Aug 20

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is W for?

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

We’ll continue today with W. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by W? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

W is for ... ?

W is for … ?

You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for X, and so on through Saturday when we get to Z. Good luck!

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Aug 19

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is V for?

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

We’ll continue today with V. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by V? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

V is for ... ?

V is for … ?


You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for W, and so on through this Saturday when we get to Z. Good luck!

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Aug 18

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is U for?

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

We’ll continue today with U. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by U? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

U is for ... ?

U is for … ?

You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for V, and so on through the end of this week until we get to Z. Good luck!

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Aug 17

Games & Books & Q&A: Adam Gidwitz

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grimmConclusionBCI confess that I’ve never played video games with Adam Gidwitz, but on the occasions when Adam has joined my family for board games while visiting Austin, he’s shown himself to be a fun, vigorous competitor. I figured he’d be a good author to include in the Games & Books & Q&A series.

Adam is the author of the fairy tale-inspired (to put it lightly), occasionally a smidge gruesome (to employ a bit of understatement) middle-grade trilogy consisting of A Tale Dark & Grimm, In a Glass Grimmly, and The Grimm Conclusion (all published by Dutton).

His upcoming books include a retelling of The Empire Strikes Back, part of a series that will also feature previous interviewee Tom Angleberger‘s take on Return of the Jedi. Before we get into talking about video games, here’s a little more information on their Star Wars books.

But enough about Star Wars. (I’m kidding. There’s no such thing.) Let’s talk about video games.

CB: What do you remember about the first video game you ever played?

AG: Is this question just an excuse to gauge your interviewees’ age? I know it is. I find it offensive and embarrassing. What if I said the first computer game I played was Halo? You’d think I was 14. Or Dr. Babbage’s Automated Loom-Game? You’d think I was 200.

In truth, the first game I played was Mario Bros./Duck Hunt, for the original Nintendo. I remember a friend of mine, Chip Martucci (isn’t that a great name for a kid in a nostalgic memory?) had the first Nintendo of anyone I knew. It was the freshest thing on the market. I coveted it, and coveted my time playing it. I would sleep over at his house, and wake up at 5 a.m., and just lie there, starving, waiting for him to wake up and praying he would want to play Nintendo.

I had a problem.

CB: What games did you play the most when you were a kid? What did you love about them?

AG: The game I have been devoted to since it appeared was Sid Meier’s Civilization, as well as its many retreads and spin-offs. I had the original game on its seven floppy discs. When I want to update the most recent iteration (Civ V, for those counting at home) with an expansion pack, I can download it wirelessly. Despite the fact that one hundredth of the expansion pack couldn’t have fit on those floppies. How far we’ve come. All so I can conquer the world again and again and again.

CB: What role do games play in your life today?

adamgidwitzAG: Honestly, I try to limit my gameplay these days, as I have an obsessive personality ONLY in regards to games (of all types). Whenever you try to close Civ, it says, “Are you sure?” And you can choose “Exit Game” or “Just one more turn…” Oh, if only it was “one more turn.” I literally threw my Civ III and IV discs down the trash chutes at college because I was not working — only to buy them again. And again throw them down the chutes. Sadly, if I threw the wi-fi router down the trash chute, I would not be able to participate in interviews like this.

So these days, I try to channel my desire for world domination and epic battles into my fiction. Adults often bemoan those parts of my books. But kids, especially gamers, get it. If I can make a kid feel like I did playing those games, if I can transform “One more turn…” into “One more page…,” I will have done a good thing.

***

I expect to continue this series through the October publication of my book Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet. If there’s anyone in the gamer or kidlit camp that you’d love to see me feature in upcoming posts in this series, please drop me a line or tweet at me or just leave a message in the comments.

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Aug 17

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is T for?

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

We’ll continue today with T. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by T? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

T is for ... ?

T is for … ?

You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for U, and so on through the end of this week until we get to Z. Good luck!

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Aug 16

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is S for?

