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Jumping the Shark Podcast #215

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On JtS #15, Holly Green is back and she’s here to spin yarns of all things PAX. It’s a smorgasbord of quick hits on the latest iterations of Saints Row, Magicka, Costume Quest, and Dance Central. Find out what she thinks of the new Wander MMO and Not a Hero and why she owns so many versions of Deadly Premonition. And if that’s not enough, listen just to hear me brag about how awesome Venice is as a money-making enterprise in Civilization 5 only to find out I was wildly overestimating my success. Good times. To wrap up, Brandon has Shadowrun: Dragonfall DLC and Star Realms truth bombs to drop.

Enjoy!

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I Wrote the Wrong Post (on Misogyny and Gaming)

Civility

A few months ago I wrote a piece that was ostensibly about maturity in the game industry, but that was really about trying to define what is and isn’t sexism and misogyny in games. Yes, I uncategorically condemned online harassment. Yes, I absolutely supported the idea that the gaming industry desperately needs to grow up and become more inclusive. But I also wrote that the mere appearance of sexism doesn’t make something inherently sexist. I wrote that it’s impossible to avoid stereotypical pitfalls 100% of the time and that its surface appearance, which absolutely should be open to analysis and criticism, also shouldn’t come to define the entirety of the work. I wrote that we can better see the real problems the industry has with inclusion by looking more at the aggregate than the specific.

I was making the wrong arguments…

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #214

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And another one that actually went up last week that I”m posting late. Blame my day job. Also, that’s why you should subscribe to the show and not wait for me, right? Right. Anyway. For our 214th episode, Gameranx.com’s Managing Editor, Holly Green, makes a welcome return to the show to talk all about Civ V, her upcoming digital cookbook and why it’s always better to sleep in one’s own bed when attending conventions. From there, Brandon and I dig into Rogue Legacy and discover why it’s the perfect game to sit down with when you have 30 minutes to kill and then marvel as two hours pass by and you’ve left your kids waiting for you at the bus stop. (Disclaimer: This did not actually happen.) Also Brandon falls in love with Diablo III all over again because… well, I haven’t the foggiest really. But he did.

Enjoy!

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #213

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week on Jumping the Shark, Brandon and I are joined by my good friend and fellow geek culture savant, Jay Payne, as we take a deep, spoilery dive into Telltale and Marvel land. First up I dish some quick Out of the Park Baseball 15 impressions and Brandon and I do a quick hit on the miss-step that is The Walking Dead’s 4th episode, then it’s on to The Wolf Among Us for a considered look at the its first full season and how well it matches up with the spirit of the comics (about which Jay drops the knowledge bombs). We wrap up with a long, drooly praise fest for everything that makes Guardians such an amazing, joy filled triumph of superhero movies.

Enjoy! (And sorry I got this posted so late!)

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #212

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Episode #212 of Jumping the Shark features a surprise return of one William Abner, here to regale us with stories of young basketball legends in the making, Dark Souls 2 PC forays, and a little Walking Dead of the TellTale variety. But first, I’m up with a heaping load of Divinity: Original Sin impressions. The game is one of the great unexpected treasures of 2014 and well worth your gaming dollar. Finally, Brandon is all up in the Destiny beta’s business and he can’t get enough.

Enjoy!

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #211

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week the brilliant managing editor of Gameranx.com, Holly Green, joins Brandon and I for a spirited look back at Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, how the series was originally influenced by the original Wasteland, and what we should expect from the August release of Wasteland 2. (Todd’s got a couple hours in the beta.) Along the way there’s Borderlands 2 shenanigans and a very, very important Civilization Revolution 2 PSA. (Short version: Do not buy it. Do. Not.)

Enjoy!

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #210

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I should have posted this before July 4th week, but it was July 4th week and I was busy drinking and replacing door locks (not an interesting story) and napping. So, a bit late, but in episode 210, Brandon and I get our Telltale mojo on and discuss episodes #3 and #4 of Wolf Among Us as well as episode #3 of The Walking Dead. I also, over a year later, finally complete Tomb Raider so we go deep into what makes that game tick and Brandon ties a nice little bow around his time with Watch Dogs.

Enjoy! (And look for episode #211 to post, on time, next Monday.)

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #209

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week Brandon and I welcome back Troy Goodfellow to the show, for a long overdue update on yon Mr. Goodfellow’s happenings and his landing with Paradox. It was also E3 week and that meant we spent our time talking all things E3. Dragon Age 3. Witcher 3. Ubsioft shenanigans. Nintendo’s gambit to keep the Wii U relevant as well as thoughts on the Sony and Microsoft pressers. It’s all here. It’s all good.

Enjoy!

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Maturity, Inclusion, and the Game Industry in 2014

Microsoft E3 Presser

So, E3 is happening. Over Monday and Tuesday there were pressers and demos and a Brinks truck loaded with video. There’s always one or two things to stand out to me from these events, but the topic that’ll stay with me for awhile is maturity and the strange dichotomy in which this industry (fans included) needs more of it yet sometimes fails to recognize it when it appears. There are two catalysts for this post. One is the all too predictable trolling of Danielle Riendeau’s 100% on-point and valid piece on the lack of female presenters during the major press conferences. (Hat tip to the excellent work Danielle is doing at Polygon. We miss her a ton!) The other is a post from “Ashelia” on her Hellmode blog, defending the teaser trailer for the next Tomb Raider game against attacks that it’s made a victim of Lara Croft. (Apologies that I don’t have a real name to attribute to Ashelia.)

Originally, this post was mostly about Tomb Raider and a bit about Brothers and not laying charges of sexism where they don’t exist because it does disservice to those examples of brilliant work this industry is capable of producing. I can’t, in good conscience write on this topic without first calling attention to this sort of abhorrent behavior and state outright that when someone like Danielle speaks out on this topic and meets an ill-considered, reactionary response like this that it is all of our responsibility to condemn it in no uncertain terms. I don’t want these troglodytes, these soulless imbeciles, carrying the torch for who we are as gamers. I know we’re better than this. You know we’re better than this.  But unless we slam the door on this sub-human behavior we’ll remain defined by it. And in case you think I’m overstating, enjoy this piece of human filth:

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #208

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did you think we’d gone? Admit it, you thought we had completely checked out. But Brandon and me? We recorded our 208th show last week. It’s been up since Sunday night. I’m just the wanker who didn’t make time to tell you about it. But I digress. With wedding shenanigans (and you’ll hear all about those) behind us, we’ll be back on our every other week format. This show features Brandon’s descent in the privacy-free world of Watch Dogs. The man’s inner-voyeur has been set loose and we should all be very, very afraid. There’s also a long look at Transistor and how the beauty of its world enthralls Brandon, but he sees enough short-comings to believe it not quite as awesome as Supergiant’s opening masterstroke, Bastion.

After the break, a quick sidenote…

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