. That experience, naturally, pays off big time when it comes to doing layouts for RPGs!

I've got all sorts of time-devouring hobbies. I'm a huge music fan, particularly of classic and psychedelic rockers (the usual retro kicks: Zeppelin, Hendrix, Cream, Jethro Tull, Dylan, Neil Young, etc. etc.). That love spawned a love for _playing_ the music, and I play my ivory Fender Jazz bass in a "power trio" -- strictly garage band fun (pretty analagous to gaming groups, as Ron has already pointed out  many times!). Can you who know me imagine me wailing as lead singer to, say, Rockin' in the Free World? Yeah, go figure.

(I still want to do a classic rock-related RPG thingy, most likely a psychedelia-laden Sorcerer supplement called The Sleeping People -- a reference to a Jimi Hendrix interview on Dick Cavett Show (sp?) Far out. Some day ...)

I've got a veritable library of reading materials, as well; favorites include: Michael Moorcock, Homer, Joseph Conrad, Don Delillo, Gene Wolfe, Kurt Vonnegut, George Martin, Tolkien, Lovecraft, Leiber, Leslie Marmon Silko, Alan Moore, Philip K. Dick, John Gardnerand others I'm forgetting . . .  I'm also a stark-raving mad news hound, having picked up the habbit from my newspaper journalist days.

The wife and I also have a healthy collection of mostly "mainstream" VHS and DVD movies that we enjoy. Some of my favorite films include mostly the usual round-up: Apocalypse Now, Fellowship of the Ring, The Big Lebowski, Unforgiven (Dust Devils -- go figure!), Blade Runner, Braveheart, Heat, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Ghost Dog, Bond flicks and many others.

Far too infrequently, I do some fiction writing and the occasional op-ed piece for  the newspaper. I'm also, like many previous posters, a big video game nut -- currently playing Splinter Cell on X-box, and whatever I can get my quirky, "frigid" PC to run.

I've been playing RPGs in one form or another since the third or fourth grade when my older brother ran AD&D for me. At the time, that was sort of like getting to go to batting practice with Joe DiMaggio, you know what I mean? Anyway, I was hooked. I played RPGs like a fiend all through high-school, and mostly through college as well. As friends moved away, marriages ensued and so on, gaming went a bit off and on, but we kept it going throughout, despite a couple dry spells. My gaming history revolved around a lot of games, but primarily of the D&D variety.

Now, I'm having a great time with a new group of old chums, and my experience here on the Forge has really opened my eyes to what I like in gaming and how exciting (and sometimes, what? Sophisticated?) the possibilties are. A veritable RPG rennaissance I also really enjoy doing game design work, and have had a blast with Dust Devils and my current project Nine Worlds. There's something about the game-design bug that just gets me going.

Also, for those who don't know, I have done all sorts of freelance graphic design and layout for fellow Forgers and other small-to-mid size RPG publishers. That's been a real treat, getting to see "sneak peeks" of great games, and especially building relationships and friendships with the people I work with. Forgers I've worked with include: Cynthia Celeste Miller, Ron Edwards, Jared Sorensen, Ralph Mazza & Mike Holmes, and Scott Knipe. Great folks and wonderfully creative minds, all.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Shreyas Sampat on December 06, 2002, 09:46:42 AM
Mmm, tasty profiling bait.

I'm Shreyas Sampat.  That is in fact my real name; it's Sanskrit and not really that difficult to pronounce.
I was born in the outskirts of Bombay, but moved to northern Jersey shortly afterwards.  Grew up there.

I was raised Somewhat Hindu, which means that we played out the rituals and went to the parties but didn't really take them to heart.  I've had a lot of interesting discussions with Mom about the significance of various holiday traditions.  Eventually, I settled on a firm agnostic viewpoint.

At the moment, I'm nineteen, a student, studying linguist and amateur costume designer.  I used to responsibly update my Elfwood gallery...  Occasionally I'm a writer in the Surrealist vein of Murakami, or a mythologer.  I listen to punk and folk fusion: SR-71, Garmarna, etc.  I cook when other people eat comfort food.

I used to be a dissatisfied D&D player, then shortly afterward a bored Amber player and an excited Mage: the Sorcerers Crusade player.  I soon fell to game design  as the only route to finding my Dream Game.

I plan, sooner or later, to find a place to live where I can get good Belgian chocolate and leave my door unlocked.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Jared A. Sorensen on December 06, 2002, 10:30:10 AM
Okay, for real since we're all playing "getting to know you."

My name is Jared A. Sorensen. Holy shit, I'm thirty years old. I grew up in Western Massachusetts and Southern Maine, moved to San Francisco for five years and am now back in the pillowy busom of New England (New Hampshire) where I work as a tester for Infogrames Interactive. My girlfriend Rebecca and I bought a 158-year old house on Halloween. It has a dog buried in the backyard, true!

My ethnographic would place me squarely in region of "Euro-American mongrel" (French-Canadian, German, Italian and possibly Martian...still waiting on the DNA test). Religiously, politically (same thing, really)...I'm not -- and I question the motivations of anyone who prefaces any statement with the words, "Well, as a ________..." be it a religious affiliation, sexual orientation or political ideology. So there's my bit.

I have a gaming group! Mike Mearls, Dave Turner and I get together to play Magic: the Gathering and RPGs (as well as hang out, watch movies, yaddah yaddah). And I even have a gaming room in my house where I store my RPGs, bass (the guitar, not the fish) and other bits and pieces. We're playing Mutants & Masterminds right now...possibly looking for additional players to join out merry band?

I like to read cool superhero comics (and any other good superhero-related material), novels (Jim Munroe, Andrew Vachss, Chuck Palahniuk, JG Ballard, weird kids' books, Neal Stephenon, etc. etc. etc.) and watch movies (almost anything, the weirder the better). I'm a big ol' metalhead and have a pretty nice collection of metal CD's (lotsa German stuff). I also like surf, goth, industrial and new wave.

