2013 saw the creation of Unwinnable’s Board Game Club. Maybe you’ve seen the hashtags on Twitter or the numerous photos on Instagram. On January 19, 2013, Stu asked the question, “Anyone want to play a board game tonight?” Like the Founding Fathers, four men descended upon Unwinnable headquarters that night to take part in a battle of wits and cunning. Nearly every week since, we’ve played board games.
How do you compare Grand Theft Auto V with Papers, Please? Or Assassin’s Creed IV with Gone Home? These are the kinds of questions that have defined 2013. In the year after small studio games dominated the conversation, we’ve not entered the Indie Promised Land. Instead, we found ourselves in a strange landscape, of new consoles no one cares about, of endless debates, of thoughtful AAA games and ephemeral indies. We spent several annoying months hearing people ask, “Is this even a game?” This is all good news. The binaries – indie vs AAA, formalist vs zinester, LOL vs Dota
In 2013, the big screen of the darkened movie theater took a back seat to the decidedly smaller screen of the living room, as television shows asserted their dominance in the cultural conversation. Was there anything worth seeing this year? We dug deep, beneath the overblown action movies and mindless comedies, and found some gems.
Even as The Lone Ranger and Man of Steel shook our faith in popcorn movies to the very core, there was sanctuary on our living room couches in what’s turning into the golden age of television. As Walter White’s life imploded, or as Don Draper broke his daughter’s heart, or as the Stark lineage shrank before our very eyes, our favorite characters’ misery gave us unprecedented joy in 2013. But it wasn’t all darkness and heartache: there was the triumphant return of Arrested Development and Eastbound and Down and plenty of laughs with goofy new kid on the block, Brooklyn
If you think year-end music lists are about nailing down the best music of the year, you are doing it wrong. Music is intensely personal, so lists should be like fingerprints, not aggregations of taste. That’s why I’m particularly proud of Unwinnable’s Best Music of 2013. Sure, we put some hits up on the board, but I think our top ten reflects more than a little of our off-kilter sensibility. And if you really want to discover some new music keep reading (and listening to our Spotify playlist). Our nominees go deep, hard and weird.