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Full deck of awesome Japanese monster playing cards

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1. Vampire Kyuradorosu.  2. Pollution monster Kashuasu.
 
File under: “things I wish I’d have known in school.”

This pack of Japanese playing cards features a selection of pachimon kaiju or “imitation monsters” lifted from various hit TV shows and movies. These monsters range from fire-breathing gorillas to flying creatures from outer space and giant electrocuting humanoids. The set was apparently manufactured as a promotional pack for kids by a Japanese brand of mayonnaise called Kewpie.

I’d have surely eaten my egg-mayo sandwiches without complaint if I’d been dealt a hand of these fun little beauties.
 
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3. Ice monster Gohoho.  4. Creature form outer space Altamegaro.
 
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5. Pesticide monster Deredoron.  6. Ancient dinosaur Tapikurosaurus.
 
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7. Elekipurosu—a giant electrocuting humanoid.  8. Meji—an extraterrestrial wolf who can fly.
 
See the whole monstrous deck, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
I was a 15-year-old Billy Corgan impersonator


 
Before the “World Wide Web” became a thing and only AOL and CompuServe existed for games and chat rooms, Sierra On-line (the software company responsible for such classic adventure games as King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry) developed a highly imaginative and groundbreaking environment known as The ImagiNation Network. Initially launched on May 6th, 1991 as “The Sierra Network,” this friendly, graphics-heavy interface was so simple, advertising promised that even your grandmother would find it easy to “play games, make friends and have fun.” As a teenage computer geek I was instantly hooked after being introduced by my friend Brad Warner and spent hundreds of hours using the service: running up my parents credit card bill, holding up my families landline for several hours at a time, and experimenting with fake profiles when the internet was so new that you could effortlessly fool just about anybody.
 
Before entering ImagiNation you’d use the FaceMaker to create your appearance choosing your skin color, facial features, glasses, clothes, and hairstyle. There were enough variables built in to create over 84 million unique personas. Then you’d walk through the virtual gates and let the fun begin: Red Baron, Mini Golf, Paintball, or Boogers in SierraLand. Gambling at the casino and exchanging lewd late night talk in LarryLand (for adults only), or slaying dragons with strangers in MedievaLand. Before anybody had heard of an email address there was a post office where you could purchase “Sierra Stamps” and send messages to other users.

Through a alternative music chatroom, I befriended a cool 13-year-old Korean girl from Houston named Judy Suh who had purple hair and owned an electric guitar. We both had tickets to see the Smashing Pumpkins headline Lollapalooza ‘94 in our respective cities that summer and agreed to share our photos from the concert. Technology had yet to find a way to share photos on the internet so we made photocopies at Kinko’s and snail mailed them to each other.
 

 
In 1995 Judy suddenly disappeared from the ImagiNation Network without a trace, a few weeks later I found out that her parents banned her from using the service after running up their credit card bill. At that time the pricing structure was incredibly expensive: $9.95 per month for only 4 hours plus $3.50 for each additional hour, or $120 a month for unlimited time. Shortly after that my parents also banned me from the service because I was using their dial-up modem and holding up our six person household landline. Friends and family members complained that they received a busy signal over and over for hours and were furious when they couldn’t get through.
 
Heartbroken, and not yet ready to give up my addiction I took to desperate measures to get back on-line. I went over to Brad Warner’s house with a floppy disc, found the directory where his password file was stored and successfully copied it into the same directory on my computer enabling me to sign onto ImagiNation with Brad’s account. This illegal and back-stabbing act gave me so much confidence that soon I wanted to know what else I could get away with. I began secretly signing on late at night after my parents went to bed. Using the FaceMaker to create a new persona, I started posing as Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan. I had read every Alternative Press, SPIN, and Melody Maker interview that had been published up until that point and felt strongly that I knew enough about Billy Corgan that I could convince people that I was him. The April 1994 Rolling Stone cover story I purchased at Sam Goody proved to be a particularly detailed profile and helped me understand Billy’s troubled childhood and upbringing in a time before background information on celebrities was easily accessible on websites like Wikipedia. I was successful in fooling dozens of fans: answering questions from growing up in Glendale Heights, Illinois, to D’arcy Wretzky’s sisters photography on Smashing Pumpkins single covers, to dispelling rumors that I played the little brother on the TV show Small Wonder. After about a week I was called out for falsely claiming that the Mike Mills who played piano on the song “Soma” off the album Siamese Dream was not the same guy as the bassist from R.E.M. My cover was blown.
 

