The Mommy Gamers

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    Immersed Games Looks to Kickstart MMOs in the Classroom

    Screenshot of the city of Espeth, from the top of a building in the city.

    Screenshot of the city of Espeth, from the top of a building.

    Let’s face it, there’s no end to the range of projects looking to get funded on Kickstarter. After all, one man’s quest to make Potato Salad has already raked in over $60,000 in backing with more than a week still left to go. That being said, Kickstarter is still home to some more altruistic projects such as Tyto Online, a new educational MMO game in development from Immersed Games

    “We are not your average educational gaming team. We are not trying to make learning fun. Learning is already fun,” says Lindsey Tropf, Founder & CEO of Immersed Games. “Our vision was born from the realization that all games, even games like World of Warcraft, are amazing learning tools. You learn and care about rich, detailed information, without even trying. We wanted to harness that experience to learn something that mattered outside of the game world.”

    Concept art of the biodomes in Zyto Online.

    Concept art of the biodomes in Tyto Online.

    In Tyto Online, Earth has been rendered uninhabitable, forcing an evacuation of the planet’s surviving population. As one of these refugees, players are brought out of cryosleep as students of Tyto Academy, a futuristic school tasked with helping to learning from Earth’s past to help recreate its future. Players will team up for various missions, which will include solving puzzles, decrypting historic records, exploring alien landscapes, and leveling skills, all while learning real-life information during and after each quest. One example sends players on a mission to discover why the ant population in one particular biodome seems to be acting very strange and then inexplicably dying. Over the course of the mission, players will discover the ants had fallen victim to a fungus, essentially turning them into zombies. The mission data then goes on to describe similar cases of a “zombie fungus” existing on Earth.

    With a little more than two weeks left to go, Immersed Games has received just over $21,000 in backing of its $50,000 Kickstarter goal for Tyto Online. Stretch goals being offered include additional character customization options, a “Water Balloon” PVP arena, and additional biodomes, with scalable educational content for multiple grade levels, including potential continuing education beyond grade school and high school.

    Sure, it’s no potato salad, but teaching kids real science through video games is also less a lot less likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

    To support Tyto Online click here.

    Video Games
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    Episode 63: The Duck Whisperer

    This is the actual duck discussed in the podcast.

    This is the actual duck discussed in the podcast.

    This week the ladies are joined by Lesley, mother of gamers and founder of Lesley Nicole Organizing, who shares some of her best tips on how to organize when you have kids. Gaming chat includes Peggle 2, a Mario Kart 8 preview, Samurai Siege, Hearthstone and more! Desirai is excited Harmonix hit their Kickstarter goal for Amplitude and discusses “Bright Ideas” such as Cleverpet and Kittyo (see a theme here? ahem cat lady). Find out how Marcia works a drag show Sunday brunch into the conversation, and make sure to listen all the way to the end when the ladies answer riveting fan questions like, “Where do babies come from? They keep falling out of me” and “You guys still do that podcast?”

    Yes we still do that podcast and we apologize for the delay, but episodes should start rolling out regularly now. Thanks for not giving up on us. To stay up to date make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else you can think of.

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    Veronica Mars DVD Giveaway


    The Veronica Mars Movie

    It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! The Veronica Mars record breaking Kickstarter campaign that ended on April 12, 2013, was shot over 23 days during June-July 2013. The movie will be released in selected theaters nationwide on March 14th, 2014.

    If you were somehow out of the loop and didn’t know they were making a Veronica Mars movie, here’s what it’s about:

    “On the eve of graduating law school, Veronica Mars has put Neptune and her amateur sleuthing days behind her. While interviewing at high-end New York law firms, Veronica Mars gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Logan who has been accused of murder. Veronica heads back to Neptune just to help Logan find an attorney, but when things don’t seem right with how Logan’s case is perceived and handled, Veronica finds herself being pulled back into a life she thought she had left behind.”

    See it in select Theaters MARCH 14
    Order Veronica Mars [HD]on DIGITAL HD

    Head on over to to watch the trailer.

    Follow @veronicamars and include #VeronicaMarsMovie in your tweets to let everyone know how excited you are.


    In an effort to get everyone pumped about the movie’s release we’ll be giving away a copy of the Veronica Mars movie on DVD, when it becomes available of course. The DVD is expected to drop some time in May. For your chance to win take the 3 levels of “Purity Test Marshmallow Super-Fan Trivia” and post your results in the comments below.

    Official Rules

    Giveaway open to the U.S.A.

    Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Veronica Mars DVD via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

    A winner will be selected at random by 11:59pm EST Sunday March 30th, 2014.

    [box type=”info”]This post contains an affiliate link. You can read more about our official disclosure policy here. Information and prize provided by Warner Bros. [/box]

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    Finally, Gaming for Austenites: Ever, Jane


    To date, the traditional gaming industry hasn’t done a fantastic job of gearing games to women, and there’s still plenty of unwelcome harassment for those of us who enter virtual online worlds and reveal that we don’t have penises. There are days when I’m not sure I can call myself a “gamer,” because I’m not a member of the boys’ club that dominates gaming, and because I am not interested in venturing into the world of multiplayer as it stands today.

    But how do you create a game that’s fun for women without being patronizing? Well, there’s a Kickstarter project out there that has my inner girly girl squeeing in delight. The possibility of entering an immersive online universe designed with people like me in mind is an awesome one. Enter Ever, Jane: The Virtual World of Jane Austen.

    There have been other times when my fondness for Jane Austen has found vent in geeky media, such as the time our heroes in British scifi TV’s “Red Dwarf” took their destructive tendencies to Jane Austen World, or that series of Austen/supernatural creature mashups by Quirk Books (my favorite was Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, for its steampunk vibe). But this! A role-playing MMO with elements of strategy, featuring balls and Regency clothing and manners and gossip and dancing mini-games? I think I’m in love.

    So, I’m going to expound on Jane Austen for a moment, because I think she’s a bit misunderstood by the masses. We tend to view her as a period romance writer, who is famous because she happened to create interesting people in her comedies of manners. But that isn’t at all what she’s about. I don’t like romance as a genre, but I do read and re-read Austen and all her imitators hoping for someone who can replicate not the sentimentality (which is easy and can be done by any monkey pounding away on a typewriter), but Austen’s wit and characterization. Actually, Jane Austen’s books are all about strategy. The maneuvering involved in surviving Regency society with your reputation, your status, your sanity, your family, and your temper intact, all while trying to get the guy, is what Austen’s books truly excel at portraying. And this type of strategy is extremely conducive to intricate and unflinching gameplay. I’m not the only one who thinks so.

    This is why Ever, Jane, the brainchild of Judy Tyrer and 3 Turn Productions, is a brilliant idea. She’s taking the aspects that really define the best parts of Austen, and turning them into a community-building MMORPG that’s not a stretch at all.

    Ever, Jane is designed to help players create stories that aren’t all about killing bad guys. It takes place in a 3D village complete with balls, dinner parties, and travel. Instead of stats like Dexterity and Strength, the game relies on personality traits seen in Jane Austen heroines such as Happiness and Duty. You must understand the complexities of status and how that effects the way you treat people both above and below your station in life, and you’ve got to know how to use this knowledge gain points in society. Gossip is used as a weapon, issuing invitations is the action of choice, and balls are the place where things happen. How others react to you figures prominently in Tyrer’s vision of the finished title.

    This is an ambitious project, asking for at least $100,000 in funding. At press time, there were almost 400 backers. On the Kickstarter page, you can check out a video preview, play with a prototype and view details of Ever, Jane’s gameplay and goals. I’ve funded it, and I’m waiting with bated breath for the final product, due early 2016.

    Games, Video Games
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    Obduction (or OMGOREALLY!)

    CyanLogo_mediumIf you’re any kind of PC gamer, the words Myst and Riven should send you into shudders of ecstasy. They are absolutely gorgeous, immersive adventure games with some of the most beautiful music ever put into something that wasn’t a movie.

    Cyan, Inc. is at it again with a Kickstarter campaign for a new project, currently called Obduction. There isn’t a lot said about it yet, but it will be a lot like Myst: you’ll be plopped down into a beautiful alien landscape, and okay, start exploring.

    Since this is a Kickstarter, there are levels of giving and rewards. From as little $1 (Thanks and get Kickstarter backer updates) to $10,000 (attend a design meeting on Cyan’s dime or virtually, have lunch or dinner with the design team, test and give feedback on early builds, get updates from the producer, get credited in the opening credits plus all rewards at the other levels). Yes, they already have 1 backer at the 10 grand level. But for only $25, you’ll get a digital download of the release game, a digital manual, access to backer-only forums, your name in the end credits, and a digital high-resolution piece of concept art. For $25, that sounds good to me!

    Check out some stills and then go to the campaign page and watch the video.