And in case you've been living under a freakin' rock, I run Memento Mori Theatricks (www.memento-mori.com). My latest creations were released in April and August of 2002 (InSpectres and octaNe). I'm on the design team for the Decay RPG by Studio Ronin and have my mitts in other pies as well.

Yes, I spelled bosom wrong but I'm okay with that.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Bankuei on December 06, 2002, 10:46:35 AM
Hey hey-

Chris Chinn, 24, currently unemployed, although I spent a few years in human resources, with a college background of graphic design and computer animation.  Ethnicity of Chinese/Caucasian(English and Irish).
I grew up in Seattle, spent college in Vancouver BC, returned for a while, and just a few months ago moved out to Detroit to study a rare martial art.

My earlier game group consisted of close friends who I knew from high school years and whom I socialized with a lot outside of gaming.  As folks moved away, got busy, got married, I formed a few new groups which failed to work out as well.  Coming to the Forge, I later hooked up with Clinton, Dan Root, and James Cunningham for a few months and had a great time(Wassup guys?)

Currently without a game group, as I've just moved house(again), but looking to start again soon.  I'm also in the midst of working on several game projects which I may or may not publish, but what the hell, I'm having fun.

I'm big into hiphop, HK movies, some anime, gangster flicks, comics in general, tea, and philosophy/spirituality.  Think of me as a cross between a chinese warrior scholar, an otaku nerd, and a westcoast gangster and you won't be far off.

Chris


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Chris Passeno on December 06, 2002, 11:55:51 AM
OK,
My name is... Christopher Glenn Passeno.  I was born in a hospital which is no more in Sandusky, Ohio to a Farmers daughter and a Marine.  My ethnicity is the typical American Heinz 57 Varieties, though mainly French-Canadian and Scottish.

I am 31 years old, raised as a military brat, and have lived in a lot of the States, as well as year in Okinawa.  I've been married to my High School Sweet-Heart for 11 years and have a son who should be starting school next year.

I've been in the printing industry since I was a Junior in High School.  I learned Typesetting prior to Desktop Publishing being invented.  I graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh 11 years ago and am the Manager of Colortech Graphics and Printing Westerville location.

I like Sci-Fi/Fantasy and have an undiagnosed Television addiction.  Seriously... I'm like a deer in headlights.

I game every other Sunday, much  to my wife's chagrin.  We are currently running an Earthdawn campaign.  I've been gaming since I was 15, with a brief hiatus for college.

This past Origin's I met Ron, Jason, Mike, Ralph, Jacob, and Jared.  I hope to see them all next Origins along with other Forgers.

"I guess that's about all I gotta say, 'bout that."


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: greyorm on December 06, 2002, 12:31:50 PM
Raven Daegmorgan. Everyone knows me as either "Raven" or "Orm," excepting family and old friends from high school, all of who still call me by my "real" name. Raven is not actually my legal birth-name, but I don't like my actual, real, legal name. At some point, I do plan on having it changed. Hence, I consider Raven to be my real name.

On-line I've used the handle "the GreyOrm" for more years than I can recall...and yes, Orm is an actual, real-world name, straight from the Norse sagas, though that isn't the original reason I chose it. Though I understand it, it never-the-less bugs me to no end when someone references me as "greyworm" (suprisingly, something that has only happened here on the Forge).

I was born and grew up in a small tourist town in Minnesota about six miles, by canoe, from Canada; population ~4000 (the town, not Canada...though there's a good joke in there!). I only recently moved to a larger city in the same area. I use the telling phrase "ay?" in speech. I have a slightly younger sister whom I am only now appreciating. I have more cousins than I can count and am related in some distant fashion to many of the people in my home town.

I was raised Roman Catholic and was devoutly faithful, including hard-ass preaching to the sinners and consideration of joining the seminary, until a September night back in '92. Jon's (quozl) statement precisely contains my beliefs up until that time. I still ended up becoming a priest. I am quite literally embarrassed by and disgusted with my former "religious" attitude and behavior.

I'm a computer technician/programmer/web designer/consultant by day and a dark avenger of justice by night...no, wait, that last bit's wrong. I'm also a professional editor, a writer (of fantasy, poetry and philosophy/commentary), an artist and designer, a licensed pagan minister and a father. I'd like to go back to school to pick up an advanced physics degree.

I have three kids -- one boy, 6, and two girls, 3 and 10 mos. -- Galen, Anastastia and Alexandria, and am-not-married-but-might-as-well-be to their mother, Jenny, whom I've been with for eight years. We eventually plan to get married, but see no pressing need -- we're already as married as one can be.

Tech stuff is what I do for a living, but an artist is what I consider myself. People who believe and act as though there is some tremendous gulf between artistic and technical people bother me; much the same with people who can't fathom anything but a divide between spiritual and scientific people, as though individuals must be or can only be one or the other. I think people with this viewpoint are seriously missing out on a big part of life -- skeptic tech geeks and New Age eco hippies both.

I'm presumably Wiccan, but definitely fringe eclectic, and deeply immersed in the ways of my cultural heritage (Norse Asatru) as well as a student of the Bhudda's teachings and Zen. I see no conflicts therein; when you get right down to it it's all about making decisions about how one chooses to live their life, exploring the best way to do so and ecstatic shamanistic journeying.

I'm Caucasian, skinny and pale (I burn easily, unlike my sister) with dark hair that I wear long; and though I'm mostly Finnish and Norse (followed by Germanic and Slavic), I'm quite often mistaken as having Native American blood. I'm also often mistaken for a woman, even with obvious facial hair (my sometimes moustache and Shaggy-style chin-fuzz). My wife comments she is jealous of my long eyelashes.

I always wanted to be six-foot tall with blond hair and blue eyes. Given my genetic bloodline, I ought to be.

I'm told I sound older than I am and look younger than I am. I'm 26, mistaken for 45 and 16. This is probably a good combination.

