In What Are You Playing This Weekend? we discuss gaming and such with prominent figures in the pop-culture arena. We always start with the same question.
Rachel Bloom is a comedian, writer, and singer who’s known for her comedy music videos, including “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” and “Pictures Of Your Dick”—with an album of songs coming out in the next few months. She has also written and provided voice work on Robot Chicken, and she appeared at the illustrious Just For Laughs festival in Montreal last year, performing an abridged version of her one-woman show, Rachel Bloom Is A Triple Threat!. She’s also an unabashed theater nerd who actively lobbies to play board games at every party she attends.
The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?
Rachel Bloom: I should get into The Sims, because I’m interested in all this stuff. Everything about video games interest me. I love sci-fi and fantasy, and the idea of role-playing in these worlds is super exciting. I literally think that it’s just, I’m super afraid to get one because I have a history of getting distracted. If I find something I like I do it all the time. Like when there’s chocolate in the house I can’t stop eating, or, like, masturbating. I just do it all the time. I’m afraid of becoming like everyone who plays video games, where it’s like you just play for 20 hours.
Gameological: Tell me about the games you do play.
Bloom: My friends have these semi-frequent parties at which it’s game night, and we play—oh my god what’s the electronic thing, where you guess a number? It’s one of those trivia games, but it’s an electronic thing you pass around.
Bloom: It’s Catchphrase. And then we play Murderer. We play a version where you close your eyes and if someone taps, you you’re the murderer, and everyone closes their eyes, and the murderer can murder people by tapping them, and they get tapped out. There’s a detective who tries to figure out who the murderer is. It’s theater-game shit.
Gameological: We used to call it “Mafia.”
Bloom: I’ve played many different versions. Personally, the reason these games are so special to me—every single summer, I did a daytime theater camp. That’s how I spent my summers, and when you’re a kid, that’s all you do. An hour of your day is spent actually rehearsing for a play or whatever, and the other three hours are spent doing these theater games. It’s a very guttural, core part of my childhood that instantly takes me back. I love playing any of those games.
Gameological: Do you get really competitive?
Bloom: I don’t have to win. The game is the most fun part. And part of having fun in a game is winning, in theory, but I don’t always have to be the winner. I just have to feel like I’m doing semi-well. I’m not one of those people who needs to win. Yeah, I’m used to losing, but I’m really bad at sports. I’m very clumsy. I’m used to losing feats of strength.
Gameological: You know how there’s people who are good at Scrabble, and then there are people who are good at chess? Are you more of a word-based person, or a strategy-based person?
Bloom: Word, word, word, word. Word a thousand times. That’s what my strength is. If you go back as a child, my strengths were always in languages and history. In math I wasn’t good at. Math and logic. I’m not a very logical person. I general I don’t think things through. I’m an instinctive, passionate person. I’m a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, is what I’m trying to say. I’m trying to tell the world I’m the dream woman. I’m like, “Come out into the rain, and chase the rain for the rain’s sake, and play Scrabble in the rain!” I don’t know why they’re so fucking obsessed with rain in these movies. It’s like, “Aw, man. I love it when this natural process occurs, and water falls from the sky. Other people stay inside when it rains, whereas I like to do the exact opposite and go outside in the rain.” I wonder if there’s a scene in a tornado. That’s what I’d like to see in a Manic Pixie Dream Girl movie, they’re like, “Oh my god, it’s a tornado! I have to be inside it.”
Gameological: I was thinking about that during Hurricane Sandy—about how many people are like, “Let’s just go out!” Anyway, I’d like to hear about a board game you have been utterly defeated by. That you, to this day, curse the name of. There has to be one, right?
Bloom: Any game where it’s drawing, and someone has to guess what I’m drawing, because I’m a really terrible artist. The way that I draw, my drawing skills literally have not improved since I was eight. So when it comes to Pictionary—when I played that, people have no idea what I’m drawing. You can’t use words, so that fucks me over.
Gameological: Have you tried Draw Something?
Bloom: Yes. And I am not good at it.
Gameological: Any time I find out someone’s really good at visual art, and I didn’t know it, I always get more impressed than I would have if they were good at anything else. Being good at anything is really impressive, but being good at drawing is super impressive because I’m so bad at it.
Bloom: I’m the same way. Finding someone good at drawing is like my equivalent of my parents finding out someone’s Jewish. They’re like, “Aooohh. He’s Jewish? Aooohh?” You’re just impressed on a primal level. There is a really smart part of me that when I find out someone’s Jewish, I don’t like them more, I just feel a hair more comfortable for whatever reason. It’s maybe an oppressed minority thing? Though I don’t feel oppressed at all. I don’t want to feel that way. The other day I was getting coffee with my friend Charles. He seems like a Jew to me, and I get along with him, but I always assumed he wasn’t because he was a French last name. We were talking, and he was like, “Oh, us Jews,” and I was like, “You’re Jewish?” He said, “Yeah, I thought I was French for a while, but it turns out it’s an Eastern European last name and I’m fully Jewish.” There was a part of me that liked him more. I always liked him, but I was like, “Aooohh. Okay. Well, now we should really hang out.”
And now, we put the question to you. Tell us what you’ve been playing lately, and which games—video or otherwise—are on your playlist for the weekend.