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(em'-broh-kay'-shun) n. 1. the act or process of moistening and rubbing a part of the body with a liniment or lotion. 2. a liniment or lotion.

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This week's donation goes to:
Drug Policy Alliance

Late Thursday, April 7th, 2005
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

What's Going On? Eco-Fluxx

If you've read my What's on the Stove? document, you should recall that we've lately been testing out a couple of new versions of Fluxx, one for younger audiences called Fluxx Jr plus another version of the game we're calling Fluxx Reduxx. Well, after due consideration, we've decided to press ahead with Fluxx Jr but to slide Reduxx onto the back burner. Reduxx just isn't close enough yet... I want to let it percolate a while longer before trying to publish it. Moreover, we've decided there's something else we want to bring out sooner: Eco-Fluxx!

This idea is actually not all that new... we've been talking about Eco-Fluxx ever since last summer, when Alison returned from summer camp with a rough plan for a nature-themed version of our #1 hit. Since then, the idea has just been simmering, but over the weekend we got busy and built a prototype deck. We've been playtesting it all week, and it's great! We're really excited about bringing it out!

What's in Eco-Fluxx? Well, it's got a whole food chain of woodland creatures, ranging from caterpillars and the leaves they eat, to the birds that eat the caterpillars, the butterflies the caterpillars metamorphosize into, and the bees that join the butterflies in pollinating the flowers. It's got frogs and snakes and bears and fish and spiders and flies and beetles and mushrooms and worms. It's got air and water and dirt, and it's got the humans whose pollution can endanger such things. It's got all the standard new rules and actions that make it Fluxx, plus a few new ones that go with the theme, including the Recycling rule (which lets you draw from the top of the discard pile) and an action called Eat Dinner (which lets you steal a Keeper if it's something that the current Goal says is eaten by a Keeper you have on the table).

Eco-Fluxx will be the perfect version of the game to play at summer camp, on camping trips, or even at school, where science teachers will delight at the game's subtle but undeniable educational value. And it'll be fun with a purpose: much like Stoner Fluxx, we plan to donate a dollar for every deck we sell to organizations working to support the cause, in this case, protection of the environment. (We plan mostly to support our favorite such group, the Nature Conservancy, but other groups will be eligible too.)

We're planning to have a nearly-final prototype ready to send off with Alison for playtesting at this year's sessions of summer camp. When she returns, we'll make whatever final changes are needed, send it off to the printers, and begin selling it just in time for the holidays!

For those who can't wait for the real release, we plan to post the preliminary Eco-Fluxx card list here in the next week or 3. Meanwhile, the playtest card list for Fluxx Jr has finally been updated!

AndyThanks for Playing Our Games!

Thought Residue
I love Celebrity Poker Showdown, in which various minor celebs play Texas Hold 'em poker, with their winnings going to charity. I like it better than the World Series of Poker, in which the world's best professional poker players battle it out for big money. But what I'd really like to see is something I call Nobody Poker Showdown, which would be a lot more like a regular game show than the existing spectator poker programs. In Nobody Poker Showdown, ordinary folks would play poker, tournament style, for a prize pool of just $1000 or so, plus some prizes from the sponsors. The action would be edited down to half an hour of the most interesting hands, and whoever wins would be the returning champ in the next day's show.

"Dear President Bush: It's time to be honest about the failure of the War on Drugs. Please seize this opportunity to speak truthfully about your own personal experience, and to call for an open, honest re-evaluation of our nation's punitive drug policies. End the double standard that forgives some people their youthful indiscretions while others are locked up and tarred for life. Stop the Justice Department from imprisoning nonviolent drug law offenders and especially the terminally ill who use marijuana for medical reasons. It is time to stop the hypocrisy and replace punitive drug laws with policies based on reason, compassion, and justice. Respectfully, < your name here >." -- text on a postcard the Drug Policy Alliance sent out to its members, for them to sign and mail to the White House [Please help us end the drug war! Put this text into your own letter and send it to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave 20500]
"Sure--I worry about dying alone (or Keith dying alone). The thing is, it really seems like a rotten and selfish thing to have kids just so they can take care of you when you are old. And anyway, there's no guarantee that the kids would be willing (or able) to do this. People don't always do what you expect them to do. And life doesn't always work out the way you think it will--so maybe our deaths will be different than I fear." -- Ellen Baker, in The Honeycakes Diaries entry for April 3, 2005, entitled "Why Keith and I Don't Have Children"

"I played Fluxx for the first time last and night and just wanted to tell you all: ten thousand gold stars and more thumbs up than I have on my two hands! Bloody brilliant! Fluxx has replaced my weekly Cuban Uno game with my friends (we use illegal rules...don't ask.) Thanks a million!" - email "From One of Four of Your Newest Fans," named Donna



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