1348 Family Planning.

The girl under the fur is dramatic and dark, in case you hadn’t noticed. Although in this case it might be warranted.

I played some multiplayer Minecraft with the Teen the other day and it threw the differences in our mentality into stark contrast. Without someone telling her what to do she just sort of goes idle and loses interest. Which is odd for someone who constantly says she doesn’t like following. When a game doesn’t hold your hand and urge you along she doesn’t test anything. There’s very little desire to poke at the boundaries of possibility. Also, for someone who fancies herself an artist she doesn’t see the possibilities that Minecraft presents in terms of creating art. It was depressing.


He can “Home” in on weakness like a laser.

Hone is correct. Look it up. It means focus, or find a focal point. To hone a skill for example.

No, ‘hone’ means to sharpen.

To “home in” means to zero in or find a point. We have “Homing pigeons”, not “Honing pigeons”.

@Pufnstuff – then all she needs to do is be in a car with Jack Bauer, not even laser guided missiles can stop him!

From the Marriam-Webster on-line dictionary discussion:
“The few commentators who have noticed hone in consider it to be a mistake for home in. It may have arisen from home in by the weakening of the \m\ sound to \n\ or may perhaps simply be due to the influence of hone. Though it seems to have established itself in American English (and mention in a British usage book suggests it is used in British English too), your use of it especially in writing is likely to be called a mistake. Home in or in figurative use zero in does nicely.”

In short – it probably started out as a mistake but is now accepted usage in the USA and Canada. Outside North America, “home in” is nearly always used. In North America “home in” is more common than “hone in” but not by that wide a margin. There is actually some justification for the migration; hone means to sharpen or to perfect, and we can think of homing in as a sharpening of focus or a perfecting of one’s trajectory toward a target. So while it might not make strict logical sense, extending hone this way is not a huge leap.
By the way – using “hone in” puts you in the same company as George Plimpton – the famous author.

… this concludes today’s on-line lesson on how English continues to mutate (especially at the hands of those philistine Americans) …


Is her mascara running or does she just have sleepy eyes?

I think it’s from sheer fright due to the discovery that Reggie is in the vicinity.

Go back to her taking the headpiece off /comics1/1344-straight-arm she had it then, either its running from the heat of the helmet or she put it on extra thick kind of like the grease paint football players use. i would imagine lenses like that would catch a bit of glare even from the inside.

Something about her upper lip has been bothering me. The way it’s shaded along with the outline of the mouth makes her lips look chapped or something.

Not to criticize or anything.

She has a pronounced upper lip. ( IIRC, This was already asked and answered.)

No no, I get that’s what he’s going for. I just feel the outline of the top of the mouth opening ruins the effect. Like if instead of the black line at the top of the mouth it was a color that blended into the color of the lip. Like a shade or two darker.

I know it’s possible. I see Brooksie in blue lipstick on the side of the page every couple days and she looks fantastic. But I also don’t want to hassle an artist who was recently sick and still managed to produce through the whole thing.

Right, he’s acquired mroe humanizing elements but at the end of the day, Reggie is still Reggie. I truly do feel sorry for her. This sort of thing is why I expected, and in some ways desired, for Reggie to be an only child.

Wait, is John falling for a furry? Is John falling for a furry that is also Reggie’s sister?

This sounds like a cascade of potential complications.

Oh, and you story of the Teen also depresses who. Who can fancy themselves and artist and not se that Minecraft is basically digital Lego? You can make ANYTHING!

Couldn’t she just keep the mask on? Hide inside the suit. No Reggie will ever know. Maybe.

I feel like that’s where the conversation is heading towards

He’s gonna be brought out to the meeting in ears. Before she sees them, she’ll shove her head back in the costume. Then she’ll see the ears. :cD What then has me really wondering…

re The teen’s ‘artistic ability’ and lack of interest/boundary examination… I see this in my own children, and in fact, every child I know.

I place the blame squarely on what children ‘have’ these days vice what we had 30 years ago.

When we were children (I’m 50), we had erector sets and/or lincoln logs. So, what could you do with them. If you were a ‘follow the instruction’ type, you could build the log cabin, or the crane. And then play with them, sort of. But. And the BIG BUT. Did the LL cabin look like much? Not so much. Imagination. We had those big red hook and ladder fire trucks and yellow dump trucks, and such. Did they do anything? Not so much. Imagination.

What do kids have today? iPhones, which will do and show anything. No imagination. Robotix and connectix. You can still build a crane. But now it’s electrified and does stuff. No imagination.

We had to take two sticks and (beat the living shit out of each other) play pirates. Imagination. Now kids play Pirates on the computer. No imagination.

