Cookies are delicious, and they are the topic of tonight's GeekNights. We also talk about our NASes. The Ashley Madison hack raises many complex issues, which are being discussed in the GeekNights forum. Athletes are paid a lot, but are they overpaid? (This will be covered in depth in one of our PAX Panels - Sports are Games).

Dance Dance Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is the topic of tonight's GeekNights. It's one of the more important games ever made, and you would do yourself a favor by trying it if you've never played. The PAX Prime 2015 Schedule is live, including two panels with us! Fig, purporting to be Kickstarter for equity, launches with some smart people working for them. If they succeed, this will be a gamechanger. Literally. We also had a powerful game of Tigris & Euphrates, which remains to this day our favorite tabletop orthogame.

We previously discussed DDR in an ancient (2006) review of DDR Supernova in Wildwood in the waning days of the last arcades. We also gave a lecture on DDR and similar games at PAX Prime 2011!

HTTP Proxies

HTTP Proxies can be used for good or evil, and are generally a good thing to know about. Tonight on GeekNights, we consider the high level of what they are, where they're used, and how you can mess with your friends with them. Google has restructured under Alphabet, likely as a giant middle finger to ridiculous European regulation. The rapid rise of cord cutting and ad blocking accelerates with possible devastating (and deserved) consequences. Scotland hilariously bans "genetically modified crops." Linux servers make too little entropy, which itself is ever more crucial to secure operations. North Korea targets Rym with its new time zone. We've also upgraded the GeekNights production systems to Windows 10 with basically no problems.

Don't forget to come see us at PAX Prime and CHIFOO!

The Lightning Round

It's the GeekNights Lightning Round! Tonight, rather than a single topic, we tackle several in a row with a one-minute time limit!

  • credit cards
  • ISIS
  • planned parenthood
  • shaving my head
  • water bottles
  • diamond industry
  • best skills and practices for being an informed nerd
  • obesity/HAES
  • hopes/dreams/wishes for a Settlers of Catan Movie or TV Show
  • Go
  • Boston's olympic bid
  • the whole Uber/Lyft/Whatever paradigm, medallions, regulation, deregulation, etc...
  • favorite ghost stories, urban legends, and/or mythological creatures?
  • gardening
  • yogurt
  • political polls
  • the FIX protocol
  • doughnuts
  • kids' bathroom toys
  • Chinese American food
  • mugging, pickpocketing and other street crime
  • the Singularity
  • soldering
  • kitchen technology - fridges, microwaves and other kitchen appliances.
  • anger management
  • 2016 Republican primary
  • guaranteed income
  • socks

Don't forget to come see us live at PAX Prime 2015!

GeekNights PAX Prime Schedule

GeekNights will be live at PAX Prime 2015! These constitute our 33rd and 34th consecutive panels or lectures at PAXes since 2008. Both are brand new never-before-seen experiences for senses.

The Far Future of Gaming
Sunday Aug 30 @ 1:00pm
Sphinx Theatre

Few industries, even on the bleeding edge, are able to make accurate projections even ten years into the future. At thirty years out, all bets are off. Games are no exception. Accelerating technology, evolving design, even entirely new mediums, spring suddenly into being. You probably have some sense of what the next few years hold for games. But what about the next 30? The next 100? Could gaming in 2015 have been predicted from gaming in 1985? What drives it? What will hold it back?

Rym DeCoster [Producer, GeekNights]
Scott Rubin [Host, GeekNights]
Luke Crane [Community Manager for Games, Kickstarter]
Catt Small [UX and Game Designer, Brooklyn Gamery]
Josephine Fu [Lead Game Producer, Date Nighto]
Emily Compton [3D Animator, What Pumpkin]

Sports are Games
Monday Aug 31 @ 4:00pm
Sphinx Theatre

Gaming live streams are some of the most popular television programs in the US. There are entire TV networks covering gaming that have existed for decades. Yet, many self-described gamers will eschew "Football" and "Ice Hockey" as being somehow distinct from "DOTA 2" and "CounterStrike." We even like to use the term "esport" to separate them from "sports." Sports and "esports" are fundamentally the same. American Football is frighteningly like a distributed turn-based strategy game. Esports, regular sports: it's all just sports.

Rym DeCoster [Producer, GeekNights]
Scott Rubin [Host, GeekNights]

Online Story-Driven Games
Wednesday Sep 2 @ 7:00pm

After PAX, don't forget that Rym will be lecturing at CHIFOO in Portland! Games don't just have UX: games are UX.

Posted: Tuesday August 18, 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 - Watership Down

First published in 1972, Watership Down is a classic novel, well known and well loved, following the journey of several rabbits looking for a new home. Rather than anthropomorphize them, they are presented decidedly rabbitish. They don't wield swords or build towns: they're just rabbits, and they have a distinctly non-human sensibility and perspective. The works that have drawn (often heavily) from Watership Down are innumerable, and it's well worth a read.

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