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Showing posts from October, 2018

How Games Acquire Mana

Like many people, I have a long commute. The university where I teach is located almost an hour’s drive west from the city in which I live. Since I got into boardgaming, I have filled this temporal void by listening to podcasts. One of the most popular podcasts in the boardgaming hobby is The Dice Tower, hosted by boardgame reviewer Tom Vasel and voice actor Eric Summerer. It consists mainly of boardgame reviews, along with the ever-popular “Top 10” countdowns and occasional interviews. A recurring feature are the “GameTek” segments hosted by game designer and author Geoff Engelstein, which analyze different aspects of game design and gameplay from a theoretical perspective, incorporating insights from psychology, economics and statistics as well as computing and artifical intelligence.

On my drive home from work last Thursday I was listening to Dice Tower episode #574, Top 10 Relaxing Games, which featured a GameTek segment on the use of specialized terminology in games. The segm…