November 1, 2010: The Power Of Pinecones And PCs
It's an age-old question. What's more magical: nature or technology?
On the one hand, some could argue that nature is more magical -- especially the world of plants. After all, if they weren't more magical, then how could we possibly have a book like the newly released GURPS Magic: Plant Spells? See, this supplement contains over three dozen new spells that grow from the seeds sown in GURPS Magic. It also has insight into making mages who've devoted their lives to the greener things (complete with new perks), plus full GURPS botanical info needed to make the most of all these new goodies. It's a garden of greenery gaming goodness, and it's about as magical as it comes.
On the other hand, technology has a magic its own. Zippers, foosball, and "chocolate-dipped" -- all magical achievements that have been overlooked by the larger animal kingdom. Modern magic, in particular, can be traced back to the home computer -- and the home computer can be traced back to the early 1980s. For evidence of this, check out Space Gamer #45, released in November 1981. This "Special Computer Issue" has a number of interesting articles from the early days of the computer era, including an early report on a play-by-modem system plus reviews of early computer games. It's hard to read these pages and not see the spark of power, waiting to explode to our modern information-based world. (We'll overlook the articles not related to computers: the Car Wars designer's notes, the funny game-industry "definitions," and more.)
So whether you're looking for the seeds of plant-based power or the seeds of the computer revolution, check out this week's e23 releases. They're both magical, in their own way.
-- Steven Marsh
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