    01 02

    Games, Video Games
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    Two Geeks on a Mission

    missiongeekI don’t think that anyone these days is unfamiliar with Kickstarter and most people have probably even backed a project or two. Every once in a while a project comes along that is so awesome sounding I feel like I have to help the creators promote it as much as I can. Mission: G.E.E.K. is a prime example. The creators, Jessica Mills and Alan Kistler are going to document their journey as they explore various geeky destinations across the country.

    I cannot think of two better or more entertaining people to see road trip together. Neither are new to geek culture. Jessica is the creator and star of the webseries Awkward Embraces and Alan has been recognized by DC Entertainment and various news media outlets as a comic historian. Reading their twitter timelines at @geekyjessica and @sizzlerkistler will give anyone an insight as to how fun they are. A road trip ebook made by them will be nothing short of pure entertainment.
    Recently I was able to get a hold of them and asked them a few questions:

    1) Where/when did you guys get the idea to make this travel book?

    JESSICA: I have a ton of friends all over the US. I love long drives and travelling. I was thinking “How cool would it be to drive all over the US visiting my friends and having them show me all their most favorite parts of their home cities.” and then I thought “What if I filmed it? or wrote a book?” I rolled that idea around in my head for about a year before I asked Alan what he thought of the idea and he said he’d always wanted to do a geeky road trip show and that was that!

    ALAN: I had plans long ago to do video tape a road trip across America with pals and it fell through. Then last year I was chatting with a couple of dear friends about how fun such a project could be as a real web-series, but our schedules ensured it wouldn’t happen any time soon. So it was just this “wouldn’t it be fun” idea in my head until Jessica asked me what I thought about her idea and I said “YES! Let’s do it together!”

    2) With so many geeky destinations in the US, how did you decide on the ones you picked?

    JESSICA: Originally we had 21 cities on our list. But the budget was SUPER high. So we cut down the list to include only places where we had a guaranteed place to crash (with a couple of exceptions). That saved us hotel fees on all the cities, and I think makes the whole thing more fun.

    ALAN: We were also interested in places of which the general public may not be aware. As geeky as New York’s Natural History Museum is, it’s a landmark and on a good day you can find Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the Planetarium. But a lot of people have never been to the Superman Museum in Metropolis, Illinois. So there’s a joy in showing that place.

    3) What are your overall hopes for the outcome of the book?

    JESSICA: I want it to be an everyman’s travel guide. When I was growing up, we always went on vacation to visit family, or friends, and only to places we could drive to. We just didn’t have the money to go to Disney or anywhere that required a plane ticket and expensive hotel.

    I think a lot of people, especially families, are in that boat. I want to show them the magic of these smaller cities. Maybe things are tight, but within driving distance is a place maybe they never thought of visiting, like Madison or Cleveland, where they could have an awesome time.

    ALAN: Agreed. And honestly, look at TV. So many travel shows are about “OH MY GOD, there are so many good looking single people here and the drinks are expensive and the music loud and-” Which is fine but even though I like a good and energetic bar, that’s not the only flavor I’m interested in. So Jess and I are looking forward to showing what this country has to offer for the geeky minded. And I don’t think you need to be a Star Trek fan, robot builder or comic book reader to find many of these places neat.

    4) Why Kickstarter?

    JESSICA: Road trips are expensive! Ha. It’s one of those things that can’t really be done halfway. With Indiegogo, you get whatever you raise. I’ve used that in the past, for Awkward Embraces, when I thought ‘Whatever I can get, I’ll shoot what I can” But this project really depends on multiple cities and travel. If we only raised $3,000 or $5,000, there’s no way we could get enough to write a full book. With Kickstarter, it’s all or nothing, so here we are!

    ALAN: If I thought we could scrounge together enough money from our savings and maybe a bake sale, I would be down with that. But just renting a car for a few days can cost a few hundred bucks and when you’re taking it from one city to another, plus gas, plus tolls, it all adds up SO quickly (Hell, bridges and tunnels in NY cost $5-15). And there’s the fact that to do this means Jessica and I will not be working for several weeks. I’m not going to be able to meet writing deadlines, work on my books or act or anything during the time for this roadtrip. So we won’t be having other funds coming in, this needs to have its own funding and account.

    5) If this is successful will you consider a second book?

    JESSICA: YES! Most definitely!

    ALAN: Of course!

    6) If so what types of places might you go next?

    JESSICA: Well, we don’t have any Southern states. I’m from Texas, and I’d love to go through finding geeky stuff all over the South. We just don’t know anyone there, so it would have been more expensive to pay for places to stay. But if we get to do another, I’d love to do the South. Or Canada! I’d love to do Canada, too.

