Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Geekumentary: Monster Camp

Monster Camp is a rare and fascinating glimpse into the world of live-action role playing or "LARPing," a real-life version of "World of Warcraft" where gamer stereotypes are simultaneously shattered and confirmed.

The most recent item unearthed in my geekumentary quest is Monster Camp, a LARP documentary released in 2007 chronicling the activities of the Seattle, Washington chapter of NERO, a well-established LARP association with chapters all over the country. Apparently, the NERO scene on the East Coast is livelier (not surprising, given it stands for New England Roleplaying Organization), and the relative lack of support staff to run these labor-intensive events is one of the factors that contributes to the story here.

My husband's played NERO when he was younger, and though he doesn't seem too keen on the possibility of going back now that we're all grown up, I love the stories he tells about zombies attacking taverns, and people venturing off into the woods to investigate the tales of an old witch's cottage.

Monster Camp is not the first LARPing documentary on the scene; Darkon was released a year earlier, and followed a group of Maryland LARPers (definitely check out the trailer), but the flavor of LARP is quite different between the two. Darkon's LARPers are involved in a more political, kingdom-based style of play, while Monster Camp depicts pretty much what I imagine when I think of LARPing; people dressing up in monster costumes and throwing seed-filled beanbags at each other while shouting "Lightning Bolt!"

Between the two, I have to say I preferred Monster Camp, partly because the political intrigue thing just isn't as interesting to me (plus I watched Darkon right after The King of Kong, so my expectations could have been unfairly high for a purely fact-based documentary). Monster Camp did a good job at keeping the story moving, with a good mix of funny and poignant situations. It provided priceless section intro titles like, "Paul's father Steve is a monster." and quotes like, "This is technically my 5th year as a high school senior..." I think this is what they were referring to when they said stereotypes were confirmed, but they ARE then shattered in the sense that you (or at least I) grow to see these guys as human beings with feelings, just participating in a social hobby they enjoy. Or maybe you'll just see them as a freakish curiosity, but if so, the most masterful documentary wouldn't be able to sway you, and you probably wouldn't be reading this. Since you're a cruel and cold-hearted jerk.

I recommend Monster Camp to anyone who's curious about the LARP scene. Darkon's a good movie too, but in the end I think Monster Camp is a more accessible addition to the geekumentary family. But heck, if you're as into geek docs as I am, see them both!

One thing I should warn you about, though, is that they do diss on pen and paper D&D a bit. From what I heard, that remark led to a massive geek gang battle, straight out of Weird Al's Eat It. It was pretty intense, D20s and beanbags flying everywhere, armor checks and critical parries...but that's a story for another time.

Read about other geekumentaries in my Top 10 Geekumentaries article.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

You can never go back

I caught the first episode of the new Knight Rider this week, and while I still find it entertaining, I regret to say, it just doesn't have the magic of the original. It's more Transformers meets James Bond, and if you approach it as a Bond-style scenario, it's probably a lot more enjoyable than if you go into it with any sort of fond memories of The Hoff and his "KITT, I need ya, buddy!" Plus they seem to be laying on a thick layer of government conspiracy plot. Oh yay.

I'm sad now. :( I'll probably keep watching it to see if it evolves, but maybe the problem is just that; it DID evolve.

I still want to put that "KITT Happens" bumper sticker on my car though.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rock Band action figures on the way

There's an announcement on the Rock Band forums about a big site update coming next week. Among many cool features is the one I've been eagerly awaiting (no, not the availability of Crowded House tracks, though now that you mention it...). I'm talking about those $75 action figure versions of your Rock Band character!

As if that weren’t enough, in addition to posters, shirts, and stickers, you can make customized 3D statues of your favorite Rock Band 2 characters, which we’ve dubbed “Bandmates”. These things are awesome. They’re about 6” tall, made using full-color 3D printing technology from Z Corporation. Just pick a character, an instrument, and a pose, and they’ll get shipped to your door for about 70 bucks. The Harmonix office is swarming with Bandmate prototypes. After we'd evaluated a test run, we’d give them away to employees, and there was always a mad scramble to grab them on giveaway day.

I may get a t-shirt too...I've been wondering when the online integration piece of this that was obviously required would fall into place. This sounds like it. Which I am pretty sure means that they're tying in the XBox live database and your account information to an account on rockband.com somehow, maybe your forum account even. Lots of possibilities there once they do.

