Saturday, December 24, 2011

Episode 28 - A Very Special Ace of Geeks Christmas!

The Ace of Geeks celebrate Christmas with some friends - strangely enough the same guest hosts from last week! Listen as we celebrate our first year on the air, and as we review the brand new Muppet movie! Hooray!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Episode 27 - This Podcast is Highly Illogical, Captain.

After a few months or so off the clock, The Ace of Geeks Podcast returns with some old friends, some new friends, and at least one person making the transition from mailbag regular to guest host! This podcast is really part one of a two parter, followed up with a Very Special Ace of Geeks Christmas next week! Woo! Check us out on the website, or on iTunes!

Episode 27!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Episode 26 - Superhero Top Ten!

The Ace of Geeks Podcast returns to a regular schedule after a bit of a break. In this episode, we review Terry Pratchett's Snuff and the new Three Muskateer's Movie, cover the "terrifying" Goosebumps in our Nerdstalgia, and give the Ace of Geeks award to...a commercial?

Episode 26!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Episode 25 - Who's afraid of the Big Bad Con?

It's *gasp* the twenty fifth episode of the Ace of Geeks Podcast! We made it to 25! Wooooo! Everyone run around in circles and yell!

Ok, we done? That was tiring. Anyway, this week guest hosts Sam Stafford, Alexis George and Nick Owzcarek join us for some good old fashioned con fun, as we discuss the awesome Big Bad Con, the games and LARPs we played, and even interview con runner Sean Nittner! We also ATTEMPT to play Star Flux, but it's two in the morning.

Episode 25!


I'm not sure how many fans of the show are 40k fans like me, but I had to share this. FINALLY, after so many years of waiting, new Necron codex and models!

Check out the pics here.


Also, the 25th episode will be posted later today, with the 26th being recorded this week. Sorry about the long break, but we're back.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Episode 24 - PODCAST GOOD!

With that out of the way, it's Episode 24! One away from the big 25th episode! The Ace of Geeks Podcast broadcasts LIVE from Gamescape in San Francisco! We discuss Deus Ex and Conan the Barbarian, review the new Star Tours, cover why you should be watching Garo, and remember Space Cases! 
Episode 24!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


In the 1980s, one of the biggest recurring storylines in films was Kid in the Suburbs Versus Supernatural Evil. The Lost Boys, The Monster Squad, and a hundred other movies right on the edge of being too scary for kids introduced a generation to the idea of horror movies, and created a legion of fans that still exists today. While this particular genre has all but died, Dreamworks is attempting to give it another go with a remake of one of that era's seminal movies - Fright Night.

Disclaimer up front: I never saw the original Fright Night, so this review will contain exactly zero comparisons between the new version and the old one. I'm thinking of digging it up now, though, so maybe that'll be an article for another time.

The 2011 version of Fright Night follows Charlie (Anton Yelchin), a high school kid who used to be a nerd, and his fight against his next door neighbor, an evil vampire named Jerry (Colin Ferell.) This review is going to have at least minor spoilers about the plot, without giving away too much of the major twists and turns, so if you want to remain completely spoiler free, here's a quick summary: Fright Night is a fun movie that doesn't really know what it wants to be, has some very good performances and some very disappointing twists, but is worth your time to see, if not to see at full price in theaters.

But, of course, you don't care about any of that. You want to know about the reason thousands of geeks will see this movie: David Tennant. David, also known as the Tenth Doctor to most, plays Peter Vincent, a Las Vegas Magician and "Vampire Hunter." He's the stand out role in the movie, and the most comfortable, funny, and at times even badass actor in the film. If you're gonna see this movie just for Mr. Tennant, you won't be disappointed by his character or his screen time. The only (slight) problem I had with his performance was that Vincent is the chief exposition-giver for the film, and when David dumps the plot on you, he still sounds just like The Doctor. I understand, it's hard to distance yourself from a character you've played for four years, but I would've liked to see more of a difference in Vincent so I wasn't constantly thinking he was going to jump in the TARDIS and fly away.

While we're on the subject of actors, the rest of the performances in the film are mixed. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as always, steals the show. Sure, he's playing a very similar character to his character from Superbad, but it's always enjoyable to watch him work, and he does get to stretch his acting wings in the single most terrifying scene in the film. Imogen Poots, winner of the most hilarious name of the year, is servicable as the typical girlfriend, and Toni Collette is great as the mom. Besides David Tennant, the standout is Colin Ferrell, who manages to be exceptionally evil while also being exceptionally laid back. While he has some funny moments in the film, you feel that Jerry is an unstoppable monstrous killing machine every time he's on screen. The disappointment is the usually fantastic Anton Yelchin, but it seems to be more the material's fault than his. He just doesn't have the chance to work in the talent he showed in other, better movies like Star Trek and Charlie Bartlett.

