Monthly Archives: February 2015

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Episode 18 – Old Man’s War

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<em>Old Man's War</em>
Old Man’s War

It’s the first-ever Nerdhole Book Club! Mary and Rob, ever in sync, found out they were each reading John Scalzi’s Old Man’s Way series at the same time (though Mary was and still is far ahead of Rob), so we grabbed the brass ring of synchronicity and casted a pod all about it.

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The Ascent of Media

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TellTale's GoT
TellTale’s GoT

This short interview with TellTale Games CEO Kevin Bruner highlights a fascinating development in the evolution of video games and visual media. Lionsgate is investing a sizable chunk of cash money to develop hybrid interactive media they’re calling “Super Shows.*” This feels like a no-brainer; TellTale’s episodic games based on The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are highly regarded enhancements of those properties. It stands to reason that building a game and video series together from the ground up could be the start of something new and more deeply engaging.

But something about this deal is bugging me. It’s not the partners or the mystery property they’re starting out with – I expect they’ll do just fine, based on past performance. It’s that I can’t think of a single collaboration like this between indie game devs and indie filmmakers. That’s not to say it hasn’t happened before – please, please let me know if you’ve got details – but this seems like the sort of idea that big players would poach from indies rather than dream up on their own.

It could be that the resources involved in an endeavor like this are just too much for most indies. They’d have to invest fat loot in development before they ever got to shooting or coding, and since it would have to be a labor of love (at first), finding enough artists willing to submit to one shared vision may be too much to ask. I do hope that once the concept has been proven (if it is), that indies will look to each other to build their own hybrids and find new ways to keep the media evolving.

* I would be happy to help them rename (and I’m quite affordable).

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Episode 17 – Slash: Fanfic Meets Apples to Apples

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Slash: Romance without Boundaries
Slash: Romance without Boundaries

Mary had the great good fortune to play Slash: Romance without Boundaries, a new card game that applies the glorious tradition of fanfic to a play format reminiscent of Apples to Apples. It’s naughty good fun, and Mary tells all.

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Episode 16 – Spouses in Video Games

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If you like it then you should have put a Ring of Regeneration on it.
If you like it then you should have put a Ring of Regeneration on it.

Marriage in video games adds humor, pathos, and practical support — just like IRL. Different games incorporate spouses in different ways. Some are smart, some are tacked on, and some are windows into the dark souls of game writers. We look at our favorite game spouses and highlight some affecting (and off-putting, and downright weird) moments from in-game marriage.

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Slash: Romance Without Boundaries!

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TableSpreadThis past week I had the pleasure of playing Slash: Romance Without Boundaries with members of the cast of Slash: Burlesque Romance Without Boundaries, including the professor of nerdlesque herself, Jo Jo Silletto. We met for an evening of lovely beverages, bawdy humor, and light, nerdy competition at Raygun Lounge (game store/play space and friend of the Nerdhole).

Slash (the game) works a lot like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity. Every card contains a character from (mostly nerdy) fiction/pop culture/tv/film, along with their gender, source, and a short description. When it’s your turn, you pick a card from your hand and ask the other players to pick a partner for your character. And that’s pretty much it. If you’re playing “casual fling” then everyone just turns their cards in upside down and you pick your favorite. If you’re playing “hardcore” then you’ll ask the other players to convince you of their choice with a sweet story or torrid tale. (This is really the best way to play.)

For example I had a card featuring Bob and Linda Belcher of Bob’s Burgers, who were looking for a third. Although there was a compelling case for Princess Peach I couldn’t deny that the Belchers would most likely hit it off with Liz Lemon, probably just doin’ it while Liz ate burgers and watched. And that’s how you play Slash.

At the moment, the whimsical card game is entirely sold out. If you want to purchase your own copy of Slash, the only way to do that is to attend Slash, the nerdlesque event, where you can also purchase the special expansion pack made just for the event! Or—if you can’t make the event or wait for the game to come back into print—you can print your own copy from Slash‘s web site.

Slash: Burlesque Romance Without Boundaries takes place on Friday, February 13, 2015 at Re-Bar in Seattle.

For more photos, hit the jump:
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