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The Accidental Podcaster: Pomp and Circumstance, Part 1
Aug 2nd 2016
God damn my body hurts.
This weekend was the graduation ceremony for my campus’ Class of 2016. This was my tenth ceremony, third as event chair, and it was a beautiful day. Seven and a half months of planning, continual controlled communication, and a seasoned crew of volunteers and performers make for a fairly easy run once we actually get to the event. The highlights for me were getting to see Miss D. hooded for her masters (the reason for that turned into an entire essay of its own, so look for that coming out next week), and being part of a conspiracy that saw one of our local students reunited with her son, who is an active duty member of the Army and whom she hadn’t seen in two years. She had no idea he was there until she started to walk across the stage for her scroll, only to have this young man march out from the opposite wing in full uniform to meet her center stage while the rest of the house exploded in cheers.
Things like that are what help make the job worthwhile.
The Last Days
Jul 28th 2016
D-01: Nearly ran over someone today. I think he was playing that new mobile game everyone raving about. Just pissed me off. I mean, he just walked out in front of me. Of course, true to the stereotype, it was a 16 year old. Not a single care in the world except to make sure his gazed eyes were glued to the phone in his hands. I know it’s not true, but I swear the younger generations are just becoming dumber. It’s probably me becoming older and grouchier.
D-05: Big news networks are running stories about the new mobile game. They’re gushing how young people are getting out outside instead of shutting themselves inside with their electronics. Now they’re outside… with their electronics. What a world. Admittedly it’s weird to see these large groups of people in parks wandering around with their phones in their hands. Even weirder is the local news is blowing up with the rash of pedestrians accidents in town. People were on their phones and just walked into to traffic. The kicker was everyone of them was playing the new game.
D-11: Went to some friends’ house to check up on them since they hadn’t been answering their phones. Immediately everything was screaming something was wrong. The unmowed lawn, the piled up mail in the mailbox, and the front door was wide open. I went in calling for them, Nothing. Just silence. I tried calling the police, but the lines were busy. I tried the other emergency numbers and all I got was busy signals. Helpless, I headed home. I texted Jes, my girlfriend, what happened. With all the strange things going on, she insisted she come along with me tomorrow to look for any clues. Hopefully we’ll find something tomorrow.
The Accidental Podcaster: I Am a Motherf***ing Shark
Jul 26th 2016
Summer has always been my least favorite season. I hate being hot. I hate the earth being dry and cracked. I hate the grass turning brittle and brown. I hate the bugs. I especially hate the air being so humid that stepping out of my house smacks me with the instant sensation that I’m drowning - I get worse chest colds in July and August than hypochondriacs get in the middle of flu season. What I hate most, however, is that whiney, restless feeling that comes when I have tons of things to do but the heat makes me not want to do anything.
Going into last week’s entry, I realized I was coming dangerously close to getting stuck in whine country sans any drinkable wine to put me in a better mood. Most people take these moments of self-enlightenment and put them to immediate use - take a walk, have a nap, binge watch TV shows until they’re less grouchy. Which, side note, if you have not become addicted to AMC’s Turn yet, stop everything and go Netflix it right now. Seriously. I’ll wait.
The Accidental Podcaster: Back To (Digital) Basics
Jul 20th 2016
I hit a new achievement in my digital farming last night.
My careful return on investment analysis for my digital crops at the beginning of the digital season meant I brought in more than enough profits to hire someone to build me a digital barn and expand my animal stock with four young cows, which in honor of my colleagues at RCM I have named Cowyar, Baron Von Cowsu, Killer McCow, and CowCoCow. Once I have reached the level that allows expansion of my barn, I will add to my herd with Vampy Cowtaker, teh_leet_milker, and BioMooCowcamist (I did not follow similar naming conventions with my chickens, but do get a naughty chuckle every time I see the one I named MotherClucker running around). With the game’s winter approaching, I will soon shift focus from crops to my new animals and working on the maple grove I’ve carved at the edge of my estate, which I have named the Alpine Retreat and rule with my digital cat, Hobbes (who loves me, unlike those snotty villagers in Pelican Town). All around us in our little corner of Stardew Valley is abundance and serenity.
Essay Series: What I Love About Gaming, Part 4
Jul 13th 2016
This summer, the RCM Writing department started its first Summer Writing program with four college interns from around the US. One of their first assignments was to write an op-ed essay on what they love about gaming. Evee's essay is the final installment in this four-part series.

