Extra Life & Twitch Stream Teams: How They [Should] Work & Why They Fail

GeekyAntics Extra Life Promo | Heroes Of All Sizes CTA | http://geekyantics.net/extralife

With around four weeks left until our Extra Life 2016 Twitch marathon, we’ve been thinking a lot more about online teams, communities, and tribes.  You see, we know they work and that they’re the only way to cut through the noise and unfair advantages huge brands have..  Yet the comfort people find in anonymity and lurking has become a major barrier.

Every week, we receive hundreds, if not thousands, of solicitations from folks that want to advertise with us, hire us, sell us a product, or join our stream team.  The latter has become particularly prominent, which is great, but folks think all it takes to join a team is a quick tweet or comment.  On Twitch, stream teams are essentially the following:

  • People join to siphon viewers from others.
  • They name drop when it’s convenient for them and makes them look good.
  • Individual team members rarely interact or acknowledge each other.
  • The people at the top get richer while the folks at the bottom continue to struggle.
  • You wouldn’t know they were a team if it weren’t for the “playing as” text.
  • Everyone is too busy promoting their own stuff to share and play nice.
  • The rich get richer, the poor get poorer (hmmm, that seems to be a recurring theme).

The Rich Get Richer

This is a terrible model and we are setting out to fix it, whether we’re partnered with Twitch or not.  The first phase is education.  We’re growing awareness about the abuse and ignorance that keeps us little people struggling.  Meanwhile, we’re identifying the best practices to make us as efficient as possible – so we have more free time to nurture relationships and do the little things you can’t automate!

Of course, we can create tools, systems, and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) but it still falls upon the individuals to live out those values and do the work.  I know I’ve been on the soap box a lot lately but I hope that I impress upon everyone just how important what we are doing really is.  It’s a long road ahead, certainly, but we’ve had big wins and will continue to push forward.  Let’s briefly look at what we hope to accomplish as we head into 2017 and beyond!

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@_ReElise Kickstarter Countdown: Lessons Learned About Christian Video Games & Creating Urgency

ReElise Hip-Hop Retro-Style JRPG - A Christian Game For Everyone - Now On Kickstarter!

Fellow geeks and creatives, this is the official 48-hour countdown for the ReElise Kickstarter project.  In case you’ve missed all the hoopla surrounding this project, we’re excited because this is an ambitious project that incorporates a lot of things that we love: hip-hop, retro flava, hand-drawn graphics, JRPG mechanics, exploration, fun gameplay, and a story with lots of feels.  In an industry where metoo-ism dominates, it’d be nice to see something unique succeed and we’re all about the underdogs!

I’d like to take this moment to provide some simple opportunities to help this Christian video game project reach more people.  Here are some “quickies”, straight from the Kickstarter page:

  1. Subscribe to our mailing list – http://eepurl.com/cdfqS9
  2. Comment on anything you find mentioning ReElise – let’s show our unity!
  3. Share our art and talk about ReElise on Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
  4. Use the tags #elamaan #reelise #noroomfox to help spread the movement
  5. Share our videos on YouTube wherever possible
  6. Introduce us to bloggers, journalists, podcasters, and video personalities so we can get more reviews, interviews, and guest articles out there so we can tap into new communities and media outlets – let’s make more friends!
  7. Share our promos on your timelines regularly (but don’t spam please) and tag 5 friends that will respond to specific aspects of the project (i.e. black game dev, hip-hop, Christian themes, hand-drawn graphics, awesome sound track, JRPG)

Now, for anyone getting hung up on the Christian video game aspect, do not be alarmed.  The themes in this game are very much relatable for people of all walks of life.  In fact, we’re finding that the secular response has been far more positive than what the Christian community has been, which is rather surprising.

Below, we’ll get into some of the revelations we’ve discovered and reinforced along the way…

[Read more…]

Every Day Carry: What’s In Your Bug-Out Bag?

Fanny Pack / Bug-Out Bag

By Rachel Drummond

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you may have seen the reports of major bushfires in Victoria. While this is nothing new, it made me think of something that preppers are known for. The Bug Out Bag. It’s that bag that we who believe in preparedness are mocked for by those who have no idea what it really is. Everybody, in one shape or other, has a bug out bag, or if you like, it’s younger sister the every-day carry bag. Some are just poorly equipped. Men have their wallets, women have their handbags Soldiers.. well NO-ONE is more equipped than they are.

