Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2021

The Space Between Blows: The Audience's Role in Narrative Combat

POW! BIFF! ZOT! Fight scenes have been a part of narrative media for... well, as long as there has been narrative media . The Illiad , for instance, is full of the granular blow-by-blow we expect of fight scenes today, regardless of medium . So this is not a topic for which I can do any kind of justice - I'm sure there are people who have dedicated their entire careers to the study of narrative combat, and there will always be more to talk about, more to discover. Rather, this post will explore some recent thoughts inspired by (what else) a mostly-forgotten twenty-year old video game. Oni is a third-person action game with a focus, despite the arsenal of weapons featured in the official art, on melee combat. Today, it's remembered mostly as the game Bungie made after Marathon and Myth , but before Halo . Culturally, it's a rather bizarre relic: a western attempt at making an "anime game" based on limited reference points that the creators lifted wholesale, partic

The Gaming Parent

Father’s Day isn’t a holiday I typically come to with a lot of excitement. While I love my kids, and care about my own father and other dads in my life, Father’s Day just isn’t something that I love to celebrate as a holiday. In honor of the day, though, and for those that do enjoy it, I’ve decided to use this week’s post to talk a bit about being a parent and a gamer. Both gaming (whether it be video games, board games, tabletop RPGs, or even all three) and being a parent can take up a ton of time in day-to-day life. If gaming is one of your passions, it's likely something you had to significantly reduce to make up for the time requirements of being a parent. Those unavoidable visits to the doctor, diaper changes, potty training, homework...the list of parenting responsibilities is endless. The list of games I’d like to play has also seems to have become endless in a very short amount of time. What can one do about it? (Besides obsessively organizing and cataloging your game colle

Roll for Re-Opening

The COVID era, as we’ve taken to calling it, ain’t over yet - not by a long shot. But as vaccination percentages rise, restrictions are being eased at both jurisdictional and individual levels, and, while the decision is up to you and the other members of your pod (at least we get to use some cool futuristic terminology!), options are starting to open up. This week, we'll talk about our ideas for getting back to in-person gaming and and talk about how you can set up your own Post-Vax Agenda. - B    A : Strangely enough, despite how much we talk about it, I haven’t done any in-person tabletop games since over a year before the pandemic even started. Sadder yet, that campaign left a bad taste in my mouth like burnt pizza. I enjoyed it for what it was at the time, but now I wince at that burnt tongue feeling and nasty aftertaste. I have picked up a few games online since the pandemic started, and that’s been fantastic. Fortunately, those people are spread across multiple states, and t

Moment of Silence: One Year Later

One year ago, following the murder of George Floyd, Never Say Dice posted "a moment of silence" in memory of Black Americans who have died as the result of police violence, and out of solidarity to those who stand up to a system designed to break the bodies, minds, and souls of people of color. One year later, we thought we should reflect on what has transpired since then, and where we can go from here. There is always another story, ask anyone who works in words, images, and sounds, including those artists of ephemera who concoct fleeting tales around a table, shaped by dice and panic, lost instantly to time and the savageries of recollection. Every story that's told makes space for those that aren't. The "before" stories. The "after" stories. And the stories beneath. If someone has lived their life privileged enough to never hear the stories of those who suffered and died creating the world they take for granted, even acknowledging the existence