Welcome to the Imaginarium. A space to explore the words and games of others, curated for you.
Essays on fiction and games
Fiction and Narrative
"On Fairy Stories," by J.R.R. Tolkien (from Essays presented to Charles William, 1947)
"A Few Words to a Young Writer," by Ursula K. Le Guin.
Criteria from How to Tell the Difference: A Guide for Evaluating Children’s Books for Anti-Indian Bias, based on Through Indian Eyes by Beverly Slapin, Doris Seale (Santee/Cree), and Rosemary Gonzales (Ojibwe). See also Oyate’s Additional Criteria.
"Reading Romance Novels: An Application of Parasocial Relationship Theory," by Ann Burnett and Rhea Reinhardt Beto, North Dakota Journal of Speech & Theatre, V. 13, 2000.
"Narrative, Interactivity, Play and Games: Four naughty concepts in need of discipline," by Eric Zimmerman (from First Person, 2004)
"The definitive history of games and stories, ludology and narratology," by Jesper Juul (from The ludologist, 2004)
“Decolonization is not a Metaphor,” by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang (from Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, Vol.1, No.1, 2012, pp.1-40, 2012, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0)
"Story Structure 101: Super Basic Shit," by Dan Harmon (Channel 101 Wiki, 2012)
"Story Structure 104: The Juicy Details," by Dan Harmon (Channel 101 Wiki, 2012)
"Reading other minds, Effects of Literature on Empathy," by Maya Djikic, Keith Oatley and Mihnea C. Moldoveneau of the University of Toronto, in Scientific Study of Literature 3:1, pp. 28-47, 2013.
"A Too-Coherent World: Game Studies and the Myth of 'Narrative' Media," by Edward Wesp (from Game Studies, The International Journal of Computer Game Research, Vol.14, Issue 2, 2014)
A guide to fanfiction for people who can’t stop getting it wrong,” by Gavia Baker-Whitelaw and Aja Romano (from The Daily Dot, 17 June 2014)
"The Student of Color in the Typical MFA Program," by David Mura (from Gulf Coast, a journal of litrature and fine arts, April 2015)
"New Rules of Fantasy: The Tyranny and Power of Defaulting," by Quinn Murphy (from Thought Crime Games blog, 2015)
"Style Guide for Writing About People with Disabilities," by Jacob Wood (from Accessible Games blog, September 2015)
"25 Things Writers Should Know About Theme," by Chuck Wendig (from terrible minds blog, Sept 2015)
"Mathematicians mapped out every Game of Thrones relationship to find the main character," by Adam Epstein (from Quartz, March 2016)
"Everything You Need to Know to Read Frankenstein," by Iseult Gillespie on Ted-Ed Originals.
"The GLLI-PR Collaboration on Chinese Literature, Feb 2017 (List of All 28 Posts)", by Helen Wang London (from Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, Feb 2017)
"The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online," by Lee Rainie, Janna Anderson and Jonathan Albright (from Pew Research Center, 29 March 2017)
"Uncovering the African Presence in Medieval Europe," by Adam Simmons (from The Public Medievalist, 27 April 2017)
"Film Dialogue from 2000 Screenplays, Broken Down by Age and Gender," by Hanah Anderson and Matt Daniels, (from The Pudding)
"The Story of Arc Symphony, A Game About A Game That Doesn't Exist," by Julie Muncy, (from Wired, 24 May 2017)
"Race: the Original Sin of the Fantasy Genre," by Paul B. Sturtevant (The Public Medievalist, 5 December 2017)
"Coffee & Content - Dan Harmon's 8 Steps to Better Stories and Editing Cuts & Transitions," by Richard "RB" Botto (Stage 32, 5 August 2018)
“From the Trenches to Mordor and Back: World War I and British Fantasy Literature,” by Iskander Rehman (War on the Rocks, 25 October 2018)
“Publishing Legend Betty Ballantine dies in Bearville 99,” by Tad Wise (hudson valley one, 18 February 2019) - obituary of influential publisher of 20th century sci fi, fantasy and genre fiction.
Photo and Narrative Documentation of Games
Xin Li's Flickr albums (European larp 2009 - present, Public Domain) CC license.
