The Board Game as a Narrative Medium – Pawel Bornstedt
The Scientification of Games: Analyzing Ghost Blitz through the Lens of Cognitive Psychology – Benjamin James Dyson and Leo Baik
The 11th year of Analog Game Studies is upon us, and we have multiple exciting events and issues we cannot wait to reveal to you. The first issue lies before you, a collection of 3 essays that elaborate on the ways that analog games participate in broader contexts of behavior, history, and narrative structure. In some ways, this continues our concern with fundamentals of the field from our September 2023 issue: how do these games produce emergent narrative and player behavior, and what does all of that mean?
In Pawel Bornstedt’s “The Board Game as a Narrative Medium,” the author provides an extensively sourced case for a slightly different taxonomy of board games, namely one between non-narrative, thematic, and narrative games. Bornstedt’s master’s thesis represents a slice of German media theory, educational theory, and pop-culture theory rolled together into an accessible package for anyone just getting into board game analysis. In “The Scientification of Games: Analyzing Ghost Blitz through the Lens of Cognitive Psychology” by Benjamin James Dyson and Leo Baik, we observe how a simple game Ghost Blitz produces a range of player behaviors that are, given current scholarship, utterly fascinating to modern psychologists interested in gamification. In Brian McKenzie’s “Murders on the Stage, Tortures, Woundings, and the Like”: Dungeons & Dragons Adventures as Tragedy, he unfolds a tale of the relationship between classic tragedy tropes and the actual stories told by D&D, arguing that such stories afford a much closer look than perhaps past scholars have given them.
January 2024 is already at its end and we’re barely just rubbing our eyes, but the light from Analog Game Studies steadily emanates as always.
–The Editors, January 30, 2024
Featured image DSCN0082 by Tom Dixon @Fickr CC BY-SA.