Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Who has the best design?

Something I don't understand about Intelligent Design (ID). Presumably the same Designer perfected the designs of every plant and animal. So let's say a cougar kills a deer, even though the deer in question is young, healthy, and has a nice rack of sharp antlers. Can't we infer that the cougar had a better design than the deer? After all, if the deer had a perfect design, it would use its perfect senses to detect the cougar's approach, its perfect reflexes to go into a fighting stance, and its perfect weapons to defeat the cougar (and perhaps its perfect immune system to heal any scratches that occurred).

But this didn't happen. So does the Designer like cougars better than deer? Does the Designer just like the taste of venison, or like to watch the kill? Did the Designer accidentally or deliberately include flaws in the design of the deer? Or maybe, just maybe, the Designer created evolution and sat back to let it run its course on Earth?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A great Christmas gift

My daughter gave me a copy of Mark Barrowcliffe's book, The Elfish Gene, about growing up with D&D. Poignant, but also hilarious (for anyone who was a D&D player; my wife did not find it funny when I would read passages to her). Lots of laughing out loud. After Mark's experience, though, I'm glad I was older in the 70s, and played with a (somewhat) more mature crowd. We were all grad students, in biology, astronomy, chemistry, chem engineering, and something like environmental law before that was a major. It helped that we were in Wisconsin, could go to the earliest of the Gencons, and get to know several of the principal designers, most of whom were fairly level-headed and reasonable folks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some games

I have designed games for both fantasy roleplay (FRP) and electronic gaming systems (ColecoVision, IntelliVision, Atari 2600, etc.). Some examples of FRP games include the original druid rules for D&D, Bunnies and Burrows, Swordbearer, Heroes of Olympus, and scenarios for RuneQuest, Paranoia, and others. I did a few board games, like Intruder, Star Smuggler and Kung Fu 2100. Also programmed some MUDs and MUSHes.

Some video game examples include Super Action Baseball, Super Action Football, Looping, Destructor, Rocky Boxing, Frenzy, and Smurfs Save the Day. I'm not doing any game design today, though. Happily retired, thank you.