27th of Blaugust – W – With Blackjack and Hookers!

It’s felt like its been a while since I did a cloud-yelling rant that I feel long overdue for one. So if you don’t want to read about me complaining then go and watch this video of a hamster eating a tiny burritos. For those that choose to stick around I wish to go on about what I call the “With Blackjack and Hookers,” effect.

Named after a running gag from the second ever Futurama episode, the Blackjack and Hookers effect is when someone becomes so enraged with an event, community or group that they decide to take them on at their own game with a rival event, community or group. The concept isn’t new but has been happening all the time. One Michel’s Patisserie franchise told me that Michel’s Patisserie originally started because an employee didn’t like how The Cheesecake Shop ran their business. Most of the time it happens because of a falling out between people who do not see things the same way. Steve Jobs had a falling out with Apple in 1985 so he went and started NeXT. Eventually Apple ended up buying NeXT in 1996 and Steve Jobs came back to eventually run the company as he wished.

In business it happens all the time and is completely fine. In a community however, when it happens it’s something that can be damaging to everyone. Especially in a small place like Adelaide. This sort of “chew-up-and-spit-out” behaviour happens all the time at AVCon where people rage quit and fortunately I’ve never heard the phase, “Well I’m going to start MY OWN Convention,” recently. But it has happened. Back in 2008 I heard this at an EVAC meeting where some people didn’t feel they were treated well enough. That was the first time I ever heard of Evacuation being brought up.

They were different times back then. The relationship between EVAC and AVCon VG were much much closer. EVAC and AVCon VG were basically one and the same as there were very few non-EVAC people on the AVCon VG team. But there seemed to be a bit on an anti-VG thing going on in AVCon at the time. I won’t bother you with it because I don’t even know all the details to be honest. So people at AVCon’y people at EVAC were complaining and so they thought they would start Evacuation, walk away from AVCon and watch and laugh while everyone else in AVCon failed to run the VG area properly. This never happened in the end (fortunately) and those that were complaining aren’t even around. Some still support AVCon. Evacuation never happened but it is something that gets thrown around as something EVAC could still do in aid to the community. I was that latest person to try and make it happen.

Well I say enough! Evacuation MUST DIE! It was started for the wrong reasons and a major gaming event by EVAC will never get off the ground if it is to have the name Evacuation. Even the name was based on Evacuating from AVCon to do try to challenge AVCon. I’m not saying EVAC can’t hold a major event but it can’t be called Evacuation. Not even as a working title.

Even Bender his proposal to build his own Lunar Lander to “screw the whole thing,” as he couldn’t be bothered. Now we have to say the same thing about Evacuation for once and for all.

I am putting a ban on the word Evacuation at EVAC. Let’s never speak of it again.

4th of Blaugust – C – Community

Whenever I talk about Adelaide I always seem to be met with a certain attitude. You know that one. The one that says Adelaide is boring. The one that says nothing ever seems to happen around here. The one that says everyone knows each other because we’re so small.
I will agree with you about everyone knowing each other. I see Adelaide as one giant pretzel when it comes to knowing each other. But that doesn’t mean that Adelaide is dead. Sure, the shops close early but stuff happens around here a lot more than you might think. You just need to know where to look. I thought I’d go through some of Adelaide’s clubs, groups and hangouts that I know about so that you can never complain about being bored in Adelaide again.
How many if you are into gaming? Well, if you’re in the city on a Friday then you can head down to EVAC. The “Extremely Versatile Acronym Club” might be a bit of a misleading title, but it is a group dedicated to video games, card games, board games and Japanese Mahjong. It meets in the Harry Medlin North Room in the Adelaide Universities Union House from 4PM until 8PM every Friday. Although it is a University club anyone is welcome to attend. You can just bring yourself or you can also bring your gaming console. We have some CRTs and 1080p screens to accommodate for you. Afterward most people then travel down to the food court of the Central Market for some affordable yet incredibly tasty meals.
Taking the board game approach a bit further, the Adelaide Board Game Group meet up every Monday at the German Club from 6PM to 9PM. Entry is just a gold coin donation to cover the venue hire. The kitchen is also open so you can play euro games and eat Schnitzels! I don’t believe the club has an inventory of games but everyone collectively brings enough for everyone to play. I’ve only been to two of these last year, but I might consider going back now that I have some free time. The only problem is that nobody I know that well enough attends these things. But you never know what could happen.
Another community I have yet to attend are the Streetgeek LAN Parties. But I do know a lot of people who are involved in them. They meet once every month at the Colonel Light Gardens Uniting Church. The main reason is that I don’t do a huge amount of PC gaming. But then again, they also have a console area too so I probably shouldn’t use that as an excuse.
Here is one I only came across on Saturday night. Are you into retro arcade machines and Pinball? If so then you I must tell you about Gameroom Essentials. They do up and sell arcade and pinball machines. But most Saturday nights they have a lock in where you pay $25 and can play everything to your hearts content from 7PM until midnight. I haven’t seen a collection this big or satisfying since Magic Mountain closed down. You do have to check on their website in advance though as they might have hired the place out for a party in which case there will be no lock-in that week.
Are you into game development? If so then ARGGGH: Adelaide’s Really Good Gathering of Game Developers meet up on the second Tuesday of every month at the Goodie Hotel where you can mingle with developers and other great people in Adelaide’s gaming industry. It’s all pretty informal so you can just rock up and have a few beers if you wish or even order a Schnitzel. Even if you’re not a developer you’re still welcome and I highly recommend that you do.
A really awesome group of people are the guys that run Retrospekt. It started as a retro gaming website where you can catch the latest news on all thing to do with retro gaming but has expanded to include some great events that they run including the Retrospekt Museum at AVCon, the Super Video Game Trivia Challenge and their Joypad music and gaming nights. Unfortunately Joypad is currently on hiatus, as we need a new venue. So if you know of somewhere suitable then please let up know so we can crank up the awesome again.
Jumping out of the Gaming realm and into Adelaide’s Anime community. Do you want to watch Anime on a big screen? Perhaps you want to discuss all things Anime. Well AJAS, the Adelaide Japanese Anime Society meet up every Tuesday night from 6PM to 9PM in the Centenary Building of the UniSA City Wast campus. It seems to be more popular nowadays to just turn up and talk about Anime then it is to actually go into the lecture theatre and watch anything. Which is a bit bizarre but still lots of fun. I may have transformed this group into a beginner Japanese Mahjong club as well. Afterward everyone goes to the Hungry Jacks on the corner of Pultney and Rundle street to complain about how bad the service is and debate about things. My suggestion is to ask Barron how his job is going.
In the end I guess community is what you make it. You could sit at home complaining that nothing happens in Adelaide or you could get out there and start something. AVCon only had 200 people at its first event and now it’s pushing closer to 20,000. That only shows that the people are definitely out there. So come out and have some fun and be part of our community. I guarantee you won’t regret it.