Categotry Archives: Podcasts

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Episode 70 – Interview with Jonathan Tweet

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Grandmother Fish
Grandmother Fish

We got another chance to interview Friend of the Hole and rockstar game designer Jonathan Tweet, whose magnificent book Grandmother Fish comes out today in his new deal with Macmillan. We’re going to the launch party at Ada’s Technical Books in Seattle on Saturday 9/10 from 10am-2pm, and you should too.

In the interview, we also got to talk a bit about Clades, a game Tweet is designing to teach evolution to kids and their adult companions. We played a bit of his early design and had a great time. We’ll let you know when he fires up that Kickstarter next month.

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Episode 69: Smash Squad (RIP)

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Too good for this world.
Too good for this world.

We nabbed ace game designer Brandon Bozzi for a great, funny interview about the design process and the economy of free-to-play games. We’re sad to report that Smash Squad, the game he was working on and discussing, has been axed since we recorded this, but we felt that the conversation was worth hearing anyway. We hope to have Brandon back on in the near future to talk about his next project, which for now must remain a mystery.

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Episode 68 – Stranger Things

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What happens when people stop being nostalgic and start getting real.
What happens when people stop being nostalgic and start getting real.

We’re all over Stranger Things, Netflix’s homage to all of the 1980s. They may have poached Mary’s memoir title, but we can’t hold that against them because the show is just that perfect. When we recorded, Mary had binged the hell out of it while Rob had just dabbed a pinky toe in, but our enthusiasm is loud and clear (and correct).

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Episode 67 – Pokemon Go

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Pokemon Go Home! (Photo credit: José María Mateos)
Pokemon Go Home! (Photo credit: José María Mateos)

Pokemon WHAAAA? Mary tells us all we need to know about this quick-burning craze that is swallowing people’s data plans whole even as it enforces unprecedented exercise goals on unsuspecting nerds. Rob explains shutting it down after discovering that his closet is infested with Zubats, while Paul wryly observes his son’s dealings with this reality we call augmented.

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Episode 66 – Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Inside, and Thunder Alley

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Plenty of nerd for everyone!
Plenty of nerd for everyone!

Hey, it’s a Nerdhole sampler! We talk about a cool, short book by Kai Ashante Wilson, the sweet new video game by the folks behind Limbo, and a board game that briefly made NASCAR seem interesting. And we managed to bust out an entire podcast without talking about television. Achievement unlocked!

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Episode 65 – Warcraft: The Beginning

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No orcs allowed in the Uncanny Valley
No orcs allowed in the Uncanny Valley

Should you see that World of Warcraft movie? Listen and find out. Since Paul and Rob are so woefully ignorant when it comes to all things WoW, we invited two smarties from Mary’s guild, Kraken Skulls, to help enlighten us. Big thanks to Jeremy and Mike for taking the time to join us!

ERRATA
Even the Lore Dorks miss now and then. When we were talking about one of the towns that was destroyed in the film, we said “Redridge” when we meant “Lakeshire.” The town of Lakeshire is located in the province of Redridge. We sincerely regret the error.

UPDATE: Apparently Warcraft did NOT make enough money in China to guarantee a sequel, so the future of the franchise is uncertain.

RELATED UPDATE: Mike sent this Wired article about why Warcraft did so well in China.
Tl;dr: China’s State content regulatory entity only allows 35 foreign films to open in the country each year, and the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda owns Legendary Entertainment, which made the movie. It goes even further to look at how Legendary funded the making of the movie by selling equity to Chinese entities, including the China Film Group, which is apparently a part of the Chinese government.

ALSO: Blizzard is finally doing something about the toxic community in WoW, they’re instituting a silencing system for repeat offenders.

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BackHole: Episode 43 – Fall Nerd TV Roundup

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19350-wabac_machine_teaserWe’re glitching out a little, so we decided to repost last fall’s look ahead at nerdy TV. Heroes Reborn dashed our hopes, and Rob’s inability to recall Harvey Bullock’s name is especially galling, given how interesting that character turned out to be on this season of Gotham. Overall, though, we think the last years TV season did okay by us nerds.

Please note that many of these shows are changing up their streaming arrangements in the near future, notably those in CW’s Arrowverse (which now includes Supergirl). The short version is that they likely will only be available on streaming after the end of the season, but pretty quickly thereafter. This is why we can’t have nice things. These links work for now.