    ALAN: I still haven’t been to Canada ever and it annoys me. Besides which, there are many places we wanted to visit but decided wouldn’t be feasible during this trip, so it would be great to make a second journey into mystery.

    7) What about an international edition?

    JESSICA: Are you kidding? I would LOVE to do a European Geek Tour with Alan. Do the backpacking thing, riding trains, finding the geekiest places all over Europe. How fun that would be!

    ALAN: I’ve always had great times in Europe and would love to go there again for such a geek-themed trip. I have several friends scattered around the countries and a few pals in London have been demanding I return so they can show me some geek stuff. The Doctor Who Experience alone would be fun to check out.

    8) What inspires you as a geek?

    JESSICA: Exploring possibility. All the what ifs of life. There are no limits and anything is possible. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Some of the wildest scenarios show us how great humanity can be.

    ALAN: We used to have myth and folk lore. We knew a lot of it wasn’t real or exactly real, but we considered it important and learned lessons from it. Now we have science fiction, fantasy and various sub-genres and they’re equally as important. Some are fun, many are really trying to get across messages of where we think we are, what we’re afraid of, and where we should go from here. Superhero battles are often metaphors about life made literal. That’s a wonderful thing and I’m constantly excited by the human capacity for new ideas and imagination.

    Random question for fun:

    9) Favorite video game series and why?

    JESSICA: Dude, Mario. My first love. It’s super lame, but I don’t care!

    ALAN: I’ve become obsessed with Mass Effect on a large scale. Definitely a fan of other series such as BioShock. But I think Mario and Mega Man are my longest loves in that field. It kills me there isn’t a good movie based on either one. If you embrace the video game atmosphere, you’ve got fantastic stuff right there. Possibly Jessica and I will just have to make it ourselves.

    Their Kickstarter can be found Mission: G.E.E.K.. Check it out and help support two awesome people make their dream come true!

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    Neverending Nightmares Kickstarter Project

    Neverending Nightmares

    What does it look like when you take your greatest fears and turn them into reality? Neverending Nightmares. Matt Gilgenbach has taken his real life battles with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder and turned them into a psychological horror game. A game that IGN claimed was one of the top PAX indie games to check out, and a game that needs a little more help from you!

    We couldn’t possibly explain the game nearly as well as Matt Gilgenbach, so we’ll just post this video and let him do the talking.

    Here’s the game trailer:

    The art in Neverending Nightmares is influenced by the famous illustrator Edward Gorey.

    You can check out the Kickstarter project by clicking here.

    With only two days left and nearly $27,000 ten hours and less than $5,000 to reach their goal, they need all the social media reach we can offer them. So please help out by sharing the link to the Kickstarter, and by supporting their project if you are able. Thank you, and make sure to tell them The Mommy Gamers sent you!

    Games, Video Games
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    Video Games Live Interview with Tommy Tallarico – PAX Prime 2013

    This is a test

    Tommy Tallarico The Mommy Gamers
    Hannah got another chance to talk with Tommy Tallarico while she was at PAX Prime 2013 in Seattle. Tommy is working on a new Kickstarter program to help fund the Video Games life Level 3 album. Hannah and Tommy chat about the Kickstarter, Tommy turns the microphone around and interviews Hannah for a little while, and the interview gets completely off course when a random cosplayer joins in the fun.



    pax 2013 527

    We also have a great contest for you! Here’s your chance to win one of FIVE digital copies of the Video Games Live Level 2 Album.

    About the Level 2 Album:
    The Video Games Live: Level 2 CD features 16 musical performances (2 additional tracks on the download version), and the DVD and Blu-Ray include never-before-televised music and video from Super Mario Bros.™, The Legend of Zelda™, Sonic the Hedgehog™, Halo®, Warcraft®, Chrono Cross®, Castlevania®, Guitar Hero®, God of War™ and many more, as well as a special Classic Arcade Medley featuring games from Pong® to Dragon’s Lair and Tetris®, and more than three hours of bonus material, including interviews with famous video game composers, and designers from around the world, additional and extended music segments, exclusive game trailers, “making the game” documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, creator commentary, internet game music videos, and a special look inside a private and exclusive game composers party in Tokyo, Japan with some of the greatest game composers of all time.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    As of right now, there are only a few days left for the Kickstarter and they haven’t reached their goal yet. Check out the Kickstarter page and help them get the Level 3 Album out:

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