Tag Archives: games

Dungeons and Dragons, It’s More Than Just a Trope

The Dungeons and Dragons Logo

A lot of people have probably heard of the classic and iconic table-top game known as Dungeons and Dragons, or D&D for short. For those of you who do not know what it is, here is a quick run-down: D&D is a Role Playing Game (RPG) where the players roll dice to conduct of the actions in the game and proceed through an adventure/storyline that is controlled by a dungeon master (commonly referred to as the DM). The adventure can either be a pre-made one that is available for purchase and handles all of the ins and outs of the game or it can be one made entirely from scratch by the DM where anything is possible. It is a fun, imaginative game but often one that is reduce to little more than a comedic trope.

Two popular TV shows have brought the game back into the public eye: Stranger Things and The Big Bang Theory. However, both shows then cast it into a less than flattering light. In The Big Bang Theory it is used almost solely to emphasize that the main characters are embarrassing but lovable nerds. The fact that they are playing the game is the joke, because the idea is that only the really embarrassing nerds that you’re a little ashamed to admit your friends with play it. Or in Stranger Things, the main characters are children and portrayed as “losers”. Admittedly, it is also their knowledge of the game that helps them ultimately prevail in the show. The show provides a more positive image of the game and of the people who play it, though it can still be played off as somewhat humorous.

The question that all of this poses is why is it seen as a bad thing that people play D&D? It is a game and people have fun with it, so why bring them down? It speaks to a larger issue where if something is not deem good by society them that means it is inherently bad and there is something wrong with anyone associated with it.

R-Space Event Friday

Sponsored Content for R-Space

R-Space’s own Richard Delehanty has an exciting event planned for the Radford student body. Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, February 2, escape rooms will be located upstairs in the Bonnie. With eight people allowed per room, bring your friends and go through the challenge as a team. The three options range from deadly viruses to two bomb-themed rooms. Both picks are well-designed and exhilarating. They give you the opportunity to impress your friends by solving clues, working together, and escaping the areas. Complete the obstacles in the fastest time and everyone in your team will receive a sweet prize. Following your escape, join Comedy Magician Brian Miller downstairs from 9-10:30, eat free food, and visit the Radford event tables. Stay behind for bingo and try your hand at winning prizes. Some—but not all—are a long board and a Keurig.

Stop by the Whim table to learn more about us and how to get yourself published!

Spring Baseball Games

Now that the weather is getting warmer and sunnier it’s a perfect time to spend the afternoons outside. One thing I love doing when it gets to be around spring time is attending our school’s baseball games.

The field is really nice and there are stands or you can bring a blanket and sit in the grass on the side of the stadium. The games are long which means you can either spend the whole day outside or you can stay for a little while and enjoy the nice day briefly.

Some may think baseball is boring but you don’t have to go just to watch the games. You can go with friends and just enjoy being outside and the baseball game can be something to occasionally look over at and a good conversation starter.

baseball
“If you haven’t been to a baseball game before you should definitely try to go to one.”

They also have concessions at the fields so you can go and enjoy those with your friends. At half time they usually do games where you can win a variety of prizes and rewards. Certain games are active where you end up getting on the field and playing something against another opponent from the crowd and whoever ends up winning gets the prize. The prizes are normally something like a t-shirt and the games are all friendly and fun. They also have games where you stay in the stands and they put the camera on you and have you dance or make a face to win prizes.

The players also have walk out songs that play right before they go up to hit. Each player has a different one and it’s fun to wait and listen to see who picked what song to get them pumped up for their turn to hit. It’s fun to sing along to the songs and there’s a variety of songs from country to rap to EDM.

Overall the spring baseball games are a lot of fun whether you like baseball or not they’re a great experience and a great way to spend a nice, sunny spring afternoon. If you haven’t been to a baseball game before you should definitely try to go to one before you graduate because you will have a great time.

Fantasy and sci-fi invite imagination and introspection

Perhaps more than any other genre of entertainment, the fantasy and sci-fi genres require the most dedication and the greatest scope of imagination.

Unfortunately, fantasy and sci-fi are often looked down upon. The reasons can vary, but they generally get a bad rap for being campy or having a fanbase that is simply neurotically obsessed about the genre; that factor I won’t deny. Concerning the camp, you do have to be willing to suspend a great amount of belief to accept the world of fantasy and sci-fi. After all, we are talking about genres where people summon flaming rings of mind energy and gravitic warp engines are readily accepted.

In my experience, the most overt trivialization of fantasy and sci-fi was actually during my senior seminar project in college. As my fellow graduates were presenting their 20 minute presentations, one student was presenting on a topic roughly as follows: Is Frodo the true hero of the Lord of the Rings? No, Aragorn more explicitly follows the path of a hero.

It wasn’t a very original topic in my opinion, and it was apparent that either the student was beyond nervous, or they hadn’t really practiced their presentation and decided to wing it. After he was finished, one of the professors blatantly asked, “What is the value of studying fantasy literature?”

