Paraludic Literature: A Definition, a Historical Overview, and the Case Study of Frostgrave Tales – Marco Arnaudo
Computing Models of Escape Rooms
– Ke Jing
An Analysis of Gender-Inclusive Language and Imagery in Top-Ranked Board Game Rulebooks
– Tanya Pobuda and Shelly Jones
We’re still alive.
Sad to start this issue’s editorial this way, but it needs to be said. This has been a hard year, harder than most for those of us in the analog games community. We at Analog Game Studies have endeavored to bring you the same quality essays you have come to expect and appreciate. Within the ethical context demanded by these uncertain times, however, we pumped the brakes a little and decided that content, community, and care should drive our issues, not deadlines. We took a short hiatus as a journal so that we in the editorial board could tend to immediate needs of their families and communities. And we tried to reflect the severity of the many overlapping global crises within our workflow, foregrounding the need for participation and engagement within mass social action first and the speed of publication second. This led to a longer editorial cycle, but one which we think is necessary to meet the diverse needs of our community and culture writ large. Thank you for bearing with us through these changes. At Analog Game Studies, we hope that it remains apparent that we put our authors and community first. No matter what.
That said, we have some great news to share as an editorial board! We are pleased to welcome the exceptionally talented Tanya Pobuda to our editorial board. Tanya has published one of our most popular essays ever, “Assessing Gender and Racial Representation in the Board Game Industry,” which has opened up a formal space for the academic analysis of bias in the hobby game sector today. Welcome, Tanya. We are grateful to have you on the team.
Thematically, this issue focuses on the many ways that analog games have impacts that reach far beyond the gaming table. Take Marco Arnaudo’s essay “Paraludic Literature: A Definition, a Historical Overview, and the Case Study of Frostgrave Tales,” for example. In this essay, Arnaudo shows how a game’s transmedia paraphernalia forms a key component of the possible stories that game can tell. Similarly, Ke Jing explains how escape rooms can be imagined as models of computational systems. He breaks this analogy down in his essay, “Computing Models of Escape Rooms.” Finally, Tanya Pobuda and Shelly Jones have contributed a thorough and evidence-based analysis of gender representation in board game rulebooks in their essay “An Analysis of Gender-Inclusive Language and Imagery in Top-Ranked Board Game Rulebooks.” As game rules are one of the primary entry points to the hobby, it is important to recognize how the gender pronouns that designers use in their rulebooks influence the participation of women, trans, and non-binary folks participating in the hobby.
So please enjoy! We’re excited to sit on the other side of 2020 with a truly excellent slate of essays.
December 7, 2020
Featured image “Scenery_Winter_Planet_Mountains_Snow_Nature_Fantasy_mood_1920x1080” by DJANDYW.COM @Flickr CC BY-SA.