the twitter game meme

There’s a Twitter meme thing going around that looks intriguing; I decided to answer it here, in long-form, because (a) there’s more room and (b) I don’t have enough of a Twitter presence to get very far otherwise.  But I’m too lazy to get screenshots, so, deal.twittermeme

  1.  Very first videogame is most likely Combat, the game that came bundled with my Atari 2600.
  2. Do I have a favorite character?  It’s probably Wheatley from Portal 2.  Also enjoyed my time with Niko Bellic in GTA 4.
  3. A game that is underrated…. I think Split/Second was a pretty fantastic racing game that not nearly enough people played.
  4. Guilty pleasure game…. I don’t know that I have one, now, unless you count my ongoing addiction to Clicker Heroes, which I’ve had running on a work browser for over a year.  Or any of the Candy Crush Saga games that I still have on my iPhone.  A couple years ago I would’ve said DOA Beach Volleyball, but that game started to creep me out.
  5. I don’t know that I’ve ever related to a video game character, because most videogame characters are trying to kill other people with guns.  That said, I am virtually the same age as the player / older sister in Gone Home, and I certainly related to a lot of what she discovered as she explored her house.
  6. Most annoying character… how about literally everybody in every Metal Gear Solid game?
  7. Favorite game couple… ???  I suspect I haven’t played enough JRPGs from the mid 90s in order to properly answer this question.  I’m hardpressed to think of anything I’ve played in the last 5-10 years that would satisfactorily answer this question.  Well, maybe Geralt and Yennifer, from Witcher 3.
  8. Best soundtrack… I’m gonna go a little bit out of left field here and say Jim Guthrie’s astounding soundtrack to Sword & Sworcery, with Disasterpeace’s work for Fez as a very close runner-up.  And I’ll also say that Voodoo Vince has one of the most overlooked soundtracks of all time.
  9. Saddest game scene… again, probably not enough JRPGs in my mental library to call anything up that fits the bill, and I’m having a hard time recalling anything else that might fit the bill.  It is exceedingly rare for me to have any true and genuine emotional responses to games these days, and I don’t know if that’s me just being old or if it’s me wanting to play games for other reasons beyond narrative.
  10. Best gameplay… how does one answer this question in 140 characters?   I have literally no idea how to even begin putting this together.  Can one compare the sublime driving mechanics of Burnout Paradise with the near-perfect shooting mechanics of, say, Destiny?  Is Uncharted 4‘s parkour better than Rise of the Tomb Raider?  Was anything more hypnotizing than Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2?  Can I cheat a little and give a nod to Batman: Arkham Asylum, if only because it did everything so unexpectedly well?  Or how about Portal 2, if only because it’s still one of the most clever games ever made?  I don’t know that I can answer this question fairly.
  11. Gaming system of choice… well, look:  I loved my Sega Dreamcast.
  12. A game everyone should play is Portal 2.  It’s funny, it’s accessible, it’s clever, it’s non-violent, and the endorphin rush you get when you solve a tough puzzle is something everyone should experience at least once.
  13. A game I’ve played more than 5 times… again, Portal 2.  I suspect that might show up a few more times in this list.  It never gets old.
  14. I have a Firewatch wallpaper on my PC, and an Uncharted 4 screenshot on my Mac.  And I think I have a Witcher 3 theme on my PS4.
  15. I’m playing a dozen games right now, though I think I’m going to stick to Yakuza 0 for the next few days – I’ll hopefully have a post about it later today.  I’ll need to update this answer with a suitable shot.
  16. Game with the best cut scenes… I’m gonna go old school and give this to Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus, which had epic cutscenes considering the technology it was on.
  17. Favorite antagonist?  GladOs.
  18. Favorite protagonist?  How about Raz, from Psychonauts?
  19. Picture of a game setting I wish I lived in… well, I do like Nathan and Elana’s house in Uncharted 4.
  20. Favorite genre:  3rd person action adventure.
  21. Game with the best story… KOTOR.
  22. Game sequel which disappointed me… oh boy.  I loved Mercenaries, which was an admitted GTA clone but which still had a ton of cool shit in it.  Mercenaries 2, on the other hand, was a broken piece of shit.  Similarly, Crackdown 2 was also a broken piece of shit.
  23. Best graphics or art style… as with all things, this is subjective and can be approached in a number of different ways.  Uncharted 4 is the most astounding game I’ve ever seen from a technical standpoint, but Psychonauts has the most inventive art style I’ve ever seen… and stuff like Journey and Inside shouldn’t be ignored, either.
  24. Favorite classic game… I wonder what the creator of this list considers “classic”, or what their cut-off year is.  I mean, I love me some OutRun.  I love me some Streets of Rage and NBA Jam.  I remember being spooked out of my mind by Haunted House on the 2600.
  25. A game I plan on playing… I can give you two definites as of today:  Mass Effect Andromeda and Red Dead Redemption 2.
  26. Best voice acting… this is Portal 2, hands down, no question.
  27. Most “epic” scene ever… guh, I don’t know.  Again, I suppose if I’d played Final Fantasy 5-9 back in the day, I’d have more of a satisfactory answer.  I maintain that the big twist of KOTOR remains the biggest jaw-dropping moment of my entire game-playing life.
  28. Favorite game developer is a tie between RockstarBioware, and DoubleFine.
  29. A game I thought I wouldn’t like but ended up loving… I’m gonna cheat a little here and say that I rented one of the early Tiger Woods games on the original Xbox out of boredom and ended up being obsessed with the franchise for the next 10 years.
  30. Favorite game of all time… goddamn, this is tough.  But I suspect I’m gonna have to go back to Portal 2.