The world of fantasy and sci-fi literature is as vast and meaningful as the worlds the books host. Graphic from Books and Iced Coffee
The importance of fantasy literature is as vast and wonderful as the worlds the books host. Graphic from Books and Iced Coffee

The student froze- he didn’t have an answer. For what seemed like five minutes, he stumbled on and on, unable to come up with a decent answer to the professor’s question and, ultimately, it was never resolved.

I have no idea whether this professor was sincere in his opinion that fantasy is worthless. He had a reputation for asking “gotcha” questions, but that is neither here nor there. The true question is why would he feel it necessary to ask that question? Are fantasy and sci-fi worthless trivial pursuits that sully the name of good literature?

I’ve yet to discover what good literature is. That requires quantifying something that’s a personal feeling between a person and their own tastes as a consumer.

The answer I desperately wanted to shout from my seat is that literature began as fantasy. Fantasy, for human experience, is a seminal piece of storytelling. Whether you’re a religious person or not, there are gods you do or do not believe in. I imagine that the greatest majority of Americans and people in the world today regard Norse and Greco/Roman mythology as just that– mythology. However, for those people, these gods lived and breathed in the world.

Fantasy is important because consumers love it. It asks us not to look at the real, but to look at the unreal and fathom how such impossible things can be possible. If you are engrossed in a realistic murder mystery set in modern day New York, little suspension of disbelief is needed. These things can, and do, happen all the time. However, for fantasy and sci-fi, more willingness to suspend disbelief is required.

Fantasy and sci-fi are important because we live and breathe it. The most popular movies at the box office during this millennium are superhero movies and Peter Jackson’s take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Fantasy and sci-fi matter because the masses love them, and more importantly, humanity has always had an affinity for these kinds of stories. Gods, monsters, demons, elves, and dwarves: they all have much more in common than what first meets the eye.

Tech Talk: Next generation game titles

In this episode of Tech Talk, we’ll discuss the titles that’ll tempt your heart and make you want to purchase a new console.

A few cases for the new game. Image from VG24/7.
A few cases for the new game. Image from VG24/7.

The latest game from Infinity Ward is Call of Duty: Ghosts. Ghosts is expected to break almost all records and stats set by its predecessors. Continue reading Tech Talk: Next generation game titles

Minimum support of RU athletics

When someone first starts looking at a university, they look to see if they have their desired major. However, the second thing they look at is athletics and how big that program is. Why? School spirit consumes the student body. As we all know, Radford University doesn’t have the most impressive athletic program. Yes, people do come out to the events, but it’s not the high numbers the school would hope for. The only reason people go to athletic events is free admission, the occasional free t-shirt, or the infamous Harlem Shake. If being in a YouTube video for half a second gets a turn out then what else would? It’s obviously not the hard work and dedication the athletes put in. Continue reading Minimum support of RU athletics

Games to play if you don’t have a modern gaming system

A lot of people who haven’t played video games before may wonder why gamers are so attached to them. So, I’ve compiled a list of games you should play to better understand gamer culture. Without further ado, here are four fantastic games you should play that don’t require a modern gaming system: Continue reading Games to play if you don’t have a modern gaming system

Little Inferno: a game to keep you warm

Hello, boys and girls. I know it’s cold outside, and it seems like it will never stop snowing, but don’t worry. The Tomorrow Corporation released Little Inferno to help you stay warm through these bitter winter storms. So sit back, relax, and burn all your toys to make a nice, warm fire. Continue reading Little Inferno: a game to keep you warm

LoZ Skyward Sword: New blood in an old classic

Released in November of 2011 on the Nintendo Wii, Skyward Sword is the latest installment in the Legend of Zelda video game series. The game breaks away from some the conventional game play of the Zelda series and introduces some new concepts while still staying true to the Zelda formula. Many of the concepts are a great leap within the Zelda franchise while others fall flat. Continue reading LoZ Skyward Sword: New blood in an old classic

Emergency Party Guide

Oh crap! It’s New Year’s Eve and you forgot to plan a party! I guess you’ll just ring in the new year at home alone in your boxers drinking champagne straight from the bottle. There’s always next year.

Ring in the New Year right! Follow these tips and you will have fun and memoriable start to the New Year. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.
Ring in the New Year right! Follow these tips and you will have a fun and memorable start to the New Year. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

But wait; you are a obviously a person of high standards and good taste, I mean come on, you’re reading Whim on new years. You are a champion. Champions deserve better than a boring night watching talking heads count down the minutes, a classy gent (or lass)  like yourself deserves kick ass party. Continue reading Emergency Party Guide

Celebrating Radford’s Scottish roots

The sound of bagpipes and the sight of men in kilts filled Moffett Quad as the smell of food wafted through the air. It’s that time of year again, time for the Highlanders Festival.

The Highlanders Festival takes place every October. This year, Radford University and the City of Radford partnered to make this 16th annual celebration possible. The Highlanders Festival is a day-long event that celebrates the Scottish heritage of southwest Virginia.

Highlanders Festival parade. Photo by Emily Luketic.

According to RU’s website, the festival began in 1994 with approximately 3,000 people in attendance; now nearly 10,000 people attend the festival every year.