People who've only read me describe me as a balding, 40-ish professor in tweed...apparently they think I'm Ron...just kidding, Ron doesn't wear tweed (at least I don't think he does). As stated, people who've met me in person think I'm either 16 or a girl. I never go into bars or buy cigarettes, so I'm never carded.

I can multi-task, much to the chagrin of employers or instructors over the years who have wanted to catch me off-guard "screwing around" or "not focusing." I have been known to do more than five things at once without missing a beat: writing e-mail, chatting, listening/studying, in-depth writing, reading, answering questions (immediately & correctly), and often eating or watching a movie. Anything less is often a waste of my time, since my focus doesn't usually "improve" by doing fewer tasks.

I was the second youngest person in my high-school class...the youngest was the girl born a few minutes after me in the same hospital. I barely graduated from high school, but I was part of the Honor's Society every quarter during college.

My IQ tests in the 135 range, or near-genius.

I've been a vegetarian for six years. Previously, I was an avowed carnivore, and still believe if you are going to eat flesh, particularly steak, the only proper way is red, rare and bloody. My wife thinks this is disgusting.

My wife is in school for Nursing, and plans on a Master's degree as a Physicians' Assistant (a Doctor who cannot perform surgeries). I, on the other hand, faint at the sight of blood or the thought of needles and scalpels (you do NOT want to be the one giving me a shot, as I kick and bite).

I can read/speak Deutsch (German) passingly and am looking into learning Japanese. Languages fascinate me, and I have a hobby even more obscure than designing RPGs: Model Languages (http://www.other-space.com/brent/library/language/); I have actually created about three basic languages in my spare time over the years, and various fits-and-starts of others.

Thought-processes and the study of behaviors (and society) also fascinate me.
Well, nearly any scientific branch of study fascinates me, except medicine.

I have a temper, which I'm often chided for by my wife. Nonetheless, I don't believe in violence as a means to solve any problem, gun ownership or the modern army. I am almost a pacifist.

I call Jenny my "wife" because...well, I have no other word to describe it, and "domestic partner" just doesn't have that affectionate ring to it.

Most of my friends are and always have been female, and I'm not into sports, hunting, fishing or similar activities. I've studied Tae Kwon Do, though I'm badly out-of-shape and out-of-practice currently.

I don't sleep enough.

I'm usually between jobs, most often due factors beyond my control (ie: state budget cuts, crazed satanic-conspiracy theorists and similar).

I'm a communist by belief and willing to explain the often ignored pitfalls of capitalism and why it isn't the best thing since sliced bread, owing to various issues, especially and particularly humanitarian ones. I am easily annoyed by ill-read people who mistake communism for "what they had in Russia (or China)."

I'm never on time.

I watch cartoons.

I find Americans, as a group, too provincial for their own good -- that is, unworldly, ignorant and yet self-assured. I more than suspect this is not true in Europe or Canada.

Some of my favorite movies are "The Whole Nine Yards," "My Blue Heaven" and "Alien."

I'm slightly paranoid and suffer from clinical depression. I'm too much of a bastard to give in to my darker, more self-destructive urges, however, which the only reason I'm still alive.

I've recently begun to realize not everyone who disagrees with me is an idiot.

I am nothing like the person who attended high-school. I am more outgoing, less concerned with acceptance or fitting-in, less hot-headed and wiser. I generally realize my faults, like taking things too seriously or arguing past the point of reason.

I have an agenda for the human race, and I think they're failing to live up to their potential. They're also surprising and better than they realize.

And that honestly only scratches the surface.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Matt Machell on December 06, 2002, 12:46:55 PM
Since we're all joining in...

I'm Matthew Rupert Machell (rhymes with Rachel), born 26 years ago in Southampton (UK) to a marine engineer and a teacher. My ancestors came across with the Norman conquest, so I'm about as white as you get. I live with my girlfriend of 5 years, Frances, in a flat in Birmingham. I'm agnostic.

I work for a publishing company (http://www.glasshaus.com) as a technical editor. I used to be a web designer/developer, and still dabble with that role. I have a degree in computer science (but studied Literature and Art at college), and spent most of my university years playing RPGs.

I'm about 6ft, have long dark hair, and tend to wear black. Unsurprisingly I like Rock, Metal, and Punk. In my spare time I read (Iain M Banks, Pratchett, any fantasy without the words king or sword in the title), watch movies, play the guitar (badly), write, and learn Tai Chi.

I've been roleplaying since I first read a Fighting Fantasy book at age 9. Fortunately Birmingham has a thriving roleplaying community, and there are more games than I have time to play. I am currently addicted to the Lord of the Rings trading card game.

-Matt


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Adam on December 06, 2002, 12:54:09 PM
Quote from: Chris Passeno
Jason, Mike, Ralph, Jacob, and Jared.  I hope to see them all next Origins along with other Forgers.

Ahem. Am I that forgettable? :P


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 06, 2002, 12:59:05 PM
Greetings Mike,

In the way of blurbs this sentence is, perhaps, amongst the lowest rated and ranked blurb which will ever be read.  Thank you.  (+2 INT points for reading this far.)

Quote from: Mike Holmes
What does it matter what I envision?


Just curious.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Um, average height, slim, long brown hair, glasses. Wearing a dark colored jacket, even while typing at the computer.


Not bad.  (For the me of about a decade ago.)


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: contracycle on December 06, 2002, 01:11:56 PM
Hmm, well.  My name is Gareth Martin, I'm 31 and living in a shared house in London.  I'm descended from Normans and then English combined with Welsh.  My maternal grandfather was an infantry officer in WWI and I have inherited his rapier.  He moved to Kenya because of the consumption.  This side of the family was a branch of an English aristo line with a history of Colonial service, but was pushed south through successive insurgencies, passing through then-Rhodesia and settling at Cape Town, in South Africa.  

