“The Bradley Tabletop Games Symposium is a two-day participatory online event that brings together game industry practitioners, scholars, and anyone else interested in the design and study of tabletop games. The symposium is a product of collaboration between the Interactive Media Department of Bradley University and the Games and Simulation Arts & Sciences Program of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is being managed by Double Exposure, Inc.”
“We are bringing together people to talk about any developing ideas, trends, and concepts in the design, study, and play of board games, including but not limited to:
Games as media
Games and simulation
Games and anticolonialism
Games as resistance
Games in/as education
Cultures of play
Board game cafes
Virtual tabletop play
Storytelling in tabletop games
Legacy and campaign games
Games and speculative futures / alternate histories
Discourse analysis of play sessions
Streaming and actual play podcasts
Phenomenology of play
History of tabletop games
Gaming and the military industrial complex
Games and translation
Games and play therapy
Board game renaissance
Games in the age of the pandemic”
Desta conferência fez parte:
Friday, May 21
“‘I Didn’t See Anyone Who Looked Like Me’: Gender and Racial Representation in Board Gaming” presented by Tanya Pobuda. Who are the designers of the top-rated BoardGameGeek games? What identities dominate board game cover art? Is board gaming predominantly white and male? While there has been extensive scholarly analysis of gender and racial representation, discrimination and violence in the digital games community, an exhaustive audit of scholarly literature uncovered no academic, peer-reviewed studies currently exist that apply critical cultural analysis informed by feminist, queer and critical race theories to gender and racial representation in the contemporary board gaming community and industry. Find out more in this precis of an ongoing PhD dissertation research project.
“Educational Adaptations in Analog Games Design Classes” presented by Nia Wearn, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Kieran Reid, Kirsten du Preez, Romeo Molongoana. As part of a larger Gameplay and Game Studies programme we’ve been teaching a specific undergraduate board game design class since 2016. We’d like to discuss the changes we’ve made as we’ve reflected on our practice, and the significant challenges and changes we undertook moving to teaching the same class remotely over the last academic year. We’re excited to showcase some of the games our students have made – both good and bad!
“Using Modern Board Game Designs to Build Serious Games” presented by Micael Sousa. Modern board games are bringing innovative design options. They can be simples or complex. By combining mechanisms, components, and narratives, we can build exciting and engaging games. Serious game approaches should benefit from these designs. But in practice, they seem to be ignored by serious game researchers and practitioners. I propose approaching these issues, relating them to my ongoing research and its application to face-to-face and online uses.
“Prestige Gaming: Social Capital Around and Away From the Table” presented by Greg Loring-Albright, Steven Dashiell, Greg Niedt, Melissa Rogerson. This roundtable will center on discussions of Bourdieu’s concept of “social capital”: non-monetary ways of producing value and status, which Consalvo refocuses in gaming contexts as “Gamer Capital.” Whether by owning a large collection, playing complicated games, or verbally leveraging fluency in gaming rules and subcultures, we assert that social capital is present an important factor in understanding tabletop gaming. Panelists will discuss material foundations of tabletop gaming capital, the ways in which this kind of social capital is performed and generated in-person and online, and other, related topics from the experiences in the board game, collectible card game, and role-playing game hobbies.
“Cardboard Stories: Narrative Games as Works of Literature” presented by Dave Neale, Emma Reay, Kirsten du Preez. How can we analyze narrative games as works of literature or art? How do we read the meaning of a work that contains multiple possible narratives, of which many players will only experience one? How do we conceptualize interaction as a literary and artistic device? Narrative tabletop games have not received much attention as a form of literature or art, but these games are currently in a period of high innovation and popularity as a storytelling medium, with rapid industry growth and thousands of new releases every year. This session will begin with 2 short presentations about viewing games as an art-form, and will then open up to a round-table discussion.
“Gamifying Digital Storytelling in the Writing Classroom” presented by Maha Alawdat. Remote learning created an environment in which digital storytelling – specifically game-based writing – became extraordinarily useful to motivate students and improve their attitudes towards writing communities and collaboration. This workshop will share on-the-spot practice in implementing these tools.
