Ice on the moon!

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft has found that the Shackleton crater at the moon’s frigid south pole contains about 22% ice on its surface. Read more here >>>

That’s great news for the future human exploration of the moon, since local access to water will make it easier to maintain a long-term base.

A renaissance for Swedish RPGs?

The last few years there have been a resurgence in Swedish role-playing game (RPG) publishing, probably due to the advent of cheap DTP software and cost-efficient print-on-demand suppliers. The hobby’s nadir might be over. Mylingspel, Saga Games, Fria Ligan and many garage-size producers are making sure that there is a steady influx of new products of high quality. (Here is a link to the Swedish blogpost that triggered this notion >>>)

However, this is a renaissance for enthusiasts, not for the mass market. Saga Games’s Fantasy! is a top seller in the specialty shops, but it won’t be in the shelves of the common toy stores or bookshops, unlike the situation in the 1980s and 1990s.

And that’s the crux. When the national game wholesaler Top Games collapsed in the late 1990s, the RPG market died with it. The specialist intermediary between the manufacturer and the individual stores is essential. That was one of the major reasons for the success of Drakar och Demoner 30 years ago: Target Games found an competent ally in AB Jan Edman, a company that worked business-to-business to distribute all sorts of games and toys on a national scale. Its salesmen made sure that all relevant store owners got our RPG products in their hands. But nowadays there simply isn’t money enough in the Swedish RPG business to attract the attention of such companies.