Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Friday Fun: Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble

I recently had the pleasure as serving on the jury for the Independent Games Festival, and out of all the games I played, the one that I spent the most time with by far was Keith Nemitz's Indie breakthrough Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble. It's a single-player RPG based in a 1920's high school, disguised as a board game. You choose a girl to play from a set of characters, then attempt to build a girl gang through threats, intimidation, taunting, and leveling up. Your gang then attempts missions such as uncovering suspicious school accidents, finding the school's hidden still, electing a horse mayor, and other shenanigans.

Each of the 12 playable girls have different starting stats for popularity, rebellion, glamour, and savvy, and they play mini-games such as Taunt, Fib, Expose, and Flirt... not the most positive activities, but remember, these are DANGEROUS girls, and they're in trouble. It's like when Kit Kittredge turned 14 and started smoking in the conservatory and piercing her hat with safety pins.

Most of the minigames use the four card suits as tokens or icons, giving the whole experience a parlour-game feel that fits in beautifully with the 20's setting. The story sucks you in and the constant promise of leveling up one of your gang or learning new taunts teasing Bully Girl in the gymnasium makes you forget the underlying unusualness of playing a solitaire RPG that's pretending to be a board game on a computer.

There's a free demo available, plus a gameplay video on youtube, and firsthour.net has a walkthrough of, well, the first hour of the game. Check it out and enjoy!

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Friday Fun: Fabulous Flash

My very favorite website has a wonderful tradition: Flash Friday. It's wonderful because it usually restricts the posting of productivity-obliterating flash games to the day of the week when you don't usually get anything done anyway. Flash games are a picocent per gross or something, most endlessly rehashing game mechanics from the 80's, but there are some truly amazing things out there too... like You Have To Burn The Rope. It's very short, very accessible, and very awesome... especially the end credits If you get stumped, try the 1-minute walkthrough. Hint: You have to burn the rope. Just ask this kid.

The Swedish student game developer who unleashed You Have To Burn The Rope upon the world was surely influenced by Still Alive, the incredibly perfect ending credits song from Portal, written by geek superstar Jonathon Coulton and sung by GLaDOS, the AI that guides and leads the player through the game. Coulton is huge with geeks, and his song Code Monkey is used as the opening theme for, well, Code Monkeys, the atari-look southpark-style comedy about 80's game developers.

Then there's Puzzle Farter. Let 'er rip!

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