I mentioned earlier that the film doesn't know what kind of film it wants to be, and that's very true. While I haven't seen the original Fright Night, other movies of the era had a good balance of horror and comedy, and the new version certainly tries for that. The problem is, unlike the movies of the 80s, this Fright Night is a hard R, with a ton of blood and truly horrible things happening to people. Some of it is so jarring, that to go to a joke ten seconds afterwards seems almost inappropriate. The scenes of terror are terrifying, and the scenes of humor are very funny, but they never seem to blend together in the great cocktail of say, a good Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode. It's like watching two good movies stuck together with the barest of glue, and the result is really jarring.

There's also a major problem in this film's inciting incident, and to tell you about it we're gonna have to talk with some spoilers. Again, only read this paragraph if you want to be spoiled, otherwise jump ahead. Here we go.

I mentioned how great Christopher Mintz-Plasse is in the film. We learn early on that his character, Evil Ed, and Charlie used to be best friends. Charlie has since moved on from being a geek, and is trying, and failing, to be a popular kid instead, complete with terrible friends and a hot, seemingly shallow blond girlfriend. In trying to hold on his new identity, Charlie is absolutely awful to Ed, and abandons him when he needs him most, leaving Ed alone to run into the very real world danger of an angry bully, Mark, and then finally to his death at the hands of Jerry. Ed returns, later in the film, turned into a vampire and evil, and Charlie is forced to kill him. This is an interesting motivation for your main character, but the film never seems to spend any time on Charlie feeling any remorse at all for what he did. The most we get are a few, short, throwaway scenes about the man dealing with the fact that his best friend's death is undeniably his fault. On top of this, Mark the bully gets his just desserts half-way through the movie, and is eaten by Jerry in a great scene. Which is great - except that at the end of the film, when Jerry is killed by a magical stake that saves his victims, Mark gets away just fine and Ed stays dead. Considering how often the original 80s movies were morality plays, it's disappointing to see the most loveable character in the film meet a horrible end while the bully gets away without so much as a scratch.

Spoilers over! Hooray!

Fright Night, all in all, is a fun movie and I enjoyed myself. But I wouldn't expect a great film, and I don't know that I'd recommend paying the $10-15 you'll need to see it in theaters. If you're desperate to see David Tennant and you can't wait, his role is worth it, but I would wait for the inevitable DVD, Blu-ray or Netflix to watch this one.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What's wrong with the Special Editions?

I ran into an interesting thing today: a forum user who had never seen the original versions of Star Wars. He created a topic asking why so many people hated the new versions, and what it was about the changes that made them so bad. Since I typed up a fairly massive response, I thought it might be fun to post it here, too, and see what you all think.

Here's the changes Lucas made, and why they're bad.

    WHY IT'S BAD: The original model effects, if you look at them today, still hold up. The spaceships still look like spaceships, and everything just has a since of realism to it. The effects from 1997, while amazing then, are already dated and give the film an unrealistic, cartoony look. Kids looking at it today will be pulled out into saying "Oh, it's an old movie," instead of "Oh man, this is a great story!"

    WHY IT'S BAD: The added Jabba the Hutt sequence isn't so bad, it actually adds some background to Han Solo's character and introduces a major villain. The problem is that that info was already given two seconds ago in the Greedo scene, which, combined with the problems with Jabba's CG effect (see above) and the fact that you suddenly have to believe Jabba gained around ten thousand pounds in two years to be as big as he is in's not that great.

     The other sequences he adds all add time in places where the film doesn't need it. There are two huge song and dance sequences added that really take away from the atmosphere of Jabba's Palace and the Mos Eisley Cantina, giving it more of a cutesy kid film feel. And there's other places, like an intro to Mos Eisley itself that stretches the establishing shot and prevents us from getting into the action.

    WHY IT'S BAD: This is the big one, the one people sort of rally around whenever we talk about why the changes take away from the original trilogy. Han Solo, when you first meet him, is a mysterious, mercenary character. While he's funny, we're never really, truly sure what side he's on until he saves Luke, and the Greedo scene is a big part of that. The revelation that Han Solo has a heart of gold underneath it all is an important one to the character, and part of the reason why he's so loved today, and to have him only fire in self defense gives it away early.

