The History of Losing
PAX Australia 2014
I presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture covering, essentially, single player videogames. From Super Meat Boy to Silver Surfer, Don't Shit Your Pants to The Stanley Parable, Five Nights at Freddy's to Gone Home, I consider Narratives of Victory, and Narratives of Failure.
PAX Australia - How to Win
It seems obvious that, when playing a game of skill, one attempts to win. Interestingly, this is often not the case, and even skilled gamers rarely analyze to any real depth the underlying mechanics and strategy of a given game. By deconstructing the games we play, you too can make them far less fun for yourself and beat the everliving hell out of your friends. We'll hit the theory pretty heavily, but also specific examples from games like "Stratego," "Settlers of Catan," and even "Football."
Presented at the Penny Arcade Expo Australia 2014 on Friday in the Fruitbat Theatre.
PAX Australia 2013
Beyond Dungeons & Dragons
D&D is a great way to get into tabletop role playing games, and for most of us, it was our first foray into that world. As classic and dear to us as it is, however, it has certain limitations. If all you have is a hammer, then suddenly everything starts to look like a nail. Role playing systems are no different. The system that handles a raucous dungeon crawl is probably not well tuned for a cyberpunk procedural or modern romantic comedy.
GeekNights has flown here all the way from New York, and we'd love for you to join us for a discussion of the role mechanics play in role playing games. They have more of an effect than you might realize. If D&D was your first venture, then we're here to give you your next. Broaden your gaming horizons, flex your role-playing muscles, and learn what lies beyond Dungeons & Dragons.
This was performed at the first PAX Australia in 2013. Friday in the Wombat Theatre.
Luke Crane's Burning Wheel is the game that got us into tabletop roleplaying games that weren't for all intents and purposes Dungeons & Dragons. It exemplifies role playing games as idiogames. It is a system of conflict resolution that facilitates collaborative storytelling. It makes drama happen whether you want it to or not. Burning Wheel isn't for every gamer, nor for every game. But, if you want to play out a gritty, dramatic, medieval story, there are few games that serve the purpose so well.