Bill Gates saves lives. Steve Jobs rests in peace. Facebook is the shimmering idol under the weight of which privacy and association tremble. Ebay charges more than ever. Myspace is long-dead. Yahoo is for weirdos. Such is the technological landscape that we live in today. It’s post-boom, it’s post-crash. The problems of the early internet have given way to problems of attention. Have you checked your mail enough today? I know I haven’t.
In these troubled, hard to summarize tech times the HBO comedy series ‘Silicon Valley’ thrives. And our current climate is a strange one to focus on. Back when facebook was climbing, hell, even back when ‘The Social Network’ hit theaters, people wanted to know what it was like to live and work in the center of things. Today, with small companies striking it rich on products we’ll never see, with billions flying around to make sure my fish can swim through pipes smoothly, ‘Silicon Valley’ answers a question we haven’t asked in five years: What’s it like to work in Silicon Valley?
News broke earlier this week that Wizards of the Coast (the company that makes ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ and ‘Magic: The Gathering’) filed suit against Cryptozoic Entertainment (makers of the wonderful ‘Food Fight’ and ‘Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards…’) for copyright infringement in their new game ‘Hex.’ WOTC alleges that much of the game ‘Hex’ is built off of, and outright steals from, the designs, features, mechanics, and “feel” of ‘Magic: The Gathering’.
The internet is now abuzz with David vs. Goliath allegories (Wizards is a huge company! Wizards and Hasbro’s legal teams are going to crush the smaller company!)… and that sentiment misses the point.
How do you predict The Next Big Thing In Board Gaming? How do you know what’s going to pop? Will your amazing, big-budget tactical battle game get overlooked because the shiny game about zombies was just featured on a podcast? Will your quiet game about mushrooms explode and outperform even your wildest expectations, leaving you short-handed and short-ordered? Even a company’s best guess isn’t always good enough, as we’ve seen with the woefully under-printed (and over-named) Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men.
This wonderful game deserves to be in the hands of millions, but the shipments and allocations from distributors left most Friendly Local Game Shops with one or two copies to sell. I was lucky enough to get my mitts on a copy of the dice-rolling collectible game, and I love it.
Now I just have to wait three months for my friends to all get a copy for themselves so we can play.