Live at Zenkaikon 2015!

Sunday March 22, 2015

This coming weekend - March 27-29 - we will be performing live at Zenkaikon 2015 in Lancaster, PA. Come say hi! We'll be spending most of the time we're not presenting eating doughnuts and playing board games!


Short Form Anime
11:45am @ Live 2

How to Win Every Game
2:15pm @ Live 2


Why no one will Game with you
11:00am @ Live 1

Anime Openers Around the World
2:00pm @ Live 6

Also stay tuned for our Anime Boston 2015 schedule! We'll likely be doing four shows there.

Grand Prix Round 4 - Hacienda

Monday August 26, 2013

The long awaited final round of the grand prix is here. We've had two video games and one tabletop game so far. To keep things even, the final battle is tabletop yet again. Welcome to the Hacienda.

Hacidena makes an optimal grand prix game because you can play it for free on the web asynchronously. That really helps out our players in distant time zones. To play, you just need a free account on SpielByWeb. The the rulebook is on their site as well.

Anyone who wishes to participate in this round, simply send an email to requesting entry. On Monday September 9th I will combine entrants into games, most likely with 4-5 players. The format will be single elimination. The winner of each game will advance and all others will be eliminated. Depending on the number of players, we may be able to finish this in very few rounds of play. At the end of each game, every player in the game must submit the complete final results of points and coins via email.

In order to rank players who lost in the same round we will have multiple tiebreakers. The first is position in the game the player lost, 2nd place, 3rd place, etc. Next comes points scores in the losing game followed by final coin count in the losing game. If necessary we can dig into points scored in prior rounds or compare who allowed their opponents to score fewer points.

Good luck farming.

Grand Prix Round 3 - Galaga

Monday May 6, 2013

The long awaited round 3 has begun, and it is Galaga! At least for one round I'm just going to play favorites and pick a game I personally like, and this is it. This round will be testing skills of pattern recognition and manual dexterity.

This will be a standard high score competition, with only one catch. It's a one-chance competition! Practice all you want, but only one game counts. You must schedule a time with me, and I will watch you play one game of Galaga. Your score in that game will be your score with no re-dos of any kind. This will require most participants to use a streaming service like or use a webcam with a Google+ Hangout, Skype, etc. Anyone with an Internet connection should be able to do this, which is everybody. You may also play your game for me in person at Anime Boston, Connecticon, PAX AUS, or plain old New York City. The deadline for streaming will be July 9th, before I leave for Connecticon and PAX AUS. The round will actually end when I return from Australia probably around August 1st.

Now, there are many many versions of Galaga out there for many platforms. That should make it accessible to almost everybody. However, because there are so many versions of Galaga, there is going to be confusion about which ones are valid. They are not all the same. We will be using the NES version of Galaga as the baseline. If you want to play the original arcade version, perhaps through MAME, you need to make sure it is configured properly. The player should start with three lives at the default difficulty of rank B (medium). And the player should not be able to have more than two shots on the screen at the same time. Any other version of Galaga for another platform that is configured the same way will also be valid per my judgement. Also, be careful not to accidentally play Galaxian, GaPlus, Galaga '88, Galaga Legions (DX), etc. Regular old Galaga is the game we are playing.

Start practicing and be sure to send an email to to schedule an appointment for your one chance. Good luck.

Grand Prix Round 2 - Backgammon

Saturday March 9, 2013

UPDATE Grand Prix Round 2 - Backgammon (Take 2)

If you read the forum thread, as instructed, you would know that there were many legitimate concerts with the format for round 2 of the grand prix. As state, the grand prix itself is an experiment, and changes are constant. If we ever do this again, it should be a much smoother operation. In the meantime, I have completely rewritten the rules for round 2.

More importantly, I have also decided to sacrifice one of the principals of the grand prix itself. I originally planned each round to last a week or two. Now I realize that is not possible due to the online ad-hoc nature of the competition. Therefore, participants must expect that while any individual round of the grand prix will be somewhat short, the entire competition may last for months. Anyway, here are the new updated rules for the backgammon round.

The backgammon round of the tournament will consist of a swiss tournament of six rounds. Every participant will play six opponents, one per round. In each match the opponents will play repeated games of backgammon until one of the players has scored a total of 5 points. The first player to reach five points is the victor.

The game will still be played according to standard backgammon rules using the doubling cube. One variant to those rules that will be used is the Crawford rule. No other rule variants will be in effect. Any digital or physical mechanism of playing backgammon is permitted.

The first round of the tournament will be seeded by convenience and also randomness. Each player who actually wishes to participate in this first round must email before Wednesday, March 20th 2013 New York time declaring that they wish to participate. A lack of any email will disqualify a player from the second round, and they will score zero grand prix points. In that email a player may either declare the name of their first round opponent, or request to be randomly paired. In the case of an odd number of players, a player will be randomly selected each round to receive a bye. Rounds after the first round will be seeded properly based on performance in earlier rounds.