New podcast should be coming soon, folks, so keep an eye on the site, and keep sending us your lists of top five superhero movies! We'll be announcing the full top ten list soon!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ep 23 - A Weak Man Knows the Value of Strength

Picture For your consideration, dear listeners, our 23rd Episode (Fnord). Bonus: anyone who can guess how our theme music relates to this episode wins this Shiny Internet....and the first to email us gets mention and praise on the next podcast.  Special thanks to our guest Morihiro Tsuruta

Episode 23

Monday, July 18, 2011

Episode 22 - Reviews, reviews, reviews

The Ace of Geeks Podcast welcomes back guest commentators Ian Ballantyne and Mae Linh Fatum for an ALL REVIEW PODCAST! Woooo! Within, we'll discuss LA Noire, Conquest of Nerath, Dominion, Panty Explosion, Hex Hex and the return of Ian's Anime Corner!

Episode 22!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Episode 21 - Interview with Miracle of Sound!

Picture The Ace of Geeks gets their second interview off the ground, and it's a good one - Gavin Dunne, better known around these internet parts as Miracle of Sound. You've heard his song, the Commander Shepard song, on our show before, and today we talk with him about his influences, his favorite video games, and what he's got coming up next. Also, Jarys and Mike discuss Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and then Jarys, Mike and Gavin discuss Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Episode 21!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bonus ACE OF MOVIES! - Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Almost spoiler free!)

The first ten minutes of Transformers: Dark of the Moon are a perfect metaphor for the movie as a whole. It begins with a brilliant idea - the space race of the 1960s was caused by an alien craft crash landing on our moon. The Americans and Soviets both detected it, and the race was on. We're treated to period recreations, convincing impersonators of Kennedy and Nixon, and green screen insertions on the level of Forrest Gump all mixed with the actual footage from the first landing on the moon, leading to a really interesting and almost inspiring set up for the film.

Then we cut to present day, and a nearly minute long close-up of Rose Huntington-Whiteley's rear end in panties.

Dark of the Moon is the first film I've seen since Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof that can switch from unwatchable to amazing at the drop of the hat, and it does it - often. I've said before of other, much worse movies like X-men Origins: Wolverine that they felt like they were written and shot by six different people - this feels more like it was put together by two of Michael Bay's personalities. After the amazing opening, the beginning of the film stays firmly away from the main attraction of the Transformers series - the transforming robots - and instead treats us to the same kind of "character development" and "comedy" that made Revenge of the Fallen one of the most disappointing sequels in recent memory. We follow the main characters as they deal with mundane aspects of their lives, and famous actors like John Malkovich and Dr. Ken Jeong appear in brief cameos, mugging it harder than Will Ferrell at his worst. It's surprising there's any scenery left with all the chewing being done. Unfortunately, while the talent is there, most of the jokes are best tired, and at worst, homophobic, leaving the whole thing feeling like an internet video gone bad.

Meanwhile, the Transformers deal with their plot and their Macguffin off in space at the moon and on earth, blowing things up and discussing deep, robot-y matters in grave voices in scenes barely given the time to shine. Every minute Starscream is on screen in the first film is more interesting than Shia LaBeouf's antics, but Starscream only gets two minutes and Shia gets thirty. I ended up rolling my eyes and nearly getting up and walking out before the movie annoyed me anymore.

I'm glad I stayed. Suddenly, at around a third or halfway through the film, two plot points happen in rapid succession. I don't want to give either one away, because they surprised the hell out of me. And suddenly, the film grabs you by the shoulders, throws you back in your seat, and says "pay attention, we'll be making a good movie now." The annoying comedy doesn't go away entirely, but it's shoved into tiny pieces and the Autobots and humans fighting the Decepticons is suddenly front and center for the rest of the film. This culminates in a nearly hour long action sequence, that while stretches too long in some places and still focuses way too much on Shia, is so intense and interesting that I forgot to complain about it at the time. My intellect kept trying to rise to the surface, and my inner eight year old kept punching it in the mouth and saying, "Shut up, Optimus Prime is talking."

On that note, I will admit nostalgia can carry something a long way with me. Optimus Prime is one of the cartoon icons who taught me right from wrong when I was a kid, and Peter Cullen's voice lends a gravitas to the character that I don't think can ever be matched. But I also have to look at this film as different from the Robots in Disguise of my childhood. The Optimus I grew up with would never have said lines like "We're going to kill you all." So I think it's a credit that the movie was exciting enough that I even got past changes made to something I loved as a child - a hard thing for any geek to do.

I saw the movie in large-screen 3D, and once again the theory is proved that if you shoot the movie in 3D instead of just post-converting it, the 3D will look fantastic. It does, here, and it provides an unexpected benefit. Michael Bay was forced by the 3D techniques to back out of most of his action sequences, and as a result we can see what's going on a lot of the time and even tell which robot is which.

