In the first week of play, Fiasco proved to me two things roleplaying games are basically improv with more structure and Fiasco has the least possible structure while still being a game. I found that its lack of structure and its lack of a GM led to very interesting situations where different leadership styles came to light.
This game is basically an improv performance that is thrown together by people that don’t necessarily know each other well. This led to instances where creative visions might be challenged but didn’t result in disputes. The levity that the game offers through the route of play allows the players to avoid direct confrontation in interest of smooth gameplay experiences.
I struggled at first with how broad the start of play is. “Establishing” is an intimidating task especially if you are the first to go. As play progressed this became easier and easier as the story seemed to form around itself. To tie this to my struggles with writing I have found the hardest part for me is starting and declaring a direction to head down. I will put off writing for weeks-months only to finally sit down and do the work and find it takes less time than expected. I learned through playing Fiasco that sometimes the hardest part is just starting.
The First week of Fiasco was a clear demonstration of how the game earned its name. Fiasco is a game that is completely bound only by the creativity of the players in the group. played in groups of 3-5, Fiasco follows a timeline of act 1, where players develop their relationships, start forming plans to achieve their goals, or do whatever they want to irregardless of their wants or needs because they can. A tilt that throws a wrench in peoples plans through numerous possibilities, an Act two where you make the final sprint towards your endgame, and an aftermath that decides your fate.
Our group chose the Suburbia start and I was designated as the principal of an Elementary School who was also a registered sex offender, a weird combination that perfectly communicates the adult nature of the game. Others in the group included a coke addict accountant, a science teacher drug dealer, and a drug user police officer who was in love with me. The start of the game was quite awkward as it took the group quite a while to get into the headspace required for this game but after some time had past, a sense of familiarity helped us become more comfortable after a few rounds.
Our group had two players who were for all intensive purposes followers and two group members who were leaders in directing the plot and helping the followers design scenes for their characters. This leadership through the game developed naturally as players less used to role playing games were more stuck in the mud than those of us used to them. At the end of Week 1 we approached the Tilt and this threw a wrench in our game, as intended. A drug induced paranoia and a love spurned is something that awaits us for week 2 and I greatly look forward towards it.
Mysterium is a very interesting co-operative puzzle game. I think a player count of around 5 would be best. It could be mistaken for a horror game, but it is actually full of humour and hilarity. This is because there are ghosts in the game and the ghosts are played by the players. The player who plays the ghost does not communicate directly with the other players who are solving the puzzle, he can only give the other players cards with clues to help them. Or he can use all body language other than words to indicate this.
I don’t think Mysterium is too difficult to play, but it is a bit difficult to win the game. All players need to be able to complete the puzzle level with their own cards. Although other players can help one person solve the puzzle, the cards often show clues that are too abstract or illogical. This makes it possible for other players to disagree on the understanding of the cards as they help other players solve them. As there is a time limit on the game, incorrectly deciphering each card can also lead to a failure to win.
Mysterium is a game that I don’t think requires much leadership, as the leadership aspect is mainly in the ability of the players to lead each other in their understanding of the cards. But often the leader’s own judgement is very inaccurate, and blind leadership can lead the game to failure. The abstract and illogical cards require discussion and deliberation between each player to come to a clue conclusion. Finally I think Mysterium is suitable for all ages, from schoolchildren to middle-aged people of parental age, who will find it very interesting. This is because the clue cards amplify people’s minds and stimulate their imagination. I really like it too!
Week one of Fiasco was interesting indeed! This is a role-playing game with not a lot of rules that you have to follow. It is pretty flexible and allows you to kind of structure the plot of the game however you want. I felt like our game went slow and there was not a whole lot of development. However, we also had tension within the pace of the game as the time went by pretty fast. I would contribute to us having fun as the phrase “time flies when you are having fun” really shows. The toughest part for me was that people created other names for their characters. This was an additional challenge as I was just learning everyone’s real names.
The last time I played a role-playing game was during the Pandemic. I attempted to play Dungeons and Dragons with my older brothers and some of their college friends; however, we were also playing virtually, I believe over Discord. This made the experience less enjoyable for me because it felt like I was playing mostly with people I did not know and I was physically separated from the group play. This distancing was difficult for me; therefore, Fiasco has been such a wonderful and improved experience so far.
