DIY RC Derby (With Nails & Blades)

I live in a house of dicks.

Each of my roommates has been in the past, or is currently, in the private security industry. According to Google the word Dick in this instance is of Gypsy or Romany origin, Dik, meant ‘to watch’. This later became slang for detectives and watchmen of the late 1800’s (Dicks) which carried into modern pop culture and noire.

Dicks. All of us. Dicks.

Which might explain why when I pitched the very childish, very dangerous notion of trying to play “RC Mario Kart” in our kitchen, everyone agreed it was the wise, sensible choice. Continue reading

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5 Excuses To Fill Your Dungeon With Monsters

Google Images / Skyrim

Why are there so many monsters in your dungeon?

I realize there are certain expectations in tabletop games. I understand that a dungeon in Dungeons and Dragons is bound to be harboring horrible beasties–otherwise why play the game? I get that every RPG, from Pathfinder to Savage Worlds, and even some from the Sci-Fi end of the pool, must feature subterranean labyrinths from time to time. But why the hell are they always brimming with monsters?

Do monsters in the RPG world eat rocks? Undead warriors guarding crypts, I understand. But what business does a Hellhound have roaming the blank, featureless corridors of an isolated cave? Why is a goblin tribe living so far underground, away from a ready food source, on a glacial mountain with nothing growing on the surface? Or, an even worse offender, inside an active volcano? What are the giant spiders eating? And what does the Minotaur do for fun between murders? Does he just stare wistfully at the bloodstains in his corner of the cave, year after year, reminiscing about the adventurers he’s slain?

Why are there so many monsters in your dungeon? This is such a tiny, insignificant question in the grand scheme of the game. Yet 90% of dungeons I encounter have a bafflingly diverse array of subterranean creatures who seem to have no biological imperative to eat, reproduce, or nest. It’s as if their entire existence is centered around their desire to kill player-characters. Continue reading

The Greatest Artist Of Our Generation (Is F@*$%*# Bonkers)

I usually reserve my online writing to rants about gaming, pop culture, or comic books. On rare occasion these three can intersect in delightful ways; like that time we discovered the evangelical publication designed to warn the faithful about the evils of D&D. Usually when that happens I gush about it like someone’s confused yet delighted father who just learned how to use the dog-face filter.

Other times these three circles of geekdom overlap in stranger, less predictable ways that horrify and confuse. This is one of those times. Continue reading

How 90’s Movies Solved The “Black Superhero Problem”…And Promptly Forgot

As the above picture might indicate there is a very real trend in recent superhero movies. Black superheroes are support, while classic white superheroes are the main protagonists. Just as their source material intended.

Sidekicks? Sure, let Anthony Mackie don wings and goofy-ass goggles. Advisors? Certainly. Tony Stark always needs wise friends to ignore. But heroes, as in the center-stage variety, are nary to be seen (until we finally get that Black Panther movie that’s long overdue.)

Cracked readers noticed this unbalance too.

Cracked.com

Medium.com has articles from 2016 about black second-fiddle heroes. Readers on the IGN boards were pointing this out back in 2012. And any moment now Reddit will have threads popping up, retroactively claiming that they had arrived at this very unfairness independently, long before the first electrons were being passed around on the internet.

Google Images / Clipart

“First!”

But what if I told you there was a glorious place where black, center-stage superheroes walked the land like golden gods? What if I told you we’d already solved this multi-racial-cape disparity? What if I told you there was a place where well-spoken white people became their sidekicks instead? That place was 1990’s cinema. Continue reading

Did SNL Steal “Pharmaceutical-Sounding Black Names” Skit?

Most weekends I indulge in a bit late night television…recaps on Youtube. Among them, if they’ve updated their channel, is Saturday Night Live. I’m usually the first to defend sketch comedy writers when accusations about joke theft come up. Mostly because a comedy writer’s room is like the “Thousand Monkeys Typing” of humor. Eventually, through enough random jabbing at typewriter keys, every joke known to man will eventually get repeated.

But goddamn this instance of “parallel thinking” or “cryptomnesia” looks suspicious as hell. This week’s sketch is about a shady Pharmaceutical company who can’t resist pilfering their product names from a black employee and her children.

…and this is a sketch from a Loveline episode that’s now more than ten years old:

Notice any similarities? I find it ironic that a sketch about appropriating black names for the PR of a soulless corporation, could be appropriated by a large media corporation. Unless, as I mentioned, this is all a big case of “cryptomnesia”.

4 Reasons ‘Oregon Trail’ Was A Horror Game (Redux)

Oregon Trail

Last week I received a message on Facebook telling me that Cracked may have “borrowed” some ideas from one of our earlier articles– specifically one of our posts from 2014, that looks kind of similar to a Cracked article from 2015 …if you squint at it sideways and cough.

To answer, I genuinely believe this was a coincidence. Hell, do a google search for “Oregon Trail 2015” and you’ll find dozens of play-it-again nostalgia think pieces, ranging from major websites to smallish blogs. This is just a case of parallel thinking–when the internet as a whole turns to look in the rear view mirror. Unlike that fucking Reddit thread I keep getting linked to in reference to an earlier post of ours.

But because someone reminded us of fond times in gaming, and this was a fun article from yesteryear, here’s another look at why the Oregon Trail was secretly a horror game.

Continue reading