I have two bags now. I have my BOB in my car, something that if I didn’t have, I would have had to turn in my apocalypse card. As a nurse though, I’ve had to carry what amounts to an EDC. In aged care, this was a pouch that consisted of ID, scissors, tape, pens (many, many pens), Handover sheet, alcohol (swabs!! gee, I’m a little more professional than that!) and I usually throw a simple dressing in there at the start of the shift. trust me, it’s needed more often than not, and having it on me saves a lot of time!

I was looking through my pouch this morning though. Thinking about what I would have to change going into the hospital. As of an hour ago, it is almost three times as thick. Just from what I have at home, I’ve found room for my stethoscope torch and diary. I have no idea what else I’m going to have to make room for in there or what I won’t be using as much of. I have so many things I would love to take with me (My ‘nursing for dummies’ first and foremost among these).

That’s my EDC. Are there any nurses out there who have suggestions on what to add to my EDC? What is something you have in yours that you never use? Do you have a non-nursing EDC or your own BOB?

Actually,  maybe don’t list your name if you have a BOB. I’m pretty sure there are Neegans out there taking advantage of pre-apocalypse information and taking a list of potential ‘cash-cows’. There is already a possibility that I’m going to be getting some nasty comments from nurses who have know their EDC is priceless and are not happy that I painted a target on their back.

I will leave you with a small tip though. When the SHTF, make sure you have a nurse or a doctor with you. Trust me, you’ll need them in your group.

AFTERWORD: Ha! How’s that for multi-tasking, nursing, zombies and prepper talk all wrapped up in one neat little pack.

"The South Forsaken" Rachel Drummond

Want more?  Check out Rachel Drummond’s survival “handbook”, The South Forsaken.  BTW, she is a gamer, podcaster, and a Naruto fan..  Truly an uber geek and awesome friend to have – we love you, Rachel!

Happy New Year 2016: It’s A Time Of Possibilities, Hope, And Joy

Super cute kitten is laying down, ready to play and/or be rubbed!

Hey, it’s 2016 – Happy New Year, friends, family, and furry forest dwellers!

Today we have a simple message of hope that we hope will inspire our GANG collaborators, friends, and anyone who may happen to come across this article.  We’ll try to keep it short since we know, by the time this goes out, everyone will be drunk, sleeping, and/or hungover.

Now to get a little serious…

Bad Things Turned Good.  In 2015, many bad things overshadowed otherwise good, productive, and fun times.  Some of us dealt with deaths of close family members, battles with cancer, financial struggle, loneliness, and overall loss of hope.  Many of you may not know this but I lost my aunt this year and she was like a second mother to me.  It really knocked the wind out of my sails along with other bad news but having The GANG, our community here at GeekyAntics, really helped me out.

I learned a lot of things about myself, our audience, and what GeekyAntics can and should become.  Mainly, everything positive that happened reinforced my beliefs that…

  • People are fundamentally good.
  • Small victories can lead to big things.
  • The storm always comes before major break-throughs.
  • This network truly is about collaboration and support.

The GeekyAntics Network is exactly where we need it to be right now and where we expected to be right now.  Heck, we’ve done so much more than we expected considering I’m bootstrapping everything and we’ve encountered so much adversity.  We could not have done it without YOU!

Unlimited Possibilities.  One thing thing that has helped us all out is having an abundance mindset.  There truly is a world of unlimited possibilities out there and, really, the only thing that limits our growth personally and as brands is our attitudes.  So many folks give up right when they are on the verge of a major break-through and we’ve been working hard to help those types of folks stay strong and focused.

While we are still very much committed to individual brands (mainly streamers, writers, game devs, and podcasters), it is absolutely necessary to partner up with bigger brands.  We’ve teamed up with tons of people in 2015 but two brands stand out the most: Martin Septic Services, based out of Middle Georgia (not Middle Earth), and Unified Combat League, based out of Seattle and sometimes Canada.

