WHEN I GROW UP
About the Show
In case you missed the big announcement made at PAX, Paul and Storm are making the theme song for When I Grow Up! In case you don’t know them, Paul and Storm are a comedy music duo that have been performing as a duo since 2004. Before that, they were one half of a cappella band called Da Vinci’s Notebook. http://www.paulandstorm.com/
Also, if you missed the panel or want to see it again, IRBGamer recorded it for your viewing pleasure:
On March 3rd Destructoid announced a contest where you can win a set of three-day PAX East tickets! Just go to Destructoid.com and leave a comment on the article telling us what you want (or wanted) to be when you grow up. The winner will be announced March 7th. Check out Sean’s new video while you’re there, it’s a good one!
Have fun and good luck!
We are excited to announce that Wicked Smart Kids will be holding a panel at PAX East where the premier screening of “When I Grow Up” will be shown. The panel will include Sean Baptiste [Harmonix], Trevor Chamberlain [Director], Dana Bein [Comedian], Jon Mercer [Editor], and Urvi Fontenot [Producer].
Look for us at the Wyvern Theatre on Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:00pm. We hope to see you there!
‘Sean’s ‘Game Reviewer’ exclusive film for Destructoid got picked up by Game Informer! (They gave it 7 out of 10.)
We were so thrilled to be considered part of the MANY Harmonix panels compiled by our friends at Rock Band Aide!
Hot Blooded Gaming also picked up the ‘Game Reviewer’ film! Maybe Sean should make this job Episode 2?
The inimitable and proliferate Twenty-Sided Tale went to our panel, and when we realized this, one of the producers at WSK went totally fan-girly.
A beautiful, touching writeup about WIGU from someone who attended the panel. Much thanks!
A writeup that mentions the origin and reason for the panel’s standing ovation. Thank you, sir!
Stepto humbles us yet again with his kind words. And writes once again of the semi-annual PAX plague.
Sean visited WIGU comedian Brett McCabe and Early Show hosts, Niki & Sarah, the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. In Boston. He REALLY misses partying.
Sean’s interview was the second-best thing about that week’s podcast. The best? Listen at the end of the show! (A VERY close third is Laura’s robot dance.)
Polish Gaming Sites From Poland (Int’l Edition) :
We can’t read Polish, but the fact is, Game Reviewing is a universal language. DZIĘKUJĄ!
On February 28th Destructoid released an interview of Sean Baptiste discussing his recovery from multiple brain surgeries. In Destructoid’s article, “Sean Baptiste to take brain training to the next level”, Sean credits When I Grow Up for improving his brain function. His doctors claim that the challenges presented by the show, “are great rehabilitative exercises, helping to strengthen weak parts of his brain”.
See the full article by Nick Chester here: http://www.destructoid.com/sean-baptiste-to-take-brain-training-to-the-next-level-195277.phtml
@nickchester @TheOverNord Ah the classic "Simultaneous Confirm and Deny." It's the PR analogue to the Triple Lindy. http://t.co/lrZDNt6Grz
@TheOverNord Yeah, so many confusing decisions here. Mostly decisions favoring outdated models for media consumption.
@PTibz TB, TB, TB, TB, SB, Spores, Spores, Spores, Spores TB, Spores, TB, Doodie, Doodie, Doodie, TB, Spores, Doodie.
Wow. This is a TERRIBLE idea. http://t.co/jK6T2ZigXQ
@Jamezila Yeah. They got increasingly frequent, drove me crazy trying to figure it out.
@DennisScimeca I can't stop watching that this morning. So funny.
@Jamezila That happened to me a few years ago. RIP PSU.
@cfloydtweets I wish I did too! Get over here!
@cfloydtweets I used to watch it all the time! But now it's basically impossible to find here!
Two songs will get me through today. One Track Lover - http://t.co/lvIi8QP6MN and some Beatnuts http://t.co/CvyfnDpwp4
@BLACKBIBLE Any time! That would be fun.
