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Guestcast 1 – How Does Dan Do It?

Guestcast 1 – How Does Dan Do It?

With D. Bethel suddenly on a Spring Break excursion, Andrew recruits friend of the show, Taylor Katcher to fill in the blanks.

THE ONLY WIZARD IN THE PHONE BOOK: Andrew and Taylor talk about the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game, the upcoming card game release from Evil Hat Games. Taylor expresses his fondness for Harry Dresden while Andrew admits his fondness for Paul Blackthorne.

TAYLOR BREATHES IN THE WILD: After last week’s discussion of The Legend of Zelda series, Taylor shares his experiences with the newest title in the series, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“The Final Teen Spirt'” by Wax Audio
-“Maul, Savage and Viszla” by Kevin Kiner & Takeshi Furukawa (from Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
-“Can You Dig It (Iron Man 3 Main Titles)” by Bryan Tyler (from Iron Man 3)

Shortcast 23 – Special Sickness Edition

Shortcast 23 – Special Sickness Edition

D. Bethel has been hit with a bad case of the sicks, so a Shortcast is in order. It’s a busy week! Emerald City Comic Con is happening this weekend and Andrew will be there, no doubt wandering around. If you see him, say hello [ , ] for all intents and purposes. If you attend, let us know what you thought of the event in the comments!

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew attended an event celebrating the launch of the Kickstarter for the first tabletop game by friends of the site, Luke and Nicole (from AcrossTheBoardGames.net), Food Truck Champion while D. Bethel decided to deepen his knowledge of Wolverine lore by reading the first fifteen-or-so issues of the long-running Wolverine comic book series by Chris Claremont and John Buscema.

For all intents and purposes, that was a shortcast recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Thunder Bustin'” by Wax Audio

Episode 106 – Super Legit

Episode 106 – Super Legit

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WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew checks out PAX West while D. Bethel plays the mobile puzzle games, 1010! and Street Fighter Puzzle Spirits.

THAT’S EDUTAINMENT: Inspired by Japanese: The Game card game Andrew saw at PAX West, Dan and Andrew talk about games made with education in mind. Games like Oregon Trail and Where in the is Carmen San Diego? are classic examples of educational games done right––fun games that make a cultural impact. So, the question they ponder is: Where are the educational games now? Or has that format morphed into other media?

Leave your thoughts as a comment at forallintents.net. Be sure to join the official Facebook and Google+ pages. Also, to help spread the world of the show, please leave a review on the iTunes store.

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
-“You Was Wrong” by Freddie King

Worth a Look

Worth a Look

While not about a particular aspect of nerd culture, Frankenfield’s article finds a thread strung through most aspects of geekdom: a legitimate choice between independent and “mainstream” products. In most nerdy and geeky venues, these exist side-by-side––I think of the gaming scene (specifically video gaming; Andrew will have to answer for the tabletop angle) where venues as amalgamated as Steam as well as the more hierarchical PSN or XBox Live give independent products prime real estate in an effort to get both triple-A and the snarkily titled “triple-I” titles on players’ screens. For all the drama that has surrounded video games press in the last few years, it has acted to level the playing field, not through any particular agenda as much as finding good indie games and wanting to share. For all nerdy avenues, Kickstarter and other crowd-sourced funding platforms have been key in getting independent products more mainstream attention, even if it never officially achieves that status.

Comicsverse

More than ever, the line between “independent” and “mainstream” is blurring, and I think it’s a good time to ask some simple, problem-posing questions: how and why? I think the second question is easier to answer than the first. The divide is closing because traditional “mainstream” products have become less satisfying over time. Perhaps that’s the wrong word; mainstream products have become predictable and staid even though they still rake in profit. But we see this most popularly, I think, with television (though an argument could be made for any nerd media right now). Even though the major networks are still the ratings kings and producing the most popular content, the revered content is made outside of those avenues, the top producers of which are probably HBO and AMC, currently. It was them, and networks like them, that pioneered the “new golden age of television” in which we now find ourselves. NBC, CBS, and ABC are not the trailblazers here, even if they are the “winners” using outdated metrics.

As for the “how”, that is an answer that produces the most consternation and danger as this movement progresses. The nice thing about the mainstream system is that it provides traditional and, for the most part, proven processes for bringing projects to life. The problem is that, over time, the process became corrupted by brown-nosing who-you-knows with impenetrable baselines for entry. The rise of the independents, as Frankenfield illustrates, took advantage of new media and presented new content on its own terms, letting the audience find it, even if that audience was niche. The problem with this is––and I saw this all the time in webcomics––that, arguably, the independent road to success can only be travelled once. Again, with webcomics, the success of strips like Penny Arcade or PvP or Axe Cop led to unwarranted (and unproven) codification of paths to success and many eager creators became wrapped in false righteousness when their duplication of Penny Arcade‘s arc didn’t provide the same results for them.