Vince Martin Septic Tank Service | Eatonton, Gray, Milledgeville & Middle Georgia | http://martinseptictanksga.com

Martin Septic Tank Services (also known as Martin’s Septic Service) has been an awesome sponsor.  Vince Martin is a pleasure to work with and one of the coolest guys I know in Georgia.  Teaming up with a local company in such a niche may seem silly to some but our goal is to align ourselves with brands that are people and people that are brands.  That is, we want to work with brands that are authentic, transparent, and approachable.

On the Martin Septic Services Facebook page, you’ll see exactly what I mean when I talk about being social with social media.  Vince Martin and I work together to bring updates that are as fun as they are useful.  Content covers a wide range of goodies from home improvement to funny pet memes to hot deals.  The fine balance of curating content and providing original content is key and you’ll notice Vince Martin hardly spams about himself or his business so, when he does self-promote, it counts!

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Cats Vs. Dogs – Why Cats Are Awesome Yet Often Misunderstood – PLUS A Poll!

Kitty snuggles up with bunny toy.

I love all animals but it’s no secret that I have a soft spot for cats.  Here is a brief love letter to cats, the under-appreciated stars of social media and homes around the world.  Don’t forget to take the polls!

Why do we love cats so much?  Maybe it’s the fact that they are not easily won over.  You really have to earn a cat’s love and trust.  Maybe it’s the subtle ways they show their appreciation.  It’s like figuring out a mystery.  I find myself fine-tuning my observation skills just trying to observe our cats.  Maybe it’s simply because they’re just so cute.  Just look at this kitten below, just begging to be rubbed and/or played with!

If you really can’t stand the “cat propaganda” (I’m looking at YOU Kevin..  LOL), scroll down for the poll..  but, really, hear me out.  I have a case to make here! *wink*

Super cute kitten is laying down, ready to play and/or be rubbed!

Cats are independent and self-sufficient.  They’re arguably moody and choosy.  Some consider this a bonus, others feel it simply makes them jerks.  I say they just have more personality than your average dog because, let’s face it: most dogs will be your best friend once you feed them.  For those that think cats have no loyalties or are indifferent, maybe you have trouble forging bonds.  I’ve had cats wait at the door when they accidentally got left outside.  Bloo often knocks on my door just to hang out with me in the man cave, too.

Bloo In A Human Pose | Bloo Says, "Sup."

Bloo chillin’ like a villain.

I have a theory about people that don’t like cats: they are usually people with serious trust issues and/or a huge need to be the center of attention.  Cats have a way of seeing into your soul so, if you have something to hide, chances are you won’t like cats.  So far, it checks out with everyone I know.  One friend whom I love dearly comes to mind: they don’t add people to Facebook unless they vet them first..  And they use alter egos and pseudonyms when they’re online.  They’re the kind of people that freak out when you tag them or mention them in a social share.  That level of paranoia and anti-social behavior surely does not mesh with feline co-habitation!

Kitty says, "Why don't you love me?"

Why don’t you love me? *tilts head*

Here are some links related to weird people who hate cats.  It seems I’m not the only one suspcious of animal haters and cat agnostics!

In my experience, hardcore anti-cat people are abrasive, insecure, paranoid, or just plain annoying.  Coincidence?  Perhaps.  Correlation does not equate causation..  Of course, my cats have had a good track record of picking out the really turds in my circles of friends and family.  I feel cats are more connected with the spirit world, emotions, and impending threats..  Most dogs we’ve had just bark at just about anything because, well, they’re lovable dumb creatures like that.

The following is our latest poll on the @GeekyAntics Twitter..  Hopefully it doesn’t break anything!  You should vote for cats on Twitter, too – before it’s too late!

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HeroesOfTheStormBuildGuide PRESENTS HotS As A League Of Legends Player

Sylvanas The Banshee Queen

My Personal Thoughts on Heroes of the Storm as an Avid LoL Gamer

Guest Post By TheShadeBlade

Presented By HeroesOfTheStormBuildGuide.com

I’m known as TheShadeBlade in Heroes of the Storm and Katrian in League of Legends. Currently, I am ranked Platinum and ended last season as Platinum 1 after being dropped out of Diamond for inactivity during the last couple of months of the ranked season in League. I have been an avid MOBA player for the past 4 years and have experience in some of the most popular MOBAs to hit the gaming community. In my personal opinion, Heroes of the Storm has put its own unique twist on the MOBA scene and will be a big breakthrough for the casual player.

