A Thousand and One Nights is an amazing indie role playing game that centers around a sultan's court. But, rather than merely playing the characters in this court, you play these characters who are THEMSELVES playing characters in stories they tell to pass the time.
This is a game where characters don't have strength stats: they have senses and aspects of envy. They have goals and desires. When you can't express your frustration with the court poet directly without angering the Sultan, you find yourself doing so indirectly in your story.
This is a game where you are expected to lounge and eat dates while you play. Atmosphere and storytelling are paramount. To be sure, this isn't Dungeons & Dragons.
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?
MAGFest 11 Gaming Intellectuals
Video Game Genres
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. This one, from MAGFest 11 (2013), explores the very idea of genre in videogames (and games in general).
When most people think of board games, they imagine Monopoly, LIFE, Candyland, Pop-o-Matic Trouble, or perhaps Risk: games primarily of luck. There are, however, board games of skill that you've likely never heard of. Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan may have appeared on the Xbox, but these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Moreso, despite playing a multitude of games, many people never really move beyond Candy Land. Sure, they're playing games that are (in theory) much more complex than Candy Land, but do they truly progress? Move up the ladder and explore the next level of gaming, game design, and play. These aren't the games you played as a child.
PAX Prime 2012: On the Ethics of Mind Control
At PAX Prime 2012, we presented three mini lectures as part of Short Subjects in Gaming on Friday in the Wolfman Theater.
"On the Ethics of Mind Control," the third and final of these, and discusses the possibly uncomfortable questions surrounding the ethical considerations of game design. 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, a good idea, or even possible? How are games different from other media (or are they different at all)?