They also mention picture functionality to take pictures of your band and make them available online, which is awesome news. I literally tried last night to take a picture of T-Cat to post here with a digital camera, but the batteries were low. It seems they knew what I was up to, and felt that T-Cat deserved better.


There's no arguing that Battlestar is THE best show on tv, but Showtime's Dexter is right behind it, or, maybe, next to it...poised with a needle in a dark alley...

Dexter is a series about a blood spatter expert in the Miami police force who also happens to be a vigilante serial killer. But since he only kills the most wicked dregs of society (and does his homework to be sure), you totally root for him. Season 2 just came out on DVD, and Season 3's currently running on Showtime.

From the moment I put in the first DVD I knew I was hooked, just from the intro sequence, which takes elements of the mundane morning routine and makes them feel...murderific? The music's great too.

Dexter is a cleverly-written dark comedy with great characters and cast. I especially enjoy Erik King's portrayal of Sgt. Doakes, the short-fuzed officer who just KNOWS Dexter's up to something, stews and obsesses about it, but can't quite prove it. Michael C. Hall's inner monologue narrative is also well-delivered, clever and engaging, and he does a phenomenal job of pulling off the utterly split personality a serial killer in hiding would need to master.

Beyond the quality of the production, another reason I think Dexter appeals is the overlying subject matter, the way it plays with the themes of what lies beneath. It takes one's imperfect dark side and says, "Hey, I know exactly how you feel. Nobody understand the real you." I'm not a serial killer, but I'm sure I'm not the only one that sometimes has thoughts that don't fit with society at large. You know, like cheering for vigilante serial killers... Except in this case, I know I'm not the only one hoping Dexter gets away with it. :)

More and more, I'm noticing that I prefer these premium channel series' to prime time tv (with the exception of Fringe at the moment and of course Battlestar). They don't dumb the subject matter down the way most network tv shows do now. Big thanks to my friend Rick for introducing us to this series. If you don't get Showtime, Netflix it!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Knight Rider premiere tonight

Just in case you forgot, the new Knight Rider series kicks off tonight at 8/7 Central on NBC.

If you just can't wait another moment, or aren't sure which channel on your cable listings is NBC, you can watch the online premiere. RIGHT NOW! ZOMG!

I also heard that not a ton of people (a mere 9 million or so) checked out Fringe. It seems America is now hand-shy from repeated abuse by convoluted plots. Seeeeeeee Abrams and Carter? I TOLD YOU! But seriously, so far, Fringe is not like that. It's fairly simplistic and predictable, and mindlessley entertaining! Right up our alley, America!

That's some good BBQ

This was a recent Discovery Channel moment I wanted to share.

One really nice fall day last week, I was having a pulled pork sandwich on the patio area at our local Tex-mex restaurant. A yellowjacket stopped by, and spent a lot of time buzzing around, scoping out our food. They don't really bother me that much, though I've been stung before, but he seemed more persistent then average, and eventually landed on my sandwich. I figured he'd maybe lick of some of the barbecue sauce, and then leave us in peace. Instead, as I watched he began to use his mouth pinchers and forelegs to pull himself off a big (as in, about the size of his body) chunk of pork, and flew away with it!

It was really a suprising moment, I had no idea yellowjackets did that, or even that they were carnivorous, but apparently they can be:

Although adults feed primarily on items rich in sugars and carbohydrates (fruits, flower nectar and tree sap), the larvae feed on proteins (insects, meats, fish, etc.). Adult workers chew and condition the meat fed to the larvae. Larvae in return secrete a sugar material relished by the adults, an exchange of material known as trophallaxis.

Now didn't my blog make you feel smarter just then? I can't imagine there are larvae hanging out right now given the time of year, so if you ask me, this particular fellow has just caught on to the deliciousness that is barbeque. He might be a tailgater.

We were still talking about it when he came back...for seconds! He struggled with another more stubborn bit of pork that I was sure would soon have him rolling head over...wings onto the bun, but eventually got it loose and again departed.

By the time he came back for thirds, I was really wishing I had a camcorder or at least my camera. It was fascinating to watch, and though I don't speak yellowjacket, I know he was saying to himself, "Goddammit, that's some good barbecue!"

