For a proper reply to this, see this ish's [that would be vXIV, n1 - ed.] admin page. I'm interested in knowing what parts of the zine are read "fairly regularly" by "a long time lurker". Please write again. [TOM]Thanks for the summary. The state of postal Diplomacy is quite depressing. I do understand that other types of gaming attracts people these days but I fail to see that there's room for all kinds of gaming.
I have a theory...Hi Tom-
My theory is that non- face-to-face gaming involves three functions: 1) adjudicating the turns, 2) preparing the results of a turn in some form for reporting, and 3) distributing the results to the players. The various early Game Masters were, for the most part, by default, publishers. In some (few) cases, two or more individuals got together with one or more adjudicating games and writing any additional material, and another individual preparing the results for distribution. However, mostly one GM/publisher performed both functions. With only a few exceptions, from the 1960's through the mid 1980's there was only one method of distribution available: the post. The play-by-MAIL hobby became so named because for nearly three decades, distribution via post was the only commonality between all the gaming 'zines. Looking back, one sees that most 'zine publishers used a publishing method as close to the state of the art as they could afford. When the personal computer came on the scene, new publishers used this newest method for presenting results (and other 'stuff') and some of the older publishers even "moved up." With the escape of the ARPAnet from the universities (thus producing the Internet), suddenly a second distribution method became available for getting out game results. Not only that, the functions of information preparation and distribution found an opportunity to merge. The merger became complete with the development of the World Wide Web.
So now we have two communities of gamers (with some cross over, of course), us old Postal guys on the one hand ( and there are a couple of us U.S. game zine publishers who are still postal only), and on the other hand the play-via-electrons crowd ( though called play-by-E-mail (PBEM) it includes web based 'zines as well as true play-by-e-mail games as found on, for instance, the automated judges).
Well, for all of man's history AND prehistory, technology has changed. By "technology" I mean not just the tools man uses in his activities, but also the methodologies, or way of doing those activities. As technology changes, each individual has to make the choice to either move along with the changes, or reconcile himself with being left behind in the old ways. Eventually, the "postal hobby" will die. Witness: the last postal zine (in the US) which commenced publishing in the last decade just folded, partly because it never generated a game start. Don't get me wrong. Gaming will continue. I don't have current numbers readily to hand, but the last time I checked, the number of games and number of players on the Internet were both increasing exponentially. Play of games at a distance is very much alive and well. It's just the postal distribution of results which has outlived it's necessity born of lack of alternatives.
I haven't sampled enough of the on-line gaming to have any idea what is available or how much, if any, has any of the "associated material" which made many of the postal 'zines more than just places to play games.
As for costs, well, ..... That depends. Do you want the paper copy? If so, where are you? Sweden? I desperately need to review my subscription rates, as our post office just raised International postal rates. I've been charging US$1.50 per copy but will probably finally have to change that.
If you don't need the paper copy (everything in the game reports is on the web site, and only very little goes into the postal version that isn't also on the web site), you can play any of my games via e-mail and getting results from the site.
In either case, I don't charge for games. I only charge something to help defray my (postal) publishing costs. [TOM]
Got your moves, Tim; has this delay of 'zine given you time to sort out your work situation in respect to gaming herein? [TOM]Tom,
In my experience, change is usually painful. Some change can be good; if so, it may alleviate the pain. Now that I've blown away the summer, I expect you've made a decision. Let us know what it was and how it turned out! [TOM]
I just recieved word that our newest Diplomacy Zine has folded. That in itself isn't enough to prompt my writing to you. The reason I am writing is that the publisher, Tim Haffey, of the folded 'zine, Who Do You Trust? is also looking for someone to take a substantial Diplomacy Zine archive off his hands. The bulk of Tim's collection was originally accumulated by Larry Peery of San Diego, California. Tim is in the Bay Area.
I am in Northwestern Washington state. I would be interested it taking Tim's collection except that I currently lack storage space and there is always the question of transportation and funding thereof. I do anticipate having storage space later this year. It may be several years before I have much time to catalog or organize the collection; if the archive did come my way, I see it as a long-term, ongoing project.
The ultimate disposition of this archive will be dependent on a hobby-wide discussion. I certainly can, and will, initiate a discussion on the subject in my next issue of off-the-shelf, which is due out in a week or so. I'm not sure what the Diplomacy Hobby's current ideas are about the archives of the play-by-mail hobby. As I recall the last such discussion, the majority of us want to see these archives saved, but thereafter, there are many opinions on how best to do so. Some prefer to see archives in the hands of hobby participants, some think institutions have a better chance of keeping the records together over the long term. Personally, I think Tim's collection should ultimately be merged into the Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green. If held by an institution rather than by any individual, I think several benefits accrue: they would be more accessible to interested parties and their continued existence as an intact collection would be longer.
If the hobby agrees with me, and the Popular Culture Library (PCL) is interested, and we can get Tim's archives up to me, I'd be willing to work with you towards the goal of adding the non- duplicative portions of Tim's archives to the PCL.
So, the first question is: Is the Popular Culture Library interested in this collection? My next question would be: what is the current state of cataloging and indexing of the PCL's Diplomacy Hobby Zine collection? [TOM]
Actually, the rule book addresses this. "To order a support, it is necessary to write the location of the supporting piece, the word supports' or its equivalent, and both the location and destination of the piece receiving support." [section IX, 1] Clearly, in your last example, A RRu must go it alone However, in section VII, 4, the rule book.also says: "An illegal order is not followed, and the unit so ordered simply stands in its place. .... A badly written order, which nevertheless can have only one meaning, must be followed." To me the question is: "Are A RRu - and A SoD S A RRu' illegal orders or simply badly written?" In the first instance, either alternative gives the same result: Army RRu stands in place.From: "Paul Milewski"
My longstanding practice has been to interpret "A SoD S A RRu" as support for A RRu (implicitly) holding. If the army in River Running heads off into the sunset I'll rule that the supported unit did other than what the support was for. I'll stick with my historical practice unless many of my players complain that "A SoD S A RRu" is illegal per IX, 1 which specifies an explicit destination. [TOM]
Sounds like I should return to closure tabs. Supposedly, they help. Regarding the one game, I've heard tell that vigorous diploming can make a difference...hi tom
I agree with you; recent new addresses for Doug are Good Things (tm). More good things in the Kent department: he sent me a Halloween card announcing his wedding next Halloween to Heather.
As for the wonderful job in the o-t-s department: do I still qualify after this egregious delay? [TOM]
You know, ... I'm way out on the end of a pair of copper wires. Can't get anything faster, and it's very slow. Any chance you could lower the resolution of your pics so they don't take forever for the likes of me to download? The quality won't suffer enough for me to be able to see any difference on my computer screen; just in the time to download... <g> [TOM]um
Nevermind. I went and took a nap whilst waiting, and finally got 'em all. For some reason, I had thought you were younger. [TOM]Well I'm not certain how to take that comment! I'm 42 in july.
Take it as a compliment! [TOM]Hi Tom
Vacation travel ought to take priority in my book... ;) Yes, we're well. The building goes apace, though the pace has slowed with the weather. [TOM]i hope you all enjoy the latest blog updates which has loads of photos from my hols.
Entertaining... Yes, ... quite entertaining. [TOM]Hi, I wondered if you would mention our event on your website, events listing/news section. You may also consider attending.
Here's your plug. Then again, I might not.Michael Edward was born on Sept 14 and is doing fine!
Hey! Congratulations, Tim! If you need any daddying tips, I bet Bart can give you some... [TOM]
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