You may collect baseball cards. You may be a birder, coin collector or coffee mug junkie.
Or you may collect celebrities.
If you’re familiar with the Kevin Bacon Game or the six degrees of separation theory first theorized by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929, you know society is more closely intertwined than it often seems. The world has shrunk since 1929 because of social networking and globalization. In the past five years alone, you’ve probably noticed the shrinkage personally as you’ve unexpectedly bumped elbows not only friends, not only with strangers, but also with the famous.
Welcome to Star Kibble, a game I developed a few years ago. Star Kibble is played by seeing and photographing celebrities.
Star Kibble Rules
Austin is full of politicians, actors, athletes, musicians and other types of news makers. Most are not celebrities, except in their own minds. Fame can be measured a number of quantitative ways, like Google hits or, in the case of film stars, the star meter rating which changes from week to week.
Of course, since markets change and fame waxes and wanes and sometimes waxes again, you need to set a time limit for each game of Star Kibble you play. It can be a calender year, quarter or a quick game from the start to finish of a multi-day event such as SXSW.
Like any other game, rules give the game structure and keep all players on the same page.
Rule #1: Put Agreements in Writing to Prevent Arguments
Agreements must be made in writing for what celebrity measurement you’re going to use. You can choose a search engine like Google to compare the number of hits for each name (name must be in quotes). You can choose IMDB’s star ranking (which changes weekly) if you’re limiting the game to film stars. Or you can use a social networking app like Twitter to measure the number of followers.
Rule #2: No Stalking
Don’t go to a celebrity’s home, hotel room or wherever they’re staying. While celebrities like and need their fans, they don’t want to be scared, irritated or made uncomfortable. And never, ever contact their family members.
Stalking is a crime in Texas, as in most places (see Texas Penal Code Section 42.072). Any photograph that falls into a legal definition of stalking automatically causes that player to forfeit the game.
Star Kibble Scoring
In Star Kibble, points are based on 1) the size of the celebrity’s fame and 2) the type of photo you take. Here’s a list of the types of photo shots and their point values:
The Gongoozler Shot
A shot of a celebrity by you. Photo must be in focus and the celebrity’s identity must be unmistakable. Scoring example: If you get a photograph of Taylor Swift and she has 1 million hits on Google, you would have 1 million points for your photo.
The Ego Whiskey Shot
The Ego Whiskey Shot is a selfie photo of you and the celebrity that you take yourself. This type of photo is worth double points. For example, if you get a photograph of Bill Murray and you from a camera or smartphone held and operated by you, and he has 4 million hits on Google, the photo is worth 8 million points.
The Picasso Shot
The Picasso Shot is a photo of you and a celebrity, taken by someone else. This type of photo is worth triple points. For example, if you get a shot of Bill Gates and you, and he has 3 million hits on Google, the shot is worth 9 million points.
The Texas Trump Shot
The Texas Trump Shot is a selfie photo of the star and you, shot by the star. This type of photo is worth quadruple points. For example, if Lady Gaga shoots a selfie of you and herself, and she has 5 million hits on Google, the shot is worth 20 million points.
A Star Kibble shot with two or more bonafide stars in it. Rules above apply, only doubled.
The Blind Pig
A shot with two or more stars from different markets, such as a baseball player and a television series star. The rules above apply, only tripled.
If you are a celebrity yourself, Star Kibble rules mandate your point total be discounted by the measure in play (Google hits, IMDB rating, etc.). For example, if you are Matthew McConaughey and you have 3 million hits on Google, you are starting at a minus 3 million baseline that will be calculated into the final score.
For example, if McConaughey shoots a photo of himself and Jimmy Kimmel, and the total points add up to 6 million, you would multiply by The Texas Trump Shot (x 4) which totals 24 million, then subtract 3 million for a final total of 21 million.
Have an Arbiter
In case of challenges, a pre-determined judge will evaluate each side’s argument in writing and rule. Remember, Charlie Chaplin once got second in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest. Smartphone functions with mapping and time stamps shown in the shot help clarify who, when and where questions.
How to Spot Celebrities in Austin
There are many celebrities indigenous to the Austin habitat. They include the likes of Willie Nelson, Sarah Bird, Michael Dell and whoever currently occupies the governor’s mansion.
But migrations of stars who are not indigenous come for SXSW, Texas Book Festival, Division 1 sports supplied by UT, the outrageous politics of Texas, the colony of Austin artists, Sixth Street, Austin City Limits and dozens of intellectual events. Don’t forget the tech geniuses and scientists in the Austin area who do an incredible amount of innovation, or the gamers, who do a great amount of…er, gaming.
One More Tip
Celebrities are fans of other celebrities. They come to see bands, movie premieres and football and basketball games. They try out restaurants, coffee shops and bars. If you haven’t stumbled into Willie Nelson by this point, you’re not trying.
Warning: Don’t Lose Your Center
You are as important as the celebrities you spot. This game is for fun. Celebrity worship itself is empty. The fun and interaction with your friends during this game is what gives your life meaning, not the fame itself. While playing the solitaire version of Star Kibble is fun, it’s not as fun as playing with friends.
With this guide in mind, pick a category of celebrities for your game, select your scoring method and start looking for your Star Kibble.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Who is the most famous person you’ve seen in Austin? What type of Star Kibble photo did you get of them?