@BLACKBIBLE Now I wish I WAS going to be there! I will be ensconced in Cambridge, however. Have to catch up soon!
We need to get the people bleeding our nation dry off of welfare RIGHT NOW. Specifically @RepFincherTN08. <INSERT BIBLE QUOTE>
E3 is not for us. I’ll say it again. E3 is not for us.
Every year E3 comes along promising a tectonic shift in games. Maybe it’s some title that will come out of nowhere and win ‘Game of Show’ like some hopeful Cinderella with a twinkle in her eye and dirty coal-covered feet who just wants to share her dream. But based on the teaser shown at the press conference, she’ll turn that coal into raw, next-gen, gun-totin’, adventure-fueled power and deliver herself safely into everyone’s living room come Christmas.
But doesn’t happen at E3 very often. And when it does, it can set off a wave of cynicism about how the sequel was greenlit a day after release. It’s certainly not going to happen now, at the end of a console cycle, before stats on the upcoming consoles have even been released. As far as E3′s go, this one is at the point in the Father Time life cycle where it isn’t going to break new ground–it’s just going to try not to accidentally swallow all the wrong pills until the next consoles show up, like three Baby New Years, and take his place.
E3 is a gigantic, expensive, hootenanny of a carefully-coordinated PR square dance that has almost nothing to do with getting you to buy a game. It is about trying to be louder. And it can be louder by showing certified sequels to certified hits proven to do certifiably well.
That’s the nature of this game. Now, they could throw some risky new IPs up there and gauge the crowd’s reaction but that wouldn’t make any sense. Why? Because E3 isn’t about you, the gamer, the fan.
E3 is for people mostly not even in the building. E3 is for the shareholders. And the shareholders aren’t screaming “but where’s the new IP?!” They are off somewhere doing something else, probably involving shareholder meetings. They will take notice and start screaming for a new IP when the company gets down to the last profitable franchise it can’t choke the life out of.
E3 isn’t for us. And we can complain and complain, but the truth of the matter is this: big, publicly-traded, media companies CAN’T make it for us–because then the shareholders would get super-angry and litigious about what they were showing. This is absolutely true. They are huge companies held back by their very public nature. To even get the leeway to allocate any money to put some marketing push behind a lesser-known game they want to support, they need a huge cash cow IP they can replicate to feed the beast.
So we aren’t getting E3 back (as if it ever was ours in the first place, which I tend to doubt). What can we do? As gaming communities, we can support the smaller developers’ efforts of games we do think look really good. If they have a booth at a Comic-Con or at PAX or something, drop by, play the game, chat with the developers. Follow them on Twitter. That’s where the real stuff is going to be.
Also, there are a simply amazing number of rad independent games coming out. Some independently published, some not. But vote with your money! If you want to see more Papo & Yo and less trailers for Advanced Tactic Race War, then spend your loot on P & Y. And when you ask your friends why they bought the Race War game and they are like, “umm action gun zipline thermal….I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE” show them there is a world of under-publicized, awesome games that they have better and more direct access to than most of E3′s current offerings.
And hey–if one of these big companies takes a few chances on good quality games that are pretty inventive? Buy them. Show your support with your dollars there too.
All that said, I hope all the many shareholders have a fun E3 for their portfolios. For everyone else, I hope you find more content than bombast.
by Sean Baptiste AKA (Baron Barometer)
Sometimes it’s easy for me to feel like things aren’t real. My sleep patterns are kind of a mess, weather takes away my cognitive abilities, and other than that I live a pretty sheltered life. I don’t leave home much, I almost never see friends or other people. When it all gets added up it is easy for me to slip into a sort of slight fugue state where things seem a bit cloudy and dreamlike. To me, this is probably how a zombie feels – though zombies do appear to socialize more than I do.
As I feel I am either good enough (or sure as hell better be) to rejoin the living on a limited trial basis I decided through the excellent guidance of both my brilliant fiancee, Maria and my standup comedy tutor from When I Grow Up (the talented and sagely Dana Jay Bein) to take another comedy class. This time I was going to up the ante a bit – not standup comedy but Improv 101.
