Interview Episode 7: Julia Ellingboe

Hosted by Timo

Through the vagaries of the interwebs, Julia Ellingboe found our episode about Race and our mention of her game, Steal Away Jordan.  We invited her to share her intention and opinion about the game in that context, which allowed me to also pick her brain on other topics related to her games and her design.  I mistakenly note that our episode on Race was episode 57, it’s actually episode 59.

Slave Narratives: Book of the Night Women, Octavia Butler, Frederick Douglas, Slave No More, Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember (1:20)
Stories of slavery as heroic stories (3:50)
Slavery outside of the default setting (4:30)
Vak: American slavery in particular as a problem (5:00)
Played as a folk tale (6:35)
Mechanic: Goals are secret from the GM, shared between players (07:25)
Graham Walmsley runs a great Steal Away Jordan game (09:45)
Three white dudes and me, Uncle Ruckus and playing the spiteful character (11:40)
Impression as a player rather than the Storyteller (14:20)
Designed for fun, not guilt. Making players uncomfortable as entertainment, comparison to Bachannal (15:00)
Making the owners real (16:20)
The game is not really about race, its more about ownership (18:05)
Scott’s question: Where did you grow up, how did that affect the design? (18:50)
Playing Steal Away Jordan: Being a black woman among (mostly) white men (20:00)
Lines and Veils (22:30)
Fastaval: The Journey and walking away from a game (23:40)
Wanting to understand the experience, versus recoiling from it (26:50)
What a difference a river makes (28:55)
Historical perspective: parrallel to 2nd and 3rd wave feminism (31:00)
Different things that could be gotten from the game, what sort of games do people play (32:25)
Nervous laughter and playing nice (35:00)
The saddest steal away jordan ever, and playing sad games (37:00)
How Julia got in to gaming (38:50)
Having non-gamer kids (39:50)
Malice: the love of frightening dolls (40:45)
Non-slasher horror films: The Omen, Psycho, Fallen, Lost Souls (42:25)
Tales of the Fisherman’s Wife and measuring up to past success (45:35)
Two major themes: Folk Tales and Card Games (47:30)
Cards versus Dice (50:35)
What to do with Tam Lim playtesting at Intercon Massachusetts, Dreamation and Fastaval (51:50)
Dead Inside (53:30)
The Massachusetts Game Collective (54:30)
The joy of game writing (56:30)
Why go independent? (57:30)
The library of Congress as a Resource: American History (59:15)

Announcements: Have fun at Gencon, thanks for playing Steal Away Jordan (01:00:00)

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