Analysis

Stranger Things Won’t Stop Besmirching Its Male Heroes

Stranger Things 3 was quite a treat. After receiving criticism regarding the depiction of women in season two, the Duffer Brothers made a slew of positive changes. They returned to the plot structure that worked so well in season one, figured out how to keep Eleven’s powers in check, and included two canonically queer characters. While it doesn’t quite meet the gold standard of season one, there’s a lot to love about the third installment.

But despite all the progress the Duffer Brothers have made, this show still hasn’t figured out how to depict its flawed yet lovable male protagonists, particularly in the context of its ’80s inspiration. The result is a show that forces sexist stereotypes on men and, in doing so, encourages the oppression of women.

Read more »

Q&A

How Can We Make RPG Languages Work Better?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Can you write a column about language proficiencies as a game mechanic? Are there any games that do it right? Language proficiencies (esp in DND5e) often feel like they suffer from the problem of being too situational and thus expensive for their cost, and it … read more »

Podcast

230 – Prequels

The Mythcreant Podcast

If you liked a story, surely you’d love to see what happened before that story, right? No? Well, that’s the logic that drives so much of what we’re talking about today: prequels. Why do prequels happen? Why are they usually bad? Is there anything we … read more »

Worldbuilding

Water Travel Before Engines

A photo of the Olympia, a replica Trireme from the Greek Navy.

Some time back, Chris wrote an excellent treatise on the difficulties of Land Travel Before Engines, and now it’s time to cover the other half of that equation. Water covers most of our planet’s surface, and voyages are a common staple of fantasy. Whether your … read more »

Q&A

How Do I Tell a Family Saga?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hello. I’m working on an outline for a series where one of the themes I want to explore is the process of historical change. I’m still experimenting with how best to structure the story. One option is to structure it more or less conventionally, including … read more »