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Games People: Play

Twenty Four Game Poems explores an engaging form of expression

By Wayne Alan Brenner, 4:16PM, Wed. Sep. 22, 2010

Games People: Play

Like a grown-up version of the old Choose Your Own Adventure series, Marc Majcher's 24 pieces of sharp narrative lead you through role-playing situations that range from the quotidian and contentious - "Three Old Men" - to the goofily fantastic - "The Sign of the Great Old Elder God from Beyond" – to the universally poignant - "The Leaves Will Bury."

Life itself is a sort of game, of course, or at least an overlapping series of many different games that don't really end until brain-death. Within that structure of life, more formal games are often assayed, and many of those, especially these days, in the long wake of Dungeons & Dragons … many of those are specifically role-playing games.

In this brief and well-designed volume, Majcher (who, when he's not doing modern lit a favor like this, is one of the principals of Gizmet Gameworks) fits the flesh of the human condition deftly onto diverse RPG frameworks. He does this not by way of providing another past-time so much as providing a new way to halt time for closer consideration of our places within its flow.

Now, you're not supposed to actually play any of the micro-games described here – although we reckon it would be a personally revealing hoot and a half to try to, among friends. No, these pieces are more for reading; and we're glad to say that, if you choose this adventure, the experience will be a rewarding one.

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