We started playing Boomtown and got through the twist. We were not able to start Act 2 yet but were able to start planning. I think people had a lot of good ideas for the plot and storyline of the game. I felt like I was not able to get my ideas into action as much. Maybe I am a little too willing to let others control the scene. By the end of the story, I felt like I was going to be pinned for the “murder” my “cousin” and I was trying to get away with (this is in the specific context of our characters and character details).
I noticed how I was trying to be more sneaky and menacing in the game than I am in real life. I am a rule follower in real life, so the idea of even trying to pin a big event on someone else or just trying to divert attention from myself was more difficult. I also noticed that I laugh in different situations when I do not always know what emotional reaction I should have in that situation. Therefore, it became difficult to keep a straight face and serious demeanor during the story. This made it difficult to stay in character and achieve my desired outcome in certain events.
So far I have seen leadership come out with the cooperation of the group in creating the story and deciding what happens. I have also seen how some individuals have leadership qualities that take charge of the events that occur. I felt like my calm and patient approach to leading fell to the wayside and was not as effective in this fast-paced context with a limited amount of time to make things happen. This also came out when people decided if they would set the scene or if they would resolve the situation. This choice kind of helped shows how we all would approach different situations as leaders.
Overall, I am liking Fiasco so far. I am going to recommend this game to my brothers but more specifically the one in college who enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons. I think he would have a fun time playing this game with some of his friends. I also think the role-playing game is something that people should experience or give a second chance to and experience again because it does highlight a lot about one’s personality and how they approach life as well as give individuals a chance to explore different scenarios they might not typically encounter.
When asked to create a Buzzfeed-style quiz about leadership and games, I knew exactly what I’d want to choose: the colors of Magic: the Gathering. Magic’s colors are not only made for gameplay, they also each have a philosophy behind them. A white-aligned character values community and collaboration, a blue-aligned character values knowledge and the pursuit of perfection, a black-aligned character values personal motivation and ambition, a red-aligned character values creativity and impulsiveness, and a green-aligned character values tradition and discipline. These five colors can be mapped onto people and the way they think rather well, and it’s a common exercise among Magic players to think what colors they would be (as I can tell, since at least one other person had the same idea for this assignment.)
When it came to writing the questions, I specifically wrote them to be like questions you’d ask someone at a job interview for a leadership positions. Questions in that format, asking what they’d do in a given situation, I think can give great insight into how people think and solve problems. Every answer gives you points for one or more colors, and every question has an answer that will push you towards any given color. The answers generally wrote themselves, honestly. I thought of what the reasonable responses to that situation would be, and they generally all had obvious colors that mapped onto them. I think that really goes to show how well thought out the color system is. I also gave every question a Magic-themed splash image, just to add some extra fun and flavor to taking the quiz, and to show off more of the art of Magic, which is one of my favorite parts of the game.
My responses were interesting: Out of my sample size of 11, nobody had a result of Black or Red. I think in hindsight this was an error in the way I wrote the answers, Red is the color of creativity, and considering most of the people I interviewed were in the College of Creative Arts I think I must’ve made an error for none of them to have Red as their final result. In one of their words, “we’re creative but we don’t wanna get fired lol.” I think I may have made the “creative” responses seem to rebellious or unappealing from that perspective. The same goes for black, I think looking back that I might not have done a good job making black’s answers not feel selfish. I was specifically trying to avoid that, but it’s a difficult needle to thread just by the nature of the color’s philosophy and the fact that this is specifically a quiz about leadership.
Despite this, I’m still happy with the quiz. I think the questions all read well and other than the lack of Red in the results I think they generally map well onto the people who I know well and their personality/leadership styles. One last thing I’d like to comment on is the site I used for this, uQuiz. Compared to Buzzfeed, this site has a much more user-friendly UI both for creating and playing quizzes, and has a number of helpful features on the backend once your quiz is published. For instance, it lets you know the names and answers of everyone who takes the quiz, and gives you stats about the number of people who got each result. It was very helpful when creating this quiz and I highly recommend it to anyone else attempting this assignment.
Results: Aaron: Blue Josef: Blue Mel: White Micah: White Elizabeth: White Shea: Green Ash: White Chase: Blue Sam: Green Malakai: Blue
Fiasco is an all-around and very imaginative role-playing board game that is, basically, a fiasco. This was my first experience with a role-playing game and it was actually pretty fun considering it seemed nerdy at times. Being able to have almost complete freedom in the path you take your story is refreshing especially since most board games are fenced off with incoherent rules. Each play session was unique and the one I participated in was no different. I liked the wild west theme I took part in and I enjoyed the enthusiasm of my “teammates” throughout my playthrough. I love being able to do improv because I suck at it which makes it all the more funnier. However, I wasn’t a fan of the dice, maybe because we didn’t really use it right but creating your character and the relationships, etc. in the beginning was hectic. It made it pretty confusing to keep track of who was who and how I know them or how I’m related to them.
