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.

"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)

"In Praise of Fanfic," by Cory Doctorow (from Locus Magazine, 2007)

"Transracial Writing for the Sincere," by Nisi Shawl (from Science Fiction Writers of America,  2009)

"The Functions of Language," by Louis Hébert (from Signo, 2011)

"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)

"Standard Patterns in Choice-Based Games," by Sam Kabo Ashwell (from These Heterogenous Tasks, Jan 2015)

"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)

"Diversity Panels I'd Like to See," by Annalee, (from The Bias, Sept 2015)

"No More Diversity Panels, It's Time to Move On," by L.E.H. Light (from Black Nerd Problems, Aug/Sept 2015)

"Diversity Panels Are the Beginning Not the End," by Michi Trota (from Uncanny Magazine, 2015) 

"Style Guide for Writing About People with Disabilities," by Jacob Wood (from Accessible Games blog, September 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. 

"Weaponized Narrative is the New Battlespace," by Brad Allenby and Joel Garreau (from Defense One, 3 January 2017)

"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)

Photo 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. 

Game Design, Play and Analysis

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 (from The Oracle, 1995)

"System Does Matter," by Ron Edwards (from The Forge Articles, 1999)

"The Same Page Tool," by Chris Chinn (from Deeper in the Game blog, 2010)

"Volatility in Game Design," by James Ernest (Lecture notes from GenCon 2012, talk with Jason Morningstar)

"Play Boldly--Let Yourself Be Vulnerable," by Elin Dalstål (from Gaming as Women, September 2012)

"Dealing with the Aristotealian Curse," by Eirik Fatland (from The Larpwright blog, 2013)

"Rules Engines and Licensing," by Jim White (from Wombat's Gaming Den of Iniquity, October 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)

"Art History for D&D People, Course Overview," by Zak Smith (from Playing D&D with Porn Stars blog, 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)

"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)

"The F&F Manifesto: Fail Better, Forgive Better," by Lizzie Stark (from Leaving Mundania blog, 2015)

"Lighten Up," by Ronald Wimberly (from The Nib, 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)

"Don't Punch the GM: Adventures in Game Therapy," by Wheelhouse Workshop with Johnny Spangler, Adam Johns, Adam Davis. (PaxPrime, August 2015)

"Looking Back on the Backwards Survey," by W. Caleb McDonald (from his personal website, August 2015)

"DIY Tutorial - Mini Doll Houses," by Elizabeth Chaipraditkul (Epic x Cloth blog, September 2015)

"Rolling the Twenty Sided Dice," by Eric Molinsky featuring Lev Grossman, Paul La Farge and Richard Valazquez (from Imaginary Worlds podcast, September 2015)

"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)

"What is Social Fiction?" by Quinn Murphy (on Thoughtcrime Games blog, January 2016)

"What is a Storygame?" by Sam Kabo Ashwell (from These Heterogenous Tasks, Jan 2016)

"26 Game Studies Quests," by Evan Torner (from Guy in the Black Hat blog, Jan 2016)

"Toward a Larp Organizers' Bill of Rights," by Lizzie Stark (from Leaving Mundania blog, February 2016)

"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)

"Is immersive theatre broken?" by Alice Saville, Duncan Gates, Rosemary Waugh, Tim Bano, Natasha Tribney, Stewart Pringle, Laura Mooney, and Rafaella Marcus (from Exeunt Magazine, May 2016)

"Teaching Representation in Games," by Mattie Brice (from Mattie Brice Alternate Ending blog, May 2016)

"Designing the Job -- Part 1: What Does a Game Cost a Designer?" by Daniel Solis (from Daniel Solis blog, June 2016)

"A Proceduralist View on Diversity in Games," by Gillian Smith (from Journal of Games Criticism, July 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). 

"Mind the Gap," Ian Thomas, from Winged Monkeys blog, (18 Dec 2016)

"Allies and Dice: Creating Diversity as a GM," Kate Bullock, from Bluestocking's Organic Gaming blog, (11 January 2017)

"Winning the Larp," by Eric Molinsky featuring Lizzie Stark, Evan Torner, Caroline Murphy and Eirik Fatland, (from Imaginary Worlds podcast, 26 January 2017) 

"Food for Thought: Narrative Through Food at Larps," by Rosalind Gothberg and Siri Sandquist, (from NordicLarp.org, February 2017) 

"'American Larp - A Primer,'" by Kelsey Desrosiers, (from Seed and Sword, February 2017)

"The Player Organizer Contract," by Lizzie Stark and Tor Kjetil Edland, (from Leaving Mundania, February 2017)

"Keeping Volunteers Alive," by Agata Świstak and Claus Raastad, (from Nordic Larp.org, February 2017)

"Telling Character Stories," by Monika Weißenfels, (from Nordic Larp.org, February 2017)

"Drawing East Asian Faces," A Brief Guide by Kat Tsai (chuwenjie), (from Kat Tsai tumblr, March 2017)

"The Consent and Community Safety Manifesto," by Maury Brown, (from NordicLarp.org, March 2017)

Publishing and Creator Rights

"How to Make Your Own Role-Playing Game (Cheap)," by Clinton R. Nixon (Dreisbach) (from The Forge Articles, 2001)

"A Game Developer's Bill of Rights," by Eric Zimmerman (presentation for Montreal International Game Summit, 2005)

"Kickstarter: Plan for Worst Case Success," by Fred Hicks (from Deadly Fredly blog, March 2012)

"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)

Machinations: Game Feedback Diagrams, design analysis tool created by Joris Dormans (jorisdormans.nl, 2013). 

"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)

"Kickstarter Tips for Role Playing Games," links aggregated and maintained by the denizens of Flick.com

"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)

"Hobby Games Market Nearly $1.2 Billion in 2015," by Milton Griepp (from ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture blog)

"An Authoritative Look at Publishing Startups," by Thad McIlroy (from The Future of Publishing site, 10 January 2017)

"Kickstarter in 2016 - Deep Dive into the Games category," by Thomas Bidaux (from ICO Partners, 31 January 2017)

Collections and Journals - larp, rpg and games theory & discussion

Analog Game Studies, analysis and documentation of analog games. Collected Volumes: I (2016)

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. 

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).

Game Wrap, yearly publication focusing on the art and craft of live action role playing games.

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.

Gaming as Women, a collection of thoughts on womanhood and (mostly) analog gaming.

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.

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.

Knutepunktconference proceedings, videos, annual conference (1997 to present).

Living Games Conference Hub, talks, panels, workshops, edularp conference and networking for larp and game communities. Begun in 2012.

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.

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).

"Writing With Diversity: Resources", collated by Malinda Lo, Feb 2017.

WyrdCon, WyrdCon Companion books, conference links and videos (2009 to present).