A Short History of Gaming in Brazil

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Brazilian geeks, nerds, and even some normal folks have shown an unprecedented interest in board gaming recently. This mania has grown even though most board games are available only as imports. A few publishers have taken limited steps in acquiring and translating properties, but all publishers are being ultra-shy with the game market. Brazilian companies have a piss-poor track record with respect to to component quality, consistency of publication, and appreciation of consumer desires. Even with poor market support and sizeable import fees, however, board games are becoming more popular among new and old gamers, perhaps surpassing roleplaying games as the nerdy hobby.

“What? RPGs are more popular than board games?! Yours is a weird country, my friend.” Yes, it is. On both accounts. To understand the history of gaming in Brazil dear reader, you must know a little bit about our political and economic history. Read on, as I weave a little tale… just for you.

The Bad, Old Days

From 1964 to 1985, Brazil suffered under a military dictatorship, as was fashionable in Latin America at the time. That pretty much cut the country off from contact with outside markets and, as the military intended, cultural influences. Given the tight publishing oversight — for example, music lyrics were scrutinized to guard against the slightest hint of subversive messaging — few companies dared to publish anything but the most childish games. Ironically, the curtailed contact with the outside world allowed Brazilian “entrepreneurs” to copy products and ideas from abroad with little fear of prosecution. The era’s poorly translated versions of songs, sloppily recorded copies of soap operas, and shoddy “versions” of software would make a Chinese bootlegger proud.

Still, some companies started creating and selling in the game market at the time. Grow Jogos e Brinquedos, started from a garage in Sao Paulo,1 began by copying game mechanics of ubiquitous North American games, such as Risk and Battleship (slightly modified and released as War, Banco Imobiliário, and Batalha Naval respectively). This wholesale-borrowing-of-mechanics business model was imitated by other companies. Estrela, for example, to this day publishes bootleg versions of Clue (Detective), The Game of Life (O Jogo da Vida), and Monopoly.

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Looking over these games, whether a 1982 copy that your mother still has tucked away somewhere or a brand new print bought at Walmart, you’ll notice that they don’t acknowledge game designers, the source material, or a license owner on the box or the rules book. It was not until Hasbro came to Brazil in 2008 that these companies were forced to make changes to “their” games to avoid litigation.2

Unauthorized translations and blatant plagiarism weren’t something to be proud of, but they did allow game-starved Brazilians to have a taste of what American and European families experienced regularly at their dinner tables. Mainly through Grow, Brazilians could have access to classic games such as Acquire, Cartel, Scotland Yard, 221B Baker Street: The Master Detective Game, Cosmic Encounter, The Awful Green Things From Outer Space, Diplomacy, Das Jagdspiel, Yahtzee, Reversi, Rummikub, and, of course, Monopoly and Risk. Achieving a level of commercial success based on these “borrowed” games, Grow was able to publish a number of original games, especially in the 1970s. Games such as Alta Velocidade (a racing game), Cavaleiros do Rei (a fantasy themed roll-and-move game), Placar (a soccer simulator), Eleições (ironically, an election simulator), and others. These “first generation” Brazilian board games fetch a high price on Mercado Livre (the Latin American eBay) nowadays.

Roleplaying Enters Play

Eventually, Grow acquired legitimate foreign gaming licenses. This more acceptable business practice resulted from the redemocratization of the country and the expansion of foreign trade in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Once Grow became a “legit” enterprise with access to international licenses, it was able to secure the rights to a game that would change the Brazilian tabletop game hobby forever: the Dungeons & Dragons basic game.3 Before this pivotal 1993 event, however, roleplaying struggled in Brazil.

