AA: Start us off with some basic stats! Who are you, where are you from, what’s your job class?
SS: My name is Sam, I hail from the warm shores of Southern CA, but recently I’ve taken my five star Lyft rating to the east coast. Baltimore specifically. My job class? Freelancing, Marketing, and Public Relations level 13. It seems boring, but it’s really quite fun. Talking about SEO and ROI is weirdly thrilling.
AA: What is it you do for/contribute to Sub Cultured?
SS: I’ve written for SC, I’ve managed Twitter for them, currently I consider myself the SC layabout. It’s very glamorous, but tough work. Not for the faint of soul, or heart. Being hearty of body helps though.
AA: You’ve been writing for SC for a long while, how’d you get your start?
SS: I want to tell you there is an exciting origin story here, so I will.
Long before man put pen to papyrus I was there, sitting in the great nothingness between worlds. Waiting for a sign, a moment in which all my nerd knowledge and pop culture minutiae would be useful. It was after many eons in the darkness, a voice pierced through the veil. It was a site called IHOGeek, they were looking for writers, and I had dabbled in the putting of words to page. Here it was, my moment. Time and space collided in an instant, eons became seconds, seconds became infinitesimal moments of quantum thought.
So I applied, and Kimmie and Leia liked my stuff enough after a Skype interview to hire me. The end. This would be the site that would one day become Sub-Cultured so here we are. The story of my fake, obviously real-ly made up origins.
AA: Were you always comfortable with who you are, geek wise?
SS: Yeah, my geek has always been a weird part of who I was. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Disney, all were parts of my early childhood. Comics, sports, video games, those came later, but it’s always been that way for me.
AA: Everyone seems to have a ‘geeky’ property, like Star Wars or Firefly, that they hold near and dear to them. What’s yours and why?
SS: What do I hold dear? I actually had to take a second and ask myself that. Star Wars was the first thing that came to mind, then Lord of the Rings. But I realized something, the thing that’s called me back time and time again. That keeps me up at night wishing that it could be adapted or that I could read new and exciting things from it. Asimov’s Foundation Books, are all of them good? No. Are they the pinnacle of SciFi and world building that some people make them out to be? Probably not, but they set my imagination aflame in ways that really only Star Wars does if I had to pinpoint something else.
AA: If you could have a hand in contributing to that property, how would you?
SS: I want to see it adapted on the silver screen. I think a series on HBO or Starz could do it justice if handled correctly. I would love to be a Show-runner or Casting Director for such a project.
AA: On bad days, what do you do to cheer yourself up?
SS: I watch Star Wars, or read Star Wars, or play the Fallout series of video games. Hopefully accompanied by really spicy chicken wings or ramen.
AA: Do you find it easier to cheer up others or yourself?
SS: Others, I’ve memorized several inspiring sports speeches for such occasions.
AA: When you’re faced with a challenge, how do you manage it?
SS: I slowly but surely apply a serious amount of ass-kicking to the challenge.
AA: Is there a superpower you wish you had?
SS: Telekinesis. It seems like many of the other things I would want to do with super powers could be covered by creative application of telekinesis. So I’d like to at least give that a shot for a little while.
AA: Are there people in the geek community that inspire you, be it a celebrity or a scientist? If you’ve met them, how was the experience?
SS: Someone DID, then they turned out to be sorta crappy in real life. I decided after that to try and find inspiration in other things. Or smaller actions I suppose.
AA: DC, Marvel, or Image? (Or Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock)
SS: Image. Because Sex Criminals.. Because I too am a Sex…..Criminal… wait.. no.. Enthusiast.. This came out wrong.
What do we find out about Alex? Find out in our next installment!!
For those who are unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month is an annual online challenge for aspiring writers to complete a first draft of a short novel (50,000 words) during the month of November. The goal is to get people writing, foster creative thinking, output, as well as jumpstarting possible careers through the completion of rough first drafts writers can later revisit and expand on. If you’re already a writer and a yearly participator, then you’re probably well on your way towards your goal, and if you’re not, that’s okay too. Whether you’re reaching the pivotal moment where your character learns their true power or still struggling with that first twist, or hey even a name for your lead, we have a list of practice writing exercises and prompts to get your gears going for the day!