That was pretty much the hardest part besides making sure in the back of your mind that you also had an object and a location and whatever else to guide your story. My personal values surfaced in how I perceived the environment. I gave my character courage and sustainability while also being manipulative. That’s what I like about Fiasco, you can have the freedom to be and do whatever you want and the people around you have to play off of it and keep the story smooth. I can’t tell you how much fun I had in the creativity department for what I was going to do next and how I was going to screw over my outlaw friend at the gold creek.
Being that leader and controlling the direction of the simulation is what made me feel powerful. Everyone was their own leader in a sense because they had the ability to throw everyone else off their game. They were on the balcony looking over us on the ground being the leader and forcing our hands on what we do next. Playing with 4 or more people is what is going to make this a blast so bring your friends and family and your creative art majors and see where this role-playing fiasco takes you.
I attended the Geeks on Ice campus gaming event on Friday, September 16, 2022. My boyfriend tagged along with me and we were able to walk around and see different clubs within the League of Geeks. When we walked in, I waved hi to JS and we made our way toward the board games. We looked at some of the options for a little bit. This was nice because I saw both games I was familiar with and some I had never heard of before. My boyfriend and I arrived at the very beginning of the event so there were not many people there yet to start up a board game yet. We sat down at a table with Code Names and a game called Letter Jam which I had never heard of before.
Letter Jam was an interesting game. Unfortunately, we did not make it all the way through. I was drawn to this game by the design of the packaging. I thought the strawberry was clever because it was talking about jam. The game reminded me of Wordle through The New York Times. It took a long time to set up the game. The setup was more complicated than I anticipated. I felt like the instructions were slightly complex and confusing. Although, It is possible that my brain was just tired at the end of the week.
We did not end up playing Letter Jam. I found the setup got to be confusing. Then, my boyfriend and I walked to the floor above to check out other areas of the event. We walked through the lounge with the Super Smash Bros playing and other computer games as well. We made our way toward the virtual reality area where someone was all set up to play Beat Saber. Only one headset was charged enough to be used. So my boyfriend and I sat and waited for a bit observing the process. He thought it would be funny to watch me, but he never got a chance. We were waiting for a while and decided to go check out other areas of the event again.
We made our way back through the lounge where all the games were being played. This time I saw a group playing mario kart on the Nintendo Switch. I like Mario Kart but I have only played on switch maybe once. Every other time I have played Mario Kart it has been on the Wii. I think next time I may take my chance at virtual reality or Nintendo Switch Mario Kart, but that did not happen this time.
When leaving the lounge, a group of five people was just setting up the game Mysterium and I got excited. Only a few individuals in the group had played Mysterium before. The person who played the role of Ghost had the most experience with the game. It was interesting playing with a mix of experience levels with the game. It took some time to explain how to play but it also helped that the more experienced individuals were able to help the process. This reminded me of some of the leadership styles and aspects we touched on during class the other week. We talked about leading by example, thinking politically (which was thinking of all the options and outcomes) and a lot more. I saw different styles of playing games and leadership come out.
I was also intrigued by how the individual, who had played before with their family, had different intricacies with playing the game that came out as we went along. This made it interesting as I had to adjust my game play slightly from what I had experienced in class. We ended up making it through to the last stage with only one “hour” left on the clock. Then, we all displayed our individual collections of the person, room, and weapon. The clues given were mostly supporting one card out of the three. This was an interesting strategy that I do not think I particularly enjoyed. I think only one out of six of us actually matched what the ghost had chosen as the final culprit, location, and weapon of choice.
I liked seeing people’s reactions as we made it through the game. How people reacted at the actual outcome and final result was intriguing. The ghost also noted that they had used all of their crows before the final round and that two of them had been used to get better cards for one person in particular. This made me think about the dynamic of having a group of five friends playing with two people they had never met before. It was probably an interesting dynamic from their experience as well. I think this observation and the note about the crows influenced how I saw the end result of the game. I thought there may have been some choices that were made that would have been different if someone else was the ghost. This would most likely be because of differences in experience, personality, and leadership style. Playing in this setting and with this dynamic of individuals really made me want to try a go at being the ghost in the future.
