I am typing this at Disney World. They have invented a kind of magnet that works on money, here, and it works really, really well. They have a kind of watch you wear that doesn’t tell time, but does allow you to spend money in an almost frictionless way and I have. I’m glad that I came down right after the C Team but came home before our Warmachine show we do with Privateer Press, because it provided a kind of upper bound on my losses. Also, they have a root beer float you can get by the pool only it’s not root beer it’s Guinness. A dangerous juxtaposition.
Because I am ensconced by various stimuli calibrated to manufacture joy, for example Pharrell Williams’ Happy, I’ve been thinking about the memetic nature of this stuff. I always assumed that the data which is thriving now is succeeding in an ecosystem of tremendous competition, and as such must be unrelenting on some axis. But, like a disease unearthed in some ancient tomb, I have to contend with the dankest fucking memes on a regular basis at home for no other reason than the fact that they survived the microbial wars of some previous era. I have to talk about whether or not the cake is a lie, like… a lot.
It comes up a lot
Old successes get repurposed, too, filled with cream for lack of a better term - Voltron has these five lions that make a single large, steel man. There’s a metaphor deep down in it that works. But if you try to show larvae the old ones, you’ll barely understand why you liked it to begin with. It has the causality of a fever dream.
The new one was always gonna be rad, given the people behind it. I like Avatar, and the various Bendings that come in tow, but it’s something I watched alone in the middle of the night. When Elliot was younger, if a show wasn’t about earth moving equipment moving earth it was a straight up “fuck you dad” situation. Because we are different in every way, the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender is really important to Gabe’s family, a media barrage that is somehow able to intersect all four members of the family wherever they are. That’s some profound geometry there, for it to have this capacity. And, like every sacred icon, it has a dark reflection that he’s done his best to hide
It’s quite true: in the near future, Mike Krahulik will be running Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team for an unforgettable one shot tabletop experience to remember dot com. I know what he’s planning on doing, and it is not dumb but is in fact super rad. I knew shit had gotten real when he said that he had to go to Michaels. And I don’t mean his house. I mean like this Michaels.
When he starts loading up on foam and shit, fuckin’ make room.
I’m looking forward to his game on there. I don’t think anything bad will happen if I let him babysit my universe, at least, nothing I can’t buff out. It’s funny, though; when we were inventing The “C” Team, originally called the “B” Team, and before that Acquisitions Incorporated: Interns, I said we’d be nuts not to do it but that I could only commit to a couple games a month. I pictured myself lying on my back, soakin’-ass wet after having hauled by own body out of the surf. I saw a man panting with the exertion required to birth worlds.
Or play D&D, whatever. The point stands: I thought it would be the kind of creative work that is tiring before I started doing it every week. It’s not, though. I would describe it as the difference between flexing and stretching. The latter enables work to be done. It takes time to think of the stuff, and time to perform it, but the notes for two or three hours of play are twelve or so four or five word lines, a few metronome ticks and we’re off to the races.
I was surprised, is all, and now we’re like fifteen episodes in. I only know that because I looked at the site. It doesn’t feel that way. If you asked how long it felt, I would pause a moment in consideration and suggest I’d started a couple weeks ago when it’s actually been four months.
After Gabriel tried Arms during the Global Test Punch and bounced completely off the experience, I did my best to advocate for the game. There’s something here, I said. Discrete, particular hands are an illusion, I said - the hand is a mutable concept. There’s a way to mash buttons playing the game but that’s not where it tops out. It looks goofy as hell, but don’t be fooled.
I advocated so hard and for so long that I neglected to buy the game when it came out. Maybe I was busy creating worlds or losing at Warmachine. But there must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found, because Grimy Greeb has embarked on a fucking Arms journey Joseph Campbell would have perceptively catalogued.
Because he and I are not the same, he has approached the process with some measure of trepidation vis a vis his investment. But he didn’t question it for long. I can tell something has gotten in when he stops donning ironic armor for so much as a second.
The multiplayer service itself could always use a little spit-shine; that’s generally true for Nintendo platforms, and until the PS4 it was true for Sony also. I’m fairly curious about shifting the focus of joins and chat to a phone app for the Switch. I’m of the opinion that this is one of the smarter maneuvers in this space; I think about how simply involving a phone, as the Jackbox crew did, put their games in striking distance of people who never would have dipped a toe in. Time will reveal its true contours. But With Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Arms, they’re playing around with lobbies and playlists that are a lot of fun - drop into the pit, buckle in, and then just cruise as a sequence of novel interactions and interpretations of the game you enjoy fill the holes in your ruined psyche.
Hey! We have a super cool Child’s Play event coming up that is a little different than usual - the Child’s Play Summer Faire. I spelled “Faire” that way to impute an additional layer of whimsy. The idea is that we’re gonna basically have a fun, fam-friendly party in support and celebration of Child’s Play. We’ve been at it for fair bit now, and it seemed like - in addition to the Table Tennis Tournament, at varying levels of play - we could also have Food Trucks (plural), an inflatable obstacle course, VR Ping Pong, mini-golf, and other cool stuff. Why not come out and celebrate? More info is here, and tickets can be had here. (CW)TB out.
I would have thought that Escape Rooms would be the kind of nerd shit that wouldn’t catch.
Brenna is a nerd, Theatre Division, but if I start talking about how Commander Farsight can declare Mont’ka once per game even if Kauyan or Mont’ka has already been declared, her eyes roll back into her head. Not as a joke. I think it is actually killing her when I get into wargame shit.
I think Escape Rooms lie at a strange crossroads, which may have something to do with their apparently seismic impact. First, let me say that I was surprised to find that this was a genre of boardgame, even though it’s not surprising really; my suspicion is that these experiences could very easily undergo state changes between these two formats. They trade on a fundamentally universal theme. If you go in for RP or Theatre, R before E, your spores might bloom on such a rich substrate. It’s also deeply social. Succeeding at a task with other people is something our brains like. They are, functionally speaking, engines of rich social engagement.
Gabe was trying to beat Unlock! with the fam, and I think they initially tried to institute a rule like the one in the strip but found themselves stymied by set. Even with the clues! They read clues and did not progress. I have to assume that most of you have been around here awhile, if you’re spending time here in my benighted realm. Try to imagine Gabriel reading a clue and then still not achieving success. I mean, what is even the metaphor.