A BLIZZARD OF CONTROVERSY: Activision Blizzard––makers of such hit games as World of Warcraft, Overwatch,and Hearthstone––have hit a geo-political wall as they take a stance over controversial statements made by the winner of a Hearthstone tournament about the protests in Hong Kong against the People’s Republic of China. Andrew and D. Bethel investigate the complicated relationship between popular American entertainment and China.
NOT FAR FROM HOME: It was announced that Sony and Disney/Marvel had once again struck a deal that will keep Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, much to the joy of fans and to the benefit of both companies’ bank accounts. Having discussed the initial breakup back when it happened in August, Andrew and D. Bethel have a surprisingly heated discussion of this generally happy news.
THE STRANGEST HANDSHAKE: British tabletop company, Games Workshop, announced that it will be licensing one of its beloved properties––Warhammer 40,000––to American comic book giant, Marvel Comics, to make a line of comic books. This is interesting because both of Games Workshop’s original Warhammer line and especially its Warhammer 40,000 line have deep lore and continuities that has our hosts wondering how well it will translate to a comic book series.
New Dangers (20 September 2019): Where, briefly, D. Bethel and Andrew display their light wrestling knowledge in the light of AEW’s strange storyline built around a jock heel wrestler insults his opponent for liking Dungeons & Dragons.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew watches the trippy but artistic and engaging new Amazon Prime show, Undone starring Rosa Salazar, while D. Bethel––amidst all of his academic toil––finds time to be challenged and charmed by the actual roguelike deckbuilding phone game, Meteorfall: Journey by SlothWerks.
Shortcast 56 – Accidental Artistry (25 May 2018): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk about reboots in the context of the reveal of Thundercats Roar announced by Cartoon Network.
A Veritable Odyssey (12 July 2019): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the teaser trailer for the upcoming––and seemingly very different––live-action adaptation of another animated film from the ’90s, Mulan.
TWO MAN’S SKY: With No Man’s Sky Beyond––the newest big 2.0 patch for the open world, sci-fi survival game, No Man’s Sky––it kind of brings to a close the long, arduous, but ultimately heartwarming story of this unique game by the small team at Hello Games. Andrew and D. Bethel talk about the years-long journey of this game.
“I’M NOT LISTENING”: Amid the stories about the varoius #[Insert Noun]Gates and #MeToo stories circulating through nerd culture, one of the bigger cases in the last year revolved around voice actor, Vic Mignogna, known for work in many anime, especially the Dragon Ball franchise. When allegations were made about his misconduct in the workplace, he started suing people and companies when they started dropping him from their employ. In the last few weeks––in an almost comical fashion––a few of Mignogna’s cases were dismissed, casting his defense and seriousness about this fight in doubt despite crowdfunding nearly $250,000 to pay for his legal fees. Resident nerd lawyer, Andrew, talks Dan through this bizarre moment.
LAST OF THE TIME LORDS: At the end of August 2019, the world lost a writer who is probably the most important figure to the BBC hit, Doctor Who, in Terrance Dicks. A prominent writer for the show in the late sixties through the eighties, he also served as the script editor (what we would call now a showrunner) for six years (1969-1974), supervising the transitioning in of the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and revitalizing the show’s popularity as it transitioned from black and white into color.
In addition introducing things like the Time Lords and Gallifrey into the continuity, he’s probably most well-known for writing a voluminous amount of the show’s novelizations. In light of his death, Andrew and D. Bethel spend some time talking up one the most important figures in a show they both hold so very dear.
ANDY AND THE PAX WEST OF 2019: Last weekend held the four-day gaming extravaganza called PAX West, which Andrew attended (as well as an associated indie-focused show called Seattle Indie Expo). He goes over the experience of attending the show yet again and how his attitudes about the show have changed over time.
WEEK IN GEEK: The boys are back to video games as Andrew plays the 1.0 release of Klei Entertainment’s sci-fi survival game, Oxygen Not Included, while D. Bethel can’t believe he’s enjoying the heck out of Final Fantasy XV, especially because it makes no sense.
ANDREW IS OLDER: We start by celebrating Andrew’s birthday a little bit. So, what did he do? He watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan again and also went to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert during his “Strings Attached” tour where Yankovic and his band toured with a 41-piece orchestra.
FARTHER FROM HOME: The news this week was kind of bad for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans as Sony and Disney apparently stepped away from the deal that brought them together in the first place. What this means (as it currently stands) is that future Spider-Man films can’t interact with the MCU or Avengers-based films. Andrew and D. Bethel talk about what’s going on here and what are the ups and downs of this news story.
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew plays Ultima (a.k.a. Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness) in the hopes of reverse engineering it so he can build his own browser game while D. Bethel is genuinely surprised by the depth and charm of Sabotage Studio’s action/platformer/exploration game, The Messenger.