Show Notes for Ep. 27 "Game Design with Avery Alder"​

Coming onto the show is Avery Alder, a game designer bringing a queer perspective to roleplaying games. Mary Anne and Ben talk with Avery about her various projects, the interesting aspects of narrative scaffolding and restraint offered by RPGs, and the genesis of Ben and Avery’s collaboration on “Dream Askew” and “Dream Apart”, two games of Belonging Outside Belonging.

To find out more about Avery and her games, you can visit

Recorded 9 February 2021 / Published 18 October 2021


  • 0:00:00: Introduction to Avery Alder and some of her games
  • 0:01:45: Defining RPGs 
  • 0:05:38: On the imagination part of game design
  • 0:10:31: On Lloyd Alexander’s High King and games as art
  • 0:12:19: On Avery’s game The Quiet Year
  • 0:15:42: On Avery’s game Dream Askew
  • 0:21:34: Monopoly is art, right?
  • 0:25:13: Mary Anne on how museums are undergoing gamification
  • 0:28:18: On narrative scaffolding afforded to players within RPGs
  • 0:34:38: On the inherently political nature of game mechanics
  • 0:39:15: Discussing Avery’s game, A Place to Fuck Each Other
  • 0:44:09: On leveling up and narrative constraint in RPGs and Avery’s Monster Hearts
  • 0:56:28: On the nature of consent within RPGs
  • 1:08:52: Intermission
  • 1:09:00: On the genesis of Ben and Avery’s Dream Apart
  • 1:24:36: The next steps after creating a game
  • 1:41:15: Closing thoughts

Notes and Links