Weekend recap: alternative facts

And so here we are, finally, the first Monday in Trump’s America.  We are expecting Nor’easter-ish conditions here in the NYC region, which seems fitting.

I don’t necessarily want to turn this blog into a political soapbox, but these are strange times, and like it or not, Trump’s current employment is going to affect us all one way or the other.  (I cannot and will not call him President.)  While I understand the impulse to say “Hey, man, leave politics out of it, you’re talking about games and music and books,” the truth of the matter is that Trump’s decisions are absolutely going to affect games and music and books.  Not just in terms of their subject matter, but – in more practical terms – they may very well affect our ability to purchase games and music and books.  Because unless you are a (white, male) billionaire, life is about to get more difficult, whether you like it or not.

And the thing is, Trump and his cronies are legitimately frightening, while also being incredibly ridiculous.  It is hard to take ridiculous things seriously, and yet we as a nation have to take them seriously, because otherwise the truly frightening fascistic shit will get lost in the shuffle.  So while we’re all enjoying a laugh at the insanity of Kellyanne Conway presenting “alternative facts” as a sublime bon mot, let’s not forget that it’s only been 72 hours and the Trump administration is already preparing to leave the United Nations, renegotiate NAFTA, and go into full-bore isolationist mode.  Oh, and that whole healthcare thing… that’s gonna fuck everybody up, too, including people who already have healthcare through their jobs.

In any event:  I despaired on Friday, but after seeing the enormity of the protests on Saturday, I am inspired and rejuvenated.


To that end, I spent last night replaying Wolfenstein: The New Order, because suddenly killing Nazis is cathartic again.  I wrote about this the last time I played it, and it’s still true.  Given that one of the highlights of this weekend was seeing alt-right neo-Nazi Richard Spencer get punched in the face, and then having that punch become a viral meme, I felt that it was my patriotic duty as an American to get my Nazi-killin’ skills in good shape.  I’m still a pacifist, I still hate guns, I still feel a little weird about the shooter genre, but I will alwaysalwaysalways have room in my heart to mow down some Nazis.

If I’m honest with myself, I should probably concede that I have not yet spent enough time with my PSVR to fully justify the expense of owning it.  And yet, my brother and his fiancee hung out with us over the weekend (they were escaping DC, as it were), and I got to blow their minds with that shark tank demo, and that in and of itself is justification enough.

I also dabbled in some other VR experiences; I gave Bound another look, and the difference between Bound in regular mode vs. VR is night and day.  It’s still a bit weird, but the visual experience is nothing short of breathtaking.  Similarly, I finally unlocked the fabled “Area X” mode in Rez Infinite, and all I can really say about that is wow.  Good lord.

I continue to screw around with my backlog, and I continue to find myself drawn towards replaying old favorites in lieu of playing new stuff.  I am having a very difficult time getting into Final Fantasy XV, and Dishonored 2 is also a bit of a struggle (although in that case it’s more that I’m just not very good at it, and while I want to be able to sneak around I end up having to kill everyone, and it becomes a bit of a drag).  I’m also having the same problem with Watch Dogs 2, actually, except I really don’t care about getting into gunfights, even though I feel like I should.