There's been a lot of talk about how Michael Bay is the master of the mindless action movie. I don't know if that's true (I've seen The Island, after all), but I do know he made a damn fine action piece with this film. And if you can sit through the opening tedium and awkwardness, there's a great movie waiting for you on the other side. It has interesting characters, great cameos, a few funny jokes, and absolutely knock your socks off robot fights. But you have to sit through the beginning to get there. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, wait for the DVD. But if you're a Transformers fan, or a fan of explosive, world ending action flicks, you should see this one now.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Episode 20: Super Green!

Two podcasts in one week? Madness! Or...wait...sparta? No, madness. Definitely. This week Jarys and Mike review two movies they promised last week: Super 8 and Green Lantern. We also cover a lot of news, and we find letters from listeners Mori and Ryan (from Found in the Alley) that never surfaced in our letter box.

Episode 20!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Episode 19 - Never Discuss Politics or Religion.

 The Ace of Geeks - back to action! In this episode, we go over quite a few new books and a lot of video game and science-y news, Mike gives his impressions wrapping up E3, and we review X-men: First Class! We also have more tangents per sentence than any episode in history!

Episode 19!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Episode 18 This Bathroom is Enormous

Hey there folks, Jarys here. Mike is at E3 (jerk) and so it is up to me to get the new update through. I wonder what this lever does-OH MY GODS THE COLORS! Anyway, this episode is our joint effort with our Sister podcast, Found in the Alley, in our "Two Podcasts, one Panel"...err...Panel, at Kublacon. We talk about the events we've already been apart of, things we are excited for, and some games we've tried.A big thank you to everyone who came to watch us, you are truely Kings and Queens of Geeks.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Episode 17 - Interview with A.J. Kirsch

Have we got a treat for you! Not only are we serving up delicious Post- KublaCon wrap up, but we have a jumbo sized interview with Tough Enough's AJ Kirsch as well! If you are a fan of this unusually lucid reality show, I would suggest watching up to the latest episode before enjoying this week's podcast, as there are spoilers. On that note, I'd like to thank AJ for the awesome interview, and welcome any AJ fans to our site. Bathrooms are down the hall, coffee station is right behind you. Please don't feed the special guests.

Episode 17!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Going LIVE from Kublacon!

The Ace of Geeks Podcast is going LIVE for the first time ever in around half an hour with our sister podcast Found in the Alley! Join Mike Fatum, Jarys Maragopoulos, Ryan Burton andRobert Stephen Fulkerson for an afternoon of hilarity! We will also announce our first ever interview for this week!
LIVE stream!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Episode 16 - Second Verse, same as the first!

Welcome back, Jacks of Geeks! (Man, we need a better name for our fans.) In this episode, Mike and Jarys once again welcome back the lovely Mae Linh Fatum, take another crack at reviewing Portal 2 (spoilers from 30:58:23- 41:52:21), review Pirates 4, and discuss the worst titty twister in history! (Spoilers for the latest episode of Castle from 07:00:14-9:10:24). Enjoy!

Episode 16!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Episode 15 - My stick is longer, and more flexible, than yours.

The Ace of Geeks gains two guest hosts, Chris Tran and Ian Ballantyne, and reviews Shadows Over Camelot and Thor! We also discuss old Kung Fu movies, anime (!), answer fan mail, and rant about the state of movies about geeks today. Enjoy!

Episode 15!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Episode 14 - Portal 2, Fluxx and more!

Oh my god, we're a weekly podcast! That's insane! Or at least, we are for these two weeks that we've posted in a row. Reviews this week of Portal 2 and the card game Fluxx, and we discuss news about the Marvel movie universe - and then get into a fight about it like always. Hilarity ensues! We hope!

Episode 14!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bonus ACE OF MOVIES! - Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Hey folks. Mike here, and last night I went to go see two movies. One was an energetic thrill ride that gave me exactly what I expected and new how to use it's limited resources incredibly well.

That was Fast Five. The OTHER movie I saw was Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.

First of all, let's start with some positives. Brandon Routh is a good actor, and can do very well in a movie where he's given good direction. Witness Scott Pilgrim. There are also times where the movie had the kind of style and epicness you expect from an urban fantasy flick, mostly in the first five minutes. The conceit behind the film (which I'll explain in a second) and the script were actually pretty good. It's everything else where the film falls apart.

The idea behind the film is that Dylan (is Dog his last name? They never say.) is a private investigator. He used to be something more: an impartial investigator that keeps the peace between the vampires, werewolves, zombies and demons that inhabit New Orleans. It's implied at one point in the movie that these supernatural creatures are, in fact, ONLY in New Orleans, but that's never made clear. You see, the supernatural creatures appoint a human as this impartial investigator to keep from tearing each other's throats out. Dylan's idea of the world is that the undead (or still living, in the case of werewolves) have as much right to exist as we do, and it's the actual monster hunters of the world that are the bad guys. So far, pretty cool, right?

