Author Archives: Steve Gillham

Symposium, July 1st: The Crew

When someone thinks of the final frontier, I’m reasonably sure that trick-taking card games are not the first thing that come to mind. And yet, with its clever unraveling of a Legacy-style game narrative structure, the simplicities of Thomas Sing’s … Continue reading

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Gaming Session: The Crew (June 24th, 2021)

In preparation of our July symposium on The Crew, we’re going to come together to take an inaugural flight with the game on Board Game Arena. 8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST, with interstellar transmissions provided by Discord voice chat.

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Symposium, March 4th: Crusader Kings II and III

It would be easy to take one look at the byzantine UI prompts and the arcane systems of territorial stewardship in Crusader Kings and conclude that the game was a purely abstract exercise, a grand strategy game far too grand … Continue reading

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Symposium, November 5th: Hades

When we first talked about the possibility of discussing Hades for a symposium, I figured we would be talking about the game’s success as a roguelike, but I did not anticipate how appropriate it would be to discuss it as … Continue reading

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Symposium, May 7th: Kentucky Route Zero

EMILY: (To Ben) One of the first uses of the term grotesque to denote a literary genre is in Montaigne’s Essays. The Grotesque is often linked with satire and tragicomedy. It is an effective artistic means to convey grief and … Continue reading

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Symposium, November 7th: Slay the Spire and Magic: The Gathering

As we’ve made our way through various roguelikes in symposiums past, we’ve often discussed how discovery of their mechanics is one of the genre’s most satisfying rewards. Deckbuilders and collectible card games operate within a similar design space, but they … Continue reading

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Symposium, June 6th: Oikospiel (Book I)

What is surrealism in video games? Is it the subversion of expository traditions through ludic conventions? Is it the perversion of ludic conventions for expository effect? Is it a five-act dog opera? We’ll discuss the meaning of Oikospiel, the means … Continue reading

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Symposium – January 3rd, 2019: Into the Breach

It was nearly half a decade ago when we played Subset Games’ first release, FTL, and discussed its capacity for player-created narrative. The intervening years have seen a great deal of change, especially with regards to the prevalence of procedural … Continue reading

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Symposium, August 2nd: Earthbound and Faith in Video Games

One of the earliest pieces of “serious” games criticism that I can remember reading on the internet was a sprawl of text from Tim Rogers about Earthbound, a role-playing game released for the Super Nintendo in 1995. Pinballing wildly from … Continue reading

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Symposium, February 1st: Universal Paperclips (and Incremental Games)

Everything. Everything in its right place. The system has a task. A task and a purpose. For incremental games like Universal Paperclips, that task and that purpose becomes our own as we become both the rules of the system and … Continue reading

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