And yet I am more than happy to revisit The Witcher 3, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, and such.  Those games are still great, and given that time remains something of a limited resource, I’d rather spend my time enjoying what I’m doing than not.  It’s an indulgent attitude, I suppose, but these are strange and difficult times, and one has to find happiness where one can.

good luck

Last night I tucked my son into bed – for the third or fourth time, I can’t remember, he kept getting up for one last drink of water – and I kissed him on the head and thought to myself, “This might very well be the last night where I can guarantee his safety, where I can know that there won’t be a nuclear war in the middle of the night because China called Trump a bad name on Twitter.”

I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic about it, but I swear to God that’s what went through my mind.

Today is a dark, dark day.  I can’t recall the last time I felt this sort of dread – at least, not while I was awake.  Indeed, I’m still having trouble processing that this is really happening, that this isn’t some sort of mass-hypnosis Black Mirror episode gone horribly wrong.

But here we are.

It’s been a rough week or so here at SFTC HQ; I got kicked in the ass by a virus last Thursday and I’m only now starting to feel sort-of back to my usual self.  My mom broke her leg while on vacation.  My day job, having already blocked me from social media, has also apparently blocked Spotify.  I can’t watch the news, even though I feel compelled to watch the news, because while it’s important to be informed, I can only take so much of Trump’s stupidity before blood starts shooting out of my ears.  My videogame RSS feeds are filled with endless crap about the Nintendo Switch, which I don’t give a shit about (and which my 3-year-old son is too young to want).

And, well, today we are swearing in a spray-tanned idiot to be our new President.

It is important to fight back, to resist, to make sure that nothing about this administration is normalized, to hold Trump and the spineless GOP accountable for the terrible, terrible mistakes that are about to be made.  It is important to be vigilant and watchful, to stand in the way of injustice, to make our voices heard as loudly as possible.

It is also important to give hugs and kisses to the people you love the most.

If you’re reading this, thank you.  I’m in something of a transitional phase with this blog – which is something I’ve said a million times before, but it’s more true now than ever – and I’m not really sure where I’m going with it.  Talking about games and music and books feels kinda unnecessary, even if, as Trump prepares to dismantle funding for federal arts programs, it’s more important than ever before to talk about music and books and games.

In any event, I’m glad you’re here, whoever you are.  We are going to get through this, somehow.  And if you’re here with me, just know that I am here with you, too.

darkness at the break of noon

it’s alright ma (i’m only bleeding)

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying

Temptation’s page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you’d just be one more
Person crying

So don’t fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don’t hate nothing at all
Except hatred

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge
And it’s alright, Ma, I can make it

Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy, insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something they invest in

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn’t talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer’s pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed
Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?

And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only

gluttony

1. Good news:  I may have figured out how to finish my album!  Let me rephrase that:  I may have figured out how to get myself properly motivated and energized so that I can finish this album.  Until I actually do get re-started, though, there’s nothing really here to discuss, and I get that.  But it’s gonna happen.  I’ve signed up for the RPM Challenge, again, but this time I actually have: (a) a plan, (b) some actual material to work with, and (c) 10 cover songs to work on in case something goes wrong.  Considering that the last RPM Challenge I signed up for is the one that started this album in the first place, there’s a pleasing symmetry in the idea that I could finish this where it all began.

2. I don’t necessarily like to spend my time shitting on things I don’t like – at least, not as much as I used to – but I do feel obligated to mention that I just finished reading one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a few Dan Brown books.  I bring up Dan Brown because the book in question, Kubrick’s Game, is basically a Dan Brown book, but for Stanley Kubrick film nerds.  I am a Kubrick nerd, and I’m also a sucker for secret society nonsense.  In any event, I read this i09 review, saw that it was available for $1.99, and downloaded it immediately.  And I feel compelled to warn you, now, to save your money and avoid this piece of shit at all costs.  What a colossally stupid waste of time.   Everything about it is dumb and contrived and poorly written and just… ugh, I don’t want to talk about it any more.  Avoid it.

3. Speaking of bummers, I just want to point out that in this 2nd week of 2017 – in these fragile days before possible nuclear apocalypse because someone said a mean thing about Donald Trump – I am now 0-for-2 in terms of finding keepers from Spotify’s weekly Discovery playlist.  Considering that last year’s Discovery playlists caused me to fall madly in love with 140 songs from bands that I’d never even heard of before, this does not bode well.

4.  Can we talk about this new season of Sherlock?  And how, while it’s still problematic in certain ways, it’s far more watchable than anything that happened in Season 3?  And that last night’s episode was, for lack of a better word, fucking insane, with an epilogue that legitimately caught me completely off guard?

