Trending Up: Turning Everything into a Frickin Game

We’re all just pawns

They call it “Gamiification“, and if you ask your MBA buddy Theo, that means “the application of game methods and elements to traditionally non-game activities.” You know it as the progress bar on your favorite professional connections website, or getting a digital badge for making digital badges.

Gamifiication is fire bolt hot right now. Go to any uber-borg CRM conference and mention Gamification and they’ll give you a fist full of drink tickets and let you party with Green Day. The root of it is that hipsters don’t mind working if they can pretend it’s actually playing. How else would you be interested in getting more “fit” unless you were also actually, and by actually we mean virtually, doing a cholesterol destroying trek on the great wall of China? This all dovetails with the hipster-illennial desire to have everything be super-epic-awesome. Nothing says “I’m a warrior hero” like total dominance of the terrifying “Quest to Print Only Double Sided Paper / Attack of the Ink Goblins” scenario that the printer admin in IT (the one who wears a utili-kilt) came up with to encourage workers to print less. You can beam with glory when he perches the Yoda plush toy on your cubicle wall and, handing you a can of unicorn meat, proclaims “Savior of the Trees you are!”

So to bring this to the next level, which you LIVE for, go find a copy of Milton Bradley’s The Game of Life. One from the 70’s will be at the next estate sale you hit up this Sunday (half price because it’s under $50) when you’re out with Cedric and Jasmine. Now it’s time to get all artsy-crafty. Change EVERYTHING to represent your co-workers and office situations. Re-write all the event cards to be about the most uncomfortable office politics you can imagine. Faithfully recreate the ups and downs of work day in your collab. Make it AS TRUE AS POSSIBLE, this is going to have to hurt or the irony of playing Life, about work, at work just wont be bittersweet enough. Now, at Monday morning’s needless scrum, reach into your re-purposed blue plastic Ikea tote – now messenger bag – and throw down your “The Game of Work.” Your friends will love this. At first they’ll see the little 3D playing pieces (made from re-purposed tiny cheese wax) and coo … “Cute” and “Hey you got my handlebar mustache just right!” (they wont even get the waxed mustache made of wax subtleties but that’s okay, some irony is best left to enjoy alone, in silence) … then start playing. Each person gets one turn every half an hour … this way it kind of folds into the day. Watch as things get really tense as Life-Work-Game all blend into a tepid tapioca of reality and illusion. Award “workpoints” for mundane stuff like answering emails and cleaning the tea pot. Everyone will go home engaged and confused, laying in their futons at night, strategizing on how to win at the game of their life, at work. You will love this.

Rising: Half Pants

Somehow, we cant find a pic of men’s half-pants. Anyone care to shoot a selfie after doing this one?

It’s Summer and shedding the layers helps, especially when climate change is wreaking havoc with the thermometer, making it dance like an egg on a Death Valley roadside. (

How’s a hipster to get cool without “being cool?”

Why, just slice off one of your pants legs of course.

Like the weather, half pants are NIF-Hot right now. This is an IMPORTANT TREND and there can be no cutting corners. Just unzipping below the knee of those fuddy-duddy Columbia trekking pants is a cop out… And those gothic “one legged pants” are nothing but narcissistic boy-skirts asking for a spanking … don’t even think about it. There is only one way to own this hipster gold and that’s by taking a pinking shears and slicing off one leg of a pair of pleated dockers at just below the pocket lining. Just feel the freedom! Stride with confidence into your next HR review, put the foot from the bare leg up on the chair, cup your chin in your hands and say “Let’s DO this thing!” Make sure your socks are baggy and loose at the ankle to complete the effect.

The half-pant is not only cooling and comfortable, it also says you’re a flexible, complex and cultured person. All admirable hipster qualities. At the same time casual and “businessy”, it’s the perfect ultra-committal non-committed assertion. When, and if, people dare to ask, you can reply auf Deutsch.