The celebration of the Highlanders Festival began with a pancake breakfast on Main Street and a parade downtown. The celebration continued on Radford University’s campus with many of the events taking place on Moffett Quad and the surrounding areas of campus.

Bagpipe band playing at the pancake breakfast. Photo by Austin Tuley.

Three main areas hosted a majority of the activities. The main stage, located near Moffett Hall, was where most of the Celtic music was performed. At the community stage, located between Heth, Peters and Dalton Halls, a storyteller told the story of Selu, and cloggers performed.

On Moffett Quad, there were various activities. There were vendors selling jewelry, food and Radford University apparel. There were also booths that represented different clans; their main mission was to help others find which clan they belong to.

According to Radford University’s website, there were nine clans represented at the Highlanders Festival. Each clan marched in the morning on Moffett Quad dressed in their traditional Scottish outfits during the Clan March.

Clan March. Photo by Austin Tuley.

Radford University organizations also took part in making the 2011 Highlanders Festival a success. Some groups represented included Greek organizations, guilds and clubs.

Sigma Alpha Iota, a music fraternity for women, has a booth every year at the festival. They were sitting on a seesaw to raise money for breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Senior and member of Sigma Alpha Iota, Hannah Joson, said it has been a tradition to support their philanthropy during Highlanders Festival since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the festival normally falls on the first weekend of October.

Radford University theater students involved in the improv club, the Pridemore Playtime Players, took part in performing a children’s play titled “Cows Don’t Fly.”

The major event that took place throughout the day was the heavyweight games. Some of the games were the Scottish hammers, caber toss, weight for distance and weight for height.

Caber toss. Photo by Austin Tuley.

One of the most popular games was the caber toss. The main objective of the caber toss is for the participant to pick up and flip a tree trunk. The participant tosses the trunk in a particular way in hopes that it will land standing completely vertical in front of them.

This year’s Highlanders Festival was well received by the student body.

“I enjoyed walking around and seeing all the different crafts and Celtic jewelry,” said sophomore Carrie Wainright. “I also enjoyed seeing all the local groups and organizations get together [in the parade].”

Kenzie VanDerwerker, a freshman and first time attendee of Highlanders Festival, said she enjoyed “finding different people’s clans and the fact that the festival brought a lot of people together.”

Five things to do at Radford

Every year Radford University welcomes a new class of students who seek a higher education. However, students also expect college to be entertaining. While Radford’s campus is conducive to studying, there are things to do for fun on and around campus that don’t include party hopping.

Curie Hall, attached to the back of Reed Hall, contains a planetarium in its bottom floor. The planetarium operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Shows are free to students and visitors, but donations are accepted through the planetarium’s information page.

Instead of the planetarium, Selu Observatory boasts a view of the real night sky through a 14.5″ RCOS telescope, as well as other powerful instruments. Selu is also free to anyone who wants to attend a two hour session occurring every clear Friday, about half an hour after sundown. The observatory is located not far from exit 109 of I-81. Although it is not walking distance from campus, it is a relatively close attraction for those who have transportation, and is often used as a location for department-related celebrations.

Every day students go to Dalton Hall to eat with friends for three meals of the day. However, one day out of the year students and teachers flock by the dozens to attend “Taste for Diversity,” a culture-filled night of exotic foods and performances. This usually includes live music and belly dancing. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, among other organizations, puts this event together every year in hopes that it will help educate the student population about other cultures. For that day, Dalton Hall serves food that they generally wouldn’t serve, allowing customers to break out of their usual eating habits. Senior King Amponsem, one of the key players in last year’s Diversity Week was thrilled with the outcome.

“I feel blessed and humbled seeing all those students come out there and seeing it put a smile on student’s faces. I was really excited about that,” Amponsem said.

Another yearly event for students is the Annual Highlanders Festival. This is open to everyone in the area, including parents, which conveniently falls on family weekend. During this festival there is a parade consisting of many bagpipe groups, the Radford University cheerleaders, RU Rockers (Radford’s dance team), fire department and many more. There are also several food and craft vendors selling a wide variety of Scottish and Irish memorabilia such as baked goods and jewelry.

The main attraction during the Highlanders Festival is the Scottish Games. A large rectangle of area is sectioned off in Moffett Quad, which is packed with vendors. In this rectangle athletes compete in what is known as the Scottish Games. These games consist of the weight for distance, the stone, the hammer, the sheaf and the caber. All of these games test the athlete’s strength and power, which always draws a large crowd from the visitors.

Most of these activities so far have been on or around campus. For students looking to get away for an afternoon, the Cascades can be a relaxing getaway. Located in nearby Giles County, The Cascades National Scenic Trail has an upper and a lower path that are both about a four mile round trip.

Junior Jennifer Adsit, a frequent visitor of the Cascades, has fond memories of the trail.

“It’s beautiful. That’s where my husband proposed to me,” Adsit said. “I also like it because it’s a medium difficulty for a hike. It’s just fun.”

These are only a handful of things to do around RU. As the year wears on more events will happen, and Radford will be alive with entertainment.