A Call To Local Geek Businesses: Make Yourselves Known

We here at GeekOut Media often get a number of emails from retailers, charities and more. They start off by telling us about something exciting that’s upcoming, or about some stock they got recently. I was inspired to write this quick article by one such email I got from Books for Amnesty in Bristol. They were asking for us to share that they had some manga in stock – and it was quite a selection. Hey, if you’re reading this Colin, I hope you’re doing well and that you’ve started to sell a couple of them manga novels! I’m still going to have to pop by at some point for those Shaman King books, unless they move.

We here at GeekOut Media often get a number of emails from retailers, charities and more. They start off by telling us about something exciting that’s upcoming, or about some stock they got recently. I was inspired to write this quick article by one such email I got from Books for Amnesty in Bristol. They were asking for us to share that they had some manga in stock – and it was quite a selection. Hey, if you’re reading this Colin, I hope you’re doing well and that you’ve started to sell a couple of them manga novels! I’m still going to have to pop by at some point for those Shaman King books, unless they move.

Continue reading “A Call To Local Geek Businesses: Make Yourselves Known”

GeekOut Bristol Meet – June 10th: SCI-FI

Space, the final frontier… Well unless you count our GeekOut Bristol Meet! Hello, welcome back to our humble event article, where this month we’ll be bringing you an event that’s actually quite generically themed. A bit unusual for us, but there’s a good reason for this.

Space, the final frontier…

Well unless you count our GeekOut Bristol Meet! Hello, welcome back to our humble event article, where this month we’ll be bringing you an event that’s actually quite generically themed. A bit unusual for us, but there’s a good reason for this.

Sci-Fi is a massive genre, which has so many different titles within it. Without Sci-Fi, we’d not have Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica – Heck, we’d possibly not have anime series such as Gundam or video games like Mass Effect. Sci-Fi is such a huge genre, so come along and see if you can find some series or franchises you’ve not seen before!

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FOODIE PRE-MEET (Poll pending)
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That’s right, we at GeekOut South-West believe in having a good nomming session before we start the night off of fun, games, drinks and great company!

The polls for where we will go to eat before we GeekOut will open on Sunday 28th May over on Facebook. A link will appear in this description and in the comments below.

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MAIN EVENT: 14:00-Midnight (Old Market Tavern)
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Sci-fi goodness over at the Old Market Tavern, we’re going to be serving up a selection of space-y goodness. But whether or not you’re coming along for the social aspect, or just to play a bunch of games with people, there’ll be something to do for everyone.

As always, we encourage cosplay! We will encourage you to bring your own games as well, but as ever, we have a large catalogue of games which will come along with us and as always, there’ll be a brand new game this month as well. Hopefully we’ll get the projector doing better for Quiplash 2 this month as well.

PLEASE NOTE:

Food & drink can NOT be brought in with you to the Old Market Tavern. If you are caught with food and drink on the premises, you will be asked to leave until you’ve disposed of your food or drink.

There will be a food menu at Old Market Tavern in the evening! The food is very cheap and it’s absolutely delicious! Trust me, I’ve eaten there enough times… But regulars of the event are also fans of the food there! The food is home made as well, so it’s simply scrummy! Food is usually available from 5pm.

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BOARD GAMES (& a dash of video games)
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As always, we’ll have a large selection of board games available, so please do check out what we have:

– Bucket of Doom
– Cards Against Humanity (UK Edition + Expansions 1, 2 and 3)
– Cash n Guns
– Chess
– Code of Nine
– Fluxx
– Goat Lords
– Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit
– Jungle Speed
– Magic: the Gathering
– Pokemon Monopoly
– Rogues to Riches
– Scrabble
– Star Trek Settlers of Catan
– Star Wars Guess Who
– Three Wishes
– Zombie Munchkin

AND MANY MORE!

We won’t be bringing every game from here on in: If there’s a specific game you want to see, please let me know in the comments below, before I finish making a real system for this game request feature.