“Play and Purchase Intentions for Analog and Hybrid Games” presented by Mehmet Kosa, Dave Neale, Vincent Vergonjeanne. What are distinctive motivations for playing analog and hybrid gaming? What are the advantages of being full analog or hybrid in what contexts (e.g. learning)? What factors influence players to buy commercial analog and/or hybrid games?
“Playing the Game World You’re Dealt” presented by John O’Donnell. Despite the evident cultural endurance of cards as elements of games and story-telling through the centuries, appropriate and specific language to discuss their dual use is lacking. My session is a thorough presentation of the practice of using cards in games to convey game worlds. I first establish the ubiquity of cards in games â€“ making concrete their assumed cultural and historical relevance. I follow this with a productive description of game worlds pertaining to non-digital games; an interactive, subcreated story world. The multi-layered natured of cards is then discussed in an attempt to deconstruct the homogenous card-as-game-element. These findings are organised into a framework that can be applied to tabletop games concluded with an application on a selection of modern games.
“How to Connect and Enjoy the Doom of Zoom!?” presented by Maarten Koeners. We invite you to take a break and come spend some time re-discovering playing hands-on games on Zoom and jovially explore what our online experiences of the last 12 months might teach us about teaching and learning. I will aim to extend your idea of play and playfulness and how it could be used to create connection and potentially support a community that can fosters joyous co-creation of knowledge and skills. Expect to enjoy some light interaction through your camera and to dust-up your collaborative theatre skills during the “Lecture without lecturer”.
“Legacy Games and Their Impact on Tabletop Gaming” presented by Sarah Cheatle, Dave Neale. In 2011, game designer Rob Daviau introduced the world to his latest creation, Risk Legacy. It took the somewhat tired and dated concept of “vanilla” Risk and turned it on its head, introducing gamers to game mechanics previously unseen. For the first time, decisions and game events had permanent consequences, shaping gameplay and even the game board over future sessions. Since then, the tabletop industry has seen an explosion of heralded games including Gloomhaven, Pandemic legacy and Betrayal Legacy. This roundtable is meant to explore the nuances and unique characteristics of legacy games, as well as their impact, and perhaps assess whether the legacy system is still essentially a gimmick or something that will endure.
“Board Game Attributes – Derived From Science!” presented by Simon Strange. As part of his PhD research, Simon Strange conducted a broad survey of board game properties, and subjected the results to advanced statistical analysis to discover which game attributes are tightly correlated with others. The research is done, but now how can it best be used to improve the lives of board game enthusiasts everywhere? Let Simon explain his experiment, methods, and results, and then discuss possible applications with him.
“Improv’ing Education Through Serious Play” presented by Hartley Jafine. Through applied drama and improvisation, participants will experience how education can be enhanced through playful, embodied learning. Engagement with the workshop aims to raise a critical consciousness, develop personal awareness, and build community/support. We will engage with serious play and reflective practice through creative exploration. No previous theatre, improv, or performance experience required.
“Worldbuilding, Procedural Storytelling, and Critical Thinking” presented by Trent Hegenrader. In this playtest presented in Roll20, participants will procedurally generate a fantasy world, and three different characters. Then, they will discuss the different points of tension that would exist between each character and the world, and between the characters based on their attributes, personalities, and traits. I argue that this worldbuilding methodology and randomized character creation process can be used to develop students’ critical thinking skills as they are required to see the world through a variety of different perspectives. We can accommodate spectators, if you want to be part of the conversation, you can log into the Zoom call with us, but you won’t be one of the people interacting with the Roll20 elements.
“The Red Burnoose: Algeria 1857” presented by Matt Shoemaker. Join Fadhma N’Soumer in her fight against the invading French armies in the Kabylie region of Algeria in the game The Red Burnoose: Algeria 1857. You will join forces with up to 3 other players in this co-op board game to use deck building and area control elements to survive as the French advance on your villages. This game was designed to take on challenging themes of colonialism in board games as well as take a look at what a wargame designed with feminist principles in mind could look like. There is room for up to 4 to play but if we get more than that we can pair people in teams. Tabletop Simulator is required to play. Voice chat will be run simultaneously via a Zoom meeting.
