• Behind the Masks: Who We Were at the Table, by Kyle Tam

    Behind the Masks: Who We Were at the Table, by Kyle Tam

    This article originally appeared in the first issue of the Nerves Zine (2021). Special thanks to Kyle for allowing it to be reposted. AGENT SKINNER If I think back on where I was mentally, having broken up with my ex that very day, I wouldn’t have played the game. I would have canceled the game […]

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  • How Imagination Was Demonized, by Bethany Loy

    How Imagination Was Demonized, by Bethany Loy

    This was originally published in the first issue of the Nerves zine (2021). Bethany was kind enough to allow it to be posted on the site. My father glanced away from his driving to give me a worried look.  “Dad, It’s going to be okay.” I reassured my only ride. “Nobody has actually died because […]

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  • Reviewing Lancer, the Mecha TTRPG.

    Reviewing Lancer, the Mecha TTRPG.

    This article begins with John completing a time machine and traveling back to the year 2006. John appears in their childhood bedroom with their Fourteen Year Old Self [from now referenced as 14]. John: I’ve come from the future to ask you some questions. I’m struggling to review this book.  Holds up Lancer, the 2020 […]

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  • Power Fantasies in RPGs, by Sharang Biswas

    Power Fantasies in RPGs, by Sharang Biswas

    Sharang was the first pitch I received for the Nerves Zine (2021). It’s an honor to have this up on the site now. When I was in middle school, my friend Luc and I dreamed—in an idle sort of way—of taking over the world.  He would give me Ireland, he said, to turn into a […]

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  • Reviewing Red Giant

    Reviewing Red Giant

    The purpose of a tabletop roleplaying game book is to make you want to play it. That’s rule number one. All else can go out the window for all I care. Forget layout, forget gimmicks, forget ad-copy, forget poetry. I don’t care how you accomplish it. The book should ache to be played. If its […]

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  • Graphic Design is Hip-Hop

    Graphic Design is Hip-Hop

    by Lone Archivist It’s the early 2000’s. Steven Ellison has a solid music career and a burgeoning label but isn’t yet a household name. He hasn’t been nominated for a grammy or scored the original animation Yasuke. He’s worked closely with Stephen Lee Bruner but the 1985 cartoon still comes up first when you Google […]

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  • More than Vagabonds and Mystics, by Rue Dickey

    More than Vagabonds and Mystics, by Rue Dickey

    The full title of this article, as it was originally published (Nerves Zine, 2021) is “More than Vagabonds and Mystics: Unlearning Roma and Sinti Stereotypes in TTRPGS.” Rue was kind enough to let me repost this for the site. Content Warnings: Mention of kidnapping, hypersexualization/fetishization, racism, genocide, Holocaust references, generational trauma, antisemitism A caravan of […]

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  • A Curious Glance at DIE, the RPG

    A Curious Glance at DIE, the RPG

    Kieron Gillen is partially responsible for this (gestures broadly at the website). Two years ago, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, I was leaving my office job to go into games full time and I was scared and frustrated. Someone linked me to an article that could only be read in […]

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  • Toward a Definition of Game, by Jared Sinclair

    Toward a Definition of Game, by Jared Sinclair

    Jared helped me start my small Youtube career by writing Anti-Sisyphus, which begged me to make a video about it. He wrote this article for the Nerves Zine in 2021 and was gracious enough to let me post it here on the site. Enjoy. Toward a Definition of Game: Two Propositions and Their Antecedents 1. […]

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  • Chris Bissette on what makes the “Thousand Year Old Companion” Special

    Chris Bissette on what makes the “Thousand Year Old Companion” Special

    Chris was kind enough to let me repost this article from their personal storefront/blog. It’s one of the articles I think about often as Fitting Into the Nerves Cannon. Enjoy. – John Content Warning: The essay touches briefly on an account of an abusive relationship, and gaslighting. It also contains spoilers for Tim Hutching’s Thousand […]

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