I was born in Brighton (the UK one), though, and my father was Welsh, although both lived in SA.  However I now little about that side of the family as my parents divorced when I was 2 and he was then killed in a car accident, so I never met him (or two half-brothers in Australia, as it happens).  My mother then returned to her mothers house and I was raised in the garden-plot suburbs of Cape Town.  They were tacitly Anglican, but I decided that god was improbable pretty early on.  When I was about 12, I was brought to the UK to meet relatives and see the Old Country, and chanced upon a box of D&D, which went home with me.  I played D&D and then AD&D through half of secondary school and highschool, most of which was unremarkable.  As I got older of course other things began to impinge, and a limpet mine was once planted at the petrol station opposite my school.  Also at highschool I was introduced to feminist writings by a friend, and in strange way the eloquent description of discrimination and how it operates outlined there enabled me to see the ugliness of SA which I, in line with my peers, had hitherto been ignoring.

I knew several people who have died in bombings, and many who fought in the border war.  At the end of highschool we all got conscripted, one of my mates to Angola and one as a riot policeman.  I avoided the draft temporarily because my mother put me through a computing diploma, and eventually I moved to England when I ran out of stalling time.  My freidns had had a pretty rough time of it, and I felt I couldn't fight for the SADF because I felt that we were creating the problem; they kept saying the country couldn't afford water or electricity in the townships, but there were too many Mercedes and BMW's on the roads, I just couldn't buy it.  The juxtaposition of master and servant was too obvious.

When I came to England I got shit jobs like packing boxes in factories.  Eventually I managed to edge my way back into the IT field but never did get a programming position.  Now I work, one way or another, for an international networking company as a major crisis response coordinator. Coming to the UK also gave me access to the works of Karl Marx, which had been banned in SA.  Marx' is the only analysis I have yet read which explains to my satisfaction the presence of squatter camps and mercedes right next to each other, and thus I have been a member of a revolutionary Trotskyist organisation for several years.

The other week I went to see orcas in the Tysfjord in Norway, and it was the coolest thing I've ever done.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Kester Pelagius on December 06, 2002, 01:26:10 PM
Greetings greyorm,

Wow.

That was... very comprehensive.  Makes me feel bad I didn't do up a introduction good and proper.

Thanks for sharing.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Chris Passeno on December 06, 2002, 01:53:06 PM
Crap!

Sorry Adam.  Congrats on the job, BTW.

I thought I was missing a few names.

There was Adam, Bull (though he probably wouldn't remember), Ben (Jacob's friend and artist), et cetera...


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: quozl on December 06, 2002, 02:09:57 PM
Quote from: greyorm
I was raised Roman Catholic and was devoutly faithful, including hard-ass preaching to the sinners and consideration of joining the seminary, until a September night back in '92. Jon's (quozl) statement precisely contains my beliefs up until that time. I still ended up becoming a priest. I am quite literally embarrassed by and disgusted with my former "religious" attitude and behavior.


Please don't respond if you feel uncomfortable about this but if you don't mind, I'd like to hear what happened to make you embarrased and disgusted in order to get to know one another better.

To share a little more about me and perhaps ease your possible discomfort, I don't consider myself devoutly faithful (although I wish I and everyone else who calls themself a Christian would be) and I don't do any "hard-ass preaching".  I have had horrible experiences with "Christian churches" and Christians in general and had a long period in my life where I hated eveything to do with Christianity.

If you feel it might start some heated discussion on religion but still want to talk about it, please email me privately.  From the rest of your post, I think we are a lot alike.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: MK Snyder on December 06, 2002, 03:02:57 PM
Hm. So far I am the oldest (42), longest married (18 years) with the oldest kids (11 and 17).

Female. Degrees in Anthropology and Tech Writing. Currently working in the gambling industry/ and private investment. Published poet.

Excuse the telegraph style; I am working on two reverse mergers today.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Irmo on December 06, 2002, 03:19:38 PM
I'm Oliver,
30 years of age, german by nationality, though currently working in Dallas on a graduate degree in molecular biology. (Been in the States since summer 1999) If I occasionally have any spare time, I spend some of it practicing longsword combat with the local ARMA study group. Should I have lots of spare time and cash, I visit my family ;) My mom actually lives in France most of the time, in the region where the Albigensian crusades happened, which sports Europe's largest contiguous medieval fortification, a city reconstructed from the ruins during the last century. Much to her chagrin, I usually set some time aside to drop by a local RPG store when I'm with her to get some french RPG stuff and chase her up the hills to see some castles ;) (Well, the latter she does voluntarily, to be honest ;) )


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Tim Denee on December 06, 2002, 04:02:00 PM
I am Tim Denee, an 18 year-old half-Dutch New Zealander (with a tiny bit of indonesian thrown in for good measure). I lived alone last year, I'm living at home this year, and next month I'm going flatting.

I have just completed my first year of university, where I did some random BA papers (philosophy, music, anthropology). They were all interesting, but none really inspired me. Next year I'm working full time for some cash, and the year after that I'm trying my hand at a graphic design degree (I think that will work for me).

I have extremely broad musical tastes. Right now I'm listening to some Michael Franti (playing in New Zealand next monday!).

I'm a Tekken nut. I bought a PS2 solely for the purpose of playing Tekken 4 and Tekken Tag.

I've been doing Okinawan Goju-Ryu karate for 9 months. It's the best thing I've done this year. I love it. I'm currently a 9th Kyu (blue-belt). God willing (well, finances willing) I'm going with the dojo to Okinawa next year for the annual two week training camp.

I'm pretty calm/easy-going, but also rather insular. I need a lot of personal space.  On the other hand, I love nothing more than sitting around with some mates, having a few drinks/puffs, and just talking about whatever.

My top ten favourite movies include Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction, Nightmare Before Christmas, Monsters Inc, and Fight Club.

I'm a hardcore lurker at the Forge, but I don't usually have much to say.

