In which our intrepid hero praises his heroes.

It seems that we are not alone: news ain’t what it used to be in America, either. This is profoundly illustrated by this comment on game designer Robin D Laws’ blog:

The only sources of TV news you need are The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

And a response:

It’s a sad state of affairs when the Comedy network brings us better news than the actual news outlets.

True, that. My friends Dan M and Sheree bought me a copy of The Daily Show: Indecision 2004 last Christmas on DVD, and I have to say that it’s the best piece of political journalism I’ve ever seen, hands down. Nothing that the Australian news media have done even compares. Nor what little political satire we have, either. In fact, when friends ask me what The Daily Show is like, I usually respond: "It’s like The Chaser, only it doesn’t suck."

Incidentally, I read a fair few game designers’ blogs. My regulars include the aforementioned Robin D Laws (the man who dumbed game design theory down enough that shmoes like me could understand it), research maven and lord of Forteana Ken Hite, D&D gods Mike Mearls, Bruce Cordell and Monte Cook, editor of Dungeon magazine Erik Mona and Jonathan Tweet, who co-wrote the brilliantly flawed Over the Edge and had a hand in producing pretty much every cool roleplaying game since. I’m also starting to read the blog of Wolfgang Baur, a man whose awesome roleplaying design achievements are almost completely overshadowed by the awesomeness of his name.

But I don’t generally read them for their insights into the roleplaying genre. This is for two reasons, I guess.

Firstly, these guys make money from their design efforts. I could understand if they didn’t want to give a lot of stuff for free; it would cut into their margins. Secondly, though, they’re all accomplished writers, and I can pretty much count on getting a better approximation of cogent opinion with these guys than I can with, say, the SMH or any other media outlet at home.

I might not agree with them (Bruce Cordell, in particular, seems a little to the left of my tastes), but at least I trust that they’re not trying to spin me bullshit, and that they’re not total idiots, either.

Which posits the question: If roleplaying designers can deliver decent opinion, then why can’t regular media do the same? You know, the guys who are paid to do it?

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