Before the stabilization of the economy in 1994, Brazilian money was not worth enough to warrant trips abroad for a significant sector of society.4 The few teenagers and young adults, usually students, who could afford to stay long enough in the United States sometimes returned home with a handful of roleplaying game (RPG) books. Because printed material didn’t pay import duties, the entrance of RPGs in Brazil may have been facilitated even as the transport of board and card games was discouraged. Once back in Brazil, these young gamers would allow their friends to photocopy their books. Before the mid-1990s, copied imports were the main source of RPGs in Brazil. Those early players would be later called the Xerox Generation.5

By the end of the 1980s, RPGs began creeping into Brazil by legal and more commercial means. In 1989, an obscure publisher called Editora Marques-Saraiva (sometimes simply Marques Saraiva) released A Cidadela do Caos, a translation of The Citadel of Chaos, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. The first in a list of more than thirty books in the Fighting Fantasy series (“Aventuras Fantásticas” in Brazil) that would be translated into Brazilian Portuguese.6

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To this day, Aventuras Fantásticas is synonymous with gamebook in Brazil. Although the actual commercial success of those books is hard to pin down (I couldn’t even find a page for the Brazilian publisher), their nostalgia factor is unmistakable. Just mention Aventuras Fantásticas to any number of Brazilian gamers and watch as their eyes light up and a deluge of book titles they played burst from their mouths. Not surprisingly, in 2009 Jambô Editora, a publisher focused on fantasy novels and RPG books, acquired the rights to the series and republished new translations with the original series title, Fighting Fantasy.7

In 1991, a small publisher by the name of GSA published a roleplaying game called Tagmar, often lauded as the first Brazilian RPG. Tamar drew almost exclusively from the traditional vein of high fantasy. It was inspired by European legends and fantasy novels featuring heroic characters roaming the land in search of adventure and loot. Further, Tagmar copied some of its mechanics (the action resolution table is uncannily similar to TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes “Universal Results Table”) and the interior artwork ranged from amateurish to terrible.

Still, the game introduced some novel ( at the time) mechanics and concepts. First, monsters could be “upscaled” by the Game Master to match the heros’ level progression. That way, player characters wouldn’t leave orcs and goblins behind as they reached higher levels. Nor did players needed to hoard mountains of XP before their characters could face a demon and survive. All the Game Master had to do was use a higher level orc or a lower level demon. Another unusual concept in Tagmar was Heroic Energy. A character had two separate hit-point numbers, Heroic Energy and Physical Energy. When hit by an attack, the hero lost points first from the Heroic Energy pool. Only after that pool had been depleted would damage start whittling away Physical Energy. The Heroic Energy represented lost morale and stamina — the telling orc’s ax blow did not actually hurt your character, spilling blood and breaking bones. Rather, the swing passed so close that your character would lose some of his or her self-confidence and resilience. With that, Tagmar tried to tackle the age-old problem of explaining steadily rising levels of hit points with some degree of verisimilitude. This approach also dictated that characters lost Physical Energy, not Heroic Energy, if they fell from a cliff or started drowning. Heroic Energy could not save you from (some of) the laws of physics.

GSA reinforced the world of Tagmar by publishing a bestiary, a couple of adventures, a second campaign setting, and even a gamebook. They also released Desafio dos Bandeirantes, a game set in 17th century colonial Brazil using regional folklore instead of European myths, and a sci-fi game, Millenia. Facing competition with more famous games released by publishing giants (I’ll talk about that later), GSA closed its doors less than a decade after releasing Tagmar. GSA and other small publishers, such as Akritó (which published a handful of books for its Era do Caos scenario, a Brazilian-flavored mix of World of Darkness and In Nomine) are now remembered as part of the quaint period of Brazilian gaming history when all you needed to publish a roleplaying game was a writer, an artist or two, a printing machine, and a lot of grit.

The same year that Tagmar hit the market, a slightly bigger publisher released a Brazilian classic: GURPS. The responsibility for this feat rested in a publishing company called Devir, which began in 1987 as a comic book importer in the city of São Paulo. Devir eventually imported novels, art books, hobby magazines, and the occasional RPG book.8 Brazilians’ rising interest in games gave Devir the incentive to translate game books. The company started by securing the rights to publish a translation of GURPS 3rd edition in 1991, followed by translations of more than a dozen GURPS settings over the years. In a shout out to days of the Xerox Generation and the Brazilian culture of pirating everything, Devir’s GURPS books were oversized so they wouldn’t fit on most photocopy machines. Some claim, however, that the larger format was adopted so that Devir didn’t need to redo the index page numbers. It seems that text in Portuguese is 20-30% longer than the same text in English. Paint me yellow and call me a banana.