“The Digital Mediation of Analog Play” presented by Colin Stricklin, Raphael D’Amico. What happens when private play becomes public entertainment? How do games change when we point a camera at them? Between “actual play” RPG podcasts, web-based programming like Tabletop, and the ubiquitous reach of Twitch, more people are discovering analog games within a digital frame. This panel explores these effects, seeking to understand how analog gameplay changes in response to digital mediation. F
“The Process of Getting Your Game Ready to Manufacture and Bid Out” presented by JD Madsen. Having all the components thought through for play testing and prototyping is a difficult task for any game designer. What then becomes different when you want to get it ready for manufacture and market? Sit and discuss with other game designers, their process, their struggles and success, strategize and advise one another on next steps for your projects. Friday 7:00PM – 8:00PM EDT. Location: http://twitch.tv/dexboardroom1
“The Well-Integrated Theme: How to Get Theme and Mechanism to Work Together in Your Game” presented by Gil Hova. Board game designers and fans often talk about theme and mechanism in opposition. They’ll say things like “theme versus mechanism” or ask which is better to start with. In this talk, veteran tabletop game designer and podcaster Gil Hova will give his view on how to design board games where your theme and mechanism flow together to craft an experience for your players. We will discuss the phenomenon of ludonarrative dissonance and how it manifests on the tabletop, go through examples of games that have thematic issues, and study a few techniques that can help us avoid these pitfalls and get our game to tell a story through its mechanisms.
“Visual Modeling for Teaching and Sharing Game Logic (Part 1: Intro & Overview)” presented by Marc Gurwitz. This session is an introduction to a modeling structured language that can help quickly visualize a game’s overall flow and design, and enable teachers, students, designers, and developers to share their ideas easily with others. In this session, I will introduce the language, provide an overview of the symbols and structures, and show some examples of how it can be applied during game design, using some existing game designs as examples. AGML uses some common elements from UML (Unified Modeling Language), Flow Charts, and other familiar structures to make it easy to pick up for anyone familiar with those existing languages, although modeling knowledge is not required.
Saturday, May 22
“Ludic Lekgotla – Teaching Game Design in Africa” presented by Kieran Reid, Kirsten du Preez, Romeo Molongoana. This lekgotla (a public meeting where community decisions are arrived at consensus and anyone is allowed to speak) is a discussion of how we teach analogue game design in South Africa. At Wits Digital Arts, we teach all of our students how to play and design boardgames which serves as the foundations of our 4 year degree. Our teaching practice is highly iterative and reflective of the specific socio-economic context in which our students learn and live. Our students arrive with limited gaming experience/exposure, and as such our playful pedagogy is partially aimed at ludic literacies. However, the challenges that we and our students face create opportunities for interesting and meaningful pedagogical growth. Saturday 10:00AM – 11:00 AM EDT. Location: http://twitch.tv/dexconcord
“Board Games in Intercultural and Social Work Context” presented by Jean-Emmanuel Barbier, Virginie Tacq, Alexis Messina, Bruno Dupont, Yannick Deplaedt, Melissa Rogerson, Rabin Lomami. There are very few studies on the usage of games by social workers in their activity. However, games have been used as social lubricant (Walter Crist and al. 2016) since antiquity (at least!), and boardgames are often associated with togetherness and proximity of the players. It is also well documented that games can be used for pedagogical purposes. Both elements: Pedagogical use and togetherness, are central for the practice of social workers. The project ANPRAJEU aims to study the usage of boardgames by Socio-cultural workers (a barely translated type of social work in Belgium) and, for this presentation, with a special interest in intercultural contexts. We are just starting our research and are very interested to broaden our horizon outside the Belgium field by exchanging with you either directly through zoom, or through your reaction on twitch, and with our guest panelist from around the globe. For that, we will use the elicitation probes methods, by which we will suggest (or be suggested to) some sentences, keywords, anecdotes, diagrams, pictures etc. to discuss various subjects around our question. Feel free to join us and submit your own point of view, and maybe probes during these discussions.
