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Blog Details
Blog Directory ID: 26660 Get VIP Status?
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Google Pagerank: 2
Blog Description:

A personal blog on gaming, travel and fiction. The author lives half in China and half in the US.
Blog Tags: games - gaming
Blog Added: March 17, 2016 10:23:48 PM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-States   United-States
Blog Stats
Total Visits: 1,103
Blog Rating: 2.71
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All Roads Lead To Yangzhou

A post shared by Meg (@simpsonsparadox) on May 23, 2018 at 6:35pm PDT We’re now selling enough Takeout that we’re moving from print-on-demand to a traditional printer. (Don’t get too excited, we’re still using our living room as the shipping … Continue reading...

A post shared by Meg (@simpsonsparadox) on

We’re now selling enough Takeout that we’re moving from print-on-demand to a traditional printer. (Don’t get too excited, we’re still using our living room as the shipping and distribution center.) Harold found a print shop that could do small, high-quality print runs, and it happens to be in Yangzhou, China, right in the neighborhood where I taught in 2015. So my new game decks are being printed just a couple blocks away from an expat bar where I spent quite a few nights drinking and telling the Yangzhou lone wolves why I was giving up on game design.

I’m really glad I didn’t.



The Kids Are Alright

My 9-year-old student, after telling me all the things she’s read about Christopher Columbus and native Americans: Miss Meg, did you learn that Columbus was a good guy or a bad guy? Me: When I was your age, we learned … Continue reading...

My 9-year-old student, after telling me all the things she’s read about Christopher Columbus and native Americans: Miss Meg, did you learn that Columbus was a good guy or a bad guy?

Me: When I was your age, we learned that he was a brave adventurer, but now most people know his actions were theft.

9-year-old: People didn’t know that when you were little?

Me: I think some people did, but school kids like me didn’t.

9-year-old, thinking carefully: That means you’re part of the older generation.



Takeout Review

Today we’re looking at Takeout, a fun little gem by Meg Stivison of Small Monster Games. In Takeout, players take on the role of foreigners visiting China. You and your companions are hungry for some local eats, but none of … Continue reading...

Today we’re looking at Takeout, a fun little gem by Meg Stivison of Small Monster Games. In Takeout, players take on the role of foreigners visiting China. You and your companions are hungry for some local eats, but none of you know the language. You decide to try your luck anyways, and piece together a tasty meal with nothing but your Chinese phrase book and your appetite.

Takeout is packaged in a clever card box that looks suspiciously like Chinese take out. Aside from instructions, the box contains “food cards” and “action cards”. Food cards will display one (or two) of the five flavors of Chinese cuisine – Bitter, Sweet, Sour, Spicy, and Salty, or Cold, for a drink. Action cards will let players perform a variety of actions, most of which involve stealing food from other people. The goal of the game is to get all five flavors and a cold drink into your meal before anybody else manages to do the same.

via bestdadna



Consider Revising

This semester, I submitted a short story that is so “inspired” by the end of of a certain game company startup that it barely qualifies as fiction. The main workshop feedback I got on it was: Makes no sense for … Continue reading...

This semester, I submitted a short story that is so “inspired” by the end of of a certain game company startup that it barely qualifies as fiction. The main workshop feedback I got on it was:

  • Makes no sense for a tech founder to just give up and walk away like that, with no warning. His lack of concern really doesn’t match the beginning where he’s been such a kind mentor to the protagonist.
  • This should end on a high note when she demands and receives her last check. Why is your protagonist still worried about being a waitress? It’s an unreasonable concern at this point in her career.



Did You Mean:

I usually check the interlibrary loan for my textbooks before I buy them. This time, I feel like the local public library knows me just a little too well.

I usually check the interlibrary loan for my textbooks before I buy them. This time, I feel like the local public library knows me just a little too well.

No, I didn’t. But, now that you mention it…



Keep Calm and Brew Up

I’m really enjoying this book overall, and of the most interesting parts of The Taste of Empire is about tea. The book explains that in  the mid to late 1700s, poor British workers often spent a tenth of their annual … Continue reading...

I’m really enjoying this book overall, and of the most interesting parts of The Taste of Empire is about tea. The book explains that in  the mid to late 1700s, poor British workers often spent a tenth of their annual income on tea and on sugar for that tea. Upperclass would-be reformers were shocked to discover this.  Surely the uneducated poor just needed to be told that wasting money on luxuries like tea and sugar was the reason they stay poor! If only some well-meaning reformer could teach those uneducated masses about health and budgeting!

It’s the same conversation we keep hearing now. Surely, the uneducated rural poor just need to be told that they’re wasting money on soda. If only some well-meaning reformer could teach these uneducated poor about health and budgeting!  Surely, the young, working poor need to be told that buying coffee or avocado toast is the reason they stay poor. (Never mind that the fresh veg and whole grains of avocado toast are exactly what the rural poor are supposed to be buying.) Now, as then, certain reformers are sure that poor people just make bad spending decisions and would immediately change their habits if only they knew better.

Shocked reformers of 1767 failed to realize that poor British workers no longer had access to common grazing land after the Enclosures, so they could no longer keep cows or sheep. City life meant little to no space for a  vegetable garden or chickens, especially for those who’d come to the city seeking work and stayed in temporary lodgings. No woods meant no foraging for firewood, which meant a hit meal was more expensive. With no access to meat, eggs, dairy, or vegetables, many workers lived on bread. Even that was difficult to get, as the price of grain rose much faster than wages. The warmth, sweetness and calorie boost from a cup of tea was a great addition to an unvaried, not particularly nutritious diet.

Drinking tea reflected working long hours on a poor diet, with little access to nourishing meals or other comforts. This was a sign of the extreme poverty in the working classes, not a sign of the reckless spending.

Anyway, just something to think about when the next thinkpiece about those wasteful poors buying soda and coffee comes out.



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