Heroes Of The Storm - Diablo Expansion - The Eternal Conflict - Heaven Vs. Hell

The Eternal Conflict: Heaven Vs. Hell – COMING SOON to Heroes Of The Storm, Diablo fans!

HotS Battlegrounds: A New Experience With Every Map

Stepping into Heroes of the Storm, the biggest change that has set this game apart from League of Legends and other similar MOBAs is the fact that they offer quite a few different maps to play on. League of Legends only offers a single 5v5 map, and then two less competitive maps that are hardly played. Heroes of the Storm randomizes the map that players are thrown into, which requires adaptability and strategy to achieve victory as each map has a unique set of objectives. This keeps the game interesting, and will be a big factor in professional play once Heroes of the Storm finally hits release and is able to make their mark in eSports.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We took a few weeks to get this published.  Apologies..  Heroes Of The Storm is now officially out as a full release and the Eternal Conflict Diablo-themed content will be part of the ongoing efforts to draw in new players.  We’re very excited about what Blizzard is doing here!  ~Yogizilla

[Read more…]

How To Win On Heroes Of The Storm When You’re A Scrub Like Me!

Heroes Of The Storm - Official Splash Screen & Logo - Copyright Blizzard

Heroes Of The Storm has been in closed beta since around January 13th but, since people can easily score beta keys or buy in (not sure on the latter since the Founder’s Pack was removed), now is the time when the more toxic players and feeders come into the fray.  I have decided we NEED a simple guide for those of us that want to compete but don’t want to break out calculators or make Heroes Of The Storm a career move..  Oh, and have FUN playing the game; after all, that should be the first priority!

I will open up by saying that Heroes Of The Storm is the one MOBA I can wholeheartedly recommend to all my friends, unless they don’t like the overhead/isometric view or are graphics snobs that need bleeding-edge technology even if the gameplay sucks otherwise.  Blizzard has done it again by taking a growing space and making it their own.  Here is a MOBA/ARTS (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena / Action Real Time Strategy) game that is truly accessible and plays more like an action game than a weird, drawn-out experience of Farmville mixed with Archon: Battle Chess.  It’s fun, even when you’re losing badly..  Well, maybe if you’re not a sore loser.

This game has tons of depth without the high barrier to entry.   The tedious elements that ruin other MOBAs or make them good only in small doses have been removed.  Rather than worrying on last-hitting, denying creep farm/score (CS), or calculating your effective DPS after AC, resistances, shields, debuffs, auras, and sun-moon alignment offsets, you can actually focus on strategies and adapting to dynamic scenarios that are always exciting and intense.

As such, we’ll be kicking off an exclusive GeekyAntics series called VGB (Video Game Brawls) where we’ll compare games of similar styles and give you our verdict on which one, as objectively as possible, is the best across quantifiable categories. But, for now, I’m going to share what I’ve learned on HotS since playing in the alpha.

Heroes Of The Storm - Nova, Sylvanas, Illidan, and other heroes!

Nova, Nazeebo, and Sylvanas? YES please!

 

 

It’s NOT Pay To Win

There’s a lot of salt about the pricing structure on HotS but people forget that the game just recently went into beta.  I agree that it is pricey but it’s actually still cheaper than the ever-popular yet still ridiculous League Of Legends.  The only thing that tips the scale on HotS are the premium mounts but, still, LoL has had $40 skins sooooo…

The important thing here is that you don’t put money into this game and suddenly start winning, which is the epitome of pay-to-win.  In fact, I would recommend sticking to the heroes that cost 2K or 4K gold (in-game currency).  These heroes will be easier for newer players to get used to and eventually master.

You might see a top-tier hero dominating but don’t think it’s the hero and not the player.  The game is balanced so that every hero has a fighting chance and can contribute to the team’s effort.  So, if you want to drop mad gold on a Jaina, Kerrigan, Thrall, or whatever, you may want to hold off.  Heroes with unique mechanics like Nazeebo, Lost Vikings, and Abathur typically work against your team if you do not have sufficient experience.  Let’s not even talk about Nazeebo body-blocking his own team with those damn zombies..  Oops, too late!

