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31 minutes | Dec 20, 2021
The Pub 52: Robots Don't Have Tails
In this episode, we review C. Robert Cargill's novel, Sea of Rust. Sarah dresses as a robot cowboy and rides her trusty, rusty (literally) steed to the show. Daniel realizes that he is bound by his original brainwork design. Trey reads a paragraph and the rest of the casts dreams of cotton candy and maple syrup, then wonder whether androids can, in fact, dream. And Dean gets a new core. Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with with Daniel Morbach, Trey Bourn, and Sarah Willis.
25 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
The Pub 51: NaNoNowWhat?
In this episode, we talk about what to do after completing NaNoWriMo. Sarah learns to photoshop chickens into a scene of Jurassic Park, just in time for Christmas. Kayla works on a short story while we podcast, just like she did with her novel during English classes. Sara refers to the other cast members as Rachel, Phoebe, and Chandler, then tells us to get into our scrubs for our shift at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. And Dean does a ninja roll. Content 0:46: How Did We Do? "We have two winners and two big losers. I am one of the losers. --Dean 3:31: How Did We Accomplish What We Did? Kayla: I was a write-during-English-class kind of person. Dean: Oh my God! Sarah: Don't listen to your teachers! 13:41: Now What? "It's like rotating manuscripts for me. You work on one for a month, spend time with your characters, and then you are like, 'I need a break from you people!'" --Sara 21:33: Final Thoughts. "Well, you know, my whole life is one big break, so. . ." --Sarah
31 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
The Pub 50: Ludonarrative Baldness
In this episode, we talk about Ludonarrative Dissonance in video games. Jon researches lute-onarrative dissonance instead of ludonarrative, then buys the instrument and records a cover of the 1982 classic, "The Safety Dance." Sarah is told to hurry up over and over because her life depends on it, but instead, she loots all the chests and then pisses off to do a cooking quest for seventeen days. Molly tries to jump over a very tiny wall several times but is impossibly unable to clear it, so she finally uses the gate to get to the studio. And Dean goes bald. 1:45: The Origin of the Term Dean: You kill little sisters in Bioshock to get more ADAM, and we're told this is a bad thing. Sarah: Yes Dean, killing little girls is bad. Dean: Yes but we have since learned that killing little girls is totally fine. 11:31: General Thoughts Jon: Ludonarrative dissonance is really about emotions in games. Molly: I have lots of emotions when playing games. Sarah: I have lots of emotions in general. 15:10: Is Ludonarrative Dissonance a Bad Thing, Really? Jon: The coolest thing a game can provide is ludonarrative dissonance. Molly: Yes, the coolest thing is the overwhelming feeling of despair that I get. 19:33: On Ludonarrative Consonance. Jon: In Skyrim, you might be looting a house and the guards show up. . . Molly (in her "guard voice"): Halt! You have committed crimes against Skyrim and her peoples. 21:47: Agency and Dissonance Jon: I go through visual novels triggering events just to get achievements. What about that? Sarah: Then you're creating your own dissonance. Jon: Are you saying I'm my own worst enemy? 28:58: Final Thoughts "My alignment is chaotic Jontral." --Dean
23 minutes | Nov 29, 2021
The Pub 49: Love and Lots of Coffee and Painkillers
In this episode, we talk about The Matrix, including the upcoming Resurrections release. Kayla puts on a leather trench coat and does a slow-motion drop kick off the studio wall, neutralizing several police officers. Jackie takes the red pill, just to see how far down the rabbit hole she can go. Trey walks through an entire crowd of people but completely misses the Woman in the Red Dress. And Dean realizes that, in fact, there is no spoon. Or fork. There are only sporks. Content 1:05: On the Original Matrix "I went in not wanting to like it, and I came out wanting more guns. Lots of guns." --Dean 9:51 The Appeal of the First Film "The whole movie is about living a lie and what it takes to live truly. A lot of people can relate to that." --Trey 15:10: The Trailer "My attention was immediately on Doogie Howser, M.D." --Trey 20:08: What We Hope to See in Resurrections Kayla: I hope they don't make a big point about how everyone uses a cell phone all the time. Just please don't. Jackie: Because old people are always on you about being on your phone? Kayla: Yep, exactly.
