Tag Archives: interview

Episode.33 – A Disk Read Error has occurred

After a short break (you know, to go get married and all that), we’re back after virtually ZERO demand, it’s Incoductic back up in your ear holes. This time around, Joshua is joined by long time friend, co-author on Disk Read Error and frequent butt of Joshua’s jokes, Megan Highwind. Together, they discuss the recent “should have gotten more love than it did” action flick ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, E3 announcements and Joshua continues his endeavor to find Megan her Mr. Megan. Joshua also sits down for an Incoductalk with the Executive Director of the Digital Game Museum in Santa Clara, CA, Judith Haemmerle for an interview and discussion about gaming history and the importance of its preservation.

Show notes

“What’s in My Head?”


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On a Geekly Basis: Comic Book Kid

on a geekly basis

Welcome to this week’s installment of “On a Geekly Basis,” a feature that profiles awesome geeky people and things! This week we want to introduce you to Adam Snape, creator of Comic Book Kid, a comic book, movie/tv, review & video game blog.

profile pic2600782_10200261377522445_2075429168_nDSCN0143

geek or nerd

Definitely a nerd. I don’t really know what the official categorisation is but my girlfriend often tells me that I’m a nerd because geeks are smart. Personally I find the term geek to be a little insulting, I know a lot of people find it endearing but I often jump in with “I’m not a geek, I’m a nerd!”

first nerd or geek

It wasn’t until pretty late on really. I had been watching Spider-Man, X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons religiously for as long as I could remember then I started reading graphic novels when I was at college but I didn’t truly embrace it until about 2 years ago when I started reading comics.

comic books

It’s really hard to pick up comics where I live as there is one small store that is more focussed on table top games than comic books. So I started buying regular books when I got my iPad and could start reading digitally.


I am a huge Spider-Man fan but the fandom kind of scares me. I mean, what is Spideypool all about?! I’d probably say Scott Pilgrim is a fandom I really enjoy. I am known to quote the film at random intervals and Bryan Lee O’Malley is as big a fan as the rest of the people posting under the Tumblr tags.


Well, I’ve been running Comic Book Kid for just over a year now and that’s just started to gain some really traction recently. I also tell myself everyday that I’m working on a zombie apocalypse based mini-comic but I get so stressed out when I can’t draw it to the standard that it is in my head and usually just give up.


Spider-Man is definitely up there, although now that it’s Doc Ock is Peter Parker’s body he’s kind of a tool. Doctor Who would be fun because you could literally go anywhere 9as long as you don’t mind a little life threatening danger.)

tell us

Erm… What else is there to tell?

I’m Adam, I’m a 21-year-old online marketer with a love of pop-punk, Marvel comics and pizza. I write opinion based articles on ideas such as “What If People In The Marvel Universe Stayed Dead” on the blog. I love video games but I’m not very good at them, I have an Xbox 360 but will be getting a PS4 because xbone. You can follow me on twitter @ComicBookKidUK.

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Interview with a Non-Gamer: Chicago Movie Buff Edition

Welcome to Interview With a Non-Gamer, where I talk with non-gamers about their perception on gaming and figure out in what way their opinions are wrong.

For the second installment, I interview my movie buff friend from CHA-KAH-GO to see why he finds one medium of entertainment so inferior to the other. Which devolves pretty quickly into an analysis of games as a storytelling medium.

Shaun: Let’s start this off with some heat.

Friend: I don’t even know what you’re saying right now.

S: I…forget it.

F: The Miami Heat?

S: Let’s just begin – I value film, gaming, and all other forms of entertainment equally. What makes you regard film as the higher form of entertainment?

F: Better stories.

S: Can you elaborate.

F: Do I need to?

S: It would be an awfully boring interview if you didn’t.

F: Okay. Film can take advantage of so many different facets and techniques to tell a story. Unlike comics, which are primarily a visual medium, and books, which obviously are comprised exclusively of text, movies can pull from all of these to tell its story.

S: But that’s only partially true, and it’s totally subjective. Plenty of people regard books as their preferred medium, because they enjoy interpreting the words and creating the universe in their mind, and yet can still respect films.

F: I’m not saying other mediums don’t have their strengths, I’m just saying that, on an empirical level, film is better. Not many people can disagree with that.

