Mike "Talien" Tresca is a freelance game columnist, author, communicator, and a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to http://amazon.com. If you like what we do here at EN World (the Forums, Columns, News, etc.) and would like to help support us to bring you MORE please consider supporting our Patreon. Even a single dollar helps!
Elisabeth de Kleer recently launched a Kickstarter to film to fund LET'S PLAY, a documentary about the little-known stories of inmates and former inmates who go to great lengths to play table top role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons behind bars. They handcraft twenty-sided dice, build their own campaigns from scratch, even wage legal battles against the United States prison system to assert their right to play. I caught up with Elisabeth to discuss why she decided to make this documentary and if prisoners should be allowed to play games in prison.
At PortConMaine I had the opportunity to sit in on Darren Watts' panel on superheroes in gaming. That panel merely scratched the surface of Darren's experience in the tabletop industry so I pounced on the opportunity to ask him about everything from tabletop gaming to playtesting.
I've attended PortConMaine in the past to game with my friends in the area, but this is the first time I went with no plans whatsoever. My wife and kids join me on Sunday and we always have a great time. This year, the convention did not disappoint.
With so many geek franchises coming to a close this year, it feels like we're reaching a milestone in geek fandom. From Star Wars to Game of Thrones, Avengers to The Big Bang Theory, many long-running series on big and small screens are wrapping up. What does that mean for geekdom?
When Disney took over the Star Wars universe, the press release called out role-playing games as part of the new Star Wars canon. Since then, Pablo Hidalgo has been a champion of bringing content established in West End Games' (WEG) tabletop role-playing Star Wars books into the movies and cartoons. But it all started with Bill Slavicsek, who sets the record straight in his new book, Defining a Galaxy: 30 Years in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.
After ten weeks of teaching a game design workshop to 20+ BSA Scouts, it was time for the Scouts to deliver their own games. This is where I discovered how interested and motivated our Scouts were to finish the badge.
We've known tabletop role-playing games have been on the rise and that professional creatives like actors and writers have been publicly embracing their inner geek recently. For more evidence, look no further than the many tabletop role-playing game episodes featuring in cartoons for kids and adults, some of them released the same week. These call-outs have shifted from simple RPG references to major plot points that reinforce the value of imagination, teamwork and fun in role-playing games.
With the announcement of Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus taking place in the Nine Hells, it's worth looking back on how we got here. And for that, we can blame Dante Alighieri, whose apocalyptic vision of hell greatly influenced D&D.
I embarked on a seven-week long journey to teach 20 Boy Scouts about game design, and learned a lot along the way. Our first of four games we studied was Jenga, and it was about as chaotic as you might expect.