Apparently rats can be taught to play hide and seek with humans, according to a new study. They know to be quiet when it is their turn to hide. They make noises when they are seeking. They also know to hide in opaque places rather than transparent ones when they are hiding so as not to be seen. Pretty cool!

Link: Science

There was a great article put out by a Magic: The Gathering designer named Mark Rosewater yesterday. In the article he lays out some reasons why games designers should design their products with diversity in mind. Basically, the more people that can find themselves somehow reflected in your game, the more people will like your game. From a purely business standpoint, it's ridiculous at this point to design a game that doesn't show a full spectrum of character diversity. Rosewater mentions that Magic now has its first major trans character in the game and what a postive reception that character has had. He also states that Wizards of the Coast ensures that they have an equal representation of the sexes of the characters in their cards. Nicely done! I'm not a Magic player myself, and thus did not know that.

I couldn't be happier than to see the game industry finally coming around to this viewpoint. It's happening just in time for my own children to be entering their teenage years. Thankfully, they won't have to put up with playing games where all the heroes are white males and any women included are portrayed ludicrously rather than heroically.

Gaming is currently undergoing an upheaval in terms of how it is working to expand its customer demographics. People from all walks of life have discovered that games are actually fun to play beyond childhood. In order to keep those people in the gaming community once they enter, gaming products must welcome them in by reflecting back to them those qualities that make them special as people.

Article: Wizards link

Here's a great short documentary about the power of role-playing games to heal people.

Here's an article about how children's time spent playing is shrinking. The information about lowering creativity scores since 1984 is interesting. There's a lot of arm chair philosophizing going on in the article, though. And the suggestion to just let children play all day with no structure and no curriculum seems unwarranted to me. But it's an interesting read nonetheless.

Link: The Play Deficit by Peter Gray

Lisa Stevens, the CEO of Paizo, put out a post on Facebook announcing the arrival of the Pathfinder 2.0 books to their warehouse. In true Paizo style she did it wielding a goblin "dogslicer" and singing a new goblin tune. Goblins are the comedic mascots of the Pathfinder game. They love to sing songs and cause all sorts of mischief. They call all small creatures "dogs" and all large creatures "horses". They are all about collecting junk and building things out it (which are always a die roll away from falling to pieces in the middle of combat or, in Starfinder, exploding). With the release of Pathfinder 2.0 they have graduated to become a full-fledged playable core race for PC characters in the new core rulebook.

Lisa Stevens Facebook Post

Paizo has been working for years on trying to make all people feel represented and included within their game products. Here's a nice post they just put up as Pride Month draws to a close.

We here at Paizo strongly feel that gaming is for everyone, and staff and contributors have always worked hard to include a diverse cast of characters in our works to represent the reality of the gaming community. For this blog, I asked our staff and contributors to share some of their experiences being nerdy and queer, and we’re happy to share these voices and points of view from some of our community in their own words. Read along and happy Pride Month to everyone!

Link: Paizo Wishes Everyone a Happy Pride Month!

This looks amazing! I'm really liking all the changes being released for the upcoming Pathfinder 2 and am looking forward to it.

Link: Kingmaker Campaign

Picture of Magic: The Gathering from MIT Technology Review

Computer scientists have tested Magic: The Gathering and have determined it is apparently impossible for a computer to brute force determine a winning strategy. Maybe we'll need a quantum computer to solve the game...

Link: MIT Technology Reveiw

Good Old Games is a favorite website of mine for getting classic games from my youth back to play on my modern PC. I also enjoy introducing my children to PC gaming history. The kids like seeing the progression that games have gone through.

But finally, three grail games for me have just been released on Good Old Games!. The three games that originally put Blizzard on the map are back, Warcraft I, Warcraft II, and Diablo I. The games are faithfully upgraded to work on modern PCs with all of their original functionality working. That means I and my children will be able to play them together on our LAN. Woohoo!

They are selling a bundle of the two Warcrafts for only $15. Diablo I is only $10. That's a steal.

So, what are you waiting for? Get busy gaming!

Link: GOG.com