I’ve always wanted to learn improv a little more properly. Of course I have done it a bit. I was in a short-lived troupe in college and made a few short films with director Trevor Chamberlain that were mostly improv’d… but I never really ever got down to the nuts and bolts basics. I also watched a ton of improv with one my best friends Sue Constantine, that shouldn’t be glossed over at all.
I also figured this would be an excellent test of whether I could sustain my attention in a class environment amidst peers, be active, and keep the blackouts to a minimum. The stakes aren’t terribly high because it isn’t like I am enrolled in college and paying exorbitant amounts of money. If I fail, I fail, and I’ll feel bad but I won’t have to eat Ramen every day (PLUG: seriously the class rates at ImprovBoston are very reasonable!)
The night before I made sure to get as much sleep as possible. No TV before bed, no distractions, no games, just sleep. In the morning I had a big breakfast took half of my pills (including the ones I was taking a break from) and then remained in a state of perfect chill for an hour or two, Then I scarfed down a Powerbar, drank a big glass of water, and had my last pill. Off we go!
I thought it would be a class of 12 but it was actually 14, and the room we were in was kind of temporary but just large enough to stand in a circle and do some improv warmups and games. Most of them were variations on warmup exercises I did when I was an actor so it wasn’t too hard to follow the class. I was paying attention and things were going well.
Oddly enough a lot of acting/improv warmups are about diverted attention, facial and aural memory, and speed processing. In other words this was a lot like a practical version of what I do on Lumosity and at Cognitive Therapy! I know I am only one class in but I think 101 style improv is custom-made for rehabbing from a traumatic brain injury.
I’ll have more to report in the future but I feel like it was an excellent choice. I only phased out a few times (and only had to leave to take a short break once) and when it was done I had enough cognitive energy to get back on the train and not get lost. I’m looking forward to the next class!
Hey all, there really isn’t much of a post today. I kind of spent most of my creative juices doing some painting.
Now what I really need is to get some finger paints and a really big canvas…
Oh also I did start working on the germ of an idea of a joke (see yesterday’s post) here it goes (remember, it’s just the first draft): “Sure, Zach Snyder’s Sucker Punch is totally sexist and exploitative… but imagine how much worse it would have been if Neil LaBute directed it! Then, not only would the men exploit the girls in the movie in increasingly pervy and gross ways but it would turn out in the end that all women were the enemy in the first place.”
Lately I haven’t been terribly productive. A change in medication, a lack of focus, and some other stuff have made me feel like my progress bar just sort of shorted out and froze. This has been the case for a while now but I am starting to think I need to reboot.
How do I do this? What am I going to do? Where’s my reset button anyways? Will I have to defrag my brain afterwards? I used to be motivated by performance: getting in front of people and talking, or acting, or just being stupid. That seems less and less viable in my immediate future as I still have a tough time being around people for too long without becoming exhausted and tuning out. Also most of the things I would want to do would be at night which is impossible for me. So what do I do?I enjoy writing when I can motivate myself to do it. This blog as well as my attempts at larger bodies are deeply satisfying to me when I can get it right. I really enjoy comedy- clearly I enjoyed standup when I did it for When I Grow Up. I also listen to comedy pretty much constantly via albums and podcasts- I am practically mainlining it.
I’d like to keep doing standup but I keep coming up against the wall where there isn’t a such thing as a “Comedy Brunch” and I don’t really know if it would be a good thing if there were. If there comes a time I can stay up past 9pm without going into dissociative sleep I will get back into it, but for now its something I need to put on hiatus.
But the truth is my favorite part wasn’t performing standup (though I did enjoy it quite a bit when I could remember having performed at all) it was the process of writing a joke. The process of writing a joke, or even a whole bit is a process of iteration. The first draft of a joke is almost always shit. There is a kernel of funny in there but it needs to be streamlined, words have to be carefully chosen for full impact, explanations need to be clear and wicked concise.
