Tag Archives: RPGs

What Is, What Should Be: An Open Letter to David Gaider

Dear Mr. Gaider, The following is a response to your blogpost regarding Trans* characters in the Dragon Age games. Let me begin by stating my position. I am, by all accounts, an unabashed BioWare fangirl and have been since the … Continue reading

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Fast Fingers, Brain Off: Hybrid Puzzle Games

A few years ago I bought Puzzle Quest on the Xbox 360. This was a terrible idea. If you’ve ever played Puzzle Quest, you know it isn’t a fast-paced game. It’s essentially a match three gems game, but with a … Continue reading

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(More Than) Moving Pictures: The Importance of Emotional Engagement in Games

When I was a kid, I loved all kinds of video games. What captivated me the most, however, was sprawling, epic JRPGs such as Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, and Xenogears. I was drawn into their larger-than-life … Continue reading

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Simple Machines: Legend of Grimrock and the Joys of Coherent Design

By Joseph Hilgard “Video games are one of the few remaining artforms where there is an empirical positive correlation between budget and quality.” – The single dumbest thing anybody said to me about video games, ever. Legend of Grimrock is … Continue reading

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Putting the “Role” in Role Playing Games

By definition, Role Playing Games feature gameplay that involves individuals who are each designated a specific role or function within a group. Whether you’re playing a tabletop RPG like Dungeons & Dragons, a single-player RPG like Baldur’s Gate, or an MMORPG like World of Warcraft, each individual avatar has a specific, contained, defined reason for being included in a party.

Leader, striker, controller. Tank, healer, DPS. These are the “primary” role definitions you find in most RPGs. The latter three are collectively known as the “holy trinity” of RPGs. All avatars may have secondary roles or abilities, such as trap finder, negotiator, tracker, pack mule, etc, but by and large their abilities are linked to their primary role definition. A ranger is better equipped to understand nature and a rogue is better equipped to steal or disarm traps, for example.

I argue that there is a link between the massive popularity of RPGs and the way many of us understand our place in the world. Continue reading

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Illusionists of Choice: Design, Critique, and When Choice Matters

by Edcrab So you have slaughtered or snuck past hordes of robot orcs and you’re deep in the fortress of the Last Level, with magma pools and electrified drill ceilings and a worrying lack of handrails and fire extinguishers. You … Continue reading

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