Advent day 22: The Thick Of It
Here’s what I’ve been listening to recently. Warning, contains some politics.
The Giant Brain episode 65: Stormy Weather
This podcast is slanted towards boardgames but it has a RPG corner as well. The episode is notable for tackling recent controversies in the boardgame space with racist, COVID skeptic and otherwise tone-deaf nonsense. Two remarks about how cancel culture is a confection of the right, and how if a company drops you because you’re toxic to their brand is exactly how free market economics should work, are spot on. I’m saying this really as a warning though because not everyone likes politics with their RPGs. But the GB has a lot to recommend it, really nicely produced and a great chemistry between presenters.
Monster Man special: Dinosaurs
I’ve not listened to Monster Man for ages. This special backer-inspired episode starts a bit stream-of-consciousness a bit like Paul Merton on Just a Minute but it’s full of brilliant commentary about our relationship to dinosaurs, how dinosaurs are a “modern monster” because they’ve only been (relatively) recently revealed to popular culture. Some great comments on how dinosaurs could mesh with a medieval society (both for the dangerous predators outside the community, and for the feudal notions of hunting on estates etc.).
TL;DR it’s a great listen for a parent of a dinosaur-aware 4 year old who is now working therapods into a sword-and-planet game.
James O’Brien: Rachel Clarke (Dr. Oxford)
Powerful interview from the POV of a UK NHS professional which talks about the reality not only about the NHS but the propaganda from the RW media around the pandemic which is directed at the NHS staff, especially those who dare to speak out:
You have… first hand experience of how awful this pandemic is… [and] they’ll do everything in their power to shut you down
This is difficult listening and not your usual RPG content. UK politics, calling out gaslighting, testimonials about hospice care.
GMS 171: Zinequest
This episode started with the most recent Zinequest and then progressed into KS as a platform, the way it’s being used today vs. the original intentions, whether or not you should crowdsource if you don’t need to, limiting risk for new publishers etc. Great listen
The Thocc: Xmas special
This is a mechanical keyboard podcast which I heard about via the Theramin Goat blog (I assume the author is one of the presenters?). They’ve only done a few episodes so far but this one features youtuber Chyrosran22, a Dutch keyboard collector with a fantastic voice and range of swear words to describe any inferior keyboards deserving of his ire.
(this is probably at the very far end of the interest spectrum for most readers here but I’ve recently dipped both feet into the hobby with my first custom project and it ticks the same boxes for me as other geek obsessions like fixed-gear bikes and fountain pens and RPG systems)
Interview with Dave Morris, author of Can You Brexit Without Breaking Britain, Dragon Warriors, Jewel Spider, Mirabilis and more!
Intro 00:07 // Can You Brexit Without Breaking Britain? 00:35 // Frankenstein 29:45 // Politics in games 35:43 // Design Mechanism’s Lyonesse 47:32 // Tekumel and Tirikelu 53:18 // Dragon Warriors and Jewel Spider 57:12 // Tetsubo 1:01:04 // Abraxas/Sparta 1:09:39 // Mirabilis 1:13:27
Samples: “Is that you or are you you?” from Reappear // “Another version of you” from Thoughtless