Accidental Game-Changing Moments (Screenshots)


Last week I asked friends, readers, and fellow gamers on Steam to send me some of their most profound screenshots– moments that added depth to the game not because it was scripted to be deep, but because of the chaotic nature and subtlety of our most nascent mass-media art form. Here are some of the results. Continue reading

Submit Your Epic Screenshot


It’s that moment in-game when the scene, dialogue, and characters all come together– transformed into something larger than the sum of its parts. It’s the moment that makes you gasp, cringe, widen your eyes. And we want you to share it with us.

Next week on we’ll be posting epic screenshots taken by readers and fellow game enthusiasts. Here’s what we’re looking for:

Screenshot: Either a .JPG or .BMP (800 x 600 or larger) of a truly awe-inspiring moment. Something that added to the game’s depth. An awe-inspiring shot that made you feel like you were witnessing an event others might miss, possibly a random encounter or unscripted incident.

Context: Include a brief description of the events that led up to the scene you’ve captured. A few paragraphs will suffice. Try to come in under 100 words. Note: this will be edited for grammar and punctuation only.

Name or Email: You can include a name, pseudonym, email, or a link to your blog. Or if you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s find too. We just want you to get credit for your unique game moment.

The deadline for this will be midnight on February 27th, Pacific time. Send submissions to

Featured image from Skyrim/SkyrimWiki.

Tension vs Violence in Tabletops


The traps aren’t enough of a challenge. Your descriptions of endless mines and yawning chasms aren’t holding attention. The wenches somehow aren’t bosomy enough.  And the players couldn’t give two dusty shits about solving this week’s mystery. Phones have appeared and suddenly everyone has texts to send, tweets to twit, and dick-pics to snap under the table. This week’s campaign is officially a bust, and it was good ole’ fashion boredom that broke it.

So, you do what every dungeon master does. You rip the band-aid off quickly rather than draw it out, and wrap the game up, skipping to the fight scene you saved for the end. And…it works.

Everyone’s engaged. And for those glorious few rounds you remember what it’s like to have players who didn’t stumbled into the game by happenstance, choosing your DM’ing over binge-watching Chuck reruns for the 4th time. Continue reading