As you sit down to write for the day, choose one prompt or exercise and using it as your base, write for 15-30 minutes as a warm-up. You can use your current characters to help build their personalities for your main NaNo text, or jump in and create something new. You might be surprised by what you can make.
- Have a character be caught doing an activity or saying something atypical to their established personality and or interests. Have them then justify why they are doing what they are doing or why they said it.
- She walked into the room, closing her emerald colored umbrella.
- Pythons had nothing on this.
- These trees, naturally, were very good at killing people.
- “Put that down, it could rip your arm off.”
- The truth hung heavy on her wrist.
- By the time it cooled, we were ready.
- Have character reveal a secret to another character or to the reader.
- Parlez-vous français? Does your character speak another language? Have them have to use it.
- “Just carrying that in made you annoyed?”
- The face that broke her was one seldom seen.
- He chewed through the marshmallow, furious.
- They were there after all.
- “It’s not safe here,” she said, “meet me by the café at 11. Listen for the whistle.”
- Playing croquet was supposed to be boring, but the appearance of a lone ringed finger on the court made everything hysterical.
- He thought he was alone, until he heard an owl screech by the train car window.
- Eris Interrupting a Party: Have an obstacle, object or persion that everyone in one room wants for themselves or must overcome appear or occur in a room of your characters. How does each person try to get what they want?
- Luck was not a factor here.
- If it wasn’t for the jeweled dagger stuck through my hand, I would have laughed too.
- Make your character fiddle with an object while they think/speak.
Ever get the feeling that all your friends who share similar interests only exsist on the internet? There should be an app for that. Enter Leaping Tiger, a location-based friend-finding app for gamers, is now available on Android after launching for iOS and the web in May.
A social discovery tool designed for gamers who want a simple way to make friends with people nearby who share similar gaming tastes, Leaping Tiger allows users to quickly find individuals to play with, consolidate their gamertags across all platforms, and engage with the surrounding gamer community.
“If Foursquare and Tinder had a baby, and that baby was really into gaming, that’s Leaping Tiger” Amy Potter, founder, Leaping Tiger, explains. “We have seen many social platforms move away from lengthy posts and extensive profiles, but social platforms for gamers have lagged behind. We think we are providing a product that is the evolution of the online social experience for gamers. We offer a streamlined set of tools to help the community instantly connect.”
Features include the ability to create a profile with a listing of gamertags for each platform, check-in to games, message other users, location-based search prioritizing local active players and save other users’ profiles for future interactions.
Leaping Tiger provides a variety of intuitive features that allow users to:
- Create a Player Profile – Members can create a player profile housing all of their gamertags, so players with similar interests have the option to connect
- Check-In – Leaping Tiger lets the world know what games members are playing at that moment
- Instantly Connect – After finding a potential friend, users can instantly begin chatting, making it easy for gamers to organize online play sessions and meetups with the local community
- Find Local Gamers – Leaping Tiger prioritizes active members in a user’s area so gamers can locate others who share the same time zone, before searching worldwide
- Save Friends – After connecting with other Leaping Tiger members, users can save their favorite profiles to make future interactions via direct message with those individuals a breeze
The Leaping Tiger founders developed the app to fulfill the need for a simple and instant way to discover local gamers, emphasizing real connections over anonymity.
Games are better played with people you know, and the team at Leaping Tiger is passionate about bringing gamers together. You can find Leaping Tiger on Android’s Google Play Store as well as the iOS App Store, with a web based version being perfected for a summer release.
To celebrate our theme of togetherness, we at Sub Cultured came together to focus on a few of our fellow content creators by spotlighting their work around the web! Today our focus is on cosplayer and Dragon Ball Z aficionado, Uncanny Megan! Read on to find out how she started cosplaying and why she wouldn’t want to be a telepath!