31 minutes | Nov 25, 2021
The Pub 48: Are You Sure It's a Turkey?
Happy Thanksgiving! In this episode, we talk about Hannibal. Matthew follows a black feathered stag out of the studio and into the dangerous woods. Daniel constructs a corpse totem and then watches everyone take pictures of it. Kayla buys a sniper rifle, climbs a tree, and protects the entire cast. And Dean puts on a herringbone suit and serves Thanksgiving dinner. Content 1:15: General Thoughts "Hannibal is a dapper man." --Matthew 8:03: On Incivility "Eat the rude!" --Kayla 12:45: How Does Violence Tell the Story? "Hannibal sees the beauty in killing and gore, and food and its preparation are our bridge to that." --Matthew 15:30: How Does Food Tell the Story? "The food porn is related to the corpse art. It's a conflict between aesthetics and morality." --Daniel 21:30: The Love Story "Hannibal's prolonged stabbing of Will is somewhat sensual." --Matthew
32 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
The Pub 47: From Flynn's Arcade to Arrakis
In this episode, we talk about Dune. Daniel cries, then bites down on his poison tooth in an attempt to assassinate the the entire cast. Matthew ponders the halluncinogenic qualities of various spices. Trey whispers ominously, narrating the inner thoughts of the cast. And Dean becomes a guild navigator and folds space. Content 1:25: A Non-Duner's Thoughts "I was able to sink into the sands of Dune and enjoy it completely" --Matthew 3:03: The Current Film "I can't wait to see the navigators of the spacing guild: the flipper people." --Daniel 11:05: David Lynch's Dune Dean: "Apparently, David Lynch was offered both Dune and Return of the Jedi." Daniel: "Imagine Lynch doing Star Wars. Luke asks Master Yoda if Vader is his father, and Yoda answers by performing interpretive dance." 18:50: Dune, the Novel "The Lord of the Rings was easy compared to Dune. They were just walking and walking and walking. And then they find it and then they walk and the walk and they walk... --Trey 30:47: The Director's Cut "We need to wait until pot is legal and then watch the six-hour director's cut." --Dean
29 minutes | Nov 16, 2021
The Pub 46: He's Got Battle Dialogue!
In this episode, we talk about silent protagonists and the way that they affect story in video games. Jon embodies GLaDOS and antagonizes the entire cast. Molly fulfills our contractual obligation by mentioning Fire Emblem at least once (and then at least once more). Dean buys Jon an egg timer. And Sarah remains completely silent for the entire show. Content 1:02: Their Affect on Story Dean: "So it's done well in some instances and poorly in others..." Jon: "Yeah, just like conversations with you, Dean." 2:30: CJ Miozzi on the Use of the Technique "I don't think there were technological limitations or budgetary constraints stopping anyone from adding a few more text boxes to games." --Jon 13:18: Silent Protagonists and Agency "I hate what's happening, but I am still playing it!" --Jon 20:41: Skyrim vs. The Last of Us "I think you're talking about apples and oranges, Dean." --Molly 25:53: Fallout 4 "Shauunnnnn!" --Molly
32 minutes | Nov 8, 2021
The Pub 45: Can We Be Ggonbus?