On the subject, my favorite barbecue places in the region are:

  • Red Bones Barbeque: Davis Square, Sommerville MA. Meat in a bucket? We're there!

  • KC's Rib Shack: Manchester, NH. Deep fried pickles and huuuuush puppies...and big squeeze-bottles full of different BBQ sauces.

  • Firefly's Bar-B-Que: Framingham, MA. Phantom Gourmet favorite, with good reason.

  • Rockin' Ribfest: Anheuser-Busch Brewry, Merrimack, NH. There's never enough time or stomach real estate to sample everything I'd like to, but it's a great summertime event.

  • Longhorn Steakhouse: all over the place. Not barbeque per se, but I love the ribs there!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pac-man...on the catwalk?

Retro always comes back into style. If you had a wardrobe of 70's bell-bottoms, I hope you didn't throw those away, because they are BACK. Again. And if you had a giant plastic pac-man hat, I certainly hope you held onto it...

According to top industry minds, pac-man is going to be all the rage next Spring. Or at least, fashion designer Giles Deacon seems to think so. Check out all the pictures from his Spring-Summer 2009 collection, shown at the recent London Fashion Week. Finally, high fashion in a form I can relate to!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rush Moving Pictures tommorrow

Just a quick note that it looks like the Moving Pictures DLC is finally coming out this week, 9/23, according to the Rock Band forums, as well as the following individual tracks:
Bad Religion - Sorrow
The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
Hot Hot Heat - Bandages
Kasabian - Shoot the Runner
Sleater-Kinney - You're No Rock N Roll Fun
Stone Roses - Love Spreads
And another news flash for you, Walter Cronkite...TCat's back in Rock Band 2, and now she's rockin' bass on HARD! And surviving, though it's not as pretty as her medium guitar stylings. I even went into the online battle mode with The TCat Project and kicked the snot out of a couple unsuspecting bands. Awwwwww yeah!

Update 9/23 - Yep, Moving Pictures is there, alright. We downloaded it this morning, and tonight I'm gonna rockit tonight I'm gonna rockit tonight!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


OK, look, JJ Abrams is NOT the reincarnation of Chris Carter. Chris Carter isn't dead, for one thing. And it's not as if Abrams had a show that started off really cool and then strangled itself through the sheer number of conspiracies, mysteries and loose ends it created for itself...errr...oh, right. LOST.

Well, it's not as if he's got a show about strange and unexplained phenomena being investigated by the FBI...with a hot female playing the role of one of the agents... and sexual tension between the two leads...emmm...

Here's how things went down with Carter, as best I can recall. X-Files was an awesome and quirky series covering subject matter like deadly fungus, la chupacabra, and robot cockroach spies. But then it got all government conspiracy. Blah. Then Carter unveiled Millennium, which hit the ground running with Lance Henriksen as the lead, a great premise, and some great episodes. But then it got all government conspiracy. Carter, did you learn nothing??

Along comes JJ Abrams with LOST, and the country goes nutty. A book used as a prop in an episode jumped into the best sellers lists as a result. LOST hit the ground running with a great premise and some great episodes and then...yeah, you know what happened. Conspiracy and stupid convoluted plot twists to the point that I utterly LOST interest. It was a shame.

Last Sunday we caught the latest JJ Abrams series, Fringe. And you know what, it's not half bad! And Tuesday night the second episode aired, and also was not half bad! Which makes me nervous. The premise involves a possible big-picture pattern of unexplained phenomena, but the pattern I'm more concerned with is the X-Files/Millennium/LOST one described above.

The cast is solid, including John Noble (Denethor in The Return of the King) as the eccentric mad scientist. Granted, some of Fringe is cheesy (you HAVE to strip down to your underwear and get in the water to communicate telepathically with coma victims. Everyone knows that. It's science.) but for the most part, it was enjoyable and interesting, and used some cool animations and integrated location text.

You can see the premiere episode of Fringe on the official site. In the end, it's fine for the show to follow the general premise of X-Files (I liked the general premise of X-Files!), but can we just this once NOT ruin yet another good series by smothering it with a cheap synthetic pillow of plot twists and conspiracy? I'm a little uneasy about the threat of this that the mysterious Massive Dynamic corporation represents, but so far, that's being well-represented by Blair Brown in the role of Nina Sharp.

