Friendship, Intimacy, and Play-by-Post Roleplaying

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Earlier this year, Shawn Dorey (2017) wrote a piece for First Person Scholar on play-by-post roleplaying (PBPRP), which is broadly defined as a form of text-based online roleplaying. In this activity, participants take on the role of specific characters and take turns contributing to the creation of a fictional world through narrative storytelling. Sometimes the world and characters are based on existing media, but all the writing is expected to be original. In her article on Livejournal roleplaying, Sarah Wanenchak (2010) provides a detailed description of PBPRP and observes that this kind of activity “is not a ‘game’ by the most traditional definition: there is no ultimate goal and no system of points, and the focus is on the creation and development of an ongoing story” (para. 18). Since, as she states, “[g]ameplay takes the form of written narrative in the style of traditional fiction[,]” this activity is often thought of as “collaborative writing” rather than playing a game (para. 18). However, Dorey sees the socialization involved in this type of roleplaying “as a form of metagaming” and argues that navigating through the rules, plot, and social hierarchies “functioned a lot more like playing a game than simply participating in collaborative writing” (para. 3). In short, Dorey argues that PBPRP is a game and that the contributors are players. Continue Reading

Play By Post Roleplay

Where Player Becomes Designer and Designer Becomes Player

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Recently, I have gotten back into the habit of online roleplaying. When I say online roleplaying, I do not mean playing Dungeons and Dragons online or MUDs, MMORPGs, etc. No, I am referring to the natural evolution of playing Pokemon, or Digimon, or various other shows or games on the playground at school. I am talking about the act of taking the role of a character, and implanting them into an imaginary world that may or may not be based on some greater metafiction. I am talking about using the power of prose to bring these worlds to life through lush description and carefully implemented dialogue. I am talking about Play by Post Roleplaying (PBPRP). Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 16

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This month, for a special Valentine’s day episode of the First Person Podcast, we discuss the hit mobile dating sim, Mystic Messenger! We discuss some of our experiences playing the game and have some general discussion about dating sims. How do you choose routes in dating sims? Who does the genre appeal to and what are its audience limitations? What kind of relationships are portrayed in dating sims? Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 15

Get Decked

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This month’s podcast is all about card games. We discuss everything from collectible card games (CCGs) like Magic the Gathering, to living card games (LCGs) like Android: Netrunner, to deckbuilding games like Ascension, and digital card games like Hearthstone. Why has this genre of game endured? What are the differences between the different business models? Which games have we been currently playing and which are the ones we had more time (and money) to play? Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 13

Pigeon is a Verb: Recent Trends in First Person Shooters

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This month we talk the latest trends in First Person Shooters with Rob, Chris, Shawn and Pierson with a focus on the games Titanfall 2, Doom, Battlefield One and Overwatch and I swear I only mention D.Va once! We focus on the narratives by first talking about how we as academics dedicate our time to story modes in games. What are some of the popular narratives in first person shooters and what is experiential difference between the stories we tell about gameplay? Do first person shooters need a single player campaign at all? This and pigeons in this months podcast. Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 11

Procedurally Generated Feels: No Man's Sky

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In this first episode of the term, we discuss the highly controversial game No Man’s Sky. We go in depth with the early and more recent marketing of the game and how Hello Game’s relationship with Sony helped and hindered the development process of the game. We also talk about our personal experiences with the game, how the procedurality is executed in comparison to similar games. We close out the episode with a discussion about how games scholars and media archeologists might want to approach a game like this. Continue Reading