I’ve been looking forward to this one. Day 16 of the #RPGaDAY2023 Challenge is “Game you wish you owned.” There are several games that I wished I had on my shelves. I’ve been lucky to track down several of the games that I previously owned or never had a chance to own. But right now there is one holy grail of RPGs that I’d love to have in my hands.
I am a big, and I mean BIG, fan of the British science-fiction comedy Red Dwarf. When I had my first chance to watch in on KUED Ch 7 (our local PBS station) I was hooked. It was fun to watch Red Green, Red Dwarf, Black Adder and Doctor Who on Saturday nights back in the day. When I’m in a bad mood I’ll put on some Red Dwarf to cheer me up. It is a favorite of Sir Patrick Stewart after he mistakenly thought it was a rip-off of Star Trek: The Next Generation (and was wanting to call his lawyer).
So imagine my surprise to find out that in 2002 a company named Deep 7 released the Red Dwarf Roleplaying Game and several supplements. As someone who loves RPGs and loves this series, I’d love to obtain a copy of the game. I keep using the word “love” I noticed. Not only would I use it in a future Character Creation Challenge, I’d probably see if I could homebrew for it as well (depending on how the system works).
I’ve yet to find it in the wilds or at a reasonable price on Ebay or Amazon. So my search continues. I just hope it takes 3 million years into the future.
What is a game you wished you owned? Tell me about it. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
Going through my past blog entries I realized that it’s been a while since I posted a batch of my homemade memes. Here are a few that I randomly pulled out of the “My Work” folder. If you are brave enough, you can see the past memes I’ve created here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI and Part VII. All of the entries in this post were created with MS Paint.
I’ve posted this on some of my social media sites and it has made the rounds on the internet. The look on Dr. McCoy’s face while holding the communicator made me think of the caption.
The only real reason I watch the Superbowl is to see the commercials. Companies spent a lot of money to show us the “best of the best” advertising. Sometimes they work really well, and sometimes they have wasted a lot of money. After the crypto commercials last year with the weird QR codes, I was surprised to see a lot of commercials with QR codes this year. So it inspired me to make this meme.
If you haven’t seen Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, go watch it now. Oh, are you back already? Good. This scene from the first episode was turned into a series of memes where the TV displayed different shows that Captain Pike could have been watching because it was a classic. I had to drop a scene from the Red Dwarf episode “Gunmen of the Apocalypse”. I received lots of compliments on this entry including the use of the letterbox. Honestly, it was just the way the picture fit on the screen.
I actually just made this meme an hour before posting this blog entry. I saw the pun on one of the newsletters I subscribe to and knew I had to meme it. Luckily I’ve been making meme blanks and this one stood out to me.
What are some of your favorite memes? Do any of my past memes stand out to you? I have a Jokes and Memes channel on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. Not only am I posting my latest memes there, but others have been sharing as well.
Note: This article was originally started in June and was held in a draft form until it was completed and released now.
Adopters of new technology. Grabbing something that has a buzzword attached to it and running with it. It’s trendy with techies to jump into something shiny. There was even a course I had to take at my college to identify and understanding emerging technologies. Well I’ve actually dipped my toe into that water, and it wasn’t on purpose.
I’ve got the reputation for being a “technology whisperer” when it comes to computer issues. From family members to previous jobs, I had people approaching me about how to fix various IT issues. If I can get my hands on the device, I can usually “scare” it into working again. Most of this happens by poking around in the device until I find the correct settings or functions. However fixing them and understanding them didn’t mean that I was interested in being the first to get them. At first I was hesitant about getting wireless routers set up in my home because I was concerned about outside connections. Later as I saw the security options, I adopted the technology. I don’t need the latest OS or cell phone when the hype is the biggest because I know they will have some bugs that need to be worked out. I have no problems letting someone else be a guinea pig and getting burned while all the kinks are resolved. So when I heard about cryptocurrencies and NFTs, I thought “no thanks”.
Why was that? Well the first time I heard about NFTs was from my college aged art student. Apparently anyone can take a piece of art and turn it into an NFT without the artists permission. Something that really bothered the art community. For those of you who don’t know, NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Boiled down, an NFT item (mostly artwork, but it can be assigned to videos. music, in-game items and other things) has a blockchain code attached to it. This code cannot be duplicated (the non-fungible part) and the record of it’s ownership is contained within the blockchain. Allegedly this gives a value to the image in question by trying to make it rare. Yea, a piece of artwork that has a limited run number imprinted on it (such as number 30 of 100 prints) is something similar, but I tend to trust the individual artists who put these out since I can support them directly. Here is an example of a limited print run artwork.
To me, this has value. The artist made it, the artist signed it, the artist got money for it. I can enjoy it on my wall and it will still be there if a server goes down. I still own it if someone hacks the account the NFT is connected to. An NFT can’t be held in my hand. It’s a glorified graphic file which anyone can right click and save. I’ve noticed when someone tries to artificially inflate the value of something, and I tend to avoid it. While I’ve enjoyed collectable card games, I didn’t jump on them right away. When they first came out and I noticed that they had the word “collectable” attached to it, I held off. When a comic publisher releases 12 versions of the same issue with different covers, I just buy one because I want the story on the inside. The NFTs producers even tried to attach them to a brand name with limited success. So it was no surprise that no one was buying the Star Trek NFTs at the official Star Trek convention in April. When the Admiral Pack went on sale at Mission: Chicago, it had a list price of $250. Now you can get one on their website for $189 (at the time of this article’s publication) Yea that collectors item really took off. One of the more popular NFT themes, the bored apes, had a unit sell for $50,000 in 2021 only to be re-sold in 2022 for $115. Ouch. While that may have been a one-time anomaly, an article in Marketwatch stated that the bored apes had lost 60% of their value in a month earlier this year.