Oh, and my new Trek movie, Abrams, you better watch your step with that! Do a good job or as Heidi Klum and all the major league umpires like to say, "You're OUT!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

RB2 as history lesson

This morning I came across a really cool article on Xbox 360 Fanboy. The folks at Joystiq have discovered that you can get a perfect expert score on Rock Band 2 vocals by reciting the Declaration of Independence. Check the video:

This is cool not only because I will feel all badass getting perfect on vocals, but also because they've actually found a back-door way to get people to listen to a full reading of the Declaration of Independence! It's edutainment at its best, highly relevant in the middle of the political season, and as I watched the video, I did get a few goosebumps as the vocal deploy kicked in.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

MC Frontalot

Where have you been all my life?! (or, Why do I always have to be the last one to know??)

Last week I mentioned my first experience with MC Frontalot, when a friend sent over the It is Pitch Dark video. At the time I took note of other intriguingly named videos there such as The pr0n song and Crime Spree, but didn't have time then to check them out.

A few days later, I was on the Rock Band forums in search of Moving Pictures news. I was reading the list of latest DLC tracks, the PAX pack, and noticed that an MC Frontalot song was in there (as well as a Jonathan Coulton track). So that night we downloaded Livin’ on the Corner of Dude and Catastrophe. It's got a GREAT beat, though medium guitar on the song is way too easy, and hard guitar is WAY too hard, at least for me. At the end of it, though, I said, "That's it, I'm buying this guy's CD."

The next day I went to the MC Frontalot website, and a whole new world was revealed unto me. This is my new Weird Al (all due respect to Al, I'm just sayin' it's awesome to find another artist of that caliber).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rick and Creationists attacking Spore

So today the big buzz about Spore was regarding a creationist website called Antispore.com protesting the game and attacking Spore for it's evolutionary teachings.

Spore attacked as un-Godly
Evolutionary theme unpopular with Creationist
An Anti-Spore site has appeared online to protest against the evolutionary message of the popular game.

The site says that the EA game is their "biggest attack on Christian values to date" and "will not be tolerated".

Concerned that the game will "invade our homes and poison the minds of our children", the site's author writes:

"Yesterday I found out about a new game called Spore when my son asked me to buy it for him. It looked innocent enough at first and has E for Everyone ESRB rating. But don't be mislead, apparently 'everyone' means everyone they want to teach evolution to."

The site also attacks EA employees with the nicely worded: "not a single one with enough Jesus to stand up and say what they are doing is wrong".

An intrepid investigatory friends pointed out the following section of the blog:

But the Bible teaches us that God was not done with man. For we were His creation and He then spoke to Noah in Genesis 8:21-27 after the flood.
“21. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never gonna give you up.
22. “Never gonna let you down.”
23.”Never gonna run around and desert you.”
24. “Never gonna make you cry.”
25. “Never gonna say goodbye.”
26. “Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.”
27.”Never truly believe anything you read on the Internet. There will always be cases of Poe’s Law.”

It’s these teachings that I’ve spent my life learning, believing and becoming, that have made me the woman that I am today.

OK, while I admit the thought that this might be fake occurred to me briefly, I was a victim of this most holy rick roll. Well done...though now the entire intarwebz is angry at the creationists.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rock Band + Reality TV?

OK, I love Rock Band and all, but this is just...weird. There's going to be a Rock Band reality tv show? By Mark Burnett productions? These are the guys that started reality tv with Survivor, and have had numerous solid reality tv hits since then, so if anyonoe can do it, they can.

I just don't know. I'm a closet reality tv buff, recently burned out for good on Survivor, love The Apprentice (but it's getting old), and will watch anything Gordon Ramsay. While we're on the subject, Bravo's got a couple winners right now with Project Runway and Million Dollar Listing. Especially Million Dollar Listing. Good stuff, who says the real estate market's in a slump?

Anyway, the casting call information showed up on craigslist of all places. If you live in the Los Angeles area, I say go for it; the ad emphasizes that no experience is necessary. Man, if only I lived out there, I would floor them with my mean medium guitar skillz!

But a Rock Band reality show? I mean, what are they going to DO, exactly? Pretend to have concerts and backstage parties, pretend to cut record deals, fight amongst themselves, enter rehab, and go on solo tours? Actually...that sounds pretty funny. OK, I'm in.

Update - 9/13. Confirmed.

