The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

Some quarantine sanity tips

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Here are a few to start off:

  1. Refer to anyone in your house as a ‘coworker.’ As in (“I have to go, one of my coworkers got out of the bath and is running around naked….”). To add specificity, refer to your spouse as “HR” (“…and HR wants me to deal with.”)
  2. Recreate March Madness by buying doll sized basketball jerseys and putting them on local squirrels.
  3. Take a weekend trip to the most distant parts of your house.

I personally had Chuy’s Tex-Mex yesterday, right before the Mayor’s order shutting down restaurants, which is the Texas equivalent of grabbing the rails of the last helicopter out of Saigon.

Written by taogaming

March 19, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Non-Gaming, Open Thread

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Gaming in the Time of Corona

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Honestly, I haven’t gamed much this year. So much so that — despite being a mere hour or two away from finishing my fifty-by-fifty two months ago, I haven’t made the final push. I’ve had one or two trips to the game store, a bridge tournament, and 1862 with the TaoLing.

Even before these last few weeks, I’m a gaming shut-in.

But I was going to the Gathering next month …. maybe. Literally hours before the announcement shutting down air travel from Europe I started to reconsider. I wasn’t worried about getting sick. I get the flu fairly frequently at conventions, but while I understand exponential growth, I also think the base rate of mortality and symptoms don’t warrant drastic measures. But the question is “as compared to staying at home and working, am I more or less likely to get sick.” I live in a city that released a postive person from quarantine accidentally, and went to the mall. I figured the odds that there was a carrier in my building (admittedly a huge building with more ‘retail square footage’ than the pentagon) was at least 50%, based on this Covid planner and some rough guesses, because I don’t for a second believe that the only people who are postive were identified two weeks ago.

I think the odds that I’m going to be exposed (if not already, in the next few months) is high enough that getting sick is basically a coin flip. (I figured the genie was out of that bottle two weeks ago). So getting sick wasn’t my primary concern.

My primary concern? Being half a continent from home when I got sick and/or the world went crazy. My estimate (prior to the last few days, which undoubtedly will slow the growth) was that the US will hit 100,000 cases mid next month, and I figured it would happen then. The US — in my experience — tends to grossly under-react before over-reacting. You can argue if that happened, but I personally expected more under-reaction first. Ironically the heightened scrutiny means we may hit that number faster as drastically more people test (and the various problems with the initial test kits are solved).

But ignoring my health, I have parents that would be at risk if I exposed them. And even more medically fragile in-laws.

Not that they are taking precautions. But still. And then last week happened, and we’re now in as close to a lock down as the American public is likely to accept without mass casualties. My work told at least 25% of IT to work from home for the near future, but that just happened on Friday, although some departments started a few days prior.

Anyway, I know that gaming conventions are being cancelled, game stores are shutting up their public game rooms, etc.

Bridge will be lucky if it only gets decimated, IMO. Not only is the bridge playing population the most at risk, the handling of cards involves ridiculous cootie potential. NABCs are cancelled. I haven’t paid attention to smaller tournaments (since I rarely attend) but I imagine they are going  away. Some clubs are closed because of government orders, there are efforts to move club games online (where you still only play against your local opponents), but I’m skeptical. I’ve personally played on OK Bridge or BBO since ’92 or ’93, but I think the ACBL membership is fairly luddite, and many are interested in the social aspect as much (or more) than the game aspect.

Again, losing only 10% seems conservative.

My gut feeling is that the amount of death attributed to Corona will be on the order of a bad flu season (the CDC estimate for 2017-18 is 61,000, and that was the worst year in the last decade). A bad flu year kills about 60% more people than car wrecks (there were a touch under 40k in 2019). A good flu year kills less.

But society’s reaction to this does appear to have every indication of a game changer. Nothing was stopping my (or my team) from working at home two months ago, except that my manager gave the stink-eye to anyone who did it more than once a month or so.

I suspect that gaming won’t have too many long term changes. Undoubtedly some stores/cons will go out of business (along with a ton of other struggling businesses that aren’t game related) and VASSAL and other “play board games by computers” will get a big boost in the short term. Videogames are likely to grow even more. If I bought individual stocks I’d be tempted to buy Twitch and streaming stocks.

Bridge certainly has a more dire future than general gaming.

Anyway, how are things — gaming wise — in your various wood-necks?

Update 3/16 — The local bridge clubs closed indefinitely (they had not announced as of yesterday). Also my employer confirmed that someone tested postive ‘on campus’ and likely was there last week. And I should clarify. My gut feeling is simply that, a feeling. The straight numbers indicate somewhere on the order of 2M deaths. (360M people in the US, 25-75% infection rate, 1% fatality rate). Perhaps its the normalcy bias talking, but my gut feeling is my gut feeling.

Written by taogaming

March 15, 2020 at 10:59 am

Posted in Non-Gaming, Open Thread

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Trends in Boardgaming 2010-2019

Rather than post it here, I decided to make a geeklist on Trends in Boardgaming.

Written by taogaming

December 18, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Tagged with ,

Happy New Year

It’s a bit early…

Not much new on the gaming front here. The TaoLing has been ill, so its pretty much bridge and TV during the winter break. Just added Versailles 1919 to my P500 orders after seeing it on the January P500 Geeklist. (I didn’t care for Churchill, but the theme is intriguing….). I’m vaguely-but-not-really considering the “No Retreat, but even simpler” game from Carl Paredis. (The actual No Retreat Western Front game is also VBNR, even though I’m sure I’d only play it once, if that).

How’s the gaming where ya’ll are?

Update — I noticed Eric in a QE thread and so I got involved. Did you know I have a chicken that plays QE? (He switched from Boggle, where he earned a minor role in King of the Hill). Anyway, when writing thatI remembered something I read a while ago about Rationality and Newcomb’s Paradox.

First, foremost, fundamentally, above all else:

Rational agents should WIN.

Don’t mistake me, and think that I’m talking about the Hollywood Rationality stereotype that rationalists should be selfish or shortsighted.  If your utility function has a term in it for others, then win their happiness.  If your utility function has a term in it for a million years hence, then win the eon.

But at any rate, WIN.  Don’t lose reasonably, WIN. — Eliezier Yudkowsky

Written by taogaming

December 27, 2018 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Open Thread

Open Thread — What are you buying in the GMT Sale (if anything)

I could roll the dice on a few things, or perhaps try a COIN, … what are you getting (or would get, if you didn’t have already)? (See the 18 Oct update for more info).

Written by taogaming

October 21, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Open Thread

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Some of my odd ideas go to BGG

But I’m sure you knew that.

Written by taogaming

August 11, 2018 at 9:07 pm

Dammit, Trader Joe’s….

Driving into work I hear an ad “This program supported by Trader Joe’s. Buy our wonderful dough and make a nice ‘za for dinner.”

As someone who railed against the inclusion of ZA in the OSPD, this felt like a personal attack from T.J. I’m assuming that T.J. put the apostrophe (or maybe airquotes) and the announcer didn’t pronounce them…

Written by taogaming

March 21, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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