About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (a bad wordplay on Orwell's "double plus good" and old machismo - I'm the realest after all) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear' or 'Unripe language'), the umbrella of several literary projects in Dutch.

This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Why is this in English why everything else in Dutch? Because I want to gun for a much wider audience here. Also, my literary English isn't good enough, otherwise I would always write in English.

Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

20 people I admire (II): Mark Rosewater

Who? Head Designer of the trading card game ‘Magic: the Gathering’, West Coast American.

Why? Arguably, Magic is one of the best designed games in the world because it is a game about rules. Under its familiar fantasy trappings, a complex rules engine allows Magic to be a fun combination of strategy, resource management, competition, fun, design and a little pinch of luck. In no small part, this is Rosewater’s merit. Not only has he constantly been improving his skills as a designer when he became the main face of the game after its inventor, he is also personably close to the sometimes huge and intimidating fan base. His energy, wit and flair help make Magic feel like a game like no other. This is a man who loves his trade, and manages to carry over that love to others.

What resonates with me? Apart from the things listed above, in in-game terms (sorry if this will turn off non-nerds here), like Rosewater I strongly identify as red-blue and I’m a Johnny-Melvin. Our birthdays are three days apart, his being on the same birthday as the main character in my novel cycle. Dumb stuff, but resonant nonetheless.

Best bit? Rosewater’s philosophy about the color pie, which underpins the way Magic ticks. For different reasons, the Time Spiral and Innistrad block count among his strongest work to me. Well, and for nostalgia reasons, Tempest block (that’s when I started playing).

Next up: Soraya Chemaly, feminist and media critic