 
Soon after I was outed as an imposter by the ImagiNation community I received a call from Brad who wanted to know why there was a message from Chris Williams in his virtual Post Office box. I had forgotten that I reached out to Sierra On-Line founders Ken & Roberta Williams’ son Chris (also 15-years-old) on the network, totally not expecting him to reply. I confessed to Brad that I had stolen his password and I had been signing on under his account. That was the end of our friendship and the last time I ever used the service. In 1996 ImagiNation was purchased and then ultimately shut down forever by America Online. In 2007 there was a brief attempt to revive ImagiNation through reverse engineering and use of DOSBox, but there wasn’t enough interest in the emulator for it to take off. One fan on the “Return of Talking Time” message board, however, fondly remembered his experience on ImagiNation over 20 years later:
 

“I had a ridiculous experience with ImagiNation Network when I was 14. I was spending the night at my friend’s house, and I brought the free ImagiNation install disk with me. After his parents went to bed, we got his mom’s credit card from her purse and used it to create an account. (IIRC, you were given a certain number of free hours to try it out, but you had to provide credit card info to get started). We tooled around for a bit, and eventually ended up in one of the chat areas. Somehow or another we started chatting with a guy who had us 100% convinced that he was Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins. Seriously. We weren’t dumb kids, but holy crap does that sound profoundly moronic in hindsight. Anyhow, we stayed up all night talking to Billy C, and ended up surpassing our free trial. When the credit card bill came later that month, my friend had to fess up to his mom. She wasn’t buying the Billy Corgan story, and I was never allowed to spend the night at his house again.”

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
Fake Nintendo movie tie-in games that would be super fun to play
12.12.2016
02:08 pm

Topics:
Games
Movies
Science/Tech

Tags:
Nintendo Entertainment System


 
Video games in the late 1980s and early 1990s were dominated by the Nintendo Entertainment System, also known as NES. In addition to Donkey Kong, which morphed into the iconic and incredibly addictive Super Mario Bros. franchise, NES also had its share of satisfying movie tie-ins, including Batman, Back to the Future, Total Recall, The Karate Kid, and Home Alone. For a slightly later generation of gamers, the best reason to remember the James Bond movie GoldenEye from the Pierce Brosnan era was the top-notch Nintendo 64 game GoldenEye 007. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Conan is best not mentioned at all, though…..

A few years back, the outstanding vintage video games blog VG Junk dedicated three posts to meticulously crafted and completely fictional “wouldn’t it have been great” NES title screens for movie and TV tie-in games that I for one would love to have played.

It’s amusing to contemplate NES games that are juuuust a bit too adult (or possibly WAY too adult) like A Clockwork Orange and Jacob’s Ladder and Videodrome, but I also dig the games where the only conceivable gameplay would consist of talking, à la making sarcastic remarks about Blueshammer in Ghost World or defending the virtues of “propane and propane accessories” in King of the Hill.

Some of the movies mentioned here actually did have console game tie-ins. For example VG Junk doesn’t think very much of the 1997 video game for the PC that Westwood Studios made for Blade Runner. In any case, these are super detailed and witty.

Feast your eyes below—and keep a careful eye on that They Live title screen….
 

 

 
More great title screens after the jump…...
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Class Warfare: Radical French philosopher Guy Debord’s Situationist board game


Guy Debord and Alice Becker-Ho playing Kriegspiel in 1977. Photo by Jeanne Cornet via Cabinet
 
After he disbanded the Situationist International in 1972, one of the obsessions that consumed Guy Debord was a board game he invented. Kriegspiel, or Le Jeu de la Guerre—German and French, respectively, for “war game”—was based on Debord’s reading of the military theorist Carl von Clausewitz. The London-based group Class Wargames describes Kriegspiel’s purpose concisely:

For Debord, The Game of War wasn’t just a game - it was a guide to how people should live their lives within Fordist society. By playing, revolutionary activists could learn how to fight and win against the oppressors of spectacular society.

So convinced was Debord of the game’s utility and revolutionary potential that, in 1977, he founded Les Jeux Stratégiques et Historiques (Strategic and Historic Games) to produce a limited run of Kriegspiel sets. Ten years later, Debord and his wife Alice Becker-Ho published a book about Kriegspiel, Le Jeu de la Guerre. Debord opens the sixth chapter of his memoir Panegyric with these reflections on his game:

I have been very interested in war, in the theoreticians of its strategy, but also in reminiscences of battles and in the countless other disruptions history mentions, surface eddies on the river of time. I am not unaware that war is the domain of danger and disappointment, perhaps even more so than the other sides of life. This consideration has not, however, diminished the attraction that I have felt for it.

And so I have studied the logic of war. Moreover, I succeeded, a long time ago, in presenting the basics of its movements on a rather simple board game: the forces in contention and the contradictory necessities imposed on the operations of each of the two parties. I have played this game and, in the often difficult conduct of my life, I have utilized lessons from it – I have also set myself rules of the game for this life, and I have followed them. The surprises of this Kriegspiel seem inexhaustible; and I fear that this may well be the only one of my works that anyone will dare acknowledge as having some value. On the question of whether I have made good use of such lessons, I will leave it to others to decide.

