Hall of Mirrors

Fogging the Mirror held up to Nature.


BigBadCon 2013
Devon - Welcome
devonapple
Hi, gaming folks!

If you plan to join us at BigBadCon 2013, in Oakland, CA, October 4-6, please check this out! We have a ton of great RPGs, indie and trad, as well as a suite of great LARP opportunities. Jason Morningstar is joining us to run some cool games.

Game signups for Big Bad Con go live *9/7 at 12:00 PM PST*. If you're coming, make sure you're signed up now so you can get first crack at the wonderful RPGs and LARPs on our roster!. Here are the links you want:

Events
Have a badge already (bought one, GMing, volunteering, etc)?  Go here to verify your badge: http://www.bigbadcon.com/events/verify-your-big-bad-con-badge/
Don't have a badge? Sign up pronto! http://www.bigbadcon.com/sign-up/

Hotel
If you're staying at the con and haven't booked a room already. Here's the link to get one at the con rate. Do it now as they will run out: http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/O/OAKHIHH-BBC-20131004/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG
Looking forward to seeing you at BigBadCon 2013!

Cognitive Dissonance and the Anti-Gay-Marriage Community
Devon - Welcome
devonapple
On the NPR article 'Severing Love From Diapers': The Other Case Against Gay Marriage'

(X-posted from Google+)

Cognitive Dissonance:



In one part of this NPR story, the anti-gay marriage position is purportedly affirmed as follows:

'"The most compelling arguments I've heard are for traditional marriage — the other side makes emotional arguments," says Seery, director of programs at the Love and Fidelity Network, a Princeton-based group that prepares students to talk about marriage and other issues on college campuses.'

Then later:
'Procreation is necessary for the species, and marriage is the best way to ensure thriving families, says John C. Eastman, a Chapman University law professor and chairman of the National Organization for Marriage.
Allowing gays to marry, he says, would be "almost the nail in the coffin" in terms of a trend toward the "delegitimizing of marriage," through no-fault divorce, out-of-wedlock births and other phenomena he says weaken marriage.
"This would dramatically transform the way we think about marriage," Eastman says. "It would forever sever the connection of marriage to procreation — forever sever love from diapers."'

First of all: gay love didn't build that coffin, so hanging the decline of the institution on that is stupid.

Second of all: "severing love from diapers" is a) another emotional appeal, and b) ludicrous. Gay folks don't want to raise children for the rote exercise of changing diapers, and it is foolish to assert such a thing. If anything, they are probably more motivated than the folks forced into parenthood as a result of risky behaviors which could have been prevented by early and comprehensive sexual education.

Now obviously, NPR wrote the story and arranged the statements. But I feel it reflects accurately a cognitive dissonance among the anti-gay-marriage crowd, which simultaneously wants to forbid one kind of love, and legally encode and bolster another, using justifications which vacillate between a) logistical arguments that deny the emotional considerations of the debate, and b) emotional appeals that ignore the very real and logical considerations like the importance of equality, the potential quality of life of children who are raised by adults who want them rather than who had to have them, etc.

Separating love from diapers is exactly what happens in a state which can't properly educate its young about how to protect themselves.

BigBadCon Announcement!
gaming - displacer beast
devonapple
Hi, folks!

BigBadCon is coming up in a week, and we still have several LARPs open and ready for players:
Attack of the Media Moguls (Friday, 7 pm)
The Alien Brothers Xiggurkrakit, Media Moguls, have kidnapped the entire Junior and Senior Classes of Ferris Bueller High School! Can the remaining members of FBHS’s various Clubs and Societies put aside their mutual antagonism and band together to save their friends (and the rest of the Juniors and Seniors) before the abductees are forced to sign lifetime contracts to appear on “Galactic Gladiators”, Xiggurkrakit Media’s hot new Reality Show?

These folks hit it out of the park last con with a whacky LARP adaptation of Teenagers From Outer Space, and I look forward to the next chapter!
Appledale – A Great Place To Live (Saturday, 4 pm)
“As your duly elected mayor for the year 1952, we find ourselves facing grave issues of national import. With the presence of Communists being uncovered on a daily basis, and the threat of the atom bomb hanging over us – every member of the Appledale community must pull together to repulse this hidden threat to our way of life. I am counting on all citizens of our fair town to do their part during this time of crisis”All small towns have secrets... some just have many more than others.