Larp House Blog documentation collection (Minnesota, US) Contact for permissions to use.
Johannes Axner's Flickr albums (Palestine larp, 2013) CC by attribution.
All For One. Ian Thomas (Medium post, July 26, 2019) Contact for permissions to use.
Game Design, Play, Analysis and Community Building
"Therapy is Fantasy: Roleplaying, Healing and the Construction of the Symbolic Order," by John Hughes, in pdf form (paper from Australian National University in 1988, circulated by Myth-o-Logic.org)
Archive of Metagame, The Journal of the Society of Interactive Literature, 1989-1996. (Posted by Gordon Olmstead-Dean and Stephen Kohler)
"The Hidden Art: Slouching Toward a Critical Framework for RPGs," by Robin D. Laws (found in Inter*Action, InteractiveFantasy, Vol 1, 1994-5. )
"Rounds, Levels, Waves: The Early Evolution of Gameplay Segmentation," by José P. Zagal, Clara Fernández-Vara and Michael Mateas (from Games and Culture, V3, N2. April 2008)
"Zero-Player Games, or: What We Talk about When We Talk about Players," by Staffan Björk & Jesper Juul (from jesperjuul.net, Presented at the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Madrid 2012
"Volatility in Game Design," by James Ernest (Lecture notes from GenCon 2012, talk with Jason Morningstar)
"Cultural Languages of Role-Playing," by Angelina Illieva (from International Journal of Role-Playing, Issue 4, September 2013)
"Larp House Notes: When Your Larp Upsets Someone," by Adam McConnaughey (on Medium)
"On Mid-Medieval Economics, Murder Hoboing and 100gp," by Emily Dresner (from /project/multiplexer blog, 2014)
“Examining 'RPG elements': Systems of character progression,” by Zagal, José Pablo and Roger Altizer. FDG (2014).
"Pillage the Vikings!" The Dummies’ Guide to Nordicizing Your Larp Scene for Fun and (No) Profit, by Ole Peder Giæver and Mo Holkar (from Nordic Larp .org, 2014)
“Thirty Years of King Arthur Pendragon: Interview with Kenneth Hite,” Greg Stafford interviewed by Kenneth Hite at GenCon 2014 (from The Stafford Codex, August 2014)
"Best Practices for Information in Tabletop RPGs," by Brennan Taylor, Matt Wilson, Meredith Reitman, Krista White and John Stavropolous (from Genesis of Legend Publishing RPG Design Panelcast, talk given at Metatopia Panel, November 2014)
“Harvesting Interactive Fiction,” talk by Heather Albano (GDC Narrative Summit, 2015)
"This Cake is an Awful Soup: 5 Tips for Taking Playtest Feedback," by Daniel Solis, (from Daniel Solis. Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night blog, 2015) Summarizing The Game Design Round Table podcast, Episode #122: Feedback.
"What it means to 'hold space,' plus eight tips on how to do it well" by Heather Plett (from Heather Plett's blog, March 2015)
"Advanced Designers and Dragons #4: Women in the Roleplaying Industry, 1974-Present," by Shannon Appelcline (RPG.net, August 2015)
"Rolling the Twenty Sided Dice," by Eric Molinsky featuring Lev Grossman, Paul La Farge and Richard Valazquez (from Imaginary Worlds podcast, September 2015)
"Not a manifesto; on game development as cultural work," by Robert Yang (from Radiator Design Blog)
"A Guide to Awesome Playtests," by Hanna Shaffer (from Contessa Blog, November 2015)
"How to Give and Receive Critique," by Hannah Shaffer, Rachel E. S. Walton and Joshua A.C. Newman (from Genesis of Legend Publishing RPG Design Panelcast, talk given at Metatopia Panel, November 2015)
"Been There Done That: Advice for Women in the Industry," talk by Katie Chironis, Amy Kalson, Ellen Marett , Kim McAuliffe, Trevoli Ponds-White, Elizabeth Sampat, My N. Tran (from Game Developers Conference, March 2016)
"Women and Minorities Are Penalized for Promoting Diversity," by Stefanie K. Johnson and David R. Hekman (from Harvard Business Review, Mar 2016)
"Workshop Practice, in Practice -- A Functional Workshop Structure Method," by Mo Holkar (from Nordiclarp.org, April 2016)
"Designing the Job -- Part 1: What Does a Game Cost a Designer?" by Daniel Solis (from Daniel Solis blog, June 2016)
"Perezhivanie and the study of role-playing games," by Wagner Luiz Schmit (available via Sage Journals online service. Published in Culture & Psychology, August 2016)
"If you went to my larp and didn't like it, here's what I'd like you to do," by Claus Raasted (posted on Medium, August 2016)
"The 4 Cs of larping love," by Oliver Nøglebæk (on Olivers tegninger om rollespil, August 2016)
"Be Vulnerable: Emotional Play and Toxic Masculinity," by Kate ("Blue") Bullock (from Bluestocking's Organic Gaming blog, October 2016)
"OK Check-In," Standards, The Imagination Nation, December 2016.
