The Art and Play of Collecting

The Art and Play of Collecting

There was a moment early in the pandemic when I decided I would become someone who could identify birds. At the lake in my local park, I recognized mallards, swans, and some kind of crane, but the trees were full of birds I couldn’t name: tiny black and white striped ones that hopped and whistled, soft gray ones that sang sweetly, blackbirds with bright red racing stripes on their wings. I started taking notes and realized, with a jolt, that I was birding. (more…)

Character Creators, Fatness, Gender, Body Horror, and Me

Character Creators, Fatness, Gender, Body Horror, and Me

I’ve been uncomfortably conscious of my body since a pretty young age. When it came to food, I was a fussy child, which resulted in me being overweight. In turn, adults would feel like they were entitled to comment on my body. I have a specific memory of eating a Yorkie (a plain chocolate bar, for non-UK readers) and a stranger harassing me on the street about it. My school’s principals once contacted some form of authority, I can’t remember which, about my fussy eating, which in hindsight broke some serious boundaries. The doctors weren’t even concerned, as other than being overweight I had no serious health issues. But everyone else always had problems with my body. (more…)

Let Me Tell You About My OC: The Shared Anxieties of a Long-Time Storyteller

Let Me Tell You About My OC: The Shared Anxieties of a Long-Time Storyteller

As an indie comic artist and visual storyteller, I’m used to creating characters with complex backstories and edgy personalities. But none have been so strange and intriguing as that of Laurus Francoeur, my latest creation and member of my friend group’s first Wanderhome game. (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…)

Six Days In Fallujah Is Just More of the Same

Six Days In Fallujah Is Just More of the Same

It’s not unusual for games—which are challenging and time-consuming to develop even under ideal circumstances—to undergo lengthy, decade-spanning development cycles. One of the most recent games to emerge from development hell is Six Days in Fallujah, which is less notable for the length of its development cycle than the political messaging at its core. (more…)