Game-related ramblings.

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Scratching That Itch: Into The Flames

This is the one hundred forty-seventh entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our one hundred forty-seventh random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality has crept up to our fire, lurking just outside its light. It’s Into The Flames, by Adam Dixon, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

A storygame about haunted journeys, designed to be played in front of a fire.

Come on Adam Dixon, light my fire.

Scratching That Itch: The Queen Returns

This is the one hundred forty-fifth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our one hundred forty-fifth random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality has written us a series of missives. It’s The Queen Returns, by James Chip, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

A solo rpg about the fate of a country in the Queens absence .

When the Queen is gone, people have to play their role-playing games by themselves.

Scratching That Itch: Standoff

This is the one hundred thirty-seventh entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Another random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is staring us down, accompanied by some epic trumpet music. It’s Standoff, by Matthew R.F. Balousek, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

A game about telling ridiculous stories together.

That’s right folks: it’s time to get ridiculous.

Scratching That Itch: The Goose Of Grillner Grove

This is the one hundred thirty-third entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our next random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality has announced itself with a horrible “HONK”. It’s The Goose of Grillner Grove, by Jenn Martin, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

A tabletop RPG about a goose, and the townsfolk it terrorizes.

I know what you are thinking, and I will tell you now: no, you cannot play as the goose. Well, not directly, anyway.

Scratching That Itch: Gondola

This is the one hundred thirty-first entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our next random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is effortlessly navigating a maze of canals. It’s Gondola, by Michael T. Lombardi, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

A Cooperative Pentolan Card Game for 3-7 Players

No custom cards here. This is an original game that uses a standard deck of playing cards. Without the time to organize a 3-7 person group, however, I can only offer my impressions after reading the rules.

Scratching That Itch: The Artifact

This is the one hundred twenty-eighth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

This next random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality was delivered in a mysterious, unmarked crate. It’s The Artifact, by balou85, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

A solo cosmic horror RPG written for the Wretched & Alone game jam

Ooh, a solo game. No need to recruit a group of people, I can just play this one myself!

Scratching That Itch: Feathers

This is the one hundred twenty-seventh entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Another random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality has plummeted from the heavens. It’s Feathers, by Remi Garreau, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

a slice-of-life game of fallen angels and Belonging Outside Belonging

Fallen angels are such a common trope that it makes me wonder if their wings ever worked in the first place.

Year Two Of Scratching That Itch

The Scratching That Itch series is where I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

It’s now been two years since I started the Scratching That Itch series, randomly picking things from the 1741 entries in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality and writing about them. I’d hoped this was a way that my humble blog about games could keep the conversation about racial justice going, but it feels like some of the momentum is being lost. Last year I was able to point to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, and some associated steps towards police reform, as tangible achievements. Of course, there was also the insurrection in the U.S. capitol on January 6, 2021, when a mob of racists tried to overthrow the presidential election and reinstate Donald Trump, who is basically openly fascist. As I write this, the House of Representatives is holding hearings on the insurrection, and I wish I could say I was optimistic that real consequences will come of them. But I am not.

It’s been a steady stream of bad news in the last year. There have been more than 250 mass shootings in the United States just in 2022 so far, including racist incidents like the Buffalo shooting, not to mention the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas in which 19 students and teachers were killed. We’re not merely seeing a backlash against racial justice efforts, but a broad wave of hatred and intolerance sweeping across the country. The Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortion, and Texas has already passed a law that effectively bans abortion by empowering private citizens to take legal action against any facility that offers abortion services. We’re on track to pass a record amount of anti-transgender legislation in 2022. We’re seeing a rash of voter suppression legislation passed in many states. The message is clear: any attempt to address systemic inequality is seen as a threat to the unjustly privileged position held by white men, so politicians and lawmakers are making aggressive moves to preserve it. And that’s just what’s happening in America. It’s clear we still have a lot of work to do.

On a brighter note, I randomly picked a wrote about 57 games (and other things) from the huge bundle, bringing the total over the first two years to 126, more than 7% of the entire thing. Like last year, I’ve highlighted some of my favorite picks below.

Scratching That Itch: The Company

This is the one hundred twenty-second entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

A sleek helicopter sporting a corporate logo has just delivered another random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. It’s The Company, by Mega Corp, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

Corporate Survival Horror

The only way to make survival horror more horrifying is to make it corporate.

Scratching That Itch: The NPC With A Thousand Faces

This is the one hundred twentieth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

This next random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality has nearly as many faces as there are things in the bundle. It’s The NPC With a Thousand Faces, by Firgof (AKA Forgotten Workshop), and its tagline in the bundle reads:

Ultra-fast NPC Generation from 15 years of DMing!

That’s a lot of jargon in one tagline. “NPC” stands for “Non-Player Character” and refers to characters that are not controlled by players, usually in role-playing games. “DM” is “Dungeon Master” (often called “Game Master” or “GM” instead) and refers to someone who facilitates a tabletop role-playing game for the other players, setting up scenarios and describing how the world and its inhabitants react to player actions. Therefore, before even reading it, I can conclude that The NPC With a Thousand Faces is a guide to help a DM/GM create characters for the players to interact with. But don’t worry, I did read it, and yes, that is what it is.

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