Diary of a Hardline Shep, Part 3: Who Gets to Choose

Diary of a Hardline Shep, Part 3: Who Gets to Choose

Welcome back to Diary of a Hardline Shep. Last time I talked about how Mass Effect’s premise positions humanity as an exceptional species. What I didn’t talk about is how much embodying that really sucks. (more…)

Diary of a Hardline Shep, Part 3: Who Gets to Choose

Diary of a Hardline Shep, Part 2: Space Colonialism Is Still Colonialism

So I want to start this diary from the very start. And from the very start, Mass Effect is very clear about one thing.

Shepard is special. (more…)

Fighting Futility with Bloodborne

Fighting Futility with Bloodborne

I don’t exactly remember when I picked up Bloodborne. Like a dream, worn-out memories hang at the edge of consciousness to the point that if you told me one day it had appeared on my shelf with no explanation, I would believe you. The more likely explanation is that I purchase games to add to my library and swear I’ll get to them later. I know it appeared in my home near its release, and I tried a few fruitless hours to navigate the streets of Yharnam, only succeeding in defeating the Cleric Beast. While I wasn’t far into it, Bloodborne’s story did intrigue me; unlike Dark Souls, you’re not given much of a summary. Just tasked to go out and kill a few beasts since it’ll “do some good.” The answers within this city—of a mysterious illness and blood-as-medicine, of being called a “Hunter”—were yet to unfold.

The following essay discusses familial illness and contains spoilers for Bloodborne. (more…)

Pathfinder Second Edition: How Did We Get Here?

Pathfinder Second Edition: How Did We Get Here?

I’ve been playing tabletop RPGs for a long, long time. I started in the 1990s with DC Heroes by Mayfair Games (because of course I did) and pretty quickly moved into Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. But I didn’t get big into games until Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition came out in 2000. That’s when I really began to pore through rulebooks, both core and supplemental, and when I began to explore campaign settings. While I learned a lot about Faerûn and the Forgotten Realms, my heart truly belonged to Krynn and Dragonlance. (more…)

We Don’t Need a Flow State: Intentional Frustration in I Am Bread

We Don’t Need a Flow State: Intentional Frustration in I Am Bread

I first experienced an intentionally frustrating game when someone showed me QWOP in my freshman dorm room. I was relatively new to PC gaming, and some of my boyfriend’s rather unkind friends liked to poke fun at my lack of skill; I was probably presented with QWOP as a joke intended to frustrate me for their amusement. (more…)