The Dragon of Chaos
Week One: Lurkers and Loyalists

The Meta-Campaign

NineIn the thirty days before the Ninth Anniversary of Only a Game can we get thirty players to return and leave a comment? That's the challenge.

Last year, I celebrated the Bronze Anniversary (i.e. eight years) of this blog by revisiting eight classic posts. This year, instead of revisiting posts I want to revisit the players – to see if we can get new comments from thirty people who have left a comment in the past before the first day of July.

There are no rules other than that - if we get thirty unique returning commenters in June, everybody wins!

What's our strategy, regular players? Social media outreach? Trawl through the old comments and go fishing? Let me know your thoughts in the comments – and I'll count up the returning commenters in the blog header. Godspeed and k’plah!

Have you commented here before? We’d love to know what you’re up to!


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Long-time reader but only single-time commenter (I think? I can't keep track of accounts so I may have more than one). Now it's twice.

Well excellent timing for a second comment, greay! Many thanks!

Another long-time reader checking in!

I came for the DGD1 model of play styles, and stayed for the deeper explorations of "why we play." :)

I am also reading for a long time, only had minor comments on some of your texts about evolution back then.

Hey! Still read most of your stuff via G+ (as I think you know ^_^) but I'm generally too busy to post or write myself these days. New job is far less stress yet also less downtime for such activities - and my personal life has always been too full for much in the way of content creation for many years!

I like this metagame though :-)

Hi folks - thanks for the comments!

Bart - I recognise you from G+ but didn't quite twig that you were a player here as well... when did you start reading here at the Game?

Jeena - I remember you from the posts around "The Mythology of Evolution" - glad to know you're still hanging about!

Rik - I know what you mean about the time... between two jobs and two sons (not to mention a dog) it's all I can do to keep this blog running. But I keep it going as best I can!

I still fondly recall all your input on competitive play of games, and recently have had a chance to explore it first hand (anthropology style!) with "Counter-Strike Global Offensive", which is the first competitive play situation I've been in since LaserQuest tournaments in the 1990s. The range of behaviours encountered is both shocking and intriguing... ;)

All the best to you all! Many thanks for getting the score up - just one point behind, now. :D

OK, I'm in! Formerly known by several names: DJ i/o, "Just Scott". I'll definitely contribute to this challenge! Unfortunately I can't read the blog much anymore, to be honest I have no idea how you can post so much information. I was actually visiting the site so I could get the URL and send it to a friend as an example of someone who does not have cloudy thinking. I really admire your writing and how prolific you are.


Good luck on your quest!

Chris, I actually started with the iHobo site in 2007, probably after exchanges at Terra Nova.

On Richard Bartle's recommendation, in 2009 I picked up your book _21st-Century Game Design_. Among other things, I found your DGD1 model of play styles so interesting that I rudely wedged it into what I called a "unified model" of fundamental styles of play (

While not terribly active, I've been visiting your site since then. G+ is just the latest gateway. :)

Bart: thanks for the info - never considered Terra Nova a "gateway drug" for Only a Game. ;) As for 'not terribly active' - no-one is terribly active these days. Just hanging around is enough for me. :)

Scott: I remember you well, DJ I/O slash Just Scott. As for not having the time to read, don't fret - this is the way of things. It's great to get old timers back for just a comment this month anyway - your comment makes 10. Just one behind, now.

All the best!

Wow, that was remarkably hard to log in to:) Who knows what my original TypePad account was, but here I am from long ago:)

This is one of those blogs that contains so much rich and thoughtful material that it's more or less permanently on my "I've got to read that when I have more time" list. I'm too busy either trying to keep up with ordinary work or arguing with sexist wankers on Facebook to give it the attention that it deserves. Sadly.

Hi Joe,
Sorry for the long login... I know it can be a pain, but the only option Typepad is offering is to switch to Disqus - with it's own set of problems. :( Thanks for dropping in to register points for the team!

Sadly, the older we get the larger becomes the pile of 'interesting things I will not have time to read'. I rescued two shelves of philosophy books from a library gulag... I doubt I will ever make much progress through reading them, alas.

Thank you both for commenting - we have now tied up the game at 12 comments on day 12!

All the best!

I have to believe I've commented a few times so gimme jersey no. 13 already!

Sandbags: Pretty sure you were the second comment on the blog. ;)

You rang?

I've turned lurking into such an art form, I'm surprised people still remember I exist. ;)

I remember when commenting on your blog meant typing in my name, email, and an optional URL. Now I had to pick a service to sign in with, decide if the permissions leak was worthy enough (for you Chris, always), try and navigate through an ad page once I signed in, install a browser ad-on advertised on the advertisement, and voila - here I am with permission to comment.

/srednaw yawa gniltrohc

Hi Chris! I have gradually moved away from videogames (see also: "Fuck Videogames") but I am pleased to be here right now in this moment.

