Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Longer than usual

The biggest laughs in the on-line boardgame community often come from the shortest comments. More often than not those short comments are posted by Mister Cranky.

I really don't know how to introduce Cranky (Josh Adelson) other than to say:

If you aren't familiar with Mr. Cranky I highly recommend keeping an eye out for him. Go to Game of the States and sort through all the "10" ratings. You'll find him in there somewhere. Look for the alligator avatar.


Incompleteness is not something you hear too many people blathering about as regards gaming. And that’s a shame. Part of my ongoing effort to increase the amount of meaningless blather attributed to this hobby will be to demonstrate—quite thoroughly and professionally—why rigorous academic standards are best left on the desks of the academicians and not in the web logs of board game enthusiasts. Let us commence:

In 1937 a fellow with an unpronounceable surname and a weak chin proffered to the world his version of things. Most of the world ignored him, albeit amiably, but some small segment of professional rabble-rousers took heed, and elevated this man to (some would say) unprecedented levels of obscurity. We shall not dwell on this man, his theories, the cosmetic surgery that might have obviated his self-esteem issues, or really anything else about him. Instead we shall dwell in the little houses we metaphorically place on the vertices of our cosmic game board (which come in all the usual colors and are easily distinguished from the other game bits because of the hint of a chimney that the woodcarver traditionally installs along the anterior roof element), coming out only occasionally in order to barter our sheep for wheat, etc.

[N.B.: At this point in the lecture, the people in the back are generally growing anxious. Whether it’s from a lack of nicotine or caffeine (or perhaps Ritalin) is never immediately clear, but as a professional educator I normally find it efficacious to slam a meter stick along my lectern’s surface, in order to quell any hint of free will. Please consider the meter stick slammed and use your sensory memory to insert a loud “whack” here.]

So, in short, to be considered a stalker by a well-regarded designer of games, one need merely bring up his name (or merely hint at it in an unmistakably lunar fashion) in every irrelevant context, while simultaneously grimacing in as fearsome a manner possible. Even if nobody is present to view the mien-darkening metamorphosis, it is eminently good practice, and it behooves the practitioner greatly to a small degree of contradictory compliance.

I thank the Royal Academy of Gamers for their apparent lack of both enmity and enthusiasm in inviting me to share this research, and I look forward to bright careers from all you earnest seekers of truth.

I would be quite remiss if I did not take this opportunity to mention that my monograph entitled “18XX as a Satanic Rite” is available just outside the hall for a nominal fee. All proceeds from the sale of my work directly benefits myself, and for your edification and amusement I’ve included a detachable line-drawing of the author slamming his meter stick into a lectern. I wish everyone a more successful evening of gaming thanks to the pointers provided here today.


FormalWare said...

I had no idea Godel's Incompleteness Theorem still (or ever) had the game design community cowed.

Pawnstar said...

I've no idea what you're talking about.

*frantically searches Wikipedia for information on Gödel and Incompleteness*

Oh right, I get it! Sorry, still no idea where the joke is. What I'd give to understand Mister Cranky's Incompetence Theorem.

Anonymous said...

In any formal system of humor, it can be shown that if the system is inconsistent, then you will never get the joke. Fortunately for you, the system employed here is entirely informal and inconsistent.