3 min read

#3: The games we play

Hey! 👋

Another Tuesday, another Extremely Unannoying. This week, it's all about play! Games we play with each other, on each other, against systems, or by ourselves. Enjoy!

1) Go, be a wizard, a witch, or an android (kinda)

The new Hogwarts Legacy game is really cool. I spent some time on Friday watching my wife play it, and it looked like an amazing way to experience the wizarding world for yourself.

I especially like that it's the first piece of Potter media that finally unties itself from the plot and characters of the original story and seems to be forging its own path, even fixing some parts of the world that haven't aged well.

I didn't play the game myself, but, seeing as the resident Harry Potter scholar in our home almost couldn't put the controller down for the whole weekend, I feel comfortable recommending it to you.

If you like the Harry Potter universe, you can finally get that Hogwarts letter you've been waiting for.

On the other hand, if you enjoy sad stories, androids, and an Expanse-like world infused with Japanese cyberpunk, play what I played this weekend: Citizen Sleeper.

In this narrative game, you are a Sleeper, an android-like being whose mind is a copy of a human, put into an artificial body to work dangerous jobs for a corporation. Except you escaped your employers and fled to the Eye—an independent space station floating in the void. Nothing comes easy on the Eye, and as you try to stay one step ahead of your pursuers, you need to make a new life for yourself—and maybe even a home.

Playing Citizen Sleeper is a slow, meditative experience underscored by an almost constant quiet heartache. I absolutely loved it.

2) "This is a line-by-line analysis of the second verse of 99 Problems by Jay-Z, from the perspective of a criminal procedure professor."

If you had told me a month ago that I would unironically recommend that people read a 21-page article from the Saint Louis University Law Journal for fun, I'd have laughed at you.

But here we are.

I blame Mr. Caleb Mason, really. He simply writes so well that even his academic paper, meant as serious guidance for both cops and perpetrators, reads like a damn fun short movie. Think a Guy Ritchie or Adam McKay joint. You can practically see some Hollywood actor breaking the fourth wall, delivering you a funny—but factually accurate—monologue on how to catch drug traffickers or avoid getting caught.

Anyway, I tip my hat, Mr. Mason, I tip my hat.

3) The games people play are the same. The stakes are different.

We went to the movies with my dear friend, Adam, and watched Cate Blanchett's new film, Tár.

I think it's great and if you appreciate good cinema made with almost ridiculous attention to detail, you should watch it. Beyond that, I don't want to tell you anything about it because I think it's best to experience it going in totally blind.

So let's just leave it at that. Watch Tár, and if you'd like, come, talk to me later. I have feelings about it. 😅

+1) D&D open call

I played tabletop RPGs as a teenager and returned to Dungeons & Dragons in 2019. Since then, I've been lucky enough to play regularly, and sincerely think that it is one of the best things I do for my mental health. And definitely the most fun.

When I mention this to my friends, sometimes I get an answer something like this: "Oh, that's cool. I want to try D&D, but I don't have a group." I decided to remedy this situation.

Sometime in March, I will run an open D&D game. It will be a one-shot session for beginners, meaning that we will play a short story from beginning to end in one sitting, and you don't have to buy or bring anything other than yourself.

If this interests you, reply to this email, and I'll send you the Doodle link for scheduling. The session is capped at five players, and the application deadline is February 28th.

If you always wanted to play tabletop roleplaying games, this is your call to adventure. 😉

And that's it for today! Thanks for reading, happy playing, and see you back here in two weeks!