Whereas other MOBA/ARTS  games have characters that are easily broken to the point of being unfair or, on the flip side, picks that are almost unplayable, Heroes Of The Storm is very well balanced.  I’ve seen “never spend a dime” type players beat fully-invested players.  Pick any hero..  It all comes down to skill and which team plays best together.

Heroes Of The Storm HD Wallpaper - Arthas, Thrall, Kerrigan, and Illidan - HDWALLPAPERS.COM

Dat Kerrigan booty, doe. Who wins the booty contest: Jaina, Kerrigan, Nova, or Tyrande? [Source: HDWallPapers.com ]

Don’t Get Stuck On Kills

Contrary to popular belief, the Takedowns stat in Heroes Of The Storm refers to assists or participation in kills.  There is no formal KDA tracked in HotS, certainly not on an individual basis.  Kills also represent a smaller XP gain when compared to taking objectives like destroying enemy structures, clearing lanes, and taking mercenary camps.  Even when the kills are worth more, one must consider the time lost while other things happen..  Like your base being overrun (yes, this happens..  TOO often).

Killing enemies and dominating the opposing team is always fun but it mainly serves the purpose of creating opportunities, whether it’s pushing lanes, capturing mercenary camps, or taking map objectives (e.g. tributes, spider gems, and dubloons).  The respawn timer prior to level 13 just isn’t long enough to make pursuing kills truly worthwhile when there are objectives that will push towards victory faster and more consistently.

The #1 mistake I think players make on any MOBA/ARTS game is that they get tunnel vision and focus on kills too much.  This leads to frustration and missed opportunities.  It’s very easy to lose sight of the objectives on any given battleground/map on HotS so don’t worry about falling behind on kills or even levels.  In fact, when you fall behind on levels, it’s best to avoid team fights until it’s absolutely necessary.

 

Master The Mundane: The Basics Of MOBAs

You may hear die-hard MOBA veterans talk about how players should focus on the fundamentals.  Practice more, play against bots, L2P, etc.  But what does this all mean?

The basics are the things you will naturally get better at if you are aware of them and gain more experience.  It includes…

  • Map Awareness – Everyone struggles here to some degree.  You have to train yourself to notice the minimap and see if any enemies are unaccounted for..  And possibly doing something that could hurt your team.
  • Timing – Play a MOBA enough and you start to get a feel for when an attack will happen, objectives refreshed, or you should fall back/regroup.
  • XP Soak/Laning – Most MOBAs require that you stay in lanes as much as possible to soak up XP as enemies die but in HotS there is no formal laning phase.  Some might say it’s up to when you reach level 10 but that’s more a guideline than a hard-and-fast rule.
  • Positioning – Fighting a battle at multiple fronts rarely ends well, especially when your squishy damage dealers are singled out, leaving the rest of your team somewhat helpless.
  • Rotating – This ties into positioning and laning.  Basically, when you rotate, you see a teammate change positions and you swap with them.  This ensures there is always proper XP soak but, more importantly, it helps against mis-matched lanes situation where a hero keeps getting picked on.  Rotating when taking objectives is key so that you maximize XP.
  • Disengaging – Knowing when to back out of a fight is something that few people have mastered 100%.  You have to make snap decisions and sometimes they will be the wrong ones but, ultimately, any fight you can walk away from is a good one.
  • Initiating – When the fight looks promising and everyone is in position, someone has to take point and intiatie the fight/engage.  This is usually the tank/warrior’s job since they can likely take a lot of lumps and live to tell the story later.
  • Skill Shots– Abilities that require aiming are tricky because sometimes you have to lead shots and account for projectile travel speed, as well as likely jukes/pathing and obstacles.

For many, positioning and being aware of what is going on off-screen is easier said than done.  I would say it all comes down to confidence in yourself and, more importantly, in your team.  In my experience, losing streaks happen when teams get deflated and sloppy as a result, and not vice versa.  You won’t ever be perfect at the aforementioned but practice will improve your performance.  Until then, don’t beat yourself up over mistakes because once you start hesitating or doubting, things only get worse – TRUST! [Read more…]

Are Live Giveaways [On Twitch] Worth It?

Oprah Winfrey LOVES giving away free stuff!

