• A Gamer’s Library: Introduction

    by  • March 15, 2012 • Reviews • 4 Comments

    Hi, everyone! My name is Jessica, and I’m here to talk about books.

    I’m an avid and eclectic reader, which has definitely made me a better player and GM. I steal character concepts, great lines, narrative techniques, cool facts, and more. It’s also made me a better game designer. It’s easy to get caught in the same old geek tropes; if you want your games to be fresh and interesting, you’d best have something fresh and interesting to mine 1.

    I’ve been writing about books on my personal site for several years now, but I rarely speak about them in the context of my gaming life. Ladies, that’s about to change. In addition to my usual book logging 2, I’ll be writing here about some of the books that tingle my gaming senses. I’ll be discussing what’s worth stealing, what’s challenging to incorporate into a game, how I’d do it, and, of course, whether it’s worth your time to read the whole thing.

    Here are some things you may want to know about the project!

    What books will you choose?

    I’ll be choosing the most useful books from whatever I’m inspired to read, plus a few old favorites. For a taste of what you might get, check out my best of 2011 fiction and non-fiction posts.

    Will you be only discussing books by women?

    No. I do tend to read a lot of books by women, but I’m inspired by books of many kinds from many different authors. Consider this project a glimpse inside one woman’s reading (and gaming!) life.

    What about sexist (or otherwise problematic) texts?

    I’ll do the same thing with them publicly that I do privately: grapple with them as they are. I’ll try to pull out what’s useful and, when necessary, explicitly point out what’s awful. When it comes to the most egregious offenders, I’ll suggest you vote with your wallet. I’ll also make sure I recommend some less poisonous sources for the bits worth learning from.

    Will there be spoilers?

    Oh, yes. I’ll be discussing specific characters, scenes, and techniques. If you don’t want to know what happens, don’t follow the jump.

    I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you. Happy reading!

    1.  Or so I tell my game design students every year.
    2. Being late with my book posts is pretty usual, but I’m rarely so far behind so early in the year. Between job interviews and travel, I haven’t even gotten my first books post of 2012 out the door!


    Game scholar, game design educator, game designer, and most of all enthusiastic game player!


    4 Responses to A Gamer’s Library: Introduction

    1. avatar
      March 16, 2012 at 08:27

      Will these posts be limited to books only or will you be discussing and comparing character tropes form more than just the literary media?

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      • avatar
        March 16, 2012 at 16:57

        I’m probably going to limit myself to books, because that’s really my area of expertise, but maybe I can convince some of the other ladies here to join me with other forms of media!

    2. avatar
      March 16, 2012 at 17:43

      Do you ever read something and thing, “Oh wow, I have -got- to use this in a game!”?

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      • avatar
        March 16, 2012 at 19:19

        All the time! That was actually the inspiration for this series – realizing just how much my gaming owes to what I read. (The catalyst book was Gone with the Wind – which I’ll definitely be writing about here at some point!)

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