GRRR #1 – Rewind: Temporal Tales

You might be wondering why the headline is growling at you. Well, GRRR is actually the wonderfully evocative acronym for the Game Review Round Robin, a group of game designers who have all agreed to read and review each other’s games. This group is the brainchild of Eleri Hamilton, who designed Unwritten. Eleri also did the legwork of setting up the review assignments, so that the rest of us can just sit back and read games. Thanks, Eleri!

My first review is Rewind: Temporal Tales, a solo/duet game by Todd Zircher.

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Narrative Innovations of The Force Awakens

I have mentioned in the past that I really love all of Star Wars, so there was no question that I was going to enjoy The Force Awakens. I could go on for hours about all the wonderful things in it (and I have).

But then people started posting all these complaints about how this movie is just A New Hope all over again. Ignoring for the moment the easy response to this that Star Wars is supposed to be cyclical, I still find this complaint to be extremely superficial. It ignores the amazing new things that TFA brings to Star Wars that none of the previous movies had. Since I am a writer, I am particularly focused on characters, and I wanted to take a blog post to just examine the main characters and the narrative innovations they bring to the Star Wars universe.

Spoiler warning. We are definitely entering spoiler territory. Continue reading

Recent Teen Band Movies

While I try not to use the term “guilty pleasure” – because it implies that there are things we should feel bad about liking – I admit that I don’t quite understand my enjoyment of teen romantic comedies. With a few notable exceptions, I hated most of the movies targeted at me when I was a teen. They didn’t really speak to me about my own life experiences, and often rang quite hollow. Continue reading

On the Liking of Things

What do Star Wars and My Little Pony have in common?

I could jump into a cultural commentary about how both have been at the center of recent attempts to un-gender fandoms and (more importantly) children’s toys and clothes. I could compare the writing between the various animated properties of the two. I could even talk about how both of them make excellent use of music, with specific examples. But I won’t. I’m going to go much more personal than that.

Star Wars and My Little Pony are both things that I love unequivocally. They are also both things that people have given me a lot of crap for loving. Continue reading

Popularity vs. Impact – The RPG Awards Season

As we come to the end of the summer, I wanted to reflect on the winners and losers of a variety of contests and awards (including my personal experiences).

Origins Awards

The Origins Awards have historically been more focused on card and board games. They contain only two awards for RPG: “Best Role Playing Game” and “Best Role Playing Game Supplement.” As you can see from the nominations, these awards tend to be focused on prominent companies and popular products. The nod to Atomic Robo is probably about as far out as the Origins Awards are likely to get. Continue reading