"The Self-Reflexive Tabletop Role-Playing Game," Evan Torner, GAME, n. 5/2016, Vol 1., 2016 (Journal, peer-reviewed.) The Italian Journal of Game Studies.
"How We Design Games Now and Why," Katherine Neil, Medium, 10 December 2016 (orig. in Critical Hits: An Indie Game Anthology, Aug 2016).
"Allies and Dice: Creating Diversity as a GM," Kate Bullock, from Bluestocking's Organic Gaming blog, (11 January 2017)
"Food for Thought: Narrative Through Food at Larps," by Rosalind Gothberg and Siri Sandquist, (from NordicLarp.org, February 2017)
"Discussion Episode - (Live!) Pheno! This Thing We Do," (from Prof Jimbles Dicebag podcast, March 2017) Discussion of Australian systemless play.
"How to Record What Your Playtesters are Doing in Your Unity or Twine Games," by Max Seidman, (from Tiltfactor, May 2017)
"Player vs. Character (Key Terms)," by Zardoz the Magnificent (from Zardoz the Magnificent's Dungeons and/or Dragons Super Show!, May 2017)
"I Rolled a One and I'm Dead: Person Reference Across the Multiple Worlds of Tabletop-Roleplaying Games," Thesis by Catherine Leanne Cook, Monash University, May 2017.
"RPG Design Curation - Likes for Wisdom," meme created by Ewen Cluney, Tweets and participation Storified by Jason Pitre (June 2017)
"Dungeons & Dragons Wouldn't Be What It Is Today Without These Women," by Cecilia D'Anastasio (from Kotaku, June 2017)
"The untold origins of Gamergate -- and the gaming legends who spawned the modern culture of abuse," by John Adkins (from Multiplayer, 12 July 2017)
"Playing God: Sub Creation, Rules, and Role-Playing Games," thesis by George Evans (University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2017)
"Gaming-A Hero for Depression," by Keisha Howard (from Sugar Gamers, July 2017)
"Play, Performance and Participation: Boundary Negotiations and Critical Role," by Robyn Hope, Thesis. (from Concordia University Library, Nov 2017)
"Why People Play Table-Top Role-Playing Games: A Grounded Theory of Becoming as Motivation," by Darrin Coe (in The Qualitative Report V22, N11, Art 1, 3 Nov 2017)
“How Neopets has influenced a generation of game developers,” by Emma Kidwell (from Gamasutra, 15 August 2018)
“Before You Make a Thing,” by Jentery Sayers (from ts200v2, Fall 2018)
“Solo Board Gaming: An Analysis of Player Motivations,” by Dale Leorke (from Analog Game Studies, 2 December 2018)
“Three for Thursday: Classifying Role Playing Games,” by Eric Schmidt (from Unpossible Journeys)
“Discord Moderation Procedures,” by Takuma Okada (circa 2019)
“Paradox and Promise of ‘Physical Games’ on itch.io,” by Evan Torner (guest post on Center of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, 20 September 2019)
Game and Design Courses
”Paper Computers,” by Jentery Sayers, syllabus and readings from English 508 course taught at University of Victoria. Reflection document from this course completed in Dec 2018.
