Thursday, January 21, 2010

Viva Picanha!

Hello from Brazil!  My job takes me all over the place and this year it looks as if I will be spending time in South America.  What better opportunity to think about gaming and a collapse event than while trapped in a plane for 10 hours, trapped in an airport for a delayed flight for 6.5 hours, or flying over the Amazon...

First a bit about general gaming in Brazil.  I did spy 4th Ed D&D, but what really floored me was the price of boardgames.  Currently $1 USD =R$1.80 (Brazilian Real.)  Wow, what a potential gaming bargain for yours truly.  Except the game of Risk is...R$119.99 or $67.19 USD!! WTF?  Well, it must be imported so of course it is expensive...okay how about crappy old Monopoly...made in Brazil...R$99.99 (or $56 USD)  Yup that $10 Wal-Mart classic is $56!!  Booster pack of cards? R$20...or $11.20 US a pack for Magic or Pokemon.  Hell a HALO Action figure was R$99.99 ($56 US) and the big stunner for me...an electronic talking Bumblebee transformer figure that is $40 everywhere in the US...R$999.99.  Nope I did not miss type that...it would be $560 US dollars.  It was one of a couple Toy stores in the mall, part of a chain of stores across Brazil.  The Brazilians I was with could not believe I was correct...until I showed them on Amazon and they were stunned.

Even homegrown version of RISK called WAR in Brazil are R$99.99, or $56 US ( I know because I bought one...a Roman Empire version of WAR (Risk)...holy crap is it sweet!  Hail Caesar baby!

Okay so why the game pricing beatdown?  First, because I thought I'd get some deals...and second because I often think we take our United States of Nerdom for granted.  I mean REALLY for granted.  I thought about how expensive and unlikely it would be to be a gamer in Brazil!!  I mean if you got one game a year it would be a major event and what of that game stunk on ice??  You'd never waste the ducats again probably on a game of any kind.  Count your blessings brothers and sisters, the next time a $5 PDF rule book or $30 hardback gets you down my friend, just remember there is a Brazilian somewhere who would like to deliver a swift kick to your head for being such a nutter.

Speaking of nutters, back to this collapse event muse I have listened to lately.  If you have read World War Z (good), or Day by Day Armageddon (OUTSTANDING!), both have a zombie out break occurring in China.  Que picture of lots of people everywhere, a  mysterious fog shrouded land, and cut...print scene.  No one ( to my knowledge) has tapped an Amazon or Brazil angle.

First I CALL DIBS on generating the scenario.  You see in Brazil they eat a lot of meat.  I am no dainty daisy eater, I cook BBQ all the time, and lived in Texas for years so I know a bit about meat.  Kids I am here to tell you they are born teething on a T-Bone, suckling on side ribs, and raised on Rump Roast.  Lunches consisted of meat, with a side of meat, and a garnish of meat.  Dinner was an appetizer of meat, with a first course of meat, followed by a meat sorbet to cleanse the pallet, and then a dinner of meat, with 2 sides of meat, and your choice of seven meats for desert.  Sincerely I wish I was over stating it, but I am not, it really is all meat all the time.  I skipped meals because I was over loaded with it.  I am now convinced Mr Atkins of Atkins Diet fame is a Brazilian...or his wife is...or he vacationed here and really loved the meal selection.

Anyway fellow zombie collapse fans...a nation that does nothing but focus on eating so much meat...may have a prediliction towards this collapse event.  Tie in strange bugs drinking the blood of strange hidden animals in the Amazon....then that bug alight on a tourist who is riding a tour boat on the Amazon, then goes back to the hotel unwell with the rest of the tourists in a highly crowded dense population center, and they are in  town for the Olympics or the World Cup in Brazil...then the disease is transmitted to people traveling globally...and BAM you have your first Brazilian-centric Zombie story (Trademark to ME!)

Side note:  The Brazilian people are kind, helpful, friendly, generous and wonderful to work with.  Sure there's a rotten apple in any barrell, but I truly enjoyed their fine hospitality, and kindness.  Second, never believe what you see on TV.  The Amazon is huge, I mean massive, I mean biger than the Pugest sound huge.  Having seen too many Man vs Wild or Nat Geo/ Discovery channel Amazon shows I expected a cross between Indiana Jones and Tarzan.  Instead I am staring out at a massive river that is 10k across and reminds me more of the Puget Sound than a narrow piranha infested mosquito breeding ground.  I felt like an idiot and the Brazilians had a good laugh at my expectations.  Travel broadens the mind indeed.
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