Ben and podcast alum Khadeja Merenkov talk about being video game outsiders. Why do they apply their academic training in other fields to video games, and what have they learned in doing so? Listen to find out. 

Also, Andrew is now a father. Congratulations!

Khadeja’s voice reel can be found here. You can also find her on Twitter here. She had some panels at GaymerX.

Khadeja was on a penal with Carolyn VanEseltine at GaymerX. Carolyn’s gaming company is Sibyl Moon Games.

The work of Tanya DePass and Cameron Kunzelman was mentioned.

We did what is becoming a requirement in every episode and mentioned Ken Gagne. You can find him over at Polygamer.

As always, thanks to Bright Primate for our intro and outro music. You can find them at http://brightprimate.tk

Check out this episode!

In what became a timely episode with the presidential election upon us, Ben and the president of Defined Lines, Caitlin Martin-Wagar, talk about rape culture and preventing sexual assault on college campuses. She also applies her experience to gamergate. Adult content warning: rape is discussed in this episode.

Like Defined Lines on Facebook and visit their website.

Dr. Nicole Johnson of Lehigh University

Thanks to Bright Primate for our intro and outro music. You can find them at http://brightprimate.tk

Check out this episode!

In this episode Andrew and Ben speak with friend, nerd, and now convention colleague Audra Jamai about Arisia: “New England’s Largest, Most Diverse Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention.” Audra is the co-chair of the diversity committee for Arisia. There is talk of race, different meanings of increased diversity, the importance of bare feet, and Andrew’s glorious shiny head. 

Luke Cage is on Netflix. Watch it. Is good.

Audra says Cleverman is everything. Watch it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was mentioned. Whether you’ve watched it or never heard of it, watch it.

Carl Brandon Society – they have awards and scholarships available in efforts to increase racial and ethnic diversity 

Con or Bust – fans of color can get help attending conventions

Email Audra about Arisia: diversity@arisia.org

Email Audra to be her BFF: audra.jamai@icloud.com

Check out this episode!

Developer: Ubisoft Montrealfar-cry-primal

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platform: PC; PlayStation 4; Xbox One

I suspect most will praise Far Cry: Primal for visceral combat and criticize it for a lack of story, while those such as myself who study religion and science will know its depiction of the role religion and its rituals played in the formation of early human societies and fostering survival makes for an accurate (possibly accidentally) and exciting experience.

Developer: Spark Unlimitedlost-planet-3

Publisher: Capcom

Platform: PC; PlayStation 3; PS Now; Xbox 360

Lost Planet 3 delivers a surprisingly emotional story-line while doubling down on the use of setting and mechs that made the first game in the series flawed yet interesting, and scrapping the bland combat and forced online components of Lost Planet 2.

Developer: Capcomlost-planet-2

Publisher: Capcom

Platform: PC; PlayStation 3; PS Now; Xbox 360

Lost Planet 2 An MMO disguised as a third-person shooter that is satisfying as neither.

Developer: Capcomlost-planet

Publisher: Capcom

Platform: PC; PlayStation 3; PS Now; Xbox 360

Capcom created a standard third-person shooter that is nonetheless interesting enough to play through thanks its setting and use of pilotable mechs.

Your humble co-hosts apologize for their voices in this episode. We’re not sure what happened, but we sound like chipmunks whose voices skip. But don’t let that stop you from listening. We finally got a philosopher of games, C. Thi Nguyen, on this show about philosophy, theology, and nerd culture. He does most of the talking, and his audio sounds great! We talk video games, board games, the very concept of play, and even a little food writing. It is an accessible wide-ranging conversation.

C. Thi Nguyen teaches at Utah Valley University

He also has a personal website that contains resources on the philosophy of games

Addiction by Design by Natasha Dow Schüll

The Grasshopper by Bernard Suits

Thanks to Bright Primate for our intro and outro music. You can find them at http://brightprimate.tk

Check out this episode!

Ben recently attended Boston GameLoop 2016, spoke to one of its original organizer’s Scott Macmillan, and hosted a session called “Oh my god! Getting religion right and wrong in games.” 

This audio comes from that day, and you may have to turn up your volume at parts. Sorry! We did our best.

Many awesome people attended the session, and some were willing to share their information. We want to give them kudos for participating:

Richard Eberhardt: Studio Manager, MIT Game Lab

Elliot Pinkus: Game Designer

Gregory Kinneman: Game Programming

There is reference to a chart of categories throughout the conversation. You probably want to know what that is. Here you go.

Thanks to Bright Primate for our intro and outro music. You can find them at http://brightprimate.tk

Check out this episode!