Monday, January 21, 2013

Very Funny: TBS, King of the Nerds, and Nerdsploitation

Hard to believe, but none of them are warriors

Reality television is not my cup of tea. I remember being hooked on successive seasons of Big Brother in my younger years, marveling at how the show's producers had found such unusual personalities among the throng of attention-starved applicants. As my life has progressed and I have found less and less time for television, good and bad, it is safe to say that reality shows have fallen off my radar. What I have caught of recent output in the genre has seemed relatively innocuous fare amounting to nothing much more dangerous than a favorite comfort food: fine in small doses, but possibly not the best foundation for a life perspective.

When I first saw the trailer for TBS' new reality show King of the Nerds, it sounded immediate alarm bells in my head. Despite this reaction, I felt compelled to check it out, especially given that TBS has garnered its fair share of bad press among nerd communities of late, with a wonderful article that compared how The Big Bang Theory uses nerds as its punchlines, while NBC's Community is a more inclusive and generally embracing affair. With King of the Nerds, I considered that perhaps TBS was looking to to make amends. To boldly go where no TBS series had gone before.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Porpentine's Big Chaos Game Jam: Streamy

I don't know where this originates, but it's so evocative and I don't know why.

Last weekend, Porpentine announced that she was launching a game jam specifically focusing on games created in Twine. One of my goals for 2013 was to take part in a game jam. As soon as I saw the news, I knew I had to start planning for Big Chaos Game Jam.

As a crusader for freedom of expression, her focus for the jam was straightforward and simple: DO WHATEVER YOU WANT AND HAVE FUN. I must confess that I can find this sort of freedom to be at times paralyzing. Without anywhere to start, where do I begin?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Game Jam Game

I had this vague impression that I might want to take part in a game jam in 2013.

I wound up figuring out how to crudely use Twine a few weeks ago, and then a Twine game jam was announced yesterday and the deadline was tonight. So I sat down for a few hours, and I threw an experience together.

I call it Streamy.

This is a bookending sentence that makes that above link seem somehow more enticing.

Friday, January 11, 2013


I will drive it for real. One day. 

In Reality Is Broken, Jane McGonigal describes games as 'unnecessary obstacles'. Challenges to be overcome that serve little to no practical purpose. I disagree on the subject of them being unnecessary, but I cannot ignore that they have frequently served as obstacles in my life. Obstacles blocking the path to picking up my guitar. Obstacles to taking care of household chores. Obstacles to playing other games.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How I Made My First Game

I have heard it mentioned before that there are writers whose primary goal in covering a subject matter is to learn enough about it before they inevitably try it themselves. Akin to distance learning, through talking to the right people and discussing the right subjects, eventually one can garner enough knowledge with which to tackle a task first-hand. While I am willing to believe that these types exist, I do not consider myself to be one of them.

I made a few games

Isn't it cool how this image has so much promise, but you can't tell what it's about? I know, I know.

That title is no lie, no sirree. Inspired by having heard a whole load of press about it, I decided to finally investigate the text-adventure creator Twine, and I created a swathe of increasingly-complicated click-through text adventure games.