My obsession with Dungeons & Dragons doesn’t seem to be going away. Playing it is so much fun, and there’s so many great D&D stories told in various podcasts and webshows, that I just can’t stop watching and listening and looking for more. I especially try to look for shows featuring female DMs and female players since most popular D&D productions, such as The Adventure Zone and even Critical Role, are male-dominated. And so today, I want to tell you about about a cool and funny all-women D&D actual play podcast: Dungeons, Dice, & Everything Nice.
“A bunch of friends who might not be film experts, but sure do have funny opinions, watch bad movies and rag on them” is a podcasting trope by now, if such a thing can exist. How do you wade through the sea of cinematic chit-chat to find one you know will be good? That’s not actually a question I can answer, since I was lucky enough to stumble into Trash & Treasures sideways, but I can help by assuring you that Trash & Treasures is one worth checking out.
Trash & Treasures is where self-described “three weirdos”, Vrai, Dorothy, and Chris, watch movies and sometimes TV series that have been lost down the back of the pop culture couch. Maybe they’re a product of Disney’s awkward and edgy dark era where the company was low on funds and fighting with Don Bluth, maybe they’re an obscure single-release piece of queer action cinema, maybe they’re… just plain bad. Each episode is devoted to a different piece of media, and the trio discuss the plot, context and history of how this movie came to be and how they came to find it, and which parts of it are terrible and which parts are actually, maybe, kind of good.
Harry Potter is a pillar of civilization by this point. What began as a series of children’s/young adult novels is now a virtual empire, with eight movies, several spinoff books, movies of the spinoff books, theme parks, and the website Pottermore to ensure that the franchise is constantly alive and being added to. Given the impact this series has had since its release in the ‘90s, you’d be hard pressed to find someone in the Western world who hasn’t been influenced by it—and it would be nigh-impossible to find someone who hasn’t read the books that have shaped a generation.
You’d think that, but you would be wrong—Mike Schubert, a twenty-four-year-old American man, has never read the Harry Potter novels that so defined the childhood of his peers. And so, in a grand experiment, he’s sitting down to read them all one after the other, and discuss them with his Potterhead friends in this week’s web crush: the Potterless podcast.
I may have mentioned before thatAlice Isn’t Deadis one of my all time favorite podcasts, and it’s finally back! The second season of Alice Isn’t Dead will begin on April 4th, but until then we have been treated to three short four minute segments to build up to the Season 2 plot. Each segment introduces us to what our protagonist Keisha has been doing since the events of Season 1, and we finally meet the elusive Alice, letting us get a sense of who she is. These segments also start to allude to a new evil that might be even more dangerous than the Thistle Man.
It’s been a few years since the “are video games art” question has been raised and pretty much resolved. Yes, video games are art. But with that question out of the way, we’re left with “what’s next?” To that end, I believe we are lucky that many outlets (such as our own) are more than willing to discuss games as an art form, in a similar vein to the way we discuss books or movies. For this week’s web crush, I want to highlight Vice’s gaming division: Waypoint.
A couple moments ago, I was finally able to listen to the season finale of the podcast Alice Isn’t Dead. We have already discussed how much we love this podcast, but now, I want to specifically talk about how it portrays disability. Usually stories show someone’s disability as a weakness they need to overcome in order to be “real heroes”, or they are portrayed as gaining extra supernatural abilities that more than “makes up” for their disability. But Alice Isn’t Dead did something wholly different: the podcast showed how someone can use their disability to help them get through a situation.
Major spoilers for Alice Isn’t Dead and a trigger warning for anxiety & panic attacks after the jump.
I love critical discussion, I love diverse voices, and I love video games. So, for this week’s Web Crush Wednesday, I want to highlight the Match 3 podcast. Only in its eighth episode, Match 3 has already shown itself to be a fantastic addition to any podcast lineup. Starring Kotaku reporter Patrick Klepek, freelance writer Gita Jackson, and middle school teacher Sam Phillips, the show hosts a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints. Each week they discuss a bit of gaming news, go through a roundtable discussion, and answer viewer questions. Although this sounds relatively standard, Match 3 stands out for a few reasons.
If you’re a regular on this blog, you’ve probably seen that we’re a fan of podcasts, myself especially. I feel that they are a unique medium, giving a literal voice to a vast group of content creators. Plus, you can listen to them while doing other activities, giving a busy listener ample chance to consume the content. This is important because, as we’re finding, content consumers aren’t a single, monolithic group with a large amount of spare time.
Gamers are a diverse group, despite what some stereotypes may want you to believe, and this diversity includes the types of games we enjoy. It’s increasingly noticeable that much of games coverage is dedicated to a “hardcore,” long-invested, console/high-end PC demographic, but they are far from the only people playing games. In fact, this may be one of the factors that put off new gamers; the insular “if you aren’t in the club already, you shouldn’t be” mindset pervades gaming. This totally ignores the growing mobile space. But this week’s Web Crush Wednesday, the punnily-named Unconsoleable, does not.
I do a lot of driving, whether it be for work or fun travel. Because of this, I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts. They feel like radio shows and make the drives easier to handle. Unfortunately, some of these programs run together, but one show does sit uniquely apart from the rest. This week’s Web Crush Wednesday is Isometric, a podcast about gaming from a different perspective.