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Do you remember Remember Tomorrow?

Remember Tomorrow by Gregor Hutton is a weird little game that you probably never heard of. It came out back in 2010, and it’s possible that it made less of an impact because on the surface it doesn’t look weird at all. You play a character with a goal, fighting bad guys to get what […]

Ben Robbins | July 31st, 2023 | , , , | 1 comment

Emic vs Etic: Invent Words You Can Use

Way back in college, when I was taking anthropology courses instead of focusing on my major, I learned the idea of “emic vs etic”. Anthropologists, being clever folks who have spent a lot of time studying cultures, recognized a distinction between terms and concepts that were part of the culture they were studying (emic), versus […]

Ben Robbins | February 16th, 2023 | , , , | 8 comments

Great Players

I know a lot of great players. If there were an Earth-threatening crisis that could be solved by the power of play and I had a red phone, I could pick up that red phone and I would know who to call to save the world. What do I mean by great player? Knowing the […]

Ben Robbins | August 30th, 2019 | , , | 2 comments

Farewell, Story Games Seattle!

After 8 years and over 600 meetups, I’m shutting down Story Games Seattle. Lots and lots of people have been a part of Story Games Seattle over the years. So many people and so many great games… and some terrible ones too, because that’s the risk you take when you sit down with strangers and […]

Ben Robbins | March 29th, 2018 | , , | 9 comments

The Fall and Rise (and Fall) of Antal

Intense game of Follow at Story Games Seattle. We played the Rebellion question, but our fellowship was nowhere near equipped to overthrow the new nobles, House Jakab, that had ousted our traditional rulers, the beloved House of Antal. Character creation led to a wonderfully complex interpersonal web: “My mother was a nanny for the nobles, […]

Ben Robbins | February 19th, 2018 | , , ,

We See Dead People

Shock at Story Games Seattle. Our issues (picked independently and secretly, as we do) were Loneliness, Inheritance, and Over-Medication. What kind of sci-fi Shock could we brainstorm that addresses all three of these issues? How about a drug that lets you go into a trance and talk to your ancestors? We have a whole society […]

Ben Robbins | February 2nd, 2018 | , ,

“Is it… sentient?”

Saturday at Story Games Seattle, we were doing the meditative “hmm, what kind of history do we want to make…” when Connor threw out one word that made everyone at the table go “a ha!!!”: Domestication It got us thinking about symbiosis and spawned a setting where two independent sentient species, one human and one […]

Ben Robbins | November 14th, 2017 | , ,

300 Games Later

You play a game, then you play another game, then you play another game, and suddenly… you’ve played a lot of games. A few weeks ago I played my 300th game at Story Games Seattle. That’s a lot of candles on that cake. If you told me when I sat down to show people how […]

Ben Robbins | October 11th, 2017 | , | 2 comments

Lawyers Never Die

Kingdom at Story Games Seattle. When the new Archbishop of the Church of England forbids contracts binding demons to work on Sundays, the senior partner of our firm has an inspirational meeting with one of the founding partners (whose ghost haunts our office). He gets in touch with his inner lawyer, remembers why he started […]

Ben Robbins | July 7th, 2017 | , ,

Do You Think You’re Beautiful?

We’re on the verge of a breakthrough that will change society. We’ve deciphered the genetic code and can bend it to our will. But… the only genetic trait we’ve mastered is beauty. Physical beauty. We can’t make you smarter or healthier, just more attractive. We’ve isolated beauty to a mathematical equation and can engineer facial […]

Ben Robbins | May 31st, 2017 | , , , | 2 comments

An Eye for an Eye

Do cybernetic implants count as human remains? When you have parts inside you that are the intellectual property of others, where does the boundary of ownership lie — is it really *your* arm? And once total body replacement is available, can you still be held responsible for your actions since someone else made your synthetic […]

Ben Robbins | April 17th, 2017 | , , ,

Heartbreak at Suicide Ridge

I already talked about the Follow Rebellion where we (luckily) failed to awaken the elder god Kanaguk and destroy the world. I played another Rebellion at Story Games Seattle just a few days later with a totally different group, half of whom had never played Follow before. Playing two Rebellions in a row was chance, […]

Ben Robbins | November 6th, 2016 | , ,

PAX 2016: Veni Vidi Ludi

“We came. We saw. We gamed.” Once again, crack squads from Story Games Seattle, Story Games Olympia and other parts Pacific Northwest, descended on PAX to bring the story games to the people. From Friday through Monday, our expert facilitators were on hand, offering games to anybody who wandered up and wanted to take them […]

Ben Robbins | September 18th, 2016 | , , ,

Hackers & Homework

or, “You can take down the corrupt corporate hegemony after you finish cleaning your room!” I tried out some rules tweaks for Follow at our Story Games Seattle playtest meetup Monday. We agreed on a Heist but decided to make it a cyberpunk-hacky thing. Pretty normal so far, right? Except half the characters turned out […]

Ben Robbins | June 30th, 2016 | , ,