Also, bring along your devices – Quiplash, Quiplash 2 and Drawful 2 are played throughout the day. These are games where you connect with your smartphones or tablets (Or anything that can connect to a browser really). We also sometimes play other games, such as Worms and people with 3DSes can pick up StreetPasses and of course play games with other 3DS players.

We will have a projector (With a tripod!) for Quiplash, Quiplash 2, Drawful 2 and more. If you have a Nintendo Switch, or something similar, feel free to bring that along to hook up to the projector!

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BOOK & COMIC SWAP
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One of our most unique features is our Book & Comic Swap, a collection of books and comics are strewn across our table in the conservatory available for people to take a book, or to leave a book for others. These are books that have been donated, or are from my old repository. Pick up or borrow a book and get reading!

PLEASE NOTE: Books you saw last month might not be present this month, unless you have a specific request for books. A new request system will be put in place, in case you want a book to be present to take home or just to browse whilst at the GeekOut Bristol Meetup.

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COSPLAYERS
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Got a favourite character in all of Sci-Fi that you absolutely must come along as? Just want to show off your latest cosplay, even if it’s not Sci-Fi related? Please do! We support and encourage cosplay, to make it a much more visible art.

*CHANGING FACILITIES* If you want to change into a costume when here, please note there are no changing facilities. There are just standard toilet cubicles – Which are fine to change in, but you might want to consider this first.

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SOCIALISING
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We’re one of the geekiest events in the South-West. We get people together to play board games and video games, share a pint and discuss what they enjoy in geekdom. Books, comics, music – Anything that you’re passionate about, you’ll be sure to meet fellow geeks who are into the same thing as you!

We do not discriminate – But if you ever find you have a problem with anything at the event, just let the host (Timlah) know and he’ll sort it out!

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COMPETITION: Space Quiz (8pm-9pm)
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(Above: A previous competition – Make your own cardboard robot)

Oh we all do love a good quiz, now don’t we? This will be a two-part quiz: One part will be real space questions, the other part will be sci-fi space questions.

You can work in groups, should you wish to, however please note this does not change the items you get from the winnings. Furthermore, if anyone is caught cheating (using a phone/bringing in a book of “Space for Dummies”*), you and your team (if you’re in one) will be automatically disqualified.

1st Prize: ???, £25 cash, 3 Steam games from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.

2nd Prize: ???, £15 cash, 2 Steam games from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.

3rd Prize: ???, £10 cash, 1 Steam game from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.

Note: Occasionally, there may be even more on the day!

* I don’t think Space for Dummies one exists, but “Astronomy for Dummies” does!


There is so much to do and see at this months GeekOut Bristol Meet, so please do come along, bring a friend or a member of your family and come for a geeky night out.

As part of our commitment to being a great night out, we do not discriminate based upon age, gender, race, religion or sexuality. If at any point you feel you need to speak to someone about another’s actions, please grab the host (Timlah) and we’ll sort it out!

GeekOut Bristol Meet – September 9th: HARRY POTTER

If you’re in Bristol, UK and you are a fan of Harry Potter, then this month’s GeekOut Bristol Meetup is the one for you. Join Timlah as we discuss what we’re doing differently this month for our first ever Harry Potter themed meetup.

We’re feeling rather magical in Bristol, as we grab our Nimbus 2000’s and get prepared to set off to the Old Market Tavern for another night of fun and games. But we’re going to celebrate the amazingly creative world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, in the only way we know how: By getting people together to experience some objects from the Harry Potter world in our favourite local pub.

Continue reading “GeekOut Bristol Meet – September 9th: HARRY POTTER”

AmeCon 2016 – Timlah’s Review

I sure do love me a good convention, especially when it is everything that we wanted it to be and then some. It was a weekend of fun, friends and festivities, all within a wonderful three days (and nights) of activities. Join me as I talk about all the highs and lows of AmeCon and my verdict on the anime convention of this summer.

I sure do love me a good convention, especially when it is everything that we wanted it to be and then some. It was a weekend of fun, friends and festivities, all within a wonderful three days (and nights) of activities. Join me as I talk about all the highs and lows of AmeCon and my verdict on the anime convention of this summer.

