Review: Lucid Immersive’s Virtual LARP The Board Is a Conference Call To Remember

Review: Lucid Immersive’s Virtual LARP The Board Is a Conference Call To Remember

I’ve been doing a lot of gaming since the stay-at-home order went out. Tabletop games translate really well to an online format—it’s easy to play D&D, for instance, over a video call, and there are lots of tools out there to facilitate virtual maps and dice and all the other accoutrements for a standard tabletop game.

I wasn’t sure if LARP would have a virtual analog in the same way. LARPing requires a greater level of immersion, and there are lots of aspects of that immersion that seemed inherently intertwined with being present with each other physically, like setting and costuming and movement. The two things I love so much about LARP are the sense of immersion and the intense connections it fosters between people. I feared that if online LARP wasn’t able to hit those buttons in a way that was satisfying, it would make me feel more lonely and isolated rather than being cathartic, like a reminder that what we had now just wasn’t as good as what we’d have normally. But when given a chance to give it a try, I had to see for myself. (more…)

May Roundtable: Game Superlatives for Summer

May Roundtable: Game Superlatives for Summer

We’ve said it before, but: 2020 is a year for games. (When isn’t it a year for games? I don’t know; that’s for another roundtable.) And what’s more fun than making high-school-yearbook-style game superlatives to keep us going into the summer? Nothing, that’s what! For the May roundtable, the Sidequest team did exactly that. What would you put in these categories?

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Confessions of a Dodo Airlines Worker

Confessions of a Dodo Airlines Worker

This is a piece of fiction written from the perspective of Orville, the dodo who works at the airport desk in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Orville never leaves the 24-hour airport, but he sees me often as I jetset to my friends’ islands—and he sees the strange parade of my colorfully-dressed friends as they fly in to visit me. Being able to hang out with friends virtually is a comfort for me and many others during this trying time and has contributed to the major phenomenon that New Horizons has become. It occurred to me that Orville and the other denizens of the Animal Crossing world aren’t burdened by the same real-world troubles as we are, but they’re still witnessing the way they’ve affected the parts of the game I value. (more…)

April Roundtable: Games and Social Connection

April Roundtable: Games and Social Connection

Since we’re all in social isolation/distancing/shelter-in-place mode, the Sidequest team decided to reminisce about games and social connection: how we’ve used games to foster and grow friendships and relationships in general. (Some of us discuss how we even do that now, all while staying safe!) (more…)

How Playing Notpron In 2005 Helped My Programming Career In 2017

How Playing Notpron In 2005 Helped My Programming Career In 2017

Do you remember Notpron? I certainly do, although I distinctly remember it being called notpr0n—which I suspect is more a remnant of online culture in the late 2000s when it was originally popular than a Mandela effect. If you’re one of the more than 19 million people who have participated in this online scavenger hunt, it’s likely you have nostalgic feelings about it too. It was the first time I had seen anything like it, a puzzle game that wasn’t confined to the boundaries of a normal game in any of the ways I expected. (more…)