Let’s kick this off with some basic stats! Who are you, where are you from, and what is your job class?
Hi there! I’m Megan, aka Uncanny Megan. I’m from Louisiana and I (try to) do costume-y stuff for a living.
As a woman with geek interests, were you always comfortable with yourself?
Sometimes! I still get slightly uncomfortable in nerdy situations that involve men who pretty much ignore me or my opinions because I’m a girl.
According to social media, you have a multitude of different creative outlets. Which one is your favorite medium as far as production?
I really like sewing, although recently I’ve been pretty burnt out on it so I’ve been focusing more on YouTube instead, which I love just as much!
We’ve featured some of your costumes on our website before. When did you start creating costumes and what inspired you to start?
I started cosplaying in 2008 because I had a teacher in school that taught us about the hobby. The way I saw it was that I couldn’t go to my first convention WITHOUT a costume so I stayed awake the night before the event making Kairi’s stupid pink dress from Kingdom Hearts II.
What is your personal day-to-day cosplay creation process like? Do you have a designated area, some sort of sacrifical ritual, a no-pants rule? Pillow fort, perhaps?
I have a room dedicated to cosplay, drawing, and figure collecting! I often sacrifice blood to my costumes by way of accidentally stabbing myself with a needle so hard that I yip like a scared dog. On occasion there is a no pants rule, but my current crafting room has terrible lighting so my window is always open and nobody needs to see me and my granny panties making costumes, hahaha.
Everyone has a character that resonates with them. Which character(s) do you identify with the most?
Even before I started cosplaying I always thought I really identified with Tohru from FruitsBasket. Thinking like Tohru got me through some rough patches in my life so I was more than thrilled to get to actually cosplay her a few years ago.
Pick a superpower and its yours. What do you choose?
Ahg, that’s hard! Can I have the ability to not be tired all the time? Haha. But really, I guess some sort of telekinesis would be cool. Not so much telepathy because I wouldn’t want to unintentionally read people’s minds.
I’m a sucker for guilty pleasures, do you have any that you’d care to divulge?
I love, love, love stuff made for teenage girls! TV shows, books, you name it. Pretty Little Liars is probably my worst guilty pleasure from that category. I’ve never been so invested into a series to the point of writing conspiracy theories and re-watching/reading it over and over again.
Proudest achievement, cosplay or otherwise?
I’m really proud of myself as a cosplayer in general. I often think about little Megan and how she would feel if she knew I’d be doing all these things, meeting all these people, and going all these places. I wish I could go back in time and tell her that, even though being a nerd sucks right now, one day it’s gonna take you great places!
What sorts of media are you consuming right now?
I’m kinda in between shows right now, because, you know, the only way to watch TV is to marathon a series on Netflix. I just got hooked onto Once Upon a Time and How to get Away with Murder but I’m waiting for the next seasons to be added. (Even though I have actual cable, haha) As for books, just the usual comics: lots of X-Men, Walking Dead, Archie, and some other stuff. I also just picked up the manga for One Punch Man! Super excited to read it.
In the spirit of togetherness, who are some of your favorite content creators that you can’t get enough of?
Togetherness! In cosplay land I really like Quantum Destiny and Kearstin, and gaint handful of other really talented people! On Youtube, I can’t get enough of Jontron, Lewtoons, Super Carlin Brothers.
Where do you spend most of your time on the internet and where can people find you?
I spend all of my time on the internet because I’m a loser! Hooray! You can find me at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat and whatever else under the username Uncanny Megan or UncannyMegan!
Publisher: Cryptozoic Entertainment
Players: 2- 6
Play Time: 30-45 minutes
Cost: Around $30
Will YOU be the next Ultimate Battle Wizard!?!
