Realism, Catharsis, and Why Pyre Works

Realism, Catharsis, and Why Pyre Works

This piece contains spoilers for Pyre throughout.

In Pyre, Supergiant Games’ 2017 sports sim, players take the role of a faceless and nameless “Reader,” a character who is able to read both the stars and the written word. Having been convicted of some loosely defined crime, the Reader is exiled from the world above and forced to wander the wastelands. Over the course of the game, my Reader found themself committing to bigger and bigger causes: to friendship with the three weirdos who ultimately recruit them, to the sports team they form in an effort to escape exile, and, ultimately, to revolution. In 2021, this revolution felt peculiarly prescient—not because it represented reality, but because it represented what it’s easy to want reality to be. (more…)

5 TTRPGs to Scratch That Anime Itch

5 TTRPGs to Scratch That Anime Itch

The ongoing pandemic has me, like everyone else, watching a lot of anime, and while it’s always fun to be taken along on the ride, sometimes a person wants to help direct the story. While I don’t have the hookup to any studios (or the skill, or the time), I do have a big ol’ mental rolodex of tabletop roleplaying games, and I’m here to share the wealth so you too can triumph through the power of friendship. (more…)

July Roundtable: Summer Barbecue (With Our Faves)

July Roundtable: Summer Barbecue (With Our Faves)

It’s summer here in the Northern Hemisphere! Time for lake swimming, marshmallow toasting, and the ever-important summer barbecue. Oh, and games. Don’t forget the games.

When we brainstormed this month’s topic, we came up with a few different ideas: astronomy, astrology, the dog days of summer, dogs… hot dogs… and barbecuing. Which leads to two important questions that will form the backbone—but not the entirety—of this month’s spicy, grilled discussion.

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Sneak Peek: Postgame.10 – I’m Your Little Chicken Cutlet

Sneak Peek: Postgame.10 – I’m Your Little Chicken Cutlet

Welcome to Postgame, Sidequest’s monthly Patreon-exclusive podcast, where the editors lay down hot takes on cold games. We’ll be posting short excerpts from the podcast to the site as we release new episodes—if they grab you, consider tossing us a couple bucks a month to hear the full episodes! (more…)

Boundaries and Escape Routes: A Beginner’s Guide to Safer Tables

Boundaries and Escape Routes: A Beginner’s Guide to Safer Tables

When I started playing D&D, I was thirteen years old and thought that games were for winning. Perhaps relatedly, I didn’t have a whole lot of fun with tabletop RPGs until I was out of college and it clicked that the thing I liked was telling stories, not solving puzzles or somehow “beating” my friends. Part of that was my own growth, but part of it was becoming immersed in a gaming culture that was interesting, supportive, and—above all—safe. (more…)