Tis the Season… for Krampus


The holiday season is in full swing, but this week some parts of the world are about to celebrate one you might not be as familiar with: The Feast of Saint Nicholas. Last year we covered that I'm a Christmas geek, but while I mentioned Krampus he's not really associated with Christmas... technically.  I know Krampus is becoming popular in recent years, but if you're a fan the time to celebrate is now, not Christmas Eve.  Since we know geeks are a stickler for accuracy, here's a little background … [Read more...]

Great Dates in Fifty States: Boston and Environs – Part Three

battle green monument

Well met, Gentle Readers. After taking a hiatus to discuss other matters, I return to my four part article discussing great date ideas in Boston and the surrounding area. It may seem strange to contemplate patriotic locales when planning a date, but if you have someone who’s really into Americana, or people from out of town who’re interested in local history, there are worse moves than exploring some of the famous locales Boston has to offer. Not all of the places I’m about to write about … [Read more...]

Gaming The Atomic Age

The international hazard warning trefoil for radiation. The first radiation trefoil was used in 1946 at UC Berkeley, and was originally magenta on a blue background.

Few things hold the sort of allure that our own world's history does. Gaming can give us the opportunity to step backward in time, becoming a secret part of history. The Atomic Age isn't all that far off from our own, and its links to the present still endure. If we wind back the lock in a game, characters may be the spies and smugglers who saved scientists, shadowy government bureaucrats, reporters, engineers. There's more roles than that in the Atomic Age, but even the grocery clerk in a … [Read more...]

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Washington Crossing the Delaware. 1851. Painted by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.

Today, I want to talk about one of the most important political events you can use in a game: revolution. Revolution is the successful end of a rebellion. One mode of government has been replaced by another. We hear things every day on the news about yet another country being swept up by insurgencies, rebellions, and resistance movements. The most basic narrative of rebellion is that a people, oppressed, demand personal freedoms, change, assistance, and will not stop till they have won it. I … [Read more...]

Kings and Queens: Historical Edition


A new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has just started, and I, personally, am pulling for Sharon Needles and Latrice Royale – the former because I love a talented underdog, and the latter because I am too scared of her not to be. I have had a soft spot for drag queens since the Imperial Court of Halifax and Atlantic Nova Society lovingly opened their arms to a shy little backwoods baby butch like me. And drag kings? Everything that is wonderful about butches, only hairier and musical. History … [Read more...]

Inspiration from Everywhere – Finding Game Material from Sources Beyond the Obvious


Imagine the scene: A group of hardy adventurers slip through the woods. They know that they are facing a cult of Bane-worshipping hobgoblins, and they can hear the cultists chanting ahead. They enter the clearing, engaging in battle with the foul foe. But then a howl comes from behind them! Bugbear shock troops charge in from the rear flank, out of dense thickets, and what seemed like it was about to be a decent fight is suddenly a tough one! A battle the players will remember? I would hope … [Read more...]

Scrolls, Satire and Strangely Large Eyes: The Prehistory of Manga

prehistory manga

When I’m not being a geek over anime, video games and science fiction, I can occasionally be found geeking about writing, literature and history… and what better way to compound my geekiness than combine them all together a bit? And while most of the time I’m content to have a bit of history in my manga – albeit usually rather loose history at best – recently I thought I’d get a bit of manga in my history and do some research on how manga as we know it came to be. And while a lot of people know … [Read more...]

We Are Family: A Totally Non-Incestuous Take on Gay Dating


We Are Family. You’ve heard this one – you probably secretly groove to it in your car when it comes on the radio. We are family, I’ve got all my sisters and me . . . Like We Are The Champions: secret gay anthem. (“Dude, no way! Queen is totally manly!” Listen to the lyrics.) But I don’t want to talk about secret gay anthems (and we’ll keep on fighting, my friends!), I want to talk about family - which seems appropriate, considering today is the Canadian statutory holiday known as February … [Read more...]

Top 5 Thanksgiving Moments in TV and Film


For many, the November Thanksgiving weekend is considered just the kickoff celebration for the Shopping Season, the start of the holidays.  Perhaps because it's become so linked with the rest of the winter holidays (and it's a  US-specific holiday, after all), it somewhat lacks its own identity  in movies and TV.  Indeed, while some TV shows will churn out holiday specials for everything from Arbor Day to Halloween, there aren't many that want to take on Thanksgiving - and perhaps they don't … [Read more...]