Episode 27 – The World Doesn’t Look Bright for Us Completionists

skyrim

“I was an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.”

Mike and Casey completely abandon their quests to consolidate their pixelated criminal empires and save the kingdom from dragons, so that they can play darts and brew potions with video game journalist and YouTuber Kinsey Burke, and returning panelist Patrick Johnson.

Our non-essential side quest? To dig into the massive phenomenon of Open World Video Games. From Fallout 3, to Skyrim, to Grand Theft Auto V,  there is an video games where the storyline is optional and immersive player-initiated exploration are their biggest sell points.

What is the appeal of a game that lets you make your own agenda in a fictional city, or epic fantasy realm or post-apocalyptic future? What are the limits of a game that aspires to let you be and do anything you want?

And why are these games so damned buggy?

Music: 
“Welcome to Los Santos” from Grand Theft Auto V by Oh No

Episode 22.5 – A Loud, Brown Blur

callofdutybrown

On the tail of our BioShock panel, Mike and Casey continue our conversation with Patrick Johnson and Carlos Rodela, to delve deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of this game series in particular and gaming in general.

How big and dense can — or should — a video game’s world be? How much should the player be directing the story, as opposed to the game’s designer? How often should video game franchises release sequels, especially when new installments have only small incremental changes?

Plus, random musings on Star Wars and M. Night Shyamalan.

Episode 9 – On the Altar of Saint Miyamoto

nintendoSorry, Mario! Your podcast is in another castle!

Mike and Casey pull on their Power Gloves and strap on their Virtual Boys because, it’s time to save the Mushroom Kingdom with Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey and Bob Mackey of the Retronauts podcast! This month, we’re talking about the video game company that practically served as a fifth food group for an entire generation: Nintendo!

We discuss the company’s multi-decade dominance of the video game market, its legacy, and how it pulled the industry out of the nosedive of Atari’s implosion in the early 1980s. We talk about how visionary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto created the canvas of our childhoods, and how the company went from standing atop the wreckage of Sega to becoming the Switzerland of the modern day console wars.

Music: 
Opening Theme from the Legend of Zelda” by Koji Kondo
Overworld Theme to Super Mario Bros. 2” by Koji Kondo

 

Episode 7 – Nerd Karaoke

e6e7_dungeons_dragons

Roll for initiative and save vs. poison, because this month, Mike and Casey enter the Dread Lich’s tomb with game designer Ryan Chaddock, and Chris Walker of BJ Shea’s Geek Nation to unearth that oldest of fantasy role-playing games, Dungeons and Dragons!

We look into the game’s nearly forty year history, its current relevance, its many attempts to branch out in other media, and the laughable debunked claims that the game was responsible for murderous Satanic cults in the suburbs of the 1980s!

Music: 
“End Credits to the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon seriesby Johnny Douglas
“Theme to the Dungeons & Dragons movieby Justin Caine Burnett