We set up the game to play again and another individual joined. This was intriguing because they stated they had played before, even if it was a while ago. However, I found that they asked more questions than the players who had only played for the first time that day. This new individual also had a more assertive personality. This added a whole new layer to the game but also made it slightly more complicated. It is quite possible I viewed it as more complicated because I am a fan of cooperation and sharing different ideas. While this assertive personality may have been helpful in some decisions that needed to be made. It was also frustrating because we had to explain the rules and re-explain them after this individual was trying to help make decisions as to people or places that would be selected. This made the second game start out with a very interesting point of view.
We did not end up finishing the second game of Mysterium. The group we were playing with wanted to go ice skating so we cleaned up. My boyfriend and I walked through the areas once again and passed by several groups down on the second floor playing board games. Seeing a variety of groups playing different games was wonderful. I had not expected a lot of people to be at the event. But I felt like the turn out was pretty impressive for what I was expecting. My boyfriend and I did not stay too long after that because it was getting late and I had another event I had to help facilitate within my Residence Hall. We did pass JS on the way out again. They were bringing in SDS Pizza when we crossed paths again. This would have been wonderful, but I also appreciated the ability to recognize that we were done for the night and would not have had a good time if we tried to stay much longer.
The biggest highlight of the event was the community. It was a very cordial group that was both inviting and welcoming. I feel like more students should branch out and go to League of Geeks events as well. There were a lot of options to participate and get involved while at the event. Therefore, it was easy to get involved and find something at lest somewhat interesting. I would definitely recommend this event to other students. It felt like a wonderful way to build community and create great memories with friends. I felt like the community was kind, respectful, and welcoming on all accounts and interactions that I had.
One thing I would have done differently if I went again, I would have brought along more friends to play games with. I think this would have made my personal experience better. I felt like my boyfriend and I were just wondering around for a little while because we did not want to start a game with just two people. I think I also would have worn socks. It was a warm day out and I wore sandals so I was not able to go ice skating once that had opened up. I appreciated ice skating being an opportunity and only wish I had planned ahead more. Maybe I was not anticipating being at the event for such a long time, but I am truly glad I did stay.
If I helped plan the event, I think I would have done the event on a different day than the Art After Dark Miami Activities and Programming (MAP) event. This would be helpful because there was so much advertising for the MAP event that I did not know about the Geeks on Ice event except from word of mouth during out classtime.
Overall, this event was really fun! I will recommend this event to others in the future. I also hope to go to other League of Geeks events in the future, or atleast the Meeples board game nights. I hope other students take the opportunity to experience events like this as they are good experiences and opportunities to see the amazing community that exists on Miami’s Campus.
The images included are the box of Letter Jam because I thought the design was cool. I also included an image of Mysterium mid-game. I would like to note that I am not good at remembering to take selfies and/or other pictures at events, yet I remembered to take these at least.
The game we played in class was Mysterium. This has been my favorite game so far. I played as one of the psychics. I really enjoyed trying to figure out what the ghost was thinking about when they selected the vision cards. Often the things that stood out in the vision cards to me was not what they had intended to stand. This meant that I had the challenge of trying to think like the ghost. I think this game would be really fun with my family, as we all know each so well that I think it would be interesting to see if we can better understand what the ghost is trying to communicate.
There were two things I found to be the hardest parts of this game. One was since our group members did not know each other that well, it was hard for us to figure what the ghost was telling us. The other thing I found to be difficult was understanding the rules. For whatever reason, when I first read the rulebook, I was confused. However, after watching the video I found it to be easier to understand.
One of the leadership concepts that I feel this game exemplifies is “get off the dance floor and onto the balcony”. During the game, the ghost could not talk. This meant that once they handed out the vision cards, the outcome was out of their control. Once they stepped back after giving out the cards, they had to see if we choose what they meant for us to. If we did not they needed to re-evaluate how they were going about the situation and make changes for the next set of vision cards.
Geeks on Ice, an annual event held by the League of Geeks, was held September 16th of this year. I’m an officer of Meeples, the tabletop club, and so I attended both as someone who helped organize and set up part of the event, as well as someone who just wanted to attend and see what all the other organizations had going on. My role in Meeples is the Trading Card Game Coordinator, so I was focused on running TCG events on the ground floor while I was there, but I spent time in many other clubs’ areas doing other things as well.
