The Bin — 2/12/10

The Bin — 2/12/10

Feb 12


Back in the day, we used to just like stuff every week. We still like stuff, but now we mix in links, videos and other random claptrap. It’s like the Cold Stone Creamery of nerd-dom; we call it The Bin, and we’ve gotta have it.

Stuff We Like This Week

Sarah: I love chattering all day with my dear internet friends, but there’s something to be said for going out in the world and having actual face-to-face interactions with your fellow nerds. So this week, I like the fact that there are at least two in-person gatherings of geeks I can point to and recommend with enthusiasm. First off, our friends at Brave New World Comics in Santa Clarita are hosting Geek Singles Night at their lovely shop tonight (but I’m pretty sure marrieds/couples are allowed to attend as well — I’m going, after all!). Cool bands, a Valentine’s-themed sale, and…oh, yeah, I’m doing a reading from One Con Glory. On the opposite coast, our pals at Geek Girls Network have a Saturday night Tweet-up going on for all the folks attending Toy Fair. Prizes, drinking, and the promise of good conversation — sounds like a can’t-miss affair.

Jeff: I don’t think I’m outing myself too much when I admit to a love for Dungeons and Dragons, am I?  My Monday Night Gaming crew has been doing some D&D-ing for the past few weeks and it is So Nice to be playing so unpretentious and uncomplicated a game with a good group of friends. We’re short a rogue in the party, which was bad news for my first character – a dwarf scout whose career was cut short when he flubbed the Disable Device roll for two identical traps – both of which involved a concrete slab descending from the ceiling at high speed – and only managed to make one of the attendant Reflex saves. Now I’ve got a specialist evoker, which is a (literal) blast.  Our cleric is a lizardman, which is awesome.   I think when I run games, I get too caught up in plotting and trying to achieve this kind of Michael Bay-type scope for the encounter set-pieces (I DM’ed a game a few years ago whose climax involved a PC monk crashing an airship into the avatar of a goddess) and some by-the-numbers dungeon crawling is a much less stressful and cacophonous alternative.

Matt: It’s weird getting into an iPhone game; there’s some good stuff out there but you kinda end up playing in a vacuum. I’ve been digging Aurora Feint II: Arena Battles lately, as it’s basically a sideways stepchild of the classic puzzle RPG Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords for PC and DS. But the learning curve is a bit steep, and it’s been a bit challenging to find good info about the game online. I’ve spent time at the game’s forums but it seems as though there’s been some kind of community revolution due to ‘bots coming in and devaluing the game? It’s like archaeology from a ruined civilization. Anyway, it’s a good game.

Chris: A friend recommended I check out Starstruck, and in doing so with the first issue, I immeadiately went back and picked up the following five; it was dense and psychedelic and vaguely Heavy Metal. Which, as it turns out, is because the series is a continuation of another, earlier Starstruck series that began in Heavy Metal in the 80s. And for every goofy, soft-core story Heavy Metal contained, it also had one or two excellent, hard sci-fi stories that I just loved. North America didn’t get 2000AD and I’ve always hated the English for that – but Heavy Metal (and similar, shorter lived magazines, such as Epic Illustrated and… hmmm. There’s another and I can’t remember the name now) served a similar purpose.

Link Stew

Over at Fantastic Fangirls, Jen writes passionately and excellently about the Cap/Tea Party controversy.

Caroline would like to hear about your favorite non-tragic love stories.

Bully offers up the most exciting (and adorable) Secret Avengers announcement.

The Main Street Electrical Parade returns to Disney World in Orlando, along with “Baroque Hoedown.” (What, you didn’t know that’s what the Main Street Electrical Parade music is called? Come ON. That’s table steaks.)

Pixar pays Pogo (who did a fantastic song using only samples from Alice in Wonderland) to do a mix/video for Up. This is because Pixar is awesome and gets it.


mattfraction: holy shit gareb shamus is putting on a convention in my dining room

Jeff: I in no way want to play Dante’s Inferno – it’s been plagued by a crass marketing campaign that tends toward the sexist and disgusting – but this ad from the Super Bowl is compelling. Like the Gears of War spot that featured “Mad World,” it does something really beautiful by combining the game with a well-known and resonant song that is both thematically appropriate and asynchronous.  I don’t want to imply that game music in its current state isn’t great – I own a bunch of it that is – but doing this sort of thing in-game could be killer for immersion.

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