I have gamed with Jan, co-author of the Call of Cthulhu adventure adaptation of "At the Mountains of Madness", and I have no doubt that if she brings the same spirit to LARPs that she brings to her tabletop games, that this will be a game not to miss!

Houses of the Blooded (Sunday, 10 am)
Ambition. Lust. Revenge. You can’t have one without the others. Thousands of years ago, the ven ruled the world. They were a passionate people, obsessed with Romance and Revenge, opera and theater, and all the forbidden delights their decadent culture provided. In the end, that which made them beautiful was also the key to their own destruction. A game of romance. A game of revenge. A game of invisible wars and sorcerous blood. A game with no victors. Only casualties.

Josh Roby has worked on over a dozen rpg products but is probably best know for being a writer for Smallville, as well as creating Full Light, Full Steam, Sons of Liberty, and Vicious Crucible. Mr. Roby also did work on Jonh Wick's Blood and Tears, the LARP rules for his "anti-Dungeons & Dragons" role-playing game Houses of the Blooded. Josh is also one of the Nerdly Beech Party organizers and has been gracing the LA Strategicon conventions with his awesome games for years. This year we've convinced him to come run Blood and Tears at Big Bad Con. This LARP looks like it will be a thrilling, bloody romp through a savage and magical time, and I'm planning to fasten my seatbelt and ride it to hell!

We also have numerous tabletop RPGs still ready for players, as well as a Game On Demand room: 

Click here to see Events:

So sign up today! 

Hazy Lake Merritt afternoon in #oakland
Devon - Welcome
devonapple





Posted by ShoZu


LARP Update at BigBadCon (October 7-9, 2011)
Devon - Welcome
devonapple
Registration has opened for BigBadCon, and the good news is that there are plenty of spots available for our LARPs:

Friday afternoon: Shelter in Place - Zombie Survival meets Tag
Friday evening: High School Field Trip - a Teenagers from Out Space game
Saturday: Battlestar Galactica: "Flight of the Argus" - 'nuff said
Saturday evening: State of Flux - nano-punk/Urban fantasy/conspiracy
Sunday: Summit Arcane - a LARP inspired by Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files"

Registration is just $40, and all proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders as well as the Alameda County Food Bank!

Click here to see the schedule.

Full LARP Roster at BigBadCon!
Devon - Welcome
devonapple
I'll be running two LARPS at BigBadCon, which is dropping October 7-9, 2011 at the Hilton Oakland Airport:
"Lost Colonies," a classic from early in Dreams of Deirdre's career;
and "Shelter in Place," a survival horror LARP by J.R. Blackwell.

That brings us to a full roster of FOUR LARPS for the weekend, including:
"Battlestar Galactica: Flight of the Argus" by Gamer Geekus; and
"State of Flux" by ; and Jarys Maragopoulos.

Register as soon as possible so we can let you know when to sign up for games!

BigBadCon: LARP Requests
gaming - GM
devonapple
BigBadCon (October 7-9, Hilton Oakland Airport) still has three spots for LARPs, and we would enjoy an opportunity to host one of yours!

Our space can easily hold a 25-person LARP, with plenty of storage and closet space for props and belongings as well as a dedicated water station, like the LARP rooms at KublaCon. We have also lightened the player:GM ratio for badges!

6-hour game with 10-16 players = 2 GM passes
6-hour game with 17-25 players = 3 GM passes

Because BigBadCon is a small convention, we will be able to attach players to games well before the convention, allowing players and GMs to exchange information, assign roles, coordinate costumes, and get more information about the game so that you can hit the ground LARPing, right out of the gate.

In addition, BigBadCon will also be donating its proceeds to Doctors Without Borders and the Alameda County Food Bank.

To submit an event, Click here to create an account and click Volunteer, or just email me:
http://www.bigbadcon.com/?page_id=7

Also, if anyone is interested in the Gazebo Deathmatch, but doesn't have a script idea yet, let me know so we can assess community interest in the competition.

