Women’s role in the gaming industry is part of a greater conversation about gender roles and stereotypes in the scientific, techie and geek spheres. These fields are often said to be dominated by men. But are they really?
As the discussion continued, participants organized the tweets with the #1ReasonWhy hashtag. Grievances were aired, issues were discussed, and the tag started getting more and more attention.
I loved how the hashtag #1reasonmentors grew out of this conversation but had to wince as the coverage, over several news sources always name-checked Luke but rarely named the hashtag’s creator, Filamena Young, who turned a well-meaning and earnest question into a valuable and eye-opening public conversation. It is almost as if the media all around us is trained to turn narratives into stories about men.
Over the course of the game, I reconnected with an old friend, betrayed her trust, and gained it again during a crisis. I forged a close but suspicious bond with a fellow practitioner of realpolitik: she was a member of a survivalist group critical of government policy; I was a career soldier who worried the US was failing. I wanted her respect, and every time the game’s events put a wall between us, I tried to overcome it. But when the game ended, it all disappeared. She wasn’t a well-armed anarcho-syndicalist, and I wasn’t a disillusioned officer. Where did that leave us? When we said something to each other, how did we bridge the gap between who we really were and who we’d just pretended to be?
Tempo is a book on decision-making and how our built in sense of narrative affects our choices. The part I’m on now discusses what Rao calls the “deep story” which I think applies particularly well to long-term creative projects. The way the project flows is something like this:
– Initial burst of energy on the project
– Gradual decrease in energy and resources over time as it’s expended on the project
– Final push, do-or-die moment
It’s a familiar process for me with regards to my work on The Final Girl and Cold Soldier, but what I found interesting about Rao’s take on it is that final step.
Originally, Marvel was planning to reveal a brand new villain in the pages of issue 7 of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s amazing “Hawkeye” series, but in light of the destruction and devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the company decided to push back its regularly scheduled programming to bring a special hurricane relief-themed issue.
In which one of my favorite current comic books helps with Sandy Relief.
“Perhaps one of the zombies struck the sense from your head? Can I open it? I? Am I not a peerless gilt? You may as well ask can a whore hump, or can a wizard dissemble. These are things intrinsic to their nature. Can I open it? Hmph.”
“There you are,” said Egil, ignoring Nix’s tirade. He brandished a sliver of bloody stone he’d plucked from a small gash in his left thigh and squinted up at Nix, brown eyes all innocence. “You were saying something about a wizard humping locks?”
We were once the greatest endurance runners on earth. We didn’t have fangs, claws, strength or speed, but the springiness of our legs and our unrivaled ability to cool our bodies by sweating rather than panting enabled humans to chase prey until it dropped from heat exhaustion. Some speculate that collaboration on such hunts led to language, then shared technology.
At the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego I had someone say to me, “Look, no offense intended, but you’re a midlist author, and you’ve made that work for you.” The remark was made in the context of a discussion of digital publishing. The speaker’s point was that midlist authors, if they are going to survive, are going to make a transition into being either purely independent authors, or some hybrid where they have some traditional contracts and do indie publishing on the side.
What do people reckon is the best value for buck in terms of preparation for GMing a session?
At the moment Im thinking its working on a cast of NPCs and their motivations and goals.
But Im interested in hearing otherwise, or ‘yes and…‘
And I was all like…I dunno:
It really depends on the game. This has become an impossible question to answer without knowing what game you’re playing, what the game is trying to accomplish and the tools it provides.
And he was all like, what:
How do you mean?
And I was all like, does this work:
I use the tools the game hands me. If the game doesn’t hand me tools, I probably won’t be playing it long.
Burning Wheel hands me the players’ beliefs, instincts, relationships, reputations, affiliations and traits all crossed up with the campaign’s situation. Those are the things I’m day-dreaming about as I think about the game, as I burn up monsters or NPC’s.
Sorcerer hands me kickers, demons and everything on the back of the character sheet.
Apocalypse World hands me MC moves, threats/fronts and all of the little descriptors in the playbooks.
Houses of the Blooded has aspects, family, domain/seasonal complications.
So, when you ask what the best practice is for doing prep as a GM, I say that best practice for me is to choose one’s system wisely so that the tools the game puts on the table helps us all have a solid game.
Oh, so cool. I love it when a thread isn’t just kvetching or even just sharing but opening online space for everyone to be creative and contribute to something that could very well make a game a cooler place.
Check it out if you want to know what happens when you:
…eat the weird thing that’s put before you
…areabruptly awoken from stasis,
…plug the fresh brain into the machine
…enter The Labyrinth in search of answers
…brazenly drive through on of Victor’s road-blocks
…harvest trees in the Ghost Wood
…buy bullets from the Black Rider,
…deliver the baby
…use your insight into the world’s psychic maelstrom as a weapon
You know what’s gonna happen with Hip-Hop?
Whatever’s happening with us”
If we smoked out, Hip-Hop is gonna be smoked out
If we doin alright, Hip-Hop is gonna be doin alright
People talk about Hip-Hop like it’s some giant livin in the hillside
comin down to visit the townspeople
We (are) Hip-Hop
Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop
So Hip-Hop is goin where we goin
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is goin
ask yourself.. where am I goin? How am I doin?
Til you get a clear idea
So.. if Hip-Hop is about the people
and the.. Hip-Hop won’t get better until the people get better
then how do people get better? (Hmmmm…)
This is what I think in my mind
And this is what I say to them
And this is what I’m sayin, to you check it
Make games that you love. Make games because you are compelled to, because if they put you in jail, you’d write your game down on napkins and play it with crazy inmates.
Because the game design process: Write -> Playtest -> Revise -> Playtest -> Revise -> Edit -> Revise will grind any love you have for a project right out of you and if that kernel of love isn’t in there, you’ll put out a half-assed project before its done (SINFUL!) or leave it unfinished (which is fine!).
Don’t make games because you want to. Make games because you are compelled to, because you must.
Don’t mortgage your house to pay for the first printing. Go easy, go light, risk only what you can afford to lose and don’t, please don’t risk the house (unless you have 7 houses).
I am more than willing to answer any questions if you have ’em and I don’t know it all but I bet I can find someone will know the answer if/when you have them.
Let us not be fooled by either nostalgia or the utter charm of Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation—the original Clash of the Titans was not a very good movie. After seeing the remake, though, the 1981 film is like the Wild Strawberries of sword and sandal epics.
When, in a movie or TV show, the aliens arrive on Earth, or we meet them somewhere out in space, one thing is certain: whatever they’re supposed to represent, it’s not life on other worlds. Each genre has certain stock characters and situations which, in the hands of a master storyteller, can be used to turn a story into a work of art, or at least great entertainment. They can also be used to discuss things in a kind of code where facing it head on might be too heavy or controversial.
Let’s examine the text as if it were a Burning Wheel game.
Why does The Lady turn her eye to Croaker? She’s described as a demigod while he’s a physician and an amateur writer. She’s playing a deadly game against two cabals of deadly sorcerers while Croaker grumbles a lot as he has to perform his duty.