GIANTS FALL: Kind of a combination of a News Blast and a Nerd Law, but the lawsuit between Apple and Epic has been decided and…it’s complicated. We have Andrew walk us through the ins and outs of this strange event.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ELEMENTARY, DEAR WOHN JATSON: A brief look at an upcoming multi-platform release from Capcom that gathers two Ace Attorney games previously unavailable outside of Japan. The collection, called The Great Ace Attorney, features some interesting localization of characters names. While not unusual in itself, the fact that in Japan a character named “Sherlock Holmes” had to be changed––to “Herlock Sholmes” for release in the United States points to some very strange aspects of copyright law. Andrew dives deep into the mystery.
CUTTING CUTSCENES: Based on an GamesIndustry.biz interview with Weird West narrative designer, Lucas Loredo, who posits the idea that maybe we live in a gaming world that no longer has a need for cutscenes in games. D. Bethel and Andrew dive into the purpose of cutscenes and do their best to answer the question themselves.
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.