S: Blind people could probably disagree with that.

F: And now you’re being offensive.

S: Oh, right, I’m the one – okay. That’s fine. Let’s move on. What would gaming have to do to reach the pedestal on the mountain you believe film occupies?

F: The key to telling a good story is simplicity, but video games have different rules because they are not stories in the traditional sense of the phrase.

S: They absolutely are. Be careful who you usay that around. They’ll lynch you in some parts.

F: They really are not. They involve too much that is merely designed to stimulate the user and extend the gameplay.

S: So you’re saying the gameplay makes it too complex to convey any sort of narrative.

F: Let’s take something very basic in storytelling, like a three act structure, and compare it against, say, Legend of Zelda.

Now, I realize that 3 act structures are not the only way to tell a story, but bear with me.

In Ocarina of Time, they set out to tell a story. but after establishing the conflict, you play for hours on end, doing dungeons and side missions or just riding your horse around the field.

S: Yes. That’s what makes it great.

F: But it comes at the cost of the story. Essentially, everything is put on hold while you make your character do whatever it is you want to do. The rising action is sacrificed. No other medium does that. Agreed?

S: Agreed. At least you’re actually starting to sound like a rational human being now. But your example only sticks if you believe in a very rigid form of storytelling. Gaming is unique because it tells its own form of stories, and immerses you into them. You directly affect the journey. Semantically, a lot of people believe this automatically removes gaming from the conversation about art and storytelling. I think it’s what makes it special.

F: No, it’s too many details that mar the attempted story with too much complexity, and it fails to become a narrative.

S: I don’t even understand what you’re saying. Like, I understand the words, but I can’t connect it to any logic. It’s clearly a narrative, regardless of your interpretation of complexity. Let’s take a good, recent example, and remove it from the gameplay for  a moment just to demonstrate that “complexity” can equate “narrative.” And a good one at that. Let’s look at BioShock Infinite.

F: I bet bio shock is pretty simple.

S: Pfft, okay friend. And when this interview is over there’s a unicorn outside waiting to fly you home.

F: I will look up the plot now.

S: We’re talking time and multi-verse paradoxes. I wrote an explanation of the ending – it took a thousand words dedicated to it.

Just the ending.

Separate from the rest.


F: That doesn’t mean it isn’t simple. And the ending is the totally right place to put those things anyways.

S:Why don’t you read it before you make any judgments. It’s not simple. No one on the planet would say it’s simple.



[10 minutes later]

F: Yup! It’s simple!

S: Right. Of course it is. If that’s simple, there’s no complex.

F: Guy saves girl, only to be caught up in a war in which she plays a key role.

S: But all you just did was recite to me the plot of the game.

F: Exactly. It’s an archetype.

S: It’s only simple if you look at it simply. But when you actually immerse yourself, things are far more complex.

F: People pepper stories with details. It’s the execution of the details that determine whether the audience buys it

It’s detailed. Not complex.

S: Okay, but in this argument about “simple” vs. “complex,” aren’t you conceding that games can be, in fact, narratives?

F: No.

S: I can’t believe you’d say videogames aren’t stories. The Walking Dead: The Game alone, is… I mean, gosh, that’s like –

F: –I will buy it for OS and play it today –

S: –pulling an Ebert—

F: –I spoke too soon –

S: May he rest in…wait, what?

F: I was wrong. I reevaluated my stance.

S: Seriously? Then what was all that just for?

F: I reevaluated my stance once I realized gaming obeyed the rule that I live by.

S: Yeah, of course it does! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you for an hour! They’re just another form of storytelling. But you do live by your rules, and I have to commend you for your conviction.

F: It’s their rightness that makes them so commendable…

S: I am already regretting my statement.

F: I’ll try your BioShock Infinite and see if it makes an impression.

S: Good. You’ll get to the end that I think narratively was a little weak – it could have been pulled off a lot better – but thematically world-shattering. It leaves it up to the audience to connect one too many dots on their own.

F: Then it suffers… From the same things that I think many games suffer from.

S: Infinite is interesting because the characters are sort of in an endless time loop. Which is exactly how I feel right now with you.

F: Cute.