Continue reading “AmeCon 2016 – Timlah’s Review”

GeekOut Bristol Meet – March 11th Gallery

The third GeekOut Bristol Meet is over for the year – Not bad! Time to go ahead and see what were the common themes and have a look at this months gallery. Were you there? Let us know in the comments!

The third GeekOut Bristol Meet is over for the year – Not bad! Time to go ahead and see what were the common themes and have a look at this months gallery. Were you there? Let us know in the comments!

Continue reading “GeekOut Bristol Meet – March 11th Gallery”

GeekOut Bristol Meet 15/08 Gallery

The August meet has now come and gone for the Bristol geeks and I have to say, it was one hell of a turn out. We met a lot of new faces and there were plenty of regulars at the event too, some who hadn’t been to the meetup for a while and some who just never leaves (hi).

The August meet has now come and gone for the Bristol geeks and I have to say, it was one hell of a turn out. We met a lot of new faces and there were plenty of regulars at the event too, some who hadn’t been to the meetup for a while and some who just never leaves (hi).

We started proceedings by going to the Commercial Rooms. One thing we found out was that the Commercial Rooms were unwilling to reserve a table, which was crazy considering the number of us going… However we still all managed to go there. Eight people had signed up for food on the meetup, but it ended up being around twelve of us at the Commercial Rooms for food around 3pm. That was obviously just the start of the night…

Throughout the night, plenty of new people came into the group and a lot of GeekOut “veterans” were there too. In total, we must have had about 30-32 people, which was about what I was expecting from Meetup and Facebook event likes. It was a superb and fun night, filled with a lot of banter and a lot of interesting people. We got to make some cool new friends and I hope people come back again!

We introduced the Book Share as a new feature of this months activities and I’d like to think that it went pretty well. Through out the night, people were picking up books. Someone got their hands on 3 new books to read through, which was lovely! I’m certain some people have borrowed some of the books/manga I took in too. We had a sheet, a really simple sheet in fact which looks like these “Book Swap Pages” (It’s a .odt document, an open document for word processors). The “To borrow” list was 3/4 full!!! Incredible!

We had our Pac-Man competition, the winner of whom was one of our newcomers, Andy Wade. To everyone who gave it a go, many thanks! Hope you all enjoyed having a little game of Pac-Man to share!

Onwards until the next GeekOut Bristol Meetup, which is on Friday 11th September. Now to think what new activities to include in the next geek meet… Hmm… Any suggestions? Were you at this event? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks everyone for turning up!

Side bar, Geek Events and more!

We’ve made a few changes to the side bar of the website and get this… We’ve also added in a brand new page to help people get about the events in the UK! We’re really excited about all of the small changes, so read on to find out more!

Have you noticed that we have a few new things on the side bar of the website? For the record, have you seen that we even have a new menu option at the top of the website too? A simple post to reflect these small changes!

Bostin Blam

Bostin Blam

The first of the changes to the website is the link to Bostin Blam. This is a wonderful website run by fellow Bristolian Xenia Randle, a fellow geek and cosplayer who is looking to do more bespoke cosplays for people. She really enjoys the sense of community spirit that geek culture promotes so heavily.

I really enjoyed reading about her work with the Ewok hoods, so if you’re a fan of Star Wars and you want to help support local creators and crafters like Xenia, please go and purchase one of those. They look amazing!

If the Ewok Hoods don’t take your fancy then why not have a look at their selection of badges?

Eventide, an Audiobook

5b6cc3d8c5bb9d7fee70ea53fef13e59_originalSo I did a Kickstarter Highlight last week which was a look at writer Daniel Beazley’s campaign: Eventide, an Audiobook Production.

He needs your help to make his audiobook come to the light of day and honestly, from what I’ve seen from this guys work so far, this audiobook will be great. Daniel has also been kind enough to send me a book which I will be reviewing as soon as I’ve received and finished it – so big thank you to Daniel for his time and for letting me read his works. I’ll report back on here with an honest review and with a give-away!

In the mean time though, get to Kickstarter and help our fellow South-Westerner out!

