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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 07:15 PM
Blue Ghost Blue Ghost is offline
Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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Status: Public
Entries: 604
Comments: 154
Views: 175,571

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  #587 New July 25th, 2019 10:42 AM
I want to thank everyone who reads my nonsense. Truly, it's kind of fun to look back and see what threads garnish the most attention.

Reminiscing here about the 80s and what a great time it was to be alive, about the great discovery of war gaming and role playing, and just the sheer explosion of games of all genres back then, has been really terrific. Going back and reading what I've put down it almost feels like another golden age of gaming.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that's true, as per previous log entries, I've seen families at the more recent conventions in the last couple of years playing D&D, Pathfinder, Star Trek and Star Wars games of various sorts, and even a session of old standbys like Car Wars or SFB. I think that's really cool.

And, as per previous log entries, rediscovering all those unauthorized SFB addons that sparked my Trek portion of my imagination to write some fan fic over at has really been a thrill, even if SFB is a bit on the weighty side.

The truth of the matter is is that I still like basic Star Fleet Battles as I knew it during the mid 90s, going all the way back to 1978 or 1979 when I first picked up the so called Deluxe Designer's Boxed Edition at Games and Things down at Stanford University. SFB helped keep my Trek fandom alive, I suppose. Not so much the novels, but I digress. I begrudgingly have SFB to thank for keeping me a scifi fan, as well as Task Force Games in general.

And I have the staff at GDW, Marc Miller, and the admins and other moderators here to thank as well. And just in general the citizens of the Imperium as a whole. And again, to them I hope that some of my ramblings here have not been too barbed, helpful and instructive or informative on how I think games helped society and all of us.

I don't want to get stuck in a rut of travelling or revisiting more nostalgia. I love remembering how gaming was in the 80s in spite of all the opposition I encountered regarding the hobby. The stereotypical morbidly obese gamer is a fact, but not as prevalent as I've witnessed at conventions. Most people are essentially phsyi8cally fit. Oh sure, there's the overweight types who do nothing but game, do not get out, and in this way are a burden on society dur to their lack of burning calories, but, for all that, there are millions more who do not let themselves get into such dire health straights. And again, on that note, I need to go hiking again.

I have all those SFB authors to thanks. Everyone from the much maligned authors of Companion Games, to John Kim's unofficlal SFB site, to Francois Angers' company out of Canada with his Mitrax galaxy with the likes of the Helgardians and Tragg's Realm . I also have Sean Young and his now defunct but truly magnificent Core Worlds' website to fire my imagination to write an online novel about meeting, exploring, and eventually fighting aliens embroiled in their own geo-political mixups. And I must also thank Johnathan S. McDermott of Staten Island, New York, for his really terrific New Marches web page, again preserved by the Wayback Machine. His website, I think, was one of the first to get put up on the net for his version of fan stuff. Seeing the starfield in the background, his various SSDS in his fleet descriptions, were really something to behold when I first cruised over there with my old dual-CPU TYAN Tomcat rig. Again, sounding like a broken record here, but when I saw all those websites . it's what the wife of one of the SFB wives called "nerd porn"

Truly, I would spend hours, if not days, just cruising those sites looking at SSDs, reading their description and the flavor fiction for the new races and new regions of space. And I almost forgot Daniel Thompson with his really amazing Tholian website. And I should not forget the PHD shipyards, whose site has been hijacked by hackers.

Unfortunately I didn't run across a great many Traveller sites, so most of my thanks goes the present staff, Marc Miller and the late Hunter Gordon, for letting me post here. Honestly, if I had a choice of serving in Star Trek's Star Fleet or being a crewman on a scout ship serving the Emperor as a member of the IISS, I think I would choose the scout service. Traveller, like Star Trek, has been that much of force for good in my life.

