Let’s discuss the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Ready Player One. (See what I did there? I referenced something from popular culture.)
I’m going to be getting into some minor spoiler territory in this article regarding Ready Player One, both the book and the film. That said, I’m not here to discuss the details of the plot of either. Want I want to talk about here is how Ready Player One is a golden opportunity for gamers, game developers and publishers. Not just video games, but board games as well. In fact, for the sake of this article, consider board games and video games interchangeable.
Ready Player One is filled with successes and problems. Both the film and the book are a meta-onion, enabling the consumer to look back and in on themselves, peeling away their relationship to media, nerd culture, and fandom. There’s beauty and ugliness in stripping back those layers and it’s important that we take a moment and pick those things out, isolate them, identify them, and then, either replicate them or shove them into the waste bin of history. (more…)Article || Tags: 80s, book, diversity, film, games, gaming, nostalgia, ready player one, representation, retro
We need to have a talk about Indigenous representation in board games.
For most of my life, I’ve been lumped in with the majority of straight, white, cis male America, for better or worse. As a child, I was blissfully unaware of even the most basic concepts of racial bias, bigotry, racism or the dirty reality of American colonialism. Traveling in the military began to open my eyes to the rest of the world though and living in New Orleans for a decade completely changed my perspective. I believe, for the better.
But it took a little longer for me to begin to direct my attention directly to the concept of representation in board games and longer still for me to understand the representational void within board game design. One of my stated goals with Sub-Level 03 is to bring gaming to a wider audience and with that in mind, I reached out to to the folks at N.D.N. Players and asked if they’d have a chat with me.
N.D.N. Players are a group of Native American scholars and gamers based in the Pacific Northwest who combine their thorough education, knowledge of Indigenous communities and love of games. Taken directly from their webisite, they have a variety of aims:
• Bringing their indigeneity and social equity skills with them into the gaming aspect of popular culture
• Increasing a scholarly Indigenous presence within popular culture
• Using their Indigenous and their academic knowledge within their gaming
• Modeling Indigenous philosophies and understandings within gaming
With so many other minority voices rising up and being heard in current American political discourse, I felt like this was a great time to talk about Native American and Indigenous representation in board games and board game designs. What follows is my chat with Jeanette, Jonathan and Tylor. It’s a bit long, but I feel it’s well worth the read. I’ve edited in a few places for brevity but never for content or tone.
Jeanette Bushnell, PhD Jonathan S. Tomhave, PhD Tylor PratherArticle || Tags: Board Games, diversity, games, indigenous, native american, NDN Players, Pacific Northwest, PNW, representation