First Person Podcast Episode 40

Gaming Architecture

Architecture has an unspoken influence over how we navigate and interpret the games we play. So, we are going to talk about it. Today we are going to be taking a look at how the world of our favourite games has been constructed and how gaming architecture influences the game world, theming, and plot progression. On this episode you are joined by, Giuseppe Femia, the FPS Podcast Producer, Sabrina Sgandurra, our new Editor-in-Chief/Book Reviews Editor, Lia Black, our new Co-Managing Editor/Commentaries Editor, and Patrick Dolan, our other new Co-Managing Editor/Essays Editor. Continue Reading

The Scholar Class in the Tabletop Role-play Party

Scholars resemble bards in keeping records and providing commentary. But they also resemble clerics, in their beholdenness to another power. What do scholars of tabletop role-play bring back to the altar of the academy that scholars in other fields do not? Do they offer up only the knowledge of another topic, another land journeyed to? Not merely; an adventuring bard acquires a roguish dimension that a court minstrel does not, and a friar traverses territory that a monk could never read of. At the tabletop role-play party, a scholar is neither a preacher, spreading their news throughout the land, nor an inquisitor, assailing informants for data, but rather a bridge between two communities. Continue Reading

Skyrim as a Settler-Colonial Text

Skyrim is portrayed as the homeland of the Nords, the “master race” of the Third Empire, the ruling imperial power throughout the series. The entire historical framework of The Elder Scrolls games exists within the aftermath of a settler-colonial occupation of the continent of Tamriel: the Third Empire not only controlled all of Tamriel at its height, but occupied colonial territories on multiple continents, following a pattern of empires in the gameworld’s history that celebrated violent conquest, subjugation, and even genocide in their race for power. . The Third Empire, under the Septim Dynasty, most aggressively embodied this identity—pushing an idea of Skyrim as the Nordic fatherland of the human race, celebrating the legendary Atmorans as the progenitors of all humanity, and reveling in their identity as conquerors and occupiers of the mer, the most numerous native inhabitants of Tamriel. Continue Reading

A Short Stay In Station Square

Sonic Adventure makes me feel like the game is often asking me to suspend my disbelief, putting more effort in convincing me of its magnitude than detailing its nuances. It also seems to be asking me to keep my hands inside the ride most of the time, not letting me set my own pace. The game doesn’t seem to trust that I will enjoy it, so it tries to impress me again and again in order to manage my experience of it. Despite the developers’ intended experience, the actual experience is still enjoyable, even if some of that enjoyment is derived from a fascination with pushing up against its borders and boundaries. Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 39:

Monsters in Horror Games

First Person Podcast is getting ready for Halloween. On this episode you are joined by, Giuseppe Femia, the FPS Podcast Producer, Sabrina Sgandurra, our new Editor-in-Chief/Book Reviews Editor, Lia Black, our new Co-Managing Editor/Commentaries Editor, and Patrick Dolan, our other new Co-Managing Editor/Essays Editor. For the month of October, we will be looking at themes that are set up and explored through the game designer’s usage of monsters in the horror game genre. We will be giving our experience with how the monsters come off and what they signify while making sure that themes of mental health are handled respectfully. Continue Reading

Guiding the Immigrant God

Helper Characters in God of War

Kratos does not speak the languages of Midgard, nor can he read the runes that are found throughout different locations, but Atreus does. Atreus’s role in the game is more than a bow-and-arrow wielding sidekick. His affinity for the languages of his mother and his ability to understand runes allows him to help the player solve puzzles while also providing context and background information on the game’s lore. Cory Barlog, Creative Director at Santa Monica Studio, mentions in a Game Developers Conference talk that teaching is a key element in the narrative pillar. Just as Superman had friends and family to help educate him about Earthly ways—such as his adoptive parents, Lois Lane, and his recently introduced son Jonathan—Kratos teaches Atreus to be a god, and Atreus, in turn, teaches Kratos to be mortal. Continue Reading