Gaming Session: Farewell to Minecraft, December 31, 2020

We’ve been building on our current Minecraft server pretty much monthly since December 2010; it’s been a good decade, but our energy levels are flagging a bit, so we’ve decided to declare victory. The saved data isn’t going anywhere, so we’ll have the option to continue later if we want, but for now, this will be the last of our regular monthly sessions.

It’ll be at the usual time: December 31, 8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST, voice chat over discord.

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Symposium playversation: Arkham Horror: The Card Game, part 2, 1 December 2020

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In my first foray into playversing about AHLCG, I think I managed to make clear how the basic mechanics of the LCG genre provide a fascinating platform for blended linear and emergent storytelling. Above all, the confrontation of player deck with encounter deck and chaos bag seemed to prove a source of interest, especially with respect to the ancient epic tradition that’s always my touchstone.

This time, I’ll play the second scenario of the core set, The Midnight Masks, solo on OCTGN over Twitch. I’ll discuss how the individual mechanics of the scenario interact with the core mechanics of the game, and I’ll attempt a comparison with the epic mechanics of different episodes (oimai, in the homeric bards own terminology) of Iliad and Odyssey.

Conversation on Discord, game-streaming via OCTGN on twitch.tv/8mph1. 8:30 EDT, 7:30 CDT, 5:30 PDT.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, November 19, 2020

Because of Thanksgiving, we’re moving Minecraft up a week, so we’ll do it this Thursday. Usual time: 8:30 EST / 7:30 CST / 5:30 PST.

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Symposium, November 5th: Hades

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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 an exemplar for episodic storytelling. There are numerous touchstones and influences throughout Hades, but the cues that it takes from the cross-run narratives of Shiren the Wanderer and the social links of Persona are instrumental in setting this game apart in an era of procedural generation.

If the gods are willing, we will find Elysium in our discussion on Discord this Thursday at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT. Of course, should we fail, we can always try (and try (and try)) again!

Supplemental Material:

Black Athena: How Hades Got Its Gods Right (Kotaku) by Ash Parrish
How Hades Makes The Case For Failure (Paste) by Holly Green
Hades Gets The Queer Love Story Right With Achilles and Patroclus (PCGamesN) by Jeremy Signor

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, October 29, 2020

Minecraft this week! Thursday at 8:30 EDT / 7:30 CDT / 5:30 PDT.

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Symposium: Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Oct 1, 2020

We’re talking about Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition (2012) this month. Although originally released in 1998, the Enhanced Edition is now the main entry-point to the game and its series for current audiences.

Let’s talk about its success — and failures — in trying to capture tabletop RPG mechanics, its location-based narrative structure, and its major influence on user interface design. Let’s compare how it, and Fallout (1997), have defined how role-playing games should look and feel like, examining how echoes of its design can be seen in everything from Pillars of Eternity (2015) to The Outer Worlds (2019).

Thursday at 8:30 EDT / 7:30 CDT / 5:30 PDT.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, September 24, 2020

Minecraft on Thursday! 8:30pm EDT / 7:30pm CDT / 5:30pm PDT.

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Symposium: Death Stranding, September 3, 2020

We’re talking about Death Stranding this month; I’ll be leading the discussion. I’d like to explore the pleasures of traversal, building, and helping.  And I’d like to explore what it means for a game to be so very much its own thing.

Thursday at 8:30 EDT / 7:30 CDT / 5:30 PDT.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, August 27, 2020

Minecraft this Thursday! 8:30 EDT, 7:30 CDT, 5:30 PDT.

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Symposium: Animal Crossing, August 6, 2020

This month, we’re going to be talking about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, with Ariel leading the discussion.  From Ariel:

This month’s symposium is on how the latest Animal Crossing has pulled in aspects from mobile gaming, including monthly events, daily rewards, and incorporating a literal smartphone as part of the interface.

As usual, we’ll talk over Discord: 8:30 EDT, 7:30 CDT, 5:30 PDT.

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