Episode Archives

Episode 9: Rampancy of the Artificial Mind Pt 1

“Bring yourself back online…”

It is finally here! In this long-promised Westworld-inspired episode of Pod Culture [Oz], we are once again joined by our friend Fred (previously seen in Episode 2: Omega Point, sensates and space cannibals) as we discuss how artificial intelligence tropes are used in fiction.

We discuss the difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence, the gendered nature of AI work in fiction, and the implications of when AIs outgrow their programming and the ways in which they grow rampant.

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:55 – Rampancy of the Artificial Mind
  • 11:48 – How AI is used in fiction
  • 40:07 – When AI goes rampant
  • 1:00:33 – Wrap up and outro

“When AIs start acting beyond their designated boundaries, they either start firing missiles or they start asserting personhood.”

~ Philippa

Books we discuss

Movies & TV shows we discuss

Games we discuss

Other resources

The MCU is terrible and you should demand better

Our co-host Nick has written an article for online journal Medium that is a companion piece to our two-part series on The Politics of Superheroes. Find out what he has to add to his podcast rant.

{Marvel] are the largest media empire the world has ever seen. That’s why they should do better, and why we should expect much more from them

Episode 8: The Politics of Superheroes Pt 2

In this episode of Pod Culture Oz we are once again joined by author and game designer Christian D. Read from Crow Land Publishing as we discuss the politics of superheroes (part 2).

We discuss a time when superheroes were playful, the concept of adult superhero stories with consequences, and explore if superheroes are an inherently fascist genre.

“America keeps telling itself the story of powerful individuals who can change the world and who will not be changed by it.”

Christian D. Read, author

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Host:

Christian Read – Author & Game Designer

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:19 – When superheroes were playful (or: Thor and the Frogs)
  • 9:45 – Character, drama and consequences
  • 17:42 – The sad story of Watchmen prequels
  • 20.51 – Is this an inherently fascist genre?
  • 32:56 – Which countries get Superheroes?
  • 40:26 – The good stuff – recommendations
  • 50:45 – Outro

Books we discuss:

Movies & TV shows we discuss:

Games we discuss:

Other links:

Episode 7: The Politics of Superheroes Pt 1

In this episode of Pod Culture Oz we are joined by author and game designer Christian D. Read from Crowland Publishing as we discuss the politics of superheroes (part 1).

We discuss Alan Moore’s recent controversial interviews and criticism about the state of superhero movies, consider the concept of ‘privatising world peace’, and look at the point of R-rated superheroes.

“The current extended hero universes are one long, embarrassing response to 9-11.”

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Host:

Christian Read – Author & Game Designer

Books we discuss

Superhero romances (a sample of titles)

Movies & TV shows we discuss

Games we discuss

Other links:

Special Thanks:

To all at the Wicked Wallflowers Coven, for their help with compiling the Superhero Romances list. You are all fantastic.

Episode 6: MMOs for world peace Pt 3

In our first official collab (part 3), in this episode of Pod Culture Oz we are joined by Tom (aka Robots) from the Fallout Lorecast as we discuss MMOs for World Peace and how gaming is depicted in popular media.

In this episode we look at the concept of gamer identity, the darker side of gaming, and how gamers can become professional without being in the elite tier of e-sports players. We also explore how marketers now consider gamers a key target audience, and the ways they try (or fail) to advertise to them.

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Host

Tom / Robots: The Fallout Lorecast and Robots Radio Network – our guest host on this episode. Check out his stuff, it is awesome!

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:19 – Gamer identity and representation
  • 7:52 – The darker side of gaming
  • 15:53 – The profession of gaming
  • 24:49 – Gamers as an audience
  • 27:31 – In defence of mediocrity in gaming
  • 33:36 – Wrap up
  • 35:55 – Outro

Books we discuss

Movies & TV shows we discuss

Games we discuss

Other links:

Episode 5: MMOs for world peace Pt 2

In our first official collab (part 2), in this episode of Pod Culture Oz we are joined by Tom (aka Robots) from the Fallout Lorecast as we discuss MMOs for World Peace and how gaming is depicted in popular media.

In this episode we look at the how gamers used the internet to build an international community, and how gaming culture went mainstream in the 2000s. We also explore how the windows and mirrors theory by Rudine Sims Bishops applies to gamers, and look at the ‘Critical Role effect’.

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Host

Tom / Robots: The Fallout Lorecast and Robots Radio Network – our guest host on this episode. Check out his stuff, it is awesome!