5.  As mentioned previously, I went on a bit of a gaming-purchase bender in mid-December.  I bought a whole bunch of new stuff, I bought even more stuff that I’ve already played (and beaten) on other consoles, and then I somehow managed to score a PSVR unit and then felt obligated to buy a whole bunch of shit for that.  This is all to say that I now have a bit of a backlog – which is fine, considering that there only probably only 2 games that I can think of off the top of my head that are definitely coming out in 2017 that I legitimately give a shit about (e.g.Mass Effect Andromeda and Red Dead Redemption 2).

I bring this up because I spent last week replaying Diablo 3 for a 3rd time.  I played as a female Monk, for the third time.  And I had a fucking blast with it, and I find it maybe a little odd that I found it as enjoyable as I did.  I don’t know what the current critical consensus is w/r/t Diablo 3 – I know that for me, when I first played it on PC, it took a loooooong time before it started to click with me, whereas I clicked with the PS4 version nearly immediately.  I will admit that I bought it for the Xbox One purely because it was on sale and because of the ‘cheevos, but I also found myself drawn to it far more than a bunch of new games that I’ve not yet finished (i.e., Watch Dogs 2Dishonored 2Final Fantasy XV).

This could be because I’m pretty goddamned great as a Monk in Diablo 3.  It’s interesting (to me, at any rate); normally whenever I play a game – regardless of genre – if I walk into a room full of baddies, I tend to pause and consider what to do.  Not so in D3 – if I’m wandering around and see dozens of bad guys in the corner, I will buff my shit up and saunter over there and just straight-up wreck shit quickly, and it’s incredibly satisfying and it doesn’t even matter if anything good drops.  There is something so very pleasing about landing a gigantic kill combo that just won’t stop because my monk is quick enough to draw other mobs towards me before the combo meter collapses.  I have a strategy, and that strategy works, and even after a 3rd playthrough it’s still fun as hell.

Not all games work this way, as it happens.  I also bought some other older games that were on sale that I thought I might replay and get some ‘cheevos out of, and some of those games are much more difficult to re-enjoy.  Case in point:  Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, which I very much enjoyed on PS4.  Coming back to it now on Xbox One, it feels… antiquated?  And it’s not even really that old, honestly.  Maybe it’s just that I’ve switched between ACS and Watch Dogs 2 of late, and they both have just enough shared DNA that make it a bit more difficult to jump back and forth.  It’s not as easy for me to go back and revisit as Diablo 3, I guess.

I’m not ashamed of this, by the way; I have bought movies in multiple formats, and I’ve re-bought books in Kindle form when I already own the physical copy and I’m just too lazy to haul it around with me everywhere I go.  (Believe me, Infinite Jest is much more manageable on a Kindle.)  I’ve bought plenty of games on multiple consoles (I think I own Portal 2 for literally everything it ever appeared on), and it’s fun to experience things in slightly different contexts (or, at the very least, with more comfortable controllers).  It might not be the most cost-efficient way of doing things, but I’ve never claimed to be smart when it comes to money.

Anyway: I’m presenting my December backlog, because it’s insane, and because if I ever complain about not having anything to play I’m hoping that one of you will bookmark this blogpost and shove it in my face.

  • Xbox One sale (to play)
    • Dishonored 2
    • Watch Dogs 2
    • Gears of War 4
    • FFXV
    • ReCore
    • Sky Force Reloaded
    • Westerado
    • Stardew Valley
    • Oxenfree
    • Mafia 3
    • Battlefield 1
    • Steep
  • Xbox One sale (to replay for ‘cheevos)
    • Diablo 3  
    • Doom
    • Batman: Arkham Revisited
    • Saints Row 4 / Gat out of Hell
    • Metro Doublepack
    • Rayman Legends
    • Darksiders 2 HD
    • GTA V
    • Deus Ex MD
    • Far Cry 4
    • AC: Syndicate
    • Witcher 3
    • Skyrim HD (why????  why did I do this?)
  • PSVR and PS4 stuff:
    • Thumper
    • Rez Infinite
    • Batman VR
    • Rise of the Tomb Raider
    • The Last Guardian  (I am kinda-sorta waiting for a patch for this one before I get back to it; I am fascinated by it but the controls and camera are distressingly and distractingly bad, and I’d prefer to play it if they actually make it more playable)

the other side

Let’s see how I did with my 2016 Resolutions and Reminders:

1. Do not pre-order.  I did pretty good at this, actually.

2. Don’t buy everything.  Remember that you have an active Gamefly account.  I started out doing really well at this.  But I also kinda went a little bananas during the Xbox holiday sale, which I’ll get to in a little bit.