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  • Arrow (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
    Rob: This season felt pretty scattered and ended with a big dud of a twist. Wait, was it even a twist? As always, solid action and pretty faces kept us watching.

  • Fear the Walking Dead (on Hulu)
    Rob: I watched about 2/3 of the season and then stalled out. I will likely finish it up, but not even Ruben Blades’ intensity can fire me up.

  • The Flash (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
    Rob: This show may be the funnest thing on the air, even though they keep punishing their characters to maintain the minimum required grim-n-gritty for a modern superhero show. But the ending…well, we’ll see how Season 3 treats the “Flashpoint” time-travel business the writers stirred up.

  • Gotham (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
    Rob: It felt like Gotham had lost its way for a while, but this season was full of good fun and creepy action. Terrific casting, like BD Wong as Hugo Strange and Paul Reubens as Penguin’s dad, helped a lot, as did the last-minute reintroduction of the terrific Fish Mooney. The more they lay off of Bruce Wayne, the better.

  • Heroes Reborn (on Hulu)
    Rob: Oof. Sorry.

  • iZombie (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
  • Sleepy Hollow (on Hulu)
    Rob: Some good parts, but the show has lost its way. And again with the stupid season-ending twist! Knock it off, writers. I may hatewatch the next season, though.

  • Supergirl
    Rob: They’re officially adding her to the Arrowverse, which should strengthen the show in some good ways. Plus, it’s great to see a show where the central characters are nearly all women.

  • Supernatural (on Hulu) (on Netflix)
  • The Walking Dead (on Netflix)
    Rob: It feels like watching kids torturing insects, but I keep watching.

  • Our Apologies 2015 episode, in which we try to make dull the pain caused by some of our dumber opinions–including some from this very episode!

RECENT NERD TV EPISODES

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Episode 64 – Fallout 4 DLC

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Building advanced robots, but still wearing the Vault Suit.
Building advanced robots, but still wearing the Vault Suit.

The first round of DLC is out for Fallout 4, and we’re as happy as ever to gab about our favorite game (well, our collective favorite, anyway). Players have tons of new settlement options plus a mid-length story that brings robots front and center and a longer story set in a new, spoooooky location. The very latest DLC (Contraptions Workshop) just came out a few days ago, and we’ll likely report on that later in the summer after the rest of the content drops.

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An Endorsement, For All Intents and Purposes

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We don’t have to dive too deeply into Nerdhole’s extensive market research to assume that most of those reading this are into nerd culture and podcasts, and the rest of you are search engine spiders. So if you’ve got a little extra time in your week, you should check out A Podcast, For All Intents and Purposes. Hosted by “two co-dependent, overeducated nerds,” every show is smart and funny and charming. We occasionally host trivia nights at Raygun Lounge with Andrew, one of the APFAIAP boys, and it’s always good fun to watch him strike his trademark balance between bemused and curmudgeonly.

Andrew is an attorney, and their recent podcast on a legal struggle between Wizards of the Coast and their volunteer Magic: the Gathering tournament judges was fascinating and well explained*. We also enjoyed listening to their alternative take on Fallout 4 (Andrew is agnostic, while D. didn’t care for it so much). Lately they’ve been producing shorter episodes because Andrew has been dealing with a move, but they’re edging up on episode 100 and they’ve promised something special. We can’t wait!

* Rob pitched Andrew on a podcast focused entirely on geeky legal/policy issues. Turns out there already is one, but surely there’s room for more?

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Episode 62 – Preacher

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Preaching to the choir?
Preaching to the choir?

With Mary on assignment, Paul and Rob discussed Preacher–both the new AMC TV series starring Dominic Cooper and the old-ish Vertigo comics series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. While the title has some legendary problems for those of us with a SJW bent, there’s some worthwhile storytelling and some complicated feminism, so we’re at least partly on board. And the series has made some interesting choices, including race-bending one of the primary characters, so we’re hopeful that it will leave the uglier stuff out entirely.

For some reason (let’s blame the booze), we didn’t get around to discussing the extremely problematic character Arseface. Here’s hoping the AMC series treats disability better than the comics did.

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