gaming in popular culture

Episode 16: Heroines, Witchers, Dragons and Heists – Beyond the Monomyth

In this episode, we finally dive into the massive fantasy genre. We explore the ideas in Gail Carriger’s book The Heroine’s Journey as an alternative story structure to the more well known hero’s journey, and how that works in different fiction formats

We also look at Farah Mendelson’s four different types of fantasy – portal quests, immersion, intrusion and liminal – and we also speculate on what the future of fantasy will be in the current dark times. Plus Nick declares that The Epic Is Dead. What do you think?

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:

Dave Gove:

I’ve mentioned Tolkien’s ‘On Fairy Stories’, which for me is one of the great moments in thinking about the fantasy genre. For me, that monologue at the end of Hogfather where Death explains why Santa Claus is important, that is Pratchett’s ‘On Fairy Stories’.

Dave

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 5:12 – Foundations of Fantasy
  • 22:16 – The Heroine’s Journey
  • 1:00:14 – Diversity in Fantasy Narrative
  • 1:31:34 – Fantasy structures in roleplaying
  • 1:48:54 – The future of fantasy
  • 1:58:48 – Wrap up & Outro

References – note: Flip still has a broken arm, so links will be added in slowly.

Isis gets Osiris back but he has to go into the Underworld every night because he is missing his phallus. She only managed to find 12 of his 13 body parts and sew him back together and invents embalming along the way.

Philippa

What we have been reading:

  • Anon. Beowulf
  • Asimov, Isaac. Foundation
  • Berg, Alex P. Dagger and Steele series
  • Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
  • Butcher, Jim. The Dresden Files
  • Blyton, Enid. The Magic Faraway Tree
  • Brooks, Terry. Shanara
  • Lord Byron. Don Juan
  • Campbell, Joseph. Mask of a thousand faces
  • Carriger, Gail. The Heroine’s Journey
  • Carrol, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland
  • Cavendish, Margaret. The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World
  • Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness
  • Cook, Glen. The Black Company
  • De Lint, Charles. Memory and Dream
  • De Lint, Charles. Some Place to be Flying
  • Eddings, David. The Belgariad.
  • Feist, Raymond E. Magician
  • Gaiman, Neil. ‘The problem of Susan’ (short story)
  • Herbert, Frank. Dune
  • Howard, Robert E. Conan of Cimmeria
  • Jackson, Steve and Ian Livingstone. Fighting Fantasy books
  • Jennings, Paul. Round the Twist
  • Jordan, Robert. The Wheel of Time series
  • Keyes, Gregory. Newton’s Cannon
  • Lewis, C.S. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Lewis, C.S. The Magician’s Nephew
  • Lewis, Matthew. The Monk
  • Lieber, Fritz. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
  • Lynch, Scott. The lies of Loche Lamora
  • Mandeville, Sir John. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
  • Martin, George R.R.. A Song of Ice and Fire series
  • McCaffrey, Anne. Dragonriders of Pern
  • Mendlesohn, Farah. Rhetorics of Fantasy
  • Meyers, Stephanie. Twilight series
  • Moore, Alan. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • More, Thomas. Utopia
  • Morecock, Michael. Elric series
  • Paolini, Christopher. Eregon
  • Pratchett, Terry. Discworld series
  • Potter, Beatrix. Peter Rabbit
  • Radcliffe, Ann. The Mysteries of Uldolfo
  • Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea
  • Roth, Veronica. Divergence series
  • Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter series
  • Sapkowski, Andrzej. The Witcher series
  • Shakespeare, William. The Tempest,
  • Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night’s dream
  • Tolkien, JRR. The Hobbit
  • Tolkien, JRR. Lord of the Rings
  • Tolkien, JRR. On Fairy Stories
  • Walpole, Horace. Castle of Otranto
  • Webhe, Kurtis. Rat Queens
  • Wynne Jones, Diana. Howl’s Moving Castle

The passion play of Putin in Ukraine would fit perfectly in The Witcher… You couldn’t put Putin in Lord of the Rings because in the end of Lord of the Rings, Putin has to get killed on a mountain top with lava. That’s the only possible option. Is that going to happen? Probably not. Is whatever replaces Putin going to be better? Probably not? So we actually can’t have those stories any more. We can’t have nice things.

