Backstory

Hosted by Alex Roberts, Backstory is an ongoing series of interviews with game designers, organizers, scholars, and other members of the role-playing community. This show is all about the person behind the work. What draws them to gaming? In what context do they work and play? What are they most excited about for the future? Alex loves getting to know people, and you’ll love coming along for the ride.

Alex Roberts is a giggling cutie who wants role-playing to be safe, healthy, and fun. She play tests, runs, and promotes live-action and tabletop games from her impenetrable ice spire in the frozen wastelands of Canada.

In a previous life she made and wrote about video games. At the moment, she is probably reading a very cute comic book.

34. Robert Bohl

Stick it to the man! Game designer Robert Bohl talks Misspent Youth, Demi-Humans, and Bitch Goddesses. A little SALT with your usual Backstory sweetness.

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33. Caitlynn Belle

Designer Caitlynn Belle joins Alex to talk about creating, refining, mentoring and problem solving. But more importantly: dying in space and bug sex.

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32. Emily Care Boss

Designer and theorist Emily Care Boss joins us this episode to talk Living Games, loving games, and being vulnerable in play. Can role-playing be therapeutic? How do we unite disparate gaming communities? What larp-adjacent practices can we learn from? What’s physi-ing??? You’ll have to tune in to find out! WISCON Site​ EMILY CARE BOSS The...

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31. Josh Jordan

Gather ’round as designer and educator Josh Jordan tells us about about the unstoppable force of creativity, candy as cultural exchange, and collaboration as the cure for impostor syndrome. Should larpwrights be keeping an eye on reality TV? Well, probably not, I guess…

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30. Maury Brown

Researcher, educator, writer, and President of LearnLarp LLC, Maury Brown joins Alex to talk safety, empowerment, and empathy in live-action play. If you’ve been curious about New World Magischola, come hear Maury describe the larp that’s not about being a wizard, but “becoming the kind of wizard you want to be.”

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29. J Li

Larpwright J Li joins Alex to talk emotional immersion, user-centric game design, and engaging in a fictional dialogue with the space around you. Curious about pervasive games, and one-player games? This one’s for you.

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28. Rachel Kahn

Artist and GM Rachel Khan joins us to talk about running an RPG campaign based on Persian mythology at the Aga Khan museum in Toronto. Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? We also discuss illustrating for games and the magic of dice bowls. Warning: major spoilers for a thousand-year-old poem!

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27. D. Vincent and Meguey Baker

To celebrate one year of Backstory, Alex brings on indie legends and Apocalypse World co-creators Meguey and D. Vincent Baker. Topics range from sex education to censorship to masonic initiation ceremonies and quilt preservation – and yes, it’s all related to game design.

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26. Ole Peder Giæver

Game designer Ole Peder Giæver, co-creator of Itras By (with Martin Bull Gudmundsen) and Old Friends (with Jason Morningstar) joins Alex for a dreamy chat about magic, masks, and Norwegian folklore. Also: an exciting announcement.

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25. Mo Turkington

Larpwright and publisher Mo Turkington on larping theatrically, embodiment and immersion, and “the unbearable weight of representation.”

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Alex Roberts

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