Here's another quick positive: Like Super Bad, this film has a sub plot that's far superior to and more interesting than the main plot. Dylan's best friend, Marcus, played by Sam Huntington, is killed by a zombie and begins to turn into one himself. Sam has to deal with rotting, getting his limbs replaced, learning to eat bugs, and all the other fun things that come with being the living dead. It turns out there's even a thriving living dead community in New Orleans, and he can attend a support group for the recently deceased. This is a FANTASTIC idea for a movie, and I want to see one that's just about this guy. It helps that Huntington is one of the shining points of acting in the film, and manages to be believable and even somewhat funny while being the goofy comic relief.

Ok, now to the bad stuff, AKA, everything else. The film is written as if it were a noir.  There's a helpless female who's not what she seems, a dead partner, and even a corrupt and manipulative club owner. Combining all that with the supernatural sounds like a great idea, and it should have been. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the cast to bloody ACT. Routh narrates the entire film, sounding as if he were sitting in a soundstage incredibly bored the entire time. The female love interest alternates from bored to confused to bored again. The werewolves were told, inexplicably, to growl all of their lines, making every scene with them hilarious. And the two romantic scenes in the movie have less chemistry than Anakin talking to Padme in Episode II.

Then there's the effects. The film made the admirable, and money saving, decision to use very little CG. That's great, but then you gotta get someone who knows their shit to do your practical effects. The werewolves have a really interesting transformation, then the camera cuts away, and suddenly we're looking at something out of a mid-90's Power Rangers episode. At two points in the film Dylan fights giant monsters played by hulking, seven foot dudes. They look like something out of a theme park for goths. And then...the vampires.

It's hard to be original in Hollywood these days. It seems everyone is always remaking something, somewhere. But when you use the EXACT SAME VAMPIRE MAKEUP FROM BUFFY, there's a frickin' problem. Actually, this problem is all over the film. Dylan hates technology and drives a Blue Beetle. The vampires in the film are all called, I shit you not, True Bloods. It's like someone took a big can of supernatural popular stuff and shook it up, and then said "Meh. Just...stand there and do...something."

And that's really how the film feels. From beginning to end, everyone involved seems to think the film is crap and they shouldn't be doing it. Every time the film has a chance to do something interesting, it fails to do it. There's a scene where Dylan marches into a club and takes out ten vampires with a succession of flare guns being handed to him by Marcus. The camera proceeds to stay on his face the entire time while he slowy marches down the hall to the tune of some crappy song. The sad thing is, Dylan Dog had potential to be something interesting. Urban fantasy is one of the most popular book genres right now, and the time is right for it to be made into a great movie. Dylan Dog is not that movie. I feel like if one person (maybe THE DIRECTOR) had given a crap, it could have been.

Thanks for reading, folks. Stay tuned for the next podcast, with a review of Portal 2, and after that....THOR!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Episode 13 - In which we talk about Bioware a lot

Welcome back! After a couple week break, the Ace of Geeks Podcast returns with a fairly Bioware-themed episode. In this episode, we review Dragon Age 2, talk about Mass Effect, and our Ace of Geeks this week fits the theme, too. We also review Bradley Cooper's new movie Limitless, and talk about possibly the greatest cartoon of all time.
Episode 13! 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Episode 12 - Superman and Sucker Punch

The twelfth podcast, filled with hilarity and arguments about Superman! In this podcast, we review Sucker Punch and Bulletstorm, we've got a ton of news, and our first ever Deuce of Geeks!

Episode 12!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin S. on the Westfinder Gaming Troup

My first larp was at DunDraCon, and was either a Firefly larp or a Buffy larp. I'm inclined to say Firefly because of how new at it I was and how awkward I remember feeling, and how I was basically playing Jayne and ended up asking this chick out as one of my objectives, which was rather entertaining because me, the person playing this character, was a thirteen-year-old girl. I'm also inclined to say Buffy, though, 'cuz I know my stepsis specifically introduced me to larps, and I remember her telling me I should sign up for that one, and I had a blast because I was the slayer (Victoria Winters, original, right?), and she was a vampire, and I was out for her and for this really creepy guy with whitish hair and sunglasses who seriously reminded me of the Corinthian from the Sandman graphic novels (rambling a bit, I know, but bear with me). A few years down the road and I'm getting more comfortable with them; I end up playing a gunbunny (literally; I had ears) in a cyberpunk larp, which is the first time I remember seeing Jarys around (he was Boombox), and I remember running into him in the halls a lot that year and actually remembering who he was. And then last year with the train and the killing and the fun (and the Jarys and Xavier thinking there was a party in my room for some reason XD). The curious thing about the last two was that, by then I was part of my own larping group, a bunch of middle and high school kids (and some college ones because we keep coming back) called Westfinder, and it'd given me rather a unique perspective on it.

