Awesome Stuff: History Lessons
from the way-back-when dept
This week’s awesome stuff post takes a break from gadgets to look at some crowdfunded content creators working in the vast field of history — because no matter what you do or what your interests are, there’s always something to be learned (and a lot of fun to be had) studying the past.
Some of you might be familiar with Extra Credits, a video series discussing a wide variety of topics related to videogame design and the game industry (it’s excellent, if you’re interested in that kind of thing). A while ago, thanks to a really cool sponsorship opportunity, they did a spinoff series called Extra History that brought their explanatory prowess to bear on the Second Punic War (of Hannibal-crossing-the-Alps fame) and it was similarly excellent. Now, with the help of crowdfunding through Patreon, they are bringing Extra History back as a regular twice-a-month feature:
The first episode, kicking off a series about WW1 is already out, and well worth watching. The show has been successfully funded on Patreon and hit the necessary goal to remove YouTube ads — and with a bit more support, it could hit the necessary funding level to become a weekly series.
While the video game experts are discussing history, a new documentary will be exploring them both, and specifically the sounds therein:
Beep: A Documentary History of Video Game Music & Sound looks well on the way to hitting its goal. The story should prove interesting, as it ties together the worlds of music and technology in a way that doesn’t always get explored, with so much of the discussion around videogame tech focusing on graphics and physics these days (even though in the early days of games, things like the ability to play polyphonic sound were huge advancements).
Designers & Dragons
Before there were videogames, there were tabletop roleplaying games, and it’s not as though the latter has done much waning in popularity. From the live games at PAX to the many games and accessories on Kickstarter, tabletop gaming is going strong — which might explain why this book about its history blasted past its funding goal:
Designers & Dragons is set to be a four-volume history, with each volume focusing on a decade from the ’70s through the ’00s. It’s way, way beyond its goal, having raised $93,684 on a funding target of only $7,500. But although it doesn’t really need your help anymore, there are still three days left to back the project and secure advance copies:
Filed Under: awesome stuff, history
Comments on “Awesome Stuff: History Lessons”
Kickstarter vs Indiegogo
When it comes to funding projects like documentary films, I get the impression that other platforms like Indiegogo might have an edge over Kickstarter. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen Indiegogo ever mentioned on Techdirt. Considering that it’s in San Francisco (perhaps even walking distance) I wonder if there might be a reason for Indiegogo’s apparent exclusion?
As many of these crowd-funding projects raise money and then seem to go nowhere, I’d be interested in learning how these featured-on-Techdirt projects are doing a year later. Did ‘investors’ get everything they were promised, or are they left with a long string of excuses … or worse?
Re: Kickstarter vs Indiegogo
We’ve certainly mentioned IndieGogo lots of times! I’m not sure what “reason” you are suspecting based on its location — half the companies we write about here are in SF.
As for why Indiegogo items don’t show up as often in Awesome Stuff, for my part the reason is simple: Kickstarter has Kicktraq, which makes browsing through lots of projects really easy.
The video game audio documentary sounds interesting, but looking at the list of people they have involved and from what the page says, I have a feeling that this history will go;
Pinball/Arcade > Atari > NES > Soundblaster > Modern Systems.
Kind of like how most documentaries pretend that IBM was the only company to ever produce desktop computers back in the 80s.
If I’m honest, after the mess they made out of the Video Game Addiction video, I’m not sure I’d really consider the Extra Credits brand as a seal of anything other than embarrassment.
Because you didn’t like one particular (and very personal, off-regular-format) video out of the 250+ videos they’ve made, you’re going to write off everything they’ve ever said or ever will say?
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If it was only that, then no. At the time I had a slowly growing list of reservations with their content. And, before you ask, no, I don’t remember what those were because it’s been years.
I may have disagreements with how they covered some topics(the microstransactions one the first that comes to mind), but the history mini-series at least seemed to be pretty good, so more of that would certainly be nice.
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I can’t quite recall the microtransaction one… but on the flipside, they did an excellent one against SOPA/PIPA and one for net neutrality, and their recent episode on how to properly implement F2P mechanics in a non-exploitive way is very good too. I think they get a lot of topics exactly right. Generally, though, on the video game side, it’s the design topics I find most interesting — not so much the more controversial political/business topics.
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Wait, no the F2P mechanics video was back when they were still associated with the Escapist. I remember that video.
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There was an earlier F2P one, but they did a new episode on it just last week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwI0u9L4R8U