Techdirt Podcast Episode 147: Games That Tell Stories

from the the-play's-the-thing dept

Gaming is changing the nature of storytelling. Video games of course — but also the modern rise of board games, tabletop RPGs and other forms of analog gaming. A good game does more than just arbitrarily pair play with a veneer of narrative, it marries the mechanics and the theme to enable interesting new ways of conveying and exploring complex ideas. This week, we’re joined by game designer Randy Lubin to discuss how games can tell stories in a way nothing else can.

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Comments on “Techdirt Podcast Episode 147: Games That Tell Stories”

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Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

I was amused to hear some of the talk about how no one ends up enjoying Risk.

A few years back, a group of friends of mine had a weekly game. We’d get together once a week and play Risk, maybe even more than once if there was time. It was a bunch of brutal combat, but we enjoyed it and kept things light-hearted by cracking silly jokes throughout. (One of the best memories is of a time when I, through massive good luck, managed to keep an entire invading army out of South America with a single defender in Brazil. After my opponent wasted a few too many units on this guy, I just started yelling "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" every time he decided to try again. Had everyone laughing.)

But I think my best memory of playing Risk came the time when I did something else your podcast said you can’t do. I was over at a friend’s place, and the adults and a few of the older kids were playing Risk. It quickly became apparent that the dad was in the strongest position, and I was second-strongest but I couldn’t take him on and also worry about the other players. So I negotiated an alliance with his daughter, who was next to my territory: we don’t attack each other, and we end up winning together.

The dad got soooooo mad because we were "doing it wrong," but we ended up playing the whole game through without either of us backstabbing the other, and in the end we declared a joint victory. It can be done; you just need to think outside the box a little.

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