March Roundtable: Time Travel

March Roundtable: Time Travel

Time, like most things, is a construct. But never have we been more aware of that fact than in 2022, which is simultaneously three years ago and six years from now. In light of occupying a strange, shifting period, this month we’re talking about time travel in games! What games do it well? What games do it poorly? And what can we learn from its inclusion? (more…)

November Roundtable: Food and Cooking in Games

November Roundtable: Food and Cooking in Games

We’re getting into hibernating season up here in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it’s time for feasting. The crops are ready for harvesting. The cornucopia is assembled. What are we eating (in games)?

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February Roundtable: Representations of Culture in Games

February Roundtable: Representations of Culture in Games

In 2020, we can all agree that representation is important. Having games from different cultures with characters of different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, abilities, and sexualities enriches the art form. But representation is only one hurdle to overcome—there’s more to diversity than visibility. For the month of February, the Sidequest crew is chatting about representations of culture, including what games get it right and what games have a ways to go. (more…)

Surviving in a Massively Multiplayer Online World

Surviving in a Massively Multiplayer Online World

Let’s face it: playing multiplayer video games sucks. You’re just here to have a good time, but you made the mistake of calling out your next move in voice chat, and now some dude has made it his mission to loudly denounce the fact that “girls can’t play video games” and everyone’s picking apart every little mistake you make and why do you even play this game again?

It’s a frustratingly common sight in online games if you’re often perceived as femme or feminine. One casual interaction that leaves your teammates thinking they know your gender and now you’re being whispered to take off your armor and make your character dance; someone you’ve never met before heard your voice in chat and now they want your Steam ID and Battle.net tag so they can “hang out sometime”; you’ve got some twelve-year-old on a mission to call you every gendered slur his prepubescent brain can cook up. I’ve been playing MMOs for the last 15 years and, let me tell you, I’ve really heard it all. (more…)

Diaries of a Horde Druid: The War of Thorns

Diaries of a Horde Druid: The War of Thorns

World of Warcraft‘s newest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, launches on August 14th. With the Legion vanquished, the Horde and the Alliance have decided that the best use of their newfound freedom from the constant threat of annihilation is to… fight each other. Again.

SIIIGH.

Let me get ahead of this with a disclaimer: I didn’t play Warcraft. The Horde vs. Alliance dynamic has never really mattered much to me and I often prefer storylines where the two decide to work together or at least tolerate each other. I sided with Horde initially because I liked their characters better, then stuck around when I read a bit more about the lore and the whole “orcs were slaves and kept in camps” bit. To me, the Horde has always stood for independence, acceptance, and freedom. There’s a camaraderie present in the Horde that I don’t find in the Alliance and I really, truly love the ragtag band of races that’ve partnered up to form the Horde. (more…)