Weekly Links #82
I have a dearth of links again, after last week's plenty. I guess my
current project is taking its toll. Turns out, doing the writing and
the layout and the artwork for a tabletop RPG, however modest, uses
up a lot of energy. But oh well, won't be long now.
While we're talking tabletop, I recently started following rpg.net
again, and this week their long-running history of RPGs touched on
the issue of women in the industry. This may not seem too
relevant to computer games until you encounter a number of famous
names that shaped the fantasy genre as we know it today. And with
franchises crossing media boundaries so easily nowadays, that matters
more than it seems.
Wait, did I mention women in gaming? Here's the story of a game
nobody would touch because it has a female protagonist.
(Spoiler: Square Enix took it in the end.) Do you suppose we still
have a bit of a problem in the industry?
Last but not least, Shamus Young explains in his column why romance
is kind of bland in modern RPGs. And he has a point. Just
like with story in general, you can't have much depth and emotional
impact when your protagonist is a blank slate, and the story must get
to a satisfying end no matter what the player chooses.
Or can it? Tabletop RPG players often manage it spectacularly well.
Maybe videogame designers ought to look more outside of their narrow
bubble. A lot more.