Diese halbe-hosen wurden direkt aus Hamburg für mich heute geflogen. Haben sie ein Kompliment meine Wadenmuskeln?

then take out a briar pipe, bang against your exposed inner thigh, and light up knowing you won this round.

OVER! Black Leggings and Knee High Boots

is she a pirate?

As a guy, this one is hard for me to write. I have to admit that, yes I’m looking at legs and I can’t help but notice the skin tight black leggings worn by trendish female hipstanistas. They are leaving very little to the imagination. I readily admit, I admire the female form, but toss in the set of thigh high boots and you have the most OVER! of all current fashion trends. The high level of popularity of this trend make it a candidate for immediate cease and desist. It’s peaking so hard that it’s like a bath-salt junkie in a Aveda aroma-therapy demo.

I want to approach this from the male perspective. Maybe I want to wear this kind of stuff. I mean this look isn’t that far from canonical Han Solo. Strap on a good blaster at your side and you’re ready to do the Kessle Run in under 12 parsecs. Seriously though I’ve considered getting some meggings and trying this fashion out. How do you think it would go over for me, a stocky middle aged paleo-hipster, strutting down the terrazzo hallway at the mid-sized Midwestern private college where I work, wearing skin tight black leggings and thigh high swashbucklers boots?

Just let that image settle in your mind a bit.

I don’t think too much time would pass before my manager would be inviting me to a special meeting with HR and security.

So lady hipsters, to be clear … The tights and high boots thing is OVER!

So, not to leave you hanging with no options, NHT is tracking the rain boot / welly / red spot / galosh trend. And it’s rising faster than a arctic ice melt pool in August. Along with planetary warming and rising ocean levels, we see the rise of hip waders for hipsters. It’s perfect! Now you’ll be able to still make the felting circle even if Emma’s neighborhood is under a flash flood alert. They’re uni-sex, utilitarian and under-appreciated. All very desirable hipster qualities. You wont need to angle for compliments, while you’re angling for run-away barracudas from the civic aquarium, during next year’s 500 year flood event.

Skin tight never felt so right.

Trending Up: Workplace Historical Recreations

hipster at work
Bored because you have to work? Spice it up!

When you, as all self respecting hipsters do, live at work and work at life, hobby time and professional time start to blend. NHT says embrace the blurred lines and we’re here to help you take it to the next level. Taking a break to thwart the zombie apocalypse with your nerf weapon is so old, even your manager has a high capacity rotary nerf gatling gun collecting dust next to his copy of “Leading Geeks“. Gaming at work is too much like work when you work making games… what’s a hipster to do? We say it’s time for workplace historical recreations! Warm up by getting out the robin hood costume you wore to the renfest last summer. Nothing commands attention at an HR meeting like a guy in tights. Toss an odd “Huazzah!” or “Well Met!” in during a marketing presentation with clients. But this codpiece wearing is only the pre-game stretching.

Hipsters are nothing if not ironic observation purists, all humor must also have a bitter poignancy or else it’s just a glorified knock knock joke, right? Imagine the bemused horror from the other millennials on your scrum team when you dump accelerant on the beanbag chair in the corner of the CoLab and, striking a match, you yell “Triangle Factory Fire!” They wont even notice you are dressed like a 12 year old 1911 New York Tenement girl** as you are throwing the bolts on the exit doors closed. After the sprinklers have stopped and you’ve wiped your forehead with the back of your hand to leave a finely crafted soot smudge (use mascara), turn to face your angered Colab-orators and give an impassioned and memorized declamation club style monologue from “The Triangle Factory Fire Project” by Piehler and Evans. In 5 minutes you’ll have applause, admiration and they’ll understand when you show up with applique pustules for “Bubonic Plague Day” next week. You might even get them to help by tossing your playing dead corpse on the sidewalk for lunchtime collection during the “bring out your dead” game.

**NHT Does NOT endorse or support Child Labor