Even 10 years ago, I played Monkey Island. Oh. My. God. It was Zork with images. You had to figure out what to do with the piece of paper and the keg…. imagination. Now, even if a game attempts to be creative with puzzles like that, it really doesn’t matter, because within a week there are complete walkthroughs. NO. IMAGINATION.

I fear for ten years from now more than I look forward to it. I could go on, but this is already a dissertation.

As a child of the 90’s, I resent that attitude. Minecraft isn’t universally appealing, and not diving into *any* space of creative imagination is far more likely a symptom of depression than an inability to do so. I would in fact bet that I have spent far more time gaming creatively than you despite the extra 30 years of life you’ve had – primarily because I was in periods of my life with very little responsibility during and after major advancements in gaming, while you presumably had much more to take care of at those times – and while I was born in 92 where cell phones weren’t yet ubiquitous, I was playing on the home PC when I was 2.

Furthermore, if a child were truly deprived of imagination (and honestly, that’s practically impossible: it is the nature of children) it would be the parent’s fault, not technology’s. My early adoption of technology and gaming didn’t prohibit me from dabbling in arts and sports, socializing with my peers or reading and rereading a fairly extensive library of sci-fi and fantasy fiction.

p.s. If you want your kids to beat each other with makeshift weapons, buy them some plastic lightsabers or swords. Imagination isn’t “pretend this thing I have is something else” it’s creating, interacting with and caring about an imagined reality.

Though it is a shame nonetheless that the Teen didn’t go for it so much. It can be fun. I’d advise playing on your own for a while and getting something cool to show off to maybe inspire her. For me, seeing what was possible with Redstone did that. For the Teen, maybe something else will.

It’s probably best to steer clear of debates on what “imagination” is or isn’t these days. I’m not qualified to assess what counts as quality immersion in games or even “fun” for anyone other than myself and I think that should be a given for everyone. Trying to pick apart the reasoning behind a difference in perspective when the biggest difference is an age gap is just grounds for trouble, as it mostly leads to people calling each other out on their differences of opinion and ends with a conflict of “my idea > your idea” that gets everyone nowhere.

I think what I’m trying to say here is that you can’t get around the reality that everyone is going to view things a little differently. I hesitate to call people out on a lack of imagination when they’re younger than me because there’s really no telling if they’re going to be the ones to push something innovative and awe inspiring in the future. Most of the artistic genius that I’ve come to love in video games ultimately comes from individuals well into their adulthood, long after the childhood wonder has been tempered by experience. At the same time, I can’t fully agree with idolizing my seniors to the exclusion of all else, when wonderful new games and media of all types continue to flourish all around us every day.

I was 19 when Minecraft first launched and I played it for all of a week before getting tired of it. At the time, I doubt I could have even stated in words WHY I didn’t enjoy/appreciate/love the game because if anyone at the time asked me how I felt about it, I would have told them it’s a great interactive experience. Today, I’d have to say that Minecraft fundamentally offers an experience that I’m no longer looking for in video games. The mechanics steer the player to create something tangible (getting around the nit-picking that all games are virtual for a moment) that celebrates the player’s artistic ingenuity and dedication to accomplishing a task. My gaming experience then (and to an extent now) fundamentally sought something very different from the creation of something I could see/hold/treasure and focused instead on the experience of doing something. One could argue that the pursuit of minecraft’s goals qualify as experiences worth treasuring, and I wouldn’t disagree, but in my late high-school to early college years I was thoroughly entrenched in a world of rail driven RPGs or MMO games via companies like Activision Blizzard. My gaming ideal was the celebration of camaraderie created

Sorry hit the post button accidentally while scrolling and thinking.

… camaraderie created through media where the prevailing public of the day refused to believe it was possible. The idea of meeting friends continents away and creating a story together was just so appealing to me that crazes like Minecraft just flew by.

I feel like this is overly preachy and way too long for a comment board so I’ll give it a rest. But if the Teen doesn’t care for a certain perspective of gaming, or even art itself that shouldn’t be taken negatively. The Teen that wants to be an artist today may be a successful Doctor/Lawyer/Indian Chief a decade from now, there’s no rush or rules to follow. Just try different things, and embrace what you find wonderful.

my god that minecraft story was depressing, what horrors the linear cutscene riddled handholding of triple A titles has wrought upon this newer generation. :/

when they get a game like minecraft is like handing a blank canvas to someone who has only ever seen paint by numbers.

Minecraft as a sandbox game has no real plot, and the only real progress – of one sort – can be measured in building up resources to higher tech and accomplishing certain milestones (finding diamond, entering nether, entering end, killing dragon, killing wither, etc). In a strange sense, the ‘achievement’ web is meant to help guide players onward… for those who obsessively must have them, at least.