With new media––specifically, internet-based media––it seems that roads to success are made out of sand and are erased as soon as they are coursed. It makes “success” a much more malleable phrase for independents than a mainstream product ever could find. It’s why maintaining a self-sufficient comic through ads, Kickstarter campaigns, and regular Patreon contributions could be seen as more of a success than the new Ghostbusters, even though its gross revenue is approaching $220 million dollars (I’m this fully cognizant of the fact that those returns are less than the production budget and marketing budget combined, but there was also Zoolander 2; check those numbers).  Whether it’s in the black or not, people still paid $220 million dollars to go see it, which is impressive from an indie standpoint, but to many it’s a mainstream failure, whereas in the context of self-sustaining webcomics we could mean an amount that simply covers hosting costs. If anything, its this relative definition of success that’s going to be making the biggest marks on pop culture in the future, and Frankenfield points to specific examples of this––Louis C.K. and Chance the Rapper––to get this point across.

It’s no secret that I hold Marvel’s persecuted mutants close to my heart, and to that extent, I cherish the filmic versions a bit more dear than many MCU properties if only because of my nostalgic tie to them (while wholly acknowledging that Marvel makes better movies, on the whole). That being said, I have long felt that it would be a mistake for the X-Men and their associated titles to move from Fox to Marvel Studios. To be frank, I was hoping to write an article about it, but Kyle Anderson at Nerdist hit that nail before I did.

source: Marvel
source: Marvel

I echo Anderson’s point wholeheartedly that the X-Men work best when mutants are the only super-powered people on the planet. I realize this only really exists in the context of the movies as they have been wholly integrated into the Marvel Comics universe since their inception, but as an easily digestible metaphor that can make the largest impact, it’s a context that is much more effective than if they had to interact with super-soldiers and aliens (though X-Men: Apocalypse got a bit close to that mark and, according to Bryan Singer, is a direction he wants to go in the future).

But, referring to what guest Elijah Kaine said during our Shortcast, there currently is room in popular culture for more than one continuity. Naturally, we all assumed it would be a stark line between Marvel and DC because that’s how it exists in the print world. However, we aren’t seeing an effort really coagulating on the DC/Warner Bros. side of things despite their best efforts and it’s also smart to think of things existing more broadly. We have the MCU, we have the Arrow-verse, and we have the X-Men continuity, among others. It’s a much more nuanced and multi-faceted world we live in than, perhaps, we want, but I think, overall, it is better for it.

NOTE: Kyle Anderson is the co-host of a podcast I’ve talked about before––Doctor Who: The Writer’s Room––in which he and Erik Stadnik talk about the writers from classic Doctor Who (1963-1989). They provide incredibly in-depth critical analysis of scripts and their writers that, I would argue, makes it essential listening if you are a fan. This may also make me a bit biased toward Kyle Anderson’s argument, though I didn’t realize he was the author until after I had read the piece.

and, in a slightly different interpretation of the column’s title, here is a video that is “Worth a Look”:

In reverence for the 30th anniversary of The Transformers: The Movie, everybody needs to watch this.

Episode 81 – Synchronized Like Color Swatches

Episode 81 – Synchronized Like Color Swatches

Week in Geek: Andrew discusses his participation in a recent Seattle Megagames event while Dan gushes about the Wayforward Technologies remake of A Boy and His Blob.

Regeneration: Doctor Who showrunner since 2010, Steven Moffat announces his plans to leave the show after series 10 in 2017. Furthermore, his replacement has been revealed to be Chris Chibnall, an accomplished writer in his own right. But is this a big deal? Dan and Andrew discuss the implications.

I Vant to Roll Your Die: Andrew and Dan investigate why Dungeons & Dragons‘ return to Ravenloft, in a new adventure titled, “Curse of Strahd,” is a big deal, or, at least, why it’s interesting.

Feel free to leave a comment on this week’s topics at forall.libsyn.com. Be sure to join the official Facebook and Google+ pages. You may also e-mail the show at forallpod [at] gmail.com. If you like the show, help it out by leaving a review on the iTunes store.

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

Links:

An excellent and candid podcast interview with Chris Chibnall from 2014 about Torchwood and Broadchurch with the Nerdist Writers Panel.

-“D&D’s Ravenloft Returns with the Help of its Original Creators” by Charlie Hall via Polygon.

Sketch Fridays #15 – A Boy and His Blob” by D. Bethel. The “Sketch Friday” post about A Boy and His Blob Dan refers to during the Week in Geek.

Featured Music:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio

-“I am the Doctor” by Jon Pertwee

-“Theme of D (Entrance)” by Tetsuya Komuro (from Vampire Hunter D)

-“Circle of Life” by Carmen Twilie & Lebo M (from The Lion King

*Quote taken from Army of Darkness.