Sep 052008
Sunday Sept. 31

Yes, yes, I know, I'm very late in posting; please forgive me, it's been a
very rough last few days. Stomach virus, computer problems, and myriad
crises. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Got up at 7 AM, and we all headed to the Atlanta Marriott for another day
of exhaustiocrazifunness. We set up the booth and Chris manned it while I
took a copy of the game to the charity auction, distributing flyers on
tables along the way. Went back to booth and relieved Chris so he could
wander a bit looking for autographs and gifts; he returned just in time to
let me run off at 2:20 to present a 2:30 talk at the Hilton on psychic
detectives. All went well, it was a receptive crowd, and I told them how I
had busted Alison DuBois (the basis for the NBC show Medium) when she
claimed to have solved cases for the police. Hung around, signed a few
autographs, and hurried back to the booth. Blake kindly brought some
Krystal hamburgers for us, which we scarfed down. We were making good
sales, about four games an hour. No high pressure, just greet folks, give
them the fifteen-second pitch, and see what they want. The Limited Edition
figurines pretty much sold themselves, people loved the "pissed-off Jesus"
and of course the Buddha with the chain gun. I even had one guy come up to
the booth, a burly guy in his twenties, and say to a kid who was looking
at the figures, "Those are high-quality pieces.. I work with scale models,
and I can tell you that each of those figures alone would cost ten or
fifteen bucks each. So $20 for five of them is a bargain!" He wasn't a
shill, but I couldn't have asked for a better recommendation.

An hour later, I had another interesting visitor. He was a clean-cut young
man in his late teens or early twenties, dressed in a black uniform; I
didn't recognize the source (perhaps Stargate SG-1 or Battlestar
Galactica), but he held a large cardboard sword. He was not wandering the
Dealer room as most passersby did, instead he headed directly for my
table. His badge said Zak something, and he seemed pleasant, though he
addressed me directly, instead of looking down at the game, so I could
tell something was up.

I greeted him, and he said, "I'm a Christian, and yesterday my uncle
bought your game. We played it, and I wanted to let you know that we loved
it. We thought it was great." I was both flattered and intrigued that he
had apparently made a special trip to find me and tell me that. I replied,
"Well, thanks for telling me, I really appreciate it. I wasn't sure if
people would take offense." "No, no," he said. "It was funny. You have to
have a sense of humor, but we didn't think it was offensive. Cool game."
(I wondered to myself if they had played with the Expansion Pack, which is
considerably edgier-- and more likely to offend-- than the game itself.
Still, it pokes fun at all gods equally.)

Chris returned and I left for the Second Annual Skeptics Vs. Believers
Debate at the Sheraton, which went well. (I won't bother readers with the
details of the debate, plenty of bloggers have done that, check them out
if you're interested.) BACK again to the booth for a while; at 6 PM I
headed over to the bottom floor of the Hilton to do the final official
Playing Gods demo. I set up two games, and soon had a bunch of players
really digging the game. I started one game playing with a young Korean
woman and a guy dressed as Satan (I think Dr. Atlantis has a pic of that
somewhere...). I played the Buddha, and tried to kill off his Satanist
sects from Europe using a Violent Volcano attack card. But Old Scratch
would have none of it, and protected his flock with an Immunity from Fire
Attack card. Oh, the irony! Who would have thought that Satan would have
immunity from fire?

I also go another great quote from Phil Collins. He's the director of the
gaming track, and he said (of my game), "Just 'cause they produce it,
don't make it right." I'll have to get that up on the site soon. I kept
the demos going until I had to leave for yet another panel on skepticism
at 8:30, so Chris took the reins from there. The panel was luckily only
one floor up. 80 minutes later I finished, assuming the demo had stopped
and everyone had gone home. I called Chris, who said he was still
downstairs, and everyone was refusing to stop playing! So I went down
there, and they were having so much fun I just said that the winner could
keep the game. Exhausted, we packed up and called it a night, hanging out
with friends until about 11.

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