My First Footnote

February 5, 2008

Lloyd

Ahem*.

You can do lots of things with Google. One of those things that I’ve been using for a while now is Google Alerts. It’s a service that sends you an email when google comes across a certain search phrase. I’ve had it send me stuff on a variety of search phrases over the years, but there are only two things that it sends me links for now: “Lincoln Lutheran” and “Sie Ming”. The former is pretty obvious. The latter is the middle name of Tony Sie Ming Yuen with whom some of us went to High School. Tony moved back to Hong Kong our Junior(?) year and has since fallen off the face of the earth. But, while he was still on it, I borrowed his middle name to use on those video games into which one has to enter a name. Now it’s over twenty years later and I still haven’t returned Tony’s name.

While I was working for Oetting’s Detasseling (a job that really only kept people busy for about 3 months of the year), I played the game Ultima Online. I wastedspent a huge amount of time on this game. This was one of the first “main stream” games that you played online with other people, so it was much more interesting than a normal computer game. One of the subgames that went along with it was suggesting ways to improve the game (and that type of game). There were enough people interested in making and reading these suggestions that people spent some time putting them together.

Designing Real Worlds is a much longer book

About a week ago google sent me an email that said it found “Sie Ming” in the index of the book Designing Virtual Worlds by Richard Bartle. This is the guy who wrote the first “virtual world” game. Well, I had to buy the book. It came today. I’m proud to report that I have a footnote (well, “Sie Ming” really, but lets not be picky). And, not to brag, it’s actually two footnotes, two entries in the index and a paragraph. Really, calling it a paragraph is not doing it justice. It’s more or less most of a page.

That's right, baby, two entries in the index (the same number as Robert Jordan I might add)

In a celebrated attack on the hack-and-slay disposition of many virtual world designers...

But wait, it gets better, the book is a required text for Telecommunications T366: Multiplayer Game Design at Indiana University which, incidentally, is not where the author of the text teaches. I have now been footnoted in a scholarly text. My life is complete. Oh, you can read the articles that he mentions here and here (and the paragraph here)

*I was worried that someone might think I was terribly serious about this and Lauren said, “No one can think you’re being snooty if you start off with ‘Ahem’.”

About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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39 Responses to “My First Footnote”

  1. Lauren's dad Said on:

    So, What does this mean?

    Reply

  2. Brad Said on:

    That… is so… AWESOME!

    (Can you hear how I’m saying that? I’ve tried a few different arrangements of characters, and that one seems to communicate the tone the best.)

    Maybe Tony will return from Limbo so he can sue you.

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      You know, we probably have the name thing all wrong anyway. I’d lay even odds on “Sie Ming” being Tony’s first name. All these years I’ve been living a lie.

      Reply

  3. Brad Said on:

    Dnag it! I’m trying to get to school early and you’re distracting me with all these articles! I’ll finish them later so I can comment.

    Reply

  4. Mrs. Sie Ming Said on:

    I always dreamed of being married to someone famous -- now I’m one step closer to the dream. He’s like the Brad Pitt of geeks.

    Dad, it means that you can be proud of me. Very proud. (Of me, not Lloyd.)

    Reply

  5. Karla Said on:

    Go Lloyd! Go IU! Go Sie Ming!

    Reply

  6. Annette Said on:

    I really can’t believe you’re not boasting a no school day to all those Baltimore lurkers. Finally, 5 inches and 1 foot drifts!!! Lucky Lincoln kids, Seward only a late start.

    Reply

  7. Brad Said on:

    Okay, I read both of your essays and the text book paragraph. Thanks for using up half of my free period. 😛

    The essays are good. They’re very well written. Did I know you were a good writer? Maybe it went without saying, what with all the reading you do. But how Archie comic books taught you to write well, I’ll never know.

    Reply

    • Beth Said on:

      I, too, was impressed with your writing. Mostly with the fact that I found ZERO spelling errors. Spell-check has served you well.
      I didn’t understand more than a few sentences… apparently I’m not so high on the geek list…didn’t we take a test on that a while back?

      Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      I actually wrote everything in numbers first. Then translated it into words. Otherwise it would have been chock full of nuts and berries. You didn’t know I was okay at writing because I used up all of my best writing for Larry Laubenstein. “Don’t get it right, get it written… Then get it right.”

      Reply

      • Deanne Said on:

        Did he used to say that? It’s a great saying, and I’m going to adopt it.

        He actually remembered a piece I did for his class, and when I visited 2 years ago with my daughter, she was very impressed that he recalled the paper.

        Reply

      • Karla Said on:

        Oh!! I had forgotten that one. I’ll have to add it to my list. I also really liked Rogner’s “Let it ferment.” I use that a lot.

        Of course, you can’t forget John Stahl’s “Into each life a few tears must fall.” Oh wait, none of you guys went to my grade school. Oh well.

        Reply

  8. Peggy Said on:

    Congratulations!! That really is cool! And I’m sure I’d agree with you all the way if I knew what you were talking about … have you thought about running for congress?

    Oh and Yippee for no school … for you …. !!!!!

    Reply

  9. Deborah Said on:

    “I sense a soul in search of answers.”

    Reply

  10. Deanne Said on:

    The only thing I wonder about is where you say, “Evidence suggests that I don’t cost a lot to support…” It would seem to be quite complex, judging from two essays that appear to only scratch the surface of the many issues that would be involved. So is crafting potentially expensive to develop, but not expensive to keep up?

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      There are other things involved, but the main costs to this sort of thing are Design/Programming, Content Creation and Customer Support. I was thinking of customer support. Content creation would be negligable if the design/programming was done well, and the design/programming has to take most of this into account anyway for other reason. For a more complete answer, I can send you a book.

      Reply

      • Deanne Said on:

        Thanks soooooo much for the offer. But I’m going to be content with my little toe-dip (reading your interesting articles). I was just wondering about the value proposition.

        Now I’ll wonder if you couldn’t get paid whole piles of money for your thought-provoking ideas. I was thinking that it’s geeks like you (and I use the word geek in a very positive way) who develop expertise and then go get loads of cash for it… and it was all just for fun in the beginning. I’ll let you know if I run into any game developers who are looking for smart people to put “baking” into their game. (not very likely, I’ll warn you…)

        Reply

  11. Deborah Said on:

    Wow! You are “celebrated” and “eminently sensible”. I never would have guessed.

    Reply

  12. Richard Bartle Said on:

    Yes, Google Alert really is handy, isn’t it? It shows up when people mention your having mentioned them in your book.

    I would have footnoted more people if I’d known it was likely to make them buy a copy of the book!

    Richard

    Reply

    • Lauren Said on:

      Hooray for Richard! 🙂 Welcome to our website, second celebrity! (Jeff Hertzberg beat ya to us.)

      Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      The book, by the way, is quite well done. Really interesting stuff in here. It makes me wonder how the state of the art has progressed in the 4 years since it was written. I read through all of the economic sections first, and am going back now to pick up other sections. Of course, I got side tracked by the online bibliography. What a nice day for a snow day.

      Reply

  13. Karla Said on:

    So what’s up with the Walmart receipt? Does Walmart carry that book?

    Reply

  14. Annette Said on:

    Someday will you teach me about all this jargon, so I’ll understand how you got 24 comments from this?

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      Think of it as the antithesis of everything you care anything at all about. It is sort of amazing that people spend so much time thinking about this sort of thing. People even make a living at it. Ha, 25 comments.

      Reply

  15. Lauren's dad Said on:

    Teacher, please help me get this straight. Is all this thinking about nothing?

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
      And then is heard no more: it is a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
      Signifying nothing.

      Reply

  16. Lloyd's Mom Said on:

    I was impressed!. Keep on writing. Love you and as usual I am late in reading the post.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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