Get Lamp - early 80s Text Adventures

Maybe it's just me, but I often experience a brief moment of hesitation when a friend throws me a YouTube link these days. A brief moment where I wonder, OK, is this going to be worth clicking right now, and sacrificing minutes of my life to? It's partly due to the prolific number and variety of videos on YouTube, there's just so much there, you never know what you're going to get, or if teh funnay will be strong with this one.

My friend Sean recently sent me such a link. Now Sean is a good source for cool; when he's not taking clever perspective pictures with his action figure collection for storyboard comics, writing toy reviews for scifi.com, or creating art for The Lord of the Rings Online (his "day job"), he's writing Infocom-style text adventures. So naturally, I checked out the link with confidence, and so should you:

The long and short of it is, there's a documentary in development about text adventures called Get Lamp (which I'm constantly almost mis-reading as "Got Lamp?") and MC Frontalot was inspired to do a song on the subject. I hadn't heard of him before (OMG, have I been missing OUT!), and it's been a decade or more since I've played a text adventure, but the song is really catchy, and any gamer can pretty much get the gist.

Now, the last few years have been amazing for geeky documentaries: Wordplay, Word Wars, Darkon, The King of Kong, and the upcoming Chasing Ghosts to name a few. In this gluttonous era of plenty, a documentary about text adventures is maybe taken a bit for granted, but is just as welcome as another birthday present would be. One of the biggest and most fertile subject matters yet to be documented, as far as I know, is Magic: the Gathering. That should be good - trust me, there's easily as much drama and intrigue there as was portrayed in The King of Kong.

But I digress. For those of you who aren't familiar with Infocom, they were the primary producer of text adventure games for the PC back when PCs were new. Games like Zork and Planetfall may ring a bell. I didn't play them extensively, but I do remember them, and the heartbreaking moment in Planetfall where Floyd...well, it was one of the first times I remember a game making me feel emotion. The Get Lamp site summarizes this genre very well:
...adventure games would describe a place, and then ask what to do next. They presented puzzles, tricks and traps to be overcome. They were filled with suspense, humor and sadness. And they offered a unique type of joy as players discovered how to negotiate the obstacles and think their way to victory.
The reason these games were so engaging was the fact that you were not picking your next move from a handful of 5 or so stated choices; you were coming up with commands (such as get lamp, open hatch, go north, climb ladder) on your own. It took the concept of Choose Your Own Adventure books to the next level, and the focus was on the story, because there were no graphics. You had to plot dungeons and environments on a piece of paper as you explored them, and really read the text, which honestly, you don't have to do in most RPGs these days. Overall, this labor intensity meant one had a lot more time and work invested in a text adventure, which is what made them special.

The nice thing is, people are still creating text adventures, and there's even software available to do it with. If you are inspired to check out the old Infocom titles, you will have some luck on the amazon.com resellers scene, or Ebay, and can also find JAVA versions online to play free.

UPDATE: On creating text adventures, Sean had the following to note:
The de-facto standard language for writing text adventures at the moment is INFORM. There are two currently-used versions. Inform 6, which is very code-like, and a new and very hot Inform 7 which uses almost English commands, allowing people who don't know coding to write their own games fairly easily. The IF community hangs out in a newsgroup, and I7 has more-or-less supplanted I6, though I'm currently using I6 because I like code more than I like pseudo-english for coding.
He also mentioned another popular text adventure coding language known as TADS. Hope that helps any of you interested in taking a stab at it!

Get Lamp was originally due to be released this past June, but seems to have been delayed. I'm really looking forward to it, and will keep you posted!

UPDATE - Nov. 25, 2008. A new weblog has been created for Get Lamp. Check out Taking Inventory for the latest news on the film's progress!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Got my copy of Spore yesterday, and pretty much spent most of the day revelling in the sheer WEIGHT of the Galactic Edition box. So prettty...I want to make rubbings of the textured box sides. Or maybe make a rubber stamp out of them and make giftwrap...see, even the BOX is a sandbox!

I had social committments that prevented me from actually PLAYING until like 9 PM last night, but I finally got the kids to bed and fired up the laptop. Alone at last! I clicked that little desktop icon to launch Spore. There will be a plethora of reviews out there I'm sure, so I'll just throw in a few giddy and disjointed thoughts.

