Transparency Hot

Michael Barnes     
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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.

Click here for more board game articles by Michael Barnes.

Transparency There Will Be Games
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