Funeratic's recent interest in all things "superhero" culminates in The MCU Project, a re-watch of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in order, with weekly discussions. As with the rest of the Internet, there are expected disagreements about what still constitutes MCU canon in 2022, but Scott draws an all-inclusive line that incorporates everything ever deemed canon. The first conversation, about 2008's Iron Man, draws 35 comments, one of the busiest pages on the site at the time. Participation does taper off as the series progresses, especialy as it gets into TV shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that require a longer time commitment. Twice, Scott has to slow down the weekly schedule to allow for participating members (including himself) to keep up with the content. But the points of the project, to discover new things in the MCU by seeing and discussing every title in its original release order, and to have fun doing that, are a big success.
Rock Block's summer 2022 tournament, based on Nena's classic 1980s anti-war hit "99 Luftballons," offers players a strategic choice: With each concert victory, they can either pop one of their own 99 red balloons, or pop someone else's to start another two concerts. Players experiment with different strategies, and Matthew Preston emerges with a winning one, popping the balloons of the less-active players and withholding some unspent "pops" to allow himself a chance to close the gap at a crucial moment to win his first tournament since Rock Block's relaunch. The tournament format proves popular (pun intended), partly because it results in a shorter and more focused tournament (almost exactly three months long) than the previous few contests that went on for too many months and became drudgery toward their ends.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, longtime player Chris Lemler really hits his stride in Celebrity Goo Game: Chris wins four seasons in a row, the first time that someone has accomplished that feat since the earliest days of the game when the rounds were short and the players were few. Chris has been a top player for some time, winning an average of more than one season per year since 2015, but this complete dominance in the game is a new level of excellence even for him. To achieve it, he is helped by his well-honed skill at the game, his determination to solve every last goo, his own goo creations, and a few lucky breaks along the way in random outcomes. Having previously devoted himself to the hobbies of bowling and disc golf until he achieved success well beyond amateur status with both, Chris next announces at the height of his success in the goo game that he's going to take an indefinite break from Funeratic to focus on a new pastime, Twitch streaming. He makes this announcement only after surpassing a thousand followers, so he's well on his way.
After months of thinking about it and discussing ideas with fellow players, Scott resolves his conundrum about how to run Celebrity Goo Game in the future. The pagoda scoring system has come to feel stagnant. Upgrading the "lucky cats" into a more complex and strategically rich system is the first impulse, but the game's declining roster of active players makes that seem inappropriate. Finally, Scott settles on a return to basics: Each goo is worth a point, each creation is worth a point, a winner will be declared monthly instead of quarterly, and a sub-system of bonus points will keep any one player from dominating. The reception is positive, and the system does feel like the right size for the game's period of decline, although it does lead to a two-player domination: Russ Wilhelm and Steve West take turns winning each round of the game in the months that follow.
November 28, 2008: The site looks stale after more than two years with the same design, and the recent "whitewash" experience with Celebrity Goo Game keeps Scott from trying any changes that are too ambitious. Read more...
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