I love Kickstarter. I have been active on Kickstarter since November 2011, always as a backer, because I've been privileged for a long time with extra cash and have frequently been a bit looser with my money than most (saving? is that a thing I should do?). After a cursory glance through my backer history I can tell you that I've backed a total of 34 campaigns over the years, 5 of which were not successfully funded, 4 of which are still fundraising, and only 1 of which never bothered to fulfill its rewards or provide any explanation as to why they dropped off the face of the earth (I'm looking at you, A Nerd of Advice podcast). I have also backed the occasional campaign through Indiegogo or Pubslush, but Kickstarter seems to be the most popular and the most trustworthy right now, so that's where I usually go.
In the spirit of enabling, I thought it would be fun to occasionally highlight some things here that I am backing and encourage you all to spend your own hard-earned money as circumstance and interest allow.
Today I'd like to share with you: Sethian, a sci-fi language puzzle game.
Now, I am not a huge sci-fi person. There is some science fiction stuff that I really like (hello, Star Trek) but the genre as a whole is very hit-or-miss for me. I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert.
I'm also not a huge gamer. I was very much into games when I was a child (hello, Atari, Nintendo, and later, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis), but that's where I stalled. I still play games to this day, but mostly Lego games on my Wii. I am always a generation or two behind on the latest gaming console technology, and I am too squeamish to play anything with realistic violence (hence my love of cartoonish games designed for 8-year-olds).
I am, however, an expert when it comes to language, and this is what intrigued me about this Kickstarter. I have an undergraduate linguistics degree and spent a few years doing research in linguistics and cognitive science. Though I ultimately decided to channel my energy into a completely different career path (oh libraries, I love you so), language is still something that fascinates me and I try to keep up-to-date with current linguistics and cog sci research as much as I'm able.
Let me let the creator of Sethian tell you himself why this game seems so awesome:
I'm an archaeologist looking through ruins and piecing together a language from the artifacts that have been left behind? Sounds like Linguistic Anthropology 101. This is very much in my wheelhouse.
So if you are into games, puzzles, science fiction-y stuff, or languages, I definitely encourage you to check this out. And hurry - the funding period ends the morning of Wednesday, June 10, and they are so, so close to their goal. $5 will get you a DRM-free copy of the game when it launches, but if you want further suggestions, I'm backed at the $25 level, which will also get me a digital booklet containing a reference guide and other lore not available in the game. I'm stoked.