The thing about Westfinder is that it was founded by high school kids, and a lot of the players are kids who've never had any other larping experience (besides maybe Wayfinder, which is what it's based on), and this leads to some interesting situations. We have a staff that is composed of members of Westfinder, and are therefore the same age and have had the same experiences. And games are written by anyone in the community and then submitted to staff to be chosen or not. We run a game per month throughout the school year. And our gamewriters have pretty much only been influenced by what books they've read and the games that have come before. We've had everything from Dresden File larps to pure high fantasy, to high fantasy taking place in the mind of a young girl who was in a coma due to driving her car into a tree because her mother was regaining custody of her, and therefore by the end of the game the princess with the evil queen mother and the layabout father who is being attacked by embodiments of her own fears is encouraged to wake up by all the friends around her because they've realized that even if she wakes up and that means their death, as they're only figments of her imagination, they care about her and know that it's that important that she goes on and faces the world at large. We've had some recurring settings Nolix%Uul and Nolix%Uul 2, 4.5 and 5.6, but for the most part we have one-shots. And only getting a 20-player turnout is low for us.

We have our issues - people are typecast, or the newbies are given bit parts and don't have a good first game - but we've found ways to deal with those; I love playing evil roles and don't mind being typecast, and because of our system in which we e-mail a teaser out about the game a few weeks in advance, encourage people to send in a survey with such questions as "rate from 1 to 10 the appeal of the following characteristics for you: evil, good, betrayal, loyalty, ambition, wisdom, magic, stealth, etc" people have been getting really good at making tailored characters such that everyone who plays has a really fun experience, and there's something in there for even people who don't affect the plot at all.

I know that this is vastly different from con larping because of the small registration time and the impossibility of creating tailored characters or really getting to know the people who will be playing unless you actually know them already, but I thought that it could offer a bit of perspective, and I hoped that you would appreciate hearing about it. And not become too annoyed by the ramblings of someone avoiding schoolwork >.>

Keep podcasting, I'm really enjoying it!


[Editors note: the Westfinders Gaming Troup is a section of Wayfinders. Westfinders is open to youth only. Check them out HERE ]

Episode 11 - We now return to our regularly scheduled format

Back to our regularly scheduled format, the Ace of Geeks crew reviews some new types of entertainment, and introduces a few new segments! Make sure you email us to vote on the name for our mailbag segment, and with any questions or comments as usual.

Episode 11!

Also, see below to donate to this week's Ace of Geeks, the Super Hero Time folks who are raising money to help Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. They've given so much entertainment to us over the years, let's give them a helping hand.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So a woman called me by mistake today.

When I told her I wasn't the person she wanted to call, she started explaining the frustrations she's had with getting her call through. What followed was a thirty minute nearly one way conversation with a sweet old woman where I learned the following:

-Gypsy in italian is Zyngareta. Or something like that. She used to run from California all the time from her mother, who called her that. Also, women ruin the workplace, she used to only work with men and that was much better. :)

-The title of the book about her life will be "Don't you ever call me up if you need a ride." Because she's "A God Damn Taxi Driver, Jesus."

-The Pope blessed her personally once! And her friend was jealous because she goes to church more.

-On Marriage: "You know what you got, you don't know what you're getting into."

-The cops never came to her house because her mother was loving and tough.

-She's bemoaning the divorce rate in America. I think.

- She loves Irish dancing at the nursing home.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Episode 10 - We made it to ten episodes!

Here's a day a lot of people never thought would come - ten episodes of The Ace of Geeks Podcast in the bag! Thanks for sticking with us, folks, and see you at 100!

The Tenth Podcast!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Response to our Dundracon podcast

Robert, from our newfound sister podcast Found in the Alley, has sent us a great response to our Dundracon podcast, so we thought we'd post it up here for all to see. We'll respond either here or in the podcast, but thoughts, folks?

(Strangely, copy/pasting this has caused weird formatting errors that I'm too lazy to fix.)

Response to Ace of Geeks Podcast Episode 9 - Live from DunDraCon

Hey guys, thanks for the plugs and kind words. Ryan and I really enjoyed getting to know you all
at DunDraCon and having you on the show. We really should do it again and I think that Ryan and I have an idea we would like to include you in if you are interested in.

