For this week's awesome stuff, we're doing away with productivity tools and revolutionary ideas and just looking and some crowdfunding projects for things to be played with.
Mate: The Wall Hanging Chess Board
If I'm being honest, I've long thought chess was a highly overrated game, since it seems to only require actual ingenuity and creativity at the very lowest and very highest levels of play, with years of little more than rote memorization and study in between. Nevertheless, there's no denying that it's a cultural icon, not just as a game but as a physical object and a set of symbols. It has inspired countless pieces of magnificent functional art and craft. It's also fascinating to me for its asynchronous nature: the most interesting chess matches to me aren't rapidfire showdowns with two masters slapping the clock, they are the curious experiments where Kasparov takes on the world, or an avid player engages in ten games-by-mail at once over the course of months and years. The Wall Hanging Chess Board combines both these aspects: a neat piece of home decor that also creates a cool in-home play dynamic, where a long-term game can evolve on the wall as people make their moves whenever they pass by the board.
Tactics: Revolutionize The Foosball Table
Foosball, on the other hand, is a game I've always thought was highly underrated. It may just be because they had a table in my high school, and I've always sucked at ping-pong and pool — but as far as bar and basement games go, I think foosball takes the cake, and has a surprising amount of depth once you get past the "madly spin the handles" stage. Thus, the idea of Tactics, a foosball table that adds a bunch of new twists like specially-shaped feet on certain players to allow more precise aiming, and adjustable team configurations, is an intriguing one to me.
Mineblock: A Small Affordable Minecraft Home Server
I'm almost ashamed to say that I've never actually played Minecraft. I strongly suspect that I would consider it neither over or underrated — it seems to be exactly as brilliant and significant as everyone claims. But I also love the idea of any game where people set up many servers in which they build entirely new worlds, then go and visit each others' creations to interact or compete or just tour around. While a big part of the beauty of this is the fact that these worlds can exist anywhere, all connected by the internet, the idea of tying one to a specific physical space with a local server is also fascinating. The Mineblock, an easy-to-set-up home server for hosting a dedicated Minecraft world, could be a lot of fun, and make this sort of home network gaming more accessible to the less technically inclined. It also looks great.