Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama (1993)

Tonight on GeekNights, we review the 1993 anime movie Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama. It's long, and there are fighter jets. YMMV on this one, but if you enjoy Dynasty Warriors it might be for you. Also Hanuman is OP. In the news, the live-action sequel to Whisper of the Heart will be in theaters February 3. Shin Ultraman is exactly what you'd expect.

Online Advertising and Adtech

Tonight on GeekNights, Rym is back from his ski trip, so we resume our regularly scheduled shows with a review of online advertising and adtech. In the news, the Department of Justice is seeking to break up Google in some trust busting over online advertising and tech layoffs foretell difficult times ahead.

BRZRKR

Tonight on GeekNights, we review BRZRKR from Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, Ron Garney, and Bill Crabtree. It might hit you like a truck. Also Reaves is really into Wolverine. In the news, the United States House of Representatives is frozen as the Republicans repeatedly fail to elect a Speaker (something so unthinkable it literally hasn't happened in a century), Eurobeat is confirmed for MF Ghost, and Cartoon Saloon is moving forward with Julián!

Live at PAX East 2023!

We will be live at PAX East 2023 with at least one panel on Thursday!

Can Competitive and Casual Coexist?
Thursday Mar 23 @ 2:30pm ET
Bumblebee Theatre

Fortnite rolled out changes to make the game more competitive, and then promptly had to roll them back. Overwatch struggles to balance how characters are used competitively versus casually. With Root we even see balance patches in TABLETOP games. Game balance in a vacuum is one thing, but how do you balance a game across all possible levels of player skill? Across normal and professional/esport play? And most to the point, across a varied player base where people often have diametrically-opposed reasons for playing? The simple truth is that the more "skill input" a game has for the players, the broader the gulf will be between "casual" and "serious" play. Bronze-tier Overwatch is in some ways a completely different game from Platinum-tier, in the same way that high school football is miles away from the NFL. Are they really the same game? Join us for a rousing discussion of what player skill, game balance, and even player motivations mean in games of all kinds!

Remember that PAX East is still a mask-required event. We'll even be masked on stage! Hope to see you there!

Posted: Friday February 3, 2023

Losing
PAX West 2022

Winning is good, and losing is bad. We strive to win, and this is the basis for most of the games we play. Challenges are binary: we either overcome them, advancing the story, or fail, and must try again. But, what if we were to toss this conventional wisdom aside? Do we really only have fun when we win? Have you ever had that moment in a game where epic and total failure was the most memorable part? What kinds of games would arise if we strove to make losing, instead of winning, the point?

Book Club - Alif the Unseen

When making this selection I checked my wish list and noticed two separate books were coincidentally by the same author. And at that time I had never heard of G. Willow Wilson. She rose to prominence writing Marvel comics, most notably the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel series that was later adapted for television. Clearly this was a sign. I presented both of her novels "The Bird King" and "Alif the Unseen" as options, and Rym selected the latter.

"Alif the Unseen" is a Middle Eastern cyberpunk adventure. That description alone is enough to convince me to read it. Did I also mention it won a ton of awards? The description of the novel on the publisher's web site reads:

Alif the Unseen is a masterful debut novel, an enchanting, incredibly timely adventure tale worthy of Neil Gaiman. In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker protects watched groups from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble—until he falls in love with the wrong woman and unleashes a forbidden text thought to be written by the jinn.

I would be very surprised if somehow this book doesn't go over well.

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