I also need to thank Dwarstar Games, SPI, Avalon Hill, and of course Steve Jackson Games for all of that great material they published that helped me become a better writer by reading what they had published. Again, heady times when I wasn't doing homework, playing with the little Vargr unit, sailing, or doing whatever needed doing around the house. Whether I was with friends at one of their houses rolling dice, or seeing a movie, or just at my desk with a map spread out wondering how to conquer that Ogre or fight the Moral Eel from Space on a late summer night, with the windows open, and the clock radio at a very low volume tuned into the likes of KSFX, the Bay Area rocker, truly great times. And I thank all the authors and their willingness to share their creativity with the world and us gamers.

I should thank my little Vargr unit who was also my guardian in many ways, as well as just a darn good companion to have when she wasn't getting into the garbage or making some other mess She may not have understood the handling class on a Car Wars control sheet, but she could sit there with her bone and chew on it as my friends and I exchanged machine gun or phaser fire, game depending. I still miss her very much, and wish she, as with all other canines, could live decades longer in good health.

I'm not a game designer. I'm an amateur hack writer who posts fan fic, and who wrote a few adventure modules, two were published, but the three dozen plus others remain on my hard drive . save for two others for Magnus (thanks again, dude).

My true regret is that we all cannot go and visit the 3I, nor Akleyell, Cerberus, the Star Fire verse, and all the other places published in decades past. The Pavonic sector, Ogre-verse North American Combine, or even the Klingon Empire. It would be interesting if we could survive. Visiting Sheboygan from SPI's (the Creature that Ate Sheboygan), which was also immortalized by an SFB scenario (the Creature that Ate Sheboygan Three) would also be interesting, again if one could survive. And for all of the really great imaginative stuff made for Car Wars by Task Force Games, specifically their Autoventure' Series, I would not want to be in the Car Wars universe. Way too violent, even for a veteran Traveller like myself.

It really is a great time to be alive. Better than the 60s or 70s, both of which I remember, but not with any great fondness nor disdain. The 80s is truly when society woke up, not with just role playing and science fiction war sims, but the promise of technology that help improve life. And it has. All those sessions of Car Wars with the "hi-def" targeting computer, or "cyberlink" technology borrowed from US Army gunship technology, along with movies and TV shows that presented snippits of technology, showed how things could be improved upon, and how we could fight bad guys or just improve our own situations. SFB, Car Wars, Traveller, Ogre, Impreium, Invasion Earth, Champions and all the rest, were part of that zeitgeist back then, and really injected a sense of optimism into gamers. That may sound corny and overstated, but when you told the referee or whoever was running whatever game you were playing, and you told them "I'm going to use device-X to target subject-Y with weapon-Z" you were engaging in a kind of visualization of the future. And it didn't always have to be oriented towards game violence, but could be healing or otherwise benign and helpful....though since most of us were blood thirsty adventurers, I can't recall one off the top of my head But, thanks for that too.

We're not boys anymore.. Computer tech has come light years from the old bulky TSR 80 and first Apple computers to having Galaxy or Iphones do what back in the 60s and 70s took office rooms full of old real to real tape drive computers. And unlike those old machines, your phone doesn't make a racket as it runs. So, even though I worked for Apple as a video contractor back in the day, and shot Steve Jobs board of directors, I never met him himself, but I have him and other to thank for the local computer industry that is now global in scope. Him and Gates I suppose. And all those software publishers who started off here in the Bay Area. Everyone from Electronic Arts who brought us Starflight, FIFA Soccer and the Battlefield series, to whatever else is on the market these days, to Adobe,, Egghead Software which is now Newegg, and all the retailers and hardware developers.

Hunter, Mister Watts, and everyone else. For, we are all, citizens of the Imperium. And even though we cannot visit Regina nor Efate, we can carry those places in our hearts, and maybe share them with new friends and loved ones.

Ah, another productive night. I'm getting a little burnt out on writing this log, so I'll be posting fan fic and sending off stuff for submission. Thanks to everyone who read my prattle

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Seal up the ship. Prepare for take off
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