Video Games: The Future of Story-Telling
The Accidental Podcaster: I Hate Your Voice
Jul 13th 2016
I had just finished a phone call with an incoming student and was jotting down my notes when a shadow cast itself over my little cubby. I glanced over my shoulder to see the overly fake-helpful face of a coworker blocking the narrow entrance to my corner.
“What’s up?†I asked, noticing her pudgy fingers fidgeting with my fliers.
Essay Series: What I Love About Gaming, Part 3
Jul 6th 2016
This summer, the RCM Writing department started its first Summer Writing program with four college interns from around the US. One of their first assignments was to write an op-ed essay on what they love about gaming. Ray's essay is the third installment in this four-part series.

I was a gamer until school became more serious and time-consuming.
The Accidental Podcaster: This Too Shall Pass
Jul 5th 2016
I’ve always been an anxious person. I want to blame circumstance - my parents split up when I was very young, as the eldest child I had a lot of responsibilities put on me from a very young age, etc. - but truth be told, my anxious tendencies started long before that. One of my earliest memories was when I was around four years old, landing at the chalkboard in our playroom with my father as he taught me phonetics (I started reading insanely early) and being very upset that I’d made a mistake because I was certain the other children would mock me for it. A good chunk of my free time as a child was learning was to prepare for disasters, both likely and unlikely. I have been known to replay and obsess over conversations that took place fifteen years ago. When planning for the future, I always envision the worst possible circumstances and use that as by baseline for preparation. All things considered, I find it somewhat amazing I don’t have a tiny Doom cloud following me about at all times.
Probably one of the most entertaining examples of this took place on my first day of kindergarten. It started with a mysterious note slipped under the classroom door. The hallway was empty; the note, a taunt from a creature signing himself as “The Gingerbread Man.†Our class was tasked was to go around the building and catch him. The problem was, each place we went, we were told we’d just missed him and had to solve a clue to figure out where he was headed next. It was extremely frustrating. Having seen many spy and action thrillers, I was convinced the gingerbread man may have tossed us a red herring and doubled back, so I made my new friend Brian help me thoroughly check all the wastebaskets and under the chairs, convinced we could find and capture the little perp before he could do something bad. After all, why else would he be on the run? I could only assume nefarious deeds were in play or on the horizon. It didn’t help that I was momentarily sidetracked when we visited the library, something I’d never experienced before, and blamed myself for the GBM getting away that time. The school staff, though helpful in assisting the other children to read the clues, seemed completely oblivious to the impending danger threatened by this gingerbread man, as was evidenced by their failure to try and apprehend it despite their witnessing the creature as it cut through their various rooms and offices.
If only I had been more vigilant...
Essay Series: What I Love About Gaming, Part 2
Jun 29th 2016
This summer, the RCM Writing department started its first Summer Writing program with four college interns from around the US. One of their first assignments was to write an op-ed essay on what they love about gaming. Ruby Re's essay is the second installment in this four-part series.

To be perfectly honest, I never thought I would be a gamer.
The Accidental Podcaster: Zinger's In The Cup
Jun 29th 2016
There are a variety of sayings we have in the RCM staff room to denote an acquiescence to calm. Varyar, for example, is a swimmer, so he favors the allegory of the problems being like water going over a duck. Hax reminds us of the Sith Code. Killer has a particular sigh. But my personal favorite is the phrase â€~Zinger’s in the cup.’ The â€~Zinger’ is in reference to my favorite tea, which I tend to consume while I’m working and serves as an anchor to my well-being. To have Zinger in the cup means remembering that in spite of whatever crazy is going on in the world around you, there are still tiny bits of comfort to get you through; a physical reminder of “don’t worry, you got this.â€
Saturday afternoon, I went through about five cups.
This weekend we held the first RivalCon, a two-day festival of friendship and gaming that saw community members of Rivalcastia come in from all over the country (and Sweden!) to play in person with friends they’ve known for years, but in many cases had never met face to face. It’s a good time, to be sure.