I do not have many aspirational figures in gaming.  There are tons and tons of awesome people I love to meet and learn from, but there are very few that I look at and go "man, I wish I could [Y] like [X]."  There is a notable exception to this in the form of every single person who can draw, but that is more easily categorized as "bitterly envious" than aspirational.

A more genuine exception to this is +John Stavropoulos, who I consider aspirational on many levels.  I've commented before that John is probably the best speaker in gaming, and I have much to learn there, but that is just one dimension.  John is also one of the most passionately, practically principled people I have ever met.  Where others (read: "me")  talk and celebrate small victories, he goes out and does the kinds of things that we all think in our hearts that this mad, beautiful hobby is capable of, things that make the world better.  This dedication extends from the smallest action at the play table all the way up to genuine global change.  

He's one of the good guys, and as a bonus, he is capable of keeping his cool and remaining respectful on the internet to an extent that makes me like an inebriated mouth breather, so that's one more thing to learn from.

I'm not attempting to be coy here - any statement like this is usually made with some subtext, and this is no exception.  Thankfully, if you know what the subtext is, then explaining it would probably do everyone a disservice, and if you don't, you're fortunate.  Simply leave it that right this minute, not everyone shares my high opinion of John, and some of those people are folks I think kindly of.

Never a fun position, and my usual instinct is to just keep quiet and limit myself to private conversations on the topic (and, in fact, that will remain my position on the underlying issue), but the tenor of things has become unpleasant enough that it was getting harder to call my position "practical" when "chicken-shit" sounded a little closer to the truth. 

So there's my piece.  John's one of the good guys. Make of that what you will.

I'll leave comments open because I'm apparently a crazy person, but no guarantee that I'll actually read them.
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