UK Geek Events

Oh this was a big undertaking for me, even if the page isn’t that large yet.

2015-05-08 17.11.21

See, I’ve had to find 7 events for each of the umbrella categories that we cover here on GeekOut South-West and some of them were hidden really deep! Anime events and gaming events were always going to be easy to find and discuss, but what about the technology events? The sci-fi and fantasy? They all exist, but where are they?

Rather than focusing specifically on a particular area, I’ve begun to build up the page. I want it to become a much larger list and I hope to be able to incorporate some more advanced features, such as searching by location, or searching on cost. What do you want to see out of that page? Also, if you know of any events that you think should be on there, be it a convention, a meetup or a festival, let me know about it.

Large crowd for pub quiz

Whenever we go to one of the events listed on there, we’ll provide a link to an article we’ve done on the event too. So please do check our new page out and let us know what you want to see out of it. I’ve spent a lot of time on it, so feedback is much appreciated.

Thanks to everyone who keeps reading GeekOut South-West for whatever reason they do. I hope that one day we can have an even bigger community to discuss and share with one another… But hey, community usually start small, so let’s keep supporting one another and all of geek culture! After all, fellow fans make some of the best friends in the world. If you’d like to see your event on the side bar one day, let us know what you’re doing by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or in the comments!

Kickstarter Highlight – Stuff and Nonsense

Do you like stuff?

Do you like nonsense?

How about stuff and nonsense together!? Well then look no further, as we’ve returned from the South Pole (we haven’t really) with another Kickstarter Highlight.

wpid-Kickstarter-Highlight.jpg

Stuff and Nonsense – Click here for the campaign

What is it?

Stuff and nonsense follows the lives of adventurers who have gone far and wide, exploring and returning back to London with plenty of goods as proof of their valiant voyages and grandiose tales of adventure and hijinks. However, there’s a slight snag to all of this…

See, you wouldn’t have done all of these great things if it weren’t for Professor Elemental who said he had set off to the South Pole, when in actuality you have it on good authority that he didn’t do this. So instead of telling the world about his petty lies, you thought it was a brilliant idea… And so you kind of stole this idea and you want to claim that you too have been on these adventures. Which you haven’t.

Professor Elemental himself isn’t too happy with you stealing his ideas, so he’s out to catch you in the act.

He’s out to catch you then offer you a cup of tea, it seems!

This is a card game that plays like a board game. The goal is to score the most points for your stories of adventure, travel and the objects you bring with you. All of this is dictated by the cards that are played and how you move around before returning to the adventurers club.

It’s a simple concept which is why I like it. Plus, it has Professor Elemental who I had the privilege of meeting back at Kitacon this year.

One more great thing to point out: You can already find the rules of this game on their website. That in itself is a bit of a reward, right? 2 to 6 players, for

 

How much do they need?

They are asking for $25,000, which is a fairly sizeable amount for a card game. However, this is partially due to the scale of what they want to do and well – they’ve already got everything figured out in terms of costs (as they’ve already gotten quotes).

Of course as ever, if they don’t meet their target, they might not be able to fulfil the demand for the game, so reaching $25,000 is of utmost importance to them. But to make this even better – as of the time of writing with 29 days left on the clock, they’ve already racked up $16,182 out of the $25,000. That’s not bad going for having been so quick!

Although don’t tell the professor about where you’re going. He won’t believe you.

Important to note, Cheapass games have released 4 successful Kickstarter Campaigns in the past, of which the games are of top quality. This should help dispel any myths about Kickstarter Campaigns being just a scheme! Check out their previous campaigns:

Pairs: A New Classic Pub Game

Get Lucky, the Kill Doctor Lucky Card Game

Deadwood Studios USA

Unexploded Cow

 

What are the rewards?

All of the early birds went very quickly. So here are the two remaining reward tiers:

  • Pledge $5 or more

    Attaboy! Backers at this level receive access to a print-and-play PDF of the final game, including cards and rules, as well as our undying gratitude.