I've had a bit of a journey with commenting. At first, there was this lovely exchange of pertinent feedback and commentary. The community was small and we were all searching through the weeds together. Or at least that was my perception.

Then the negative and knee-jerk comments started appearing. Comments became a culture of shouting an outside opinion and less a means of exploring the topic at hand.

I also continued making more game and realized to my horror that making games was dramatically harder than writing about making games. I've always made games, but as the years wore on the key problems I noticed in my younger stopped feeling 'solvable with time'. My writing was hopeful writing and my hope was fading.

But heaven forbid one stop. Instead, I refocused. So writing took a back seat to making. And commenting was left on the curb several miles back.

So cheers to comments. Let us drink.

Only a Game was a fairly essential part of my own design (and philosophical) education for a long time. It was a rare prompt for a lot of critical thought, thoughtful dialogues about many things--Chris, you brought so much more to the table than the same stale echo chambers (which only seem to have contracted with the advent of "social media" ?) talking about games. This is site (along with Chris' book) were advancing ideas about modeling different playstyles/player preferences so far ahead of their time. It feels like the industry is only just realizing that not only women, but all sorts of other people would love to play games, if only they were invited to.

I was blogging and commenting on this site in a sort of lull in my own career, and now I am still working on my own games, and am now married with a three month old son. So a lot of the same old internet habits have fallen by the wayside, but there's no malice there.

Happy anniversary, Chris!

I must have commented in one of those many years. I'm a fan! :-)
Congratulations and many more. We need you!

Thank you all for returning to comment! We all know the culture of blogging is not what it once was, and we are all older with more responsibilities and less time, but I appreciate you all coming to score points for the team today!

I miss you all, but you're still out there so perhaps I should not. :)

...and that ties up the game, 20-20! Cheers!

Erp, almost missed this. I'm so behind on my RSS reading and haven't been paying much attention to social media because of my new job and move across the North American continent. The move itself was a comedy of errors, and the new work is exciting and I've thrown myself into it wholeheartedly.

But, I think I'm here in time to leave a quick comment and score some points for the home team, right? :)

When life is less a series of unpacking boxes and longish nights at the office, I hope to catch up properly. Until then, I'll trust that the internet will be waiting for me at that time. :)

Hi Psychochild - thanks for coming to score the point, especially given your chaotic transcontinental move! Hope the carnage settled down soon!


Hey there! I commented a couple times as either jmarquiso or Osbo, and am a big fan of your work. I found this blog looking for info on Ghost Master - an underrated game that should be looked at as interesting game designs go.

Congrats on 9 years.

In the time I commented, I got married, moved from California to New York to Cologne, Germany. I'm still working in TV, but I'm talking to game devs and wanting to join the industry in some capacity.

Wish me luck.

Hi Chris:

I finally gave in after various stymied attempts to log on via TypePad & G+ and used FB. Meh.

Anyway, glad to count towards your total, and as I said in my earlier note, I very much hope you'll manage a piece on the Glass Bead Game one of these days -- failing which, do you ever accept guest posts? I'd prefer to read your own views, but getting a GBG convo started here would be neat in any case.

Anyway, more power to you!

Hello there Chris! Happy anniversary to your brilliant blog, part of the 10% of everything that isn't shit! Haven't commented for a long time, but very happy to help you reach your goal.

I meant to ask you, how was your book received?

All the best, mate!

Many thanks for the additional comments, everyone! 28-26, we took the lead and we could actually win this now! :)

Jmarquiso: happily wish you luck! As someone else who is no stranger to international relocation, I wish you all the best in your strange new life! :)

Charles: Thanks for enduring the login. :) I don't normally accept guest posts, but it's not written in stone - and a guest post from a player is something quite different. If you can email me again in the Fall we could discuss something? (Will be back to posting regularly then). Once again, thanks for commenting!

Theo: no-one has commented for a long time, and everyone who comes back is most welcome. As for 'my book' - I take it you mean "Chaos Ethics"? I haven't had any reviews yet, but I got some nice endorsements (follow the link in the sidebar here - they should be displayed).

Thanks again everyone!


Finally, Oscar - I'd given up hope! :p
Just one more point for the win!

Sure thing, will email you!

Hi Chris!

Hi! I started reading your blog in 2008 and continued ever since, but don't remember if I ever actually commented. Keep on you great work!

Hi Jose, thanks for dropping by! You just missed scoring the winning point by a few hours! ;)

Tieflinque: not sure if you commented or not, but I'm going to count you as a point anyway since no-one is going to check and we've already won the game. Many thanks for emerging from lurkerdom to comment - I know that is never easy! ;)

Congratulations everyone! We won the meta-campaign with days to spare...

Woohoo! Achievement unlocked? ;-)

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