We first saw this game on popular YouTube series, Tabletop, from Geek & Sundry, and as a particularly magic loving bunch, we decided to pick it up! This vicious card game consists of brutal spell casting to blast your opponents to a lonely afterlife, but bestows creative cards that provide a bonus to those who bite the dust. With artwork that is reminiscent of the more bizarre episodes of Adventure Time and blended with a saucy vocabulary peppered with swears, Epic Spell Wars provides one hell of an experience.
So, how do you play?
The rules themselves are pretty basic. You draw a hand of eight spell cards and each player then creates a spell. Spells are made by combining up to three cards: a beginning (source), middle (quality), and an ending (delivery) card. The bottom of the card states which is which, but it’s pretty easy to tell what order to play them in, because the borders and ribbons on the cards match up.
Combine dealt spell cards into three-piece combos (all spells need a Source, a Quality, and a Delivery) and read your spell aloud in your best wizard voice. Each ‘ingredient’ has its own effect, and resolving each one properly casts your absurd attack on your adversaries. Tiny details such as matching your ingredient card’s symbols boost the results of your mystical assault, but what if you weren’t dealt enough ingredients to make full spells? As the rulebook states: Make it up! Use your hero’s name for a missing Source, a colorful adjective for a missing Quality, and any magical sounding word, like Invocation for a missing Delivery. Other cards are Wild Magic cards which allow you to draw an ingredient you’re missing and Treasure cards which, surprise surprise, give you a treasure that can hinder or help you in the quest to be Last Wizard Standing. Simple enough, right?
You win by defeating all opponents and collect two Last Wizard Standing token, but don’t fret, my fellow dead wizards! Even if you get eliminated, you’re not out of the game, because the game itself is played in multiple rounds of duels and dead wizard collect Dead Wizard cards which grants you powers for the next round..
With eight different characters to choose between, and two expansions, Epic Spell Wars is a game with just the right amount of replayability. We do stress that due to some of the more colorful language and innuendos, it probably isn’t something for the kids to play!
Continuing our theme of Togetherness this November, our next staff interview pair is Kaitlyn and Kimmie. Read on to find out how Kaitlyn feels about her work on Game of Theories and how she became known as “The Red Pen Of Justice.”
Start us off with some basic stats! Who are you, where are you from, what’s your job class, and why don’t you remember the nickname I gave you?
Clearly I’m Kaitlyn, Content Editor lvl 10 hailing from the lowlands of New York. It’s Kait or Kaitlyn, The Un-Nicknameable. I don’t remember this moniker because you never gave me one. That or I’m a replicant.
You’ve been with us, in your words, just short of from the beginning. How and why did you end up joining?
In your “Meet Kimmie” feature, you mentioned how the site started as a reaction to some shenanigans over at a fledgling blog. Like most things, I believe I was bugged into applying to that site by Leia. By the time I had written a sample piece, the site had imploded and you two started what would become Sub-Cultured. By this point I had developed an immunity to Leia’s bugging, so it took her a few months of evolved tactics for her to convince me to apply to your team, which led to years of fun and new levels of Leia poking me to get my shit together. Hope I was worth it.
What is it that you do for Sub-Cultured?
A few months ago, I was crowned content editor and vassal lord. Basically, while still contributing reviews, opinions, interviews etc, I’m also the main editor for the team. Proudly, I also can say that I’ve written some episodes of Game of Theories and contributed and edited others. Also, when fans ask us content questions or offer critique on the youtube pages, it’s generally me responding to them (thus the mask of anonymity is cast off) Basically, if Kimmie’s tongue is twisting around ridiculous alliteration, I wrote it.
You’ve referred to yourself as “The Red Pen Of Justice.” How did that name come about and how has it applied to Sub-Cultured?