    Estimated delivery: Feb 2015
    Pledge $30 or more

    All Aboard! Backers at this level receive a copy of the finished game, plus a souvenir postcard of Professor Elemental, and access to the PDF described above.

    Estimated delivery: Mar 2015
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

There we have it, a game about adventure and atrocious lies. Sounds like a fairly honest game if you ask me! What did you think of this weeks Kickstarter Highlight? Is this a game about adventure that’s right up your street (Assuming you live in London?) Let us know what you think of this latest pairing of Cheapass Games and Professor Elemental – I think it’s a good mix and hopefully the good professor will go back to spreading his word.

Now about that cup of tea..?

The Railway

So, today, I was stuck on a train for work. That’s not a problem – The problem is it appears that Great Britain hasn’t caught up with modern times and modern methods of transportation. This post is a naive rant, discussing aspects of the railway including breakdowns being handled in a more modern way. But first, some background:

The railway system in Britain is the oldest in the world. When it was built, it was done so as a collaboration between many different privately owned railways.

The first public train ride was done in 1812, Sure, we’ve come some way since then, but today to me was a catastrophic failure on the part of the railway.

Now, I do apologise to anyone who reads this blog and finds it, perhaps upsetting, that I’m giving a rant post and not my usual, so I thought, instead of just simply ranting, I’d show different railway systems around the world. I’d also make suggestions, of which I know A) Can’t be taken seriously and B) Can’t be taken seriously. But, hey, if I could have it my way, here’s how I’d have my railway:

1) Multiple tracks.

This seems like an odd one, as it kind of exists, but it also doesn’t. I understand due to the layout and due to cost, this would be pretty unviable, however could there not be a way to move a train, perhaps not quickly, but safely over to a “second track”? The likelihood of 2 trains being stuck side by side this way would be ridiculously low.

“But wait!” I hear you say, “How can they?” Honestly: They can’t. Please, observe the below:

I hope the problem makes sense.

With the way the systems are set up currently, you have one train going each way. It’s logical, but if something happens on your side of the rails, uh oh! You’d better hope they clear it up!

2) Railway maintenance crew

Yes, it exists, but hear me out here. We have police patrolling the roads, why can’t we have a team of people ready to move things on and off the tracks and assist people? They can’t be everywhere, sure, that’d be ridiculous. Yes, there’ll still be delays, but why can’t there be patrols? Heck, why can’t we have cameras – Which feeds back to the nearest city where patrols can quickly come along to assist?

In the case of my problem today, the problem was at a station. A broken down freight train. Yes, that was the problem – A broken down freight train at a station. How can we be so ill-equipped to deal with something like that? Could a freight train not be taken off by a crew of men? Instead of assessing a situation, clear the situation and work to fix it before letting it continue.

3) Give us a more modern railway system.

DISCLAIMER: This section is not befitting the writers usual standards.

In one internet acronym: ROTFLMFAO. Next.

So, with this being said, what else is out there?

I mean, we can’t be that far behind in the world of travel, can we? I mean with our bus system, we don’t have much. We have a typical bus, which sticks to set routes, which you need physical cash for. One time, when I visited Amsterdam, they had the ability to pay for your bus with your credit/debit card. On the bus. This prevents the need for you to get change before getting to the bus and trust me when I say this: The amount of times I’ve been delayed by people having to plead people with (I.E) “I don’t have the change required, can I bother you for 30p”.

But surely, our rail system can’t be that far behind, can it?

I’m going to leave you with some food for thought, rather than bore you about all of the different railway systems in the world.

In Britain, we have had major incidents, most of which were because trains ran through red lights, or cracks on the railway. This, in itself, explains the dire need for keeping our railways safe. This is far fetched (or is it) but can’t we have some sort of sensors/scanners to allow us to identify when these rails are cracking? Can’t we have it so trains are stopped within reasonable time? With the electric rails, can’t we get something like that in place?

When countries like Japan have the Shinkansen, why can’t we have something more modern? If we can, how much longer will it be? Because, I think in Britain, we need to wake up and follow the rest of the world.

So long as Doomtrain doesn’t get involved.

What happened to me?

