The next issue of Suspense and Decision will be Issue # 14 Anticipated Publication Date: September 2016



Friday, April 4, 2014

PBM Time Lords: How play by mail games help you to win the time conundrum

2:36 PM

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There are exactly twenty-four hours in every day, sixty minutes in every hour, and sixty seconds in every hour. Time can be a cruel master, especially when it comes to your gaming.

More specifically, games have a way of nudging their way into your life, trying to take over. Some games want to completely dominate your clock and your schedule. A select few, in fact, crash into your life with great abruptness, and immediately begin demanding the lion's share of your free time.

In the old days, back when play by mail gaming was becoming an "in-thing," PBM games tended to gain a certain degree of notoriety for being time hogs. Thank God for turn deadlines! If it weren't for them, who knows how many gaming souls would have been sucked into a time sinkhole, forever?

These days, there are literally hordes of games on the march, both day and night, twenty-four hours a day - EVERY day, just looking to grab you and haul you away forever.

Fortunately for all of us, most of them haven't a snowball's chance in Hades of abducting us in such a manner. Yet, we all know someone who has suffered such a fate. You might just be one of the ones who became time-enslaved to a game that just entertained the life right out of you.

All of a sudden, as we begin looking back across the time stream of our respective lives, play by mail games don't seem such time hogs, after all. Yes, yes, I've heard the dreadful and magnificent tale about games of StarMaster or Tribes of Crane. Fortunately, though, I - like many of you - am too young to have actually played either of them.

::ahem::

PBM games, because they are turn-based, have a built-in way of giving you opportunities to pause, and because they do, they allow you to return to the land where all of the so-called "normal people" go about their ordinary, day-to-day lives.

PBM games have turn deadlines. You have to get your turn in by a certain time (for most of them, anyway), and if you don't - well, let's just say that bad things have been known to happen to game positions whose turn orders from their player don't make it in to the game moderator on time.

Thus, one of the things that PBM gaming teaches you is time discipline. Since I have a game of Takamo that I need to get my first set of turn orders in for, and have not yet managed to do so (remember that PBM magazine thing that has to get published?), I'm probably not one to lecture anyone on the necessity of meeting turn deadlines. But, for the rest of you out there, time discipline will likely be an easier lesson to learn.

It is obvious on its face that virtually any kind of gaming can become addicting. Yes, that includes play by mail gaming, also. It is a genre of gaming that, in fact, has proved to be enormously addicting to countless thousands of gamers, down through the year.

PBM games can be deceptive. They tend to lure you in. In fact, you don't usually even realize that you are hooked, until you are hooked. I personally know numerous individuals who have crossed the Rubicon, already, and are hopelessly addicted to playing PBM games. How do these kinds of things happen, you ask?

Well, I'm glad you asked. And, you did ask. Let's have a frank discussion, here.

Sometimes, it's a good thing to find something that you like, and stick to it. That there is called perseverance, and the ability to persevere can and will serve you well in life. So, see there? This article is helping you, already.

Now, where was I?

Oh, yeah. Time discipline. It's all about time discipline. And fun. Let's not forget that it's about fun, too. And sanity. Yeah, maintaining your sanity in a world seemingly gone crazy can definitely be considered a plus by most people.

But, I hear you thinking to yourself, out there. "Hey, PBM Games are old school. Aren't they too old school for a cool and rising star of the human species like me?"

Well, there's old school, and then there's old school. Which one are you?

Let me tell you, it don't matter. Why? I'll tell you the why. Because, PBM gaming's got you covered. It's got something for you. It's got something to offer you.

Where else can you become a PBM Time Lord? How else can you become a PBM Time Lord?

How do you expect to be in control of your own destiny, if you can't even manage your own time? By playing PBM games, what you're doing, see, is putting the time back into the clock. You're taking charge - of both your gaming and your life.

You'll still make friends. You'll still have fun. You might just be surprised at just how much fun that you'll have. What am I saying? Of course you will be surprised at how much fun that you'll have. You see, that's one of the things that PBM has going for it. It's got what you call pizzazz.

And a lot of these new-fangled games, that's what they lack - Pizzazz! And if ya ain't got pizzazz, then what ya got, I ask ya?

What ya got?

Ya got squat, that's what! Is that what you're after? Gaming squat?? Nope, I didn't think so. I can tell that you're a different type, a whole other sort of variety. You want games with meat on their bones. You're not after a flash in the pan gaming experience. You're needing depth. You're craving some serious interacting on a whole other sort of level.

Lucky for you, you found PBM when you did.

Try it. You just might like it. If you're not cut out to be a PBM Time Lord, then don't worry about it. Not everyone is. It takes a special sort.

Playing PBM games allows you to master both the game and the clock. It allows you to conquer time, itself, by being a better manager of one's time. It allows you to be a PBM Time Lord!

Just look at you! Just sitting there, reading this blog posting all the way through to the end. Don't you realize that you've got better things that you could be doing with your time? You could be signing up for a PBM game, right now. You need this Time Lord thing, I can tell that about you, right now.

And, it there's one thing that any PBM Time Lord know, it's another Time Lord.

Go on, now. Explore the site a bit, and find you a PBM game that you think is right for you. You can thank me later.

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