Why I Game: Gaming Helps Me Tell Stories

Why I Game: Gaming Helps Me Tell Stories

2017 was a long, brutal year. On top of political strife, industry shenanigans, and personal/professional chaos, it was also the first full calendar year I spent out of school and thus removed from automatic contact with a big group of my friends. But in the last few months, games not only gave me an explicit reason to reach out and connect with a group of people whose company I cherish, but also an outlet to explore stories I would never otherwise have told.

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Let Me Tell You About My…PC? Character? OC.

Let Me Tell You About My…PC? Character? OC.

Tabletop games run on characters. Players have characters, the GM has characters, and occasionally even the system deposits characters into the game because … world building. Depending on the game, these characters might have varying degrees of depth. I’ve played in games where the characters were loose flavor text tossed on top of a carefully balanced stack of skills, and I’ve played in games where characters’ rich backstories, personal goals, and distinctive personalities drove play.

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Roleplaying Games as Personal, Emotional Challenges

Before I gave them a try, all I knew about roleplaying games (RPGs) was the tropes I saw on TV: a game master (GM) sitting behind a trifold with I-don’t-even-know-what printed on it, players mouth-breathing and rolling twenty-sided dice, Tolkien-esque orcs, machismo-heavy dwarves, sexy elves, and players responding with cheers or groans to tell those watching the cartoon whether the story within a story was going well or poorly. At its best, this was disinteresting; at its worst it was arbitrary (GMs deciding outcomes based on unknown mechanics), crude (killing monsters to level up and get coins), and sexist (damsels in distress within the narrative, and no non-male players).

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I Got Into Competitive Card Games Through Fanfic

Some of the best fanfiction in the world is the kind that explores an author’s Very Special Interest. I’ve read novel-length fanfiction that puts characters in competitive whitewater kayaking communities, hyper-realistic coffee shops, real-life academic programs, localized bike repair shops, and more. The level of detail put into these stories is truly staggering, and, for some, it’s too much.

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10 Card Games to Try from Gen Con 50

Gen Con in Indianapolis, Indiana is known as the four best days in gaming. On August 19th through 20th, companies showcased their best new games to over 200,000 attendees at the 50th anniversary of the tabletop convention. Below is a list of ten new and exciting card games that were demoed, previewed, and sold at Gen Con.

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