I love the tidal pool stage! I wish it had gone on longer, and I will definitely play it again. It's just beautiful, and I loved that there were bigger things beneath that you couldn't QUITE make out, and how each time you grew it zoomed out, that really felt like switching magnifications on a microscope to me.

At the start of the land stage, I walked over to some carcass, and started chowing, and then realized, that former creature had a NAME, that was actually somebody's creation, and that's when it struck me how VERY cool it is to have all this shared community content populating your game. Massively single-player is where it's AT, and I can't wait to play again tonight, and to strive to create interesting creatures that will amuse anonymous somebodys out there as they attack or team up with my creations in their own game.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


So it's 9:30 Saturday night, we got the call from EB that my Galactic Edition of Spore is in, and will be ready for pickup tomorrow morning.

It's so exciting, I'm all nerves!

One thing, though, Maxis, WHERE'S my Spore count-down party night widget?!? It's not like we can have a line party here, we're all at home, and yet I feel like there's a connection between me and thousands of other Spore geeks right now, and I wish there were a way to convene and celebrate. After all, the saga of this game's creation has been a LONG one, we've been fans of this game for ages, and this is the eve of a new dawning. I just think it would have been cool (and very much in line with the social networking awareness they've displayed for Spore on other fronts) for Maxis/EA to open up a chatroom or something, or throw us a few launch party graphics to put on our blogs. But I'll forgive that oversight and celebrate in my head, along with the rest of you!

I'm going to head over to some of the fansite forums to see if there's anybody as hyped up about this as me. And maybe I'll wander into Creature Creator and make some cute big-eyed bunny or chick type thing. Just because I haven't yet. At this point, when I get the full version of the game tomorrow, I think I'll be starting off with Elsie. She and Flygar are my favorites so far.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Spore Galactic Edition Trailer

/swoon /swoon /swoon /swoon /swoon

THIS Sunday? Can it actually be here, almost here at last? It's like a dream...though that would imply I'm sleeping, which I don't plan to do anymore.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Home Arcade Project Part 2

The Pimpening

So as I mentioned last week, I'm in the fortuitous position of overseeing the creation of my very own multi-cade machine. The road is long and fraught with tough decisions. Figuring out the control panel setup is actually an easy one compared to decorating the cabinet!

So first, to keep the original cabinet art or not? Our's is a TMNT cabinet, and the art is fun. I was very torn on keeping it vs. painting over it in black and looking for multicade-themed side art to replace it. Full-coverage side art of this kind runs up to $200, though you can get smaller sized stuff for $60. I may very well have kept the turtles, but their condition wasn't perfect, so we decided to go ahead and paint over it.

Bad-ass machine vs. Classic Arcade sweetness
This is the difficulty I'm running into on choosing the side art. There are two main types which I'll call bad-ass and classic. On the one hand, I'm immensely excited about the flat-out coolness of the thing, and flashes of lightning really seem to convey that (I actually semi-joked about making it all black with the KITT/cylon eye light flashing back and forth in the marquee spot).

At the same time though, the whole point of this is a nostalgia trip, tied to childhood. The classic art of pac-man and donkey kong and that ingrained warm and fuzzy reaction they trigger. It's a fierce tug-of-war, but I find myself leaning more towards this theme as the ultimate reason I want this machine, and I suppose the art should reflect that. At this point it's looking like this one:

It was during one of these intense battles of the soul the other day that I got the following text message from Shawn:


I love it, a classic gaming ransom note!

The Marquee
Hand in hand with the side art is the plexiglass title bar that goes on the front. You can even customize these to say "Rabscuttle's Arcade" if you want. I didn't feel that was necessary; it knows who its master is...

We'll probably go with an "Arcade Classics" version of this:

The next curveball came in the form of t-molding, the trim that goes around the edges. My knee-jerk reaction was black trim, but Shawn suggested that since the machine was now going to be all black, some color of trim would really stand out, and that I should look at KLOV for some examples. The indecision on the side art kind of gets in the way here, because if I pick, say, light blue trim, but go with side art that doesn't match it...oh noes!

About a day of bouncing back and forth between blue, red, and chrome landed me on red. The black/red contrast on many of the Mortal Kombat cabinets does look good, and would also look good, say, if I added a Knight Rider LED flasher to the top...hypothetically speaking.

PS - Gauntlet DS is coming in October!