Kickstart This: The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls

This is a cool looking Kickstarter project from Burlington game designer David Tepfer: The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls. The project ends in 15 days, and still needs to raise $2000.

Here’s what it’s about:

The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls is a cooperative worker movement/set collecting game themed around the exorcism of ghosts taking up residence in a haunted house. Players take turns exploring the manor, searching for Tools, unlocking Hidden Rooms and using Tools to complete a variety of Tasks.

These Tasks range from calling the police to researching local mythology and earn them various rewards and Exorcism Tokens which contribute to their goal of exorcising ghosts from the manor.

When developing The Exorcism at the House of Monkton Falls we tried to create a game that would not just look the horror part, but would deliver the tense, high stress dread, and ultimate reward of escape that we have come to love in the horror genre.

$40 will get you the full game and a couple of extras, and there’s a couple of additional tiers with some other perks.

Stuck in Vermont features the 501st Green Mountain Squad

A couple of weeks ago, Vermont’s Green Mountain Squad of the 501st Legion went to Burlington to help Make-A-Wish Vermont send off a recipient to Legoland.

Sammy has undergone a couple of surgeries to remove a persistent brain tumor, and was visited back in December by the group to unveil his wish. As he and his family went off to the airport, troopers from the group escorted him (along with members of the Burlington Police Department) to the airport.

Tetris tournament at The Archives

Burlington arcade bar The Archives is hosting a Tetris tournament next week! The event is being held in partnership with Crag-VT. The event is on May 3rd at The Archives, with registration starting at 6:30PM, with the gaming kicking off at 7:00PM.

There’s a $5 suggested donations to Crag-VT, and there are a bunch of prizes, according to the event page:

  • Switchback Hoodie
  • Halyard Brewing Gift Certificate
  • 2 Hour Sailboat/Kayak/SUP rental from the Community Sailing Center
  • Archives Gift Certificate
  • More to be announced

RSVP here.

Where to watch The Avengers: Infinity War early

The culmination of 10 years of Marvel’s overarching movie series comes with Avengers: Infinity War. It’s an enormously anticipated film, and is likely going to be one of the biggest films in history. It hits theaters on Friday, April 27th, but just about every theater in Vermont is screening it early on Thursday. Check with your local theater to gauge ticket availability.

Here’s where you can watch it early, on Thursday, April 26th:

  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 7:00PM.
  • Big Picture Theaters, Waitsfield. 6:30PM.
  • Capitol Theater, Montpelier. 7:00PM.
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 7:30, 8:00, and 8:30PM.
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland. 7:00, 7:30, 9:00, and 9:30PM.
  • Latchis Theatre, Brattleboro. 7:00PM.
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 7:00, 7:30, and 8:00PM.
  • Middlebury Marquis, Middlebury. 7:00PM.
  • Merrill Theaters, Burlington. 7:00PM.
  • Palace 9, South Burlington. 7:00PM.
  • Playhouse Movie Theater, Randolph. 7:00PM.
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield. 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:30 and 11:30PM.
  • Star Theatre, St. Johnsbury.
  • Stowe Cinemas, Stowe. 7:00PM.
  • Welden Theater, St. Albans. 6:45, 9:30PM.
  • Bijou Cineplex 4, Morrisville. 7:00PM.

Opening on Friday, April 27th:

  • Sunset Drive-In, Colchester.

Free movie: Willow

The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center‎ will be screening a classic fantasy film next week: Ron Howard’s Willow.

The story is about a farmer named Willow Ufgood played by Warwick Davis, who is drawn into a prophecy when he protects a baby from a tyrannical queen, who has vowed to destroy her and take over the world.

The screening will be free (first come, first serve), and will take place on Tuesday, April 24th at 7pm at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center‎’s theater. RSVP here.

