Do It Yourself Board Games (Alex Racine interview preview)

Alex Racine (gamesbyar.com) makes board games.

What started as a passion many years ago, has slowly evolved into a full-blown career. Inventing his own version of hackie sack was the tipping point, and successive ventures into game design via collaborations with his roommate, and hosting outdoor carnival games helped him refine his craft. This year is different though, he now works part-time and designs board games every day.

But don’t be fooled into believing that all he does is 3D print his game components, come up with some box art, write the rules and then go.

No, there is a lot more to DIY board game making then you might think. There is production to be resolved, funding to acquire, marketing to solicit and a great many more aspects that the average hobby gamer hasn’t even considered when they boast of how easy it would be to perfect Monopoly or Risk. Like so many things in life, we all think, I could make a better game then that guy, but what the heck what about securing a distribution deal hobbyist guys and gals?

And we haven’t even considered all of the play testing that goes into the design of a game before it can even be considered worthy of a trial outing. Fortunately, Alex laughs at all of those challenges, because this isn’t the first game he has tried to complete, and it definitely won’t be the last. Uprise! is the first game that he wants to use crowdfunding to support his passion, and with another game called AnchorWhat? in the works, I can tell that this is the start of something beautiful.

Which is why I think you should stop pondering the details and let Mr. Racine provide the education on how you too can become an expert at doing it yourself – making board games, that is.

theories Summarized

It was a lot of fun to record this preview with Alex, and luckily for you, dear readers, this is only a sample of what we have in store.

I just know you’re going to enjoy the full-length interview, all of the questions I threw Alex’s way were easily defended with the swift roll of a die. Board games, 3D printing, invention and more are on the list for next week, so please subscribe to ensure you are the first to know when I release the interview. And if you liked it, like it, share the content and leave some comments for me. timotheories may be a passion project, but I can take criticism, direction, and all of your love. And especially the theories.

Tim!

All Of The Flaws With The Last Jedi (Cross Talk EP 33)

It turns out that I love the new Star Wars movie.

I realize that this is not a popular opinion, and yeah I review movies regularly, and yeah that puts me into the camp of critic rather then enthusiast, but I really want you to hear me out on this one dear readers. Yes, the movie has been critically acclaimed for honouring the tradition of Star Wars films, but consider this point – as Chris says in this weeks episode of Cross Talk, “it’s a movie that is greater then the sum of it’s parts.”

By ripping apart the seams of the legacy we have, Rian Johnson has forced us to re-evaluate our love affair with nostalgia and the future-past aesthetic of a galaxy, far, far away. It looks like Star Wars, it sounds like Star Wars, but the humour is contemporary, and the story challenges the audience with new ideas about the Jedi, the Force, Luke Skywalker, and all of things that made this fiction so entertaining in the first place.

But I love this movie not because the movie was a good movie. To be perfectly honest, as a movie, it fails in so many different ways. Yes, it was entertaining at times, and it had some really interesting inclusions in it, but I also agree with Mike that it’s horribly flawed in it’s presentation, there are too many loose threads, and the upending of everything from Episode VII towards the end of Episode VIII will leave general audiences frustrated.

When I think about it, I’m not entirely sure how this trilogy is going to right all of the wrongs of the prequels.

And yet, I do love it. Despite all of it’s flaws, The Last Jedi is challenging all of the dogmatic ideas about The Force, and it presented a completely different version of Luke Skywalker then we were expecting. Plus, I think it redeems Episode I, II, and III. Not because they are better by comparison, but because Disney is doing a really interesting thing with it’s culling of the Star Wars canon (I’ll save that for another day).

In brief, this movie is very interesting. And if you don’t believe me, it’s time to look at all of the flaws with The Last Jedi. And this is episode thirty three of Cross Talk.

theories Summarized

You can’t expect a movie franchise universe to be perfect, because the challenge of a film director is to live somewhere between honouring what came before, and adding something new. Where art fails (movies, music, fashion , etc.) is when authors erase everything you know and love. That is when I can completely understand why fans would be disappointed, and with a movie like Star Wars, the fan base is so large that there will be strong opinions.

And as a true fan of these movies, I admit I treat them like a child, I love them no matter what they do, which is why I can still love it. Even when it does things I don’t agree with.

One final theory – you should totally like the video if you enjoyed it, leave a comment if you have some thoughts, and subscribe if you want to see more from us! Your support lets us know what we are doing right.

And come back tomorrow if you want to read my thoughts on the new 54.40 album.I.

Tim!

The Cure For Toxic Masculinity In Movies (Cross Talk EP 32)

Let’s talk about toxic masculinity and how it is still a dominant force in our art, and in our lives dear readers.

Whether you choose to believe me or not, I know that even within the past twenty years, there has been a very minimal shift in how we deal with the masculine identity. Negative stereotypes abound, comedies fall into the same patterns of sexualizing women and simplifying men, and most dramas won’t touch certain topics, unless it means showing a complete breakdown of man out of touch with his inner strength.

It’s impossible for a man to be vulnerable, soft, passive and equal to a woman. At least, thats what the patriarchal model would expect us to believe.

It’s bad all around, because woman aren’t given equal footing, deal with a constant threat of rape, battery, and death, and to a much lesser extent men suffer from mental health issues, all stemming from millennia of oppression. And that’s an oversimplification. But we didn’t make this Cross Talk episode to do an after school special and wrap a nice bow on the issue – we wanted to open it up, and use specific films to identify how attitudes permeate, using film as case studies.

