- [Guide] [Games] [E-Books]
Because she cocooned
two years in a tree, the tree
might last two thousand.
Your Own Big Wheel
"A friend brought in a Fluxx deck to school and my life
has never been the same..." -- Martha K of Columbus, OH
||PenguinCon 4 was Totally Cool!
was our first time at a Penguicon,
and our opinions were probably influenced by having literally
been given the Guest of Honor treatment, but we all thought Penguicon
4.0 was one of the nicest and most enjoyable cons we've ever
been to (and we've been to quite a few).
I drew the cartoon shown here for the program book. (They
featured it on page 15.) I also thought this cartoon could be
used as the design for their T-shirt, but then they came up with
that great cartoon of the Linux penguin styled like a Mad Lab
Rabbit, which appeared at the top of this page during the last
few weeks. Anyway, the point is, Penguicon is an unusual mix
of computer programming and sci-fi/gaming cons, featuring a particular
emphasis on Linux (hence the penguin theme) and the Open Source
movement in general.
The main thing we had to do, as Guests of Honor, was simply
to hang out and enjoy the party with the crowd, which of course
was very easy when they've got 24-hour open gaming (featuring
our games), plenty of caffiene (in unusual forms like water,
mints, and gum), and amazing treats like Liquid Nitrogen Ice
Cream and an intensely cheesy concoction they were making (which
was drooling over) called Chupaquesos.
But we also ran several events. Right after the opening ceremonies,
I gave a talk on what future societies might look like after
marijuana is legalized, which was well attended and evenly
debated. (I thought it went really well, actually, and got good
comments about it all throughout the weekend.)
Then on Saturday, we held another rousing round of Andy
Vs. Everybody (in which I played 36 games against a crowd
of dozens, winning 15 times) along with another Stuffed
Animal Tea Party!
This was our 3rd Stuffed Animal Tea Party, even though this
was the convention that we invented it for, and it was also the
best yet. We had quite a crowd of mostly adults, carrying around
an amazing assortment of plush friends and having a grand old
time drinking tea and eating cake together. And speaking of the
cake, I'd like to again thank the girl with red hair on the far
right above, and to congratulate her again as well. For you see,
this was no ordinary cake; this was leftover wedding cake! She's
Moonbeam, the bride who got married at the convention the night
before and they had enough cake left over to share with us. And
it was a yummy chocolate
cake, too! Yay!
Above are some more scenes from the party. On the left we
and the plush felines they were the guests of, in the middle
are fellow Guests of Honor Steve Miller and Sharon Lee and their
plushies, and on the right is Michael
"It's Me!" Brightbill, who created a new stuffed friend
to accompany him on the spot (using objects found in his room)
named Pillow McCasey!
final panel we did this time was another new one Alison
offered to do, which also was a big success: a short class on
Making String Figures! Here you see a scene from the end of the
session, when they made a really big version of the Figure they
were all learning, using rope.
Below you'll see pictures of the whole class, showing off
the pattern in question, known variously as the Apache Door,
or the Little Hammock.
With our official tasks thus complete, we got back to the
job of enjoying the convention, which meant finally getting to
play around with the Chaos Machine. It's basically a big and
very elaborate marble racer, and since Alison
dreams of building such an installation into a house someday,
she got really into adding to the machine, and spent hours doing
so. Of course, that's the whole idea... it's an Open Source toy,
everyone is encouraged to change it around and add their own
stuff at will.
was once again very pleased with how the re-designed
Desserts is playtesting, and in particular at how well Treehouse is
being received. People love it! As the con drew to a close and
the game room started emptying out, this group kept on playing
game after game of Treehouse, until they were the last ones there!
(They were also playing a really big game, the biggest I'd yet
seen played, with 9 players.)
Anyway, we had a really great time at this con and hope to
attend again in a future year, as a "Nifty Guest,"
which we get to do now any year we want, having been GoHs once
in the past. Thanks so much to everyone who showed us a such
a grand time and who helped make it happen, in particular our
Rabbit Coordinator Josh,
our con liaison Colleen,
all the rabbits who helped run events like Shaun
You guys rock!
for reading, and have a great week! (And if you'll be at Baycon
this weekend, we'll see you there! (Actually, we're already
this update was posted from our hotel room!)
||The sessions at Penguicon 4.0 provided a striking example
of why we officially discourage playing Are
You a Werewolf? with an oversized village. (As Josh
put it in his internally-emailed report, it was "an unmitigated
disaster.") Instead of creating 2 or 3 Villages, and starting
a new one each time you had enough dead people hanging around
(like we do at Origins),
this group insisted on playing as one gigantic village. And instead
of starting something so fun it would continue literally all
night, the game fell apart after just one hunt. It really isn't
as much fun when you get past about 15 people. Just because you
CAN play it with 30 or more doesn't mean you should. Don't make
the mistake of thinking the game will be even more fun with even
more people: the test results have proven otherwise.
||"The hotel wanted us to do the panel somewhere else,
but where they wanted us to do the panel was already being used
by people playing games, eating lunch, and by a 'stuffed animal
tea party,' at which, you guessed it, a bunch of stuffed animals
were having a delightful afternoon repast. So there was nowhere
for us to have our panel. Writer Dave Klecha suggested that maybe
we should change the panel to 'Tea parties in Science Fiction'
instead. So we did." -- John Scalzi's Whatever blog, "Penguicon
||"Salad isn't food. Salad is what food
eats." -- message on a button I was given at Penguicon
this year by Colleen (aka Nazgul Bunny)