I will be coordinating LARP games and scheduling at BigBadCon, so if you have any questions about LARPs at BigBadCon, please feel free to contact me at devonapple@gmail.com.

We are also on Twitter - follow the Wolf at http://twitter.com/#!/bigbadcon.

If there are GMs you would like to see run games at this convention, please send them a link to this post!

http://www.bigbadcon.com/
devonapple@gmail.com

BigBadCon is organized by Sean Nittner, host of Narrative Control, veteran of the Good Omens gaming community, and organizer of Good Omens Cons.

Haircut
Devon - Welcome
devonapple

I got my hair cut in San Francisco yesterday:

I went to Pirate Salon in the Mission District - they rang a bell when my ponytail came off. I'm sending it to Locks of Love!

I think I'm over the habitual motions like sweeping my ponytail away when I put on clothing, things like that. But oh, the bedhead! I hadn't missed that.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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BigBadCon's Big Bad Event: the "Gazebo Deathmatch" - Request for Volunteers
gaming - displacer beast
devonapple

Hello, folks,

We are seeking volunteers to participate in BigBadCon's Big Bad Event: “Gazebo Deathmatch.”

A terrible and mighty Gazebo lairs on the grounds of the Oakland Airport Hilton, terrifying in its silent mockery of all life (see here for covert surveillance photos and additional information). Although it is surely madness to draw swords against it, yet does The Wolf issue this challenge: dare to face the Gazebo, and great prizes will be yours.

What we seek are groups to stage a Gamer-versus-Gazebo Deathmatch, a mock assault upon the Gazebo, preferably in costume. Genre is totally open, so your Firefly costumes are just as appropriate as your Rokugan or Dr. Horrible garb for this event.

We would like groups to submit written proposals and scripts to me (devonapple@gmail.com) before the convention (deadline TBA), and we will schedule them for a time Saturday night when no games are in session (such that the entire con can bear witness to your epic and entertaining defeat). 

We have a few guidelines for your sketch:

  • Proposed scripts should be five to ten minutes in length.
  • Do not include weapons in your sketch (we’re not doing boffer here).
  • Please avoid profanity, though geek profanity is certainly welcome.

We hope this is an exciting opportunity to show off and have some fun, and if anyone has any suggestions or concerns, I'm certainly open to your ideas. Please let The Wolf (thewolf@bigbadcon.com) or me (devonapple@gmail.com) know what you think. 

Big Bad Con is seannittner 's personal project, born from a desire to see more RPG and LARP cons in the Bay Area.

Big Bad Con
October 7-9, 2011
LARP Coordinator: Devon Apple
Contact: devonapple@gmail.com or thewolf@bigbadcon.com


Reminder: BigBadCon coming October 7-9, 2011!
Devon - Welcome
devonapple
Hi, folks,

Just a reminder that BigBadCon will be held at the Hilton Oakland Airport from October 7-9, 2011*. Click here for room block information.

seannittner 's BigBadCon will feature LARPs, tabletop games, and more. You can check out the web site, make a profile, and learn more about the convention as it grows.


We will have a dedicated LARP room which is roughly 22' x 55' (1248 sq ft all told!), enough to hold a 25-person event. We will also have access to an external area with a gazebo, though it will be a short walk from the LARP room.

Events will be in 6-hour blocks, and running LARPs or other games will get you into the convention for free. We are still working on scheduling, but here are the LARP-specific benchmarks for GM passes:

6-hour game with 10-16 players = 2 GM passes
6-hour game with 17-25 players = 3 GM passes

There will also be a special event - the Gazebo Deathmatch! - which is described in more detail here. The Wolf is challenging our LARP troupes to take up costumes and stage an assault on the dreaded Gazebo which lairs at the Hilton.

I will be coordinating LARP games and scheduling at BigBadCon, so if you have any questions about LARPs at BigBadCon, please feel free to contact me at
devonapple@gmail.com.

We are also on Twitter - follow the Wolf at
http://twitter.com/#!/bigbadcon
.



* This was the hotel where KublaCon was first held.

