I was trying to think of a topic.
Should I talk about World Cup? Barely watched – not good times of day.
Should I talk about Wimbledon? Watched even less. Tennis is like baseball to me (now) – I have to have a specific interest in what’s going on or it is just boring.
Nope. Time to talk about golf.
What are my go to TV stations when I’m lying around not wanting to do anything? Used to be ESPN and ESPNews and still may be. But, now, I try flipping to NBA TV and, unfortunately, Summer League is going on, unlike how good it was when the playoffs and the draft were going on. So, much of the time I end up switching to the Golf Channel as the only thing palatable while I play solitaire (77-7 a lot these days, which is not optimal).
The thing about golf is that it’s a good TV sport. Because of World Cup, there are idiotic arguments about why the US doesn’t do better at futbol that then gets into how some people find NFL boring because of the copious amounts of dead time. Which got me to thinking … not about gaming … about what makes NFL so viewer friendly.
Jack’s Facts is that any sport can be boring when you don’t care about what happens and any sport can be fascinating if you have a specific interest. I can still watch baseball, but baseball is the sport of statistics and statistics have been massively undermined by the drug war. You can’t get into your dude hitting 20+ HR and driving in 100+ RBI when everything is so negative towards guys who did that using “performance enhancing” drugs.
Um, aren’t all drugs performance enhancing? Cortisone shot? I know loratadine is performance enhancing for me as it means I don’t start sneezing uncontrollably as many days.
Anyway, the NFL is much more viewer friendly for folks like moi who know stuff about it than the likes of baseball, hockey (poor TV visuals), and basketball. Sure, I’m way more into NBA than NFL, but it’s because of player movement not because the games are all that appealing to watch. Score, score, miss, score, miss, miss, score, … Too much repetition, a la tennis and baseball, oh, another thing hurting the watchability of baseball, in theory, is how balls aren’t put into play as often as they used to be. Walks and strikeouts should be unusual, not the norm.
That’s the thing about NFL – scoring chances at all times without it being Arena League levels of trading “baskets”. And, no, for me, it has nothing to do with violence. Sure, some like violence, can still see with boxing, MMA, cockfighting, or whatever. I’m far more into watching the Black Widow at snooker because I love … moving on.
Now, sumo or whatever has novelty value that counteracts repetitiveness. Olympics has that “I don’t watch this all of the time” nature combined with international competition at the most nationalistic level.
But, then, again, I grew up with NFL as something followed.
So, why golf? Is it repetitive to see approach shots on the same holes and putts from roughly the same places? Not so much, no. The thing about golf is that you get a kind of random feel at the exact same time you get “that is so damn hard to do”. Now, maybe it helps that I played golf for a couple of years, pretty badly. Until I tried fencing (sabre), most frustrating sport I tried. I think golf is also helped some by video games. You can envision trying to line up a shot and choose a club and decide how full a swing to make. It’s also helped, perhaps, by how anyone can play it, if at a low level. I mean, sure, I was once not bad at bowling, but it’s incredibly repetitive.
Comfort. The theme for today’s post.
I’m running Rokugan 1600 which I’m sure you will be shocked to learn is set in the Legend of the Five Rings setting and uses 4e rules. Super shocked. Any time I think of a PC, NPC, nemuranai, or whatever from another L5R or LBS campaign, I’m trying to fit it in. It’s a comfort zone inside a comfort zone.
How is it going? Well, haven’t turned off two new players that I barely know, yet.
One thing I do think about a lot is the criticisms I’ve gotten for my style of scene-focused, high fantasy, literaturesque adventures. I’m trying to focus on the player perspective and why they should care about what they are doing. Thinking about how to get them excited rather than what I might find exciting (if done better than I do it). I think that’s helping.
Find that GMing zone where you feel comfortable after the fact and not just when creating ideas. In fact, I had written up an adventure and scrapped it as I knew it would fall into the same style that gets so much confusion from my players.
After the last session, I got asked about skirmish miniatures play. I’ve never been into minis play.
Why isn’t minis in my comfort zone like card games and RPGs and some board games? Hell, I’ve done way more LARPing than minis play, though LARPs are not my comfort zone.
I didn’t grow up with it. Sure, I didn’t grow up playing virtually any RPGs, but I was fascinated by them and by character creation. People I knew didn’t play minis, people I didn’t know but could sense existed didn’t play minis.
Two, it’s an investment. An investment of space. I have more than 100,000 cards for various card games, but I still feel like there’s a much greater physical commitment to minis, plus I don’t paint and have no interest in painting.
I like the idea of BattleTech a lot because it’s outside the box (unlike board games and wargames) and there are way better systems than BT, but it’s still not the ease of playing a card game, even a card game where you don’t build your own deck.
It’s not the easy outside the box of CCGs and RPGs and the stories aren’t as impactful to me. I was so close to getting into the BT CCG, it’s really a historical shame the game wasn’t much better at being a game and at selling what makes BT appealing (mech construction).
I feel the story “cardboard” tells.