“Using Safety Tools as Creative Freedom in TTRPGS” presented by Beatrix Livesey-Stephens, Sara Tedrick Parikh. This roundtable will explore and evaluate the alleged conflict between TTRPG safety tools and creative freedom, and discuss how a variety of safety tools can in fact be used to enhance gaming narratives despite being “meta-gamey” or “breaking the game.” We will also discuss the usefulness of safety tools in TTRPGs specifically, and discuss safety tools through a lens of accessibility and consent as a whole. (Content note: I’ll be mentioning sensitive topics such as serious illness, rape etc in order to illustrate how safety tools might be used, and I expect that roundtable participants will want to discuss these too in the context of RPGs and safety tools.)
“Bored to Board Games: The Evolution of Serious Tabletop Games for Medical Education” presented by Michael Cosimini, Teresa Chan, Paulius Mui, Bjorn Watsjold. Join our panel of medical educators and trainees who have developed tabletop games with diverse formats, audiences and educational goals discuss their experience. The session will focus on: – Challenges and benefits of tabletop games in the medical education setting where preclinical education is dominated by high stakes testing and clinical teaching time is limited by competing responsibilities. – How use of tabletop games can connect learners in variable stages of training and some innovations looking to use a tabletop game based framework for remote connections with social media. – Lessons from this session can be applied to other settings with learners with variable degrees of training and settings where tabletop games are relatively novel.
“Shorter and Sweeter – Streamlining Your Classroom Games” presented by Evan Torner. Running games for high-school and college classes is great, but they can also involve a lot of hard work and overhead. This workshop lets us come up with ways of reducing cognitive load and extraneous game details, so that the final product that the students play will be focused on core aspects of gameplay without sacrificing the overall lesson coherence. We’ll look at a cross-section of character designs, game rules, and content matter. Heck, we’ll even grapple with YOUR personal classroom gaming issue. Bring any educational larp or RPG you may have into the space, and we’ll take a look at it! Shareable PDF of some kind is preferred Let’s do this!
“Innovation Theory and Board Game Design” presented by Simon Adderly. Join us for an exploration of how we might apply innovation theory traditionally utilised in management schools to explore new product development and apply it to the creative processes which underpin board game design.
“The Playful Academic” presented by Maarten Koeners, Kieran Reid, Chris Jeansonne, Jon Cole. Conversational cafe on the emergence of playful universities – giving examples of personal practice and inviting participants to share their experiences and ideas addressing the following questions: – How to create a culture that fosters play and playfulness? – How to use games for development and support of Playful Academics? – A playful campus – how could that look like? – What research will help develop and foster playful universities? – A university toolkit for play – how could that look like?
“Play and Vulnerability” presented by Joan Moriarty, J Li, Sarah Cheatle, Romeo Molongoana. Have you ever felt a spike of anxiety when you were trying to learn a new game? Have you ever taught a game to someone who worried that they might not be smart enough or creative enough to belong at the table? Feelings of fear, anxiety and vulnerability can make us believe that we can’t handle new things, can’t leave our comfort zone. But willingness to be vulnerable together with our friends can have extraordinary benefits. So how can we help each other to cope with these anxieties when we play games? Bring your experiences to the table and let’s talk!
“Speaking About Wargames, in Different Languages: A Comparison of Experiences as International Wargaming Content Creators” presented by Jan Heinemann, Riccardo Masini, Fred Serval. Coming from different cultural and national backgrounds, content creators Jan Heinemann (Germany), Riccardo Masini (Italy) and Fred Serval (France) have recently joined their common knowledge to coordinate a collection of essays about wargaming in Europe and its many new design trends all over the world. But what about their different experiences as wargaming content creators on YouTube and other social media, with different approaches and different groups of viewers? Together with other prominent international content creators, this roundtable aims at highlighting the peculiar features of speaking about wargames also to non-English speaking viewers: the related difficulties caused by the language barrier and the different historical heritages, the perks granted by cultural diversity and the related criticalities, the needs of the different publics, the choice of media and style, the most requested contents and the games that prove harder to introduce, sometimes for lack of interest on the topic and sometimes even for their controversial nature in other nations. An engaging and rarely seen comparison and mutual confrontation about what it means to speak about board wargaming, a hobby born in the United States in the 1950s, also to non-US players by non-US content creators in the 2020s. Showing once again how gaming can prove to be an important bridge and connection between different cultures.
