Gaming’s New Grind

by tommy.rousse

Nifflas & Doug play Awkward Tarzan Grinding Game while my roommate Joon looks on.

Excuse a bit of wordpride, but I just had an article I wrote on a really cool PlayStation Move controller go up on Kill Screen.  Check it out here.

I had a really good time at Nordic Game Jam, and I think I’m about to do a short piece about it for a Nordic game development newsletter.  I saw a lot of awesome stuff, and a team of ITU students won the board game contest and had quite a lot of success.  It was really inspiring, and I’m looking forward to actually jamming next time I attend.  It was a valuable experience to get to watch Doug & co. work; it made me appreciate how relevant all those hours I spent playing games in drama & theater courses as part of the talented drama program when I was younger and as a theater student at LSMSA in high school.  It’s an area of study that I devoted a lot of time to, and seeing this game that combined digital and folk elements encouraged me to look beyond electronic games as a field for creation & critique.  In Play & the Avant-Garde, my first formal introduction to graduate level game studies, Rainer Rumold had us focus on radical contributions to dramaturgy & theatrical theory.  I think role-playing games, a genre whose popularity continues to surprise me, could stand to learn from Stanislavksy.  Goffman might also be helfpul.  Some basic theater training would do a lot to improve the average LARP group, which based on my experience has a lot in common with long-form improv, but divorces it from the usual content of humor.  (And of course, LARP itself is frequently played for humor.)

I would love the opportunity to participate in the Nordic LARP that I’ve heard so much about; I’m not really sure if there are opportunties available in English.  I actually had a Norwegian LARP expert come and interview me when I was an undergrad at NU; maybe I should try to contact him.  Meanwhile, I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to modify spin-the-bottle or to create other games with a carnivalesque element to release to the public on Valentine’s Day.  Get in touch if you’re interested in collaborating.  The next project I want to work on is a Skyrim runthrough which I’ve appropriately entitled “Permadeath Metal Barbarian.”