Play Gets Serious

The 1990s were big years for gaming in Brazil. In a nearly unprecedented event, Grow released an official version of the classic Dungeons & Dragons Dragon Quest in 1992, the same year that the game was published by TSR in the United States. Anyone who understands the tabletop gaming market knows that simply doesn’t happen. It doesn’t. But it did. Only this once.

Around that time, TV news programs started doing stories about this weird game that never ends. Short reports featured gatherings of nerdy man-boys playing tabletop games in English that nobody understood. Worse still, the games did not have boards or pieces. Journalists were flabbergasted by the cryptic, token “explanations” those nerds provided. Apparently, 1990s nerds are 1990s nerds no matter what language they speak.

So by the early 1990s, roleplaying games were being played in Brazil, but mainly by people who could read English and lived in the big cities — with access to large bookstores that imported the books, often by individual order. Many of us Brazilians either learned English so we could play the games or learned the tongue by using the books. It’s difficult to find a gaming blogger who doesn’t reminisce about how he, as a teenager, started learning to read English because he really wanted to play a game or decipher a rulebook he got from a cousin or a friend.

Even so,the amount of people who speak English in Brazil has been and remains very low (5% of the population).9 The gamers in the larger non-English reading marked were ripe for the taking. That happened in 1994.

In February 1994, the Brazilian authorities set in motion a major economic plan that invigorated the Brazilian economy for the first time since 1973.10 By March, the currency stabilized enough to assure the population (and companies) that their money would be worth the same by the end of the week. We Brazilians started using credit cards. Bank loan interests rates decreased to a single digit. The happy result for gamers was that companies started buying game licenses right and left.

In 1993, the only translated foreign games in Brazilian toy and book shelves were GURPS (Devir 1991) and a Dungeons & Dragons black box that Board Game Geek named “The New Easy to Master Dungeons & Dragons”.11 Grow did an incredible job with the D&D black box translation. From the location of the art to the texture of the paper the map is printed on, it’s remarkably exact. Were it not for the text in Portuguese, the tiny Grow logo alongside the TSR logo, the absence of a poster of the box cover art, and a slightly lighter color in some places, the game publications cannot be distinguished. That’s unprecedented. Indeed, it would not happen again until the mid-2010s.

The D&D black box Brazilian translation, alongside a stable economy, opened the floodgates. In 1994, the first Braziliant RPG periodicals were published. First, a magazine simply called Dragon — that changed its name to Dragão Brasil by the third issue (for obvious reasons) — appeared on shelves. A mix of comic book and periodical called Dragão Dourado came with lead miniature knockoffs and went away after five issues. By 1995, a handful of magazines existed, including Só Aventuras (a Dragão Brasil sister magazine, imitating TSR’s Dungeon), The Universe of RPG (by the publisher who would release Shadowrun), an Escala fanzine called Role-Playing, and a more serious, adult-oriented publication called Saga.12 13

Also in 1994, the toy maker Estrela (who had copied Monopoly decades before) secured the publishing rights for Milton Bradley’s HeroQuest. When I was a teenager, that game was as coveted as the holy grail.

Encouraged by this state of affairs, two heavy hitters entered the gaming scene. First , Ediouro translated and published official versions of Shadowun and Middle-Earth Role Playing (MERP). Shadowrun got the most attention, with the release of adventures, supplements and novels — MERP got only an adventure and four gamebooks from the Middle-Earth Quest series.14 Second, Editora Abril, the publishing branch of Grupo Abril, secured the publishing right for TSR’s magazines, board, card, and roleplaying games. Between 1994 and 1995, Abril released Dragon Magazine (with translated and original articles), the Spellfire card game, the First Quest boxed set, and four books from the Endelss Quest series of gamebooks. In March 1995, Editora dropped the hammer: AD&D 2nd edition went Brazilian.

