survival arcs and etrian odyssey

this is a script for a dead genre chronicles minisode which you can listen to here. support DGC at

hi, I’m leeroy lewin of the starlight scholars. I write my stuff on my own wordpress, which is follow @jrpgsaredead if somehow you aren’t, that’s really what I want to plug. we’re doing work that comes out of a want and a care and maybe a desperation, I think it’s really exciting. shout out to anyone doing that sort of work, honestly and earnestly.

if you ask me personally what grinding is, well, I’m going to say that grinding is something exploitive and unholy. I’m sort of joking, but I think as a baseline it’s disrespectful for the player’s time. it’s going to communicate a message that doesn’t really become enhanced by participation, it’s only after detaching from the reward loop that it can be examined. I don’t think indulging in the reward loop from time to time is as harmful as it is unsubstantiative, it’s just not a challenging use of time, and it doesn’t relax me as much as agitates me. that’s only considering grinding as thing that exists for one game, for one purpose, which it absolutely doesn’t.

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Tracing the Alternative JRPG


Role playing games are a poison. I can’t get that thought out of my head, so I rationalize it. They’re a storytelling container, they’re a medium, they make sense in context. And I’ll admit again, they don’t respect my time. I’ll admit again, they’re needlessly violent. Even so, I can respect them, these objects that don’t show respect for themselves. This is a craft that funnels into the pleasure of numbers and of conquest, a craft that is weaponized to exploit feelings of compulsion. There’s a coincidence that arrests me, an alchemy untapped and unexplained. Someone needs to explain their history. Someone needs to articulate their craft. I feel self-important, and burdened, and wrong. It’s a performance and a trap that isn’t particular to jrpgs, but for me it’s going to be about jrpgs. And so I’ve stockholmed myself.

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