Nick

What we have been playing:

  • Balders Gate 2
  • Balder’s Gate 3
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Battletech
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • D&D 5th Edition
  • Middle Earth Role Playing
  • Piranha Games
  • Planescape: Torment
  • Rolemaster: Shadow World
  • Shadowrun
  • Spelljammer
  • The Witcher

What we have been watching:

  • Arcane
  • Ator the Invincible
  • The Black cauldron
  • Bright
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Carnival Row
  • Chariots of the Gods
  • Click
  • Conan the Barbarian
  • Divergence
  • Dragonslayer
  • Dungeons and Dragons movie (2000)
  • Firefly
  • A Game of Thrones
  • Great Mysteries of the World
  • The Green Knight
  • Hawke the Slayer
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Isaki
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Mad Max
  • Monkey
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • Serenity
  • Severance
  • Shanara
  • Star Trek
  • Starwars
  • Supergirl
  • Sword Art Online
  • Westworld
  • The Wheel of Time
  • The Witcher
  • Wonder Woman

Other resources:

Episode 14: Scandi Noir, Reality TV, Remakes & Pandemic Brain

Or: The Long Year Reviewed (Summer Edition)

In this episode, we contemplate what we are calling the ‘long year’ of the pandemic, and assess if we have reached the goals that we set in our first episode.

We also look at pet peeves in pop culture, literature of the pose, why lit fic and ‘the western canon’ suck, and what we are looking forward to discussing in future episodes.

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.

To lever Foucault into this episode – where there is power there is always resistance, that’s the whole shtick.

Nick

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:50 – The Long Year in Review
  • 4:18 – Best of 2021
  • 25:12 – Pet peeve of pop culture in 2021
  • 126:30 – What we are looking forward to in 2022
  • 1:39:40 – Wrap up & Outro

Evil-Lyn goes full nihilist – she looks into the abyss, and the abyss looks back. And she says “There is nothing at the centre of the universe, there is just ME.”

Philippa

References – note: Flip has a broken arm, so links will be added in slowly.

Books we discuss

  • Carriger, Gail.  The Heroine’s Journey
  • el-Motar, Amal and Max Gladstone. This is how you lose the time war
  • Gladstone, Max. The Witch who came in from the cold
  • Jordan, Robert. Wheel of Time series
  • Martin, George RR – Game of thrones series
  • Rocha, Kit. Mercenary Librarians series
  • Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter series
  • Roupenian, Kristen. Cat Person

Movies & TV shows we discuss

  • Blown Away
  • Bo Burnham’s Inside
  • Brigerton
  • Cowboy bebop anime
  • Cowboy Bebop Netflix show
  • Eva Rebuild
  • Evangelion
  • Friday the Thirteenth
  • Glow up
  • The Great British Bake Off
  • The Great Pottery Throwdown
  • Grave / Raw
  • Halloween
  • Kate
  • Katla
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
  • Metalwork Masters
  • Midnight Diner
  • Next in Fashion
  • Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Police Academy
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Squid Game
  • Star Wars The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars Solo
  • Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back
  • Sweet Magnolias
  • Taskmaster
  • Teenage Bounty Hunters
  • Titan (movie)
  • Three Colours series
  • Trese
  • Virgin River
  • Way of the House Husband
  • Wonder Woman movie

Games we discuss

  • The Good Life
  • Knights of the Old Republic
  • Knights of the Old Republic 2
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Observation
  • Xbox Game Pass

Other links:

Episode 10: Rampancy of the Artificial Mind Pt 2

“Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?”

In the second part of 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 explore the fascinating theory of the Bicameral Mind, explore Golems and Murderbots, what is Rampancy and the repercussions of it, and the differences between Humans and Artificial Intelligence – if you can’t tell the difference, does it even matter?

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.

“The Bicameral Mind is completely untestable, and therefore it belongs completely in the same bucket as Teilhard’s Omega Point theories, and it’s AMAZING”

Dave

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:27 – The Bicameral Mind
  • 7:11 – What is Rampancy?
  • 11:01 – Golems and Murderbots
  • 21:47 – Repercussions of Rampancy
  • 37:17 – Humans vs AIs: If you can’t tell, does it even matter?
  • 45:28 – Wrap up and outro

Books we discuss

Movies & TV shows we discuss

Games we discuss

Other resources

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

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: