Ben Duncan grew up religious, but somehow his parents let him watch Star Trek, which is about a secular progressive utopia. I don’t understand it, but he watched it and he loved it, so now we talked about it.
Everyone’s Got a Thing is back! I sat down with the very funny Jason Stapls to talk about Rap/Hip-Hop, which is a genre of music that I like but know very little about. Jason brought along a playlist of songs covering his history with rap, which you can find below. I’m very excited to be back after such a long hiatus, and we’ve got great guests lined up to talk about all sorts of interesting stuff!
If you haven’t already had enough of the sound of my voice, I did some voice acting for former Cradle of Filth bassist Dave Pybus! It’s a short bit during the intro of his new podcast Life is a Hideous Thing. I play both sides of a conversation between an astronaut and NASA.
The podcast itself is an interesting conversation with renowned fantasy & D&D artist Brom, so it’s right up our alley.
If you ever wanted to hear me talking to myself in a more structured manner than I normally talk to myself, check it out!
It’s not usually in the purview of what we do here to review books, but when the good folks at Mad Norwegian Press sent me a galley copy of their new book, Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It, it seemed like a good opportunity to do just that. Chicks Dig Gaming, part of the Mad Norwegian Press’ Chicks Dig series (including Chicks Dig Comics and Chicks Dig Time Lords), is an anthology of essays by women who game and interviews with women who are involved in the gaming industry. Editors Jennifer Brozek, Robert Smith, and Lars Pearson have assembled a collection of essays and interviews which revolve around the central theme of what it’s like to be a woman working on games and growing up as a gamer, a hobby and an industry still largely dominated by men.
The greatest strength of Chicks Dig Gaming lies in the personal stories shared in the essays, stories of growing up both a girl and a gamer, a position that made many of these women outsiders in their own passion. For anyone paying even a shred of attention, some of the stories shouldn’t come at as a great shock: stories of exclusion, ridicule, and harassment are obviously going to be part of any discussion of women in gaming. What was nice to see, though, was the inclusion of stories of success in the industry, valuable proof that while there’s a long way to go, it is possible for progress to be made. I especially enjoyed reading the interview with Lisa Stevens, Editor and CEO of Paizo Publishing, makers of the Patfinder RPG, about her time with Wizards of the Coast during the early development of Magic the Gathering.
If Chicks Dig Gaming has a weakness, it’s that the message likely won’t make it to the people who need it the most. A person who might be likely to read a book called Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It is probably also the type of person who is already aware that we still have a long way to go as a society when it comes to how we treat women. As the horrendous misogyny and vitriol leveled against women by the “Gamergate” / Men’s Rights Activism assholes has shown, we could stand to have a little more understanding when it comes to women in games.
Rating: Nothing out of Nothing. I don’t believe in numbers in reviews. I enjoyed the book, you should read it.
In Chicks Dig Gaming, editors Jennifer Brozek (Apocalypse Ink Productions), Robert Smith? (Who is the Doctor?) and Lars Pearson(editor-in-chief, the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig series) bring together essays by nearly three dozen female writers to celebrate the gaming medium and its creators, and to examine the characters and series that they love.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland…,Indistinguishable from Magic) examines Super Mario Bros. through the lens of Samsara, the Wheel of Birth and Rebirth; Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series) details how gaming taught her math; G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen) revels in World of Warcraft; and Rosemary Jones (Forgotten Realms) celebrates world traveler Nellie Bly and the board game she inspired.
Other contributors include Emily Care Boss (Gaming as Women), Jen J. Dixon (The Walking Eye), Racheline Maltese (The Book of Harry Potter Triffles…), Mary Anne Mohanraj (Bodies in Motion), L.M. Myles (Chicks Unravel Time), Jody Lynn Nye (the MythAdventures series), and E. Lily Yu(“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”). Also featured: exclusive interviews with Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens and Dragonlance author Margaret Weis.
Update: It looks like the problem fixed itself. I made some changes to the feed, too, to make the episode names consistent.
If you’re an iTunes user, it seems that iTunes isn’t listing Episode 2 for no particularly good reason. I’ve checked the site, the feed, and the iTunes settings and nothing seems to be amiss, but it’s just not there. For now, I recommend using the RSS feed and adding it directly to iTunes, instead of trying to use the iTunes store.
Hopefully it’s just a glitch in iTunes that will fix itself, but I’m not holding my breath. Apple continues to do nothing to address concerns about how iTunes is run, or the complete lack of transparency for the user or publisher. Currently, it just doesn’t work, and I don’t know why.
Normally, during the introduction to the shows, I make a point to ask people to use the Amazon link, or if they would like, to give a little donation to keep the show running. In the spirit of the holidays, though, I’d like to ask that you instead consider making a donation to, or through, Child’s Play. I could try to explain what they do, but they have a nice press kit that does a much better job than I can, so we’ll just crib from them.
Child’s Play is dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospitals around the world through the kindness and generosity of the video game community and the power of play.
How It Works
Child’s Play works in two ways. With the help of hospital staff, we set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff for kids. By clicking on a hospital location on our map, you can view that hospital’s wish list and send a gift.
Child’s Play also receives cash donations throughout the year. With those cash donations, we purchase new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities. These donations allow for children to enjoy age-appropriate entertainment, interact with their peers, friends, and family, and can provide vital distraction from an otherwise generally unpleasant experience.
There’s actually a third option for supporting Child’s Play, which is to buy games through the Humble Bundle, making sure that money is being directed to Child’s Play. You get to support a worthy charity, and you get some shiny new video games out of the deal.
A lot of people have an image of gamers as being anti-social weirdos. To be honest, some of us are. In truth, though, there are a lot of very generous people who love to play, whether it’s video games, board games, or tabletop games like we play on 2 Guys, a Girl, and a Goblin. So, since you’ve earned XP all year, I think it’s high time to level up, and win at charity.
P.S. If you’re wanting to buy stuff for your family and friends, you should definitely still use the Amazon link for that. We’d appreciate it, and so would our local liquor distributors will also appreciate it.