Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered Exhibition Review

It was a little while ago now – the beginning of autumn if I recall well – that we went to Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered, the wonderful exhibition that is on loan at the Sea City Museum (Southampton) from the Victoria & Albert Museum (London). All I can say about this exhibition is only positive. It was a wonderful experience to go and learn about the history of board games and how the hobby has changed throughout history. I thought that the exhibition followed an excellent dynamic with information, items on display and plenty of interactive bits – such as the life-size Snakes and Ladders game. It was really fun and well thought off.This was the main exhibition area. You can see there at the back the dice for the life size Snakes and Ladders, but there were other things you could do. The interactive bits occupied the middle of the room where the space was necessary whilst the information panels where on the sides and walls giving you the context relevant for each game or development era. It was really cool seeing a chess board with pieces from all the way back to ancient and medieval history, up to current times.

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StarCon Santander (01-2018 English & Spanish)

Buenas chicos, esperemos que hayáis entrado el 2018 con buenos ánimos. Aquí os traemos un breve reportaje sobre la StarCon que se ha celebrado en Santander y que hemos asistido el otro día. La StarCon, por los que no sepáis de que se trata, es una exhibición sobre Star Wars que se ha celebrado en el Palacio de Exposiciones de Santander (Cantabria), y que además de la exhibición en si, contaba con actividades para los más peques como la popular Academia Jedi. No obstante, he de decir que mi opinión sobre este evento, no es terriblemente positivo. He de decir que, evidentemente, comprendo que soy chica de mundo y a Santander no llegan muchas historias de este tipo…Pero…

Sup, guys! Bringing you fresh from Santander (Spain) our latest report in the geeky even that took place here just these past weeks: StarCon. This was an exhibition with all things Star Wars related in the Palacio de Exposiciones de Santander (Cantabria) –  aka my home town. On top of the exibition itself, the gallery included an area for acitivites for the youngest ones such as the very popular Jedi Academy. However, I must say that my opinion regarding this event isn’t very favourable. I understand perhaps my viewpoint is distorted because I live abroad, and stuff but…The quality was…well, let me show ya…

zona central de StarCon donde se realizaban las actividades y donde se encontraban los stands de asociaciones diversas relacionadas con Star Wars como el Escuadron Cantabro de XWing. The activities area in StarCon where they also had stands such as the Escuadron Cantabro de Xwing.

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Games To Look Out For In 2018

So here we are in 2018, and in light of all that has happened in the year just gone, our first thoughts should be… “what games should I look forward to?”. Well that’s what I’m most concerned about anyway, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing right here; looking forward to games.

This is quite simply just a personal list of things I’d be interested in, so if you’re looking for big AAA games, then most of them aren’t going to be mentioned here. Instead you’ll find a mix of my slightly niche tastes, including lots of historical and fantasy settings, and strategy and RPG games. After all, what would be the point of making a list of things everybody already knew about? So go ahead and take a look, you might see a few things you hadn’t heard of just below. 

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Geeky Apps

 

So today I am leaving you an afterthought, before the year ends, on some geeky apps that I have tried this year. I am not the most techy person, but I thought “you need to try ’em to know you hate ’em”, sorta thing, and that is pretty much what happened. Well, maybe I didn’t hate them in the end – one of them I did…oh yes, I still Do. But in general I was left with a feeling of emptiness. I got this feeling that now that geek culture is popularising – which is not a bad thing – our consumerist/capitalist habits are transforming the essence of our ‘aficionado’  communities, and I am not sure if I necessarily like the impact…

As many of you may know by now, I deal with cultural theory for my academic research, so this hit home very closely. Concepts such as cultural capitalism, cultural citizenship and mass consumerism are intrinsically connected to the purpose and use of these apps, and it felt incredibly awkward dealing with this as a first hand subject, rather than from the point of view of analysing the phenomenon. But, in any case, here is  some food for thought.

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ABORDAGE – Board Game Bar/Cafe (Sofia, Bulgaria)

 

As some of you may already know, we had a little update stop for a week or so as I was away on holiday. Well, don’t you worry friends, because during our travels we discovered a super cool place where all geeks and board game lovers should ever go! I am referring to Abordage! 

Right in the city centre of Sofia (Bulgaria), this is a seriously nice place. Abordage has a lovely team running the place. I contacted them a day in advance to know if we needed to book a place or something, and some other bits because we wanted to be sure to enjoy the place to its fullest. After a lovely conversation over Messenger I found out that, not only Imma play games hard-core like I do, but that the place – which is all pirate themed btw! – is like the only place that serves mead! Oh Boy! The holiday only gets better! Now after having been trotting along all of the museums in Sofia, we knew we’d be hungry. Then they tell us that they don’t do food but they have a partnership with a burger place, so if we want, we can order from their mates and eat there when the burger arrives. SWEET! We already had high hopes. And when we arrived it didn’t disappoint.

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Soulcalibur IV: How to Kick Ass

 

I have recently reunited myself with a long-lost videogame love – Soulcalibur IV. Something not many people know about me is that I actually LOVE fighting videogames. From my Nintendo origins with Super Smash Bros Melee, to Street Fighter, and more recent titles like Injustice, I just love giving someone a good beating – virtually AND metaphorically speaking. It is probably genetic inheritance from the days when my mum and dad used to play DOOM with the cheats to have the immortality bonus and hack people open with a chainsaw – I Promise we are actually very pacifistic people!!! I guess, it is somewhat funny, because in an RPG I’d never play the warrior/tank sort of character. But you know, we all have our quirks.

I first started playing the Soulcalibur series probably much later than most people: Just as I was doing my Masters degree in 2012-2013. Back then I was playing it on the PlayStation, whilst now I am hooked up on the Xbox 360. After 4 years of not having touched the game – or many fighting games for that purpose: I have been very PC based and it’s just not the same… – I found great relieve in knowing I was still sharp with my combos, I just needed some dusting. However, I have noticed a few differences. Some to do with the platform, some just with a chance in preference and style, I suppose?

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The Elite: Dangerous RPG

Earlier this year The Elite: Dangerous RPG was funded on Kickstarter, and recently released its core book. The game is co published by Spidermind Games and Modiphius Entertainment. It is a licensed release under Frontier, the developers of the Elite: Dangerous PC game that this is based on. 

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The setting of the Elite universe seems to be a good fit for an RPG, with plenty of room for GM freedom, and options for players. Just like the original Elite computer game from 1984, the modern Elite: Dangerous is based in our own galaxy, in a future where space flight and ship ownership is very common. Cheap and readily available faster-than-light travel has allowed humanity to explode across the stars, building new colonies, cities, nations and empires. The galaxy is a rich place, filled with a wealth of minerals, water and life bearing planets. The three huge factions of the Federation, Empire and Alliance grow wealthier every day, and such wealth attracts powerful people who scheme daily to increase their power. So essentially you have a new frontier to play in, one where traders, miners, explorers, pirates, and bounty hunters are all flying about at FTL speeds in their personalized spacecraft. Continue reading “The Elite: Dangerous RPG”