ZOE (Zombie Orpheus Entertainment) – A Great Little Company

The ZOE logo: a white circle with five hands rising up from the bottom in silhouette, as if they were the hands of zombies erupting up out of the ground. A short arc, about a quarter the circumference of the white circle, concentric with the white circle, runs along the bottom edge of the circle, bisecting three dots. This logo is white on a background of dark blue fading to black in gradient, is the inverse of the normal colours: a black logo on a white background.One of the booths I stopped at whilst I was at Gen Con was the Zombie Orpheus Entertainment booth. I knew I wanted to see what they had, because I’d enjoyed Dark Dungeons so much. ZOE was the company that had produced that particular film. So I stopped by and talked to one of the representatives for a moment, This is what they had to say.

Before we hear about their projects

Here’s a little background on ZOE. Back around the turn of the century, a group of friends from Washington released a couple of low-budget indie horror films called Demon Hunters. They later formed a company called Dead Gentlemen Productions, and subsequently created a humorous short film called The Gamers. This film was wildly popular, so they made a sequel: The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising. Despite the popularity of the sequel, the company had issues with distribution, and most of the members decided to take a hiatus to deal with feelings of burnout.

But one of the members from Dead Gentlemen decided to keep working on films. So, with a new vision of how the company should be run, he formed Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. A big part of his vision was to make ZOE a fan-driven venture. He hoped that this would help alleviate the issues they’d had that caused burnout for Dead Gentlemen. Continue Reading →

Diversity Panel at Gen Con 2016: A Review

The official illustration of Shardra, the first trans character in Pathfinder, an excellent representation of diversity in gaming. She is a dwarven female in elaborate shaman clothing, holding a large mace, with a fantastical lizard-like creature on her shoulder.One of the panels I attended at Gen Con was ‘Diversity in Gaming.’ I expected it to be about ensuring an inclusive environment for all people in the games industry. Instead, it was three staffers from Paizo, the company that publishes the Pathfinder roleplaying game, discussing their company’s policies on inclusiveness.

Not what I expected, but still worthwhile. Continue Reading →

Crossplay: A New Adventure in Geekdom

A young man demonstrating crossplay, dressed as Jinx, a character from League of Legends. with a blue wig with long ponytail braids, pink shorts, a bikini top, and a large fake multi-barrel firearm.Gender identity is a hot topic at the moment. With issues like the current assault on the rights of transgender individuals in Texas, the nature of gender is at the forefront of socio-political discourse at the moment. This points to a current major trend in modern culture, with gender at the centre of that trend. Many people still firmly believe that sex and gender are binaries, and equivalent binaries at that. However, others realise that sex and gender are spectra which do not always correspond to one another. One of the more fascinating phenomena resulting from this is the concept of crossplay. Continue Reading →

Transgender Changeling: Adapting the Changeling Way

The Title Logo for Changeling: The Dreaming -- the title rendered as a slightly whimsical stained glass panelAs a gamer who is a fan of stories and storytelling, I tend to be drawn towards games that allow and encourage the telling of stories. This is why I became a fan of roleplaying games; they are the single best framework for telling stories as a game. Of all the RPGs I’ve tried (and I have tried many), my favourite is, without question, Changeling: the Dreaming. It emphasises creativity, and is set in a world which includes a vast realm made entirely of dreams. This allows you to play in any setting you can imagine. The important thing right now is that the characters in this story are faeries inhabiting human bodies. Normally, players assume that the human body in which a fae spirit is housed matches the demographics of the fae spirit itself. But as I find myself thinking more about Changeling as a result of the recent 20th Anniversary Kickstarter, I realise that nowhere in the rules does it say that this is necessarily the case. In fact, there are places where it hints that it isn’t always the case; specifically, it mentions that the Eshu, an African kith, are not always born into host bodies of African descent. Thus, I begin to wonder if there are other ways in which this disconnect can be expanded. And my first thought is: what if the human body is of a different gender than the fae spirit born into it? And thus I find myself contemplating the possibility of Transgender Changeling.

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Social Stigma in Roleplaying Games

A photo from the side of seven board game pawns, six in various shades of red together on one side, and one black by itself on the other side, alone due to its social stigmaI was introduced to GURPS (the Generic Universal Role Playing System, published by Steve Jackson Games) in 1991. I admired the flexibility and adaptability of the system, as well as its realism and the fact that it encouraged rounded, dynamic characters. It didn’t limit possible character traits to attributes and skills, but had mental, emotional, and social advantages and disadvantages. This allowed players to emulate a personality more fully than in games like Dungeons and Dragons. But there was one disadvantage that I have never given a character: Social Stigma. It provides an in-game mechanic for simulating a character that belongs to a group that is deemed by his or her society to be inferior. In looking back on it, I realise that I didn’t fully grasp the possibilities of this disadvantage. Now, I have learned much, and I would love the opportunity to play a character with this disadvantage.

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PinkFae Gaming Adds More Writers

We have been very busy creating more transgender inclusive gaming tournaments that we didn’t have time to complete the other objectives of our mission. To help out we enlisted the help of a few more writers and tournament organizers. Their unique gaming backgrounds will bring a refreshing perspective to PinkFae Gaming. Look for more articles about first-person shooters, video game role-playing games, pen-and-paper role-playing games and even boffer games.

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