Ludopolitics: Videogames Against Control

We’ve never lived in a better worse moment for politics in gaming. Worse in the sense that mass layoffs, union busting, and the leftover gg trash pockmark the landscape like a bad skincare routine, and best in that now is the moment where taking a stand is starting to show its payoff. Game Workers Unite is gaining steam, Queer indie devs and Queer Game Studies are making bigger impacts on the industry and academia, and theorizing the politics of games is a scaffolding taking the shape of a space in which we can all find room. Coeval to this dialectical change is Liam Mitchell’s Ludopolitics: Videogames Against Control published in 2018 by Zero Books.

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Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt Review

On entry the initial room is dimly lit with a glowing neon sign advertising the subject of the exhibition: Videogames. There is sufficient light to navigate and read but enough darkness so that each screen, projection, and CRT monitor pops with colour, drawing each visitor to its glow. The track ‘Nascence’ from the soundtrack of Journey puts the listener into a state of awe while around each corner more iconic videogame music entices further exploration. This is the space containing the V&A’s Design/Play/Disrupt exhibit.

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Charlotte GislamComment
The Vampire Interviews II - Justin Achilli

Justin Achilli led development of Vampire: the Masquerade and Vampire: the Requiem at the turn of the millennium, reinventing the groundbreaking tabletop RPG twice over. Both games represent the Vampire 'franchise’ at its most literary, as Achilli explained when interviewed during research for an upcoming textbook chapter on Vampire and its evolving Gothic…

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Jon Garrad Comment
The Vampire Interviews I: Olivia Hill

Olivia Hill - Tokyo-based video game producer, author and radical leftist - is also a veteran tabletop game designer, who I interviewed during the research process for an upcoming textbook chapter on the Vampire roleplaying games from White Wolf. Olivia’s responses roamed far across the process of developing tabletop games and the history of the Vampire line, and I share them here with her consent.

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Jon Garrad
Playing Smart

Playing Smart by Julian Togelius is the latest addition to MIT Press’s Playful Thinking Series. Readers familiar with the series will have an idea of what to expect – namely engaging, thought provoking, and fairly brief books.

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Scrabble Turns 70

Yesterday (16th December) was the 70th anniversary of the much-loved ‘Scrabble’. This anniversary corresponds to when its inventor, James Brunot first received the Trademark for the game: December the 16th 1948.However, Scrabble actually has a longer history than this date would suggest.

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Sam IllingworthComment
Tabletop Chemistry

As part of International Games Week, the MGSN worked with libraries in the North West and South West of the UK to deliver a series of activities that brought together tabletop games and chemistry.

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Sam IllingworthComment
Chester Gamescon

On Sunday 4th November, Storyhouse in Chester are organising their very own Gamescon. Taking place throughout the building as part of International Games Week, there is a games library of over 100 games free for people to play.

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Sam IllingworthComment
It's the End of the World as We Know It

Earlier this year the MGSN asked if I could write a brief blog post introducing my research. Cue various conferences, college projects, impending deadlines, a series of viral infections and a fair amount of procrastination, and we’re finally here, my first ever blog post.

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Jonathan StubbsComment