Phenomenaut Thoughts
Devon - Welcome
devonapple
Enjoying the Phenomenauts album "For All Mankind." Where the "Darkest of the Hillside Thickets" plumb the Lovecraft Mythos (with a great delve into retro sci-fi with their "Spaceship Zero" project), the Phenomenauts focus entirely on retro sci-fi imagery and sentiment, and the 1960's hopefulness about the potential for space, summed up by this Oakland-based retros sci-fi punk/rockabilly's motto "Science and Honor." I have referred to their punk/rockabilly sound as "rocketbilly," and I still think it applies to their focus on space, science, proving one's mettle and having a good time.

"Man Alone" is emblematic of this spirit, exhorting the audience to define itself with deeds, to break away from purposelessness and lack of ambition. "All of us/ We should have a mission/ We should have a purpose."

One of the elements of the Phenomenaut "mythos" is that gods, angels, demons were some advanced alien life form that visited Earth a long time ago and messed with the locals. An early song of theirs, "Galactic Pioneers," is sung from the point of view of some of these entities, apologetic about the unintended side effects of their visit. "We were just interested in stellar evolution and not religious ideals," the singer explains. "We just want you to admit/ That you interfered/ And left us stranded here."

Conversely, "Compensation" (from this latest album) is a critique of these unnamed alien entities for having contributed to mankind's perceived stagnation in space evolution as well as ideological divisiveness. "The fear that you inspired/ Has us bogged down and mired/ In ignorance/...We killed each other over what you said.../ We did it all for nothing."

Indeed, one of the main thrusts of the Phenomenauts message is a kick in the pants to the aerospace industry and to the world's governments for contributing to the disunity that is keeping our race, as a whole, from moving out to the stars. As they sing in their song Y2K, "It's only time we wasted/ We reached the lunar surface/ It's such a crime/ We gave up exploration/ We beat the Soviets/ We just stopped trying."

Edit: I forgot to add why I even brought up the Thickets in the first place - both groups have a song about time travel. The Thickets have a song called "20 Minutes of Oxygen" (for which they are releasing a music video) and the Phenomenauts have one called "Into a Time Warp." "20 Minutes of Oxygen" features a space-age character, trapped in a sealed airlock, wishing he had the brains to kludge together a time door to go back in time and warn a younger version of himself how to prevent this outcome - "that could be the ripcord in my destiny," he cries hopefully, but, having failed to actually build one, he resigns himself to the fact that "no, you won't remember... you won't remember me/ There will be no ripcord in my destiny."

The Phenomenauts song "Into a Time Warp" seems much more pessimistic about time travel. The singer enumerates the unfortunate consequences to history and human technological development now that he got stuck in a time warp, how the "Information Age will never be," and that it will "de-educate humankind." Both songs however share the same fatalistic conclusion: "No, I can't win," sings the protagonist from "Time Warp," while the singer in "20 Minutes" accepts that "it's too late now and I'm still dumb/ Twenty minutes of oxygen."

Give them a listen if you get a chance!

My New Addiction
Devon - Welcome
devonapple



Tastes like a cola version of eggnog!



Posted by ShoZu


BigBadCon's Big Bad Event: the "Gazebo Deathmatch"
gaming - Minotaur
devonapple

Hello, folks,

We are very excited to announce Big Bad Con's Big Bad Event: “Gazebo Deathmatch.”

A terrible and mighty Gazebo lairs on the grounds of the Oakland Airport Hilton, terrifying in its silent mockery of all life (seen here from covert satellite surveillance):

Many Bothans died to bring this Goggle satellite image. Stupid Bothans.

Although it is surely madness to draw swords against it, yet does The Wolf issue this challenge: dare to face the Gazebo, and great prizes will be yours.

It looks quiet and serene now... but just you wait...

"Gazebo, this is the day you die. Charge!!!!!!"  -Victim #145

What we seek are groups to stage a Gamer-versus-Gazebo Deathmatch, a mock assault upon the Gazebo, preferably in costume, during which the participants rail against the Gazebo, rallying themselves with creative pronouncements of the Gazebo’s crimes, lamenting over the souls lost to the gazebo, or even arguing the dangers of attacking it, and at the right moment, charging the mighty foe, only to die spectacularly in the attempt to rid the land of the dreaded Gazebo. Genre is totally open so your Firefly costumes are just as appropriate as your Rokugan or Dr. Horrible garb for this event.