It is up to the players to coordinate with each other and play their backgammon match within 7 days. If the first match must be completed and reported by Wednesday March, 27th 2013 New York time. Both players must submit the final scores by email to ensure they match. The score, and not just the name of the victor, is important for tie-breaking and seeding purposes.

If there is improper reporting, or if a match is not played or reported on time, the match will be scored as a draw. If the reports of both players conflict, it will result in a draw unless one player provides evidence to prove their opponent is lying. Anyone caught lying or cheating even once will be immediately disqualified from the entire grand prix. The opponent of a cheater will receive a total victory for that round. If you trust your opponent, no evidence gathering will be required for this round.

As usual, any questions and discussion that are necessary may be posted in the official forum thread for this round. Good luck.

Grand Prix Round 1 - CANABALT

Thursday February 28, 2013

The moment you have all been waiting for.


Starting really simple with this one guys. Longest run this week wins. If there is somehow a tie between two or more players, the tie breaker will go to whoever submitted their score earliest.

You can play any version of the game you like whether it is the free web Flash version, iOS, or Android. Yes, there are slight differences, but they are slight enough to not matter. The skill being tested here is not just reflexes, but determination. Anyone who plays it enough will get a high score eventually. How determined are you to win this grand prix? How many times will you play this game this week in order to get the highest score possible? We're about to find out.

Here are the specific instructions you must read and obey exactly. Failure to obey them exactly will almost certainly result in you getting a score of zero for this round, or worse.

Every player must submit their score along with some evidence that it is legit. There are many ways of doing this. The easiest is a simple screenshot of your score. The fanciest would be to upload a video of yourself playing the game with your forum name on a piece of paper in the shot, and to load up in your browser in the video to prove the time and date. One really good way to prove your score is to play the iOS version (again, not required) and to friend me on Game Center. Then I will be able to see your verified high score. Another decent option is to play on Kongregate and record your high score on their charts under your forum name. Provide the best evidence you can. More is always better. I don't think anyone will cheat, there would be no honor in that.

Submit your evidence via e-mail to on or before March 8th New York time. Once it becomes March 9th, any further submissions for round 1 will be deleted. You may submit multiple times. Only your final submission will be considered. All others will be deleted.

There will be a process for dealing with suspect evidence, but I hope we do not have to use it. It will involve me being the sole arbiter and perhaps also the judgement of the community. Just don't cheat, it will be easier that way.

Protip - try not to let other people know what your score is. If they are way ahead of everyone else, they may stop trying to improve their score. If they are below, they now have a target to aim for. If everyone remains in the dark as to everyone else's scores, they will have to spend the entire week aiming for infinity.

That being said, I've been playing for a few days in preparation. My current high score is 6652 meters.

It's also not too late to sign up for the grand prix. If you want to participate, just make sure you register in the official thread before you submit your score. Any submissions for unregistered players will be deleted.

Good luck.

FRC 2013 Gaming Grand Prix

Monday January 28, 2013

I am happy to announce the first ever, and perhaps annual, FRC Gaming Grand Prix Championship Series. The format is as follows.

Each Grand Prix will last one week. Players will have precisely 7 days to play the required games. All games will be such that there will be a clear ranking from first to last. Points will be awarded using the Formula 1 Grand Prix scoring system. Failure to play the game in the allotted week will result in a score of 0 for that round. There is no elimination other than mathematical elimination. Since a score of 0 is always possible, mathematical elimination should come very late in the competition. At the end of all the weeks, whoever has the most points will be the FRC gaming champion. Perhaps we will find a prize of some sort.

I, Scott, will personally not be eligible because I will be the judge and tournament administrator. I will, however, exhibit my skills in each round for the sake of pride, demonstration, etc. I will also be the dictator of all the tournament rules, and selector of all the games. I will gladly take suggestions, but I will otherwise be a jerk and have the final say on everything for the sake of simplicity. I will only select games that are available in all regions of the globe, and also do not require significant financial resources to play. You can consider the text I post in this thread to be the official rule book.

Here is the forum thread where everything will happen:

Round 1 will begin March 1, 2013 at the moment I post the instructions for that round in the forum thread. Registration begins immediately now. All forum members are eligible. If you are not a forum member, it is very easy to join. Post in the thread to register. Registrations will be permitted at any time before the end, but a late registrant will score straight zeros for any already completed rounds. All scores and standings will be in this Google Doc.

GeekNights Live at MAGFest 11

Wednesday January 2, 2013

Rym and Scott will be appearing at MAGFest 11!

Gaming Intellectuals - Video Game Ethics
Friday - 10:00am
Panel 5

Beyond Candyland
Friday - 11:30am
Panel 4

Gaming Intellectuals - Video Game Genres
Friday - 1:00pm
Panel 5

Outside of these events, we'll be dividing our time equally between tabletop gaming, arcade gaming, PC gaming, console gaming, and other sorts of gaming. Come say hi!

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