Lately I've been in the unemployment-rut, so I haven't been accomplishing much of anything, including any of the fun RPG stuff I want to work on.

I love Bruce Lee!


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Matt Wilson on December 06, 2002, 04:04:37 PM
I just now noticed this thread's new take. Neato. I'll join in.

I'm Matt Wilson. I'm 32 one month ago today. I lived in Rockford, MN until 1984, when my family moved to Washington. Aside from college, I've lived in the Seattle area ever since.

I spent a year in Copenhagen as an exchange student, which included gaming with Danish friends (it also included alcohol). I'm a white guy, but don't have any danish ancestry. It still strikes me as funny how many Danes asked me "so what are you doing here?"

I'm in a long-term relationship. 4-years now. Be quiet, that's long to me. She's getting her PhD in Human Geography and wants to be a professor. She's studying stuff that really challenges me, and I think that's awesome.

I got a degree in English. I work in high tech (in Seattle? No, surely not!) in Marketing Communications. I get paid to write stuff, although it's not often what I'd call "fun" writing. I lean to the left politically. I'm not religious, but I'm not actively not religious. I'm only slightly politically active, but I leave gamers alone unless they ask.

When not playing games or thinking about playing games or trying to design a game, I like to write and play music. If we're around a campfire and you've had a few beers, you might think I'm all right. Or maybe many beers. My old 4-track just died, and it really bummed me out.

I haven't said much about gaming (whoops)... Got the basic set of D&D (the one with the holes punched in the book) for my 11th Birthday. Much preferred Star Frontiers, though. The most gaming I've done in my life has been in the last few years. I like games with narrative elements, but I haven't decided about the "ist" part. I like Premise, but I want to come up with my own instead of having one supplied for me. I think designing and playing roleplaying games is a great creative outlet.

-Matt


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Gordon C. Landis on December 06, 2002, 06:21:14 PM
What the hell - though I'm waiting for some "voice from above" to thunder about how this thread is wildly inappropriate, maybe the chance to reveal a little personal info will help me understand this "internet community" thing.  I'll try and select interesting details . . . .

Gordon Campbell Landis, born 1963 in Connecticut.  We'd've probably been firmly middle or upper-middle class almost anywhere else, but here, we just squeaked into middle class.  Dad's a French/Irish American mutt, including some Native blood my grandma literally tried to erase from the family tree.  A Marshall Plan Army vet, he became an auto machinist and eventually started his own shop with a couple partners - who he can't get to sell the damn building and let him retire now.  He vividly remembers going to NYC to watch Cousteau narrate the then-silent versions of some of his early documentaries, but quit diving - and smoking - after surviving a collapsed lung.  Mom's a 1st generation Scottish-American.  She lost her only sister in her teens, due to botched anathesia during an appendicitis operation.  No, there was no law suit, they just made sure the anesthesiologist would never work in the field again.  She was a hospital nurse of various capacities for many years, then became a medical insurance reviewer before retiring.

I've got one sister (Art MFA, teaching credentials, but no jobs there - she eventually found a corporate job), and a wonderful niece and nephew.  I stumbled through about 3/4 of a college CS and/or Creative Writing education (with many fits and starts through most of the 80's), worked part time at jobs that'd look half decent on a book dust jacket (Woolworth's stockboy, lumberyard attendent, industrial painter, retail clerk/manager, and more) with a far more diverse group of folks than I met in HS, then headed out West (in '89) to work at a software consulting business with a high school buddy and his partner Dave, who was dying of ALS.  Built a bunch of department-level PC-based db apps for companies like PG&E, learned a LOT from Dave, both technically and otherwise.  Ran the business for a while after Dave died, even for a year or so after my school buddy decided he wanted out, but running your own business is a ton o' work.  Joined a software startup in the mid-90's, got the stock options, got layed off, got rehired, went through an (unneccesary but in many ways merciful) bankruptcy and buyout (yes, that means the options aren't worth squat).  I've ended up doing more managerial stuff than I ever thought I would, and we're now owned by a company HQ'd back in New Haven, CT.

Raised in a strangely traditional-yet-liberal Episcopalian church, which I think was a good thing, though I've not much use for organized religion as an adult.  I think I'd like to be a "spiritual agnostic" - I once knew a guy, a former stage magician who was into Celtic spirituality, who could pull it off.  Fully aware of all the ways people can fool themselves into believing nonsense, even how to help 'em be fooled - and yet fine with looking at the world in some very spritual/mystic ways.  But I tend to end up more with the scientific/agnostic bit.

Living with the amazing and wonderful Jenny, a California native from just outside Santa Cruz who brings joy to my life in many, many ways.  It's going on 7 years now, and having survived some recent rockiness, I think we may actually be making it work.

Started gaming in junior high with AH's wargames (the WW II North Africa game sticks in my mind), and mail-ordered one of the early vers of OD&D.  RPGs were just another slightly-geeky (like working for the school newspaper or being in the Drama club) activity through high school.  I was VP and then "co-DungeonMaster" of our school D&D club.  The 80's were rough for me and gaming (what happened to *nice* people who gamed?), but when I moved out West I fell in with some good folks (Talislanta!  SMS is from my hometown, and I never knew until I was in San Jose).

Lifelong, fairly ecclectic reader (I'm told I came back from the first day of kinderagrten crying 'cause "my daddy said they'd teach me to read and all we did was PLAY!").  Lots of fantasy, SF, non-fiction.  I retain a peripheral interest in contemporary poetry from my college education, but most current literary fiction leaves me cold.  Main thing I seem to have missed out on is comic books and horror movies - I picked up a few, but somehow they never made it into the core of my geek-mind.

I was into rock climbing and caving for years, but got out of shape and haven't done it in quite a while.  Jenny and I really enjoy trail riding on horseback - we've been in Alsaka, Idaho (several times), and (just recently) Belize on horseback, and it's just fantastic.  I'd like to own some horses someday.