We would like groups to submit written proposals and scripts to me before the convention (deadline TBA), and we will schedule them for a time Saturday night when no games are in session (such that the entire con can bear witness to your epic and entertaining defeat). 

We have a few guidelines for your sketch:

  • Proposed scripts should be five to ten minutes in length.
  • Do not include weapons in your sketch (we’re not doing boffer here).
  • Please avoid profanity, though geek profanity is certainly welcome.

The winners, chosen by cheers from the crowd, will be crowned the “Gazebo’s Most Challenging Meal,” awarded with Big Bad Achievements (read "cheap pins that you can wave around that nobody else at the con will get"), accolades from the audience, ribald jests from competitors, and beautiful men and women swooning before their magnificence. Note: Big Bad con will not actually provide any swooning men or women, but we will certainly encourage it.

We hope this is an exciting opportunity to show off and have some fun, and if anyone has any suggestions or concerns, I'm certainly open to your ideas. Please let The Wolf (thewolf@bigbadcon.com) or me (devonapple@gmail.com) know what you think. Are you excited? If the prospect isn’t immediately exciting, what kind of changes or incentives could we provide to make it awesome in your eyes? Leave us some feedback!

Big Bad Con is seannittner 's personal project, born from a desire to see more RPG and LARP cons in the Bay Area.

Big Bad Con
October 7-9, 2011
LARP Coordinator: Devon Apple
Contact: devonapple@gmail.com or thewolf@bigbadcon.com


BigBadCon to land October 7-9, 2011
gaming - Minotaur
devonapple
Hi, folks,

It's the beginning of the year, and as you make your plans for 2011, I wanted you to keep in mind that BigBadCon will be held at the Hilton Oakland Airport from October 7-9, 2011*. Click here for room block information.

seannittner 's BigBadCon will feature LARPs, tabletop games, and more. You can check out the web site, make a profile, and learn more about the convention as it grows.


We will have a dedicated LARP room which is roughly 22' x 55' (1248 sq ft all told!), enough to hold a 25-person event. We will also have access to an external area with a gazebo, though it will be a short walk from the LARP room.

Events will be in 6-hour blocks, and running LARPs or other games will get you into the convention for free. We are still working on scheduling, but here are the LARP-specific benchmarks for GM passes:

6-hour game with 10-16 players = 2 GM passes
6-hour game with 17-25 players = 3 GM passes

There will also be a special event - the Gazebo Deathmatch! - which I will be posting about in more detail. The Wolf is challenging our LARP troupes to take up costumes and stage an assault on the dreaded Gazebo which lairs at the Hilton.

I will be coordinating LARP games and scheduling at BigBadCon, so if you have any questions about LARPs at BigBadCon, please feel free to contact me at
devonapple@gmail.com.

We are also on Twitter - follow the Wolf at
http://twitter.com/#!/bigbadcon
.



* This was the hotel where KublaCon was first held.

Fezziwig's 2010
Devon - Welcome
devonapple



Dickens Faire



Posted by ShoZu


Rainy Autumn Day at Tudor Hall
Devon - Welcome
devonapple





Posted by ShoZu


psycho killer
Devon - Welcome
devonapple



qu'est-ce que c'est?



Posted by ShoZu


Bizarre office fixture
Devon - Welcome
devonapple



What do YOU think this is supposed to hold? it's about waist-high on a filing cabinet...



Posted by ShoZu


Oops! What a bug!
Devon - Welcome
devonapple





Posted by ShoZu


Boosting the Signal: It Gets Better
Devon - Fluffy
devonapple
Dan Savage has put up a YouTube page - the "It Gets Better Project" - to encourage gay, lesbian, bi, and/or trans people who want to communicate to the despairing LGBT kids out there who are being bullied and harassed - kids who may have been convinced that they don't have a future - that it gets better, lest they end up like Billy Lucas, an Indiana teen who reportedly committed suicide after suffering from bullying about his sexuality.

Please forward this to anyone you feel would suit such an endeavor, "other gay and lesbian adults—singles and couples, with kids or without, established in careers or just starting out, urban and rural, of all races and religious backgrounds," as Dan explains.
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