One of the highlights of this weekend was a viewing of one of my favorite films, GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI. It was new to most of the other guys and they were totally blown away by it.
The 1999 film, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, is about Ghost Dog, an emotionally damaged outcast living on the fringe of normal society; a broken boy grown into a man, who has made sense of his senseless world by adopting the ancient code of the samurai. A 300 year old book, The Way of the Samurai, is his manual for living with the ever-present threat of violence and death, his comfort in his acute isolation and loneliness, and ultimately, his road map to self-destruction.
I find Forest Whitaker’s touching performance as the titular hit man deeply moving. He brings a profound, sweet sadness to the role that elevates the absurdly implausible premise.
I spent three nights in a cozy cabin in the North Woods of Wisconsin with seven great guys. Our annual Boys Cabin Weekend means different things to each of us, but we all look forward to a few days of relaxation and camaraderie, free from the pull of jobs, family and responsibilities. We hike, snowshoe or cross country ski. We do a little target shooting. We spend hours just reading. We talk and argue and laugh and listen to music. I like to use this time to work on game design and to play as many games as possible. Here are a few of my favorite moments from this weekend.
I’m excited and distracted today, because tomorrow I’m driving to Michigan with my buddy Jeph for the annual Roundhouse Retreat.
Roundhouse is four days of intense play testing and development, game design discussion, debate, camaraderie and a little goofing off, with a group of game designers I deeply respect and admire. It’s my favorite game event of the year.
Internet access can be spotty out in the middle of nowhere, but I hope to be able to update periodically throughout the long weekend. On Thursday, we’ll try to record an episode of Design Time with James and Kory with absent Roundhouser, Kory Heath.