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. Andrew 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.
As the pandemic rages on, more and more independent artists are left figuring out how to manage their careers in the absence of in-person events, specifically exhibiting at conventions.
The pandemic is also a time for reflection. As the big conventions struggle to give fans some semblance of the con experience through digital-only replacements, independent comickers D. Bethel (of the webcomic, Long John) and Kyrun Silva (of Taurus Comics) come together to discuss the difference in experiences, expectations, and realities of what going to a convention means for fans versus what it means to creators and how the chasm between the two experiences may be larger than they thought.
Con Artists #01 – StocktonCon, pt. 1 : The drive home from the first day of the show. Kyrun and D. discuss making sales, confidence, and the comics they grew up reading and enjoying.
Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2 : The drive to StocktonCon to start Day 2 of the show. They discuss the importance of continuity, the level of fan engagement and ownership over continuity, and Dan’s strange reading habits growing up.
#RELEASETHETAYLORCUT: With a bunch of DC Comics-related news dropping this week, we had to light the Taylor signal to bring in our resident DC expert and Senior Optimist Reporter, Taylor Katcher, to talk about the release of the infamous “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League on the forthcoming streaming service, HBO Max. Also discussed is the shocking news that Ruby Rose would be stepping down from the lead role on Batwoman after the first season (and had already been renewed for a second).
EXPECTING THE EXPECTED: On the day this podcast episode releases, so too does the newest cinematic installment of the main Star Wars series with Star Wars – Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. But Andrew and D. aren’t here to talk about the movie––they haven’t seen it yet. Instead, they’re here to talk about the talk about the movie, specifically the rather surprising amount of negative reviews coming from––not internet trolls––professional film reviewers. It leads to a multi-faceted conversation about expectations, fandom, and even the changing landscape of cinema narratives.
Shortcast 61 – All-New, All-Same (29 June 2018): Where D. and Andrew talk about Lucasfilm putting their “A Star Wars Story” series on on hold after the failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters (possibly due to the meddling of internet jerkbags).
Empty Justice (01 March 2019): Where Andrew and D. document the attempted review bombing (and Rotten Tomatoes‘ subsequent change in review policy) of Captain Marvel.
OPPORTUNITY DIABLOWN: At the end of the keynote presentation for this year’s BlizzCon––a convention devoted to game developer, Blizzard, created by game developer, Blizzard––the wildly successful PC developer announced a new entry into its long-running and beloved Diablo franchise: Diablo: Immortal. While ostensibly a new Diablo game, Diablo: Immortal is a phone game made not by Blizzard but by Chinese mobile developer, NetEase, and it was decidedly not the game fans wanted news about: Diablo IV. In a backlash of epic proportions, Blizzard has tried to course-correct which only dug them in deeper, D. Bethel and Andrew investigate the aloofness of Blizzard, the entitlement of fandom, and the hazy trouble in-between.
Bethel, D. “The Week – 26 October 2018.” Long John. ––Where D. Bethel wrote about people judging texts based on news, images, previews without actually seeing the final content.
BATTLETECHNICALITIES: When the new Battletech game decided to include gender-neutral pronouns in its character generation, some corners of the internet got very angry, prompting everything from complaints on Reddit to a negative review campaign on Steam. D. Bethel and Andrew talk about this trend against inclusion in gaming and how this loud minority could be quieted.
As mentioned in the episode, watch Waypoint’s Austin Walker and Rob Zacny go in-depth with the character customization in Battletech:
WEEK IN GEEK: Both Andrew and D. Bethel saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi so––
THE LAST HOT TAKE: They bring in original Star Wars fan and friend of the show, Jason Tudor, to talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the talk around the movie, and what it means for the franchise SPOILER ALERT––SIGNIFICANT PLOT POINTS ARE DISCUSSED; BE SURE TO WATCH THE MOVIE BEFORE LISTENING.
WEEK IN GEEK: It’s a Week in Geek Shortcast this week with a little twist to the formula as Andrew brings TWO items to the table. First, Andrew goes back to the Star Trek well by seeing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in theaters in celebration of the film’s 35th anniversary and muses on the slightly strange interview with William Shatner that preceded it. D. Bethel talks about watching a friend start watching Doctor Who, observing a person wade into the fandom while trying not to gatekeep or guide the experience. Then, Andrew shares his venture into the world of costuming as he and his team prepare for an upcoming megagame event, “Colossus of Atlantis,” which will be held September 24th in Seattle by Seattle Megagames.
WEEK IN GEEK: The guys are again on the cutting edge of entertainment as Andrew begins playing Skyrim (albeit the Special Edition that was released for current platforms last year) while D goes all the way back to 2006 and plays Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (albeit the recently released HD remastered version).
DOCTOR NEW: After speculation accruing since Peter Capaldi announced he would be leaving the lead role of Doctor Who earlier this year, the BBC announced his replacement, Jodie Whittaker. And the internet went wild. (Time Stamp – 38:38)