This article is one of many follow-ups to our most popular article, The Honest Way To Succeed On Twitch And Social Media – if you love it, please leave comments.  We are considering doing video, eBooks, and other content to help everyday folks really figure out social media..  Give us the creative nudge we need and share this forward… Or leave some thoughtful comments to keep the discussion going (to may have mentioned this already)!

Giveaways are something everyone has dabbled with on Twitch.  They’re a fairly common practice yet few really know what they are doing.  This is not a jab at Twitch streamers, bloggers, or anyone doing business and creating online.  Social media is something you just never fully master, even if you have formal education and extensive experience.

A debate I’ve had with many Twitch streamers, including our pals Link & Lily over at Linkwall, is this:

Are giveaways even worth it?

That’s a loaded question because, if giveaways didn’t produce results, people would never do them.  So the real issues here revolve around whether giveaways are right for your brand and how you should go about doing them.

 

My Fun (And Not So Fun) Experience With Giveaways

Once upon a time, I was a partner and part owner over at Social Prize, a company that was poised to take the social media world by storm.  Me and Spathizilla turned the platform into something worth talking about.  On the surface, it was a giveaway platform like Rafflecopter, Woobox, Offerpop, and whatever else you can think of, but we were building it to be more than that.

Sadly, our vision would take time to bring to life and we came into the business after the company had pissed money away.  It’s no fun building up a company when it’s recovering from serious debt and really piss-poor missteps..  But that’s another story for another time.

Being a part of Social Prize and involved with countless giveaways as a publisher, consumer, and product manager made me realize that giveaways really do work..  But most people on social media, Twitch in particular, are doing them wrong because they don’t have that background.  There are legal risks, hidden costs, subtle strategies, and much more to consider beyond the simple tactics and tech of merely executing them.

Let’s explore some of the nuances of giveaways together…

Fat Business Man With A Cigar

Legal Poop About Giveaways, Sweepstakes, And Contests

First and foremost, it is very important to differentiate contests from giveaways because they are NOT the same thing.  People often use the terms “giveaway” and “contest” interchangeably but, the bigger your brand, the more dangerous this faux pas becomes.  Here’s why:

  • Giveaways [and sweepstakes] are supposed to be 100% random or luck-driven.  Any performance piece or “purchase” could put you in the dangerous territory of illegal gambling.  At the very least, labeling a contest as a “giveaway” would be a failure at managing expectations.
  • Contests are performance-driven so the time required to succeed in them is far greater than what you’d see in giveaways.  It’s also more easily understood that it’s not a “set it and forget it” proposition for publishers and participants alike; that is, people know there is a need to put in continued effort.  Conversely, the notion of daily entries on giveaways often eludes people.

In addition to the aforementioned distinctions, there are legal risks with giveaways, contests, or any sort of social media or marketing promotion.  Twitch continues to update their Terms Of Service but this is what they have to say about promotions (i.e. self-promotion and sales/marketing) in general as of March 26, 2015.  You are not allowed to…

make unsolicited offers, advertisements, proposals, or send junk mail or spam to other Users of the Twitch Service, including, without limitation, unsolicited advertising, promotional materials, or other solicitation material, bulk mailing of commercial advertising, chain mail, informational announcements, charity requests, petitions for signatures, or any of the foregoing related to promotional giveaways (such as raffles and contests), and other similar activities;

Yet people do giveaways on Twitch all the time.  As with any legal jargon, you have to read between the lines.  Twitch has been known to say things like “we are in the progress of updating our terms of service” and “we have discretionary power [to do whatever the hell we want]” so be wary of this.  There are always rules and laws on the books that don’t get enforced until you ruffle someone’s feathers.

The key to any sort of marketing is making sure you represent your brand properly, manage expectations effectively, and avoid misrepresenting your offerings.  In other words, don’t bait and switch people or you may find yourself in the midst of a legal battle.  With regards to Twitch, you want to make sure the brunt of your activity is gaming-related (non-gaming content can get you suspended like we did on GeekyAntics TV) and serves their best interests first and foremost; namely, you want to keep their users happy and on their platform.

No Purchase Required.  Make sure your giveaway has an easy entry method and an alternative for those that may not be able to get in via conventional means.  The bigger the prize, the more important this is.  While people are paying with their time and money, make sure they are not actually spending money to earn an entry.   There are also rules that vary by state and country regarding the prize value, tax liability, and the like but that information can be found online or via an attorney for little or no money if you’re smart about it.