3.  It’s OK to not finish stuff.  It’s OK to not start stuff.  It’s OK to not want to feel like you’re wasting your time.  Recall #1 and #2 above.  I finished most of what I started last year, and while I’m in a bit of a backlog logjam at the moment, I did relatively OK at this.

4.  Don’t worry about “missing out on the conversation.”  […]   This will always be an issue for me.  But I’m also becoming a bit more comfortable with the realization that nobody really cares.

5. Write when you can write;  read when you can read; listen when you can listen.  Enjoy what you can, and don’t fret about what you can’t.  Try not to be idle, unless you’re looking to achieve stillness, which is another matter entirely.  I think I did OK at this, all things considered.  I would’ve liked to have written more – and we’ll get to #7 shortly – but I enjoyed most of the media I consumed last year because I allowed myself the time to properly experience it.

6.  Set reasonable goals.  You wanted to read 30 books in 2015, you ended up with 41.  Don’t challenge yourself to read 45 books in 2016 when you already know that’s impossible.  This apparently applied specifically to my book-reading habits; as it happens, I ended up reading 51 books last year, so, go me.  But the pressure to hit my Goodreads number drove me insane.  I purposefully set a lower number this year (30) only because I like how Goodreads lays all this stuff out.  I plan on blowing past it.  There’s also a ton of exciting books coming down the road pretty soon, and I already splurged on a bunch of wish-listed items at year’s end, so I’ve got plenty to read in the meantime.

7.  GET BACK TO MAKING MUSIC AGAIN.  Don’t procrastinate by playing games you’re not even enjoying.  You like making music; you always have; if you need to fancy up the studio area, do it, but the work is the work is the work, and if you’re not working, there is no work.  I failed at this, big time, and it’s my primary regret of 2016.  I aim to turn this around.

8.  Make regular doctor appointments.  On it.

9.  Hug and kiss your family every day.  Don’t go to bed angry.  Communicate always.  On it.  This one’s easy.

10.  Be good to yourself.  On it.


I spoke with my therapist this past weekend; he asked me if I’m a New Year’s resolution kind of guy.  I’m not, generally speaking.  I know I need to lose weight, I know I need to eat better, I know I need to get to work on my credit card debt again, I know I need to get back into a creative routine and finish that album.  But let’s be honest here:  Donald Trump is going to be President of the United States in less than a month and I’m starting to have recurring nightmares about nuclear war again, which is a thing that I only finally stopped having when I was 9 or so.  Life in this country is about to become so thoroughly surreal that I don’t even know how to properly process it.  I suppose I should be grateful for being properly medicated, because at least I can still leave the house.

To that end, I’m not going to make any resolutions this year, beyond (a) taking proper care of myself, both physically and mentally; (b) spending quality time with my family, who I love more than anything; and (c) getting back into a creative routine, because I miss it and I need it.  That’s all I have control over, at any rate.

Mounting a proper resistance to Trump is another matter entirely, and that will take shape in due course.


As noted in #2 above, I did go bananas during the Xbox holiday sale.  Truth be told, now that I’ve spent a bunch of time with it in my mad quest for Achievements, I’ve started to realize that I like the Xbox One a bit more than the PS4, even if the PS4 is a more powerful machine.  And so part of the aforementioned banana-going was to buy a whole bunch of heavily discounted games that I’ve already bought and beaten on PS4.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  I was sorta enjoying Dishonored 2 and Watch Dogs 2 and I needed to get back into Final Fantasy XV, but the thing I’ve been playing the most over the last week has actually been Diablo 3, of all things.  I’m playing a female Monk, from scratch, yet again, and I’m still having as much fun as I ever did.

I, uh, also managed to score a PSVR unit, which arrived yesterday.  And, um, it’s amazing?  Sure, the graphics are a little lo-res compared to what one wants, but the experience is nothing short of astounding.  I gave my wife the shark-tank tour last night, and she was amazed – I even gave my 3-year-old a few minutes with it, and he lost his mind.

img_4745

I spent the bulk of my time messing with Thumper and Rez Infinite, both of which are simply astonishing in VR.  I also gave Batman VR a quick spin – just enough to say, yeah, I should probably carve out a few hours with it and use the Move controllers instead of the Dualshock 4.  But even the tech demos in the VR Worlds collection are impressive; for people who come over and have never used VR before, it’s a perfect introduction.  I’m still in the baby stages, of course, and so I don’t necessarily need a full-fledged game just yet, but I’m already looking forward to seeing what fun stuff will emerge from the indie space.