I’m a big fan of Kickstarter and so far I’ve had good luck with backing winners, with one notable exception. One thing I look for in any Kickstarter is whether or not I believe the person can deliver. A new Kickstarter arrived in my mail box today which I think has the pedigree behind it to make it happen, so I just wanted to give it a shout out in hopes our modest little corner of the web can lend this cause some support. Before I talk about why Incarnica and I think this Kickstarter is worth backing, why don’t you pop over and have a look at it yourself here via Kickstarter: Desert Bus Grand Championship. When you get back, read on…
Let’s look at the basics. You have JR Ralls at the helm, who has already proven he can deliver with style with his release of Dark Dungeons. You have a game which is a bit of a cult classic and has been used for charity before. I won’t link to the charity event, both because this Kickstarter has nothing to do with it, and because I have personal issues with a website the organisers have a close association with. Anyway, it’s a tried and tested property which you can read more about on Wikipedia and even in the New Yorker. The fact that Penn & Teller are behind the creation of the game should be reason enough alone to check out the Kickstarter.
Now the reality is, it is a bloody awful game. I played a knockoff version of it and I won’t repeat the experience. Yet that’s sort of the point in a way. Like a lot of satirical humour, you’ll either get it, or you don’t. Mr Ralls gets it, and I think his idea is a natural extension of what Penn & Teller made the game for. What I like about anything Penn & Teller is involved in is that they make you think, while being damn funny while they do it.
I am not a hard core gamer, not really. I am a hard core casual, but for me gaming will always be about fun, and that’s just not hard core. I might play marathon sessions of 72 hours straight gaming, but as soon as I’m tired of playing, I stop. The true hard core gamer doesn’t stop for anything, not until they win and are acknowledged as the best of the best. That’s what makes this Kickstarter interesting to me. I find hard core gamers funny. If you regularly read between the lines of my articles you should see signs of just how amusing I would find the pain and suffering of hard core gamers. I love gallows humour, I think it’s just part of being Australian to laugh at the absurdity of life, and the darker and more life threatening, the more we laugh. Hey, we have to laugh, the country is a bloody deathtrap XD. So the thought of a collection of hard core gamers taking on a real eSport that will really test how hard core they are, genuinely amuses me.
When Penn & Teller created Desert Bus they were creating a satire directed at the perception that gaming doesn’t teach any real life skills. This Kickstarter offers the same satire for gamers, poking fun at hard core gamers and eSports. I have no doubt Mr Ralls will spend the money to create the best real event he can, he certainly did that with Dark Dungeons. But for me it’s not the eSports event itself that is the draw, it’s what will be created from that eSports event. The hype, the tears, the lucky socks and secret tactics, the heartfelt earnest sobs of the players as they try, but fail, to push themselves any further; all those things that define eSports and separates the hard core from ‘stinking casuals’ like me.
Good luck Mr Ralls. If people can donate over $55,000 for a freakin’ potato salad, I think we can spare at least $20,000 to make this event the best damn hard core eSports challenge ever!