Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur


I am starting to have a dangerous amount of fun with Kickstarter, and backed two projects this week. Both have passed their fundraising goals, but both are kind of neat, and folks might be interested in them.

On the one hand, there is the Pebble, which isn't exactly obscure -- it's been getting a lot of airplay, and is by now the most-funded Kickstarter project ever. (Having so far raised $3.5 million of the $100k they were shooting for.) It's a silly gadget whose time has clearly come: a "wristwatch" that is actually a computer on your wrist, with a low-power e-paper display, programmable apps, and a Bluetooth hookup to your iPhone or Android.

Effectively, it's an auxiliary display for your phone that you wear on your wrist, which displays the watch face of your choice when it's not doing anything more interesting. I clearly must have one of these, and backing the Kickstarter project is a way to get in early with a small discount. I actually got pointed to this one by Aaron, who was apparently acting on the theory that this was a way to convince me to wear *some* kind of wristwatch. (Presumably once he's got me used to that, he'll try to sell me on something fancy and mechanical.)

Far more obscure, but ridiculously cool to SCA game geeks is this Rithmomachia set. Again, it's met its funding goals (although to a much more modest degree), but the Kickstarter pre-order discount seems worthwhile. Basically, for $50 you get a full Rhythmomachy setup, with laser-cut pieces, a hinged wooden case and rulebook.

For those who don't know it, Rhythmomachy is the period game for people who were bored with Chess. It's an asymmetric positional board game played with numbers, and was popular with the monastic and philosophizing set through most of the Middle Ages. I have two sets already, of course, but this one is probably the prettiest I've ever seen, and it's actually being mass-produced. The set sounds quite sweet -- worth thing I can say about it is that the pieces might be single-sided, which would make it more of a hassle to do certain variants of the Major Victories. (I'm not actually sure about this; I've asked in their comments whether the pieces are single or double-sided.)

Anyway, this is neat stuff, and a very reasonable price for a set that sounds event-quality. I recommend it to any hardcore board gamers in the SCA: Rhythmomachy is one of the most important games from period that completely died out afterwards. It's challenging, but a fine way to while away a quiet hour or two (or 20, if you want to play to the really hard Victories) at an event...
Tags: sca, technology

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