Invasion Tactics

Somewhere right now there’s a guest author at some university telling an enthralled gathering of undergrad wannabes “all stories are conflicts.” That isn’t true, but fiction in European, expansionist traditions treats conflict as the foundation of storytelling. Of course stories can and do exist without conflict, especially outside the aforementioned traditions (“The significance of plot … Continue reading Invasion Tactics

Expeditions Conquistador and Post-Imperial Arrogance

[Originally posted on The Border House] It’s no secret there’s a not-so-subtle undertone of colonialism in a lot of games, particularly in strategy games. Eador: Masters of the Broken World has the player reorganize the universe into its “proper” state by conquering every available territory in the game (Filipowich, Mark. “Eador: Masters of the Broken … Continue reading Expeditions Conquistador and Post-Imperial Arrogance

Gaming the Dice: How Randomness Contributes to Game Experiences

[Originally posted on PopMatters] There’s a story to Risk and Settlers of Catan and Monopoly but not in the games themselves. Sure, there’s an identifiable setting that makes them more than flat pieces of cardboard—the unconquered world, the geological absurdity that is Catan island, Britain street(?)—and the point of these games is to become emotionally engaged … Continue reading Gaming the Dice: How Randomness Contributes to Game Experiences

To Explore or Conquer: Colonialism in Expeditions Conquistador

[Originally posted on PopMatters] When characters in Expeditions Conquistador talk about savages and slaves, they aren’t talking about monsters, androids, aliens, elves, mages, demi-humans, mutants or zombies like other games that approach colonial themes. Expeditions Conquistador is talking about actual people that were actually dehumanized, kidnapped, and forced to work themselves to death. And the game … Continue reading To Explore or Conquer: Colonialism in Expeditions Conquistador