Very recently I had to prepare for a formal event with a very strict dress code. I was told I’d have to wear a proper shirt and pants, and cut my hair. Past that, I’d have to shave my beard, and above all- learn how to bow, which is a shame because I have curtsying down. But the strange thing was, what should have been a nightmare for a post-op trans woman, was actually a lot of fun. Such is the nature of virtual worlds and roleplay, and such is the reality of playing Geralt of Rivia in CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3. A massive open-world RPG where you not only play a man, but your status as such has a plethora of gameplay consequences. It made me reflect on how, and in which context I’m comfortable roleplaying, and on the discussion surrounding the ability to play as your gender.
I was browsing through some files and found a few articles that I had written but never published, all on game design. I do think that understanding Ludonarrative Design is important, especially as the ‘gaming’ (I hate that term, but we have no catchier name yet) medium evolves. ‘Ludonarrative’ is a term that entered the medium’s common nomenclature around 2012, and likely if you have any interest in games you’ve heard it. If you’re not quite sure what it means, or why it’s significant, here’s a primer/ crash course. Besides, I like writing about this stuff, and it’s on media so fuck it, why not?