Stefan H. Simond

Elden Ring

Rise, Tarnished! Elden Ring has been getting nothing but perfect reviews, but does it really live up to the hype? The short answer is yes, but you should still listen to why Elden Ring is the most fun open-world game since Breath of the Wild. Beautiful vistas, well-written characters, and satisfying gameplay abound in this discussion of FromSoftware’s latest triumph! In…

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The Origins of Final Fantasy

Every long-running franchise has an origin story, and Final Fantasy is no exception. This week, we discuss the creative endeavors of Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and his team, and how the massively influential JRPG got its start. It’s a romantic tale of dreams, fate, and a last ditch effort of a near-bankrupt company and the game that changed…

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Horizon II: Forbidden West

There was a very brief buzz around the release of Horizon II: Forbidden West, just before Elden Ring drowned out the entire discourse. We want to give Horizon its well deserved time in the spotlight, as we discuss its qualities and, most importantly, its commentary on climate change, and insights on what it means to be an outsider. In our…

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Spiritual Experiences (with Dr. Felix Schniz)

Have you ever made a spiritual experience when playing a video game? Some downright lend themselves to it, such as Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture or Journey. But how would you know whether any experience is spiritual and aren’t video games with their technological foundation pretty much the opposite of transcendental? We discuss exactly such questions with Dr….

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The Rise and Fall of Visceral Games

Dead Space – a series that invigorated the survival horror franchise as much as it marked its preliminary end. We explore the story of the studio Visceral Games, how they made it big and ultimately collapsed under the weight of their creation. Shownotes The Rise and Fall of Visceral Games (Caty McCarthy) How Resident Evil 4…

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Reading Ian Bogost: The Rhetoric of Video Games

Video games do not just tell stories and show us more or less pretty pictures. By means of their procedural rhetoric, they “make claims about the world, which players can understand, evaluate, and deliberate”, says Ian Bogost in his influential article The Rhetoric of Video Games (2008). Join us as we unpack the concept of procedural rhetoric…

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Pokémon Legends: Arceus

With its departure from the established formular and the introduction of a range of new mechanics, Pokémon Legends: Arceus has us excited and disappointed at the same time. In our review we go over everything that Arceus excels at and all the ways in which it falters. In our side quests, we share our initial impressions of Horizon…

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Computer Education (with Linda Liukas)

Understanding the workings of computers, coding, and technological infrastructure is one of the most imperative skills of the 21st century. Even more important then is to introduce children to such concepts. But how? – With the award winning children’s book series Hello Ruby, our guest Linda Liukas rethinks how to convey computer education in an approachable yet equally…

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Kamon: The Origin of the Triforce

The Triforce is one of the most recognizable symbols in gaming, but did you know that it finds its origins in Japanese history? Often these symbols that pop up in video games have deep roots in history, culture, and even religion, and the Triforce is no different. Join us as we discuss the cultural history…

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10 Features That Should Be In Every Game

Have you ever encountered a feature that was so cool that you would not want to play any game without it anymore? Well, some of these are minor quality-of-life improvements, but others may fundamentally change the way we engage with video game worlds. Here’s our top 10 of these essential features! Twitter | Reddit | Instagram

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