Due to illness, I wasn’t able to write a full post.
Last year, we were celebrating Blush’s achievement on Kickstarter! I am still so appreciative of everyone who supported and believed in my game.
There are only four days left in our Kickstarter campaign. We are close. SO close! You only have until midnight on Sunday April 10th to pledge, so PLEASE go and support our Kickstarter!
This past week has been rather… Surprising? Unique? Crazy? I’m going to go with all of the above.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a shy person. You’re my friend? I’ll blabber on about whatever comes into my head. You’re alone and I’m alone and we’re complete strangers? No problem striking up a conversation. You’re wearing something geeky? I will talk to you whether you’re in a group or not. Put me in front of a group? No way. I will blush (no pun intended), stammer, forget the thread of conversation (or presentation), and generally be very uncomfortable and awkward.
And this past week has been pushing my boundaries. I’ve had two “print” interviews, one by phone for an article for Apt 613, and one in person for an article for the Metro. And I was interviewed on CBC Radio with my dad for the segment All in a Day. You have no idea how grateful I was that my dad was there. As much as I was able to convince myself that it was simply another one-on-one conversation with Alan Neal (who was super awesome, and a great interviewer), I still had problems getting my words out in the order I wanted them, and forming sentences that actually made sense. My dad, on the other hand, was brilliant. Not only did he get the conversation around to the game (the whole point, really), but he was funny and intelligent the entire time. So glad he was invited, and agreed to join me.
One thing that I have noticed, throughout these three interviews, is that I am asked a variation of the same main questions, although the written words are extremely varied. So I thought I would write down some of the most frequently asked questions, and answer them.
What was the reason behind this game? How did it come to be?
The game started out as a project for my Adolescence class at the University of Ottawa. The project was very open-ended; we had to research a topic that was related to adolescents. After a very brief brainstorming session, and a class on Human Sexuality later that week, I realized that the most obvious choice for my topic was adolescent sexuality. You can read my paper here. This was possibly the easiest paper I have ever written in my entire life (to date). The words came easily, I would get to a point that needed proof, the studies that provided the proof were easily found, and I was done in a matter of days.
As my research found that parents and their kids had a better relationship, built on trust and mutual respect, if they spent time playing games together, I decided to expand my project (with the professor’s permission) into a physical game that taught the facts of sexuality, sexual health, and identity. The original concept was very Trivial Pursuit-esque, with a board game and pieces, dice, and collecting parts to win. It was a huge undertaking, and would be very expensive to produce. I also didn’t particularly like how similar it was to Trivial Pursuit, but I couldn’t think of another way of formatting it. (I got 100% on the project, and my professor made me promise to develop it.)
Fast forward 8 years, and I was having a conversation with one of the founders of Renaissance Press about projects that we were particularly proud of in school. Blush was obviously one of those, and they asked to borrow the prototype. When they brought it back with a contract, and an idea of how to make the rules different, I was in shock. Definitely changed my life! I started the anonymous question box and this portion of the blog at that point.
What are the rules for playing the game?
Each player takes a turn asking a question and reading the four possible answers out loud. Other players then vote for the answer they think is the right one, their voting cards face down. They flip the card over al at the same time once everyone has voted. Correct answers get a point token. Next player clockwise reads the next question, and so on. First player to get to ‘x’ points (decided at the beginning of the game) wins.
How old would you recommend the kids to be to play this game?
The redesigned questions complement the new Ontario sex education curriculum, so you could play portions of the game with your kids as early as Grade 1. As parents, you are allowed to take out the cards that are too advanced for them (recommended), and reinsert them as your child grows up. To play the game as a whole, without removing cards, age 12-13 is an approximate. If you feel they’re ready earlier, that’s fine too!
I read something the other day that fits in well here. “What age do you think kids should know about sex? Remove two years, and that’s much more likely.”
If you’re a parent with an infant, and you’re not sure whether you’ll use the game, I can see where you’re coming from. My first child is due in September, and Grade 1 feels INCREDIBLY far away. However, Blush doesn’t expire! And in the meantime, you can play it with your friends, even as a drinking game. (Be prepared to get drunk very quickly if you do, though. The questions can be harder than you think!) This goes for people without children as well. How well do you remember your own sex ed classes? Do you think you know everything?
There were lots of other questions that I was asked multiple times, but this post is getting a little long, so I will leave you with a question that I wish I HAD been asked, because I think it’s a rather important one:
What qualifies YOU to write this game? Why should we trust your facts?
My educational background has provided me with thorough researching skills (1), an understanding of human sexuality (2), and the knowledge of how to teach through different methods (3).
I have been extremely thorough with my research into this game, and will go over the questions again with a fine-tooth comb before it is published. My publisher, Renaissance Press, has already edited the questions, as well as sent them off to UofT’s Sexual Health Centre, to have a second pair of eyes look at the questions.
