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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Gaming Session: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, April 7, 2022

We made it partway through the second Moria mission on Thursday, ending with a glorious defeat of a cave troll; we’ll continue our quest this coming Thursday as well. (Voice chat over Discord at 8:30pm EDT / 7:30pm CDT / 5:30pm PDT, game play on DragnCards.)

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Gaming Session: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, March 31, 2022

We’re continuing our exploration of Moria in the Lord of the Rings card game. Thursday at 8:30pm EST / 7:30pm CST / 5:30pm PST, voice chat over Discord, gameplay on DragnCards.

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Symposium: Psychonauts 2, March 3, 2022

Psychonauts 2 (2021) is the long-awaited sequel to the initially commercial unsuccessful but critically praised game, Psyhonauts (2005). With nearly 16 years between the two, each presents very different approaches to level design, gameplay accessibility, and platformer combat. The second is clearly an echo of the first, but much of the in-game mechanics have been updated for 2021 sensibilities for how encounters should work and with much more attention, for example, to more options for in-game items for health recovery for combat planning and anticipation by the player.

Let’s consider the following questions in regard to Psychonauts 2:

  • One of the more noticeable changes from Psyhonauts (2005) to Psychonauts 2 (2021) is the introduction of additional healing options and items. When playing Psychonauts 2 (2021), did you plan out possible encounters by buying items in anticipation of difficulty? Did you use items? Stockpile them?
  • While the first game was able to dig into the minds of characters using a more metaphorical approach (i.e. carrying items to “become” a persona in the infamous Milkman level), Psychonauts 2 (2021) leaned more heavily into using the perception of space with non-Euclidean geometry and spatial awe. Are the different approaches more a reflection of a bigger budget or from, in part, changing expectations of a 2021 audience? How affective did you find each? Why?
  • One of the central themes of both games is the processing of trauma through community and the idea of finding a place that fits you. How effective did you find the comparison of Raz’s family as compared to the base of the Psychonauts?
  • Bonus: The first game ends with trying to process patriarchal violence and trauma via the Meat Circus level. However, the second game leans much more into queer and feminine spaces. If the spaces are reflection of our assumptions about how people understand (or fail to understand) themselves, what can we infer about the expanded set of experiences the second game draws from? Is this a balancing away from the focus on fathers of the first game, meeting the expectations of a more diverse audience, or a little bit of both?

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: The Card Game, February 24, 2022

We’re continuing to play the Lord of the Rings card game this week; gameplay on Dragncards, voice chat on Discord. 8:30pm EST, 7:30pm CST, 5:30pm PST.

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Symposium: Disco Elysium, February 3, 2022

For February, the game we’ll discuss is Disco Elysium. Personally, I’ve been thinking most about how an RPG behaves with no combat (but with tons of non-combat stat checks). But I imagine that we’ll also have a lot to say about the narrative of the 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: The Card Game, January 27, 2022

We’ve been enjoying talking about the Lord of the Rings card game recently, and we think that Dragncards should let us play together online, so we’re going to try that out. The regular time: Thursday at 8:30pm EST / 7:30pm CST / 5:30pm PST.

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