In this episode, we talk about the global phenomenon that is Squid Game. Trey smokes a cigarette while sitting on a toilet that is overflowing with sewage. It is a moment of total peace. Molly sets up her four-meter Younghee doll and asks the cast if they want to play Red Light Green Light. Matthew licks a sugar cookie into the shape of a dodecahedron, just before the clock runs out. And Dean bites off Trey's ear in a boxing match and then explains that he did it to feed his kids. Content 1:39: General Thoughts. "Damn, it was brutal." --Molly 6:40: A Child's Game? "We don't care that you're selling organs. That's fine. Getting information about the next game? That deserves your death." --Dean 17:06: The Ending "The world just chews people up and spits them out." --Molly 17:06: The Ending "It's like a really morbid episode of Survivor or Big Brother, and that's why we love it." --Matthew
29 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
The Pub 44: A Creem Magazine (with Halloween Picks)
In this episode, we share our book, movie, and game picks for Halloween. Sarah finds her long lost and beloved Freddy Kruger sweater and wears it to the show. Trey dresses up like Batman, just like he has done every day since the age of seven. And Dean just sits there looking like a completely boring suburban idiot. Content 2:45: Sarah's Picks "Jason, Michael Myers, all of them. They don't talk. They're boring. Freddy Kruger is gonna hit on your girlfriend, and I love it." --Sarah 10:10: Trey's Picks "Mike Myers not only killed the guy, but he went and got a step ladder and some duct tape, just in case someone opened the closet door, so the body would swing out." --Trey 17:38: Dean's Picks "My first college English teacher was diseased. He had warts from the tips of his fingers to his wrists, and I would watch him finger the pages of a book, thinking to myself, I am being scarred for life right now." --Dean
28 minutes | Oct 27, 2021
The Pub 43: The Shame Episode
In this episode, we talk about NaNoWriMo, 2021. Dean meets the woman of his dreams in a bookstore and lives happily ever after. Molly writes; she writes endlessly. Sarah grows frustrated, takes her humungous corkboard and leaves the show. And Yurick wins NaNoWriMo! Cast Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Molly Krasel, Yurick Makinen, and Sarah Willis. Content 1:00: What is NaNoWriMo? "It's National NOVEL writing month, not November writing month. It just takes place in November." --Sarah 3:36: What are the prizes? "Your prize is you get to spend money." --Yurick 4:40: On Scrivener "I've got the attention span of a goldfish. It's not for me, man." --Sarah 11:29: On Writing Groups "They have a dangerous tendency to talk about writing, without actually doing any writing." --Yurick 13:20: NaNoWriCovid "You know, we were all stuck in our houses. Might as well write a novel!" --Molly 16:30: Spotify Writing Playlists Dean: "I listen to Kitaro" Sarah: "You listen to what, now?" Dean: "He's a Japanese man who looks like a samurai who can also play music." 21:36: Some Tips "Go in with a plan. And if not, get a cheer squad." --Molly
27 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
The Pub 42: A Show within a Show within a Show
In this episode, we talk about the popular Disney+ series, WandaVision. Dean wiggles his nose and magically finishes an entire turkey dinner, just in the to save the show. Trey grieves over the carbonite death of Han Solo, and Sarah brakes the universe. Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Trey Bourn and Sarah Willis. Content 0:22: What did we think of the show? "I loved it!" --Trey (who also loved grief, the Brady Bunch, and the way Dean delivered the outro of the show) 3:37: Waiting for New Episodes "I couldn't believe that such a beautiful line could come from a red android." --Sarah 10:00: WandaVision as Metafiction "I felt like I was doing the English teacher thing that my students think is crazy interpretation." --Dean 10:00: The Multiverse "We got to play the super fun game where we all try to guess who broke the universe." --Sarah (who broke the universe)
31 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
The Pub 41: Saving the World on the Due Date
In this episode, we talk about Avatar: The Last Airbender. Toph-Sarah Calls everyone "twinkle toes" and invents metal bending, costing her one perfectly good (now mangled) microphone. Katara-Sam delivers a sisterly sermon making us all want to be better people (or else!). Sokka-Dean initiates an epic haiku battle, only to have victory snatched away by a single syllable. And Zuko-Daniel gives the whole group and warm hug of redemption. Cast Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Daniel Morbach, Sam Alberth, and Sarah Willis.