So in the end, I had to accept my fate. I had to wait on that train, then get sent back to where I had just come from… And then get on a different train, wait some more then finally get home. At 9pm. Wow!

Let’s say this, I had set home and my first part of my journey was done by 4:30pm. My train was due at 5:12pm. I didn’t get home until 9pm which was 2 hours later than intended. Wow!

Is it just me that thinks, in this day and age, with all the research in the world and all the technology available… Things should be better? The world is always going to be imperfect, but an active approach is better than inactively sitting and moaning. My above “proposed solutions” might be unviable or downright impossible, but it’s sometimes nicer to read it back.

I’m not angry at the railway service. Perhaps the customer service received wasn’t the best in the world, however considering the circumstances, they got on with what they had to get on with. Unfortunately, most of that was “Sit back and wait.” I was glad I had my 3DS with me, as I was able to get 3 Pokemon that I was going to get, in time for a mini-series I am going to work on. Which will be videos! What am I doing that for?!

This is why – but what does that even mean?

Do you know of any really cool methods of transportation that might beat the British railway? Any Brits who may read this will possibly chuckle at some of my naive ramblings and my really silly “ideas” (More like dreams in some cases)… But do you also feel some frustration? We humans are so far advanced… And yet, when it comes to something as basic as transportation, clearly, our culture has had the last laugh.

As always, share some experiences with me! I’d love to hear from you all! Some of you might be able to tell… I was tired (Very tired) when I wrote this. Why did I write it? Because I love to share my experiences in the hopes you’ll do so back. Even if I am tired.

Did I ever mention I’m tired?

Killing Floor

 

Possibly my favourite horror game of all time, Killing Floor is a Co-Op Horror Survival game, where you alone or you and a group of others try to survive the Zed apocalypse.

Zed?

Oh, these guys. (Credit to PC Gamer for this one)

I guess it was more fun to call them zed’s than zombies. No, there is a reason for it, but without going into too much detail, this game is about the following:

– Oh dear, England is being savaged by zombies.- Darn it, guess whose job it is to clean up the zombie mess?
– That’s right, you and your rag tag crew of would-be zombie killers.

The reason they’re “Zeds” not “zombies” is because the zombies are basically mutated experiments. From the standard Clot to the way overkill Fleshpound, these guys become nastier the longer the waves go on and don’t think a standard clot is no problem, oh no. You’d be silly to dismiss the normal ones. They come in numbers!

I’m a lonely gamer

That’s fine! This game is a co-op survival horror game, however it is also playable solo. In fact, that’s how I perk up for the most part, alone. Very alone. :'( I feel sad now.

I would definitely recommend this game as a way to get some friends together to play a game together. If you all like a little bit of action in your games yet don’t want to be killing one another for points (WHAT!?) then this may very well be the game for you.

 

Viewer discretion advised for the above video, but it’s a good idea as to what this game can do when you’ve got a group of gamers who have no idea how to play it! (Not a bad thing! Fun galore!)

How did this game come about?

Killing Floor started as a mod of one of my all time favourite FPS titles, Unreal Tournament 2004, arguably one of the most exciting FPS titles released. Of course, I use the term arguably because it is a subjective opinion and yes, even I do get carried away with opinions. Heavily. Do not talk bad of UT2k4! Please? :(

After being a very successful mod, Tripwire Interactive bought out Killing Floor and turned it into a fully fledged game! Arguably one of the more successful horror games on Steam, Killing Floor makes a lot of it’s money via DLC. No wait, wait, don’t switch away now. By DLC, I am not on about special maps or new game play modes, I mean mostly cosmetic. There are some weapons you can buy via DLC, but ultimately, the most part of the available DLC is cosmetic.

All of the DLC is relatively cheap and the game itself isn’t too badly priced (At time of writing, on Steam it costs £14.99)

This is well worth a look at if you are a fan of horror games. If not, but a fan of FPS games, this could still be for you. If you want a game to play with friends, this could STILL be for you.

(Credit to Pixel Smashers for this one.) Even during a zombie apocalypse, humans like to weld things.