I am probably describing something most people would flinch away from like having to do high school book reports again. But for me, that process of cutting/trimming/altering for maximum effect, it is amazing. Each joke is like a puzzle that needs solving, and when you get it, finally get it, it feels incredible.
So I think I should start motivating myself by writing at least one joke per week. I know, that sounds pretty slackerish – but each day I will work on that joke a little bit more. After a few days I should have polished a turd into a gem, or I will have to come to terms with the fact that I am holding a turd and need to start over.
I like this as a project because it will be easier to motivate myself to work on something small like this every day, even when I am at my sickest, than to work on something much larger. Also, I’ll be shining up my comedy skills while the standup is on hiatus.
I can feel the loading bar moving ever so slightly…
Remember when I said sometimes I am painting because I’m in a dark mood? That’s how this one came about. Sorry about the upper right hand corner glare. I need a better way to photograph this stuff.
I’m still painting. If anything I am probably painting more than I was before. As I’ve said I’m still kind of working through what happened to me and painting helps. Consequently my paintings have been abstractly angry. Keep in mind I have no actual training in painting and Bruegel I am not.
A painting I did recently was particularly angry. In my head I pictured a hill on fire, the faintest silhouette of a ruined castle on top of the hill, and a red sky filled with smoke. Abstractly that was kind of the way I was feeling. When I was letting what you see above dry I kept looking at it on the table and I hated it. It wasn’t what I thought I was going for at all.I kept walking past it every time I went through our dining room and my frustration with it kept growing. It looked like crap, time to paint over it and try something else. During this time Maria kept saying she liked it which I kept arguing was ridiculous because it was crappy. My anger management art therapy was actually just pissing me off.
A few hours later the painting was fully dry so I grabbed a brush and a tube of black paint that I was going to use to paint over the hateful thing. As I was moving around the table I looked at the painting from another direction – upside down.
Suddenly it didn’t look like an angry hill with an angry sky. The hill on fire had become a kind of pretty sky filled with spots of orange light. The sky had become a red landscape much less foreboding then I had intended. If anything the simple act of flipping it upside down had taken an angry painting I disliked and morphed it into a painting that actually made me kind of happy to look at. And all I had to do was change my perspective.
I think there might be something to this painting stuff.
Maria and I have a new ritual that is kind of cool. We wake up, get our coffee, boot up the Xbox, and then play an hour or so of “Alan Wake“. More specifically I play, and she watches it as if it were a tv show.
I like this as a morning thing. Normally we would watch something off the DVR or flip through the channels. This is more fun. We have our funny comments about the characters or the ridiculous Coffee Thermos collecting (what?) and kind of work together to solve some of the more puzzling elements. She’s also much better at spotting collectible manuscript pages and usable items then I am. We work together but treat it like a show. I love it!Probably the best part is that when the game came out a year ago I was fully unable to play it. My brain just couldn’t do it at all. Now, though, I’m not perfect but I can play it pretty well. It feels like progress.
We play in the morning for the most part because I am tiring out a lot earlier as of late. I stopped taking the pills that helped with focus, attention, memory, and energy because they were starting to make me feel really nauseous. So even though my brain would be capable of doing things better my body just felt gross and sick. It was wreaking havoc with my digestive system so I was losing a lot of weight, like an unhealthy amount. Therefore I’m off the pills for a while to see if I can build up my stomach’s resistance again.
Downside – way less energy, way less of an ability to accomplish tasks, energy crashes in the early afternoon. Upside – seriously increased appetite (I like food again!)
I’ve said it once or twice but my view of the world… my feelings on our reason to be (I won’t use the french version, it’s my bête noire) is that we exist to create stories with our lives. Short lives, long lives, lives everyone knows about, and lives few ever will- it’s what hold us together.
Now bear with me, I don’t know where I am going with this. I’m freestylin’. What you create for your family, friends, and enemies is essentially an anthology of stories of your life. All will be remembered at least partially incorrectly and everyone will have a slightly different version but overall those stories that people tell about you are you, or at least a pastiche of yous stitched together from dozens, hundreds, thousands of memories.
