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Connecting the dots of play by mail
Issue # 4 of Suspense & Decision magazine heralded the incorporation of several new ideas into the magazine's pages. It's part and parcel of trying to figure out what I am doing, of figuring out just where the magazine is headed, of figuring out how to "connect the dots" that matter.

To a very large degree, silence still permeates PBM Space. That's the term that came to mind, just now, so that is how I will describe it for this particular editorial.

PBM Space.

Player communities for various PBM games (or their descendants) exist on what might as well be worlds separated by vast distances from one another. Some of these worlds have greater populations of players than others. But, they all breathe the same turn-based flavor of air.

Their die-hard loyalty forms the mass of these respective worlds. Those that possess sufficient mass invariably attract new players. Gravity of interest then pulls them in. . .sometimes.

As individuals, countless millions of us possess the equivalent of warp engine capability, of star drive, of jump drive, of hyperdive. We can travel at will to and fro across this Internet universe virtually at will, at unimaginable speed. It's almost as though we will it, and we are there.

But, when it comes to gaming, we might as well all be aliens, and interaction between these worlds of PBM gamers remains limited.

Me? I'm trying to figure out how to bridge all those scattered, individual worlds, in the hope of forming what, exactly?

It's not really a bridge that I am building, though. It's more along the lines of...a Kirby machine.

Except, I don't have any blueprints for it.

Plus, I don't know how to build it, nor even where to start. All that I know is that it has to have lots of indecipherable components.

I have less interest in bridging the actual worlds, than I have in bridging the interests of the individuals who occupy those worlds.

But, not all of their respective interests. Only certain ones.

It is at times like these that I find myself sympathizing with Darkseid, as he seeks the Anti-Life Equation. What I seek is the PBM Equation.

Except, I don't think that any single one of us possesses it.

I don't know which ones possess a fragment of it, or which ones possess multiple fragments and shards of it.

What I do know is that, once I find it, PBM will benefit from it.

Or, I could be wrong.

About any of it. About all of it.

It would be far, far quicker for me to get an artist to draw me a Kirby machine than for me to actually build one.

To make matters worse, I don't want just any old Kirby machine. Nope! It's got to be a certain kind, a certain one.

It's still under construction. Heck, for all that I know, for all that anyone ever knows, it may never even achieve a full state of construction. It's pieces, and how they connect correctly to one another, may eternally elude me.

But, by my estimate, I'm about a quarter of the way there.

Suspense & Decision magazine is not this Kirby machine. It is, at most, but a single energy source. When I look at it, what I see is a trigger mechanism. Ixnay recently described the energy as contagious. Hopefully, that will prove to be a good thing, since contagious is typically associated with something bad.

Kirby machines, of course, aren't real.

But, I'm building one, anyway.

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Connecting the dots of play by mail - by GrimFinger - 03-04-2014, 09:02 PM

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