I’ve been asked a few times about how we get it done; how every month, without fail, we’ve managed to run a GeekOut Bristol Meet since 2013. How every month, I manage to get a large collection of geeks to a pub. How we manage to get people playing games, people drinking and eating together – and most importantly, how on Earth do we get such a good atmosphere? I can’t answer all of these questions (trade secrets), but if you’re looking to run your own Meetup event somewhere, perhaps this is food for thought?
Advertising is a tricky business because frankly we no longer care enough to pay attention. We change channels during ad-breaks on TV, walk serenely past posters, bin flyers, and now have a total patience span of five seconds until the skip button lets us get to the content we wanted in the first place. Advertising may be a necessary evil in order to support aforementioned content financially, but an evil it can be. Despite a few shining examples of advertising becoming artistic, poignant, memetic, and positively enjoyable, at large we find the industry to be irritating at least, infuriating or insulting at worst. (more…)
In today’s online world, it sometimes pays big online corporations to listen to their audience. Consumers these days have a much bigger voice with social media; Any company, that does not at least attempt to listen to their fans is probably doomed to failure. Sometimes these corporations forget this and get it oh so very wrong. Take what happened when Facebook took over Instagram as an example, that went horribly wrong and yes, Facebook eventually turned around on their decision… But it does make me wonder how many people instantly shut down their accounts, then never trusted Instagram ever again?
Could we be witnessing the beginnings of the worlds first truly international holiday? A day in which all peoples can unite, undivided by geography, history or beliefs?
Probably not. But International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a phenomena which has spread far and wide, and looks set to outlive creators John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy) who’s spontaneous antics during a racquetball game in 1995 have turned into an unstoppable event in which those of a swashbuckling spirit swap their modern day speech for piratical parlance.
And yet, despite being a recognised occasion fourteen years it is not quite so publicly celebrated as other occasions like Mothers Day or Independence Day, or the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling. Perhaps due in part to the ingrained sense of British decorum we’re even more reluctant to don an eyepatch and tricorn hat, or even address customers as Matey or Landlubber. Basically what I’m saying here is why am I always working during International Talk Like a Pirate Day?
And yet during certain “acceptable” events we are the weirdest people in the world, with the possible exception of Japan, you guys are awesome. Somehow it’s more acceptable for us to dress up like a cartoon giraffe for a marathon, immerse ourselves in baked beans for charity, or throw ourselves down a hill in Gloucestershire in pursuit of a wheel of cheese.
So why can we not set aside this globally recognised day to be just as weird as the rest of the world knows we are? After all some of the world’s most famous pirates are Brits, most famously Edward “Black Beard” Teach himself was a native Bristolian, much like our own Tim (although that is where the comparison ends). We knighted the scourge of the Spanish coast Francis “le Draque” Drake. Why not celebrate our questionable naval heritage with this American made holiday and festival of all things Pirate?
Well the simple fact is that the most famously celebrated holidays are the ones with the support of big business. There’s money to be made in greetings cards, chocolate eggs or the general desire to give gifts, not a lot to be made from threatening to keelhaul someone if they don’t put the kettle on, or crying mutiny your friends insist it’s your round. The only other way an event like it is going to get big is with media attention, and while we’re in no position to demand that the new Pirates of the Caribbean gets released on September 19th, there’s a few things we can do on a smaller scale.
Charity – Why not start an event, something of your own? Get people to sponsor you or even a group to talk like a pirate for the whole day, oh but you can’t just stay inside the whole day and turn Facebook to English (pirate), go to work or get up and do something, be loud, make a scene and raise awareness for something that really matters to you, and a charity of some sort. The official UK page is a great place to start as they nominate a specific charity of their own to focus on but there’s no reason you can’t choose your own.
Parties – Most venues will jump at the chance for an event to draw people in, this one is ready made. Consider approaching your local pub for a pirate night in celebration of Talk Like a Pirate Day, drag some friends along in fancy dress and make a night of it. Be sure to tell the guys at the official TLAPD page about it t have your party mapped for all to see.
International Talk Like a Pirate day is the 19th of September which this year falls on a Monday, and yes, I will be working. Go forth and celebrate on my behalf.
This month, we hosted our competition entirely on Facebook, with the winners to be announced on here today. Stay around and read on as we talk about the competition and what we’re doing with these strange things called posters that have been popping up slowly.
Technology and the way games are published and made is very different today from how it was 30 years ago. You could say the same for any other industry, however the games industry I think has moved way faster than any other. Recently there has been a resurgence of games programmed by very small teams or a single developer with the re-birth of the indie scene. This may have something to do with the fact that computers are a much more consumable commodity and of course owe a little something to distribution services and easy ways to pay, like Steam. Thirty years ago these people were dubbed bedroom coders and I need you to imagine yourself back this far. Put yourself back in the year 1985 and in the mind of the then 18 year old, sole developer and self confessed college drop-out heralding from Taunton named Clive Townsend.