We create stories. We show up in other people’s stories. Some people become so (in)famous that there are stories made up about them that aren’t even based in reality… legends. If we are alive we are creating stories. Maybe they are about tragic loneliness, depression, the trappings of success, slapstick, love, enmity, failure, joy, pride, and a hundred other things. It’s probably all of that at the exact same time.
It’s kind of amazing to think that the ancient Greeks believed these stories were fated, and that those fates were woven for each person by Moirae (or if you’re Norse then they are the Norns). Each person’s life was a single thread with everything that happened to them colored along it.
What were they using all that thread for? Some stories say it was spun into an ever growing tapestry of the history and fate of mankind. Others stories never mention the thread being used for anything at all.
All I know is if the Fates are real they probably have their hands full. After all the population of the world was about 50 million in 1000 BC, and is currently (as of this writing) almost at 7 billion. They’re probably outsourcing.
A little off the track there, I apologize. What I am getting at is lately I have been thinking a lot about my own story. Is it what I want it to be? Am I doing enough to make it good? When is this shitty chapter over, and what the hell happens in the next one? Big questions that I have no answer for.
I know, in the end, no one really 100% gets control over how they’re remembered but I’d like to be at least remembered as someone who made and had a lot of good adventures, stories, tales, legends… perhaps a heist or two? I’m not there yet, and when I am it won’t be like how I was before my brain surgeries. Now I won’t literally be able to slide down a ships sail on a dagger – I’ll just have to find something equally as amazing.
Swashbuckling…I want a swashbuckling chapter.
Not to be confused with Pop Rocks and Champagne which WILL kill you. Maria and I make this sometimes, we call it Romulan Ale on account of its blueness and our nerdiness. What follows is a picture recipe so you can make it at home!
Hey everybody. Sorry I have been remiss in posting this week. I’ve decided to take a cue from those in the medical field and vacate (this is how I choose to write the verb form of “vacation” because I hate words where the noun and verb are the exact same) for a week in August. I have been vacating pretty hard in future Detroit and China because the new Deus Ex just came out and it is awesome.
But that doesn’t mean I’m just vacating all over the place and not preparing for September… @facelesscog asked me to join the most badass team of superstars ever to grow beards competitively to benefit prostate cancer research. That’s right, I said yes and have joined the current Eastern Division leaders “Team 9” for Septembeard.
My job? To not shave for the whole month of September and regularly supply pics of my not shaving. Everyone else’s job? To donate money on behalf of Team 9 if you can do so. Oh we’d also really like it if you spread the word about us through Twitter and Facebook, maybe Google+… possibly LinkedIn? Whatever you use to shout stuff at people. Fanfic forums?
That money will then be used to fight prostate cancer which I an told is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. So if there were ever a cancer that needed to get punched in the face by Team 9 (and your donation)…. well I think we’ve found a good candidate.
So should I shave off my current beard at the end of August and grow a whole new patchy thing (complete with full neck beard) in September? Or should I keep my current beard and let it get overgrown like a facial hair Machu Picchu? Your choice America. How do you want to see this go down?
Team 9 is (and follow us all if you want to overdose on manly beard pictures and awesomosity):
Wicked Smart Kids
Ever wake up at three am in a cold sweat, panicked because you haven't ruled the world by twenty-five? Do you know where you'll be in five years? One? Do you know that things haven't turned out the way you hoped and you're not sure what—or how—to change?
We sure do.
We know it's tough and boring and endless, because we've been there. We've dreamed of comets while staring at fluorescent lights, and counted our pennies and asked if you want fries with that.
But along the way, we heard some pretty awesome tales...saw some amazing things. Did some stuff, man.
And we decided we wanted to show everyone just how incredible they already are. So we did. We hope you like it, because we're focused on the stories that make all of us strange, make us unique, make us great.
Visit www.wickedsmartkids.com for more information.