Emma and Gil invite award-winning game designer, teacher, and not-scholar Sharang Biswas to the show to discuss verbs in games. What actions do we actually perform when we play a game, what actions do they represent, and how does that impact the game experience?
CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains references to sex and sexuality.
2h31m: Sharang teaches at The International Center of Photography (Bard College), and at Fordham University. 3m05s: We had Dr. Mary Flanagan on the show for Ludology 226 – Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo 3m26s: Playcrafting is an organization that holds game design events, mainly for digital games, in New York City, San Francisco, and Boston. 5m04s: Anna Anthropy is an influential game designer, and current designer-in-residence at DePaul College in Chicago. 5m15s: Ian Bogost’s Persuasive Games. 10m08s: Android: Netrunner 11m33s: We discussed ludonarrative dissonance, especially in board games, in Ludology 190 – Diabolus in Ludica. 12m05s: The uselessness of 1:1 scale maps came up in our conversation with Volko Ruhnke for Ludology 178 – COIN-Operated. 12m29s: If you haven’t heard us discuss at length what a “game” is, check out Ludology 151 – High Definition. 12m35s: More information about the word autotelic, which is extremely useful when discussing games and play. 13m35s: Frank Lanz is a game designer and director of the NYU Game Center. 16m35s: Great Western Trail, Food Chain Magnate 17m10s: Ryan and Geoff discussed the magic circle with game designer and professor Eric Zimmerman in Ludology 79 – The Magic Circle. 17m29s: You can find more about Honey & Hot Wax, edited by Sharang and Lucian Kahn, here. 18m25s: The phrase “turtles all the way down” is one of Gil’s favorites. 20m54s: Hungry Hungry Hippos, Mouse Trap, Pretty Pretty Princess, Electronic Dream Phone 21m30s: MegaCity Oceania 21m54s: Mountains of Madness 23m10s: Pandemic Legacy: Season One 24m11s: Sharang’s game with Max Seidman, Mad Science Foundation 26m35s: The RPG Sign. 28m10s: More information about the larp Sarabande. 29m42s: Geoff and Gil discussed “soft incentives” in Ludology 185 – Soft Boiled. 30m38s: Jiangshi, an RPG about Chinese immigrants juggling running a haunted restaurant, by Banana Chan and Sen-Foong Lim. We had Banana on the show a few weeks ago, for Ludology 228 – The Roles We Play. 31m10s: Some of the discussion about “Press F To Pay Respects” in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. 31m31s: Untitled Goose Game 35m53s: Sharang compares Chaos in the Old World to Assault of the Giants. Chaos was designed by the incomparable Eric Lang, who we had on the show for Ludology 175 – Auld Lang Design. 37m13s: Sagrada 38m19s: DC Comics Deck-Building Game 40m00s: John Cage’s 4’33”, which instructs the performer to play no notes for the duration of the piece. 40m27s: Positive examples of ludonarrative dissonance: Typing of the Dead, Unspeakable Words 40m58s: Brenda Romero’s well-known art game Train. 41m16s: Sharang’s game Feast, inspired by Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ original art piece Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.). 41m45s: The RPG With Great Power… 42m31s: Team Fun’s interview with Sharang, featuring the phrase “Jump, Decapitate, Kill.” 43m44s: Journalist, larp designer, and game writer Lizzie Stark. 45m00s: The 2001 video game Black & White. 45m17s: French literary critic Roland Barthes proposed the idea of the Death of the Author in a 1967 essay, suggesting that critics don’t need to understand an author to contextualize their work. 45m24s: The Effing Foundation for Sex Positivity. 47m16s: Thumb Wars (or thumb wrestling) 51m45s: The games A Guide to Casting Phantoms In The Revolution, and Can You Hear Me? 52m34s: Sharang’s game Several Miles from Heaven. 53m36s: The Jenga-implementing RPGs Dread and Star Crossed, and the apocalyptic RPG Ten Candles. 54m45s: Metatopia is a game designer convention based in the northeastern US that specializes in tests of board games, TTRPG, and larp. 56m41s: Sharang’s solo food-based RPG Verdure. 57m52s: We had Jenn Sandercock on in Ludology 210 – The Way to a Gamer’s Heart to discuss her edible games. 58m41s: The 200-word RPG Stardust. 1h00m00s: The bizarre Hellcouch (taking the idea of the “couch co-op to the next level), amd Mattie Brice’s empathy machine. 1h00m45s: Marina Abramović’s seminal performance art piece Rhythm 0, in which she allowed visitors to do whatever they wanted to her body for 6 hours. Visitors were gentle at first, but became more cruel as the piece went on, several times aiming a loaded gun in her head. The most powerful part of the performance emerged at the end; once the 6 hours ended, Abramović stood up and approached the audience, who promptly left, unable to face her as a person who had regained her bodily autonomy. 1h06m08s: Alex Roberts’ Pop! is part of Sharang’s project Honey and Hot Wax, co-edited by Lucian Kahn. 1h06m37s: Emma’s degree is in Product Design. 1h08m45s: Sharang has written a couple of articles for Killscreen. 1h10m38s: Wingspan. We had the pleasure of chatting with designer Elizabeth Hargrave for Ludology 203 – Winging It. 1h12m15s: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was a horrifying tragedy in which 146 sweatshop workers in New York City were killed by a fire. The workers were locked into their working space, so they could not exit on foot; many leapt to their deaths. The fire resulted in legislation that improved factory safety standards and strengthened union powers. 1h14m42s: Clio Yun-Su Davis’ RPG Pass the Sugar Please was run by theater company Intramersive. 1h16m44s: Sharang is referencing Kat Jones‘ game Glitzy Nails. 1h17m43s: The RPG Flatpack 1h19m34s: The productivity games Habitica, SuperBetter, Chore Wars, and Zombies Run. 1h20m58s: Sharang’s game A Shroud for the Seneschal.