And jeez, I think that's long enough!

Gordon


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Jason Lee on December 06, 2002, 06:33:17 PM
It's like a wave...you can't help but get swept up in it.

My name is Jason Lee.  I'm white, 6', and 180 lbs.

Those are both last names.  My biological father lives somewhere, and does something, but I can't tell you what he looks like.  I'm 26, the first decade of my life was spent moving around from place to place for no apparent reason (I think I hit somewhere between 12 and 15 public schools in my life).  Sometimes we felt like living in a tent in Oregon, or on the beach in Texas, or in a motel in Las Vegas, or a custom built log cabin in Michigan...again for no apparent reason.  People say: "Ah, a military brat", I say: "Yeah, whatever...that would have purpose".  Despite my apparent bitterness those were actually the happiest times of my childhood.  I spent the rest of my life mainly in Colorado (though, for some reason we had to move all over it too).

I dropped out of high school (I like to say I was the only drop out in Calculus...makes me feel good I guess).  I tried to return to high school after a couple years in the real world.  Now, I didn't like the treatment I received from the administration in high school to begin with, but the amazing thing is you don't know how much they treat you like dirt until you get out.  Two jobs, and a negative attitude kept me from finishing once again.  (The GED took 4 hours...If I'd known that when I was 14...wow, the misery I could have avoided).

A few years later I'm done washing salad for $4.25 an hour...I work as a Unix systems administrator as a sub contractor at the mammoth beast that is HP/Compaq.

I'm firmly agnostic, but have some strong views on what 'evil' truely is...so my views don't mesh well with a lot of religion 'as it is written'.

I'm pretty into the martial arts...getting my yogurt out of the fridge is a training exercise if someone is standing in my way.  I've slipped to practice three days a week (down from six) because of scheduling and injury issues.  Get me properly started on martial arts discussion and I'll never shut up...you've been warned.  I was a wrestler in high school, I'm creeping up on my fourth year of Aikido, and two years ago I started cross-training in Jujitsu (so I could get more practice slamming into the mat).

I find this method of communication somewhat intimidating as I cannot cover up intellectual weaknesses with good looks, charm, intimidation, or mind reading.  I've been called Creepy Jason before...my girlfriend calls it 'rougish'...who happens to be Ziriel (and I did kerthwap her about the marraige thing).  Now I'm getting shit because I can't even spell marraige.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Jack Spencer Jr on December 06, 2002, 07:32:01 PM
I don't get how this tread wound up being like this, but I'll play.

My name is Jack Edward Spencer Jr. I was born somewheres in the area of Rochester NY. My parents split up when I was about 10 or so and this kind of screwed me up. I moved around a bit as a kid, not nearly as some, apparently, but enough to make me rootless, but not enough to make me a wandering spirit by nature. I had lived all across New York State, from Buffalo to NYC.

The beautiful thing about it is part of the reason my folks split up is because my father got religion out of the clear blue sky, or so it seemed. This means I firmly blame God for my troubles. Doesn't help that he got religious pretty close to the whole Jonestown thing. But anyway...

I was always pretty introverted as a kid, but I retreaded even deeper after this crap went down. But I would somehow manage to find at least one friend wherever I went.

One friend I had, Matt Evans, introduced me to D&D. I was already a video game nut. Roleplaying games seemed like a great idea for a video game. After a time, I learned to appreciate them as their own thing. The funny thing is, I was introduced to D&D shortly after the "Red Box" version, which was @1983. I didn't get into a regular game until 1993 when I met "Ted" He is the only GM I've ever played with for any length of time. This worries me because This sort of situation tends to lead one to believe that everyone else is like their group.

Lately, I've been wanting to stretch myself as far as RPGs go. This has created a riff of sorts between myself and "Ted." We just do not speak the same language anymore.

I am afraid there isn't much else to add to that, really. At least I can't think of anything. I really don't like talking about myself. I find me boring.


Title: .plan
Post by: J B Bell on December 06, 2002, 08:11:51 PM
Man, this is like the old days on the 'net.  I never get to do confessionals anymore.  Cool.  :)

So, my name is J B Bell.  Yes, really.  That is on my passport, driver's license (which I have in spite of never driving, and being not really able to drive), Social Insurance card, etc. etc.  No, it wasn't always my name.  The American border guys hate it when I visit down there.

If you do net searches on me, you'll often see a "Rev." prepended to the name.  I'm a minister in the Universal Life Church (http://"http://www.ulc.org/") from back in the day when you had to actually send in an SASE to get your ordination.  I've performed three weddings, and would probably be doing one or two more soon, if it weren't for Canada's barbaric laws about what counts as a church.  I went from being a Discordian as a joke to being a Gnostic and "Chaos Magician" for real (well, as real as that gets anyway), and a neo-pagan, and anyway, finally settled on Buddhism, where I'm quite comfortable now, except for the constant reminders of how far I have to go; but then, I figure that's part of how you know you're on a proper path--it doesn't stroke your ego.  If I'd been raised Christian, I'd probably be a Jesuit.

I rankle at religious dilettantes, but don't take it as seriously as I appear to.  I play harmonica surprisingly well considering how infrequently I do it.  Up until a year ago, I was a Unix sysadmin and figured that was what I'd be doing for a while.  A humbling year later, it appears no one in Vancouver actually pays to use Unix anymore, and if I'm lucky I'll be a bookshelver in the Richmond Public Library next week.

My wife teaches yoga and is also a Buddhist.  Like me she's also a bit hardcore about social justice issues and this causes some static with the "yoga community" in town.  It also gets her some admiration, since her political stance was shown to be sincere after I was laid off and she didn't have a comfy income to fall back on.  We've been married almost five years and are still disgustingly cute.  No kids, but we talk frequently of doing foster parenting.

