By: Michael Ebner
Montgazette Contributing Writer

Today’s gaming
industry is full of players
with little knowledge of
how their favorite games
get started.
Chris Avellone, a
video game designer, most
known for “Fallout: New
Vegas,” says, “Your job is to
entertain [the players] and
you can set up a custom
adventure that lets them
play the characters they
want, that lets them take
the stage and have their
moment, while having a
challenging session along
the way.”
With this knowledge,
a game designer then has to
create a world that people
will want to play in. “Start
with a moment or event
you want to create, and
why you want to create it,”
Avellone says. The best
games exploit their stories,
resulting in a “letting the
dice fall where they may”
feeling. The end results are
often something a gamer
never saw coming.
He went on to say,
“and pay attention to the
character builds of your
group-each player is at the
role-playing game session
for a particular reason.”
The next major step
is the character creation
process. “Realize why the
players are there. Realize
what skills both [the]
players and [the] characters
[have], and what challenges
you can throw at them to
emphasize those [skills].”
Out of this, Avellone
lists four steps for
successful video game
design. “Examine [the
characters] role in the
story. Name them properly,
this is more important than
it may seem. Set up a visual
signature for the character
with the concept artist. The
character must be someone
who can give voice to the
[things] that bother you
or is something you really,
really want to write about.
…Character designs all
depend on the character’s
function [in the story].”
Even after the
designer makes a concept,
the story is written and
the characters are drawn,
game designers have to
rely heavily on outside
input to get there games
off the ground.
In the end, if it’s done
right, there’s no downside
for the game designer.
As Avellone says, “The
satisfaction you feel should
be secondary to the players
having a good time. If they
do, your satisfaction comes
after the session is over and
they want to play more.”

By: Joshua Kellem
Montgazette Staff Writer

On Saturday, March 19th, Ventura,
California rapper Kyle Harvey performed at
Electric Factory in Philadelphia as part of the
Happy Camper Tour. Better known as Super
Duper Kyle, a name he acquired in high school,
Harvey came to promote his second album,
Harvey’s “Smyle” depicts the self-dubbed
“happy rapper” doing just that: smiling. The
album’s title and its cover displays his smile
which includes his snaggletooth. Harvey’s
popular track, “All Alright,” brings the
album’s simple message: smile, no matter
what you’re going through, just hit play and
it will be all alright.
With his rapidly growing fan base with
over 140,000 followers, performing for Electric
Factory’s nearly 2,500 fans and following
headliners like popular rapper Hoodie Allen
has given Harvey a notoriety he couldn’t gain
any other way.
Rolling Stone, a world-leading music
magazine, dubbed Super Duper Kyle one of ten
new artists you need to know in May 2015. This
accolade came after shortly his debut album,
“Beautiful Loser,” and first national tour, “King
Wavy Tour.”
In November 2015, “The Fader,” another
popular music and lifestyle magazine,
dubbed Harvey and his Super Duper crew
of photographers, designers, managers and
friends, one of eight creative collectives that are
changing the way music is made.
After his performance, I got a chance to talk
with Super Duper Kyle.
Q: What inspires you to write the music you
make? Who are you writing it for?
A: I’m writing music I make for myself. And
what inspires me is life events I go through.
Q: You’ve been to Philly before, most
recently at Trocadero Theatre. What’s the
crowd reaction when you come to Philly and
why do you keep coming back?
A: Every time I come to Philly, people are
excited for the music. They’re not excited for
the night, just to be out, they’re excited to come
to a Kyle show, and relate to the song, which is
why I [mess] with Philly. Philly is ready for that.
Yeah, I love Philly.
Q: So, how does it feel to go from trying to
break into the industry to finally gaining some
traction and some mainstream appeal with
“Smyle” and the Happy Camper Tour?
A: It feels good. I feel I’m working steadily,
but surely. And I feel like I’m not outgrowing
myself, you know? It feels good, it feels like I’m
moving at the right pace, like, “Beautiful Loser”
was my intro and “Smyle” is my follow up. It’s
been a very calm, really amazing, pace.
Q: When you come off the tour, when can
your fans expect the newest project and what
will it entail?
A: The newest project is definitely going
to be the best work of my whole career and I
can’t tell you when to expect it, but probably sometime this year.