To fathom the magnitude of these events, you have to understand that the Abril group is arguably the biggest communication enterprise in South America. For decades, they had exclusive rights to publish comic books from Marvel, DC, and Image. They owned the Brazilian publication rights to Disney materials. They publish Men’s Health, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, and Playboy. They brought MTV, ESPN, and HBO to Brazil. That’s the size of the behemoth that brought Advanced Dungeons & Dragons to Brazil. Also, that’s roughly the size of their hubris.

First, the translation was incredibly sloppy. The books were plagued by grammar, syntax, and typing mistakes. The weapon damage table misplaced the positions for small, medium, and large creatures. The entries in the Monster Manual remained in the same order (alphabetical by English name, even though the name had been translated) so the published didn’t need to redo the index.

Second, the physical material of the books was, charitably, subpar. Crappy paper, covers that bent, dull and washed out colors, glue that didn’t hold the pages for long. It was a mess.

Third, and most galling, the price was exorbitant.

It’s not that this shoddy treatment was unusual — the same modus operandi was used by every company that touched games in Brazil in the mid-1990s. Still, Abril takes the cake because they should have known better and had the resources to do much, much better. They thought (as did everybody) that the public was so starved for gaming product that it would swallow up any crap. Devir’s World of Darkness books had the same problems, so did Ediouro’s Shadowrun. The board game scene was no different: Estrela’s HeroQuest had paper stand-ups instead of plastic figures, and almost all the components were flimsy and poorly printed (including the box).

Before the decade was over, everybody except Devir had left the gaming market. Estrela went back to their plastic toys. Grow started cranking out themed versions of War (a Risk knockoff) and puzzles of classic art. Devir greedily hoarded as many properties they could from the rubble left by Ediouro and Abril, including Shadowrun, MERP, and eventually D&D. They grabbed licenses from Steve Jackson Games, from Toon to In Nomine (the American version) to the Illuminati card game. Devir secured pretty much anything White Wolf made, from Vampire: The Masquerade to the Street Fighter roleplaying game. Despite this accumulation of rights, Devir translated and published very little, angering fans who saw themselves as have been abandoned.15

One notable area of solid ground existed in the mudslide that was game publishing in Brazil at the time. Magic: The Gathering had been played in Brazil for a while, and Devir acquired the rights to publish a Brazilian version of the game in 1995. They seemed to have learned the lesson from Abril’s print of Spellfire. The cards had different backs compared to the North-American version, which discouraged people from mixing both versions up. They were also careful to order print runs of Magic: The Gathering from the same company that Wizards of the Coast used, maintaining the original quality of the cards.

By the second half of the 1990s, an indie movement started to fly under the radar. Supported by fans and ex-writers and editors of the defunct game magazines, small, periodic-style games with simple rules, often manga-themed, began being published. At this beginning of the age of the website, if you had the time, you could write your own game and put it up on forums or your own webpage. Some of those amateur games, such as Opera (a kitchen-sink rulebooks with no scenario, sort of a middle ground between GURPS and Rolemaster), and Tormenta (a mix of Brazilian manga and traditional RPG fantasy that started in the pages of the Dragão Brazil magazine) actually saw hard copy printing by small publishers.16 17

By the end of the 1990s, board games were pretty much dead. Roleplaying games, however, were very alive. In the following decade, however, they would starting killing people (or so it was claimed).

The New Millennium

In November 2000, two murders in a span of one week shocked the mountainous Teresópolis, a then 138,000-inhabitant town in the state of Rio de Janeiro (it now has 163,000 inhabitants). In both instances, a teenage girl was raped, tortured, and strangled. The second victim’s mother blamed her daughter’s friends, who sometimes walked around costumed as vampires. They were, apparently, LARPers. The police arrested a boy that was found with drugs and RPG books and locked him up for four days before releasing him. They did so because the killings continued. Eventually, a man from outside town was arrested and confessed to the crimes. The trial was not held for ten years. Meanwhile, a known tabloid newscaster started posting videos and news stories that connected the crimes (and roleplaying games) with black magic rituals. The second victim’s mother launched a media rampage accusing the games of promoting drug abuse and teenage violence. She remains at it to this day.18 19

