King Weyland-Yutani

King Weyland-Yutani

OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUD: Acclaimed director, Ridley Scott, argues that it’s millennials––not people skittish about returning to movie theaters amid a pandemic––that is causing his newest film, The Last Duel, to do poorly at the box office. Our host discusses all of the factors involved with this strange accusation.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Answer Sandwich” (24 October 2014): Where our hosts discuss Ridley Scott’s Alien.
  • Su Gana” (11 November 2016): Where our hosts discuss V For Vendetta and its modern applications.
  • Pure Chaos” (26 May 2017): Where our hosts are joined by Taylor to talk about Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.

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Scary Gongs

Scary Gongs

KOTICK TOCK TIME’S UP: This week, after a scathing report, employees of Activision/Blizzard walked out calling for the expulsion of the company’s CEO, Bobby Kotick. Our hosts examine the situation and how it symptomizes larger aspects of video game culture.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Less-Impressive-Than-Expected No. 7” (01 July 2017): Where our hosts discuss the “interesting” game from a creator of Mega Man, Mighty No. 9.
  • Sword Club” (30 July 2021): Where Andrew and D. Bethel talked about Activision Blizzard being investigated by the state of California.

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An Accident of Flavor

An Accident of Flavor

DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim turned 10 years old this week, celebrated with yet another re-release of the game across all gaming platforms. Andrew and D. Bethel talk about this milestone for a brief bit.

PLEASE STOP: NFTs continue to rear their ugly heads as major gaming publishers announce their interest in integrating blockchain weirdness into their games. After an explanation of the whole mess, D. Bethel and Andrew discuss NFTs’ possible impact on video games.

RIP DEAN STOCKWELL: After a long and storied career, actor and writer Dean Stockwell passed away this week. Nerds know him best as Al from Quantum Leap, but his strange choices and charismatic performances made him an actor everybody surely has a fond memory of in some way or another.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • A screenshot from Reddit outlining the hit cryptocurrency may take after the institution of the recently passed legislation (via the Twitter account @CoinersTakingLs):
  • Tweets from @outstarwalker about how NFTs may not be the game changer some people think they are:

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Milkbloods” (09 April 2021): Where D. Bethel and Andrew first discuss the cultural pandemic called NFTs.
  • Meat Pops” (22 Oct. 2021): Where Andrew discusses the different ways Steam and the Epic Games store are approaching NFTs.

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Eloquent as Ever

Eloquent as Ever

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew continues to get excited by recent Star Trek offerings, specifically the conclusion of season 2 of Star Trek: The Lower Decks and the premiere of the Paramount+/Nickelodeon joint, Star Trek: Prodigy. D. Bethel finally offers his thoughts on Metroid: Dread (aka Metroid 5) after completing it, uh, three times.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • I Am the State” (26 February 2021): Where D. Bethel rants about Nintendo not respecting Metroid on its 35th anniversary.
  • Butt Magic” (16 October 2021): Where Andrew discusses the first season of the animated comedy, Star Trek: The Lower Decks.
  • Con Artists #7: Return of the Con” (29 October 2021): The most recent episode of Con Artists where D. Bethel and Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics talk about making and selling comics amidst a global pandemic.

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Con Artists #07 – Return of the Con

Con Artists #07 – Return of the Con

In the world of 2021, not much has changed. Hope and optimism dares to tread across the jamb as COVID vaccines get into the arms of people across the world and, for independent comickers, conventions start to return…kind of.

After attending only a few shows in 2021––their first in nearly two years––D. Bethel (of the webcomic, Long John) and Kyrun Silva (of Taurus Comics and the 4 Tales Podcast) reconvene to share their experiences, fears, and surprises with the fact that comic shows and conventions have become very different beasts from what they were before, and how difficult it may be to adapt.

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Meat Pops

Meat Pops

NEWS CRUISE: Andrew and D. Bethel cover a lot of different news stories this week, including the acceptance of NFTs in video games by Steam and the Epic Games Store; the workers of tabletop game developer, Paizo, form a union; developers who worked on Metroid Dread not seeing their names in the credits; Ruby Rose speaking up about their treatment on the set of Batwoman‘s first season; and some announcements made by DC during the DC Fandome event.

UPDATE: Venerated Metroid fansite, Shinesparkers, reached out to Metroid Dread developers, MercurySteam, for clarification on what qualified for crediting in the game, specifically with regard to what constitutes the “25% game dev time” and “significant creative contributions,” stating:

“A significant contribution might mean A LOT of things: from designing a playable character, writing dialogues, lore.. anything substantially important to the game. On the 25% this is something based on our experience. Of course it can be seen differently elsewhere.”

FURTHER UPDATE: Union issues with Paizo and its workers came to an agreement on Thursday, October 21, with Paizo officially recognizing the workers’ union.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Business Exempt” (19 October 2018): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk about the first major attempt to unionize video game workers.
  • A Casualty of the Rhyme” (22 May 2020): Where our hosts, along with Taylor, talk about Ruby Rose’s sudden departure from Batwoman.
  • Milkbloods” (09 April 2021): When Andrew and D. Bethel first discussed the strange culture of NFTs.

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Ghost Games

Ghost Games

BETTER DREAD THAN DEAD: D. Bethel shares some initial thoughts on the newest 2D Metroid game, Metroid 5 aka Metroid Dread.

EMULATE YOU WANT IT, THAT’S THE WAY YOU NEED IT: Kotaku got in a bit of heat when they reported a story about how people were able to get Metroid Dread up and running on emulators in a smooth 60 frames per second at 4K resolution. The problem is that, in the original story, readers felt that Kotaku was, in fact, recommending people pirate Dread instead of buying it because of the emulator’s stronger performance. This lead to another round of discussion about emulation, piracy, and game preservation. Andrew and D. Bethel do their best to weigh in on these issues.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • The Eye of Agamemnon” (18 November 2016): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss the storied history of old episodes of Doctor Who erased from existence by the BBC.
  • River City Rampage” (17 August 2018): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the value and importance (and danger) of video game emulation.
  • I Am the State” (26 February 2021): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss whether the Metroid series is being neglected by Nintendo.

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Crypto ATM

Crypto ATM

PACHINKO IS CRYPTO: Our hosts walk a snake-like path this week as they discuss everything from recent trends in the sketch cryptocurrency/NFT market to the news that Konami may be getting out of pachinko and back into making video games again. It’s quite a conversation, in other words.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Heart Law, Article 9” (03 July 2014): Where our hosts discuss why Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is an important game (by their metric, at least).
  • Recorded Entirely in Esperanto” (01 May 2015): Where our hosts discuss the fall of “the final domino” on Konami’s game-developing existence.
  • Milkbloods” (09 April 2021): Where our hosts first discuss the shady business of NFTs.

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Halloween Still

Halloween Still

RTD2: With the next series of Doctor Who wrapping up the tenures of both the star, Jodie Whittaker, and its showrunner, Chris Chibnall, it was announced that the 2023 series will herald the return of the showrunner who brought the show back from the wilderness in 2005, Russell T Davies. Our hosts discuss the possibilities––and drawbacks––of this announcement.

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  • Teasing the Difference” (05 June 2015): Where D. Bethel discusses playing The Last of Us, the game that came with his purchase of this Playstation 4.

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A Braver New World

A Braver New World

GIANTS FALL: Kind of a combination of a News Blast and a Nerd Law, but the lawsuit between Apple and Epic has been decided and…it’s complicated. We have Andrew walk us through the ins and outs of this strange event.

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  • “Nerd Law” by D. Bethel