Ha, so I forgot to hit “publish” on Friday. This has to be some kind of land speed record for me breaking a New Year’s resolution

*****

Gamers can be dream customers or they can be nightmares. They are dedicated, have money to spend, and well connected. When something stirs their passions they can’t possibly tell enough people. In the modern age of communications they can reach out to a lot of people. If their story catches the eye of a celebrity that is sympathetic, then woe betide you if you have pissed them off.

It doesn’t help if your marketing and PR guy is a bully and an incompetent. This is an excerpt from a much longer chain that was sent to and published on Penny Arcade. The whole thing was kicked off by a frustrated customer wondering when the item he ordered would be available. Whether or not the customer was entirely professional doesn’t matter. (I’d say that the customer, Dave, was civil if very frustrated.) Not in the face of a PR rep who would ever dream to send an email like this:

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2012 Game Plan

Posted: January 1, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Fwoosh! Pow! KaBam!

I like to imagine this is 2011 being blown up like the death star.

So 2011 is past and this is the traditional time for looking forward. New Year’s Day is when we all look forward to bettering ourselves. Well, what’s relevant here and to those of you reading, is how I’m going to improve my blog over the next twelve months.

If I do things right there should be some noticeable changes in the near future. The changes that continue after that will be on the back end and will hopefully go mostly unnoticed by the readers.

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“I refuse to let a college education get in the way of my learning.” – LX Van Drie

Seriously, read this book

So I’ve been blogging for three months now. I’ve frequently intended to in the past, but this is the longest I’ve stuck with it. And I’ll continue with it this time. So what made the difference? It was this post titled 8 Steps to Getting What You Want …. Without Formal Credentials from FourHourWorkWeek.com. It’s a quick extraction of the basics from The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsburg. Sometimes you read something and it’s just the slap in the face and kick in the ass you need.

In this case, the article was about something I’ve intuitively felt for a long time, but needed some guidance to really take advantage of it. Learning is not the same thing as the educational system or getting credentialed. Why do people like Bill Gates excel even after having dropped out of the formal educational system? Because they never stop learning, and just as importantly, they never stop reaching out to people they can connect with.

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So there I was, having just finished sneaking around the Jarl of Winterhaven’s castle and helping myself to some of his wealth when he finally notices me and calls me aside. “Snygg,” he says. “You’re really a very good citizen. Always doing what you can to help the city.”

“Sure,” I agree, kicking my sack of stolen goblets and gold behind me.

“You’re very good at sneaking around and shooting people in the back from dark corners.”

“If this is about the guard found behind the inn with an arrow in his back I swear I don’t know anything about it.”

“Of course not,” the Jarl frowns. “I am talking about your good services to our city.”

“Right,” I smile. “You know me, never pick a fight when you can pick them off from a distance.”

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Posted: December 27, 2011 in Real World Applications
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This is just a little too long for a twitter post, but I think it’s funny. Yesterday my mother and I were packing up Christmas cookies and unfortunately the only songs I had at my disposal were Oxhorn’s Christmas album. (For those who are unfamiliar, Oxhorn is a very talented guy who makes funny WoW albums.) Mom was mostly unimpressed (she’s not fond of holiday parody songs), but there was one part she enjoyed. She really liked the guy who talked in acronyms.

I shouldn’t be surprised, my parents are both pilots and my dad was in the military. My mom worked closely with the military, and there are no groups more prone to use three letter acronyms or TLAs. So after listening to this track I found myself explaining what it means to pwn and under what circumstances you’d say “QQ” or “kekeke.”

So don’t you trash talk about my mama; she’ll trash talk you back.

roflmao!

So this is an apology, to my few readers and to myself. Two weeks without a post is far too long.

I could make excuses: anyone who’s seen my holiday travel schedule or heard about my dad’s accident with the horse would forgive me for feeling overwhelmed I think. But the fact remains I have frakked up and slacked off.

See the point of this blog is not just communication of ideas and thoughts, although I do love doing that. (I am eagerly awaiting the day I have enough followers to allow for at least a semi-regular exchange of ideas in the comments section.) It’s to keep me honest and to keep me moving forward. I don’t need to wait for any mythical “someday” to pursue my passions. I can do that today.

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Hooked on Phonics and Warcraft

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Games
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A few weeks ago I was talking about one of Dr. James Paul Gee’s excellent books. For viewers playing at home,  Dr. Gee specializes in literacy and linguistics. One of the things he talks about it “multi-modal literacy” – the idea that for every mode of communicating, there is a way of taking in information, processing it, and then using it to express your own ideas. Video games have their own mode of literacy.

Two weeks ago I wrote my family an email, trying to get them onto World of Warcraft for the holidays. Since we’ll be spending the holidays completely apart (sniffle), I thought it would be fun to meet up online and play with each other. My parents and sister all agreed to give it a whirl. Some of my grandparents have also expressed interest.

So far, only my mom and I have been able to get online. The results were interesting, and a lot of fun. But it really does hammer home the fact that video games are not a passive form of entertainment. There is a learning curve required for entry. There is, by the very nature of the medium, interaction required.

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