So, I really haven’t posted much in quite a while, but I’ve missed my little blog, so I’m making an effort to come back.
I’ve been playing a lot of tabletop RPGs recently, so I think I’d like to write about that. And while I’d like to share my experiences of playing different systems and settings, I’d like to talk about world building, and the shared experience of playing and creating stories together.
Beyond that, I’ve been feeling like I don’t know what I would write about here. Life has been kind of busy, and it’s left me with not as much time to play games. And so I end up feeling like, maybe I don’t have anything to say? So maybe I’m experiencing writer’s fear, rather than writer’s block. But writing is fun, and remembering that is worth more than writing something “relevant”.
Anyway, I’m back and I’ll see you around.
Hi – I’m still here!
I haven’t posted anything…uhh all month, for one reason or another. I’ve been busy with work, not feeling well, and feeling pretty uninspired to be honest. I thought taking a break and putting nothing up was better than shitting out something for the sake of it.
Anyway I have a Throwback Thursday for tomorrow, so expect that. I also started working on a visual essay on Novigrad from the Witcher 3 but I’m unsure what direction it’s going in – it feels like 5 different ones at once! So that will maybe be up at some point and I should (hopefully) (maybe) get back into posting regularly again. So see you then!
While playing Fallout 4, I’ve been left with the feeling that, for a game that is purportedly about the effects of war, there was little real depth to it. This War of Mine (free on Playstation Plus for January) is the exact opposite, and probably has the emotional impact Fallout wishes it did.
This War of Mine was inspired by the Siege of Sarajevo during the 90s – this was the longest siege of a city in modern warfare, lasting almost 4 years or 1,425 long days. It’s estimated that over 5,000 civilians died during this time. Sarajevo was blockaded, limiting food and supplies entering the city, and under constant shelling. Snipers set up around the city making movement difficult and dangerous for citizens. I cannot image living day to day for years in a city where this was the norm.
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Over a series of blog posts I’ve been exploring the role of faith (religious and secular) in the world of Dark Souls, which you can find under the tag Faith in Dark Souls. Continuing on similar themes, I’d like to take a moment to turn to Bloodborne and examine the way faith works in its world.
Hunters have told me about the church. About the gods, and their love. But… do the gods love their creations? I am a doll, created by you humans. Would you ever think to love me? Of course… I do love you. Isn’t that how you made me?
Bloodborne inhabits a world very different to the high fantasy of the Dark Souls series. Instead of dragons and divine power, Bloodborne gives us a Victorian, urban setting, complete with Lovecraftian Old Ones. Symbols of faith and religion play a prominent role in this world – central to Yharnam and its current crisis is the Healing Church. This religion functions differently to the way, say, The Way of the White functioned in Dark Souls. Rather than specifically look at religion, I’d like to examine faith in institutions in Yharnam.
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Fallout is fond of the soundbite “war never changes”, using it as something of a catchphrase for the franchise. But to what extent is this true? And how far is this just an empty phrase, a rhetoric device to make a game full of meaningless violence seem deep.
I will be upfront – I have a problem with Fallout. I don’t exactly know what that problem is. I have logged a good amount of hours in New Vegas and found it alright, but I haven’t picked it up in a while. I do prefer it to its sequel Fallout 4, a game that I’m wrestling with at the moment. I think this is my third attempt to get into the title, and while I’m making more progress that I have previously, I am aware of the enormous distance that exists between me and the game. Like I said I’m unsure why I’m not connecting with this series when everyone around me is replaying it for the hundredth time. This has caused me to scrutinise Fallout perhaps more keenly than I usually would in an attempt to discover the source of my discontent. So while I don’t think that negates any of my criticisms of the game, I do think it should signal to die hards that I’m not on the same hype train as you.
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Tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons are becoming cool these days, or at least they’re being viewed as more acceptable and less niche that they once were. I’ve been listening to The Adventure Zone almost non-stop for the last month, and it’s shown me a side to D&D I didn’t think existed. The McElroys make tabletop gaming humorous, irreverent, and most importantly fun. So with this is mind I decided I wanted to try my hand at roll playing games.
Lacking enough irl friends willing to play with me, I turned to Roll20, a website that allows tabletop games to be played online easily with others. Pretty quickly I managed to find a newbie friendly game of Dungeon World, which we played over 3 1/2 hours yesterday.
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When you look back on games 2016 what will define the year for you? What will have an impact on the gaming communities in 2017 and beyond. In this end of year list I try to re-visit these moments and more:
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