I was recently a guest in a podcast. It’s nice to be asked, and Roll On The Adventure piqued my interest.
In the podcast, the panel create, playtest, discuss, and publish a quick role playing system. It’s a great little quick-fire collaborative effort with bad singing and excellent
Dave is a figure of no small renown in the role-playing event circuit, Dimitris is a published designer and gamer, and Chris – in addition to being a prolific player – will be joining me to host a panel at Amecon this year. The first arc of the series created a game called Temporal Stereotype Zoo, a game about time travel, kidnap and/or abduction, and stereotypes throughout history.
The call for this series was for player-vs-player action, and Dimitris suggested going down the fantasy route to keep things classical, Dave suggested players taking control of an entire fa (more…)
A belated and very short article today as Joel is not feeling too well. So instead here’s our end-of-expo round up conversation, kindly edited by Tim.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the GeekOut YouTube channel, where we deliver yet more geeky content, Tim’s “Let’s Plays”, more interviews and conversations, posted sporadically when we have content to share.
A kleptomaniac is someone who can’t help themselves, but to steal. Nevermind stealing your heart, these individuals will just take what they see. Really, it doesn’t matter to them – they know they need it, no matter what it is. They just have to have it. Well then, we’re going to have to tread carefully and lock all of our valuables away. Indeed, we’d better nail this Top 10 down, as this week we’re keeping an eye out for our Top 10 Kleptomaniacs.
I do my best not to make two roleplay posts in the same week (the same rule applies to film, or internet culture, or video games and so forth) but this is just a very quick post while I hastily finish my preparations for GeekOut Shrewsbury, for which I should – as you read – already being attending, and the nub of the topic is fairly self explanatory:
Be it due to a lack of viewers, funding, time, or the failings of misguided network executives who need to take a long hard look in the mirror while they slowly starve to death, unable to pull away from the shameful spiral that they’ve plunged themselves into by killing, not just a TV show, but a dream!…
Where was I going with this?
Oh yeah! Sometimes TV shows, film franchises, and game series get cancelled before they reach a satisfactory conclusion, or are forced to rush to a disappointing finale that leaves the fans feeling cheated. Here’s some of our favourites, the Top 10 series that ended too soon. (more…)
Sketch comedy has been a staple form of the genre for a long time, because it’s very easy to tell a joke and even easier to do so in a visual media with physical comedy, tangible characters, and short narratives. Short-form horror is not quite so easy. It’s a genre that benefits from time, and rising tensions, expectations, and breaks that escalate to a final conclusion. Is a sketch-horror format possible?
In fact horror and comedy both rely on the tension-break cycle, where set up and punchline serve the same functions as tension and release of horror. We’re starting to see an emergent wave of short-form horror online, in shorts such as Lights Out or Thresher, and we’re seeing more and more films that are a compilation of shorter horror films showcasing different writers and directors, like V/H/S, Trick ‘r’ Treat, or XX. In fact it’s a format that stretches as far back as cinema itself, and the surge of anthology has risen proportionate to the increasing volumes of films as a whole, but the internet is making it easier and easier for horror shorts to be seen.
Anthology horror continues the campfire story traditions, the old oral tradition of passing on dark myths and urban legends. Horror passed through the pulp-fiction years, the short, rapidly produced horror printed on cheap paper and created by a stable of writers working to deadlines, of which Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard were some of the major players. We now have creepypasta, the creative explosion of horror – good and bad – that has filled the internet with a fresh stock of bogeymen unique to our modern sensibilities.
Pulp horror was a television staple in the days of the Twilight Zone, ten seasons, one film, two reboots and nearly seventy years of history on screen, the single episode stories offering macabre twists and morals that force us to take perspective on our own lives. Today’s equivalent might be Black Mirror, a far less family friendly equivalent that makes a fearful thing of modern technology rather than applying a supernatural twist.
You can also see the short-form horror as a one-liner, a simple search for “two sentence horror stories” will yield some gems that give you a shudder. They follow a basic premise, establish normalcy, and subvert it:
“I can’t sleep” she whispered, crawling into bed with me. I woke up cold, clutching the dress she was buried in.
It tells so much in such a confined space, a tale of love and loss, but hints at something more dreadful and impossible. Ok, so it’s not as potent as an hour and a half film or a good book, but you might as well say that you’d rather go see a stand-up comedian than hear a knock-knock joke.
Which begs the question, can a sketch-horror series have the same potency with fear as a sketch-comedy show can have with humour? Anthology horror films prove fairly conclusively that multiple stories can join into an enjoyable experience, and horror shorts such as those on YouTube and the two-sentence stories are excellent examples of how fear and disquiet can be created in a very short space of time. Now build those into a half hour collection, with recurring characters, common themes, and framing devices.
This has been another article of me pitching ideas into the empty space in the hopes that someone with the resources and skills necessary finds it and makes it a reality. I hope you have enjoyed my analysis into the hypothetical.
After a few months of waiting, I went to see the Festival of The Spoken Nerd show in Wells last week. I had no idea what to expect from the show but was curious to find out and took four fellow geeks along with me. It was a busy crowd from a very varied age range, that I think spanned from 12 to 50+ and I think it certainly had something for everyone.
It’s been a rather long time since we spoke about our YouTube channel, so I wanted to actually let you all know why that is and what we’re doing to make content for this in the not-too-distant future. As well as this, I’ll actually let you know why there’s been such a lack of updates on the channel. If you’ve ever watched my Stonekeep videos, or wanted to get more into the Final Fantasy IX Let’s Play I was recording, then read on!
Words and phrases – They’re powerful aren’t they? From a simple please, to a rallying war cry, words mean a lot to people, whether you want to admit it or not. But some words and phrases linger with us, some stick through the fandoms and get mixed into the real world. Although you can never beat the original context, there’s so many words and phrases we use thanks to our favourite fandoms, that today we’re going to celebrate our Top 10 of them.