OK Carl, I get what you are saying, but how do you now own NFTs if this trend is going south?
Believe me, I was just as shocked as you are. I received an email from a vendor for an upcoming concert that I purchased tickets for. Basically it said, “Congratulations, we are giving you an NFT of your ticket (which can’t be used to get into the concert) for free.” I remember raising an eyebrow at this email. When I looked at the NFT website (which was legit from the ticket company), it showed two generic looking tickets attached to my account. The same looking thing. Perhaps if there had been a different image on each NFT ticket, it may have been interesting. But it was just a boring looking ticket. And since I had purchased tickets to a second concert later in the year, another pair of NFT “tickets” showed up in the account a few weeks later. Again with similar boring illustrations on it. “Trade them with your friends, give them as gifts or sell them off to collectors.” Big whoop.
I purchased the tickets to the two concerts because my wife and I wanted to enjoy an evening together watching an artist we liked. Had I been on the fence about purchasing the tickets; the cost, not the opportunity to get an NFT, would have been the deciding factor.
I’ve talked with other friends about this whole NFT fiasco. And I think I’ll end this rant with a comment that has stuck out ever since I heard it. “The way you’ll know if NFTs are really going to take off is if the porn industry gets involved with it.” The more I thought about it, the more I believed this person was right. The porn industry has always been early adopters of new technology that gets their product out to the masses while making them money. Magazines, cable TV, VHS tapes, pay-per-view, the internet, DVDs, Blu-rays, 4K High Def, streaming, etc. When holodecks become common place, I’m sure that the porn industry will be right behind NASA and PBS in adopting the medium. If you look closely there hasn’t been any movement by the porn industry into NFTs. There are plenty of bondage chains, but no blockchains. (Fade Out)
Long story short, Red Dwarf is a show about the last human left alive (Lister, the guy trying to teach the android Kryten how to lie) who is marooned in space on a mining vessel called the Red Dwarf. His companions are a life form that evolved from his cat (the snazzy looking guy who they called over), the hologram of Lister’s dead bunkmate called Arnold J Rimmer (he’s a smeghead) and an insane artificial intelligence that runs the ship called Holly. The crew is attempting to return to Earth after being lost in space for three-million years (there is a very good reason for this in the pilot episode called “The End).
Being one of my favorite shows and a collector of resource books, I had to pick up the two volume set called Total Immersion: The Comprehensive Unauthorized Red Dwarf Encyclopedia written by Paul C. Giachetti. These two book were published by Hasslein Books in 2014 and are very, very detailed. The title of the books is a reference to the Total Immersion artificial reality video game that the crew finds and uses in several episodes. Think a holodeck but you have to wear special VR goggles and equipment. Players get plugged into a virtual world for various roleplaying in realistic environments. Let’s just say the title is very appropriate for these two encyclopedias. The entries cover everything from the various TV series (including both American pilots), novels, resource books, roleplaying games, smegazines (magazines), official websites, DVD extras and more. I’m talking the level that would normally be seen in a fan Wikipedia. If a label was on a container in a scene, that information will be found in these books. Was there a difference between the close captioning and the script on the spelling of a name? It has been documented here. With the show being British there were some comments and jokes that I didn’t get at first. Total Immersion explained the reference to me and let me in on the joke. Everything is referenced to the source(s) that the entry came from. Here is an example.
This guide was at the bottom of every page that did not contain the art found in the book. This helped document where certain information came from. This also lead to my only snag in the book. Every once in a while an entry had a reference that wasn’t listed in the bottom guide. For example in the photo above one of the entries is listed as coming from “X-APR”. The “X” is for the miscellaneous category, but the code of “APR” is not defined. There isn’t even an APR in the other categories. This is something I could forgive because it was very rare. These two publications are the type of books that I would love to write. Detailed an interesting without being overly burdensome on a subject that I just can’t get enough of.
Another interesting feature of this two volume set is the artwork. The covers are based upon the panels seen on the side of the Red Dwarf vessel. Internally there is a bunch of black and white artwork drawn by Pat Carbajal. It wasn’t just the main characters and devices, there were some drawings of characters that only made small, but memorable, appearances. A lot of these were very detailed and impressive. Here is an example I randomly pulled from the books.
The back of the second book was an appendix which contained a categorized index. If you are looking for a list of inmates in “the tank”, you will find it here. Locations by address, yes that is here as well. Listed is all entries related to “Starbug”. While everything is listed alphabetically, it would have been helpful to give page numbers here. But I did find this to be a helpful section when trying to look up some of the details.
It is my fondest hope that there will be an updated volume to these books as we’ve been blessed with additional seasons of Red Dwarf. Until then, these books are a must for any fans of the Red Dwarf franchise and merchandise. To date, I have not found any other printed encyclopedias for the show. This two-volume set was written by fans, for fans.