Cool Stuff: Cloth Map

If you have never seen anything produced by Drew Scanlon, you should go Google some of it now. He’s a creative guy with loads of experience in video production, and he has a passion for games. Why does this matter? Because I’m about to endorse something of his, and I want you to understand why.

With The Die is Podcast’s new site, I want to post actual reviews of games (something we haven’t done a lot of in the past), but I also want to post about cool things in the world of video games, board games, and RPGs. In my meandering through gaming fora, listening to podcasts, scrolling through Twitter, and research for the show, I sometimes come across game-related things that I think are really cool. It could be news, a kickstarter, an upcoming event, or a non-game creation that just really makes me think more people should know about it. In order to keep the actual podcast focused on the games we play and the discussion topics we have, we have normally either discussed these things in an abbreviated way, or simply set the information aside entirely.

But our new and improved site is a lot more flexible!

So, back to Drew Scanlon. I first came across him because of the Giant Bombcast, where he was one of several contributors for discussions of video games, both as a hobby and as an industry. He struck me as a very insightful person, with particularly eclectic tastes in video games, and every once in a while, he would bring up board games (such as the Resistance or Twilight Struggle) on the podcast.

It turns out that his interest in non-video games runs as deep as it does for video games, and that’s saying a lot for a guy who was involved with a video games as a career for such a long time. How do I know the depth of his interest? Well, he recently left the Giant Bomb crew to take a chance at creating something that combines his skill with video production with his love of all kinds of games. It’s called “Cloth Map,” presumably in reference to the maps that sometimes came with video games in the past.

Here’s how he describes the project:

“Cloth Map is a video series that explores how games impact the lives of people around the world. Games are a universal concept, but can take drastically different forms from culture to culture. By exploring these differences, I hope to not only expand our definition of “games,” but also remind ourselves that no matter our background, everyone on Earth loves having a good time.”

Now, I don’t know Drew Scanlon, but clearly he and I agree on the importance of games to the human experience, and even though I’ve been all over the world and played games with lots of people who don’t come from my cultural background, I’m very interested to see where this project goes. His work in the past has been really great, and I have every expectation that this will be right up my alley, combining the travel and culture of Anthony Bourdain’s food shows, but with a focus on my great interest, games.

If you want to find out more, or even potentially be involved, Drew is running a Patreon for the project. You can send some money his way to gain direct access to him and the production of the show as it is created, which seems really cool. It’s really the first Patreon I’ve more than just considered donating to. It’s a great idea, and it’s exactly the kind of thing crowd-funding should be used for: moving from concept to execution for niche interests that otherwise just wouldn’t succeed.

Here’s the link: https://www.patreon.com/clothmap

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