The Atlas Press English-language edition of Becker-Ho and Debord’s book, A Game of War, comes with a board and punch-out pieces, but Board Game Geek warns that this edition “has a faulty translation of the rules, making it more or less unplayable.” The Radical Software Group’s web version of the game has been down for some time. So if, like me, you enjoy using things without paying for them, the best bet seems to be Class Wargames’ printable boards, pieces, and battle maps. Their website also has the free book Class Wargames: Ludic subversion against spectacular capitalism, plus information about such radical board games as Imperialism in Space, which promises to give players “a critical understanding of the political and theoretical arguments of Vladimir Lenin’s famous 1916 pamphlet Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.”

After the jump, an explanation of Kriegspiel’s rules….

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Motörhead’s Orgasmatron War Pig: The ultimate stocking ... stuffer
11.23.2016
03:04 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Games
Music
Sex

Tags:
Motörhead
sex toys


 
The field of sex toys with an explicit rock music tie-in is a relatively new one, but if you think about it, it would be odd if a band who released an album called Orgasmatron and a song called “Vibratordidn’t have a line of sex toys. Clearly, this was the kind of thing Lemmy and the gang gave serious thought.

My colleague Ron Kretsch introduced readers to Lovehoney’s line of Motörhead-themed vibrators last year, so this isn’t exactly a new topic for us. The four products that were made available last year were tributes to Ace of Spades and Overkill—all of them vibrators—with prices ranging from $26.95 to $54.95.

But when they come out with new Motörhead models, well twist our arm, it’s our pleasure, nay our responsibility to let you know. Not for nothing, but the Orgasmatron thing was just lying out there waiting for something to give. Sure enough, Lovehoney has three new products, a glass dildo in both clear/black and black/gold which is a tribute to Bomber, and an “Orgasmatron War Pig Wand Vibrator.”

Here they are, beauties all:

 
Much more after the jump…....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Wonderful Japanese kaiju playing cards
10.14.2016
11:07 am

Topics:
Art
Games

Tags:
playing cards
kaiju


 
I have almost no information about these marvelous Japanese playing cards featuring some of the most fearsome kaiju monsters, blithely exposing the naked hubris inherent in all of our fancy industrial structures (mostly by tearing them apart).

Judging from the typeface and so forth, it can’t be much later than the mid-1960s, can it? Anybody out there know?

The source for these images is Flickr user ToadLickr, who indicates that these cards may have been made by the Alaska card company.

You can see quite a few more of these great cards at the endlessly rewarding blog Monster Brains.
 

 

 
More of these excellent kaiju playing cards after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Pinball machine featuring the Stones, Elton John, The Who, AC/DC, KISS and many more

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The pinball arcade was where the boys in leather jackets hung out. The guys into Heavy Metal, Hell’s Angels and books by Sven Hassel. That’s what I recall from growing up. The pinball machines were always situated at the far end of the arcade—past the lines of slot machines with itchy-fingered retirees spending their hard-earned cash and the whey-faced office clerks on their lunch break in off-the-peg suits and white socks.

In those days smoking was permitted indoors—so the back of the room where the pinball machines and the boys in denim and leather hung out was always thick with blue cigarette smoke. Just go down to the back of the room and inhale a few breaths—it saved you on the cost of buying smokes.

For some reason pinball machines were associated with being tough. I was never really quite sure why. Manliness and the ability to use flippers dexterously meant—obviously in some secret code I was unable to fathom—that you were a tough guy. These boys sneered at punk. Tolerated Prog. Hated Glam and Mod—which was strange as most liked Slade and The Who. What they did like was Black Sabbath. Deep Purple. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. AC/DC. And The Rolling Stones—post 1968.

Their bravado was all front—like the flashing lights and bells of the pinball machines they played. The pinball was a totem for their nascent identity. In a few years time, some of these boys would be in their own off-the-peg suits playing slot machines during their lunch breaks.

Pinball has always had that macho outsider image—which probably explains why certain hard rockin’ bands and artistes have opted to merchandise their product through pinball machines.
 
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More rock and pop pinball machines, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Notable airplane crashes recreated in flight simulator program
08.29.2016
09:01 am

Topics:
Games

Tags:
airplanes


Aftermath of the 1986 Cerritos mid-air collision—this is not going to end well…..
 
A young man in the Philippines named Allec Joshua Ibay has developed an interesting—and morbid—hobby. Using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, Ibay likes to recreate noteworthy airline crashes from the past.

