Symposium: Tunic, August 4, 2022

Tunic (2022)

Tunic (2022) revels in nostalgia. Playing the game, it is hard not to see echoes of the past from previous titles like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991) and Dark Souls (2011). It is a game purposely trying to recreate an experience from a pre-Internet time in gaming where the only information a player had was an instruction manual and whatever could be gleamed from talking to others about what they too had seen. Featuring an in-game system where the player learns more about what the character is capable of from pages in a booklet positioned in a liminal space between diegetic (the character discovers pages in-world) and non-diegetic (the player learns how to better navigate spaces from the representation of physical marks in the digital booklet), Tunic (2022) plays with how paratexts (“feelies”) interact with games. The text of the game is a paratext onto itself, layering more explicit instructions on top of in-game, implicit discovery by the player.

While there is much to talk about around how the game faithfully (or not) pulls tropes from previous The Legend of Zelda titles in its use of swords, shields, and in-game combat, my interest is in its approach to pedagogy. How well does the game teach? What did you learn through experimentation, and what did you learn from reading the in-game booklet? How did the two interact for you? Did you learn the “golden cross” from the game or from the booklet?

Some additional questions to consider:

  • Did you use the accessibility system to make combat easier? (I certainly did!)
  • Did you learn any of the advanced secrets with the golden cross?
  • How did you feel about the different layers of story: as presented in the booklet, as revealed by the game (the source of the “pillars,” for example), and the ongoing journey of the confrontation between parent and child figures?

The usual time and place: 8:30pm EDT / 7:30pm CDT / 5:30pm PDT, voice chat on Discord.

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Gaming Session: LotR Card Game, July 28, 2022

More LotR today; we’ll decide depending on who’s there as to whether to continue an existing game or start a new one. Usual time/place, gameplay on Dragncards.

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Symposium: The Forgotten City, July 7, 2022

For our July symposium, we’re discussing The Forgotten City. I’d like to relate that to our recent discussion of time loop games, and in particular to talk about the game’s affordances for that sort of puzzle. And talking about Roman stuff is always good, too.

The usual time and place: 8:30pm EDT / 7:30pm CDT / 5:30pm PDT, voice chat on Discord.

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Gaming Session: LotR Card Game, June 23, 2022

We’ll try to make more progress escaping from Moria this Thursday.

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Gaming Session: LotR Card Game, June 16, 2022

We’ll play the LotR Card game on Thursday; I think the plan is to try to escape from Moria again? At least hopefully we will; I’m on my iPad, we’ll see how well DragnCards works there. (I do have a keyboard connected to it, at least.) And I’ve just finished rereading the books, so at least I’m more caught up on my lore now….

8:30pm EDT / 7:30 CDT / 5:30 PDT.

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Symposium, June 2nd – Majora’s Mask

Like a Groundhog Day gone wrong, we will relive and relearn the recurring nightmare of Termina in Majora’s Mask and explore just how far one of gaming’s most beloved franchises is willing to dive into existential despair.

It’s dangerous to go alone, so we will meet on Thursday at 8:30 EDT / 7:30 CDT / 5:30 PDT, with voice chat over Discord.

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Gaming Session: The Lord of the Rings Card Game,  May 26, 2022

More Lord of the Rings Card Game this month. I think the plan is to take another swing at the third Moria battle; we failed miserably at it last month, maybe we’ll do better this time? (Probably not, though…)

Voice chat over Discord, gameplay on Dragncards, 8:30pm EDT / 7:30pm CDT / 5:30pm PDT.

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Symposium 5 May 2022: Elden Ring

Really I just want to hear everyone else talk about any/all of the following:

  • What specific characteristics of the game set it up for discussion as “the greatest video game of all time”?
  • Is the lore intentionally impenetrable? What comparisons can we make with the lore of other storyworlds and/or on other platforms?
  • What are the affordances of the game for various kinds of player-performers?
  • What role does virtuosity play in the discourse of the game and around the game, and/or in the performances of individual player-performers (and kinds of player-performers)?
  • What characteristics does it share with Flip Flop Solitaire, Paradise Lost, jazz, Spelunky, and the Platonic Form of the Living Card Game?

We’ll meet at the usual time: Thursday at 8:30pm EST / 7:30pm CST / 5:30pm PST.

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Gaming Session: The Lord of the Rings Card Game, April 28, 2022

More Lord of the Rings this week; I think our plan is to keep going in Moria? 8:30pm PDT / 7:30 CDT / 5:30 PDT, voice chat on Discord, gameplay on Dragncards.

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Gaming Session: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, April 14, 2022

Our LotR game fell through last Thursday, so we’ll try again this Thursday. (Voice chat over Discord at 8:30pm EDT / 7:30pm CDT / 5:30pm PDT, game play on DragnCards.)

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