34 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
The Pub 40: Definitionlessness-less
In this episode, we talk about the antihero in fiction and film. Sarah is entranced by Daniel Day Lewis in a deerskin, dancing around a fire. Molly realizes that life is filled with meaninglessness and decides that she wants something grander. Trey puts on his padowan cloak and tells the rest of the cast just how he feels about sand. And Dean graduates from Miyagi-do karate school, faces off against Johnny Lawrence, and is stunned when the crowd begins chanting for Johnny to "sweep the leg!"
39 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
The Pub 39: It's Like Reading Shakespeare
In this episode, we talk about the way art affects story in videogames. Molly grows a tail that is also a paintbrush. Sam transforms into a Sims character and starts speaking Simmish. Sarah ferries a hedgehog to the afterlife and weeps all the way there. And Dean changes his name to Face McShooty and realizes that crumpets are, in fact, krunk.
37 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
The Pub 38 Kong-Sized Hugs
Love Stories In this episode, we talk about our favorite love stories in honor of Valentine's Day. Trey becomes incredibly vulnerable and considers stealing Rick Grimes's cue cards, so he can confess his love to Keira Knightley. Molly reveals her secret life as a furry, then frolics at Disneyworld. Sarah realizes that the last unicorn is really Wolverine with an adamantium heart. And Dean puts on a rubber King Kong costume and reads very edgy passages from Heart of Darkness. Cast Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Molly Krasel, Trey Bourn, and Sarah Willis. Content 1:27: Trey's Pick: Normal People "King Kong is a love story between a woman and a monkey." --Dean 10:25: Molly's Pick: The Last Unicorn Dean: "We're not princes...or unicorns." Molly & Sarah: "Speak for yourself!" 19:46: Sarah's Pick: Six of Crows "At what point is the 'bad boy with the heart of gold' just an asshole?" --Trey 22:43: Dean's Pick: Never Let Me Go "Beauty is the Beast, and love is a distraction." --Molly
37 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
The Pub 37: Really Good Lemonade
The Death of the Author In this episode, we talk about the way an author's life and actions affect our choice to read and our ability to enjoy that author's work. Molly imagines a time before the internet, when Hemingway could wear dresses more privately. Sarah espouses a utilitarian moral relativism while pining for the Hogwarts videogame. Trey shamefully admits that he loves Chik-fil-A lemonade and chicken. And Dean imagines Jeffrey Dahmer writing a really good children's book. Cast Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Molly Krasel, Trey Bourn, and Sarah Willis. Content 0:29: Should we consider the life of the author? "We don't want perfect people. That's why Christian music is so shitty!" -Trey 6:41: Cancel Culture "With the internet, there's so much that we just can look away from." --Molly 12:05: Private Reading vs. Institutional Works Molly: "We all went to a liberal art college." Trey: "I didn't." Molly: "I'm sorry to head that." 20:24: The Effects on our Reading Molly: "It's like Fight Club." Dean: "With the new introduction, I don't think he understands his own work." 29:57: A Book Too Far! "What if Jeffrey Dahmer wrote a really good children's book?" --Dean
37 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
The Pub 36: Laughing at Corn
Mental Health in Graphic Novels In this episode, we talk about the way graphic novels like I Kill Giants and Hyperbole and A Half deal with mental health issues. Molly sits on a pile of laundry and imagines Superman with ennui. Sarah stows away her grief and doesn't deal with her emotions. Instead, she plays Dungeons & Dragons. Daniel's ice cream falls off his cone, and his cat dies. Luckily, he is wearing his suit of impenetrable armor. And Dean uses his dog's trip to the vet as cover for his manly tears. Cast Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Molly Krasel, Daniel Morbach, and Sarah Willis. Content 0:32: I Kill Giants "The book is always better than the movie!" --Molly 6:00: All the Feels Dean: "I did not cry." Sarah: "You LIE!" 13:51: The Title "I'll kill you. Boom, boom. Lie down." --Daniel 18:00: Lessons Molly: "You must sublimate your emotions in a healthy way and accept change." Sarah: "That sounds like an adult thing to do, and I'm NOT for it." 19:15: Hyperbole and a Half Dean: "Let's talk about the fun of depression!" Daniel: "Okay, you go first." 23:43: All the memes! "Let's give them the whole nine yards." --Dean 27:56: Understanding Comics "If it's a stick figure, I can relate. If it's Brad Pitt in the movie Troy, not so much." --Daniel
