Normalizing Queerness in Games

One part of being a welcome community to queer players is designing fantasy settings with a structure that normalizes queerness. You don't need to be making a specific commentary on queer stories to be inviting and open to queer gamers. To kick off pride month, we're talking about how to normalize queerness in your games!

Taking Spotlight Responsibly

For most of their lives, responsible and generous larpers have been told don’t be too much in the spotlight. Share the stage. Play to lift others. It’s not about you, it’s about EVERYONE. We spend so much time coaching generous play, it’s given most of us a complex around those times that we do enter the spotlight. However, every story needs a hero. Most good tales have main characters and supporting roles. Just because you are taking the spotlight in a story, doesn’t mean you can’t be a supporting role to someone else’s. Even more so, in a good larp, there are so many stories going on that there is room for MANY people to be in the spotlight at any given point in time. It’s important that we stop chastising ourselves for taking up attention while in scenes in at a larp. Spotlight play, done respectfully, can help enhance everyone’s game and not just your own.

A Dark Fairytale: Real Royalty Review

In early April 2019, I had the pleasure of being invited to cover Hanging Lantern’s event “Real Royalty” written and designed by Natasha Borders, Jeffrey Steele, and Benji Michalek. The game was a dark fairytale incorporating stories and inspiration from the world’s most famous, classic stories. From a designer’s standpoint, Real Royalty was an amazing and fascinating game. While not everything worked and the experimental mechanics certainly could have used more playtesting before going live, the fact that the Hanging Lantern team was willing to try so many experimental things meant that Real Royalty helped push freeform mechanical design forward dramatically faster than any game I’ve played in the last two years.