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You come across as an almost classical technical geek. Do you actually have a life? What do you do in your spare time?

For a list of activities, take a look at the end of my home page. For more, read on...

As you can probably tell, I have the most fun when I'm challenging my mind. I like to do this in all sorts of ways; my favorite (besides being creative) is playing games, especially those that require lots of thought and planning. I tend toward board games and role-playing games (with real people, not computer moderated), because I like the interpersonal interaction; this important element is missing from most computer games. When my friends and I get together (which happens very frequently), this is often what we do. Heck of a lot more fun than staring at passive entertainment or actively killing brain cells, in my not-so-humble opinion. (I do sometimes get lazy and indulge in passive entertainment, but I've never knowingly killed a brain cell. I value them too much.) I occasionally join large social gatherings, but tend to prefer getting together with smaller groups of friends, say 1-8 at a time. I also greatly enjoy sitting around and just talking with people, and can do so for hours on end -- another reason I like small groups. As far as I can tell, beyond two people, the average content quality of a conversation tends to drop in some scary hyper-exponential fashion with every additional participant. (That's for personal conversations... the quality for "work-related" conversations drops much slower with the number of people -- as long as they're all focussed.)

As well as playing mental games, I also enjoy almost all sports. Although I appreciate good competition, I like it for the game itself, and I am basically not a very competitive person except in the context of a game. Although I am good at lots of mental games, I am not truly great at any, because I never practice. (If I were, it would just decrease the number of people I could effectively play with, anyway.) I use gaming to sublimate my competitive urges, because I consider them to be almost completely counterproductive in the modern world. I really enjoy competitive play, but part of my definition of "play" is that the outcome doesn't matter. (Part of "work" is that it does.) I act accordingly.

Also, since most of the games out there don't require quite enough thought for my tastes, I tend to tweak them (a lot!), and to make up completely new ones. My friends agree that I have designed some very good strategy games, but I have determined that it's well nigh impossible to make a living as a free-lance game designer. But even if I can't do it for a living, it makes a great hobby, and keeps my mind engaged.

In case you are wondering if I have a woman in my life, the answer is (unfortunately) no. I have, as yet, been unable to find many who share my great love of mental play (and none of these has even been available -- I won't compete on a personal level). I think that one of the lousiest things about our culture is that many people seem to think it is "un-cool" to enjoy thinking, especially if you are a woman. That's what "geeks" do.

So, given that, I probably do come across as a very classical "technical geek". If so, well, I'm proud of it.