August Kickstarter Round-Up: Gun Art and Video Games

Categories: The Intertubes

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

Engauge!: Ever since I started up my new Free Game Day column showing off some of the simple flash games available to play on PC for no charge I've rediscovered a new love for the minimalist and the old school. Engauge! from Toastie Republic certainly fits the mold, calling to mind things like Vectorman and Shiny titles like Earthworm Jim and the severely underappreciated Wild 9.

It's pretty basic stuff, but fun-looking for all that. $10 gets you a basic digital download of the game itself, which is a fair price by any measure. If you're the kind with money to burn the $125 package includes a box set full of swag including the physical copy of the game.

Goal: $50,000 by September 1

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5 Creepiest Quotes From Craigslist Houston M4W Ads

Categories: The Intertubes

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Why are so many guys looking for sex robots that clean dishes?
One of my more deplorable habits is that I like to troll Craigslist ads looking for the worst of humanity. I started doing it back when I ran a column that looked for weird band advertisements, but like all junkies I started hitting the hard stuff over in the Men for Women classified. There the finest freaks in Houston put all their psychosis in print for the world to see, and today we're going to look at the ones that made me throw up in my mouth a little.

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July Kickstarter Round-Up: LARP, Pugs and Brain Injuries

Categories: The Intertubes

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

Larpe Diem: Have you ever seen Darkon, the documentary someone made about foam sword fighting, live action RPGs? It's awesome. If they had that every Monday like football I would crash my car in order to get home on time to watch it.

Coming to us from the Fat Kids on the Block film crew, this is a similar film, except this time it's fictional. An average man named James is dragged by a friend to an underground LARP event where it turns out he is a naturally gifted foam weapons expert. Soon, he is an sensation in the LARP underworld, but success always makes you enemies.

Seriously, this is Kickboxer for the nerd crowd and I want it made yesterday. The only downside is that it's $75 to get a copy of the film (And a digital at that). Seems like a bit of a rip-off, but if they're angling for a theatrical release I can understand.

Goal: $7,500 by August 6

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Proper Etiquette for Leaving a Facebook Conversation

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You totally sure about this?
"John Smith left the conversation."

For some, these words a simple fact of messaging via social media. For others, them's fightin' words. Every since Facebook gave people the power to exit a group message sent to them, they have loomed large over anyone who dares send one. Is it the easy way out of a conversation you didn't want into in the first place or a breach of "netiquette?" Sometimes, it's both. Of course, there isn't anything inherently wrong with vacating a message thread, but because Facebook decides to tell those stragglers left behind that you did leave, it can get a little awkward.

All things being equal, no one should really leave a Facebook conversation shared through a private message. Sure, it's the opt out we all wish we had when coworkers or family members continue to Reply All over and over again, but it is also the Internet version of turning around and walking away in the middle of someone's sentence, something very few of us would do during polite conversation. Frankly, this could all be solved if Facebook would simply remove the notification, but since that isn't an option, there are some guidelines you might want to follow if you are thinking of uninviting yourself from a conversation.

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June Kickstarter Round-Up: Transyltown and Postcards From WW1

Categories: The Intertubes

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Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

Transyltown Volume 1: Moon Glow Tempo: There are very, very few reasons why authors should ever be on Kickstarter. In this day and age it's simply madness to ask investors to pony up $12,000 for hard copies of a book.

That said, there are occasions when it's necessary, and Bruce Small's desire to get a printed trade of his hit web comic Transyltown actually makes sense. If you made it to Comicpalooza you likely saw the rows and rows of wares in Artists Alley, and Small was there among a ton of other local talent. For comic artists looking to get discovered convention appearances are a must, even if your primary vehicle is web comics like Small. You need hard copy to play your product just like a band needs CDs to sell at shows still.

Plus, it's a good deal. It takes just $15 to get the printed version, and with the price of all ages comic literature these days that is a steal. The comic shop perks in particular have some nice bundles, so if you're a retailer you'll really make out on a comic I guarantee will sell.

Goal: $2,000 by July 9

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Is There a Point to LinkedIn's Endorsements?