In October 2001, the body of a teenage girl on a vacation in Ouro Preto, a student town in the state of Minas Gerais, was found naked in a cemetery (Ouro Preto is a historically preserved town from colonial times, chock-full of old churches). The autopsy revealed that she died of knife wounds and that she had consumed drugs and had sexual intercourse not long before her death. Friends and eyewitnesses who saw her at a the myriad of student parties reported that she had taken narcotics from a known drug dealer but did not have money to pay him. This testimony was largely ignored by the police, who focused on some RPG rulebooks they found during their investigation. The police commissioner labeled them “satanist material.” A local councilman took interest in the case and allied himself with a public prosecutor, who had previously tried to ban the video games Duke Nukem 3D and Carmageddon, and brought legal action against Devir and Daemon (a small RPG publisher that sold magazine-style rulebooks in newsstands and later marketed specialty game books Trevas, Arkanum, and other grimdark settings inspired by mature games such as Vampire: The Dark Ages, In Nomine, and CJ Carella’s WitchCraft).

At least four kids were manhandled by the police simply because they owned RPG books. Once the police learned that one of their sessions involved the ritual sacrifice of the victim’s character, the four were accused of murder. Unlike the 2000 Teresópolis case, the victim’s mother went public saying that her daughter did not play RPGs and that she did not believe the games had anything to do with the case. The police commissioner was later investigated after accusations of police brutality. Yet, three years later, a couple was arrested on suspicion of committing the crime. The basis for their arrest? They played RPGs — that’s it, nothing more. The case had to be appealed to the Supreme Court before the couple was released from custody (which, in Brazil, means a sweltering, dingy cell ). They were not fully acquitted until July 2009.20

In 2005, a family was robbed and murdered in a coastal town in the state of Espírito Santo, population near 100,000. Many mainstream media outlets reported the crime as having taken place after a 21-year-old man “lost” in “a game or RPG” and, as “punishment” had to murder his family. A municipal law was enacted banning the distribution and marketing of roleplaying game books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs. Because a local law in Brazil cannot contradict the Federal Constitution, which outlaws pre-emptive censorship, the RPG ban had few actual repercussions.21 Still, the stunt was perpetrated by the lawyer for the accused, desperate to avoid a likely sentence of premeditated homicide.22 How that case ended, or if ended, was not widely reported. The media forgot about the crime and its connection to games just as quickly as it created the fervor.

So the new millennium saw Brazilian-flavored RPGs under attack. Traditional values groups and evangelical churches accused RPGs of destroying youths’ minds. (Sound familiar? We even copy your problems, America!) Some news outlets discovered the strangling rules in GURPS and ran with it: “the game teaches people to kill,” they announced.23 Interesting times, as they say in the East.

In time, it all went away. We Brazilians do not divert too much energy to our convictions. I suppose that why we accept low-grade products at exorbitant prices.24

Present Day

After ten years of a stable economy and a relatively predictable exchange rate with the US dollar, many teenage nerds that grew up in the gilded age (bubble era?) of games in the 1980s and 1990s became adults with meaningful salaries. Access to the Internet and a world more connected than ever eliminated the need to wait on the graces of small, amateurish companies for games. Now we Brazilians could buy games stuff online.

Oh, we pay dearly for our games — Brazil’s import duties for games range from 86-94%. Compare that with India, which has a 15% import fee for games and no fees for toys.25 Customs duties are not the only cost multiplier. Because some people are uncomfortable using their credit card at online stores from outside Brazil, an informal market has arisen around people who travel to the US and return with board games in their luggage. An $18 game in the US, such as Forbidden Island, sells for R$120 (a little under $50). More expensive games, such as the Gears of War board game, easily bought at Amazon for $50, cannot be found in Brazil for less than R$350 (around $140).