As far as turnout, it was great! From the very start of the event we had a constant stream of people coming in, and at the event’s peak almost every table we’d set up on the ground floor had a group playing a game at it. There was some concern that Art After Dark, another campus event being held at the same time, would step on the toes of Geeks on Ice and lead to both events having less attendance, but that didn’t seem to be the case: Many people it seems like went to both at different points in the night, and it was great to see such a strong turnout. While walking around and checking out all the different clubs, it seemed like all of them had several people in their dedicated area at most every point in the night, which was great to see. Plus, at least for Meeples, we had a lot of people come to the club for the first time in the couple of meetings immediately following the event, saying that they’re there because they played games at Geeks on Ice. If that’s not a mark of the event being a success, I don’t know what is!
Events like Geeks on Ice are super important for on-campus organizations, since it helps them get their name out there and attract people to their clubs who wouldn’t have otherwise known about them or been inclined to go to their meetings. For example, I didn’t even know we had a “medieval club” on campus, but seeing a bunch of people all dressed up in armor and period clothing with swords and shields made me very curious to learn more about their organization. Even if I knew about most of the other organizations, if the increased meeting turnout from Meeples is anything to go by, other groups likely also saw increased interest from people who weren’t aware of the clubs prior to this. Events like Recon and the Halloween Party are also good for this, but I think Geeks on Ice is especially effective because of its setup: With every group having a specific corner of the building or smaller room, you’re more incentivized to see what each club is individually all about, and that’s a great way to get new people interested, or at least involved at club activities at the event itself.
As for what I myself did during the event, I showed up early to help set up tables and chairs and things, as well as carry over games from Armstrong. We tried to pick as many games as possible that are generally popular and that we thought people casually walking by the table full of games would see and want to play. We actually sat some of these games out on empty tables specifically, which seemed to work well as I believe all the games we sat out like this got played at those tables. I spent a good chunk of my time facilitating or playing games in that area (since it was my job after all), and even in the dedicated TCG area we had a lot of people playing. Lots of Magic, including people playing the game-in-a-box we brought, and even some Yu-Gi-Oh players which was cool to see, especially since that game isn’t usually played at club meetings.
Otherwise though, I was able to check out other organizations as well. While I can’t really play VR due to my bad eye, I was able to watch other people playing it, which the club also broadcast onto the big screen of the ice rink. It’s always fun seeing how peoples’ movements mapped onto controllers look kind of silly in-game. I also watched some of the Fighters Guild just playing casual matches in a couple of different games. Fighting games are a genre I’ve wanted to get into for awhile now, and I’d actually forgotten that the Fighters Guild was actually a club, so I made a mental note to consider going to one of their meetings in the future. I also just met up with a group of friends of mine (who I didn’t even know would be there, actually) and hung out and ate pizza (the pizza was great, by the way, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen pizzas that big in my life.)
All in all I think this was a great event! I kinda came at it from two different perspectives, one as an officer for one of the clubs represented at the event and another as just someone who likes checking out all the clubs and seeing what they’re all about. On both axes I think Geeks on Ice was a great success and a very fun experience. We had a great turnout and it was just fun to see everyone having a good time and be around people interested in similar things. It’s funny, even if you never actually talk to or interact with most of the people at an event like this, just knowing you’re surrounded by a bunch of people with similar interests to you is a very cool feeling, and one I didn’t really get to experience much before I came to college, since I lived in a super small town with nothing to do.
(The photos are of the areas I helped set up for my TCG Coordinator Role)
The game I played in class was Forbidden Island. I had never played a cooperative game before and thought it was really fun. I liked how it was not about competition, but rather team problem solving and brainstorming. It was fun to see how other players would go about navigating a situation. I think my family would really enjoy this game because it was fairly easy to learn. Additionally, some members of my family are more skillful at tabletop games than others and since this is a cooperative game it would allow for there to not be an unfair advantage.
The hardest part of this game was once the water level started to rise. At this point you had to decide which island tiles were worth saving and which one you could go without if need be. It took a lot of foresight to think about how you would make a path to the treasures you still needed and how to get all the players to Fools’ Landing at the end. It was also hard to figure out how to get all four of the treasure cards into one person’s hand, especially because you couldn’t have more than 5 cards at one time. It felt like a logic puzzle at times.
One leadership concept that this game relates to is challenging the process. All the members of my group were open to receiving suggestions from the others. If we felt that there was a better way to solve a problem, we were all open to changing our method. This allowed us to be able to accomplish the goal of the game.