Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Where's the Conversation?

This is my eighteenth post for Blapril 2020, the latest incarnation of the annual Blaugust blogging festival that the Leaflocker has been a proud member of the last few years. I am well behind schedule, but that's nothing new, and I'm still enjoying keeping more-or-less up to date with what others have been creating over the month. This has led me to sign up to a collaborative game of Civ VI being oranised by Naithin, so look out for more on that topic soon.
I've been appending some variation of this footer to the last few posts after being inspired by similar notices on other people's blogs. Back in the days when Blaugust was big on rules and you 'had' to have something like it I used to find it an imposition, but this time around I'm finding it a good addition, even if my blogger quote version isn't as attractive as the sort of thing that people are doing over on their wordpress sites.

As I alluded to earlier in the month, I'm a little bit too much of a rebel to enjoy being told that I have to do things a certain way, and that extends to little things like this, but now that I can include it as an optional extra if I want to without feeling like I'm going to lose internet points if I don't, I'm finding the footer a useful tool. Not only does it force me to stay up to date with what others are writing if I want to find someone else's post to link to, which is a handy reminder if I've slipped behind, but it also provides a nice jumping off point if my readers want to keep exploring Blaugust instead of being trapped at the Leaflocker, which has helped me to feel more of a sense of community about the whole thing.

Today, though, I stuck the footer in and realized that the footer and what I'd been planning to talk about were inextricably linked, and it didn't really make sense as a footer anymore. I guess it's a header this time. With that prelude out of the way, then, let's start the post...

Where's the Great Conversation Post?

Last week was a bit of a disaster on the creativity and productivity fronts. I'd say it was a bit rubbish on pretty much every front, but given that so many people that we know and hear about around the world are struggling so much, the fact that we've been having headaches or sleeping poorly or feeling lethargic but are still together and well fed and generally healthy seems to be taking the piss a little bit.

Nevertheless, I haven't had a good week for doing things in general and the blog in particular. No posts since last Tuesday, not even any slow progress on drafts, just a slowly mounting pile of potential topics, most of which are video game related, which is not exactly surprising given the way that games are definitely the way that I've been spending most of my time. When I go into shut-down mode like this I tend to retreat into old familiar games for extended binge periods, and this time has been no different.

Lately my go-to game has been Slay the Spire, a deck-builder that I only got into in the last few months and which I am distinctly terrible at. The battles often make for fun little puzzles, with the added advantage of them being randomly generated, meaning that there isn't necessarily a 'right' way to do them, and when I stumble across a deck that really works it makes me feel extremely smart. It also has the added advantage of being an easy game to play with one hand while lying in bed, which is a big plus when I'm just not feeling it.

Mahjong never stops being a distraction. Last weekend I played in the first week of the new ARMA league, a nine-week long online team competition being run by the Australian riichi scene, and then watched the other games and participated in the after-show analysis, which ate a significant portion of the weekend. Thankfully my game wasn't on the stream since it went terribly for me, but I still learnt a lot from talking about my games with good players and learnt more about some higher-level concepts to try and incorporate into my play.

Add into the mix reinstalling Civilisation VI in preparation for the co-op game, never a great idea for productivity (I've had it back on this machine for three days and it's been running almost constantly in that time) and it's a wonder I have time to get any work done at all.

My humble monthly just dropped for the month, so I was able to gift a friend with Optus Magnum, so I need to try and improve my scores so that she thinks I'm smart. I just picked up Chimera Squad, too, and XCOM games are famous time sinks. Honestly, I might have to give up eating and sleeping just to get all these games played. Blogging will just have to wait a little bit longer.

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