September 2015: ‘Maps’

The ante has been upped, my friends. Last month’s participation here at Blogs of the Roundtable was amazing. There were so many great pieces to read about “Nostalgia.” I was both elated by the response, and to be honest, also a little daunted. What a tough act to follow!

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I think I’ve risen to the occasion. Or rather, Kaitlin Tremblay has risen to the challenge! After days of trying to come up with a theme that could follow “Nostalgia,” I had a lightbulb moment. But honestly, the idea was too good for me. I needed to turn to someone with the passion and knowhow to really make it shine. Luckily, Kaitlin is one of the kindest people in the world, not to mention brilliant, and no sooner had I reached out to her than she had agreed to help out. With that, I’ll turn it over to Kaitlin, who wrote the prompt for September’s theme: “Maps”

Maps, at their most basic, order and define spaces. They can provide a path for those who are lost, or they can become symbols of achievements, places visited, stories told, and battles won. They set a boundary to what otherwise feels vast and potentially limitless, a way to compartmentalize and therefore tackle the world. But how do world maps provide a unifying theme for narrative? In what ways can we see the history of cartography as a colonial practice influence narrative? How do level maps help us conceive of game spaces as literal places to explore? What makes a good level map — ease of use and ability to navigate or bottomless depths to explore?

So good! Before you head off to explore maps of your own, I highly suggest checking out Kaitlin’s own work for inspiration. Of particular relevance is her piece “Shaping Worlds” in Unwinnable’s Issue 56.

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