11 Ways to Tell You’ve Got a Gamer on Your Christmas List

5 12 2013

Family-playing-board-game-007We understand that having a gamer in your life can lead to confusion during the holiday season. Chances are you’ve found yourself walking into a store, or looking at Web sites you never knew existed, and are wondering if someone is playing some sort of elaborate prank on you.

So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to explain some of the oddities you might be experiencing this year with that gamer in your life, and hopefully make this a joyous and bright Christmas for all.

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A Special Interview w/ Unicorn City Director Bryan Lefler

30 07 2013

Tunicorncoveroday we’re once again playing a bit against type,  as we have a little sit-down with Bryan Lefler, Editor, Writer, and Director of the film Unicorn City, which is a wonderful and funny movie about gamers.

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When We Last Left Our Heroes…

5 10 2012

Well it certainly has been a busy week for us here at TOG! We’ve had lots of exciting news, an interview, and we’ve got a TON of stuff in the works behind the scenes!

We started the week off with a few deep thoughts about the LARP community.

Stay on Target… Or at least go to Target to grab some new titles or a few clearance gems!

We also learned a little more about the wine making community in an interview with Viticulture designer Jamie Stegmiaer.

Thursday we kicked off a new weekly feature: Kickstarter Weekly with news about the Purge: Sins of Science Kickstarter campaign.

And we brought you a heads up of the Halloween Freighters add-on for Ticket to Ride.

We are always so glad to have your support, and thank you as always for joining us for another week here at TOG! The next few weeks will be chock full of game reviews, a TON of interviews, Kickstarter info, and of course up-to-the-minute news from around the gaming community!

LARP – A Tale of Two Realities

1 10 2012

by Jeremiah

Having mostly kept my gaming habits to those that are confined to the table top—with the exception of the occasional video game and a very short stint as a force adept Trandoshan smuggler in the Star Wars Role Playing game—I’m writing about LARPers from a place of non-experience. However, because I have never taken part in this over the top form of gaming, it also doesn’t mean I’m here to bash it. I personally find it fascinating.

What is a LARP? LARP is gamer speak for Live Action Role Playing; it is exactly what it sounds like. Players enter into gameplay and play the role of a character who has certain skills, abilities, allegiances, etc. etc.

Why do people LARP? That is a great question. The more I’ve peered into the world of LARPing the more I’ve found this question has no easy answer. There seem to be a few common threads that tie all LARPers together.

  • Acceptance—Folks who just haven’t fit into most social circles in the “real” world can find friends and “family” within the context of LARP
  • Creative Outlet—For some it’s painting, and others it’s songwriting or sculpture. And for some it’s the creation of a character or navigating through campaigns as a character in their LARP of choice.
  • Escape—For many it’s a way to escape the daily grind of the rat race—a way to escape it all.

What do I think of LARP? The initial knee-jerk reaction, even around most hardcore gamers is, “Wow, those people are nerds!” I then have to remind folks that we’re sitting at a table intently a) building fictitious empires, b) battling fictitious monsters, or c) competing for control of a fictitious land that’s represented by a small piece of cardboard. Mr. Pot, it’s time to put down the phone, Mr. Kettle knows full well what color he is. When I look at LARP as a whole, I think of it as a deeply intense Paintball battle scenario (something which is much more “socially acceptable” these days) or something akin to a civil war re-enactment without the tedious binds of historical accuracy, combined with improv theatre.

Would I ever participate in a LARP? My answer is a qualified: no. Every element of LARP I find extremely enjoyable: intense competition, immersive gaming scenarios, all things theatrical, and so on. There are two main factors as to why I will most likely never get involved with a LARP. Time and money. From everything I’ve seen, heard, and read about LARP it’s pretty time consuming— taking up entire weekends at a time, and the cost of the gear can be a huge deterrent. Personally I have enough things in my life draining time and money from me, and my family and I simply cannot afford to entertain the thought of investing more into a gaming situation than I already do. Perhaps when my children are older, and my wife agrees to join in on a quest, the Isley family will take the LARP community by storm.  Until such time I say: LARP community, you have my support, but not my sword!

The Nerdist channel on YouTube has just wrapped up their first season of the new series called “Realm of LARP”, a documentary, or as they call it a “Reality” series, that follows a group of 5 LARPers—one of whom is a Seventh Day Adventist—through a full campaign, giving a behind-the scenes glimpse along the way.

Also the independent film Darkon is an intriguing look at a LARP community in New England that battles for control of the “DARKON” realm…

So where do you land on LARP? Have you experienced it first hand? We’d love to hear your stories! Leave ’em in the comments! Thanks so much for reading!

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