Vincent Baker's Dogs in the Vineyard is an alternate history western role playing game centered around deeply religious frontier communities. Players are "God's Watchdogs" who move from settlement to settlement, well, settling disputes, as well as keeping the faith. Absolutely powerful within their communities, they are faced with difficult choices and drastic consequences.
Shock: Social Science Fiction is a role playing game about the "shocks" of future and culture. In a distant space opera, how to we interact? What issues matter (or don't)? Is it a world of sex, or a world of space battles? Distributed GMing. Multiple characters for every player. World building. Shock asks difficult questions. Designed by Joshua A.C. Newman.
Mouse Guard is a simple, elegant role playing system that easily tells the kinds of stories in the fantastic Mouse Guard comic. If you enjoy that comic, you will enjoy this rpg. If you haven't read that comic, you should probably start.
Mouse Guard involves turn taking, novel character creation, a mechanical cycle of seasons, and interesting character development. Challenges use a generic system that encourages clever storytelling and survival drama. It's a great game to play with children, but easily scratches an adult role playing itch.
MAGFest Gaming Intellectuals
Video Game Ethics
Every year, Scott and I attend MAGFest not just to lecture, but also to sit as panelists alongside the rest of the MAGFest "Gaming Intellectuals" on various gaming topics.
Is it truly ethical to design a game to be addictive, or is "addictiveness" simply a sign of good design? Do games change us in more ways than we might realize? Is regulation on the horizon (as we have already seen arising in Japan), a good idea, or even truly possible? How are games different from other media?