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February 20, 2004

Last Questions
Marty, sadly neglected, asked me these questions. I put them off because they were hard. Now I give them just a bit of the respect they deserve:

1) Would you rather be baked in an oven, or eaten by a shark?

Eaten by a shark. If I were baked in an oven, there’s a likelihood that I’d just get eaten by something other than a shark, and why would I want to suffer through both?

2) If you were to be given complete and total control over one TV/Movie franchise, which one would you take, and what would you do with it?

Star Trek, easily. It’s most in need of help and I know I could do better than some of what I’m seeing on Enterprise, where a perfectly fine concept for a show has been largely mishandled. The show can stay scary, exciting, and sexy, but it should also be as smart, metaphorical, and curious as Trek has ever been. The crew should fail a lot, but proudly and with the heroic conviction of true explorers. They’d be eager fools, making the mistakes the characters of other Trek shows have never been allowed to. They’d meddle, they’d learn their lessons, and they’d still be marveling at their new society, their lack of money, and their socialist utopia.

Also, I’d cut way down on the percentage talk. The original Star Trek shows needed to abstract and numericize the damage done to the ship for budgetary reasons. With CG effects, modern squibs, and a good set budget, the current ship should just get a hole in it when it’s hit by a laser beam. What’s this “hull plating at 37%” bullshit?

3) Your friends from good ol’Chicago have know that you wanted to get into TV/Movies for, well for all intents and purposes, forever. Do you think that you will have to move to New York or LA to continue with your dreams that WE ARE ALL ENCOURAGING YOU TO DO? If so, how much will you miss us–and as a bonus question–Will you have Wagner appear in any of your upcoming works?

I don’t think I’ll need to move to LA or New York to continue my dreams, but maybe to cross some of my dreams’ hurdles. I’ll miss you guys as much as it’s possible to miss. Wagner will be my Bruce Campbell.

4) In your professional opinion, do games like KoTOR, Neverwinter Nights and Jade Empires represent the eventual demise of pen and paper role-playing?

No. They’re not helping as much as they should, but the blame there is even on the shoulders of us paper folks and those pixel folks. Exhibit A: Almost everyone I know who plays Knights of the Old Republic (behold, KoTOR!) then tries to start up a d20-flavored Star Wars campaign, even though d20 Star Wars isn’t nearly as much fun without the graphics, the computerized storytelling, or the easy levelling.

5) What is the most important lesson you have learned, and where did you learn it?

Humility and generosity belong together and in all things; I learn it all the damn time.

Noise: Violent Femmes, “Gone Daddy Gone”

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