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Board at home: Bridging digital and physical spaces with tabletop play

Board at home: Bridging digital and physical spaces with tabletop play

Friday, February 26, 2021
1:00pm - 5:00pm
Digital Scholarship > DSC Events  
Registration has closed.

UCSC Geek week is all about celebrating our passions.  The Digital Scholarship Department is engaging through our yearly event with group of faculty, lecturers, and librarians who have a passion for board games.  We invite you to join us for one or more of our talks integrating a broad range of topics that integrate both physical board games and digital interaction.  Learn more about Geek Week here!   

The event will run from 1-5pm, Pacific Time with two built in 15 minute breaks.  Our short talks will be 15-20 minute talks with room for questions, and we'll end with a guest speaker from Fantasy Flight who will present a 30-40 minute talk with room for questions. 

The event will be held through Zoom, and the link is provided upon registration.  Check your version and update to the latest and most secure version.



A Public Archive of Japanese Board Game History
Nathan Altice,
Assistant Teaching Professor
Computational Media

In this talk, Professor Altice will showcase Analog Joy Club, an ongoing research, archival, and translation project focused on the 20th-century history of Japanese board, card, war, and roleplaying games. He will share details about the project's scope, its goals, its challenges, its participants, and, of course, many beautiful images of the games that comprise the archive.


Adaptation and Playing Apart- How "In-Person" Play Is Responding to the Pandemic
Elizabeth Swensen
Assistant Professor
Art and Design: Games and Playable Media
Digital Art and New Media

How do we capture the aesthetics and dynamics of embodied and tabletop play, now that we're apart? In this talk, Assistant Professor Elizabeth Swensen will discuss the rising popularity of digital platforms, tools, and practices used to adapt and rethink board games, escape rooms, and roleplaying experiences for digital distanced play.


Problematic Faves: Games and the Black Gaze

A.M. Darke
Director, The Other Lab
Assistant Professor, Digital Arts and New Media;
Critical Race and Ethnic Studies;
Art & Design: Games and Playable Media

Professor A.M. Darke will host an interactive talk and play-through of her latest game, ‘Ye or Nay?, a polemical take on the classic Guess Who? where all of the characters are Black men and half of them are Kanye West. 


2:30-2:45 - SCHEDULED BREAK  


Indie Tabletop RPGs: They Exist, They’re Cheap…and You’ll Love Them

Tad Leckman
Computational Media
Art & Design: Games & Playable Media
Digital Arts and New Media

Dungeons and Dragons is not only one of the first and best-known tabletop roleplaying games of all time, it’s also more popular now than at any point since it was first published in 1974. The core D&D rulebooks are still in the Amazon top 100 bestseller list eight years after they first went on sale! And while D&D enjoys the popular spotlight, hundreds of independent game designers, writers and artists have been quietly creating, playing, selling, and often giving away, alternatives roleplaying games in every genre. In this presentation, Tad will provide an overview of the indie TTRPG (tabletop roleplaying game) scene and highlight some of the hobby’s most interesting, unusual and successful titles.   


Words, Sentiments, and Games - A textual analysis of board game reviews
Kristina Golubiewski-Davis
Director, Digital Scholarship Department
University Library, UCSC

Have you ever wondered what you can learn from board game reviews beyond an average ranking?  In this talk, Kristy explores and compares the reviews of popular games as ranked by Board Game Geek using text analysis tools and sentiment analysis to look specifically at how popular board games compare to educational board games.  Do the terms people use for educational board games suggest different aspects of the game are being judged? What types of sentiments are associated with different board games?  How do reviews on gaming specific sites, such as Board Game Geek, differ to reviews on more general sites, such as Amazon?  Join us to find out!


3:45 - 4:00 - SCHEDULED BREAK  


Bridging Mediums: The Design of App-Integrated Board Games

Andrew Fischer
Senior Manager of Digital Development at Fantasy Flight Games

App-integrate board games such as 'Mansions of Madness' combine the camaraderie and tactile nature of physical games with the complex systems and hidden information of digital games. Creating mechanics that leverage the strengths of both mediums while still creating a seamless experience presents significant challenges. In this talk Andrew Fischer, head of Fantasy Flight Games' digital development, will share the conceptual knowledge his team has learned while designing several of these unique cross-genre games.





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Square Photo by Christopher Paul High on Unsplash

Title Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash