Category Archives: Imagination

Apokelypse Now

Imagine a nuclear bomb went off in the Pokemon universe. Maybe a meltdown in Cerulean City’s power plant. The once verdant plains become a barren waste. Pokemon have survived, but have turned rabid and savage, some mutated into hideous facsimiles of their formerly cutesy selves. Civilization is in ruin. Team rocket roams the wastes Mad Max style, terrorizing any survivors.

"Houndour, I choose you!"

“Houndour, I choose you!”

In an isolated village, 3 youths come of age. They have heard of the disaster, and felt it in their now polluted fields and sea. There are no fish, and nothing grows anymore. The elders of the village are sick and feeble, soon to die. So the youths depart for the wastes, with six Pokeballs on their belts, and a dream in their hearts. A dream… to catch them all. Continue reading

Gathering Grue: 3 Treatments for ‘The Giver’ the Game

A film version of Lois Lowry’s award-winning 1994 novel The Giver was green-lit a while ago. The release date and most of the cast is yet unknown, but of one thing I am sure. Where there’s fire there’s smoke, and where there are teen fantasy productions there are video game tie-ins.

Some of which are better than others...

Some of which are better than others…

For the fun of wild speculation, I offer three possible treatments of the book and its utopian/dystopian universe. And if you’ve never read the book and still intend to, I must warn ye; here be spoilers. Continue reading

Harry Pottermon and the Massive Waste of Potential

If you were born or raised in the 90’s, then it’s nigh-certain that you are intimately acquainted with either Pokemon, Harry Potter or both. Even if you aren’t, there’s no way you haven’t at least heard of them. So other than their popularity and timing, what do these two multi-media multi-billion-dollar franchises have in common? And what is the secret to their success?

Other than that JK Rowling is a Legilimens and split her soul into 7 Horcruxes, of course.

Other than that J.K. Rowling is a Legilimens who split her soul into 7 Horcruxes, of course.

Beginning with the obvious, they both began with the same demographic. Kids aged 6-12, with a slant towards males but not exclusively so. The Harry Potter books attempted to grow up with their readership, ending with material more suitable for 14-20 year-olds. On the other hand, Pokemon has kept its kiddie tone. Despite this, many aged Pokefans maintain an interest in the franchise. Continue reading

Grab-bag of Tag Part Two: Variations

Yesterday I discussed the animalistic appeal of Tag, but dismissed it as an unbalanced game in its most pure form. So how can Tag be improved as a game, while still maintaining the simple thrills of flight and pursuit?

How about Blob Tag? When a player is tagged, instead of it-hood transferring to them, they link arms with their tagger, and continue chasing free players as a single entity. Every time a player is tagged, they join with the ‘blob’, until there is a massive wall of globular flesh roaming the field for the final survivors. Now rather than a vague misanthrope, being it has its own aspect of group identity.

We are the Blob. You will be assimilated

We are the Blob. You will be assimilated

Blob Tag (also known as Amoebae Tag)  provides rising action, a climax and a conclusion to the game. It doesn’t single out any winners or losers either, but becomes almost a simulation. A demonstration of how a single virus or idea can spread, perhaps. Continue reading

Lego Mech-Battles: The Crucible of Gameplay

I didn’t have any Lego growing up. No, this is not some confession as to justify bitterness or a obsession with reviving childhood. I know it sounds like something you’d tell a psychiatrist, but I actually was content with my Kinex and my Nintendo. Lego was a novelty for me when visiting relatives or friends. Something I was familiar with, but by no means proficient. And so it follows that the first time I got into a Lego Mech-Battle, I had my 11-year old buns handed to me on a plastic platter.

Lego Mech-Battles are not an official thing, so if you never heard of them, don’t worry. In fact, I’m not even sure if that’s what we called it. But my friends and I used to build robots out of a shared wealth of Lego and then make them battle. Not a pretend battle, like you might have with action figures. No, the only way these robots ‘took damage’ was by having their bricks physically beaten off them.

Though we controlled the robots, the actual contact of the hits had to be done lego a lego. It wasn’t a free-for-all either, instead we took turns to do ‘moves’ on each others’ robot. We were very civil in this regard, like the musket men or duelists of old. The first robot to be reduced to a clump of less than five bricks was declared the loser.

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Our mechs looked nothing like this… don’t kids today get the coolest toys?.

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The Shooting Game

When I was seven years old and had to endure a long car ride, I would pass the time by playing “the Shooting Game”. The name says it all, really. I would stare through the car windows, aim with extended index finger, and pretend to shoot all the other cars on the road. Of course each shot was accompanied by a shooting sound-effect, and maybe a few reaction sounds depending on the effect of the shot.

When I was on the road, no one was safe. Drivers and passengers were punched full of lead, engines exploded, tires popped, vehicles careened into ditches and each other, leaving behind tangled, flaming wreckage and the occasional errant hub cap.

Different road signs indicated different power-ups: a no-entry sign gave me a flame-thrower, a one-way sign granted a laser beam, and passing a stop sign meant my next shot was a bazooka. For a seven-year-old it was pure fun – taking boring everyday roads, cars and people and peppering them with action, chaos and death.

What a seven-year-old imagines on a long car ride.

Continue reading