News Release Montgomery County Community College

On April 1, 2016, MCCC
Student Theatre and
Theatre Arts program
presented “A Lie of the
Mind,” a darkly comic
family drama by Pulitzer
Prizewinning playwright,
Sam Shepard.
Pulitzer Prizewinning
playwright Sam Shepard’s
“A Lie of the Mind”
follows two families in
the Montana plains,
connected by one
marriage and a brutal
incident which leaves the
wife, Beth, in her family’s
care. Filled with enormous
vitality, and humor, it
explores the destinies of
Jake and Beth, torn apart
by jealousies and distrust,
welded together by the
needs of the human heart
and the destructiveness
which it can engender.
“This is the reason why
I feel art is so powerful,”
says director Samantha
Clarke. “One in four
women will experience
abuse in their life. With
numbers like that, it’s
hard not to accept that
abuse knows no race,
gender, socioeconomic
status, or creed. However,
abuse, harassment, and
discrimination often go
without a voice and this
play gives us a voice in
which to speak for those
who cannot, will not,
or know not how.” This
production contains adult
language and themes.
In conjunction with the
production, the students of
West End Student Theatre
creating a ‘Post Secret’ wall
to offer a voice for members
of the community who are
facing domestic abuse,
bullying, harassment, and
discrimination. Anonymous
drop boxes where available
on campus, and students
and community members
were able to leave a note
to be posted on the ‘Post
Secret’ wall at the South
Hall Community Room
during performances.
A portion of the
proceeds from ticket sales
were donated to Laurel
House, offering services
for victims of domestic
abuse and their families

By: Nathan Allerbach
Montgazette Contributing Writer

On Thursday, April 28, Montgomery
County Community College’s
communication program received a special
visit from author David Hale Sylvester. Also
known as “Big Dave,” David is a bicyclist
who has crossed multiple continents and
changed countless lives through sharing
his stories of love and loss.
David spoke to a group of Montco
students relating his ongoing story. He
began his story with one of a great tragedy–
when one of his best friends, Kevin Bowser,
was killed in the attack on the World Trade
Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Plagued with confusion, suffering and
“what if’s,” David sought to make sense of
that senseless moment by jumping on his
bicycle and connecting with people and
spreading joy while sharing stories of loss
and tragedy with those he met.
One of the highlights of Sylvester’s
story was when he after being inspired by
another cyclist and friend, Kristin Sullivan,
as they biked from Alaska to Argentina to
raise awareness on human impact to the
environment. He told the students how he
knew he wanted to do something similar
as a short-term goal. With “his pockets
virtually empty,” Sylvester took a chance
and scheduled his first long distance bike
ride down the continent of Africa.
As his story unfolded into selfdiscovery,
giving back and inspiring others
around him, Sylvester said that through
this journey he discovered life was all about
“finding your bike,” a phrase in which he
shares with everyone he encounters across
the world.
Sylvester is planning another bike ride
scheduled to start in May. At the end of his
story, he invited the students to share their
dreams for the future and share a high five
and a hug. Sylvester hopes that these small
gestures become inspirations for everyone
he meets.

biked every line photo

he biked article photo

Photo Courtesy of Gail Ramsey, COM Instructor Students take advantage of a photo opportunity with David Hal Sylvester; author and bicyclist who biked across multiple continents.

By: Dillon Campbell
Montgazette Staff Writer

On April 6th, Montgomery County Community College
featured the spring 2016 Five Day Film Festival. Participants
were challenged to write, film, edit and produce short films over
the course of five days.
For each semester, the film festival has a different theme and
corresponding challenge.
For the spring 2016 semester, the theme of the festival was
to “Swede” blockbuster films. The term “Swede” or “Sweded”
comes from the 2008 film, Be Kind Rewind, starring Mos Def
and Jack Black. In the film, Jack Black & Mos Def work at a video
store where Jack Black’s character accidentally erases all of the
tapes in the store.
In order to fix this problem without the customers noticing,
they decide to remake all of the movies. Despite noticing the
obvious stunt that the two pull, their customers love the new
versions just as much as the originals.
With that challenge in mind, the participants of the Five
Day Film Festival were tasked with producing a five minute
remake of a specific blockbuster movie. On the night of the
screening, the five following movies were presented by the
named participants:
“Billy Wilson’s Days Off, A Parody of Ferris Buller’s Day
Off” produced by Billy Wilson Productions.
“Point Break” produced by Dream Team.
“Home Alone” produced by Team Safety.
“The Matrix” produced by Gal and the Guys.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” produced by Philm-It
There were two types of awards each film could receive, the
Audience’s Choice and the Judge’s Choice. While everyone’s
film showed creativity, the festival gave awards to only two films.
“The Matrix” by Gal and the Guys won the Audience’s Choice
award and the Judge’s Choice award went to “The Rocky Horror
Picture Show” by Philm-It Productions.