I feel as though all of my educational and personal background has led to this game. It is a major part of me, and with your help, will come into this world before my first-born child!
Blush’s kickstarter is doing well, but we still have a long way to go, and about two weeks left! Please keep harassing your friends and family, and add neighbours into the mix! Let’s make this game a reality!
Algonquin College, my school, has their Pride Week this week. I had the opportunity to attend a workshop yesterday afternoon, given by the fantastic people at Venus Envy Ottawa (Facebook, Twitter), on Bi/Pan/Poly relationships. The speakers were very well educated and gave thoughtful and insightful answers to all our questions. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned a lot.
This is what Pride means to me. As an Ally, I sometimes feel adjacent to what the Pride movement stands for. I loved the inclusiveness that taking part in something as minor as a workshop gave to me. On top of feeling as though I belonged, I was able to learn more about how to respect people in those relationships previously mentioned, and how to break through the myths surrounding the stereotypes.
Pride Week, to an Ally like me, is about education on different types of relationships and sexualities. It is about showing support and respect to everyone. It is about welcoming other human beings and accepting them for who they are.
Thank you for such a great workshop. I definitely won’t forget it!
Algonquin’s Pride Week will continue today and tomorrow, and has various workshops free to the public. Check out their calendar of events here.
Pledge any amount you want to the Blush Kickstarter and then enter below to win a $50 gift card for any JenEric Designs products.
Jen, of JenEric Designs is the author of Blush and is working with the awesome publisher Renaissance Press to make Blush a success. Learn more about the game on the Kickstarter or on Blush: A Card Game.
If you’re involved in any sort of Harry Potter community, you’ve probably heard about the LARP (Live-Action Role Play) that ran for four days in Czocha Castle, Poland. It was organized by the College of Wizardry, and the first event was so popular, that they opened up several more weekends. They currently (at the time of this article) only have a few spaces left April 21-24.
This idea was so well received in Europe that the Americas wanted to host one of their own.
Enter Magischola. A Kickstarter to get tickets for two weekends in summer 2016, that only launched on November 23, 2015, has already reached $161,640 (at the time of this article)! Last night (November 24), they opened a third weekend in July 2016, and I bet it’s already sold out as well. (Predicting the future! I should study Divination, if I’m correct.)
For those of us who are not going, the stretch goals include a 15 minute documentary (already reached) and a 30 minute documentary (reached at 180K). I’m excited to see this. We will have a guest post in late 2016, written by one of the attendees, about their time at the event.
Do you have questions? They have answers! I learned that the University campus is wheelchair accessible, and will accept service animals. Currently, they only offer this event for ages 18+, but if they make enough money through the Kickstarter (300K), they will offer a family-friendly summer camp type event in summer 2017, that will include children ages 11-17.
Magischola will be offering their LARP on the campus of the University of Richmond, in Richmond Virginia on the Eastern coast of the United States. You can only buy tickets through the Kickstarter, and these tickets will cover your accommodation and meals during your intended stay.
But how will you get there?
People who are close can travel by car, or by AMTRAK train, but if you’re further away, flights will probably be best. The organizers will be looking into getting a shuttle from both the airport and the train station, once they know how many people will be travelling from each.
If you’d like help booking your train or flight tickets, please contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello my imaginary friends,
I hope you’re having a great week. Mine’s been awesome!
This past weekend was Ottawa ComicCon. Roughly 40,000 people crammed into the convention centre and enjoyed all things geeky. It was amazing.
Jen and I had a booth. This meant that the past month has been spent preparing and stressing. Our house looks like a mini Godzilla has passed through and deposited yarn, button pieces, and coffee all over the place.
All our preparation was well worth it. I nearly sold out of coffee and Jen’s stock was at least halved. (She hasn’t been this low since we started selling.) We did really well, yay!
We also met all kinds of awesome people. Thank you for stopping by and talking with us, it was great to share my passion for coffee with so many others.
We talked about a lot of things. If you’re trying to find something specific, check here:
A Match Made in Austen is a new Kickstarter for a card game based off the world of Jane Austen’s novels. If you’ve always wanted to see how Darcy and Emma would get along (probably terribly), this is the game for you.
The base game is $25 and you get a free ebook with it. You can’t beat that price.
I’ve been going through my extensive library and reading the first in a bunch of series. The goal is to find out what I am keeping and what I’m getting rid of.
I read Tempest by Julie Cross and loved it. Here’s my review:
A rare book that doesn’t spend to much time on the mechanics of time travel. I love that the author is able to show us the same person in different stages of their lives and makes it believable. I look forward to reading the sequels.
I give it a 75%
What are you excited for right now?