 

[Read more…]

The GANG Minute: 24 Hour Emergency Fundraising Stream

So many great things are going on with the GeekyAntics network.  We’re hitting the front page on web searches, new friends are joining the community every day, potential sponsors are inquiring about our services and advertising deals, and we are attracting awesome special guests like our friends from AM Audio Media (creators of the Doctor Who “Dark Journey” radio drama).  I’m so happy to see people excited about our vision and fresh take on geeky content.

Unfortunately, I can’t celebrate all these wonderful things as my family is going through a really tough time.  My wife’s health is poor, I’m not doing too hot, and unexpected bills keep piling up.  I know everyone has problems and I’m not seeking pitty but, in simple terms, if we don’t raise the funds by Thursday, February 26th, the lights will be cut.  The details are below in my personal vlog on YouTube:

I’ll be doing a 24-hour stream on Monday, February 23rd starting sometime in the evening (can’t set a specific time because of something stupid Twitch did – details to follow).  Some of The GANG will be teaming up with me so we can raise funds and have some fun playing random games.  We’ll be focusing on indie and deckbuilding games including Speedrunners, Lethal League, SolForge, Hearthstone, and Dungeon Of The Endless.  There might be some League Of Legends, Smite, and Heroes Of The Storm (if this backup streaming PC can handle it)!

[Read more…]

A Love Letter To #AGDQ2015 And The Speedrunner Community

Speedrunners - Everyday Gamers Going To The Extra Level!

With AGDQ2015 ending soon, I am surprised to find myself experiencing a rush of unexpected emotions.  I feel sadness, excitement, hope, intrigue, and perhaps some confusion.  There’s only a few hours left in the event.  I can’t wait to claim my free time back (and get back to streaming myself) but I also feel like a bit of a fanboy here..  I don’t want it to ever end.

AGDQ, Awesome (or Awful) Games Done Quick, is a yearly event where speedrunners play games in marathon sessions to aide wonderful causes like the Prevent Cancer Foundation.  It’s a joint effort between Speed Runs Live, Speed Demos Archive, GamesDoneQuick.com (and the respective Twitch.TV channel), their sponsors, and the fantastic gamer geek community thereof…  But saying just that does not really explain what makes it so awesome!

I feel like AGDQ is the Christmas of the gaming community.  It’s the warm fuzzies and feeling of being at home with family that often lacks otherwise.  Sadly, just like Christmas, it’s over just as fast as the hype builds up.  DOH!

 

Stigmas Surrounding The Speedrunner (& Pro Gaming) Community

I used to think that the speedrunner community was just a bunch of young elitist hardcore gamers looking down upon the filthy casuals.  I worried that it was more of the exclusive behavior that scares people away from what should be a more wide-spread, accepting community as a whole.  I can just picture the stereotypical anti-social, pimple-faced kid in his mom’s basement, telling everyone to be quiet as he attempts to shave .5 seconds off his best ANY% time.

Speedrunning is so hardcore that there are even games coming out dedicated to the speedrunners.  It can be off-putting for those that want a challenge but don’t have the skill or time to invest.  It’s even more discouraging when pro gamers are beating games literally blindfolded (yes, that is a thing).

Does this mean that we are not skilled if we can’t accomplish these kinds of feats?  Are we merely filthy casuals to the speedrunners?

Zelda: Ocarina Of Time blindfolded run SUCCESS with Runnerguy2489 - his reward?  SILLY STRING!

Zelda: Ocarina Of Time blindfolded run SUCCESS with Runnerguy2489 – his reward? SILLY STRING!

Of course, there are the silly fools who refuse to share tips and tricks.  This is not exclusive to gaming but it happens often throughout our beloved community.  Everyone tends to feel that they know something super-secret that no one will ever figure out.  They wrongfully think this exclusive knowledge is their secret weapon.  What’s encouraging is that I’m starting to see, more and more, that AGDQ and other communities are really trying to share the fun and expand the space.  Most speedrunners today WANT others to succeed!

I’ve also learned that, while all that bad stuff mentioned above is sometimes true, AGDQ and other efforts are trying to share their passion for gaming with other and there’s really something here…

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