Online Game Servers

Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss the history and current state of online game servers. Rising primarily out of competitive FPSs like Quake and Counter Strike back in the day, they were often the only way to play with a reliable community of people. There weren't matchmaking or friend lists or anything like that.

In the news, Rym and Emily are back from PAX where they did a panel on losing, Scott is back from Costco, the Nintendo Direct had a bunch of things to talk about, and GeekNights will have a roughly three week hiatus between Rym and Emily biking 500 miles and Rym going on a business trip.

Single Player Tabletop Games

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider single player tabletop games. Distinct from Solitaire and Simple Games or Solitaire Puzzles, expanding on our discussion of The Number of Players, we look at what it takes to have a regular old tabletop game for one. We cite Why No One Will Game With You in the course of this, but there are plenty of great single player experiences (so long as they are official rules and the game was designed with a solo mode in mind).

In the news, Blades in the Dark continues to be fantastic, Cult of the Lamb is moderately disappointing to Rym, Moonbreaker holds promise, the fake Amazon-buys-EA story was debunked before we even saw the bunk, and Disney is throwing the weight of its intellectual property around with a high-production TCG: Lorcana.

The Films of Hayao Miyazaki

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider the feature films of Hayao Miyazaki. They are instantly recognizable and every one of them is worth seeing. In the news, Joe Biden has cancelled a huge amount of student debt (more than you probably realize), the nightmare that was the attempt at a 90s American live-action Sailor Moon has been found in its full glory, the new Beavis and Butthead is fantastic, the novel Paprika was based on is getting a live-action series, the AMC meme-stock is doubling down on this nonsense, and Evangelion Voice Actor Motomu Kiyokawa has passed away at 87.

How to Not Suck at Getting a New Smartphone

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider how to not suck at buying a new smartphone. Android or Apple, you actually do have a choice, and there are some basic things to think about. In the news, you can't park there, this program is illegally packaged in 14 distributions, BeReal is pretty cool, this is why schools are banning smartphones, and the lack of transparency in algorithmic CSAM detection is causing harm.

Losing at PAX West 2022

GeekNights is live at PAX West 2022! If you're looking for the promised slides from the panel, today is your lucky day. As promised, these have links to the other talks we referenced!

Losing
Sunday, Sept 4th
12:30pm PT
Sasquatch Theatre (Sheraton, Level 2)

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?

Posted: Sunday September 4, 2022

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 - Binti

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

The first in Nnedi Okorafor's trilogy, it won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novella.

You know if there's one thing GeekNights is into, it's space universities.

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