THE STATE OF SUPERHERO CINEMA (AND TV): With so much superheroic media out there right now, and with Marvel, DC, and Fox swinging wildly on both the large and small screens, Andrew and D. Bethel take a look at how things are sorting out, how they’ve changed over the last year or so, and where things might go.
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew starts rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation on Bluray while Dan finally opens up about Mass Effect: Andromeda now that he has finished the game.
THE LAST GRIPE: The video game expo, E3, always has its share of stories, reveals, and, most recently, at least, controversy. Tim Soret, founder of the studio Odd Tales, scored a coup by getting to go onstage during Microsoft’s pre-E3 press conference and talk about his game, The Last Night, and how it would be an exclusive to the company and its new powerhouse console, the XBox One X. However, Soret has a dicey history with gamers, and his pro-GamerGate and anti-feminist tweets were brought to light despite happening years ago. He has even said that The Last Light was created as a statement on feminist ideology. However, at E3, he apologized on stage for his stances. Should he be forgiven? Should he be held accountable? Should we play his game? Dan and Andrew discuss this static caused between art and artist.
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew steps into a new reality when he tries out PlaystationVR with the help and aid of friend-of-the-show, Taylor Katcher, while Dan starts watching ABC’s new procedural show, Conviction, which he instead considers to be a time-travel continuation of Agent Carter, which also starred Hayley Atwell.
SWITCHEROO: Nintendo released a trailer for their long-speculated, highly anticipated new console, the Nintendo Switch. Andrew and Dan examine the possibilities that seem to be promised in the trailer and whether Nintendo can make good on them.
Let us know your thoughts about this week’s topics by leaving a comment at forallintents.net. Join the official Facebook page for links, updates, and conversations with other listeners. Subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave a review to help spread the word. Also be sure to check out and subscribe to our official YouTube channel.
Dan mentioned that his webcomic, Long John, would be finishing up its second chapter on Tuesday. Head on over and check it out. If you like it, share it! Even better, buy a book!
For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.
-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Sogno di Volare (‘The Dream of Flight’)” by Christopher Tin (from Civilization VI)
-“Troops March On” by Nobuo Uematsu (from Final Fantasy VI)
-“Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)” by White Denim
-“The End (Reprise)” by Jack Wall & Sam Hulick (from Mass Effect)
Due to technical difficulties, only a Shortcast can be brought to you this week, but D. Bethel and Andrew Asplund have packed as much content into a single serving as humanly possible with a Week in Geek!
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew plays the remaster/reboot/sequel to the classic PC Civ-in-Space game, Master of Orion, while Dan sets his nostalgia aside and watches with great skepticism Starz’s Ash vs. Evil Dead.
If you have any thoughts about the topics discussed this week, leave them as a comment at forallintents.net. Be sure to join the official Facebook and Google+ pages. To help out the show, please leave a review on the iTunes store to help spread the word to new potential listeners.
And, for what it’s worth, here is the closest that could be found of Bruce Campbell with John Barrowman at a convention, courtesy of Bruce Campbell’s Twitter:
Also, to check out D. Bethel’s newest collection of his webcomic, Long John, head over to longjohncomic.com or go directly to the Etsy store.
For all intents and purposes, that was a Shortcast recap.
A large talk that basically started the whole GamerGate mess had to do with representation in video games, specifically with how female characters were presented and utilized within gameplay and narrative with the obvious and problematic conclusion being that female playercharacters were either underrepresented or, if present, lacked the variety or depth of the male protagonists.
However, the newest critical focus––and just as important––looks away from the screen and toward both the community and the developers. If the more forward-looking fans of gaming out there want more representation in games, we should also be asking ourselves about representation in the making of games. With regard to the community, there is a harrowing documentary that I discussed on the show awhile ago,GTFO, about female pro gamers and critics that I guarantee will have you wanting to throw a chair against the wall.
The Kotaku article discusses the story behind––and of––a new book, Women in Game Development: Breaking the Glass Level-Cap, that deals specifically with female developers and their road to being professionals in the field and how that road is paved with sacrifices, shame-dodging, and prioritizing aspects of their identity that males in the same positions never had to make. It’s infuriating how human beings are being treated in a field that, at the core of it, everyone loves so very much.
In a bit of selfish rank-pulling, I’m using “Worth a Look” as a “Save for Later” bookmark for myself. This article discusses Dungeons & Dragons as it is used in the recent Netflix hit, Stranger Things (which will be my “Week in Geek” in this week’s episode). Stranger Things has been a Facebook darling, especially for nerds born in, or who lived through, the 1980s and for good reason.
Stranger Things is less a snapshot of life in the 1980s and more of an evocation of 1980s adventure movies: The Goonies, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Stand By Me, Explorers, and the like. By mentioning those movies, I don’t mean that is nostalgically mining those movies for characters, plot points, or in-joke references; I would argue that’s not the case at all. Instead, it feels like those movies. The Duffer Brothers (and their directors) have seemingly “figured out” how those movies were paced, how they sounded, and how they looked to feel like a long-lost sibling to those earlier movies. It’s meta-eerie on top of the creepiness of the show itself. It’s able to capture what J.J. Abrams tried to capture (and did pretty well) in his excellent Super 8. But Stranger Things just does it right in an ephemeral way.
The show is framed (or so the article tells me, I haven’t finished the series) around Dungeons & Dragons, which Kunzelman decides to parse not only as a narrative bookend, but also as a thrust, arguing that the game “functions as the primary metaphor for how these young nerdy boys are able to communicate and cooperate with one another and how they contextualize the challenges they face.”
I am eager to read the article, but not as eager as I am to finish the show. It’s so good.