Movies based on video games are plentiful, but finding ones that are actually worth a damn are few and far between. It’s no big secret that they’re notoriously awful, but, though this subset of video game movies is relatively small, documentaries that focus on the medium have had a great track record in my experience. One very entertaining and informative example of this is “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.” The gaming community can safely chalk up another spot in the win column with “Indie Game: The Movie.” This documentary follows different independent game developers at different stages in their production. It details how these games get started and what goes into making them. As consumers it’s easy to forget that there are people behind the the games we sometimes take for granted, but as this movie clearly shows there’s a lot more to developing a video game than writing lines of code.
This past weekend I took a trip almost all the way across the state of Pennsylvania to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Mill Run. Despite the fact that I write a decent amount these days I don’t think I can find the words to properly describe what a visit there is like. My photography capabilities are rather limited so the pictures can’t quite do it justice either.
I do know that I can communicate this: It is imperative that at some point during your lifetime you visit this place. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have an interest in architecture or even with Frank Lloyd Wright himself. To visit there, taking in the surroundings and the feelings that this place brings out in you is worth whatever lengths it takes to get you there.
On a purely geeky level to see this cantilever system that Wright put into place is a marvel to behold. You’ll see the terrace jutting out fifty feet above the falls holding up a group of tourists and you’re completely convinced that it’s going to break…but then it doesn’t. Of course, there was a major restoration effort in the early 2000′s that reinforced everything but it had already been standing for about sixty years. The way the house is absolute harmony with its surroundings is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen.
After the jump there’s a gallery with over 70 captioned photos that I took on Sunday. If you want to find out more about visiting Fallingwater hit up their site here or leave your questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you out.
There have been lots and lots of bad decisions made by the game industry over the years. FMV in video games, giving 50-cent his own game, the virtual boy, etc. But in the early days of gaming, when the first game characters were becoming famous icons in their own right, companies whored them out George Lucas style and put their likeness on anything and everything they could.
As a kid I had Space Invaders t-shirts, a Pac-man trash can, a Mario Bros. TV tray, and a Sonic the Hedgehog mini-pinball…. you get the idea.
Now, for some reason, as an adult I enjoy re-collecting all this crap. Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t give you an answer. Not a satisfactory answer for any rational person anyway.
One of the best things about being a geek is the ability and desire to utilize technology to organize (another favorite geeky pasttime) and simplify our daily lives. Back when I first started using PCs as a normal part of my every day I quickly learned the power of having Excel documents for damn near everything. The grid layout speaks to the exact way that my brain organizes data and I found that making up a complicated formula to compile the rows and columns is just plain fun. Though I’m still trying to figure out a good way to enter and calculate time data.
A couple nights ago I was ready to turn in when I remembered that earlier in the day when I was leaving my favorite local liquor store with some new purchases that I wanted to start keeping track of my growing collection of beer that I’m aging in a cabinet in my basement. It was getting to the point where I couldn’t simply remember when I bought the ones I had already put away and knew that I needed to change that. It’s spreadsheet time, baby!
As the husband of a librarian it’s sometimes hard not to get caught up in the cause of spreading the joy of reading around to as many people as you can. It’s inspiring when I hear about her and her co-workers finding the perfect book for someone who’s not quite sure what they’re looking for or a kid who’s looking to challenge themselves.
Under our roof loving to read is a given, and there’s a passion for all things book related that naturally comes with the territory of her job. As an avid reader I’m totally on board with this.
So I was pretty excited when I heard about World Book Night, a social event intent on spreading the love of reading person to person in communities across the US, UK and Ireland.
Libraries, stores and community centers are going to be giving away free books to anyone that wants to share in the event. There’s a list of the books that will be available for free on their website, and I have to say it’s a SUPER impressive list. Ender’s Game, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Hunger Games, Book Thief and more round out a fantastic pile of literature that is spread far and wide across the spectrum that there’s really something for everyone.
The event is Monday, April 23rd, 2012 (UNESCO’s World Book Day, anniversary of Cervantes’ death & Shakespeare’s birth and death).
I’m happy to say that our local comic/game/awesome shop All Things Fun! is participating, so we’ll definitely be heading out on Monday night to check it out. It sounds very similar to the theory behind Free Comic Book Day, which is an awesome event too by the way.
Everybody likes “The Wizard of Oz.” Everybody. They might not love it, but they, at least, enjoy it to some degree. Whether it’s the girliest of girly-girls, your grandparents, or the fry-bag dude that lived in your dorm that showed it to you with the sound off while having it synched-up to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” I don’t know anyone that has a prevailing negative feeling about this movie. Then again, if you do, I don’t really want to know you anyway.
That being said, when a “Wizard of Oz,” edition of the card game Fluxx came to my attention, I knew that it would be something that would gain a fair amount of interest in my circles, so giving it a whirl was definitely in order.
This is the last you’ll hear about PAX East 2012 from us for a little bit. Or, at the very least, it will die down to a dull roar. We promise, but we’re not good at keeping our promises. Sort of.
Plenty of good What’cha Been Doing action in the first half of the show, a recap of our weekend at PAX and a 5 Hit Combo that breaks the tie between Dan and Ryan for overall wins. It’s a good’un.
Yea, I know. This isn’t the first Star Wars edition of Weekly Wallpapers round these parts. Spoiler Alert: Probably won’t be the last either.
I just couldn’t pass up this great bounty hunters themed wallpaper though. IG-88 never gets his due!