51 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
The Pub 35: The Mandalorian
In this episode, we talk about The Mandalorian. Trey visits a planet of wookies where he badmouths the ewoks of Endor. Sarah wins the I Called It Was Luke Award and then loses all her winnings during the terrible Canto Bight scene on Cantonica. And Dean practices phrenology on boy-Anakin, despite his ridiculously hard science fiction levels of midichlorians. Cast Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Sarah Willis and Trey Bourn. Content 0:47: Why Has Star Wars Gotten So Good Again? Trey: "They just said, let's make something cool!" Dean: "Wait, they went into the others ones saying, this is not going to be cool?" 15:29: Star Wars as Fantasy "It's basically Lord of the Rings in space." --Dean 19:25: Mandalorian, Season 3 "Bo-Katan will always be Starbuck to me." --Trey 22:30: Enter Luke "This was the Star Wars that I needed, that I didn't know that I needed." --Trey 28:22: Spinoffs. "Darth Maul came back. He had a robo-torso!" --Sarah 34:08: A Rose is a Rose is a Rose (Tico) "Unless you're a muppet, let's not have kids in Star Wars anymore." --Trey 19:25: Least Favorite Movie (Yub Yub!) "Endor was supposed to be a planet of wookies!" --Trey
41 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
The Pub 34: Dude's Junk Was Clipping through His Pants!
In this episode, we talk about our favorite game narratives of 2020. Molly praises Olympus, Sarah unlocks a moose while riding a moose named Mousse. Sam tends to her dying garden. And Dean talks mushroom monster people. Cast: Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Sarah Willis, Sam Alberth, and Molly Krasel. Content 0:46 Molly's picks Hades "If you look away while playing Hades, you will die! But that's okay." --Molly Cyberpunk 2077 "I want a refund! My junk is clipping through my pants!" --Dean Stardew Valley "Is the parsnip related to the potato?" --Dean 11:06: Sarah's Picks Animal Crossing "I think I'm in a cult, but that's okay. I'm enjoying myself so far." --Sam Other Games Discussed: World of Warcraft | 22:07: Dean's Pick The Last of Us 2 "She can't play guitar anymore because someone ate her fingers for lunch!" --Dean
43 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
The Pub 33: Bounce A Coin Off Your Witcher's Cheek
Our Best Reads of 2020 In this episode, we talk about our best reads in 2020, Trey does his Randall Flagg impersonation, Dean tells us what he really thinks about the rain, and Sarah remembers the days before “the cable times.” Cast Hosted by Dean Karpowicz, with Daniel Becker, Sarah Willis and Trey Bourn. Content 3:46: Oryx and Crake, Atwood Trey: “I don’t want to read The Stand. I’m living it!” Dean: “Wait, The Brat Pack was in The Stand?” 9:51: Tales of the City, Maupin “My mom is from the Age of Cable! –Sarah 19:25: Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, McGonigal “When you have a six year old, doors are not a thing.” –Dean 24:49: All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of the Wire, Abrams | The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts, Farley, et. al. Trey: “Love can provide the persistence and grit to get you through.” Dean: “We love you, Trey.” 29:58: Binti, Okorafor Recursion, Crouch. “You mean Back to the Future is totally bullshit? –Ant Man (special guest) 34:08: The Cruel Prince Trilogy, Holly Black “Oh, God. They’re gonna kill Chewy!” –Trey 19:25: Six of Crows, Bardugo “Dandelion was just a goober!” –Dean
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