Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 14:59 on 22-06-2011, Guy
Also! The bit where he says "spend enough time with any of them and you'll become a snobby connoisseur" bugs me. Because the implication is that being a snob - being full of sneering condescension for others who don't share your tastes - is the same thing as having an enthusiasm or a well-developed interest in something. Sometimes, when someone's really knowledgeable about something and we hear them talk about it we might feel a little small by comparison. But it's petty and solipsistic to imagine that the only reason people have to be interested in stuff is to produce that feeling in us. Gah.
at 14:53 on 22-06-2011, Guy
The alt-text says "our brains have one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit." Pay enough attention to discarded chewing-gum wrappers, and they will become, through the stretchy frame of our perception, equal in depth and significance to the collected works of Shakespeare. I think I am too annoyed by the evident wrongness of this to appreciate the "whimsical humour" it's intended as.
at 14:49 on 22-06-2011, Dan H
Also: holy freaking crap that's a massive wall of text. It's just a guy saying some stuff and then saying some more stuff, and more stuff and more stuff which Randall clearly thinks is AMAZINGLY PROFOUND AND INSIGHTFUL.

It's the comic equivalent of having somebody laboriously explain to you how when people say "how are you" they're not asking a literal question about your physical health, somebody who believes that they are the *first person ever to realise this*.
at 14:13 on 22-06-2011, Arthur B
On the topic itself, I really don't get what he's trying to say. Is it wrong to be a connoisseur? But then why get deeply involved in any pursuit if you don't form opinions about it? Is hat guy really such an asshole for encouraging his friend to put some effort into broadening his tastes and discovering that wine isn't just a slightly tanniny fluid you toss down your throat? Are the Biden sandwich photo fans simply deluded or are they actually finding an aesthetic appreciation in the pictures other people would dismiss?

It's one of those comics where you can almost see the backstory: Randall served some shitty wine to a houseguest, houseguest offered to show Randall the rich and varied world of wine and broaden Randall's horizons, Randall retreated to his study and sketched out this comic in a grump.
at 13:50 on 22-06-2011, Andy G
Yes that's about right. The writer I think couldn't believe she could really *mean* it when she said she liked Dostoyevsky. Because the only reason someone would say that is to show off, obviously.
at 13:28 on 22-06-2011, Arthur B
Was that the article complaining about Sue Perkins doing a show about lowbrow literature that she doesn't actually have much sympathy for?

Because yeah, I could see the point that getting someone who just plain dislikes trashy books to do a show about trashy books could end up being patronising and condescending, but I seem to remember the left turn into "SF is the true literature of ideas!" bollocks was maddening.
at 13:18 on 22-06-2011, Andy G
I hate inverse snobbery. It reminds me a bit of a whiney "Science fiction is proper literature" article on the Guardian recently, where the author sneered at the very possibility that Sue Perkins might actually be telling the truth when she said she Dostoyevsky was her favourite author.
at 11:44 on 22-06-2011, Arthur B
But know we know if Randall is coming over we can get away with serving him cheap, shitty wine.
at 10:58 on 22-06-2011, Andy G
OK, today's XKCD annoyed even me.
at 00:06 on 20-06-2011, Andy G
The article basically just reminds me of myself as an uptight 13-year-old DM who got very sulky when my friends didn't take it seriously enough.

But in the light of his other views, it is indeed rather more sinister.
at 22:27 on 19-06-2011, Arthur B
Wait, they pulled the D&D and Girls article but not this one? They think it's not OK for him to write about women seeing how he's a misogynist but OK for him to write about punishment considering his views of domestic violence?

I almost wish I were still buying WotC products so I could make a big show of boycotting them.

Also, from the punishment article:

But let’s get serious. Actually, seriousness is the issue. Some kids are not serious. Some kids don’t come to play, but rather to socialize.


To be serious myself, I think the best way to teach kids to play D&D is to give them Labyrinth Lord (a remake of the last version of D&D which was at all kid-accessible) and let them have at it.
at 21:18 on 19-06-2011, Andy G
Did you also see the link to his article about punishing kids if they get bored or don't understand D&D. I think the normal response is to play a game that's actually designed for kids ...
at 04:23 on 19-06-2011, Arthur B
So Wizards of the Coast for some reason are running a series of articles about running D&D games with kids, of which this was one of the articles.

Tepid, cliched, and patronising enough on its own. But then behold, drama explodes when it turns out the guy who volunteered to write "Running D&D for Little Girls" turns out to be inclined to say misogynistic (and occasionally disturbingly violent) things on the Internet.

at 01:01 on 19-06-2011, Wardog
at 00:59 on 19-06-2011, Michal permalink
at 18:08 on 18-06-2011, Wardog
Holy shit. My allosaurs just ate my triceratops!
at 18:06 on 18-06-2011, Andy G
I feed all my triceratops to carnivores to keep them away from the fences.
at 18:03 on 18-06-2011, Wardog
My triceratops is an angry bastard.
at 16:03 on 18-06-2011, Andy G
Now it does. Now I am loving it.
at 15:51 on 18-06-2011, Andy G
Dinosaur Zookeeper won't let me place my medium dinosaur anywhere :(
at 13:10 on 18-06-2011, Wardog
Incidentally can I just say how much I WUV RPS? I mean, I know it barely needs saying but in all the horrendous E3 booth babe coverage, they did this. I WUV them.
at 13:05 on 18-06-2011, Wardog
Holy shit. Harry Potter is DANCING.
at 13:04 on 18-06-2011, Wardog
I have a strange respect for Daniel Radcliffe.... he charmed me by singing Tom Lehrer on some random chatshow. Didn't look too in Equus either...eeek!