Ibay’s dedication to this hobby is impressive, with upwards of 30 such crashes now documented on YouTube. The tone is uniformly elegiac, with lachrymose music cues, but the videos also attempt to foreground useful information such as the actual dialogue between the doomed pilots and the control tower.
 

 
On some level Ibay knows that what he’s doing is creepy. The default video on his YouTube user page is a 9/11 tribute—not to worry, Ibay has done simulations of both UA Flight 175 and AA Flight 11. He seems to have gone out of his way to find FS2004 topics that are a bit less unsettling, as for instance this tribute to Heathrow or this compilation of safe landings on the island of Sint Maarten, where the airport is notoriously much too close to the beach, which has led to some fairly hilarious pictures of volleyball players confronted with a 747 jet landing almost right on top of them. (Last year we took a look at Jet Airliner: The Complete Works, a memorable book of such photos.) Ibay is currently 18, and some of these videos are more than a year old—I’d feel a little more squicked out if Ibay were in his thirties.

After the jump, some of Ibay’s greatest, er, “hits”......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Go directly to Castro Street: ‘Gay Monopoly’ an absolutely fabulous vintage board game from 1983
08.03.2016
08:51 am

Topics:
Amusing
Games
Queer

Tags:
1980s
Gay Monopoly


Gay Monopoly, a very gay board game from 1983.
 
Like many people I have a love/hate relationship with the Internet. Which is a problem if you happen to be in the line of work I’m in. Today, however, is a day that I am in LOVE with the Internet and I don’t care who knows it. Check out this absolutely fabulous board game put out in 1983 that took the Parker Brothers staple Monopoly and gave it a drag queen style makeover. I present to you one of the greatest board games ever to be pulled out of a closet—Gay Monopoly.

An idea conceived by the cheekily named company Fire Island Games out of (natch) West Hollywood it’s hard to say what I like most about this whole riff on Monopoly. Like the game pieces that include a leather cap, high-heeled pumps, handcuffs, a hair dryer and a teddy bear. Or the properties up for grabs on the game board of notable gay destinations and landmarks such as Castro Street in San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, and good old Tremont Street—and of course Provincetown—in Massachusetts. And of course instead of building hotels on your property in Gay Monopoly you build bars and bathhouses. Of course since this is Gay Monopoly that we’re talking about here, the railroads have been replaced with discothèques. Yes. As I was reading through the insert that helps explain the game I came across some tongue-in-cheek text detailing the “rules” for Gay Monopoly:

Remember that nothing in the rules is sacred. They are not carved in Quiche. Rules are for people “living” in Straight City. When you play GAY MONOPOLY be inventive like gay people always are.

So the next time your boss tries to tell you what to do like “make sure you’re not late again tomorrow” or to “not to drink a bottle of wine at lunch” you tell them that unless those rules are carved in quiche then no dice. As you might imagine this game is a difficult one to track down as Parker Brothers came hard for Fire Island Games and sued them for copyright infringement. As it turns out Fire Island donated the vast majority of whatever profits they made for the fifteen-dollar game to AIDS research and support organizations. I did find a few going for multiple hundreds of dollars over on Etsy and Ebay if you’d like to add this fantastic artifact to your board game collection.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Pokémon Go-inspired dildos are finally here!
07.28.2016
12:10 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Games
Sex

Tags:
Pokemon


 
Is this the final nail in the coffin for Pokémon Go? If not, can it be? Please? When you think or least hoped you’ve heard the last about Pokémon Go, lo and behold someone goes and designs Pokémon dildos. Yes, Pokémon dildos.

Etsy shop Geek Sex Toys is making these and has appropriately called them PokéMOANS. We now have Pokémoans on this planet, folks.

A description from the Etsy listing:

‘Bulby’ - A grass type Pokémoan. Bulby has a large seed tip making it a very pleasurable friend to have. It’s seed is 5cm wide and 4cm tall and its body is 16cm tall and 3.5cm wide.

‘Charmy’ - A slightly thinner, fire type Pokémoan with a flaming tail. Standing 18cm tall and 4cm wide at its widest point Charmy gives intense orgasms everywhere it goes.

‘Squirty’ - A water Pokémoan. Squirty has a smooth round head with a large grooved turtle shell on its back. Its bubbly head measures 4cm wide whilst his body measures 6cm wide and 14cm tall.

‘Piky’ - This small electric type anal Pokémoan is a perfect size for the average Pokémoan trainer. Piky is an extremely cute yet essential addition to your team. Its insertable size is 2.5cm wide by 4cm tall and his tail is 8cm long.

Apparently there are only 100 left in stock. So you gotta get ‘em all while you can! A limited-edition set of four will set you back about $270.00 or each one sells for around $68.00. A bargain indeed.


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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