NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13:  Jamelle Jimenez, George Krstic, Moby Frank, Mark Yetter, and Curtis Churn speak at the Tribeca Games Presents The Craft And Creative Of League Of Legends on November 13, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Tribeca Games)
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League of Legends and the problem of online communities

If you liked what you read, why not back us on Kickstarter? Early last Friday, just before the opening remarks of “Tribeca Games Presents: The Craft and Creative of League of Legends,” I sat next to a young man named Will, who told me he had come all the way from Daytona Beach, Florida. I asked him if it was a business trip; this was the first time Riot and Tribeca Games had ever put on an event like this. There were a few hundred people present; it’s not the sort of thing I would expect fans to pilgrimage over. “No,”…

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Riot – Civil Unrest, the videogame riot simulator, gets more relevant by the day

There are sad nights on Twitter, nights where one scene of senseless repression bleeds into the next. There have been plenty of these nights in recent years: Tahrir Square, London, Bahrain, Ferguson. Last night, it was Baltimore. Soon it will be somewhere else. For brief moments, the phenomenon of watching riots feels like an expression of shared humanity: the whole world is witnessing an historic moment. Then reality sets in. You are not the one whose bones are being crushed by a policeman’s truncheon. Tomorrow you will get on with your life. You will move on to the next riot…

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League of Legends reunion story shows games as the new pen pal letter

Not sure how we missed this one. Riot Games asked San Francisco agency Muhtayzik Hoffer to show what League of Legends means to its millions of players and the result was a short called “Tim’s Story.”  Tim lives in Nebraska, but grew up in Arizona. After his father endures a coma, the family decides to move to the middle of the country, thousands of miles from Tim’s good friends and his girlfriend. But they keep in touch via videogames, an experience that writer Jason Killingsworth (who actually now works as a senior writer at Riot) explored in Kill Screen’s Maturity issue.…

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Riot aims to politicize the board game with, what else, riots

We’ve seen a lot of great videogames that deal with social issues, but we haven’t seen that many boardgames. The crew of Italians behind Riot want to change that by putting you in the shoes of a citizen who is caught in a dangerous riot situation, where tension between protesters and officers is erupting into violence. The rules and design behind this unorthodox take definitely looks interesting, and as we’ve seen with great games like Papers, Please and Cart Life, the structures of injustice can make for some very compelling and unconventional play—you know, unlike actual riots.  The designers are…

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The fancy camera tech that will make League of Legends easier to watch

Riot Games are working on smart cameras that automatically follow the action on-screen in League of Legends, because sometimes you just want to kick back and watch esports, the way you would any other sport. This new feature, which they’ve been granted a patent for, aims to improve Spectator Mode, which allows onlookers to peek in on matches, but would also help with live broadcasting. We’ve talked at length before about how the prospect of casually watching esports can be daunting. There’s so much visual information that it repels the casual fan, who are a big part of the success…

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Interview

Italian team hopes to find digital meaning in videogame riot simulator.

In 2011, Time Magazine awarded “The Protester” their “Person of the Year” award stating, “All over the world, the protesters of 2011 share a belief that their countries’ political systems and economies have grown dysfunctional and corrupt.” Lost in translations is the human element behind the groups fighting for their freedom. What does it feel like to ignite a riot or be asked to suppress it?  We asked Leonard Menchiari who experienced riots firsthand and used his personal adventures to develop his simulator, the aply-named Riot. – – – The game allows the player to play both sides of a riot…