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Poster, Presentation or Paper Deposit scholarly works such as posters, presentations, conference papers or white papers. Press to Select an action Download. Celles de Brazza et de Stanley. Il meurt le lendemain, 14 septembre Elle sait que le rapport a disparu. Brazza ne lit pas la nouvelle de Conrad.

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Nous sommes en septembre Certes pas P. Il a fait un portrait mental de la ville. Plan Brazza peut en cacher un autre. Agrandir Original jpeg, 49k. Haut de page. Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. The fantasy idea we have of some historical periods is not very different from the fantasy idea we have, or had, of other parts of the world.

Far away times are like far away places — naive, simple, vaguely perverse and, of course, backwards.

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Orientalism and history, or at least history as it was invented in the XIXth century, were very similar fields of study, inspired by romanticism, and characterized both by a fascination for the alien and a necessity to objectivize it in order to construct it as a field of study, and to assert western, or modern, superiority.

In France, as in many European countries, history and geography are still taught together in school, by the same teachers, as if past and foreign were interchangeable. Pompei, Carcassonne, Florence — the place tells the time. It works almost as well with American history.

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The setting of a novel is a complex world that has to be built or, more often, studied by the author. It can be false, it can be a caricature, but it needs some depth. For the game designer, India or China, Middle Ages or Antiquity, are not geographical places or historical times, they are just topoi, sets of standard references, which must not be more sophisticated than those mastered by the player.

The game designer, like the painter, cannot enliven his work by complex and subtle storytelling, and must do it only by winks and nods — a camel here, a helmet there. This can be conscious, even deliberate, as it was for me when I designed Valley of the Mammoths, or Mystery of the Abbey. Is it correct? The cover of the first edition of Valley of the Mammoths was plain exoticism.

If I were someday to write the scenario for a TV series, it would probably be about inventing time-travel and colonizing the past, about sending British governors, German hippies and American missionaries in Ancient Egypt or in prehistoric times.

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And then there are Pirates. Pirates have everything. They have adventure, deep blue seas, sunny beaches and palm trees. And, guess what, they are mostly white bearded males in their thirty or forty, the core-market for boardgames, with only the occasional black look-out or sexy adventuress. Pirates of the Caribbean — not those of the Channel, of course — are like a part of the fantasy history of Europe that happens to take place in a sunny and exotic — if not oriental — setting.

No wonder they have been from the very beginning of modern boardgames, the most overexploited setting. White bearded males in exotic settings. Vikings are almost as good, and popular as well, but they lack the sun to etch their faces. On the other hand, some gaming groups, including mine, prefer beer over rhum. Elves, dwarves and orcs can also be seen as way to simultaneously essentialize and try to diffuse racial stereotypes as seen in US culture.

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They convey the idea that race is something real, something natural. This idea is much more common in the US than in Europe, including among some anti-racist groups, and I think it is plain wrong and extremely dangerous. Elves, goblins, orcs, dwarves giants and trolls or orcs — and sometimes alien species — are a way to objectivize race, to make it an essence, an irreductible category, and not what it really is, a social construct and a stupid idea, if not a very bad joke.

Trollland is a deliberately political game mocking both European immigration policies and fantasy settings. Or may be constructivism is just a trick allowing one to claim existentialism with all the practical effects of essentialism. This underpins all the excessively racialized fantasy worlds of american fantasy litterature, role playing games, and often boardgames. It is not very susprizing that all three have European designers. Their innuendos are more subtle, and more serious, than the traditional exoticism which is too visible to be really problematic.

A convenient trick to defuse, or at least euphemize, the strong racial identities of fantasy worlds is to make use of anthropomorphic animals, for which essentialisation is obvious and immediate. Americans visiting Europe are often surprised by the importance of American Indians, and specifically Plain Indians, in our collective imagination. This is especially true in France and Germany, which happens to be also the countries were most European boardgames are designed and published.

I have designed two games with a Plains Indians theme, Tomahawk and Waka Tanka , and there are also cute bright red Indian meeples in Pony Express , and a sexy squaw in Boomtown — though her long legs are hidden in the US version of the game. Our imaginary Indians were designed as similar to us, not as other. The mythical Gallic village of old history books, and of comics like Asterix as well, with its chief and its druid, is directly copied from the almost as mythical Indian village, with its chief and sorcerer.

Dolmens are totems, wild boars are bisons. Germans have Winnetou. When playing Indians and Cow-boys, something they still do, French or German kids always identify more easily with Indians than with Cow-Boys. This means that gently mocking this image is also, in a way, a bit like mocking our own German or Gallic ancestors, something everybody does, but never in a really bad way.

This might be different in Britain, where Agricola is as much the English hero as Boudicca.

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  5. This whole article is still half a joke. Nevertheless, the recurrence of exotic settings in board and card games can be unsettling. When it comes to game design, being lazy is usually being efficient. When reading a novel or an essay, or watching a movie or theater piece, one does spend most intellectual energy in understanding what is told in the book or movie, and tries to get all the subtleties of it.

    It might even be, like in a math water tap problem, just a tool used to make the rules clearer. The setting must therefore be extremely simple, and must be known by the players before the game even starts. In good novels and movies, the storyline is used to explain the meaning of a complex theme. In good games, the light theme is here to help the players create the story. Pop culture settings, such as science fiction or heroic fantasy, are great for this, but are not mastered by everyone.

    Plain exotic settings, be they historical or geographical, are even better, because they are understood by more people. The caveat historical introduction to the rules of Mombasa is certainly clumsy.

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    The video and boardgame industries are in many ways very similar, and many boardgame designers also work on video games. Historical exoticism also seems to be less prevalent. The depth and complexity required by massive multiplayer games and persistent worlds makes it impossible to use simplistic universes, and is much easier to deal with in fantasy. These complex games are also more and more devised by large teams involving designers in Europe and in the USA, but also in Japan and, more and more, in Korea, China or India.

    But this is also true of lighter games, may be because the video game industry is bigger and more globalized, both with gamers and designers. Of course, this makes for less problematic settings, but also for blander and, at first sight, less thought provoking ones. One can easily get bored of space travel, dragons, zombies and colored candies.