Publishing and Creator Rights
"A Game Developer's Bill of Rights," by Eric Zimmerman (presentation for Montreal International Game Summit, 2005)
"Hitchhiker's Guide to Game Manufacturers," by James Math (from James Mathe -- Entrepreneur, Designer, Publisher blog, Nov 2013) - list and reviews of printers and game manufacturers (card, board, rpg)
"Diversity is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing," by Daniel José Older (from BuzzFeed Books, April 2014)
"Self-Publishing 101," by Andrea Phillips (from andrea phillips World*Culture*Interaction blog, April 2014)
"Advice for women looking to get into game design: Part 1," by Anna Kreider (from her blog Go Make Me a Sandwich: a (mostly) humorous look at how not to sell games to women, February 2015)
"Advice for women looking to get into game design: Part 2 [LONG]," by Anna Kreider (from her blog Go Make Me a Sandwich: a (mostly) humorous look at how not to sell games to women, February 2015)
"Advice for women looking to get into game design: Part 3 [LONG]," by Anna Kreider (from her blog Go Make Me a Sandwich: a (mostly) humorous look at how not to sell games to women, February 2015)
"Crowdfunding Is Driving A $196 Million Board Game Renaissance," by Oliver Roeder (from 538, August 2015)
"The Secret to getting a game funded on Kickstarter," by Hayley Tsukayama (from the Washington Post, August 2015)
"When We Talk About Cultural Appropriation, We're Missing the Point," by Ijeoma Oluo, (from The Establishment, February 2016)
"PDF Products vs Physical Products as Revenue Generators," by Fred Hicks (from his Deadly Fredly blog, February 2016)
"Kickstarter in 2016 - Deep Dive into the Games category," by Thomas Bidaux (from ICO Partners, 31 January 2017)
Kickstarter Skepticism: Why we're not eager to play that game you backed..." by Chris Wray and Jeff Lingwall (from Opinionated Gamers, May 2017)
"The Importance of Reference Images (Art Direction)," by Dougas Cole (from Gaming Ballistic, 5 July 2017)
"The value of positive reinforcement for indie creators (and how to get it)," by Ben Wasser (from Ooblets Patreon, 3 Sept 2017)
"ICV2 Interview: Asmodee Execs on the State of the Market, Pt. 1," by ICv2 (from ICv2, December 2017)
"Dungeon Fantasy RPG: Aftermath of Report to Stakeholders," by Douglas Cole (from gamingballistic.com, 17 February 2018)
“A Unified (QT)POC Standard Requirements.” Proposed standard freelance contract for QTPOC and all intersections within the tabletop roleplaying game community. (2018)
“The Online Free Speech Debate is Ragin in Fan Fiction, Too,” by Elizabeth Minkel (from The Verge, 8 Nov 2018)
Collections, Reference Sites and Journals - larp, rpg, games/narrative theory, inclusion, accessibility & equity
Actual-play roleplaying games and books you need!, by staff of Washington County Cooperative Library Services, posted by Hillsboro_Brendan, on WCCLS online library catalog. Links to influential actual-play streams and game texts available at this library.
Age of Ravens blog, by Lowell Francis, collection of lists & historical retrospectives of rpgs.
American Journal of Play, discussion of history, science and culture of play.
ArtsEdge Games, collection of games from The Kennedy Center a new method of classroom learning that leverages gaming methodology mapped to existing curriculum as a way of teaching the literary and dramatic arts.
Committee for the Advancement of Role Playing Games (CAR-PGa), studies, case law and other literature about rpgs.
Digital Ludeme Project. A computational study of the world's traditional strategy games throughout recorded human history.
Doris Seale's Writings about Native Peoples in Children's Literature, a bibliography. Compiled by Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature site.
Fan Studies Journals, open access and other journals & collections of works on fan studies.
G|A|M|E, The Italian Journal of Game Studies, a journal dedicated to a comparative, critical and theoretical analysis of videogames (includes analog games).
Gaming as Women, a collection of thoughts on womanhood and (mostly) analog gaming.