S: So, are you planning on sharing an opinion you’re actually going to stick to, or…

F: It’s a problem when too many details piled on in too complex a way. I like plenty of movies and shows that do this, but it’s because they start in an accessible place. And then they lose their way, and I acknowledge that they ultimately fail.

S:  I wouldn’t say that’s a “game” thing any more than an “entertainment” issue in general. Look at LOST.

F: No, i don’t think so at all. That’s a game and TV show thing.

S:  It’s only recently that games have started truly realizing their potential for delivering deep, engaging stories. If anything, they failed to provide enough detail for a long time, not the other way around. Trust me. I’ve been immersed in the medium for a long time.

F: That is delightfully condescending…

S: Let’s wrap this up, shall we? Good, complex stories in games exist.  They are considered “great,” and tend to be very popular. Games with terrible/no stories exist. Sometimes, they are still popular. Other times, they tank completely.

Regardless, this means games are no more and no less like EVERY OTHER MEDIUM OUT THERE.

F: So they should be regarded equally.

S: YES!  When telling a story, a lot of the same challenges and strengths exist across all mediums. At the same time, each format has its own unique set of weaknesses. With comics, for example, you have to be more visual, obviously. And in games, the best stories involve the interactive nature of the medium.

The gameplay isn’t the hindrance. For the best games, the gameplay enhances the story.

F: Games are very task oriented, and enjoyment is often derived from stuff that is beyond the narrative. I’ll concede that it’s still a type of storytelling, but many of the best games I’ve played are very short and not about too many random tasks. It’s why star fox 64 is probably my favorite video game. It doesn’t deviate much from its narrative.

S: Oh yeah, its “narrative.”

F: So now you’re going to mock me on my thoughts on story after I agreed with you.

S: Star Fox 64. Widely regarded for its rich narrative and complex characters.

F: I see how it is.

S: Second only to its sharp writing and masterful dialogue.

F:  Say what you will, but it’s one of the best stories I’ve ever experienced, in any medium. Seriously.

S: I think you just said it all, bud.

No, Peppy. Don't even finish it. We already know.

Story-telling genius.

On a Geekly Basis: Robo♥beat

on a geekly basis

Welcome to this week’s installment of “On a Geekly Basis,” a feature that profiles awesome geeky people and things!

This week we want to introduce you to Ashley Hagood, creator of Robo♥beat, a science fiction, fantasy & video game blog .


geek or nerd

I used to be a nerd, until I graduated from college. But even in high school and college, my interests were all pretty specialized and therefore geeky. Since college, I’ve become a gamer and fallen in love with science fiction and fantasy even more than I already had, so I’ve grown to be much more of a geek in recent years! But they go hand-in-hand sometimes.

first nerd or geek

From the time I was in middle school, I knew I was way more bookish than most other people. But college really solidified it for me, because my friends were also into science and liked to analyze everything. We started watching documentary shows together and discussing all of these outlandish alien theories, which propelled me into full-blown geekdom. It’s nice to have a support system for this kind of thing! And I think having your personality and interests reflected back at you from others can help you figure yourself out, which was definitely the case for me with all of this nerdiness. It was like I finally embraced it.

get into

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Before I could physically write, I would tell stories to a tape recorder and make sound effects by rustling potpourri or, for storm sounds, flushing the toilet. It was really classy radio theater stuff.

I got into video games in the past few years, which actually started from reading a Facebook status update from a friend of a friend, of all things! (I messaged her to thank her, because now video games are my career. She didn’t know it at the time, but she changed my life!) It got me intrigued about video games and immersing myself in other worlds, and then I just fell in love with games as a storytelling medium. Plus, even though I’m a pen-and-paper (or keyboard) type of writer, I’ve always been interested in sound effects and freedom of exploration (like choose-your-own-adventure), so games compelled me for having those extra immersive dimensions.

I just started blogging last summer (in 2012). Initially, I just thought it would be fun to geek out through blogging, and I decided to make my site as polished as possible as a resume-booster. I wanted to get into the video game industry but didn’t have any relevant writing out there, even though I was a freelance writer. I didn’t think anybody would actually read my blog. In fact, Robo♥beat is a random name I came up with for a test blog before going for the real thing, but people started leaving Likes and subscribing right away, so I didn’t want to abandon the blog for another one! I’m glad I kept it, though. I really love the name now.

