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Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk wrote one of the iconic player-vs-player columns in videogaming. They want to bring it back!

UPDATED UPDATE: If we can get to $13,500, we'll fly Bruce out to Los Angeles for a video Tom vs. Bruce that takes advantage of us being in the same location for a change.  If we can get to $15,000, we'll add an additional Tom vs Bruce for a game to be decided by votes from everyone who backs this project.  Check updates #13 and #14 for details.

UPDATE: See below for our stretch goal!  If you can get us to $12,500, Tom vs Bruce will include the participation of Kelly Wand, Desslock, and Erik Wolpaw.  Tell your friends.  Tell your wife.  Tell your grandparents.  Tweet it, Facebook it, Link it In, and help us spread the world.  Because a Tom vs Bruce without these guys won't be the Tom vs Bruce it could be!

What is Tom vs. Bruce?

Tom vs. Bruce was a series of articles written by Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk for Computer Gaming World.  The series began in January of 2002 and ran monthly until May 2008, when the magazine shut down.  Each article was about a different game, usually describing a multiplayer match.  At first, the articles were intended to provide strategy tips, but the series evolved to include humor, narrative, and the distinct personalities of Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk.

What happened to Tom vs. Bruce?

In short, the Internet happened.  Magazines became financially risky enterprises, and several gaming magazines folded, including Computer Gaming World, which had been the home of Tom vs. Bruce for nearly seven years.  Attempts to re-launch the column on a gaming website foundered on issues of length, presentation, and compensation.  

Where can I read Tom vs. Bruce?

1up, which inherited the content of Computer Gaming World, reprinted several Tom vs. Bruce articles online.  You can find them here.  To get a sense for what we do, just click on a game you like!  Alternatively, we recommend our articles on Freedom Force, The Political Machine, or Guild Wars.

Why are Tom and Bruce on Kickstarter?

Tom vs. Bruce was extremely popular during its run in Computer Gaming World.  One internal Powerpoint of the magazine's metrics listed Tom vs. Bruce as the second-most-popular item.  It was behind only reviews as a category and well ahead of the third-place item, which we think involved Jeff Green jamming his finger up his nose.  We still get asked about the articles a lot.  Bruce, who's a surgeon these days, even got accosted in the operating room once.

Previously, we've pitched the column to websites, but among the sticking points to possible deals were limitations on what we could do and for whom we could write.  We feel that even though we can be a bit obscure, verbose, or obscure and verbose, we have a specific style and sense of humor.  We'd rather not do Tom vs. Bruce than compromise it.  So by working directly for you, our Kickstarter benefactors, we get the same freedom and trust we had with our editors at Computer Gaming World.

And we really love doing this stuff.  Even though they were a lot of work to produce, we both looked forward to doing them.  We enjoyed the gameplay and the writing.  We really dug creating something in a unique format, based on an interpersonal dynamic.  We'd love to get that going again.

But the bottom line is that they're a lot of work.  Hence, Kickstarter.

What is the funding for?

The funding is for ten brand-new Tom vs. Bruce articles to be delivered roughly monthly over the next year.  We chose this goal because it's what we would have been paid by Computer Gaming World for ten articles.

We've spent a lot of time on Tom vs. Bruce over the years.  Believe it or not, it's hard to sound off-the-cuff, breezy, and conversational.  And to schedule time to play these games.  And to figure out how best to relate them without simply turning in a boring old AAR.  And getting the best screenshots to illustrate our points.  You'd never know from the way 1up chucked the text online and inserted random screenshots, but we were pretty proud of our visual assets.  That's not a euphemism.

What if you make more money?

Then things get interesting.  We've always wanted to do more with the format, but were limited by the fact that we were in print only.  There was also never any funding for audio/video production.  We live on opposite sides of the country, so we've been limited to Internet play.  With additional funding, we'd be willing to do the work -- or pay someone to do the work -- to provide replays of the games, or audio commentary, or even video episodes.  We've even thought of printing a collection of Tom vs. Bruce, with original content and commentary.  But all these things need funding, and that's where more money could go.  And, of course, to additional episodes.

Who are Tom and Bruce?

Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk have been writing about video games for magazines and websites for almost twenty years each.  Tom Chick has written for Gamespot, IGN, 1up, Computer Gaming World, Computer Games Magazine, UGO, CNET, and pretty much any gaming media outlet you can think of.  He's even been on TV, but not for very long, and not for anything about games.  Bruce Geryk has written for many of these same sites and magazines, as well as boardgame magazines like Strategy & Tactics and scientific journals such as the American Journal of Neuroradiology.  For real.

Stretch Goals!

We're proud to announce two very special stretch goals. 

1) If we can get our total support up to $12,500, we'll be recruiting some very special contributors for three of the articles in the upcoming year. We couldn't be happier to work with these three folks, and we're confident they're names you'll recognize. Over the next three days, we'll unveil them one at a time. (UPDATE: We made it!  Kelly WandDesslock, and Erik Wolpaw will join us for a Tom vs. Bruce if we meet our stretch goal!)

2) What's more, if we make it to $13,500, we'll fly Bruce out to Los Angeles to stay with Tom for a video Tom vs Bruce that takes advantage of them being in the same location.  Read the details in this update.

3) If we make it to $15,000, we'll add an additional Tom vs Bruce to be determined by votes from everyone who backed this Kickstarter project. Will it be a rematch in a game we've already done? Will it be whatever the new hotness is at that time? Will it be an old classic?  Read the details in this update.

FAQ

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    Your name immortalized on the Tom vs. Bruce Official Founders Wall, which we will erect online.

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    Previous reward tier, plus early access to each Tom vs. Bruce! You get to read the articles 48 hours before they go live.

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    Previous reward tiers, plus a limited-edition Tom vs. Bruce postcard, signed by Tom and Bruce. Suitable for framing or eBaying!

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    Previous reward tiers, plus you get a fancy PDF of all ten Tom vs. Bruce articles once they're done. This is like a print subscription. After the fact. Sort of. If you print it out.

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    Previous reward tiers, plus a rockin' "Return of Tom vs. Bruce" T-shirt designed by someone other than Tom or Bruce. Trust us, you'll like these. (U.S. shipping only please)

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    This is the overseas version of the "Return of Tom vs. Bruce" T-shirt tier. Get all previous reward tiers, plus the cool T-shirt, sent to you at your address outside the U.S.

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    SPONSOR LEVEL: All previous reward tiers, plus you pick the game we play. Do you want a Tom vs. Bruce of your favorite game, or an old classic, or some Disney Dream Princess Wii game? You pick the game, and we'll figure out a way to work a Tom vs. Bruce around it. You can be credited as the sponsor in the episode, or remain anonymous. If you have a special reason for choosing a game, we can include that as well.

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