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It happened again. Usually it happens about once a month, but sometimes it happens once a day. This week it happened to me five times: I'm talking about getting endorsed on LinkedIn.

There's one thing about getting endorsed for skills you have by those who are familiar with them, but what about getting endorsed for expertise you know nothing about by people who you have never met in your life? Do you ever find yourself wondering, "How do they know that about me?" or "I don't even know how to open Excel; why would I be endorsed for that?" Me too, and it seems to be happening with more regularity.

The whole concept of "endorsing" someone on LinkedIn feels strange. But let's back up for a moment because the whole concept of LinkedIn, to me, feels strange. LinkedIn, for those of you who don't know, is a social networking site dedicated to career building. Launched in 2003, the site is one of the fastest growing and now boasts over 300 million users worldwide. Some have called it the "grown up Facebook," a comparison that I don't find all that accurate, but gives you a broad idea.

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May Kickstarter Round-Up: A Video Game Console Bar and Stories From Space

Categories: The Intertubes

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

Press Start Bar: I love video games, and I also love drinking, and for a long time my venue of choice when I wanted to combine those loves was Joystix. There's a problem with Joystiz, though... get a bunch of drunks trying to pull a win out of a 30-year-old Donkey Kong cabinet and you're going to see a lot of out of order signs. Ryan Thauburn has the answer.

His plan is to open a bar where gaming is console based, both classic and current systems. Want to take a girl out for drinks and a few rounds of Mario Kart? This is the place to be, and it's an idea that is long overdue. Did I mention that by the time it's built there will be a light rail line that takes you straight from the University of Houston right by it?

Obviously this isn't a cheap idea, and if you want to see some real rewards you'll have to go in pretty big. $100 is the best bet as it nets you swag, a member's card that gets you into special events, and a ticket to a burlesque show. Those who really want to see this happen should think about dropping $1,000, which gets you out of fees for booths and rooms and let's you help craft a signature drink for the venue.

Goal: $50,000 by June 2

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April Kickstarter Round-Up: Geeks and a Rotten Film

Categories: The Intertubes

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

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Magic: The Gathering Documentary: Though I don't play much anymore I am a longtime fan of Magic: The Gathering. I still think it's the greatest battle card game ever made, and the mythology that it's developed is staggering in its depth. All it took was a couple of late-night commercials on MTV and suddenly I was giving Wizards of the Coast all my money.

Kyle Bryan wants to film a documentary following professional M:tG players (Yes, that's a thing) as they prepare and hone their skills for tournament play. It's not a history of the game or anything like that, but more of an exploration on the people it has hooked so deeply. $25 seems a little steep to be the lowest you can get a copy of the movie for (It is a DVD, not just a digital copy at least), but if you're looking to add a producer credit on an IMDB page then $50 is not a bad deal.

Goal: $10,000 by May 22

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A Guide to Arguing With a Snopes-Denier

Categories: The Intertubes

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It happens all the time online. You see a piece of misinformation in your Facebook newsfeeds, and helpfully point out that no, Snopes has already debunked it as a myth, hoax, lie or misinterpretation of actual facts. Everyone walks away better informed, right?

"Snopes lol. Don't you have a real source?"

Responses like this are why half the keys in the center of my laptop stick after repeated meet-and-greets with my face. It's becoming an unfortunately more common response to attempts at educating people away from harmful propaganda and pseudoscience, and it's very hard to combat such willful ignorance. Hard, but not impossible.

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March Kickstarter Round-Up: Your Lactic Threshold and Some Great Surreal Art

Categories: The Intertubes

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

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Fluid Dynamics: It's rare that I get really excited by art projects on Kickstarter because in general most people are way less talented than they think they are. Lulu Lin, though, has some really first-rate and spellbinding work that she's putting together here based on mixing women's forms with the way liquids behave in motion. The result is very delirious and beautiful.

More than anything else Lin is using the Kickstarter more as a pre-pay option for the art. I like the $27 option as your low buy-in personally. You get one of the images on a shirt, and while that's a bit high for a shirt it's a fancy wrap-around job, not just an iron on transfer. It'll be $250 before you start seeing original watercolors as rewards, though you can get simple prints for much cheaper.

Goal: $3,750 by March 19

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