Author: mclark6

Never Alone: Preserving Cultures through Games

The contemporary fantasy genre is overwhelmingly western and white. Most of the fantasy worlds admired in pop culture, such as the J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, contain lore primarily adapted from European legends. As a consequence of this, many of the races in these universes lack diversity – more than often, they are different variations of light-skinned beings, such as elves, humans, and dwarves. Fantasy races that derive from non-European tradition are often mysteriously depicted as exotic, foreign, and “tribal”. While they may have entertainment value, these works fail to encourage diversity in their industry and make it more difficult for diverse games to succeed.… Read the rest

GLORY TO ARSTOTZKA: Mundane Tasks and Moral Dilemmas in “Papers, Please”

While most games entertain players by guiding them through vast, mysterious worlds or challenging them to become great and powerful, the communist state in Papers, Please entertains its players through brutal oppression and hard labor. Fortunately, you have been randomly selected in the October Labor Lottery as the immigration inspector for your great and beautiful country. As creator Lucas Pope describes, “your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia” — all you have to do is inspect a piece of paper and accept or deny the owner of that piece of paper.… Read the rest

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