Volume X, Issue I

Game Mechanics and Narrative as Symbiotic, Co-Constructive Elements in Tomb of Annihilation
– Mark Hines

Groping in the Dark: Intimacy in Nyctophobia
– Jack Murray

Serious Fandoms–An Interview with Linda Codega
– Evan Torner

BOOM!!!!!! The first issue of Volume X lies before you. Yes, we at Analog Game Studies have been at this game for 10 years. You could look at it as “time flies when you’re having fun,” or as “time has no meaning when your nose is on the grindstone.” Speaking of grindstones, the three works for this issue each, to some degree, address the viscerality of role-play and embodied play.

We often engage in play with intensity, bringing with it our values and politics. In “Game Mechanics and Narrative as Symbiotic, Co-Constructive Elements in Tomb of Annihilation,” Mark Hines interrogates the politics of worldbuilding to be found in the reactionary arm of the OSR indie game movement. Hines connects this D&D adventure module to its roots in race-hierarchical, colonialist fantasies, all linked with a broader, conservative political project.

In “Groping in the Dark: Intimacy in Nyctophobia,” Jack Murray offers an interpretation of Catherine Stippell’s 2018 board game through the lens of affect, queer intimacy, and embodiment. By using concepts from Nordic larp and feminist video-game studies, Murray allows us to see the expanded realm of play that Stippell’s game affords its players.

Finally, AGS editor Evan Torner interviews journalist Linda Codega, who is now a household name in tabletop gaming circles for having broken the story in January 2023 about potentially devastating changes to the D&D Open Game License, which prompted enough fan & creator protest to see the proposed policy rescinded and D&D core materials gifted to the community. Codega’s embodiment of both journalistic integrity and passionate fandom is a model for us all.

It gives us great pleasure to celebrate a decade of AGS with such outstanding material, continuing our tradition of being a meeting point between analog game scholars and designers. Make sure to submit to this year’s Generation Analog conference on “Biased Play,” and take good care of yourselves in the meantime!

–The Editors, March 27, 2023

Featured image “Fireworks” by Aaron @Flickr CC BY-NC.