Blogging ended up being so much more than I expected. I’ve also met so many amazing people online through WordPress, etc. It’s opened up another world for me. Plus, I’ve found other writing gigs and even my current video game-related job largely from opening up about my interests through blogging.


Part of me wants to say The Princess Bride, because as soon as two fans meet, they instantly start quoting at each other. They can go for a long time, it’s hilarious. But unfortunately I’m not at the endless quote level with that film, even though I love it!

My very favorite fandom is Mass Effect. It’s my favorite video game series, and as soon as I meet someone else who likes it, we have so much to talk about. It’s a great ice breaker. I always want to ask, “Who did you romance?” and, “Were you Paragon or Renegade?” The conversation can just go on and on. The lore is really rich, too. I’m currently reading the books, and I go crazy for the codex entries… which is pretty rare for me in a video game! And besides all that, Mass Effect is a really special, emotional series for me that I’ll continue to play for many years to come.


My main blog is Robo♥beat, where I write about science fiction, fantasy, and video games. That’s my baby. I also write for Geek Force Network every Saturday, which is such an awesome project put together by the guys at At the Buzzer Show. It’s a bunch of geeks coming together to create content about the things we’re passionate about.


Choosing just one is so hard! If I have to pick, I’ll go with the Doctor from Doctor Who. He would have so many incredible stories to tell, he’s always charismatic, and his endless curiosity would make him really fun to get to know in person. I tend to be pretty shy, but I have a feeling the Doctor would make me feel at ease right away!

tell us

Before I was a sci-fi/fantasy geek, I was into history. That’s what I studied at college, along with literature. I would obsess over other cultures and time periods just like I obsess over Star Trek and Doctor Who now. In college, I was super ridiculously into the space race to the moon. Seriously, I felt like I knew everything about the first astronauts and their missions. I still have garbly audio recordings of all of the missions on my iPod, which sometimes start playing from shuffle when I’m driving in the car with other people… which always makes everybody laugh.

Other than sci-fi, fantasy, and history, I love music. I played piano and flute growing up and in high school, and nowadays if I’m not at home or at work, I’m probably at a concert. I felt like the luckiest person alive last year, when my two favorite bands – Spiritualized and The Jesus and Mary Chain – both came to San Francisco within a month or so of each other. These are two bands that are a little older, so I didn’t think I’d ever get to see them live. It was the stuff dreams are made of.

I’m also a major Anglophile and watch a ton of British television. I’m from California, but I moved to London when I was 19 to go to college. It was the scariest thing ever, because I didn’t know a single soul there. I can be impulsive like that. But it ended up being the best experience of my life, and I made fantastic friends I still know today. I’m back in California now, but I look back on London and my college (Goldsmiths!) as the place where I transitioned from weird teenager to even weirder adult! It’s definitely where I embraced my inner geek, so I’ll always love it for that.

Do you consider yourself a geek/nerd? Are you a Dungeon Master, gamer, cosplayer, have a geeky podcast, blog, or an extensive action figure collection? Are you a comic book writer/artist or storeowner? Do you make geektastic films or viral videos? Are you into geeky crafts or creations? We want to hear from you for a weekly feature on our blog!

Contact Us for more information on how to submit yourself or someone you know.

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At the Buzzer (05/30/13)

Episode 96: Live from Dave’s Bachelor Party — The guys report from Las Vegas in Part 2 of the Dave Wedding Trilogy, then interview the leader of United We Game (and Daniel Tosh!) in a double Buzzfeed. Also, Chris gets a solo act, Dave throws his wife under the bus, and Shaun wants to pick up chicks.



Secondary Segment — Buzzfeed

  • An interview with Jacob from United We Game (@UnitedWeGame) and an interview with Daniel Tosh (@DanielTosh). Yes, really.



  • “Champion” by KJACK music beds
  • “Main Theme (Valkyria Chronicles)” by Hitoshi Sakimoto
  • “With Mila’s Divine Protection” by Noriyuki Iwadare
  • “Arkham City Main Theme” by Nick Arundel
  • “Night at the Octodrag” by Thee Jaguar Sharks

Production Assistance: Tony Robinson, Executive Producer

Announcer: Molly Robinson

More At the Buzzer

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