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Introducing CSI Skill Tree, a series on video games, worldbuilding, and the future

CSI Skill Tree promo image, showing two humanoid robots seated in a train car, next to headshots of speakers Liz Fiacco and Malik Toms

CSI Skill Tree is a new series from the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University that examines and celebrates how video games envision possible futures, build rich and thought-provoking worlds, and engage people as active participants in unfolding and interpreting stories.

In our first episode, we discuss Subsurface Circular (2017), an adventure game about structural oppression, segregation, and public transit developed and published by Mike Bithell Games. In the game, you unravel a mystery about missing robots by engaging in a series of branching conversations.

Our guests for the first episode are game developer Liz Fiacco, who has worked on a number of commercial games, including Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Pillars of Eternity, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Malik Toms, an author and educator who has written for a number of roleplaying games, most recently Shadowrun 6th Edition.

Stay tuned for our next episode in July, featuring Waking Mars (2012), a game about terraforming, exploration, and extraterrestrial life. To be notified about upcoming episodes, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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