In most role-playing games, gold is the universal currency of choice. It provides some relatability with the fantasy world (gold is valuable!), and it’s an effective method for transporting wealth that is light enough to not encumber its owner. It’s ubiquitous to the point where it simply becomes just a number. But what exactly does the amount of gold you have mean in real-world terms?
Board games nowadays come in many levels of interactivity. Some can almost be considered multiplayer solitaire, where each player does their own thing with little or no regard to their opponents’ actions. On the other end, games can be entirely zero-sum, where any action anyone does comes at the expense of another player. Neither extreme can really be considered “better”, but people still do have their preferences. Germans, popularizers of the “victory point” system, tend to prefer the former, while American-produced games seem to more often than not fall into the latter category.
In a desire to categorize these games, I have come up with a board game interactivity scale, ranging from 0 to 10. Continue reading The Board Game Interactivity Scale
(WARNING: The following post contains physics as well as spoilers for a certain film.)
A couple months ago, I was watching The Avengers for the third time, and when the portal opened to start the alien invasion, I noticed that they kinda ignored the physics of the whole thing. The most obvious one (at least for me) was that for some reason none of the air was escaping into the vacuum of space. In addition, the Earth should have a gravitational pull on the space station, yet that doesn’t appear to be visible. And so, for whatever silly reason, I decided to actually crunch the numbers on the whole thing.
Let’s face it – there is an overabundance of states in the USA. According to the completely unscientific survey known as Sporcle, less than half of people can name all the states even if they’re given a map. This is generally considered to be a grave embarrassment and an example of why Americans are falling behind in education, but let’s face it: It is really hard to remember fifty names at once. Heck, most people can’t even name all their classmates in a normal English class, so why are we forcing people to remember places that they will probably never visit in the first place?
The solution, of course, is to reduce the number of states. Continue reading The Concise States of America