By: James Phelan
Montgazette Contributing Writer, student, COM 100 DC

CAPG, or Montgomery County
Community College’s Communicating
Arts Production Group, is a student-run
television club that produces content
for Montgomery County Community
College. Amanda Zacharias is the club
president and the executive producer
of “The Buzz Update,” a weekly news
broadcast. She makes every decision
from what stories are to run that week
to what gets aired or cut.
The show airs on Comcast Channel
38 and broadcasts on the video sharing
website YouTube to spread their name
around. CAPG consistently garners
around a hundred views each week but
produces content in an effort to stay
The students run all aspects of the
show’s production form writing the
stories to editing and audiovisuals. The
professor who has a say in anything
when it comes to how the studio is run
is Jeff Asch, the studio supervisor and
leader of the CAPG club. “The Buzz
Update” tapes every Monday from
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. and is then edited
and posted on YouTube by 5 p.m.
The club gets most of their stories
from events taken straight from the
college’s student calendar or from press
releases by the college. To expand on
this, CAPG will soon be venturing into
covering campus community events. This
requires CAPG members to look more
at what is going on around the college
To be a member of CAPG, in
Zacharias’ words, “All you really have
to do is show up.”
No one needs to be a communication
major or have prior knowledge in how to
run a television studio. Everything you
need to learn will be taken care of while
you produce a show

The Real Jihad

By: Mamata Tharima
Montgazette Staff Writer

September 11th and the
media’s coverage of radical
Muslim activities lead some antiMuslim
protestors to publicly burn
copies of the Quran and vandalize
mosques to show their hatred for
Muslims worldwide. On top of
this, the media continues to focus
on critical stereotypes of Muslims
and documenting violations of
their rights. The controversial and
misused term of Jihad is one of the
roots of this hatred.
This Arabic word means
“struggle or strive for a noble cause
with determination without causing
any harm.” Many non-Muslims use
the word Jihad to mean “Holy War,”
which was first used to describe the
Christian Crusades from the ninth
to twelfth centuries.
“The misuse of Jihad
contradicts Islam,” Shaykh
Muhammad Hisham Kabbani,
Chairman of the Islamic Supreme
Council of America writes in his
article “Jihad: A Misunderstood
Concept from Islam – What Jihad
is, and is not.” Shaykh Kabbani
points out that the Quran and
Islamic law do not define Jihad as
just killing. The concept of Jihad
has been hijacked by many political
and religious extremists to commit
violence and terror against many
innocent people.
According to Cosmas Akuta,
a communication professor at
Montgomery County Community
College, “We should not require
people in terms of proselytizing or
get people in your religion to do
evils whether in deeds or speech…I
think we should use religion for
good and to uplift people.”
The media and news channels
cover stories that interest them and
appeal to a mainstream audience
but sometimes the coverage can
be biased.
In 2015, there was a shooting of
three young Muslims in Chapel Hill,
North Carolina. All of them were
shot in the head by their neighbor
who was an atheist and made antiIslamic
statements on social media.
The parents of the victims reported
that their children were harassed
because of their appearance and
felt threatened by their neighbor
on multiple occasions.
Several organizations,
educational institutions and
interfaith services, taking full
advantage of the freedoms from
the United States Constitution,
express brotherhood and respect
of Muslims.
Julie Sullivan, the president of
St. Thomas University, a Catholic
university in Minnesota, offered a
statement of support for Muslim
students and staff. She said, “At a
time of deeply troubling anti-Muslim
political rhetoric in American
society, we at the University of St.
Thomas reiterate our welcome
to Muslims as members of our
community, our gratitude for the
many contributions that Muslims
make to our community and our
unwavering support especially for
our many Muslim students.”
President Barack Obama
visited a mosque in Baltimore,
Maryland to send a strong message
of support to Muslim-Americans
and to defend religious freedom
in America. In his speech, he said,
“If we are serious about freedom of
religion—and I am speaking now to
my fellow Christians who remain
the majority in this country—we
have to understand an attack on one
faith is an attack on all our faiths.”
We as humans should continue
to work collaboratively to fight
against violence and terrorism to
make the world a better place to
live in harmony with one another.

article photo for newspaper

Mamata Tharima Courtesy of the author.