I am having a great time getting into your show now that you have introduced me to it. I do
have a response to your DunDraCon episode though; namely the hate on larger form
LARPs, “Bodyguard” characters and “douchey player moves.” Forgive me if I perhaps missed the point on some of the statements but let’s get to it.

The hate on large form LARPs I found puzzling. As a person that lives to write, run and play in
these games I was concerned with why there was such near universal disdain for them in the panel. Is it something that is felt is inherent or essential to the large form game that results in poor writing and
throw away characters? I can understand the feeling of frustration from having a poorly written
character and it ruining your entire afternoon or evening. Is it that the panel feels that it is just easier to
write a handful of good characters and that in larger games the rest is simply filler? If so, then I agree if
you run out of good characters, don’t write filler just to make a quota.

However, I think that these problems only become exasperated in a smaller form game. One
poor character in a small game hurts the entire narrative more than in a larger game. In the larger
game a poorly written, or even worse a poorly played, character it is at least dampened by the fact that
there are more characters to pick up the slack. Not only that but I feel that a larger game presents more
opportunities for social interaction and the development of factions and cliques. Perhaps that is just a
functionalist’s perspective on the form and my own ego thinking that I do not write filler or throw away characters.

Speaking of poor characters there was much vitriol spoken about the “Bodyguard” type. I can
understand a bit of this annoyance in that the “Bodyguard” is tied to another character to the point
that it may sacrifice their impact on the narrative of the game. However, I love this character type. As I
mostly write and run L5R (Legend of the Five Rings, Magical Samurai RPG) the Yojimbo or “Bodyguard” type is the perfect place to play off the idea of duty vs. desire, or giri vs. ninjo the staples of samurai fiction for hundreds of years. If you force a character into making moral choices based upon what they should or are asked to do and what they want to do. This is an even more interesting choice in a RPG environment as the player itself is in conflict with the duty of fulfilling the role and the desire to make an impact on the story and be known. In the end there no bad “Bodyguards” just poorly written characters.

I will finish this up with questioning the idea of the “douchey” player moves. I found this very
statement to be odd coming from and presented to the folks of the panel. We have all suffered under
the problem player that only seeks to sow chaos and fuck the party & narrative in equal measure.
However, I feel that any player that seeks to find another path for the story and use their imagination
and inspiration that there is nothing “douchey” in that at all. In fact I know I speak for both Ryan and

myself when I say that this is mana from heaven for us storytellers. To have a player forget who they
are, embody the role that we have written and then take it a new direction or new heights that we
never could fathom. It is beautiful. In fact we take great pride in writing our games where as we see the
characters and the events set before them traveling down, only to have to tear that path apart by the
machinations and actions of our players fleshing out and developing the characters further. I would hate to have a player feel that it is outside their capacity to influence the story. After all if it was not for them, I would not have a game at all and their interest and enjoyment is my interest and enjoyment.

I hope this hasn’t been too rambling. Since meeting you all for the second or third times, but
actually getting to interact with you all in games more, hang out and converse as well as take in your
podcast, I have been in a deeply philosophical, wordy and thoughtful mood and I appreciate you all
taking the time to read this and all of my other rants. Trust me, more are on the way.


And now for Mike's response:

Hey, Robert, thanks for taking the time to not only listen, but really ingest the podcast. We're really excited about this new relationship, and if your kickass idea works out, it's going to rock the internet's face. Now let's stop sucking each other's dicks and get to arguing on the internet. :)

I think you did misinterpret what we were trying to say, pretty much across the board. :) The problem isn't that larger LARPs (or SURPs)are bad, but that throwaway characters are bad. If you can write 30 really compelling characters with stuff to do, that'd be fantastic, do it. We were talking about our experiences with LARPs where GMs seemingly wrote more characters just to write them rather than having them be integral to the story.

It's more about "write only as many characters as your LARP needs", rather than "don't write lots of characters."

The problem with douchey players is not players who play evil characters or change the game really well, because that's not douchetastic at all. The specific example I meant was a guy in the Terra Firma LARP who made it basically unplayable for me by literally physically inserting himself inbetween me and people I was talking to constantly. Another example would be a vampire player who manipulated Mae Linh's new player status and lack of rules knowledge to nearly bring her to tears. Those are people who are mana to the storytelling, those are douchebags who use LARPing for a personal power trip. At least for me, that's douchbaggery. When my character got murdered by a Daimyo, that was just him playing the game, and when later the same con one character poisoned every single character in the LARP to death, that was also just playing the game and doing it deviously and well. At least for me, we were talking about folks who go out of their way to break the game for personal power, not people who play evil or douchy characters really well.