Games That Make You Think: A crash course in TTRPG design, a list of games, commentary on their design and recommended practices, curated by Takuma Okada on Itch.io.
Games to Grow Project, vidcast featuring a rotating panel of experts discussing the applications of role-playing games for therapeutic growth and change in individuals, families, and communities.
Game Wrap, yearly publication focusing on the art and craft of live action role playing games.
ICv2 Markets, posts and entries summarizing sales and trends in games, comics and other geek related industries.
Inclusive Gaming Network, blog and community, supports the mission of Reach-Out Role Playing Games and encourages and supports an atmosphere of inclusivity in gaming culture.
Interactive Fantasy: The Journal of Role-Playing and Story-Making Systems, published by James Wallis and Hogshead Publishing, (1994-1995).
The Interactive Fiction Archive, The contents of the IF Archive -- including thousands of text adventures, text adventure development tools, articles, essays, hint files, walkthroughs, jokes, and sly references to Greek politics -- are contributed by the interactive fiction community, past and present. Adopted by the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation.
International Journal of Computer Game Research, crossdisciplinary journal dedicated to games research (2001 to 2014).
International Journal of Role Playing, interdiscplinary platform for discussion of role playing games.
Journal of Games Criticism, bi-annual non-profit, peer-reviewed, open-access journal on games as cultural artifacts, including traditional academics and popular bloggers.
Journal of Popular Romance Studies, a double-blind peer reviewed interdisciplinary journal exploring popular romance fiction and the logics, institutions, and social practices of romantic love in global popular culture.
Larping.org - community, posts and listings for larp games all over the world.
LitRPG Reads, defintion, author lists and collections of works.
New England Larp List - boffer larps offered in the New England area.
Reading List on Play and Design of Games, Joe DeSimone, personal collection.
Oyate - Native organization reviewing children’s literature and advocating for appropriate representation. Books, reviews, articles, workshops.
RPG Design Panelcast, by Genesis of Legend Publishing, collection of talks and panels on game design.
RPG Research Community Website, long term research and studies on therepeutic and educational aspects of role playing games.
Sons of Kryos RPG Podcast. Analog game related interviews and discussion by Jeff Lower, Judd Karlman and Storn Cook. Approx. (2006-2009)
Support Tools Compilation by Natalie @rpgnatalie. A compilation of tools that help you learn how to support your friends in roleplaying.
Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association (ToDigra), dedicated to research on and practice in all aspects of games.
Women in Games, Conference proceedings, blog and links (2006-2011).
WyrdCon, WyrdCon Companion books, conference links and videos (2009 to present).
Recorded and Streaming Game Play, Discussion and Creation
Backstory, an ongoing series of interviews with game designers and other notable members of the role-playing community, hosted by Alex Roberts.
Design Doc: Welcome to Questlandia Hannah and Evan embark on a journey to redesign their first roleplaying game. Hannah Shafer and Evan Rowland.
Improvised Radio Theater - With Dice, a role playing podcast with Roger and Mike.
Misdirected Mark: a Blog and Podcast to talk about Gaming, Gamemastering, and anything else we felt like talking about. Chris Sniezak, Phil Vecchione, Bob Everson and many hosts.
Spawn on Me: is the internet’s definitive video game podcast featuring and spotlighting gamers of color. Tanya DePass.
Acegiak Twitch.tv Ashton McAllan
Anarisis Twitch.tv (art & games)
BasiliskOnline Twitch.tv (Art & games)
Cypheroftyr Twitch.tv #INeedDiverseGames
DumpStatCharisma Twitch.tv (games & discussion)
Chrismmp Twitch.tv Misdirected Mark
GGameKnights Twitch.tv (ttrpgs and video games)
Girlybits Twitch.tv (art)
Hijosdelrol Twitch.tv (spanish language ttrpgs and discussion)
ShamayzingDM Twitch.tv (games)
ShamBazzleGames Twitch.tv (game prep & running advice)
Procedural Content Generation in Games, a textbook and overview of current research, by Noor Shaker, Julian Togelius and Mark J. Nelson.
Coblis Color Blinder Simulator, from Colblindor, tool for accessibility analysis of products.