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Vincent Baker
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The Barf is back up, if you've been waiting for it.

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PbtA post

Hello friends!

Check out my new database of PbtA games in print and PDF:

Any corrections or additions, send them along!

In particular, supplements. Click the "supplement" tag to see what I've got so far, and I KNOW I haven't listed but a fraction of them. Please suggest what I'm missing.


#PbtA post, following threads by +Paul Beakley & +Hans Messersmith

Dear people struggling with PbtA theory,

"PbtA" isn't a system, I propose, it's an approach to systems, at the same conceptual level as "class and level games," "skill-based games," and "games with freeform traits and a unified conflict resolution system." I think you might have better luck if you think of different PbtA games as sharing a jumping off point, not as sharing systems or best practices or anything like that.

Take moves (the going topic). When you compare different PbtA games' approaches to moves, what you should expect to see is an ever-broadening diversity, not a developing common core. When you discover that two games approach their moves in similar ways, but a third approaches them differently, you haven't discovered a PbtA standard and a game that diverges from it, you've only discovered commonalities and differences between those three individual games. You've learned about those games in particular, in other words, not about PbtA games in general.

In important technical ways, there's really no such thing as "PbtA games in general." My guess is that approaching PbtA theory as though there were will always be frustrating.

Or maybe it's just not my thing. Still, if there's anything I can do to help, please ask! I think it's honestly wicked cool that you're trying to figure this stuff out.

Thanks as always, your pal,



WHAT'S TRUE: The Government Accountability Office plans to respond to requests it has received about Warren's letter to the agency.

WHAT'S FALSE: The GAO said it does not have a total count of how many e-mails it has received connected to the post.

Original post:

EASY ACTION: if you want to support Senator Warren's request to audit President Trump's finances for conflicts of interest, the Government Accountability Office says that the most effective way to be sure your support counts is to email two administrators, Katherine Siggerud and Timothy Minnelli -- and a third email address through which they're tracking people who are urging support for the audit.

you can send ONE email addressed to:,,

Subject line: Re: Audit for President Trump's financial concerns

Dear Ms. Siggerud and Mr. Minnelli,

I’m writing in support of Senator Elizabeth Warren's request for an audit of President Trump's finances, to prohibit conflicts of interest that would prevent him from carrying out the responsibilities of the office without corrupt influence.


And please copy-paste this post to share. If you just click "share", then only the overlap of my friends and yours can see it. This took about 30 seconds to do. An audit is essential immediately.

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Good review!
  This is a weird one to review. It’s like trying to review The Stanley Parable or The Beginner’s Guide (which I actually did. I’m drawn to these games and they’re so tricky to articulate. A Real Game is free and all you need to do is print it out in…

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I'm thinking about making a documentary about games people play with LEGO, and I'd like to reach out to MFZ players in the Bay Area (to start) and film you in action.

After I get a trailer cut, maybe I could raise some money to get to players in other states and Canada.

Would anyone be interested in this?

A song by me. To the tune of O Christmas Tree.

O under where?
O under where?
Where do I stand?
O under where?

I tried to find
The misteltoe
I couldn't though
So now I go:

O under where?
O under where?
Where do I stand?
O under where?

Repeat until +Meguey Baker asks you to please stop, for the love of god.

What's with the dreams last night?

Mine was overwhelming visuals. I was an astronaut on an asteroid, working with a second astronaut to position some truck-sized thrusters. Looking up I could see to another asteroid, where we were building a base - little white space suits working diligently to lay out the site of a future structure. Looking behind me, I could see the asteroid belt glittering against endless space. I watched two asteroids collide, soundless, exploding a cloud of high-velocity fragments and continuing on their new shared trajectory. I felt dizzy and panicky and said out loud that we could be killed without warning at any moment of any day. My partner in the radio in my ear said "yep," and we got back to work.
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