Given the premium prices common for games, some companies decided to pay attention to their customers. First, Grow surprised everybody by quietly releasing Colonizadores de Catan (the Brazilian translation of Settlers of Catan) after securing the license from the German publisher. The game initially cost R$85 ($33) and can be found in diverse places from toy stores to Walmart. Perhaps as a shortcut, Grow released in Brazil the game that Devir had released in Portugal as Os Descobridores de Catan — a mishmash of components from the 2003 German “first plastic edition,” the tile art from the 15th Anniversary Edition, and the new, locking sea pieces. As a result, the game was not compatible with the expansions from either the German or North-American versions. A 5- to 6-player expansion compatible with our version was not released by Grow until 2014.

But Grow did learn from their mistakes. In 2012, they released Carcassonne, with a bigger box than the German version (small boxes aren’t very visible on toy stores’ shelves) and beautiful, original cover art. The game pieces were identical to the German and North-American versions. In an interesting twist, because Grow received the rights from the German publisher, the Brazilian Carcassonne came with the more recent 3rd edition scoring rules, which are slightly different from the Rio Grande Games English version of the game (I don’t know if the game was updated when the license jumped to Z-Man Games). In 2014, the game was released in a second edition, this time with the standard box and artwork, and started being sold in book stores and venues other than toy stores and supermarkets.

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Brazilians seem ready to embrace the most recent board games. Galápagos Jogos, a game publisher that formed in 2010 to sell Brazilian-designed games in the style of modern designer games such as O Vale dos Monstros (an area control game showcased in Essen Spiel in 201126) and Convocados (a card drafting game that simulate soccer team building) expanded it business. Starting in 2012, it cranked out games as if there were no tomorrow. Galápagos’ catalog today is enormous by Brazilian standards. The company has released Brazilian versions of Zombicide, 7 Wonders, Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game, Eldritch Horror, Ticket to Ride, Kemet, Love Letter, Mice and Mystics, King of Tokyo, Dixit, Summoner Wars… the list goes on.

Galápagos Jogos’ strategy seems to be two-fold. First, it produces small print runs that tend to sell out — no large backlogs of product weigh down cash flow and the shortage creates hype to buy now. Second, the company shows respect for the consumer never seen before. Not only are the games of identical quality with their foreign counterparts, they cost less or, at least, the same as you pay to import the game with import fees. That’s still not cheap , but it leads Brazilians to buy their version of those games, rather than foreign, better-made games. I, for one, own a couple of Galápagos versions — and I loathe translations. That’s how effective their business practices are.

In the RPG area of the pool, small publishers started releasing books outside of the mainstream D&D/GURPS/WoD (mainstream in Brazil). Jambô started publishing Mutants & Masterminds, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), Iron Kingdoms, and Dragon Age (although printed in black & white). The company also has the rights to a couple of national RPGs, such as the aforementioned Tormenta and 3D&T. The latter game, started in magazine format for newsstands, is a slapstick mashup of Japanese superhero TV shows and D&D, from the same authors of the more serious Tormenta.

Meanwhile, Devir had been publishing D&D and World of Darkness books in all their iterations since the 1990s. The printing quality improved, but the translations still suck. They recently decided they wanted a piece of the cake that Grow and Galápagos is eating, releasing Brazilian versions of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, The Battle of the Five Armies, The Legends of Andor, and Forbidden Island. I haven’t checked the quality of those versions, and I don’t think I will. I’ve been burned too many times.

Brazilian indie designers have begun appearing. The one-man enterprise Kalango Analógico met success with Runicards, a cooperative card game released in 2013. The owner, Rovalde Banchieri, the 38-year-old director of his own advertising company from Osasco (Greater São Paulo), entered the gaming world back in 2008 with a passion project called Imaginauta! It was released, at no cost, using an OGL version of D&D for the Diablo video game universe. Rovalde also published an RPG take on the cult TV series Highlander. His wheelhouse, though, seems to be designing and marketing board games. After Runicards, he released A Última Fortaleza, a 4X take on the RPG trope of storming the dungeon and looting the monster lair, with a twist: the players control the monsters cooperating and competing at the same time. In 2015, he crowdfunded a board game version of Runicards, called Runicards: Dungeons, that raised four times the amount sought.27 Rovalde made sure to print the cards at Copag, a Brazilian playing cards company founded in 1908 that now belongs to the group Cartamundi. Copag supplied cards for the 2005 and 2006 World Series of Poker.28 29

