In this episode of the Ludus Novus podcast, I discuss the election and GamerGate and how we can make a difference with games. I start with an excerpt from Austin Walker’s recent, amazing piece “A Note on Trump, Waypoint, and Why We Play.” I move on to discuss mirror neurons, Gone Home, my presumptuous racial awareness thanks to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, my plans to survive violent abuse, and the power of games to promote compassion.
The Ludus Novus podcast is supported by my patrons. To help, please visit my Patreon.
The theme music is “A Foolish Game (Vox Harmony Adds)” by Snowflake, Admiral Bob, and Sackjo22, available on ccMixter under a ccby3.0 license.
My partner Melissa and I have started a new project: a monthly podcast called Audacious Compassion about how to demonstrate empathy in difficult everyday situations. The first episode, “Go Buy a Caddy,” is up and you can subscribe via RSS or iTunes. You can even rate us five stars on iTunes if you like!
Continue reading Audacious Compassion Podcast
There’s a rich tradition in video games of villainous protagonists. One of the most interesting things about this trend is how it encourages you to understand and assign personhood to characters that you might otherwise demonize.
At Future Proof Games we’re motivated by a concept we call “audacious compassion:” exercising players’ everyday empathy skills by encouraging them to have compassion for characters that seem alien, evil, or irrational.
Villainous games align with this concept. Tie Fighter shows you how the underlings in a dictatorial government justify their actions as preserving order. Overlord depicts a character who does the right things for the wrong reasons. And Evil Genius depicts a supervillain who’s inordinately concerned with keeping people happy and entertained.
Continue reading It’s So Easy When You’re: Evil Genius