Arrogance, it came about from arrogance. But actually, the process of writing and researching for the Game of Theories’ scripts is something I find really interesting and I’d love to do a behind the scenes feature in the future because we’ve really developed a great system. I started calling myself that because I claimed red Google doc ink as my note color because A) red is brutal and B) I used to work at a college and did a lot of proofing and editing of papers for students. “Justice”…well from years of experience both with others’ work and my own, I think it can be clear when something is unclear and rushed through, so often my comments or notes are just “vague” or snarkily “wat,” because often writers know when they just shrugged and ended an incomplete thought with a period just to move on with their day. Not on my watch. I speak for the trees… err words. Of course, I will often argue substituting one word for another for an entire essay long-rant that no one asked for, but even Batman’s unquenchable pursuit of justice must annoy the League once and awhile.
I love writing and I think that crafting an argument and presenting information is equal parts art and logic, and I love editing because it requires a split mind between writer and reader, which is a challenge. For Game of Theories, for instance, once the massive amount of research is completed, the information has to be presented in an interesting and effective way, so the execution of writing a script is like a puzzle. It’s fun, and through editing I know I’ve become a better writer. I hope the team feels the same way and has improved with my feedback.
What is it like to work with a team that is mostly virtual? How do Wildlings get internet signals North of The Wall?
World Wide Weirwood Network, Duh. But honestly, spearwives are busy, yo. Balancing school, work, occasional bullshit time would render working on SC stuff pretty impossible if we didn’t have a really great system for working collaboratively on projects. Kimmie and Leia are like masters at the long form post for updates and are incredibly amazing at asking for and taking in feedback. They are the headmistresses, but Sub-Cultured is a team machine, and is really only possible because everyone is enthusiastic and supportive of each other. Collaboration isn’t about live and real-time work, it’s about respecting and working with different people and opinions, which also means working with different schedules and real life stuff.
You’ve mentioned before that you’re “going dark” for Star Wars. What does that entail and how have you been handling it?
Well I wrote a whole post about it but simply, I’m not an anti-spoiler fanatic, but I often avoid trailers for movies that I want to see. Speculation just really isn’t my jam.
In the case of Star Wars, which sits pretty high on my list of things that I care about, I have full faith in the franchise and where it is heading, and I want to sit in that theater and be completely surprised, and I just don’t think that is possible with a head full of internet leaks and images. I cried when I saw that first trailer, they don’t need to advertise to me any more than that.
Old Gods, Faith of the Seven, or Red God?
Ha, well despite my wildling nature, I love the Faith of the Seven in the novels. The depiction Maiden, Mother, and Crone (besides being an awesome name for an all-female metal band) is beautiful to me, and I love the similar depictions of the Fates in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.
I’ve mentioned to you before that I think you’re a Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. Dry and no-nonsense, but with a loveable streak. If you could describe yourself with a fictional character, who would come the closest?
Ha, well once you told me that and I finally watched all of Parks and Rec, I just don’t think I can shake the similarities. I would watch an episode and just shake my head because, I mean, I’m Ben Wyatt.
There have been a couple of questions alluding to Game of Thrones, so let’s just real talk for a second – Tell me what it is about A Song of Ice and Fire that drew you in and your work on Sub Cultured’s “Game of Theories” webseries.
I think I first read the series when I was 15. I used to sneak my copy of A Game of Thrones behind my religion book (I went to an all-girls Catholic school) and read in class. I’m fairly certain I had just finished The Dark Tower, and was looking for a new book to get into, so my mom handed me her copy and told me to prepare myself for a new obsession. My mother was also the one that started me on The Dark Tower, so obviously I was raised by awesomeness.
Which is your favorite thing that you’ve done for Sub-Cultured thus far?
It has to be Game of Theories, without any runners up. I learned so much from that project and working with Kimmie and Leia. Kimmie taught me about video editing, I learned so much about content sharing and how YouTube works. I learned where my strengths are and aren’t. I learned to get mad and talk it out, as well as when to check myself. Besides that, I know a FUCK TON MORE about A Song of Ice and Fire than I did before.
What kind of things are lurking in your To Do list for 2016?
I have some big editing projects coming up, but I’d also like to create some lasting and frequently updated columns for Sub-Cultured. Also Star Wars tattoo? Possibly possibly.