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That level of commitment can be seen in other new Brazilian game designers. The guys at Papaya Editora successfully crowdfunded a card drafting game called Butim in 2014. Coisinha Verde Games — which started by selling Mighty Blade, an ultra-simple roleplaying game, by word of mouth — now publishes Card Goblins (with two expansions!), a tongue-in-cheek take on card drafting games such as Magic: The Gathering, and a handful of other games, all of his own design. Three friends from completely different regions of the country used the Internet to establish a publishing company called Red Box Editora. They publish a take on retro-clones called Old Dragon. The game now has a sci-fi version called Space Dragon, following the pattern of American publishers in the 1980s (Iron Crown’s Rolemaster, Spacemaster, and Cyberspace comes to mind). Red Box also secured the rights to Portuguese-language versions of Shotgun Diaries, Lady Blackbird, Dust Devils, and ICONS. The company is currently developing an urban fantasy/horror RPG, system and setting, inspired by the TV series Constantine and prompted by the loss of the rights to Trevas, the modern-day counterpart of the national fantasy/horror game Arkhanum of the 1990s. It is tentatively called Projeto Vertigo.30

Gone are the days when anonymous Brazilian designers worked for toy companies and never saw their names on the boxes or the rulebooks. Brazilian creators now form companies and crowdfund games, investing the money in their companies and making even better games. They secure licenses to small but popular American and European games. They flock to the few Brazilian gaming conventions and proudly showcase their roleplaying and board games. Every year, component quality and originality grows. The recent crop of gamers demand no less, even if it requires paying an arm and a leg for a good game.

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I must thank Ranieri Mattos and Rafael Bezerra for combing through their collections in search of information. I couldn’t have gotten half of the dates right in this article without them!

Edited by M Alexander Jurkat

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Grow, crescemos inspirando encontros. Company webpage [n.d.]. Web Link. Retrieved 25 Jan 2015.

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5 Saldanha, Ana Alayde & Batista, José Roniere Morais. A Concepção do Role-Playing Game (RPG) em Jogadores Sistemáticos. Psicol. Cienc. Prof., 2009, vol.29, n.4, pp. 700-717. Web Link. Retrieved 25 Jan 2015.

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18 Del Debbio, Marcelo. A verdade sobre certos crimes envolvendo RPG. Nerdices e RPG, 02 Nov 2001. Web Link. Retrieved 26 Jan 2015.

19 Portillo, Rafael. Crimes relacionados ao RPG – O Caso Teresópolis. Raopo!, 21 Oct 2013. Web Link. Retrieved 26 Jan 2015.

20 Del Debbio, Marcelo. O Caso de Ouro Preto – Dez anos de Incompetência. Teoria da Conspiração, 8 Jul 2011. Web Link. Retrieved 26 Jan 2015.

21 Semíramis, Cynthia. Lei de Guarapari proíbe a venda de livros de RPG. Cynthia Semíramis — direitos das mulheres e direitos humanos, 7 Jun 2009. Web Link. Retrieved 26 Jan 2015.

22 Gonçalves, Camila, et al. Jogadores de RPG da região dos Inconfidentes ainda sofrem preconceito. #tecer, 15 Feb 2014. Web Link. Retrieved 26 Jan 2015.

23 Vasques, Rafael Carneiro. As Potencialidades do RPG (Role Playing Game) na Educação Escolar (Master’s thesis). Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho”, 2008. 179 pages.

24 The price is wrong — Why Brazil offers appalling value for money. The Economist, 28 Sep 2013. Web Link. Retrieved 26 Jan 2015.

25 Miller, David. Game, Toy, or Puzzle: Supreme Court of India to Define. Purple Pawn, 04 Nov 2014. Web Link. Retrieved 26 Jan 2015.

26 boardgamegeektv. O Vale dos Monstros – BoardGameGeek Booth – Essen Spiel 2011. YouTube, 5 Nov 2011. Web Link. Retrieved 26 Jan 2015.

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