Wil Wheaton's "Dead Trees Give No Shelter": terrifying tale, beautifully told

Wil Wheaton's 2017 standalone novelette Dead Trees Give No Shelter is a beautiful, spooky horror story in the vein of Stranger Things, following Jay Turner as he returns to the small Ohio town where his baby brother was murdered, 20 years before, to witness the execution of his killer. Read the rest

Why you definitely want to be on Star Trek: The Cruise IV

I've just returned home from Star Trek: The Cruise, a truly extraordinary fan event for lovers of Science, Science Fiction, and the future.

You really want to be on the next one.

Longtime Boing Boing friend Wil Wheaton headlined the third annual cruise, which this year featured stars from every series of Star Trek from The Next Generation onwards. They, along with thousands of die-hard Star Trek fans took over an entire cruise ship for a week (flying the flag of the United Federated of Planets no less), Taking part in everything from photo and autograph sessions, Science Lectures from experts in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Game Shows, Q&A sessions, and even a narrated performance of the Scopes Monkey Trial transcript.

But the real reason you should go isn't one of those events.

There's a unique culture behind Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision of a utopian future attracts a certain type of fan, and there's something special about putting thousands of like-minded people and the actors who portrayed their most beloved Star Trek characters on a ship for a week. Wil Wheaton put it best in his initial address during our sendoff:

"I have been a fan of Star Trek my entire life. [...] I learned everything that was important to me from the values that Star Trek taught me: I learned to be honest, I learned to be honourable, I learned to be kind. My whole life I've wanted to live in that world that we imagined when we worked on Next Generation, and that I loved to watch when I was a little boy.
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Wil Wheaton's frank, brave speech about his depression and anxiety

Wil Wheaton has publicly discussed his anxiety and depression before; I know several people whose lives were improved by reading what he had to say. Read the rest

Have you seen this ugly clown sweater?

These clowns I know were having a yard sale Sunday, so I swung by. I picked up a sweet plumed marching band hat, a pair of tinted goggles for Burning Man, and a really cool long cloak, also for the desert. While shopping, I spotted this smiling clown face sweater in the rack of multi-colored clothes.

I recognized it immediately.

Wil Wheaton had once (famously) wore one just like it.

That's a friend of mine in the lead picture (who wanted to remain anonymous, for reasons). At the sale, she tried the 100% acrylic monstrosity on with little to no intention of actually buying it. In fact, as she was pulling it over her head, she mumbled a couple times, "I'm no clown. I'm no clown." I took a photo of her not being a clown, because.

When I got home, I posted the photo on Facebook and people wanted to know if I had bought it. I hadn't.

One friend wondered if anyone we knew was involved in The Clownsweater Project which has many photos of people wearing a clown sweater, just like the one at the yard sale. Another friend, Valerie, piped in, "Me!" and shared this photo of herself. In fact, the sweater that she's wearing is the exact same one that Wil wore:

I then started reading up on The Clownsweater Project. I was happy to discover that they've shared its entire history, including Wil Wheaton's part in it on their site:

In 2002 at another EFF Fundraiser at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, Barney (yes, the purple dinosaur) and Wil Wheaton were pitted against each other in a boxing match...

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Wil Wheaton on voice acting and the virtues of therapy through Mario Kart

Greetings, Offworlders! We're proud to team up with our friends at Critical Distance to bring you a special digest edition of their popular This Week in Videogame Blogging feature, showcasing games discussion from all around the web. This week, a therapist shares her successes getting through to young patients through Mario Kart, actor Wil Wheaton discusses a possible union strike by industry voice actors, and we explore Line Hollis's mixtape of games that break the fourth wall. — Leigh

First up, at Ontological Geek, therapist Kim Shashoua shares a couple of experiences where videogames became an essential tool for reaching young people in group therapy:

I finally thought, "screw it, I'm just going to talk about Mario Kart.” I asked everyone who had played Mario Kart to raise their hands. The response was universal. Okay, already we had a better recognition rate. I asked about a time when they were doing great in the game, and if a friend had ever done something that left them feeling betrayed and angry. Their immediate answer: the blue shell. And there it was. A simple term we could use to parse the mire of childhood friendships.

[...]

Instead of tearing up the floorboards and replacing all of our current analogies with gaming references, I suggest that we recognise video games as a font for cases where kids have already encountered (and often triumphed over) real-world issues. Mario Kart wasn't just a thing that those kids knew -- it was a place where they felt anger and betrayal.

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