December 18, 2012
Okay, full disclosure: I’m not exactly a gamer. In my house, you’ll find the likes of Skyrim, Call of Duty, and The Sims along with more than one brand of video console, but none of these are mine. When I was eleven, you see, my mother sat me down in the doctor’s office as my right hand cramped into a seemingly permanent knot, convinced I was experiencing some kind of debilitating vitamin deficiency. Nope. It was Atari joystick carpal tunnel. That was a thing. And now you understand. I’ve been on the wagon since 1987, but I’m willing to bail for Meriwether: An American Epic, a role-playing game-in-development created by Sortasoft LLC designer Joshua DeBonis and writer (and, full disclosure, my friend) Carlos Hernandez. The two met roughly five years ago via the Board Game Designers Forum in New York City where Hernandez learned of DeBonis’ fascination with the Lewis and Clark expedition and DeBonis learned of Hernandez’s gift for narrative. Thus the Meriwether wheels were set in motion. As Meriwether gathers funds from its Kickstarter campaign as well as interest from the likes of The Atlantic Monthly, I asked DeBonis and Hernandez to sit down for a conversation that covered everything from game design to the craft of writing to Borges to Roger Ebert to my eminent retreat from the real world sometime around November of 2013 when Meriwether officially drops.