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

We’ll continue today with S. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by S? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

S is for ... ?

S is for … ?

You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for T, and so on until we get to Z. Good luck!

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Aug 15

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is R for?

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

We’ll continue today with R. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by R? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

R is for ... ?

R is for … ?

You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for S, and so on until we get to Z. Good luck!

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Aug 14

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is Q for?

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

We’ll continue today with Q. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by Q? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

Q is for ... ?

Q is for … ?

You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for R, and so on until we get to Z. Good luck!

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Aug 13

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is P for?

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

We’ll continue today with P. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by P? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

P is for ... ?

P is for … ?

You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for Q, and so on until we get to Z. Good luck!

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Aug 13

Games & Books & Q&A: Melissa Wiley

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inchrolysunnydayMy friend Melissa Wiley is the next children’s/YA author that I’m featuring in the Games & Books & Q&A series.

Melissa is the author of more than a dozen books for kids and teens, including The Prairie Thief, Inch and Roly and the Sunny Day Scare, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, and the Martha and Charlotte Little House books. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Scott Peterson, and their six kids. Melissa has been blogging about her family’s reading life at Here in the Bonny Glen since 2005. She is @melissawiley on Twitter and @bonnyglen on Instagram.

CB: What do you remember about the first video game you ever played?

MW: First video game I played had to be Pong. I think my dad brought it home from Radio Shack, if I recall correctly. My little sisters and I were enthralled. There is a certain shade of glowing green that always brings Pong rushing back to my mind. Was it even really green? That’s how I remember it.

CB: What games did you play the most when you were a kid? What did you love about them?

MW: We got an Atari 2600 when I was around 8th or 9th grade. I. LOVED. THAT. THING. Fave game: Adventure. The way the dragons curled up when you stabbed them! I went through a whole blissful nostalgia-binge not long ago, revisiting Adventure on a desktop version. It’s amazing the wave of feelings it conjures up. That exhilaration of discovery; the happy state of tension I love in a game.

We also had Atari Pinball and my prowess at that game became a badge of honor — I rocked it. Nobody could skirt just this side of a tilt like I could. For a kid who was hopeless at sports and miserable in gym class, excelling at a video game was a confidence boost beyond measure. I was this tiny, scrawny, late-blooming kid, but at Pinball I could whip my best friend’s older brothers. I’m still proud. :)

Other friends had a ColecoVision, and I spent hours at their place playing Donkey Kong. They also had an Indiana Jones game (Atari? Coleco?) that I loooved. Those snakes, the music, the ankh. To this day I love adventure games where you have to puzzle your way through.

CB: What role do games play in your life today?

Melissa WileyMW: Pretty major, I’d have to say! I have six game-enthusiast kids, and playing together is truly one of my greatest joys. My favorite group game is Minecraft – I’m fond of sandbox games. We have our own server and I love logging in to see what new marvels they’ve built in our world. In my own world (created before we set up the server) I have a giant Tudor mansion and English garden. I’m constantly tearing down wings and renovating. :)

We play a fair amount of Wii Mario Kart and Wii Sport together (especially Scott and the kids, for the latter). I also like the ski jump game in Wii Fit.

We love World of Warcraft but unfortunately my computer is the only one in the house that can handle it, so the kids can’t do much there and it’s been a long while since we’ve logged on.

The game I loved most of all and mourn deeply is Glitch. Another sandbox game, but with art and music like none other, and a charming, deeply creative community. All my phone ringtones are from Glitch which means constant nostalgia pangs. We were so sad when it shut down! Tiny Speck released all the assets to the public, though, and a couple of teams of volunteers are working to recreate the game, so I have high hopes of feeding sloths and milking butterflies again someday.

***

I expect to continue this series through the October publication of my book Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet. If there’s anyone in the gamer or kidlit camp that you’d love to see me feature in upcoming posts in this series, please drop me a line or tweet at me or just leave a message in the comments.

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