John Mayer's "Your Body is a Wonderland", a currently popular song, is appealing in various musical and poetic ways --- but for me, one of its strongest (and strangest) resonances is with Andrew Looney's Wunderland domain (see http://www.wunderland.com). Looney is perhaps appropriately named: he's a game designer with a penchant for off-the-wall humor. His most successful creation, Fluxx, is a wacky adventure in mutable goals with rules that shift abruptly as cards are played.
Andy Looney is unabashed about his love of long, flowing hair: he's built a virtual shrine to it on one of his web pages, and the official rules to his game Aquarius say that the player with the longest hair gets to go first. But lest you write him off as a complete basket-case refugee from the '60s, Looney's online biography confesses that he is also an Eagle Scout and a computer science graduate of the University of Maryland. His self-description reads:
Andy to his friends, he's a postmodern renaissance hippie who used to program computers for NASA but now designs games for a living. He also writes stories, draws cartoons, takes photographs, opposes unjust laws, and unbeknownst to most, also rules the universe as an ineffective figurehead Emperor.
Unlike James Ernest (http://www.cheapass.com), the other game designer whom I worship at the feet of, Andy Looney makes his home not far from here. Maybe some day I'll get to meet him. Meanwhile, I'm happy just to live in a society that can support (at however meager a level) a tiny subpopulation of musicians, grandmasters, astrophysicists, and game designers. Our world is the real wonderland ....