And finally, the problem is not that Bodyguard Characters exist. Like you said, those storylines can be very interesting. The problem is when Bodyguards are written just as "protect your master, rah rah rah." Or, even worse, when you get what happened to Mae Linh, where all of her stories involved people the woman she was guarding would never interact with, but she was told she HAD to stick by Nicole's side. That gets frustrating, because the player has no ability to roleplay. On the other hand, if she had been forced to bodyguard Captain Shea, who was my character's opponent for her affections, that would have been really damn interesting and a good story.

Anywho, that's my thoughts on the matter. Let me know what you think, Robert, Jarys, and the Ace of Geeks listening audience!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Episode 9 - "Live" from DunDraCon!

Hey folks, we just returned from a fantastic DunDraCon. While we were there, we recorded a podcast with FIVE guest hosts! We also played Apples to Apples and discussed a variety of topics from LARPing to wrestling.

We promise this one works. Third time's the charm, right?

Episode 9!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Being Human promised

Jarys here, I know that I promised a review for the British version of "Being Human", But I became quite sick after we recorded this, and forgot all about it. The show has been out for quite a while now, so I'm sure I am no less tardy.  Also, we will try to add more posts to the blog. Someone suggested this would be the perfect place to put any thoughts on media only one of us has experienced, and I quite agree. Now on to the review:


The Good
I really enjoy the concepts in "Being Human", a couple of once normal monsters attempt to band together against their inner natures to embrace their humanity and attempt to enjoy normal life again. They are joined by a ghost who is delighted to have roommates who can see her, and is still dealing with the trauma of death. The fantastic reality of their situation is still treated as serious enough that it cannot be dismissed every episode, and creates multiple interesting storylines, however humor is a welcome quality of the show. Without the humor, the show wouldn't catch my interests very much.
Moreover the main characters are very interesting and real, especially when compared to the antagonists, most of whom have embraced their monstrous natures and thus come off as stereotypes. This helps place emphasis on the main characters plight, and emphasis that would have been quite fulfilling except......

The Bad
......except that the characters ultimately fail. Really, this is a big deal for me. Call me a romantic, but I don't like to see characters I come to care about struggle for two seasons meaninglessly. At first I thought the series was just even handed, humor with serious themes. However as the second season drew to a close, I found the characters falling away from their goals in a death spiral. That was very dissapointing.

The skinny:
It's a good series, with some good dialogue and themes, but not recommended unless you like your stories dark.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We're back from DunDraCon!

Hey folks, we're back from an epically awesome time at this year's DunDraCon, and we took the time to do two great things for you! First:

1) Mike and Mae Linh stopped checked in with the fine folks over at the Found in the Alley podcast, who were gracious enough to include us in both their DunDraCon podcast AND their unboxing and playing of the new Dungeons and Dragons board game, The Wrath of Ashardalon. Go check them out at:

2) We recorded a special DunDraCon episode, which has far less format than our usual stuff. It's just a group of con friends playing Apples to Apples and discussing the convention, and turned out to be a lot of fun. Look for that later this week.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Episode 8 - Live from the Sitchenario Room!

Remember folks, our next exciting episode will be LIVE(ish) from Dundracon! If you want to be involved, hit us up and let us know at!

Download the new episode here!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Special Episode: The Great Debate

This is not a regularly scheduled podcast, this is a debate between Jarys, Mike, and our two guest contributors Aaron Tiexiera and Mae Linh Fatum. We'll be debating a hot-button topic for us, the current trend towards darker stories and darker heroes in Sci-fi and Fantasy and whether this is actually a good thing. Come check it out.

The Debate

Episode 7 - Built entirely with small plastic bricks!

Hey folks! The newest podcast in online, and you should very much check it out. Here's the link:

Episode 7

This week we'll also be posting a spirited debate between the Ace of Geeks team and our two guest stars, Mae Linh Fatum and Aaron Tiexiera. Make sure you check it out.

Also folks, remember we'd love to hear from you either on our main web site,, of via email at Tell us your thoughts, test our geek knowledge, ask a question...we want to hear from you!

Mike and Jarys

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Episode 6 - New Years EXTRAVAGANZA!

Let's try this again, shall we?

Welcome to the new year, and a NEW Ace of Geeks Podcast! With 50% more content, and 50% more awesomeness!

Episode 6!

Episode 5 - Months Later!

iTunes gave me some unforseen problems that I didn't realize until now. They're fixed now. I hope.

Episode 5!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Episode 6 - The New Years EXTRAVAGANZA!

Let's try this again, shall we?

Welcome to the new year, and a NEW Ace of Geeks Podcast! With 50% more content, and 50% more awesomeness!