Looking for Group Pittsburgh is a combined gaming center and coworking space in the Brookline neighborhood of Pittsburgh. We talk with John Lange and Edd Batson about the space, how they are listening to the community, surprising games that have been hits like Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator and Train Simulator, using Kickstarter to crowdfund what goes into the space, including community programs to teach kids to use a Raspberry Pi and more!
Also, check out sorgatronmedia.com and awesomecast.com for more entertainment. Follow Michael Sorg (@sorgatron) and @AwesomeCast for updates and live streams of our interviews! Subscribe on Spreaker, iTunes, and Youtube!
Bobby is missing in New Mexico as Chachi took us around the internet and then he, too, vanished off into the night never to return (until next week, of course). That’s when Sorg and Rizz took over and delved into Rizz’s personal life on why video games shouldn’t be taken too seriously (started off by one of Chachi’s topics on Video Game Themed Things From Around the Internet…net…….net).
Also on the agenda, we discussed the new e-sports company going toe-to-toe with MLG and how more companies aren’t really going the MLG/competitive video game route, which got Rizz excited. Sorg gets angry at the Angry Birds movie trailer, and both Rizz and Sorg delve into the Final Boss question about last gen games being cut (this time it’s the story mode in both Black Ops 3 and Rainbow Six.
Normally a game features you doing your part in saving the world, defeating villains, making sure that the good guys always win or, at least, follow a story to its end. It’s what we all realize what a good story in a video game or movie or TV show or book or anything.
That’s not the case with The Chinese Room’s Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
EGTTR is made in the same way that Stanley’s Parable was. You have no weapons, no enemies, nothing that could hurt you and a set story to go down the road.
In EGTTR, you play…somebody. It’s not really specified as to whom you are playing as but you are the lone survivor in some end of the world scenario that we have to figure out through interactions to these light orbs (which I will always call “Orbie”) and seeing the scenarios play out right before our eyes.
THAT’S RIGHT! We are not the protagonist, we’re not the antagonist, we’re, in all facets of life (in this game) aren’t really there. We follow these orbs and focus our attention on the scene that plays out and there’s nothing that you can do about it because…it already happened.
It’s a fun little idea that you wouldn’t think would work in a video game, especially when it’s one of importance like “WHY THE HECK AM I THE ONLY ONE ON THIS PLANET?!” It does, though. It works because the stories in this game are interesting and grabs at your heartstrings and is one of the better storytelling games I’ve played in a long, long time.
The graphics go along well with the story, as they are the main reason this game is so good. The lighting, the scenery and everything in between all mesh well with the story that is happening in front of you.
The graphics are good.
The story is good.
The game is very unique, in a good way.
There’s one thing that makes this a less than perfect indy game. One small minor detail which really takes some fun out of the game and that is your character moves really…really…REALLY SLOW! I know why they did it, I really did. It was so that the player can take EVERYTHING in and look around at the world that surrounds you but…I want to also finish the game in the next year. Also, you walk so slow, Orbie has to come back and look at you like “Where the hell did you go?” and then LEAVES AT TWICE THE SPEED AS YOU CAN SPRINT!
Other than that, though, this is a really good indy game that everyone should play at least once.
I can sit here and say how awesome Chachi Plays For Kids was but, honestly, I would only be repeating myself over and over again, being available to go to this event since the initial one five years ago. So I decided to do something different. Instead of giving you my review on the awesomeness of Chachi Plays, I’m going to give you the reviews of other people from Chachi Plays.
First, let’s get the other individuals from Insert Coin to Begin out of the way with Bobby and Sorgatron.
Every year, Chachi Plays for Kids is such a highlight in my video game experience. For a few years, I always find myself stopping the admire two points. Usually Friday night when we have our first flux of people coming out to support or playing the Tetris Tournament, and Saturdayafternoon during the heated Mario Kart Tournament. This is when I look around and see so many people together, sharing their love of video games. Some are avid everyday players. Some not so much. But they’re all together around this common thing and helping kids’ art programs. This is when I’m proudest at what Chachi has brought together.
Bubble-Boy Bobby F. JTown
This year, I decided to take in more of Chachi Plays than in previous years. I arrived Friday night, Chachi was just starting his marathon, I believe he was playing Smash Brothers. The Tetris Tournament was a highlight of Friday night I placed 2nd due to an unforseen Chachi elimination due to disqualification and what not. But it was fun, and I got a trophy (Here The Cheat, have a trophy!) Anyways, I totally missed the 4:00am golf outing because I was wrapped in bubble wrap and had to sleep due to a long drive home the next day. I awoke around 7:30 and played some Soul Calibur IV with Brother Sorg, then my hour with Chachi was around 9:00 I brought 2 fighting games from home, which (sorry Chachi) Much to Chachi’s dismay we played Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Soul Calibur V. Later that day a bunch of people arrived for the Mario Kart tournament and we had a blast! All in all I had a great time during Chachi plays and want to thank all the wonderful people that donated and came to the event, Toonseum for hosting it, Sorg, Chris, Dudders, Matt, Brittney, Alexa, Missy and everyone that helped and participated in Chachi plays, and especially the man himself, Chachi! Thanks for doing this for the kids and donating your time to an awesome cause! I will be coming back next year and you should too!