Which is why Chris, Mike, and I decided to do our part and talk about this issue, and how it has effected us personally. Full disclosure, we openly admit that we are imperfect, not experts, and guilty of ignorant behaviour. But by bringing up the issue of why toxic masculinity shows up in movies, and showing you specific instances of how it takes over, we’re hoping to become better advocates for obliterating objectification for women, for humanity and fostering a better sense of community.

Chasing Amy, (500) Days of Summer, Moonlight. These movies are prime examples of the dangers of continuing to assume gender roles, when more and more evidence that persistence (“it’s all in the chase”) is actually the worst. I sincerely hope you get riled up watching this episode, because I really want this generation to change our habits, and we need to stop glossing over major problems.

This is the thirty second episode of Cross Talk.

theories Summarized

In case you haven’t figured it out from that discussion, while I think the cure for toxic masculinity hasn’t been found yet, I’m confident that raising awareness about toxic behaviour is integral to solving the ¬†global epidemic. We can’t progress in society if we aren’t challenging the status quo, and art is merely a tool to be used for the good or the bad. So let’s please promote good examples of masculine behaviour and make speak out against bad art.

One final theory – you should totally like the video if you enjoyed it, leave a comment if you have some thoughts, and subscribe if you want to see more from us! Your support let’s us know what we are doing right.

And tomorrow I’ll have an album review about sheep dogs.

Tim!

Buzz Feeding Time (Matthew Ankerstein, entrepreneur, influencer, podcaster interview)

Once upon a time bees where everywhere, but over the past few generations, we’ve been losing our honeybees to pollution, urban sprawl and host of other manmade factors that effect their environments. It’s a sad thing, considering that bees pollinate a vast majority of the plant life in this world. Where would we be without bees, after all dear readers?

Now this absolutely is not meant to be a depressing post, but I do want to wake you up!

You see creative cuties, there’s wisdoms in studying bees. By zeroing in on an analogy of the bee, my hope is that you’ll acknowledge that hard work and fostering community are invaluable, especially in an era of communication. And to someone like Matthew Ankerstein, bees can bring a lot more to this world as a metaphor. Matthew thinks it’s important to connect with lots of different business leaders, and he’s always been fascinated by business (Bill Gates was one of his idols growing up); on top of that, Matthew was also surrounded by the hardworking farm lifestyle from a young age.

He took this passion for business success, mixed in some neve-rending hard work ethic, and decided to marry the two concepts together during his time at post-secondary. That’s when he came up with the idea for Bee Influenced. His goal with Bee Influenced is to provide business leaders, students, and startups with resources to become better online marketers. By focusing on SEO, influencer marketing, podcasting, and email marketing Matt brings a solid set of topics to the table with his weekly show. And to make it even more memorable, he invites business leaders all over the world to share their stories in an easy to digest format – the podcast.

I even got to join in on the fun for an interview with him this summer!

But when I asked Matthew to get behind the hot seat himself and talk about dealing with the challenges that creative professionals face, he was over the moon. This is his interview, and his topic is working through adversity.

I still cannot believe how much insight Matthew has, and I’ve listened to our interview over and over in the editing booth! He has a great love for technology, an eye for strategy, and a willingness to serve others with humility.

We really do hope you enjoyed watching the back and forth between Matt and I, and highly recommend you share this post, leave a comment, and make a like? And if Bee Influenced seems like something you’d be interesting in visiting some more, check out his Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and website yourself! Lots of ideas to pollinate there.

And special thanks to Matthew for being merry, motivating and merciless. His strategies, ideologies, and abilities are a breath of fresh air. Something to buzz about, for sure.

Tim!

When The Student Is Ready (Matthew Ankerstein influencer interview preview)

Matthew Ankerstein is not your typical Edmontonian. He didn’t grow up believing that that things would be handed to him. Even though his family had a farm, and he was involved in minor league hockey, he wanted to make a difference in the business world and connect with more people.

If you visit his website (http://beeinfluenced.com/), you’ll quickly learn that he loves to read and learn new things. I’m paraphrasing a bit here, but in his own words, he states that a major influence in this way of thinking came from seeing his father balancing the business books – he thought to himself, I can figure out a way to do this myself, and so he went after a post-secondary education, but he also started to hit the books in his spare time too. Reading books from successful leaders like Warren Buffet, M. J. DeMarco, and Dale Carnegie, he quickly learned that he loved business and seeing businesses grow.

In his time at post-secondary he worked hard to make friends in the technology sector and in computer programming. The combination of this experience lead him to develop the Bee Influenced brand.

What started as a website for a school project, quickly evolved into a startup business about startup businesses… It’s a weekly blog that teaches individuals how best to build and market their online businesses. One element of particular interest on his website is the podcast that features entrepreneurs who have built successful companies.

Matthew takes their ideas and experiences and explains the strategies these people use in their own businesses. Which made me theorize that he probably knows a thing or two about recognizing authentic leaders from the phonies. In this preview question, I ask Matt how you can find these kinds of business teachers in life, and what to do when you run across a charlatan.

theories Summarized

If you’re like me, and you love learning new things, but can’t make sense of world of online marketing, life coaches, influencers, and all of the social media… then I think I’ve found the creative interview for you! Come back in a week for the full interview and all of the great discussions Matt and I had about growing your business, especially in times of adversity. He’s really got some good theories, and I can’t wait to share them.¬†

Tim!