A BAD BLIZZARD: Our hosts take a quick look at the controversy (and lawsuits!) that came out of an investigation led by the state of California into the toxic and dangerous company culture of Activision Blizzard.
I HAVE THE POWER: Having watched the first five episodes released for Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Andrew and D. Bethel look at this playful and creative reimagining of the classic ’80s toy commercial, er I mean, cartoon series.
“All-New, All-Same” (29 June 2018): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the angry internet’s attempt to “destroy” Lucasfilm following the release of The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
“Empty Justice” (01 March 2019): Where our hosts talk about internet trolls trying to review bomb Captain Marvel ahead of its release.
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.
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!
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew dabbles in a few different ponds, first by playing a bit of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, then talks about his experience going through Subnautica: Below Zero, and testing his mettle with Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch. D. Bethel is very conflicted––but having a lot of fun––as he plays through Dragon’s Crown Pro.
FREEDOM FOR APPS: Andrew and D. Bethel dedicate this week’s episode to discussing and parsing and debating and understanding and reacting to the very, very strange lawsuits being fought between Apple and Epic Games. SPOILER: They have no answers.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew finds progress in repetition as he plays the new indie video game hit, Loop Hero, by Four Quarters. D. Bethel, on the other hand, finds a lot of quirky charm––despite the somewhat very dark places the story goes––in the new SyFy show, Resident Alien, based on the Dark Horse comic series.
A BAD IDEA AGAIN: More than a decade after Konami cancelled its controversial tactical military first-person shooter, Six Days in Fallujah, the game seems to have been revived by Highwire Games who have taken to the media asserting that they want to tell––with their tactical military FPS––a nuanced, thoughtful, and impactful story of the incident. This news caused D. Bethel and Andrew to wonder if certain stories are simply better suited for certain genres of games?