Here’s the cover for F. Brett Cox’s upcoming short story collection

F. Brett Cox is a local science fiction and fantasy author out of Roxbury, and is a professor of English at Norwich University: his fiction has appeared in publications like Submerged, Shadows & Tall Trees, War Stories: New Military Science Fiction, Eclipse Online, and he edited Crossroads: Tales of the southern Literary Fantastic. Now, he has a new collection of his short fiction coming from Fairwood Press, The End of All Our Exploring, which is due out in August 2018.

The publisher released the cover and opened preorders for the book, which costs $17.99.

There’s two big events to nerd out at today in Vermont

If you’re looking for something to do today, you’re in luck: there’s a pair of events running in Vermont today if you like games, cosplay, and comics.

The first is the Champlain Games Festival, which is taking place at the the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. It’s a showcase of locally-made video, PC, console, VR, mobile, board and card games. Tickets are $15 at the door ($10 for youths 11-17 and free for 10 and under). Members of the 501st Legion’s Green Mountain Squad will also be there. Doors open at 10am.

If you’re into comics, the Green Mountain Comics Expo is taking place at the Barre Civic Center in Barre, featuring local comic artists, cosplayers, and quite a bit more. The event runs on Saturday and Sunday: tickets are $20 for a weekend pass.

Vermont House passes resolution to urging restrictions on violent video games

The Vermont House of Representatives has passed a resolution (H.R.23), which calls on Governor Phil Scott to study the connection “between excessive video game playing and the propensity to engage in gun violence,” reports VT Digger.

Rep. Douglas Gage, (R-Rutland City) wrote the resolution, which passed in the house by a wide margin: 107-12.  The resolution asks the Governor to commit funds to study the connection and to propose limits on sales to underage buyers next year.

The resolution comes after the Governor passed a set of restrictions on gun purchases, and states that some video games portray violence and cites research that there’s a connection between gaming and gun violence.

Resolutions aren’t laws: they’re a motion that essentially is just a statement: The house passed resolutions “congratulating the 2018 Mount St. Joseph Academy Mounties on winning a fourth consecutive Division IV girls’ basketball championship,” “recognizing the centrality of small business in the growth and prosperity of the Vermont economy,” “commemorating the 50th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act and designating April 2018 as Fair Housing Month in Vermont,” and which designated this past Tuesday as “Equal Pay Day.” According to VT Digger, Scott will be establishing a “Violence Reduction Task Force”, and if they deem it appropriate, they’ll look into it.

But this type of resolution is worrisome, because it really isn’t true, and video games are often the target of reactionary legislation or blame following mass shooting events like what happened in Parkland, Florida. The Columbine school shooting was blamed on Doom, and following the recent shooting in Florida, President Trump gathered together video game developers to castigate them for the content of their products. But while there are studies that claim to find a link, they don’t prove that this is the case — it’s even been brought to the Supreme Court.

It’s frustrating to see this pop up, and for the resolution’s author to say that the evidence that there’s a connection is “overwhelming,” where it really isn’t.

Here’s the schedule for this weekend’s Tolkien conference at UVM

UVM’s Tolkien in Vermont Conference has posted its schedule for this weekend’s event, which will take place in the University’s Waterman building. Registration for the event is $25 ​​for ​​the ​​general ​​public; ​​$15 ​​for ​​Vermont ​​residents; ​​free ​​for ​​students ​​at ​​the ​​University ​​of ​​Vermont. ​​

☼ Friday, April 6th, 2018

Interview and Q&A with keynote speaker, Dr. Andrew Higgins

Friday evening Tolkien fireside readings 2018

☼ Saturday, April 7th, 2018

8:00 – 8:30: Continental breakfast

8:30 – 9:45: Session #1

  • ‘There he came walking into the woods of Ithilien’: Robert Quilter Gilson and the foundation of Tolkien’s scholar-soldier
    • Sian J. Pehrsson • Geological Survey of Canada
  • Tolkien’s auctorial finesse with word hoards, archaisms, and the depths of time
    • Gerry Blair • independent scholar
  • Tolkien and Anglo-Saxon
    • Leslie Stratyner • Mississippi University for Women