I think Katie sums up her time with Chachi Plays beautifully with her review on the event:
It is the Monday after Chachi Plays and I am suffering from what I’ll call the Chachi Plays hangover. I have crashed from the sugar and caffeine highs and my body is sore from twirling, hooping, playing, and laughing. During the event, participants, volunteers, and lead super hero himself, Chachi, ate fruit snacks, junk food, and pizza, consumed caffeinated drinks, and played video games. We also played with hula-hoops, twirling batons, temporary tattoos, bubbles, and sidewalk chalk. In the words of the event’s Mario Kart champion, this was her childhood. This was all of our childhoods. Simply put, this year’s Chachi Plays was a celebration of being a kid again all while raising funds for the Toonseum and Father Ryan Arts Center.
Video games have played an important role in a lot of our lives, giving us a fun way to bond with family and friends. Personally, one of the highlights for me this year was seeing my niece exposed to her first Mario Kart tournament. Even though she’s still way too young to play, I know my brother and sister-in-law are looking forward to sharing their love of video games with her.
I’ve had the fortune to witness the inner workings of this event. I have witnessed the hard work of the volunteers and the friends that stay by Chachi’s side to make sure he makes it through his gaming marathon. Every one of them is so incredibly dedicated to making this event a success.
Chachi is a true super hero that has found a way to channel his talents and passion into a way to help others. Thank you Chachi, volunteers, entertainers, and staff at Toonseum for your hard work year after year. Thank you to all who participated, donated, visited, and spread the word. Finally, thank you Slice on Broadway and Anchor & Anvil Coffee Bar for providing the fuel for the event.
Now, Bobby, Sorg and myself have been doing this for a while, now. So why not get one of the first timers in on the action?
Matt “Super Pray” Carlins:
This was the first year I made the donation to secure my hour to play games with Chachi himself, and it was worth it! I was excited to see Chachi had one of my all-time favorite games, Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES. I wasn’t sure how I’d fare, but I was pleased to discover I still have some skills. I gleefully beat Chachi twice, first with the Phoenix Cardinals, then with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Chachi played as the Cleveland Browns for some reason.
After that, we switched over to another classic from my childhood – Pro Wrestling for the NES. I was scolded by the growing crowd of onlookers for even suggesting I would play as Starman. Instead, it was me as The Amazon vs. Chachi playing as Great Puma. I could barely remember how to play, but it didn’t matter. Chachi is a great sport and guided me along until my muscle memory returned. Before it was over, I hit the elusive “Super Pray” off the top rope!
I couldn’t make it out of the first round of the Mario Kart tournament, but that didn’t matter. My little sister won the whole thing! I am a proud brother, and also proud to know my donation is going to a great cause! Chachi Plays is great fun, and I hope it only gets bigger!
And, yes, let’s get the winner of the Mario Kart 8 tournament: Sarah Carlins:
Thanks for having me at the Chachi plays tournament! I wish that there had been more time to hang out and play all of the games that you guys had! Not only was it a great group of people but it was for a great cause as well. It was a ton of fun and I look forward to coming back next year to defend my title!
Thanks for everyone here that participated in Chachi Plays. I could tell your donations and your time influenced Chachi to chug along at the Toonseum. But you know something? We need to get a rep. from the Toonseum involved with this, so here is Alexa with her words about the event.
This past Friday August 7th and 8th marked the annual Chachi Plays event at The ToonSeum. I came to learn about Chachi Plays a few years ago thanks to Twitter, and ended up participating in the Street Fighter tournament. This was my first interaction with both Chachi Plays AND the ToonSeum. Since then I’ve begun working at the ToonSeum and taking part regularly in the charitable event.
I have to say that this particular year was my favorite. I spent 2AM-9:30AM at the ToonSeum being a responsible adult with a set of building keys… and a Playstation 4. Being that it was the wee hours of the morning, everything was extra fun like when you’re a little kid and staying up late was the coolest thing you could possibly do on a Friday night. This was the coolest thing I could possibly have done on a Friday night. Between Chachi himself switching between systems and games, to the 4AM Wii Golf Tournament that took approximately 2 hours to complete, to myself ripping through a new Dragon Age Inquisition playthrough, the whole night was a everything a game enthusiast could want: to be surrounded by funny people with the same interests.
I’d like to thank everyone involved for not only creating a great space for people of all ages to gather and game, but for also using their collective passions to support The ToonSeum and Father Ryan Arts Center. After all, video games are collaborative works of art and the Chachi Plays yearly event is a collaborative labor of love.
That last sentence really says a lot about what Chachi is doing. He’s doing this for a good cause and, also, he is doing this with the people that he calls friends because, honestly, that’s what video games are. They are a focal point to make or maintain friendships, connections and, well, doing it for charity and for the kids is just a darn good cause to play video games.
Still time to donate, guys. Go to ChachiPlays.com and donate now.