“Dramaturgical Approaches to Tabletop Roleplaying Games” presented by Mike Sell, Kieran Reid. Tabletop roleplaying games are often characterized as a form of “collaborative storytelling,” but this is hardly an accurate description. Yes, storytelling is a significant part of the TTRPG experience…€”setting the scene, describing character actions, building the world. But the term “storytelling” constrains our understanding of the TTRPG experience within an exclusively narrative framework and a limited understanding of the TTRPG’s layered matrix of texts and performances. To properly assess the ways text and performance interact in the moment of play, we need to think dramaturgically. In the theatre, dramaturgs enable the director, cast, and crew to comprehend the script (including problematic elements involving race, gender, sexuality, ability, and so on), provide advice on staging, and enable a maximally meaningful audience experience. Our panelists explore the ways dramaturgical methods enable TTRPG gameplay to be coherent, entertaining, and, ideally, a wellspring for empathetic interaction and thoughtful reflection. Ultimately, they hope to demonstrate that a dramaturgical approach enables us to better comprehend what TTRPGs are and what TTRPG players do.
“University World” presented by Maarten Koeners. As a student, you are a *new kid* on the block in academia and you are taking your very first steps on the path that goes with it. Very exciting, yet also daunting. This will be a period of *intense learning* together with personal and professional change, in a way you have not yet experienced before. In ‘University World’, we will play together, discovering the skills you can develop during your time at the University, while simultaneously exploring who you are mentally, emotionally and socially. The fastest path to graduate is going over the Campus Grasslands, through the Forrest of Zoom and along the coast of the Sea of Knowledge where you will find the Promised Land next to the Mountains of Ignorance. However, when you finish 1st you have not necessarily won the game – depending on the type of student you are playing, you might need to travel afar to gather the required experience, skills and mental health. You might need to venture to the County of the Unwashed Dishes, look in the Pool of Wisdom, experience the Desert of No Sleep, reflect on the Island of Therapy or brave the Valley of Death.
“Analog Apps: Board Gaming and Digital Play” presented by Paul Booth. As texts, board games communicate much about the culture that produces them. In this talk, I explore how the integration of digital apps within analog board games creates a hybrid space of play that mirrors contemporary mediated experiences. I argue that the use of digital apps in board gaming is a natural outgrowth of a number of factorsâ€”the increased popularity of games, the need to reach new audiences, a change in the narrative and style of games, and the underlying structure of board games themselves. My goal with this talk is not to pass judgment on the use of digital apps within analog gaming, but to explore the nuances of this practice in order to better understand the contemporary board game environment.
“Games and Game Hacks for Critical Futures” presented by Samuel Collins, Nick Mizer, Jason Morningstar. Many games lend themselves to collaborative speculation, and, indeed, some have been designed for this. These games are also (variously) open to challenges and variations that might help us critique the (mostly) derivative futures they conjure. This panel considers resources, games and tips for the formation of critical futures.
“Loss Aversion and Player Psychology” by Geoff Engelstein. Loss aversion is a profound aspect of human psychology, and directly relevant to game design; it is a tool the game designer can use to elicit particular emotions in players. This interactive presentation gives examples of different aspects of loss aversion and how they have been used in various video and tabletop games.
“Learning to Learn in Games” presented by Luke Jones, Katie Allred, Phil Cameron. Believe it or not, tabletop games can have an influence on how we learn not only in the game’s environment but also outside it. Games can have that magic spark that not only allows you to enjoy it with multiple play throughs, but gives you the necessary environment that helps you learn the game. not only can this help you learn the game better, but also help you learn new concepts outside the game by applying those concepts.
“Visual Modeling for Teaching and Sharing Game Logic (Part 2: Discussion on Usage and Future)” presented by Marc Gurwitz. (Participation in Part 1 on Friday is recommended but not required). This session is a discussion of the AGML as introduced in the previous session. We will examine the model structure, review its viability in a classroom and collaborative design environment, and consider its applications and uses. The session is open for discussion on modifications to the modeling system and implementation of it.