Oh, yeah:  gaming.  Well, strangely enough I started not with D&D but with T&T (that's Tunnels and Trolls), which I still remember fondly.  Had a real tight group of seriously warped peers who mostly played GURPS for years until post-college years sent us mostly to California.  I rebelled and went to Philadelphia, then back home to Albuquerque at 25 or so, and met my wife and now I'm in Vancouver.  I had to sell all my guns.  I still miss them, and let me tell you other gun people, being a "gun nut" up here in urban Canada is not very much fun.  I keep my mouth shut, anymore.

On the other hand it's pretty easy to be a bi/poly person (hi, you other two), at least socially, and we have a boyfriend who is fun and exasperating.

I write a bit, tend to donate my sysadmin time anymore, and run my own little freebsd/linux/Windows (it's her machine) network.  And I do game design, in a rather desultory fashion.  Overall I like world-building better than system stuff.  I hope to someday get a degree in Chinese Medicine, get computers out of my life entirely (at least for a while), and meditate more than once in a while.

I pretty much like everyone I hear from on the Forge.  Oh, yeah, and I'm white (terrifyingly so--ancestors actually came over on the Mayflower), 32, and I shave my head to about 3 mm.  I wear glasses, and my cowboy hat excites comment in Vancouver.  It takes the edge off all the black I favor in my wardrobe.

--JB


Title: Me
Post by: Ted E. Childers on December 07, 2002, 04:26:01 PM
I'm always up for sharing :)

My name is Ted Earnest Childers.  I'm 27 years old and live in Huntsville, Texas (Yep. The execution capitol of the world.  We also have a huge statue of General Sam Houston.  It's the 2nd largest statue in the US (next to the Statue of Liberty) and it's the largest statue of an American Hero).  I've lived in Huntsville since Jr. High, so it's pretty much home to me.  My religious persuasion is Southern Baptist (very pound on the podium - fire and brimstone preaching.  I love it!).  I'm also a straight ticket Republican.    

Quick History
---------------

I graduated high school is 93 and went straight to college at Sam Houston State University (in Huntsville).  Since going to college isn't free, I went to work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a correctional officer.  In 95 I decided to transfer to the University of Houston (Texas) where I continued to work for TDCJ (at a prision near Houston).  After a series of text book Murphy's Law mishaps, I ended up transfering back to Sam Houston State University (and also back to the same prison I worked at before).  After working as a correctional officer for 5 years, I finally quit so that I could go to school full time. (Although I hated working in a prison, I can't help but appreciate the experience.)

It took me 2 more years (while working at the university's computer services dept) before I finally got my degree in English.  I now work for as a manuscript editor/webpage designer/office monkey for a Master Herbalist.  Since I'm not really diggin' the job, I'm currently looking for something else.

General Interests
--------------------

I have pretty diverse musical tastes.  I'm currently listening to Manowar's Warriors of the World album.  In my truck CD player I have the 3rd CD of the definative collection of The Monkees.  Last concert I went to (about 2 months ago) was KMFDM.

My favorite movie is Transpotting (with Snatch and Memento in close 2nd and 3rd).  

I love watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Enterprise, and Smallville.  I also like watching Birds of Prey, but only muted with my favorite Rammstein album playing.  

I pride myself in my rather large ultra diverse circle of close friends.  They range in religious belief (Cole is Wiccan, Jason is Lutheran) and occupation (Munroe runs a Barbeque resturant, Ryan is network support for TDCJ - Internal Affairs).  I've always wanted to surround myself with a broad range of opinion.  I mean, how boring is it to hang out with people who think like you do?

Gaming History
-----------------

I've been role playing since 5th grade.  Awesomizer was the name of my Marvel Super Heroes character who had speakers in his chest.  I've always liked the name so I keep it as an online name. :)

In the past 17 years of gaming, I've played DnD (red boxed set), AD&D 2nd edition (various settings), DnD 1st edition Oriental Adventures  Marvel Super Heroes, Top Secret S.I., Twilight 2000, Paranoia, Call of Cuthulu (including Delta Green), DnD 3rd Edition, Over the Edge, Unknown Armies, Wheel of Time (d20), Rifts, Robotech, HERO, In Nomine, and hmm.  I'm sure there's more, I just can't think of em.

I've only recently discovered the indie RPG scene.  I should have a copy of Dunjon under the Christmas tree :)

I have a problem of wanting to run too many games.  Right now I'm running:

- Star Wars D20 (set in the New Jedi Order era)
- DnD 3rd Edition (set in the Scarred Lands)
- Unknown Armies
- White Wolf crossover campaign (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, and Hunter) based in Houston, TX.  (old website: http://www.shsu.edu/~stdtec12/houstonbynight/ )

I'm itching to run a Buffy the Vampire Slayer game.  Mostly because I'm a huge fanboy and I have a circle of gamer friends who are Buffites as well.

I sometimes feel like my life would be empty without role playing games.  Is that healthy?

Oh yeah, I also enjoy playing Blood Bowl.  My dwarf team (The Stumpy Studs) is the current Dungeonbowl champs.  I'm also the webmaster for our league ( http://www.cox-internet.com/lawdawg/main.html ).

Hopes / Dreams / Asperations
-----------------------------------

I love to write.  I also love to game.  Only recently has the idea dawned on me to combine the two.  That's why I enjoy lurking at The Forge. :)

I'd love to own a gaming store with the slogan, "If you play it, we sell it!"

I also wanna get an english bulldog.  I will name him Beefum McPaddy.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Bob McNamee on December 07, 2002, 07:16:16 PM
I'm Bob McNamee. I'm 37 years old.  Home is in Flat Rock, Michigan, U.S.A. My ancestry is pretty well half Irish, half German extraction on both sides of the family.

My current job is a Journeyman Tinsmith working for a steel company (I make all sorts of things out of sheets of metal). Interesting previous jobs include workings as a shoe repairman, and an electronics technician in the US Air Force (a Wideband Communication Systems Specialist in military speak) back in 88-92.

