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There Will Be Games

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lmmonster3This week's Cracked LCD is one of those highbrow theory articles that I like to write every so often about the way I think games ought to be. I tried really hard to piss someone off in it by calling game designers fascists, but Bill Abner stepped in and judiciously excised that indictment. Rudiger Dorn and Andreas Seyfarth can rest easy, safe from Godwin's Law.

So it's about transparency as Claude Rains (pictured) suggests. And by transparency, I mean rules and mechanics that vanish when you're actually playing a game. And why games where this happens are better than those like, say, CAYLUS where the structure is printed on the board because the game is really just a process of following rules and making a couple of decisions than it is actually playing with the game or with other players.

This week's article was supposed to be a review of DUNGEON LORDS, but I realized that I just wasn't really ready to write about it. And interestingly, I like DUNGEON LORDS even though it is almost a point-for-point refutation of everything I put forward in this article. Maybe the review next week will sort out why.

Michael is a member of the Fortress: Ameritrash staff, and a regular columnist for Gameshark.

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There Will Be Games

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Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of and as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

Articles by Michael

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