Games come and games go, but there's something odd in the air right now, something I can't quite place. Is it the smell of quiet desperation as traditional pen-and-paper games fall by the wayside, stomped flat by their flashier computerized cousins? Is it the end of an era, or just the end of the beginning? Kenshiro Aette speaks his mind.

Having just started up gaming again after a 5-year hiatus, I've learned two things in just three weeks. First, 3rd Edition isn't as bad as some people say, nor is it as good as some people say. It's as good or as bad as you make it. And secondly, it's the people you game with who make the game as good or as bad as it can get. With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to share this humorous email I got with the Gamegrene readers.

A few weeks ago an old gaming buddy of mine was in town. He introduced me to a game that literally blew my mind. The game is called 1000 Blank White Cards (or 1KBWC). It was invented in Boston by Nathan McQuillen and has since spread its undergroundish way around the world.

Started by a college kid named Steve Milo from out of his dorm room closet, AnotherUniverse.com went from a tiny pamphlet filled with lists of comic books to worldwide reknown through the 1990s. At one point they were publishing catalogs around twice a month, had an immensely popular website, boasted a number of high profile gaming columns, and were generally on top of the world.

In a completely unexpected move yesterday, the board of directors for GX-Media Inc. ordered the layoff of almost the entire staff of Gamers.com. This included the entire editorial department. Problems in the .com world along with severely sharp decreases in advertising revenues were the stated reasons for this drastic move. I will lose access to my account this afternoon, so please do not respond to this post.

Open source software works because not everyone in the world can code software; you still, in the end, have raw consumers. But an open source game system is different, because anyone who can read and write can now design their own game system based off the core rules. And that dilutes the product. And that's not good.

"Traders went on a buying spree on 1st Edition Players Handbook today, pushing it up 50 cents. On EBay, Dragon Magazine #1 fell $30 as a collector posted a new issue for sale. 3rd Edition rule books were unchanged."

A St. Petersburg Times story this morning claimed Bragg had assaulted the child and left him to die because he was interfering with Bragg's enjoyment of the popular online computer game, but lawyers on both sides emphasize EverQuest was a minor factor, at most.

One of the things I find most interesting about MMORPGS is how much money people are willing to spend for imaginary items. Have you ever spent that much on an object from an online game? Would you? Do you know someone who has? Are they in therapy now?

As if the upcoming release of Cyberpunk 203x from R. Talsorian wasn't enough, on January 1, 2001, two new homegrown Cyberpunk-themed Role-Playing Games were released online. One of these, Iconoclast, comes with the disclaimer that I personally worked on it (so yes, I do have a personal stake in announcing this). The other, Emancy, is the work of Alex Peake.

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