As with any game where the plot is not spoon-fed or on ‘rails’ (the latter being a clear linear progression with little ability for the player to change the outcome), people need that ability to explore and ask ‘what does this do’? Zelda 3/Link to the Past is a perfect example of this, and if the teen has not played it you should encourage her to do so. While there is some loose plot and direction the player’s ability to move around is limited by what they have acquired, so every new item must be examined to ask what it now lets you do – for example when you get the hammer and learn it can get rid of the posts that were blocking your way, you need to go back and find where those had blocked you before and realize that a new area has opened for you.

I agree with Chris in that games today on touch devices seem to cater to the lowest common denominator… everything must be intuitive, in your face, no manual needed and no clarification required or people lose interest. It’s a little sad, but at the same time designed to be addictive in the same “want to get the next unlock” way.

If you want to keep going with Minecraft though – especially if she thinks it’s boring due to a lack of content – you might also consider mods or texture packs to make it look visually different and add more content to play with. Look up Feed The Beast for one such example if you are interested.

Hey, I’m thirty, and I don’t care for Minecraft. “Don’t die, and stack stuff” isn’t engaging enough for everyone, and it’s not a generational issue.

A game like Minecraft is like handing a Lite Brite to someone who’s used to pastels. Sure, it’s shiny, but that might not make up for when one wants a shade more subtle than your basic crayon set or a line that goes in more than six directions.

I wouldn’t discount the teen with her lack of Minecrafting. Some people, when presented with a blank canvas are terrified of the breath of possibilities and therefore do nothing. It was like that for me the first time I played Minecraft.

Eventually I found myself hollowing out a mountain and trying to build a Castle Greyskull replica.

When I look at the adults I see daily 99% do nothing artistic. So I don’t think that not having the drive to build something is anything new. We each have to find challenges that suit us and sometimes a sandbox it’s the hardest place to find that.
Anyway thanks for the comic. :-)

From experience, not every medium is inspiring to an artist. I can see the endless potential of words, but also stare blankly at paints for hours. Some things just don’t work for people. Also, spacial reasoning skills may play some part. I’ve always felt much more comfortable with 3D materials than 2D materials. I imagine it goes the other way too.

I’ve been playing minecraft for… what, 5 years now? At 33, it’s a zen-like playground, but getting started and keeping myself occupied in it is difficult if I don’t have a goal.

I end up getting tooled up to where I have a little farm and a bed, then strike out looking for scenery that inspires me. I’ve built, without mods or creative, Pagodas, Korean-styled palaces, and I’m currently working in a multiplayer world where I’ve designed what’s looking like a battleship suspended in the sky with planetary bombardment lasers (that are mining up all the fuel I need to keep my reactor going, and then some. Modpacks are amazing).

Prior to MC, it was dwarf fortress, which is even more obtuse, but may give an idea why I’m able to make megaprojects for investing my time.

But these sandbox voxel-placement games have limitations that might not appeal or be properly taken as a challenge to an artist. Working within the sets might be a bit confining to the Teen’s interests.

That said, if you want an interesting introduction to modpacks, I’d suggest getting Feed The Beast, and trying out agrarian skies, which has you start with very little over an infinite void, and from there, your quest book guides you in how to create the world. Hunger and food are very different, though, so it might be a bit much to start with.

Don’t know if you’re aware, but our Tom and our Ed have themselves a cameo in, get this……………..a furry comic! le gasp!


I know the artist a little bit. He stops in to comment from time to time. I think Carol appears at one point in a prison scene, if memory serves. Couldn’t tell you which story it’s in though. Honestly though, I’m not sure he actually thinks of Lucy as a furry comic.

Nah, I found Carol. It was a brilliantly placed cameo. Saw Nina on a poster once. Still looking for Jo tho’.

Cameos are awesome.

I’ve not had a chance to go thru all the posts above, so I apologize-in-advance if this is redundant. Perhaps you might design a MineCraft environment, then offer it up for the Teen to explore. She could give you feedback on what does-&-does-not work for her. This might challenge her to try & make her own design of “neighborhood”, somewhere else within your world. Test-designs that started out in “Creative”-mode might later be tested to see if they can weather “Survival”-mode. At the very least, even if she never gets inspired to make her own world, perhaps she can enjoy exploring yours…?

Coming back to read this after reading some of the more recent interactions between John and Victoria, I stop and think, “Jackie really didn’t plan on the two of them having chemistry?” Seriously, even if it wasn’t your intention, I gotta give you props for it. New OTP Johntoria! (Wow, that sounds terrible but I still ship it)

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