A NEW CHALLENGER: Recently, Valve Corporation––owners of the PC gaming storefront and launcher, Steam––announced a new piece of hardware that excited a lot of gamers: the handheld Steam machine called the Steam Deck. D. Bethel and Andrew walk through the announcement and ponder what it could change in the industry, and how it could leave some gamers lacking.
“Where the Hands Touch” (13 January 2017): Where Andrew discusses a previous piece of Valve-made hardware, the ill-fated Steam controller.
WHAT A NERD WANTS: With the Disney + original, Loki, coming to a close this week, it got our hosts thinking about nerd media universes, and the works that push those meta narratives forward. What’s better––a standalone series showcasing the nuances of a single character? or a show that pushes that cinematic universe into the next stage of its overall narrative? Andrew and D. Bethel put on their thinking caps and engage with these surprisingly nuanced questions.
CAP PUNCHED FIRST: Another day, another attack on fictional characters as a cable news segment pilloried Marvel Comics for making Captain America “woke” in a recent issue, seemingly forgetting that Cap has been punching literal Nazis in his comics since his first issue. Andrew and D. Bethel explore this while also examining the variety of ways texts (movies, comics, books, music, tv shows, etc.) can be read.
PRINT ON DEMAND: After buying some RPG books through DriveThruRPG, Andrew becomes fascinated by the idea––and future applicability––of print on demand services, where a book isn’t printed until a customer orders it. D. Bethel brings his creator experience with POD services to the conversation as well.
“Slapcast” (02 July 2021): Where Andrew gave us the run down of the strange TSR Twitter fight.
The video Dan referred to with Stan Lee talking about the creation of the X-Men, though it’s one of many similar and slightly different creation stories he has told over the years:
TSR-U-KIDDING-ME: Tabletop Twitter got weird these last few weeks as debates exploded around the tweets made by Ernest G. Gygax, Jr.––son of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator, Gary Gygax––where he doubles down on strong, anti-SJW views in support of his new RPG, Giantlands.
SLAPP FEST: Andrew also checks in with the current legal fight started by Chris Avellone––formerly of Black Isle and Obisidian Entertainment––as he tries to sue people who said mean things about him on the internet.
Also, Dan has gotten even more obsessed with the Metroid series since last week.
CONFIRMATION BIAS:Abandoned is an upcoming Playstation 5-exclusive game made by the small Netherlands-based team, Blue Box Game Studios. After the game’s director made an enigmatic tweet, the internet exploded with conspiracy theories, asserting that the game and its trailers were nothing more than clues that this was not a stand-alone survival horror game but was actually a Silent Hill sequel. More than that, people have asserted that it’s a Silent Hill sequel directed by Hideo Kojima, despite the fact that the studio has gone to great lengths to assure fans that it is not. Andre and Dan discuss the conspiracy and how it got wrapped up in the darker parts of nerd culture, internet culture, and the complicated edges of fandom.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew dives into the strange patchwork origin of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers while D. Bethel is pleasantly surprised by the Netflix series, Sweet Tooth, an adaptation of Dan’s favorite recent comic series by Jeff Lemire.
ROUGH TEXTURES: Capcom gets sued for allegedly using textures from a reference book––Judy A. Juracek’s Surfaces––for many of its games in the early 2000s and the evidence is pretty compelling. Without dispensing professional legal advice, Andrew guides D. Bethel through the nuances and complexities of this interesting case.
“Don’t Stop Recording” (03 July 2015): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk about how the 1986 classic,The Transformers: The Movie, may have started as a toy commercial but ended up as a defining emotional moment for young fans at the time.
“Listeners in the Woodwork” (18 October 2019): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the lawsuit surrounding the origins of the theme song from X-Men: The Animated Series.
“Dating the Void” (23 April 2021): Where Andrew discussed the copyright confusion surrounding Sherlock Holmes.
WEEKIN GEEK: It’s a week all about television as Andrew watches the first few episodes of the CW reboot of Kung Fu while D. Bethel compares his experience watching the first few episodes of Amazon’s Invincible and Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy.
Today marks seven full years since the very first episode went live. Thank you all for listening and supporting the show. We pretend we’re your 14th source for all nerdy and geeky news and discussion, but it’s ultimately just a show where two old friends talk about the stuff they like and we’re consistently surprised by how many people like hearing that as well. Thank you again to all who listen and a BIG thank you to all of the friends of the show that have helped us along the way, including: Taylor, Kyrun, André, Jason, Mary, Jesse, Jake, Luke, Nicole, The Nerdhole, Jacqueline, Josh, and many others we are surely forgetting. Again, thank you.
So, with that out of the way we’re going to get back to making our weekly content for you all to enjoy. With that said, for all intents and purposes, that was a podcast anniversary.
A BAD MIX: This week, the Twitter account, @TerriblyBland, posted a thread calling out nerd industries’ tendency to do networking at bars, especially during and after conventions. As ever with nerd discourse, the claim was met with a lot of support…as well as some very staunch opposition. Andrew and D. Bethel look at the original claim and examine the overall conversation.
“Some Solid Copy” (14 August 2015): Where Andrew first discussed his experience playing Watch the Skies, a megagame.
“Action Noir Theater” (29 July 2016): Episode 100, Part 2 where our hosts reveal the first part of an intended series of the audio drama, Nick Springer. With a bonus, heavily-produced opening where a song by D. Bethel brings Andrew back from being trapped in the rift between space and time!