The Wolf Among Us: Being big and being bad

In my article The Wolf Among Us: being brave and kind I explored the challenge of sticking to one’s morals when others are in danger, and choosing between results and righteousness.  In my first playthrough of The Wolf Among Us I chose to focus on being diplomatic and kind.  After seeing the results of my choices…

The Wolf Among Us: being brave and kind

In narrative games I typically try to steer more towards being kind and diplomatic, yet The Wolf Among Us makes it clear that being nice is a luxury the player cannot afford via a world with dire consequences for not getting to the truth in time. Its timed dialogue selection sequences force the player to be decisive…

The world that he wants: the aftermath of siding with Shaun

*Spoiler alert, this article contains descriptions of the events after completing the main story line in Fallout 4.*    A wandering lab coat My time in the Commonwealth took me in many directions.  To complete my first playthrough I focused on roleplaying as a scientist, curious about the science behind the things I encountered in…

Peaceful victory: why more games should feature diplomacy

In games we often associate victory conditions with beating an opponent through force or strength.  The players amass resources, develop a unit[s], and proceed to best their opponents through direct conflict.  As games begin to develop more complex victory conditions we are starting to see a rise in win conditions which also include self expression….

Playing to a crowd: the social dynamics of Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity is a popular party game in which a player reads a card with a prompt containing fill-in-the-blank values for the other players to submit answers to anonymously.  Its collection of answers include crass and dark humor, sophisticated social commentary, adult themes, and cites both pop culture references and philosophical concepts. The social dynamics…

Factions: politics and purpose

Many games these days feature the ability to pick a side in a conflict, Imperials vs Stormcloaks, Intuition vs Mystic vs Valor, The Institute vs The Brotherhood of Steel, etc. The choice of what side you are on can be a reflection of your friends (tribalism), your personal beliefs (philosophy), or simply curiosity for the…