Symbaroum and white fantasy

Fria Ligen’s Symbaroum, like all media, does not exist in a vacuum. To consider its place in the works of western, roleplaying games, we need to consider both its textual and metatextual elements, something which is obscured in a way by the unreliable narration of the text — save for the sparse sections set aside to explain game mechanics, every product in the Symbaroum line is written with a diegetic voice to purposefully immerse the reader in the setting, much like any other work of fiction. …

The Ganymede myth and Barry Jenkins’ 2016 Moonlight

Pederasty is exonerated in historical Greek society in an act of Eurocentric idealism. It is forgiven as a way that young men, through becoming objects, were afforded the opportunity to learn and grow as citizens — an opportunity presumably not afforded to another, arbitrary, designation. The story of Zeus kidnapping Ganymede and enslaving him, paired with the cultural repercussions of lauding this story of pederasty, is an effect of the eurocentric idealism that displaces any non-normative bodies — i.e. white, cis, and heteronormative.

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“The Rape of Ganymede” by Henry Fuseli / NYPL Digital Collections

The appropriation and recategorization of bodies to property is enacted throughout history, and the redesignation of queer…

The Chase by alextbh

The Chase sinks into the back of my brain with its fake-out simplicity, laying down deep, dark bass lines that reverberate over bars and bars and then flipping the foundation with a melodic guitar being the only accompaniment to alextbh’s range. Within that range, though, the EP is perfectly laconic: Six songs amounting to less than 30 minutes, yet full of desire and not at all understated. …

I don’t know if an open world has ever counted for more than a gimmick. Currently, it’s driving an emergent narrative trend; a long time ago, it was a way to fake an expansive world by crawling across a 2D map with a pixelated character. Now we have marketing compaigns that praise the amount of time it takes to cross a continent, a planet — the actual minutes hyperdrive takes in a spaceship. The “open world” is a spectacle. Final Fantasy XV gave its spectacle a soul.

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Final Fantasy XV / Square-Enix

Eos is, of course, beautiful, which is common enough. The Elder Scrolls V…

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Persona 5 / Atlus

My favorite place to go in Persona 5 is a bar called Crossroads, which, of course, I can’t drink at because I am an underage high school teenager. I didn’t expect it, but that moment is where the fiction becomes my reality: going off to gay bars alone, in secret, and underage just for the thrill of something unknown (read: not straight). To try and belong somewhere.

I knew going in to Persona 5 that there are only heterosexual romantic options for the protagonist, but I found out that the dialogue options were varied enough that I could shyly demur…

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Chef’s Table presents a strong argument for the “elevation of food,” which is a phrase that is freely bandied around by foodies and even the chefs and establishments creating these meals (or experiences as many of the chefs are compelled to describe them as) — and that’s not to say it’s wrong. What Chef’s Table does, however, is actually argue for what that means and why it’s important and worth spending our time thinking about it. What is the role of food in our society, beyond sustenance? Why do we eat in the ways that we eat? Can food be…

Darren Brockes

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