Category Archives: Podcasts

Critical Distance Confab: Episode 11 – “The Talking Dead”


The newest (and dare I say, greatest) episode of Critical Distance’s yearly podcast is now live for your listening pleasure.

Behold as our highly trained team of CD contributors/miscreants discuss with alternating rage, enthusiasm and disaffected cynicism the events of the year, from the Mass Effect 3 ending bonanza to #1ReasonWhy.

“The Internet has killed gaming.”

-Quote from yours truly, taken horrifyingly out of context.

Good morning, 2012.

I woke up sometime this afternoon to a loud banging upstairs, suggesting my upstairs neighbors were either moving out or moving something large and heavy in. Prior to this I had hibernated for nearly 36 hours straight after the five days’ worth of insomnia, all-nighters and excessive caffeine intake which comprised my MA exam week.

USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Critical Studies program puts its second-year MAs through three of six available exam subjects. These are 10+ page essay responses on delivered prompts due within a 24 hour period. Even if you’re an efficient writer, it’s pretty punishing. I managed to be done by midnight for my first two exams but the final one kept me awake until about six in the morning, a mere four hours before the deadline. So I elected to take an extended vacation, not to visit the fam, but to visit my bed. David Carlton, luckily, filled in for me for TWIVGB over at Critical Distance— thank you for that, David.

I guess since I have exactly two seconds before I pass out again in preparation for the first day of my last semester tomorrow, I’d catch everyone up on what I was doing these past few weeks.

Critical Distance Confab

First, I showed up on a podcast with the rest of the Critical Distance cabal, in a five hour mega-podcast reflecting back on the Year 2011. Eric Swain moderated, Ian Cheong sounded American, Ben Abraham was pretty laid back, David Carlton lamented that we don’t feature mobile releases enough, and Katie Williams was very very quiet until we started discussing the Freeplay Panel. Fun was had by all and I think I’m tied with Ian for number of cursewords.


Subsequently the other editors and I aided Eric in determining our final list for 2011’s This Year in Video Game Blogging. Apart from doing my share of the whittling and participating in a very long Skype conference, I also saw to it that Eric’s tenses were consistent.

Everything that made it onto TYIVGB is very good. Not all the pieces on there were my decision, but this is a collective process among six very distinct editors no two of which have the same background in approaching this kind of work. We all strove to feature the best of the year’s offerings from many different authors. Here’s to 2012 being an even more diverse and dynamic year for the ludodecahedron.


I agreed to Ian a while ago that I’d do a few articles for him for Gameranx. I’ve written two so far, the first of which you can already go and read on the site. It’s about how Mass Effect is actually a hypercapitalist dystopia, and as consequence, why I think it’s a more interesting sci-fi universe than the giants it seeks to rival. The second one, when it appears, I’ll also remember to link here. Um, if I remember.

Oh, if you’re wondering, my new year’s resolution was to pass my MA exams. So, here’s to hibernating for the next 365 days.

Moving Pixels Podcast: The Golden Playhouse of ‘Catherine’

Yes, that’s me doing a Midnight Venus voice. Never again.

For this podcast, we are joined by Skyler Moss of Gamepad Dojo and GamerLive.TV, whom many of my readers may know through Twitter as @GamepadDojo. In this podcast, Skyler, G. Christopher Williams and I discuss Catherine‘s gameplay, narrative structure, characterization and themes, and fail to make any sort of pun on “Kris” and “Chris”.

Go take a listen!

Moving Pixels Podcast: A ‘Bastion’ of Beauty and Regret

Before my hiatus, I sat in with fellow Moving Pixels podcasters Rick Dakan and Nick Dinicola to chat about Supergiant Games’s debut title, Bastion. A sort of science fantasy western equal parts Nausicaa, Trigun and Dark Tower, this game caught us by surprise with how much all three of us loved it, and we were more than eager to share our enthusiasm.

I should also note that since recording this podcast, Supergiant have released their game’s amazing soundtrack on Bandcamp. A highly recommended purchase.

Now, click to go listen to the podcast, sirrah!

Moving Pixels Podcast: A Fireside Chat with ‘Fat, Ugly, or Slutty?’

I love the good people at Fat, Ugly, or Slutty. They’re the sort of internet vigilantism that anyone can participate in. It might not be polite, calling out trolls, stalkers and creepazoids on Xbox Live and PSN, but check out a few of their posts and I think you’ll agree they entirely deserve it.

We recently sat down with three of the four FUoS admins to talk about the site and the reception that it’s garnered. We also laugh about our respective trashtalking experiences, which is one angle where my day job as a game moderator actually comes in handy.

Please be sure to pay them a visit at their PAX Prime panel!

(And Feday, I’m pleased to report that my Gamerscore is now well over 5k. Friends again?)

Moving Pixels Podcast: Skype is Not a Fan of ‘Child of Eden’

Bless my podcast cohort’s little hearts. Especially Rick Dakan’s. His little, itty bitty, black and shriveled heart.

I kid. But any good, self-respecting podcast occasionally involves its members butting heads, and the results here are simply fabulous. As a bonus, we managed to drag Mike Schiller out into the open for the first time, which has made his long-time PopMatters collaborator G. Christopher Williams totally jealous. Listen in as I fumble poorly with my textual interpretations and we reach an utter conversational impasse. Professionalism.

Moving Pixels Podcast: Reflections on E3 2011

I love my PopMatters colleagues, don’t get me wrong. So when the group proposed we get together to bitch talk about E3 just a scant few hours after I’d come home from surgery, I thought, hey, why not? I have pain meds for a reason. As long as I don’t laugh, or cough, or take deep breaths, I’ll be fine!

The result is something truly hilarious, mainly because my opinions are no different than they would be if I’d been pain- and drug-free. The meds just make it that much more entertaining.

Those interested in further reading of my hateful thoughts on E3 should of course check out my essay from the show floor. Just as cheerful, less Vicodin.

(I’m much better now, by the way.)