MiscOh, good

 Posted by (Visited 13269 times)  Misc
Oct 312005

And here I was worried that I had the wrong degree.

You Should Get a MFA (Masters of Fine Arts)

You’re a blooming artistic talent, even if you aren’t quite convinced.
You’d make an incredible artist, photographer, or film maker.

Game talkGuild sizes redux

 Posted by (Visited 17113 times)  Game talk
Oct 312005

As usual, the PlayOn blog has got some interesting data.

Long ago, in my Small Worlds presentation, I wondered whether optimal guild size (as evidenced in UO veteran member stats) was around 60, since that was the bucket in the histogram that showed the most dramatic spike. Chris Allen expanded on this quite a bit, picking 50 as his figure. Based on the data from PARC, looks like he had it closer to correct. (You can also check his response to the new data here.)

Implications for online game design? Back in 2003, I said that guild support should extend to at least Dunbar’s Number of 150. Now I’d add that perhaps we should design for groups of 50-60 as a target ideal size; if that’s the most cohesive group, might it also be the most retentive?

The Sunday PoemThe Sunday Poem: Guernica

 Posted by (Visited 7396 times)  The Sunday Poem
Oct 302005

A separation of pigments: my point of view is not where I look

I can only filter events through newsprint
Picasso’s grey immanence pervades and defines

Where is the gradual nervousness?
The regime pilot’s eye as he drops the bomb?
Staring at the elongated frame that focusses
straining at the edge of canvas:

The hoarse of a scream
is dirt driven deep under fingernails
The scream of a horse is scrabbling
how terrifying to be told where to think
how to think
the shape of thinking
how peaceful

The Sunday PoemWritingThe Sunday Poem

 Posted by (Visited 10511 times)  The Sunday Poem, Writing
Oct 302005

In another life, I was a poet. If it’s possible to stop being a poet. Or if one’s life has intermediate lives. Or something. Quite likely, the most useless piece of paper I own is the one that actually certifies me as a poet. A truly ludicrous idea. Of course, this particular certificate, which comes in the form of a diploma giving me an MFA in creative writing, is nonetheless carefully kept in a leather binder at the bottom of a closet, because to do otherwise would be to admit something unpleasant about how I spent multiple years of my life.

Most poems sit in drawers never to be read, and that is a good fate for most poems, really, because most poems aren’t really written for others to read. I think the certificate means that the poems I wrote are supposed to actually get read. But currently they do not get read; they instead sit in a virtual drawer on my hard drive.

I have an audience these days; depending on where I write, it can be quite a large audience. On here, not so much, but heck, if I post on certain game websites, I get audiences in the tens of thousands. At times, within certain games, I have had audiences in the hundreds of thousands. Most poets have audiences that are rather small.

Odds are you could care less about poetry. I once cared passionately about it, but as with many past passions, it is difficult to remember the why of it. It’s a fact that is there, but that is difficult to understand anymore, like a lapsed religion or a forgotten mania for collecting something.

But since you are my small audience, and these poems will never be sent to the New Yorker because I no longer have the passion, and because I suspect that there’s more people willing to read poems on the Internet than there are total people reading the New Yorker, I am going to post the poems I was once passionate about here on this website. One every Sunday, and they shall be called “The Sunday Poem.” They will have their own category, and people who are interested in poetry can click on just that category and read them, and people who could care less can skip them.

What’s more, they will have comments open, and I will actually answer questions and comments. You never got to do that with Emily Dickinson or Poe or Milton, so you can look upon this as your chance for revenge if you dislike poetry.

Many of these poems have stories behind them. I may post those too.

I rarely write new poems these days. But I have many many older ones.

If I miss a Sunday, be sure to beat me up.