So I got around to upgrading the forums to the latest release of phpBB. In doing so the site and forums needed to be redone a bit.
I think I have it done now with many changes and some cool new things going on. However if you notice anything weird let me know.
Its 2014 and its Halloween Season all over the place. What does Halloween mean to you?
Halloween can be traced back about 2,000 years to an October 31st Gaelic festival called Samhain (pronounced "Sah-win"), which means "summer's end" in Gaelic. The exact nature of Samhain is not fully understood, but it was an annual gathering at the end of the harvest year, a time to gather resources for the winter months.
According to Nicholas Rogers, a history professor at York University and author of "Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night," "there is no hard evidence that Samhain was specifically devoted to the dead or to ancestor worship, despite claims to the contrary by some American folklorists, some of whom have presumed that the feast was devoted to Saman, the god of the dead."
Samhain was less about death or evil than about the changing of seasons and preparing for the dormancy (and rebirth) of nature as summer turned to winter.
As modern Halloween, folklorist Jack Santino, writing in "American Folklore: An Encyclopedia," notes that "Halloween beliefs and customs were brought to North America with the earliest Irish immigrants, then by the great waves of Irish immigrants fleeing the famines of the first half of the nineteenth century. Halloween has become largely a children's holiday."
Through the ages various supernatural entities including fairies and witches came to be associated with Halloween, and over a century ago in Ireland the event was said to be a time when spirits of the dead could return to their old haunting grounds. Dressing up as ghosts or witches became fashionable, though as the holiday became more widespread and more commercialized (and with the arrival of mass-manufactured costumes) the selection of disguises for kids and adults greatly expanded beyond monsters to include everything from superheroes to princesses to politicians.
By the late 1800's, the tradition of playing pranks on Halloween was well established. Halloween mischief in the United States and Canada consisted of tipping over outhouses, unhinging farmer's gates, throwing eggs at houses and other similar pranks. By the 1920's and '30s, however, the celebration had become more like a rowdy party, and the acts of vandalism more severe.
To stem the vandalism, concerned parents and town leaders tried to satiate the kids with candy, encouraging trick-or-treating in costume in exchange for sweets, removing the mischief element from the celebration. It was then that the troublemakers adopted October 30th as their day for pranks.
However, Halloween was as much a time for festivities and games as for playing tricks or asking for treats. Apples are associated with Halloween, both as a treat and in the game of bobbing for apples. It was believed that the first person to pluck an apple form the water-filled bucket without the use of the hands would be the first to marry.
Apples were also part of another form of marriage prophesy. On Halloween, young women would peel an apple into one continuous strip and throw it over her shoulder. The apple skin would supposedly land in the shape of the first letter of her future husband's name.
Another Halloween ritual involved looking in a mirror at midnight by candlelight, for a future husband's face was said to appear (a scary variation of this later became the "Bloody Mary" ritual familiar to many schoolgirls). Like many such childhood games it was likely done in fun, though at least some people took it seriously.
So I'm not sure who all remembers The Longest Journey, or Dreamfall. But they were single player games developed by Funcom the makers of Anarchy Online, Age of Conan and The Secret World. Basically they told the story of a main character trying to figure out what is going on while traveling through alternate realities. Well Funcom agreed to allow Red Thread Games, a startup created by Ragnar Tournquist the creator of both TLJ and Dreamfall, to license the TLJ universe and create the next Chapter in the series called Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey. To fund this project Red Thread Games put up a kickstarter project. With the Kickstarter project Red Thread Games asked for people to pledge $850,000 to help fund the development of the game. They said that on top of the Kickstarter project they were also receiving funding from the Norwegian government to create the game.
Within a week of the Kickstarter project being put out onto the Internet Red Thread Games had already amassed the requested funds of $850,000. They started adding Stretch goals up to $2,000,000 which would allow them to also wrap up the original game, The Longest Journey, and tell us what happened to April Ryan the protagonist in The Longest Journey.
900,000 - Would Add Apple and Linux Support.
950,000 - An Ingame Library
1,000,000 - Added Locations and characters
1,050,000 - Another location
1,100,000 - A graphic Novel
and so on
As of this writing Red Thread Games has achieved far more than they expected gaining a Pledge of more than $1,500,000. I have to say I am impressed. Good Luck Red Thread Games, I can't wait to see the final product.
Another Year is ending and Christmas is about to be here. We hope that everyone has had a good year and that you have a wonderful Holiday Season. Here's looking to 2013 to see what it might bring.