Welcome to week 2 of Blaugust 2023. So far I am on track for my goal this year, which is to post at least twice a week during the festival. I’ve also managed to read and comment on several posts for our other participants. As of this morning’s update from Belghast, we are very close to having 100 participants this year! But enough about Blaugust in general, let’s move on to getting to know GamerLadyP.
What’s in a Name?
I have my own About me page on the site, so you can always read my blogging bio there. I originally started participating in the Newbie Blogger Initiative way back when (2012?), and I was introduced to it through Twitter. My Twitter ID was gamer_lady, but someone else had already registered the dotcom gamerlady and claimed the gmail, so I added the “P” to my name on my original free WordPress site to get a unique site name. You’ll notice it is missing from my current self-hosted blog site. When I was still on Twitter (farewell hell site!), it made sense to more closely match my blog to my ID over there. Now that I no longer promote posts or connect to other bloggers on that Xwreck site, it makes less sense. I’m not too worried about changing it now, but it does create a bit of confusion for people. Even here in hobby blogging land, brand and name is important to avoid confusion.
How I Spend My Time
When I’m not blogging here, I build and troubleshoot websites for small businesses. It came in handy this morning when I noticed that my blog header wasn’t displaying correctly. Site caches are great for speeding up how quickly websites load, but they cause all kinds of weird problems. Just like the old adage of rebooting your computer to fix weird issues, refreshing your website cache is the first thing I try when someone’s site is misbehaving, including my own this morning.
I’m one of those adults who believes that no one is too old to spend time playing games. I’m in my mid-50s and have been playing tabletop RPGs for longer than some of our Blaugustians have been alive. I gravitate towards those types of online games as well, although I have had fun with the rare “shooter” type games if they are co-op in nature. I didn’t start out playing online games, but my introduction to online gaming was the original Baldur’s Gate. It is kind of trippy that my husband and I are currently both playing a Baldur’s Gate game again, Baldur’s Gate 3. Sadly, it wasn’t made by the original game studio and the UI, movement, and combat feels very different in this game. I’m finding combat to be extremely janky and not a lot of fun, even though the story elements of the game are quite good.
My husband got me started with DnD back when the hardcover books were still our primary resource and our character sheets were on paper, whose hit point tracking box got worn through by actual erasers. We kept graph paper on hand to map out the dungeons and our GMs had to spend a lot of time describing the dimensions of the rooms. I’ve spent countless hours collecting dice and painting mini-figs. These days we have high-tech online character sheets with digital dice and our maps can be displayed on flat screen TVs with dynamic lighting effects. While I do miss the days of carrying books and dice boxes instead of laptops and tablets, GMing is SO much easier with these online tools. Having virtual table top sites meant we could still play during COVID.
They say that the family that plays together, stays together, and that is certainly true for us. My husband and I met in the early 1990’s, decided to start dating at an SCA event (a medieval recreationist group), have been married since the mid-90s, and still play several games together to this day. Our tastes do diverge a little bit, he likes Minecraft and I’m not much into it. I like MMOs a lot more than he does, although we’ve played quite a bit of WoW together. He likes Portal, but games that make me jump through hoops (literally), drive me nuts. There are plenty of times he has saved my sanity by taking over my keyboard to work through a jumping puzzle for me before I wreck my keyboard.
I wonder if it follows true that people who love reading SciFi and Fantasy books also love gaming. It does in my small circle of close and online friends. Does the love of wonderous worlds and futuristic tales naturally lead to playing TTRPG or online games and vice versa? I’d be interested to know how many of the Blaugust participants share this in common. My early love of fantasy books began with my sisters introducing me to Andre Norton books and David Eddings. I may no longer pick up paperbacks at the used book store, but my e-reader is just as packed full of good books as my bookshelves (aging eyes prefer the larger fonts on an e-reader).
WRUP: What Are You Playing, and Reading, Now?
Right now I’m TRYING to play 3 very time consuming games, New World (MMO), a beta test of Palia (exploration MMO/Sims and very different than my usual game), and Baldur’s Gate 3. New World has lost out so far in the time crunch. My current book is Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I know, I know, that book has been out for ages, but it is new to me. I’m playing a 5th edition DnD game tonight going through old content, the Against the Giants campaign. My real life “sim” is trying to grow cucumbers and tomatoes in our little backyard garden. Our front flower box with basil and zucchini is going gangbusters, but it is zucchini after all. So far I’ve had two neighbors who were willing to take some zucchini off my hands and are still speaking to me. And of course, I’m participating in a festival of blogging! All in all, August has been a great month full of fun, games, words, and interesting new blogs. I hope you are enjoying this final summer blast as well.