Renaissance Rivals Print-and-Play

Compete for knowledge, favor and glory as one of the greatest artists the world has ever known! Renaissance Rivals is a 1-5 player game of cutthroat artistic competition that can be played in about an hour. Players take on the role of one of six artists of the Italian Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci, Antonia Uccello, Michelangelo Buonnaroti, Raphael Sanzio, Sister Plautilla Nelli, or Moretto da Brescia. Over the course of the game, your artist will criss-cross the art market of Renaissance Italy (a 4 x 4 grid of cards, representing Milan, Florence, and Rome) as you use cards drawn into your hand to obtain Commission cards and complete your artist’s eight unique Masterpieces. The print-and-play version of the game includes:   6 City cards (2 for each city) 6 Artist Reference cards, featuring each artist’s biography and Masterpiece requirements 6 Rules Reference cards, showing Skill Tree and Turn Sequence 63 Player Deck cards (8 unique Masterpiece cards for each of 6 artists + 15 Leve

Landscapes of Empire: Coloniality, Agency, and Opacity in Game Design

In recent decades, an increasing awareness of the prevalence of colonialist and Orientalist themes in modern board games have led to calls for “de-colonizing” the hobby. Critiques of the imperialism and Eurocentrism implicit in Sid Meier’s computer game series  Civilization  have now been joined by critical analyses of colonialist themes in board games like Goa ,  Vasco de Gama , and Maracaibo . The response from board game designers and publishers has been mixed. On the one hand, it can be observed that the pushback against the depiction of colonialism in games has led to a kind of “pre-colonial regress,” leading to an explosion of games like Daniele Tascini’s Tzol’kin: The Mayan Calendar (2012) or David Turczi’s game of temple-building in ancient Egypt, Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun (2020). Of course, the mere avoidance of colonialism as a historical theme or setting does not ensure that a game is free of complicity in the extractive practices of colonialism, in particular practice

Meaningful Decisions: Diversity and Inclusion in History-Themed Board Games

Paper presented at Canadian Game Studies Association Conference, June 7, 2019 “While the rhetoric around ‘games as motivators’ is widespread, there is little research evidence that this is the case, and while they may motivate some learners, their use may actually exclude others.” -Nicola Whitton, “Games for Learning: Creating a Level Playing Field or Stacking the Deck?” By exposing players to historical subject matter via an activity that is designed to maximize player engagement and motivation, history-themed games would seem to offer an invaluable resource for educators in history and the humanities.   But if one of the principal advantages of using games in the classroom is that it accomodates diverse learning styles and appeals to a broader range of students than traditional pedagogical methods, [1] than educators should be especially concerned with the question of whether a given game makes good on the promise that game-based learning, in and of itself,