9:45 – 11:00: Session #2: UVM undergraduates

  • So beautiful, it’s scary: Tolkien, the romantics, and the sublime
    • Matt Gattulo • English ’21
  • Theodicy in Middle-earth
    • Lucas Hilker • Political Science ’18
  • A finger’s difference: The wise and the fools
    • Peter Larsen • Mathematics ’19
  • Environmental holocaust: Environmentalism in Tolkien’s legendarium
    • Dan Poll • Philosophy ’19

11:00 – 12:15: Session #3

  • Wilwarin, Darwin’s moths, Elachista Finarfinella, Mirkwoodian Black Emperors, and Edith Bratt’s mottephobia: Moths and butterflies in Middle-earth
    • Dr. Kristine Larsen • Professor of Physics and Astronomy • Central Connecticut State University
  • Mapping Mordor: Normalizing Tolkien’s maps as the first step in examining his worldbuilding method of construction-by-revision; or, Yet further confirmation (as if we needed it) that Tolkien had no master plan, did not “first make a map and make the narrative agree,” and, in fact, never did produce a map that exactly portrays what’s described in The Lord of the Rings
  • Tolkien, archaism, and translation practices c. 1900 – 1960s

12:15 – 1:30: Lunch

1:30 – 2:15: Keynote address

  • Dr. Andrew Higgins • PhD ’15 • Metropolitan University, Cardiff

2:15 – 2:20: Coffee & tea break

2:20 – 3:50: Session #4

  • Of Elbereth, Elvish greetings, and Ëarendil’s star: Etymology, linguistic esthetic, and mythopoeia in The Lord of the Rings
    • Dr. Marc Zender • Assistant Professor • Tulane University
  • Finding footing in a forest of fins: Name etymology as a characterization technique of the Finwëan Noldor
    • Dawn M. Walls-Thumma • Coventry Village School
  • Subtle seeds: A look at the hyphenated words of The Hobbit
    • Sparrow Alden • Preceptor and student advisor • Signum University
  • Black speech, the Mouth of Sauron, and the acousmatic voice in the Lord of the Ringsand Hobbit films
    • Jeffrey Bullins • Assistant Professor of Communications • SUNY Plattsburgh

3:50 – 5:00: Session #5

  • The language of light: Traversing female landscapes in Middle-earth
    • Annie Brust • Kent State University
  • Tolkien’s English mythology: Beorn and the veteran’s liminal identity
    • Marcy Nardi • Simon Fraser Univerity
  • Riddles and laughter: Powers for good in Tolkien’s Middle-earth
    • Ian Gauthier • Children’s Librarian • Aldrich Public Library

Following the event, The Groennfall Meadery will be hosting the Tolkien Party at the Mead Hall, for those wanting to continue to revel in Tolkien’s world.

Green Mountain Comic Expo cosplayers to march on Barre’s City Hall

The folks behind Barre’s Green Mountain Comic Expo and Vermont Comic Con have been out and about throughout central Vermont to promote the pair of upcoming shows (happening in April and September, respectively), and on a recent outing in Barre, one cosplayer found herself the target of ridicule online. The organizers have announced that they’ll be attending a city council meeting next week to take a “stand against harassment and bullying.”

The cosplayer noted in a Facebook post that she spent most of Easter “reading terrible messages directed at me.” She was reportedly captured in a video dressed as Harley Quinn, carrying a bat. The person who posted the video captioned the video “be careful picking up hitch hikers,” and racked up a number of comments before it was removed.

The organizers have announced their intentions to attend a Barre city council meeting next week:

The community has been bullied and shamed by video. We are bringing three shows to Barre and want your support! We will march down the sidewalk from Barre Civic Center at 6pm to City Hall for the 7pm meeting. This is a show of unity among the fans and those who are bullied and shamed. Join us!! You can come in cosplay or come as you are.
 Barre’s city council meets each Tuesday at 7:00PM in Council Chambers
City Hall at 6 N. Main Street in Barre.