Games Make All Of Us Storytellers

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One of my favorite characters of all time is Varric Tethras, rogue dwarf and expert storyteller from the Dragon Age universe. Depending on who you ask, Varric is a liar and a scoundrel—or the best friend anyone could hope for. He has a heart of gold and a sharp wit, and he talks way too much. For me, the hardest moment in any of the three massive Dragon Age games wasn’t fighting a high dragon or trying to defeat my archenemy or even collecting every single one of those awful shards. It was the moment when I made Varric sad. A video game character! In fact, I had to return to a previous save and do it all over—that story, the story where Varric was heartbroken, wasn’t the one I wanted to tell. Read More

Kids and Teens Love Playing with Identity in RPGs

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Teenagers, identity: these are two terms that often come into contact with each other. Once kids hit adolescence, they spend a lot of time trying to figure out who they are. If they’re anything like me, they go through a lot of strange fashion phases and begin to make declarations about Who They Are—even if those statements don’t really reflect what their parents have observed. Many of these changes are internal, of course, but when they manifest, they can be both confusing and lasting. Read More

male female commander shepard

Exploring Gender–Laura Kate Dale and Emmett Scout Weigh in on Oculus Rift and Roleplaying Games

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Games have been used to explore aspects of identity—from personality traits like bravery and leadership to more complex issues like gender identity. Roleplaying games like World of Warcraft have often been used to explore these issues, and with the rise of new technology like Oculus Rift we could see more interactive ways to explore gender identity. But are there limitations to the technology? Read More

LARPers

Games Unplugged: LARPing 101

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As a kid, I played games at recess that involved some very weird imaginary scenarios. There was one about a magical rainbow summer camp populated by giant spiders, and another one about a family that lived on the edge of a volcano. The family was constantly in danger of a grizzly death, but always escaped just in time. Read More