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:15 – Building an international community of gamers
  • 4:52 – Gamers go mainstream
  • 12:22 – Flipping the narrative
  • 16:43 – Windows and mirrors theory in gaming
  • 23:27 – The Critical Role Effect in gaming
  • 46:06 – Outro

Books we discuss

Movies & TV shows we discuss

Games we discuss

Other links:

Episode 4: MMOs for world peace Pt 1

In our first official collab, in this episode of Pod Culture Oz we are joined by Tom (aka Robots) from the Fallout Lorecast as we discuss MMOs for World Peace and how gaming is depicted in popular media.

In this episode we look at the history of roleplaying in pop culture, and discuss what inspired each of us to try gaming, and invent the “NICHOLAS” Cage!

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Host

Tom / Robots: The Fallout Lorecast and Robots Radio Network – our guest host on this episode. Check out his stuff, it is awesome!

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:12 – The meta of gaming
  • 3:26 – Alternis, or MMOs for World Peace
  • 22:58 – The early days of gaming
  • 24:49 – Gamers as an audience
  • 36:04 – Why Rolemaster is the BEST RPG
  • 47:05 – Outro

Books we discuss

Movies & TV shows we discuss

Games we discuss

Other links:

Episode 3: Zombie apocalypse – Worthy of Survival

This episode of Pod Culture [Oz] looks at the perennially popular zombie trope. We go from the vintage film White Zombie, to the revival film Night of the Living Dead, to the modern dystopian 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead. And we mustn’t forget To The Lake

Our mighty trio face down the apocalypse – through movies, tv, and games – and examine the personal and the political of zombie dystopias. We break it down into what we are calling the Three Phases of Modern Zombie Storytelling (isn’t that a mouthful!). Then we take a look at the politics of zombie dystopias, which countries get zombies, and why Snow Plough Guy is the hero we all need.

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:00 – Why Zombies?
  • 4.34 – Phase 1: Personal horror
  • 12:37 – Phase 2: Zombie Apocalypse
  • 23:23 – Phase 3: Zombie Dystopia
  • 37:20 – Are Zombie stories anti State?
  • 52:32 – Zombies – a uniquely American genre?
  • 1:03:29 – Why Snow Plough Guy is the hero we all need
  • 1:15:19 – Gamers vs Zombies
  • 1:32:26 – Zombies in societ
  • 1:38:43 – Wrap up and outro

Books we discuss

Movies & TV shows we discuss

Games we discuss

Other resources

Thank you

Episode 2: Omega Point, sensates and space cannibals

This episode of Pod Culture [Oz] looks at the works of Jesuit Priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and his monumental work on the evolution of humanity, which he called the Omega Point.

Our gallant trio of hosts, along with special guest host Fred, examine the concept in different formats of fiction – books, tv, and games – and look at what it mean to be human and where evolution may take us. The primary texts examined are the Wachowski’s Netflix show Sense8, Julian May’s Saga of the Exiles and Galactic Milieu series, and anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, but we also visit many other works along the way.

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Omega Point theory

Books we discuss

Movies & TV shows we discuss

Games we discuss

Other links:

  • Sense8: More than Human, AV Club, 26 June 2015. – The article Philippa mentioned that discusses the infamous Sense8 birthing scene.

Thank yous:

  • BookThingo – thanks to Kat, Rudi, Dr Jodie and all the gang. Thanks for encouragement, and for twitter discussions.
  • Wicked Wallflowers Club – huge thanks to Jenny and Sarah, especially for tips about theme music.
  • Fallout Lorecast – Tom (Robots) for excellent advice on podcast distribution and marketing.
  • Megan Wedge, Sound Engineer – fabulous Megan, thank you so much for everything you do, and for amazing advice on editing. All those extra umms and ahhs were removed because of you (but I left some in! Because you said to!).
  • Deconstructing Damsels – I didn’t mention you on the podcast, but your advice on recording podcasts and herding cats, and all round encouragement has been great.

Where to find the Pod Culture [Oz] podcast

We hope you enjoyed Life in Lockdown, the first episode of Pod Culture [Oz], and have been intrigued by the hints about our upcoming episode on the Omega Point. Trust us, we get deep into crunchy ideas about the evolution of humanity – it will definitely be worth checking out.

So you want to hear more, where do you find us? Obviously you can come to this website when new episodes are released. But you can also find us where you listen to your podcasts:

Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out on our upcoming episodes, and like us so that others can find the podcast. If you give us a 5 star review we will give you a shout-out on a future episode.

Looking forward to sharing another episode with you soon!