King's Forge

Tonight on GeekNights, we review the mediocre King's Forge, serving alongside Ground Floor as an example of why Kickstarter tabletop games are more often than not best avoided. In the news, Club Nintendo is dead and more old Star Wars games have come to GOG, including the last of the great Star Wars freespace shooters: X-Wing Alliance.

Don't forget to come see us live at PAX South 2015 with Bad Games on Sunday! Also, be sure to check out Rym's new Advance Wars streaming series.

Song of the Sea

Tonight on GeekNights, we review Tomm Moore's fantastic Song of the Sea. It's far and away better than The Secret of Kells, itself an excellent film. Before that, Rym has re-discovered the at-one-time-well-known 90s shows The Critic and Duckman, which are both... interesting... from a modern perspective (and available on Youtube). Ghost in the Shell joins the long line of failed attempts to adapt anime into live action in the US, complete with the whitewashing, and one of the last major comic cons that's actually about mainstream comics - Emerald City Comic Con - moves under Reedpop's control.

Predator

Tonight on GeekNights, we have us some fun with Predator (1987), the classic Arnold movie whose cast brought us not one, but two US state governors. In the news, Yuu Miyake is performing at MAGFest 2015, we (GeekNights) are performing at PAX South 2015 that same weekend, and the social media "years in review" aren't always the best for people whose years weren't so great.

Losing: PAX Australia 2014

Tonight on GeekNights, we present the full audio of Rym's second PAX Australia lecture: Losing.

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?

Live at PAX South and PAX East!

GeekNights will be in San Antonio Texas for PAX South 2015. We will be presenting (in the very least) a lecture titled "Bad Games."

Bad Games
Sunday, January 25th
4:30pm
Armadillo Theatre

We've all played "bad" games, but what truly makes a game "bad?" Is one's miserable experience not simply subjective opinion? It turns out that the problem is not in defining what makes a game "bad," but in what makes a game a "game." Candyland teaches children colors and counting, but is terrible for a serious tournament. Dungeons & Dragons is great for that heroic fantasy adventure, but not so much for your future cyberpunk transhumanist court drama.

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We are also returning for PAX East 2015, where we will be presenting a lecture titled "What is Losing?"

What is Losing?
Friday, March 6th
4:30pm
Bumblebee Theatre

The point of a game is to win. Or is it? Can you "win" Gone Home or The Stanley Parable? Is losing a game of Dwarf Fortress the same as losing a game of chess? Why is Super Meat Boy's difficulty exciting, while Silver Surfer's is painful? Does one lose Monopoly due to player skill, or because you flipped the table? What if we played games that focused not on the "narrative of victory," but instead on the "narrative of failure?" Do games need to have a way to "lose" in the first place?

Posted: Tuesday January 13, 2015

The History of Losing
PAX Australia 2014

I presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture covering, essentially, single player videogames. From Super Meat Boy to Silver Surfer, Don't Shit Your Pants to The Stanley Parable, Five Nights at Freddy's to Gone Home, I consider Narratives of Victory, and Narratives of Failure.

Book Club - A Canticle for Liebowitz

Since reading Wool, we've discovered this particular sub-genre of post apocalyptic tales where all of human society is sealed in or trapped in some place. Even though there are many examples, almost all of them are relatively obscure things only geeks like us would know about. Logan's Run, Fallout, Wool, Phoenix Vol. 2: Future, Paranoia the tabletop RPG, etc.

Well, it was brought to our attention that the first work of this nature is a 1960 sci-fi novel entitled "A Canticle for Liebowitz" by Walter M. Miller, Jr. As soon as I heard of the book the frequency illusion set in. I ran into the book two or three more times, and it easily became the next book club selection.

A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by American writer Walter M. Miller, Jr., first published in 1960. Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the Southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the story spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the fictional Albertian Order of Leibowitz take up the mission of preserving the surviving remnants of man's scientific knowledge until the day the outside world is again ready for it. -Wikipedia

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