As a person that’s begun to tire of the same ol same ol when it comes to my video games it’s been an interesting year or two. I can feel myself turning my back on the big huge AAA titles in search of something different, more unique. I like games that take the medium in a new direction, or try something different. Games like Limbo, Bastion, Journey or To The Moon for example. So it’s with that sort of mentality that I can say I really appreciate games like Yesterday for existing.
Sadly another PAX East has come and gone. But I know I’m not along with my fellow PGM’ers that this was our favorite show yet.
Alot of that probably has to do with the fact that we’ve gotten good and moving with the tide of the show, and we’ve learned some lessons on saving ourselves some headaches and time. For instance sleeping in and not waiting in the morning queue is definitely the way to go.
In addition to seeing lots of great panels, going to concerts, playing cool games and engaging in a TON of Cards Against Humanity we also managed to bring back some of the coolest parts of PAX for your guys. Here’s some of the cool shit we were involved with over the course of the show!
- Our huge photo gallery on our Facebook page, with lots of great cosplay and shots of all the action from the show!
- During the Future of Dungeons and Dragons panel I (Dan Zuccarelli) got up to ask a question about what the next version of the game holds. The whole panel is good but the question in question happens at 23:17.
- Chris Kohler from Wired hosts a panel called Retrogame Roadshow (think Antiques Roadshow) and during the panel I (again, Dan Zuccarelli) >took the stage to show off his copy of Custer’s Revenge to the delight of the crowd. Skip to the 30 minute mark to check it out!
- We didn’t shoot a ton of video, but what we did Kevin Alexander edited it down into an awesome video to give you a good vibe of what it was like walking the floor.
- Lastly, we conducted a bunch of impromptu interviews on the show floor, and collected them into a special episode of the podcast!
All in all we had a great time, and can’t wait to go next year.
Along with grabbing a bunch of interviews with the great folks creating awesome content we borrowed a video camera to capture the whole thing in full motion high definition video. What I was able to pull together from the footage was a decent idea of what going to PAX East looks like in the form of somewhat shoddy handheld video, so just imagine that you’re like that asshole at a concert who spends the entire show trying to capture it on their phone instead of just enjoying the music.
Or, you could just watch this video and enjoy that. It’s up to you.
Either way, here’s the video:
And hey, while you’re at it you can always subscribe to our YouTube channel. That would be swell!
PAX is a time for many things. For us it’s a great excuse to get together with friends that live far and wide and nerd out for a few days.
But this year we decided to hit the show with a little more structure, and do some good honest work for Perpetual Geek Machine while we were there. This podcast is just another salvo of PAX East 2012 coverage, and culls together all the interviews we conducted on the floor over the stretch of the convention.
We played a ton of games… like, a ton. We only cover a fraction of those in this show. So the interviews presented therein aren’t indicative of what we thought was cool at the show. And with that, enjoy this special podcast episode!
Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no internet access, you probably heard of a little movie called, “The Hunger Games,” which opened up last weekend to largely positive reviews, and a shit-ton of money. The movie shares the same title as the young adult book on which it is based. Both tell the story of Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12, the poorest district of all in the future nation of Paenam.
Each of the twelve districts in this dystopian society are powerless against the control of the Capitol. Every year, as a way to flex their control and continue their subjugation over the districts, the Capitol holds an event called, The Hunger Games. For this event, each district must randomly choose a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight in an arena to the death and only one may come out alive.
In 1963 a 27 year-old Jim Henson was commissioned by AT&T to create a short film about the growing relationship between businessmen and technology. He created a little robot and infused it with more personality than any Kardashian could ever dream of having. Check it out the recently-discovered film below:
More info on this little gem after the jump.
We almost had to call this podcast off. On Thursday we all head up to Boston for PAX East 2012 and our excitement was coming to life in the form of extreme hyperactivity. Rich and I were running around my basement uncontrollably until Ryan reached through the internet cables through Skype and shook the hyper out of us. Luckily we were able to calm down long enough to get this show on tape. Err…I mean hard drive.
While I’ve got your attention you should go check out our pals at Fantastic Neighborhood. They’re good people that just started a pretty darn great video game podcast. Jump on board now before they blow up. Tell ‘em Kevin sent ya.
Just now, inside your head you read the headline to this post in whatever voice you use to do that with. Just like you’re doing it now. And now. Here too. I guarantee there is no way you didn’t have a ton of fun hearing the word “Wizorb” in your head as you read it. Go ahead and say it out loud now, don’t worry what other people might think just say it. “Wizorb” Feels good, right? Something about the way your mouth feels when you meld that “z” sound into the “orb” part that is immensely satisfying. Whoever named this game should be given some sort of medal or something.
Wizards of the Coast did a great job of bringing the RPG Dungeons and Dragons to the board game arena last year. They released the Risk-ish area control game Conquest of Nerath and the tile-based co-op dungeon crawlers Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon and Legend of Drizzt. All good in their own ways for sure. But with Lords of Waterdeep they’ve gone in a totally different direction. Euro.
This is a worker placement game, through and through. You’ll use workers placed around the board to trigger different events. The goal is not to rack up a body count or hoard treasure like in a dungeon crawler, here it’s all about victory points. And while it takes place in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, the influence of the seminal RPG is minimal when it comes to gameplay rather taking the inspiration for the setting and activities be colored by DnD. Why, there aren’t even any dice in the game! I know, it’s craziness!
It’s also fantastic.