Category: Joe McDaldno

It’s actually “Twitters Brendan”

When I was a kid I had asthma. Growing up largely fixed that, but I still got attacks when I went running in cold weather; since running is the only exercise I enjoy or have ever been good at, I got into the habit of slacking off as the weather got colder. In late fall, for many years, I’d slip into a comfortable lethargy, stop caring about what I ate or how much I moved, and gain a bunch of weight that I’d then try to work off in the spring.

After I started recognizing this pattern I wanted to change it. Because the only motivation I understand is self-mockery on the Internet, last September I made a new Twitter account, WinterBrendan. I’d post as him when I caught myself in moments of sloth, gluttony and self-loathing. He hasn’t actually written that much, which is a good thing! It kind of worked, and I ate a lot better and worked out more (aided by the fact that I figured out how to run without asthma, which deserves its own post).

But WinterBrendan was only the beginning.

Within two weeks of his appearance, SOMEONE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED created SpringBrendan, which is the worst thing that has ever happened. SpringBrendan is a machine gun of incredibly lewd jokes, which, well, fine, except all those jokes have my face on them and people instinctively believe I am writing them. The worst part is that he’s fucking hilarious. The only thing worse than people scolding you for coming up with horrible things is people praising you for coming up with horrible things when you did not, and indeed could not.

There are apparently people who still don’t believe I don’t write SpringBrendan. Look! Here! I AM NOT SPRINGBRENDAN. YOU CAN TELL BECAUSE HE IS FUNNY, AND LIKES HIMSELF.

Unfortunately everyone else likes him too. Around the time this was going on, I realized I was coming up on my ten thousandth tweet. Because my friends (and their friends, and total strangers) seemed to enjoy seeing my face plastered on any old garbage, I took a grumpy few hours and wrote my first Twitter client, RealBrendan. It was pretty simple: a text box that hooked up to my actual account and posted whatever you typed. My 9,999th tweet was a link to it, and my 10,000th was “Go.” Then I went to lunch with a friend.

When I got back I was in Twitter jail.

As soon as people realized it was legit, they had unleashed a hideous torrent of raw, anonymous Internet. I once thought of my followers as a carefully curated selection of clever, thoughtful people with taste; now I know better. RealBrendan only went silent when it hit the ceiling for allowable-tweets-per-hour, which turns out to be 128. I got a lot of texts along the lines of “are you okay???” and “WHAT ARE DOING, TURN OFF,” and one person even figured out how to send DMs as me. Exciting! (If you authorize the Exquisite Tweets app, you can read a complete archive of the horror.)

I revoked the app and was allowed back on Twitter the following morning. I did feel a certain sick fascination with what had happened the day before, so I tinkered with the machinery so that it would maintain a queue and post at a more reasonable rate, then hooked it up to its own new account. Once people figured out there was no more immediate gratification, the torrent dropped to a trickle, but now there’s this kind of anonymous group-fiction thing going and it’s kind of fun.

Because ideas are unkillable, there are other accounts as well, and once again I DO NOT CONTROL ANY OF THEM. Summer called them Brendan-shards, which prompted me to start thinking of them as my Horcruxes, because it would be awfully hard to track them all down and also each one represents a horrific murder. They are GrampaBrendan, JoelBrendan and BrendansMcdald, and I strongly encourage you not to follow any them. Or the other ones. Or the actual BrendanAdkins, really.

Please RT.

Stories We Tell, The

My dear friend Joe Mcdaldno–writer, game designer, and fascinating Renaissance human–was kind enough to interview me about Anacrusis for his nascent radio show/podcast, The Stories We Tell. This marks the third podcast to feature me, and my second time on Canadian radio. Soon, listening to my nasal drone trail off in the middle of half-baked jokes will be completely unavoidable!

Incidentally, the term I can’t think of at around 16:45 is syllepsis (and more generally zeugma).

My friend Joe is committing some thoughtcrime

And he’s doing a Kickstarter thing to fund the print run. It’s a game called Perfect, and it’s one of the best, most effective story games I’ve ever played: a Clockwork Orange-meets-Fahrenheit 451-meets-actual Victorian evil premise that the mechanics support to a startling degree. Playing it, you find yourself alternately drawn toward becoming a violent enemy of the state, and seduced by power like a guard in the Stanford prison experiment. It’s a nasty game, and I really, really like it. Joe talks more about it here.

If you’re interested by this kind of thing, you should chip in $5! If Joe meets his goal, you get a PDF of the game, and if he doesn’t, you get your money back (well, technically, it never even leaves your account).

Thanks to everybody who commented on the project management software entry, by the way

A few weeks ago I attended my second Go Play Northwest, and as before, it was one of the best weekends of my year. I played a lot of games, and wrote up reports on some of them, including Attack of the Crimson Apes (with Danger Patrol), Steam Tank versus Marble Army (with Principia), and Saga of the Goblin Headbag (with Lady Blackbird). I also ran a game of Rubble (discussed), and played my second game of Mythender (discussed, although it may not make any sense). I played just enough of a game of Anima Prime to make me want more.

Finally, I played in a game of The Shab-al-Hiri Roach adapted to take place on Wall Street in 1986, which was very funny and which we will never discuss again.

I did manage to go the entire weekend without playing a single game with Jackson Tegu or Joe McDonald, which, I mean, what the hell guys. They were (along with John Aegard and the Richmond-Smiths) two of my most potent catalysts in getting involved with the Pacific Northwest gaming scene, and now they’ve retreated back to their frozen Canadia. This will be rectified, gentlemen!

GPNW alone is enough to make me reconsider moving to Seattle every year. Then I try to get anywhere in its blighted hellscape of streets and quickly discard that notion.

Go Play Northwest Con Report: Day One

PLAYING GAMES IS COMPLETELY AWESOME. Today I playtested a version of Agon hacked into Shadowrun and, even more successfully, a Dragonball Z-meets-epic-level-D&D-as-run-with-Beast Hunters game by Ryan Macklin called Mythender.

Just one day has made me actually want to go back and finish writing Welcome to the New World, the RPG I half-completed in 2005, not to mention the real-time tactical combat game I get really excited about every ten minutes and then get distracted before I write any ideas down. It’s like, oh. Is this why people go to cons?