April 2018: The Long Journey

We’ve knocked out three of the twelve months in our gentle meander down the year 2018, and it’s a pathway that can neither be rushed nor slowed. All we can do is look forward to the next nine months and continue our trek to the next year. Taking the year month-by-month is a practiced reflex at this point. We’re often laser focused on our divisions: today, this week, this month. By December, though, the year is taken as a whole, a great big sweeping pathway through one year. So, we’ll be honing in our vision for this Blogs of the Round Table by expanding our field of view to look at the grander picture: the whole journey from beginning to end.

Big, sweeping games often break things apart the same way we do for time. In vast RPGs, we often separate the quests or movement of our journeys by whatever central town we’re in, or the continent, or the chapters. These jaunts aren’t just collections of hubs or individual movements in a heroic symphony, but pieces of a bigger journey. Let’s delve into that.

Rarely does the videogame vocabulary successfully encompass the whole journey from beginning to end. Most games break the game into chunks the players can talk about—the underwater dungeon, the cavern levels, the underground section, the third chapter, and so on. But games as a whole are a big journey. They tend to create growth in ways we as players know is happening but rarely critically examine. Or they change our perspective on an adventure that we only notice in reflection. So, for this month, let’s look at the whole kit and caboodle. Nose to tail. Top to bottom. How have games succeeding in making their players feel the long journey? Do games do enough to make their vast worlds translate the highs and lows of its nomadic heroes? Are there games that capture the sense of a journey so well that the game couldn’t be disassociated from those feelings?

This month has already begun its journey forward, and it’ll be landing on April 30th, so get your entries in before the final credits roll and our heroes settle down in the sunset. Beyond that horizon is a new topic set to thrust us forward to our May adventure. For this month’s trek, you can email your submissions or tweet them to @NukeLassic or @critdistance with the #BoRT hashtag. Happy blogging!
Suggestions for the Round Table:

  • Blogs of the Round Table is not curated. If you write it, we’ll publish it, as long as it’s connected to the topic and has been written specially for BoRT or up to one month prior.
  • Think of the BoRT topic as a starting point. Connecting your piece to the topic can be as creative as you want. We’re interested in both writing and play, so be playful when you approach the round table!
  • This BoRT post is the home of the discussion. Regular reading of other BoRT participants isn’t required, but highly encouraged. Feel free to browse the #BoRT tag on twitter to see if there are any words submitted already that you could use as a springboard for your own posts.
  • As a knight of the round table we encourage you to leave a comment on a blog to which you respond with a link to the response piece and give the original writer a ‘right of reply’. Keep the conversation going!
  • If your work contains potentially disturbing content, please include a suitable warning at the start.
  • You can submit as many articles as you like throughout the month, and it doesn’t matter if they are commercially published, paywalled or available for free. However, we can’t include paywalled material in the round-up without access to the article text or a transcript.