How to enjoy an episode of great story with your friends every week and still kill your television


No, we’re not talking about BitTorrent, or anything else you watch on a screen.

How did we take story – a fundamental right of human beings – and outsource it to people hundreds or thousands of miles away, people who only value us for our value to advertisers? Why do we risk watching the few great TV shows, when we know they could get adulterated or just yanked out from under us if their distributors don’t like the numbers? What if we applied to the stories we give space in our lives the same principles of DIY, local sourcing, and pride in personal craft we use in so many bits of our Portland-ish experience? If we’re gonna take things apart to see how they work, not just for fun but for a better life, why not do it to our stories?

Because great stories are hard, right? Well, yeah, but you’re awesome and creative, remember? And they’re not that hard, if you can tolerate some messiness here and there, and a distinct lack of visual effects. They get even easier when you learn a few basic precepts of improv theater (and no, you won’t have to get up and perform for anyone, either).

And lastly, with a simple game-like technique you can (and will) learn to use in 90 seconds, you can start spending a few hours once a week with your friends, making up a great story that you own and control.

Mike Sugarbaker


Mike is a web programmer, writer and Certified Slacker-Futurist who can’t seem to curb his nasty habit of publishing and co-editing one of the nation’s leading tabletop-gaming weblogs,