I live with my wife (Pat) of nearly ten years (time flies!) and our three cats. My wife and I share a reading addiction...we met in a science fiction club back in college in the early 80's.  Our other major shared hobby is caring for the various lawn and gardens around this place (sometimes I'd like to just pave it all with green concrete...the rest of the time its beautiful).

We like BBC Amercia, the Sci Fi channel, the various Discovery channels etc.

I'm a big fan of the UK (my wife is from there...)...enjoy the beer a lot.(though I dirnk fairly little, maybe a six pack a month) (side note: I'm also a bit of a homebrewer)

Hobbies etc...I dabble in lots of things. I pick up various musical instruments (bamboo flute, guitar, pennywhistles, harmonica...even a bit of violin) from time to time and play with them, but I'm really just a dabbler ... I paint on canvas, and on the computer. I also create 3D computer rendered pictures.
My permanent hobby (beside RPGing) seems to be woodcarving. That one's a recent addition in the last couple of years, but really soothing. I find I can't stay away from it for long.

I started RP-ing back in 79? with the D&D boxed set (It had a dragon in the box and a module Into the Unknown B1? and 6 poor quality dice, that I still have althought th 20-sider is nearly round). Quickly moved to AD&D GM-ed that through high school ,with a little Traveller and Champions. In college (for engineering) began playing in a long Traveller game, and GM-ed two long running Champions campaigns. During the AF time I played a little Warhammer Fantasy Role-playing. Once out, and back up in Michigan I've played a few one-shot games and two D&D 2nd edition campaigns that ground to a halt (due to the Players schedules). I'm still planning on running a Supers genre game, but after the D&D game stopped ...interest seems to be waning...and scheduling is harder.  
My current RP-ing outlet is the Universalis game with my wife ("Temple of Bast" which will resume now that her homework load has reduced), and with the Indie Netgamers games.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Seth L. Blumberg on December 09, 2002, 09:18:12 AM
I can't freakin' believe I'm in the top 40 most frequent posters. How'd I get there?

Anyway, I think this thread is wildly inappropriate, but since Ron and Clinton don't seem to agree, I'll share.

29 years old; half Ashkenazi, half WASP; grew up atheist (though my parents are not), now agnostic pagan. Flunked out of an Ivy League university after one year, tried on and off to get a degree from a third-rate state school and ultimately gave up. Working as a systems analyst in the IT department of a mid-sized law firm.

My girlfriend, with whom I've been living for the last 3 years, is a gamer and a witch, and thinking about going back to college to finish a degree in art. She's not on the Forge.

I used to sing in a choir (bass, and pretty darn good if I do say so myself), but haven't since college. I also used to do some acting and technical theater. These days, reading, gaming and helping run SF conventions are pretty much my only hobbies. I play board and card games as well as RPGs.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Ron Edwards on December 09, 2002, 11:18:24 AM
Hello,

OK, that will do it. Thanks to everyone who's contributed. I decided to permit the thread to continue as it's clearly served a personal need. But enough is enough, thanks again, and if anyone wants to continue, please do so on a one-to-one basis.

Also, any such details as you folks have been providing are more than welcome during other Forge discussions, as long as they are germaine to the point at hand. That's another reason I let the thread continue - it is good to be comfortable with disclosing "ourselves" to one another. But I'd like the activity to be integrated with more substantive discussions from now on.

Best,
Ron


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: greyorm on December 09, 2002, 06:59:22 PM
Jon, I realized after posting -- though after I was already in the shower -- my statement could be taken the wrong way.

I have absolutely nothing personal against nor see anything wrong with Christianity nor Catholicism. When I state I was disgusted by my behavior and actions, I mean to judge only myself directly for my narrow-minded snobbery and the "not-as-holy-as-some-but-definitely-holier-than-thou" attitude I had.

I definitely don't pin such an attitude on the faith itself (I've run into too many pagans and those of other faiths who have similar attitudes to stoop to even considering calling such a distinctly or inherently Christian problem).

Hence my embarassment and disgust are not directed towards the religion, but my towards my immaturity. In a completely similar fashion, I am likewise embarassed and regretful about certain things I publically said about a friend in high-school, which were cruel, mean-spirited and done solely to score points with the "in" crowd. I'd go back and slap myself stupid if I could.

Note I don't have a problem with Seth, Nathan or MJ...nor to my knowledge any of the other Christians of any stripe on the Forge. Nathan and I have even gone a few rounds privately on evolution and Biblical error, but we're still good friends.

My best friend in this world, in fact, is a devout Roman Catholic, and he has tried to save my soul. This doesn't annoy or enrage me, in fact I consider this a sign of respect and friendship from him. I politely asked him to never, ever do it again, but it's really a non-issue -- we mutually understand and respect one another's faiths and beliefs, and that's why I understand why he had to try and why it did not bother me.

Now, a complete stranger or passing aquaitance trying to do so will tick me off, because there is no mutual respect or understanding inherent in such an event, for obvious reasons.

As to my leaving Christianity, or rather, finding Paganism, that's best discussed elsewhere, I think. Here's a link to an essay (http://www.daegmorgan.net/convertme.htm) I wrote a few years ago about it -- keep in mind this was written as a response to a number of jugheads who kept posting proselytization material on a discussion site meant for Paganism and Wicca.

It's not the whole story, but I've added some notes to it at the bottom to address more of the backstory/prelude to it, and some thoughts and reactions to the event from my perspective today.

If you, or anyone else, wants to discuss it with me, feel free to PM me or e-mail me.

Edit: sorry, I often leave post windows sitting for a while before posting my response, so I didn't see Ron's message until just now.


Title: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Post by: Ron Edwards on December 09, 2002, 09:00:32 PM
Hi Raven,

No problem. I suggest making use of the handy preview feature before submitting, especially if you let that post-window hang about.

But the thread is now closed.

Best,
Ron