Games As Art, Games As Creative Endeavors, Games as Social Venues

February 23, 2005

Last Saturday evening Katie and I went southward to the city of Rosemont, a suburb of Chicago. Our destination was the Rosemont Theatre, where the Chicagoland Pops would be sallying forth with the first US “Dear Friends” concert. The music of Final Fantasy, composed by Nobuo Uematsu, is phenomenal and has become quite popular here in the states.

A note before I get to that, though. While I was born in Illinois, I’ve considered myself a Wisconsinite for so long that I’ve developed the dairy state distaste for the flatland of below. It is my considered opinion that the sign at the Wisconsin – Illinois border should read “Welcome to Illinois. Fuck you! – The Illinois Tollway Authority”.

The Tollway is the most fiendish of modern ideas. Paying for driving on a roadway makes sense from a financial perspective. I’m sure. To someone. To me, it’s highway robbery. Even at only 40 cents a toll (with about 5 tolls or so to pass through) it was galling. Now the bastards have raised the toll fee to 80 cents! It cost me almost ten bucks to drive down and back on the Illinois tollway. Because they’re bastards.

We reached Rosemont at 6:30 to have dinner at a nearby restaurant named Carlucci. The restaurant was inside a corporate office building. If I’d known this, we probably would have eaten at a MacDonalds or something. It was a nice enough place as the decor went. We had an ice antipasta, too. Well toasted bread, goat cheese, and halved grape tomatoes went very well together. The entrees were underwhelming, though. Katie’s was an okay enough radiator pasta with a white sauce, chicken, and veggies. It just wasn’t interesting. I, on the other hand, attempted a three-mushroom pasta. The pasta itself was like lasagna noodles, only long. It was very al dente. The sauce tasted like a polymer. meh.

We arrived at the Theatre about 15 minutes before the concert is set to begin. Heading inside, we ran into the first part of the massive geek herd that we will be running with for the evening. I get the first of the many compliments I’ll recieve during the course of the evening on my shirt, and we find our seats.

I ordered our tickets just moments after they put out the press release for the event, so for the price I paid we got amazing seats. The photos I took should give you a good idea of what our view of the evening was like.

The evening was entirely kickass. I’m going to have a piece about the concert on Slashdot by the end of the week, so more details will be available then.

After the concert the Rosemont police force acquitted itself as intelligent lads. We were shunted directly to the freeway, where we made our way back to I-90 and northward.

All in all a long Saturday, but a lot of fun.


Sunday night we had a lovely dinner at Wasabi in downtown Madison. Sushi, Teriyaki and Saki made for a lovely late meal. Afterwards we retired to Alan’s apartment for cake and several rounds of Karaoke Revolution. The X-Play reviews did adequate justice to the game. It’s braindead in some ways, but extremely fun in large groups. With eight of us, each pass took quite some time and we only managed two, with some of us getting in an additional song while others were finishing cake. I rocked it pretty hard with “It’s the End of the World as we Know It”, “New York, New York”, and “Beat It” sung almost entirely fallsetto. An unexpected and entertaining evening out.

I reconveined with the Eberron players for one of our last times on Monday, continuing the madcap pursuit that punctuates the end of the second module. I am completely confident that we’re going to finish the game in a timely fashion, with the climax likely to occur either Thursday or next week.

More gaming occured yesterday, as a bunch of us got together to roll up characters and begin to create a setting for another Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Aaron’s at the helm, and I rolled stats worthy of a follower of the Monkish path. As a result of the close of my games I’ve moved my game blog over to the characters page, where I’ll be keeping notes from Aaron’s game.

Tonight I’m probably going to help Pete with moving some furniture, and tomorrow after my pants shift is the second Eberron game of the week. This weekend we’ll be Masquerading it up at one of the UW unions. Umm…hooray for wearing masks?


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  1. Works perfectly! Thanks for the help dear writer!

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