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In honor of Black History Month or maybe, as the discussion recognizes, in submission to it, we at Critical Distance are honored to be host to a discussion of three highly intelligent black critics to discuss both the concept of Black History Month and what it means to be black in video games and the wider culture. Now, I’ll just get out of the way and let them take it from here.

CAST

Mattie Brice: Alternate Ending

Zolani Stewert: The Fengxi Box

Evan Narcisse: Kotaku

SHOW NOTES

Bow Nigger

The Arcade Review

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Direct Download

 

And comes close another year and along with it our fourth end of year look back podcast. 2013 is behind us and we at Critical Distance look one last time at the major points that occurred along the way. We did our best to keep the podcast as manageable as possible, time wise. This year, instead of breaking it up between the events that happen and games that came out we’ve done them all at once in a single chronological run through of the year.

CAST

Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Kris Ligman: Dire Critic

Alan Williamson: Five out of Ten

Cameron Kunzelman: This Cage is Worms

SHOW NOTES

FUCK VIDEOGAMES

Tropes vs. Woman in Video Games

The Creepy Side of E3

The Collapse of the Animal Crossing Economy and the Rise of Villager Trading

Video Game Therapist

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Part 1: Direct Download

Part 2: Direct Download

Enjoy!

For quite a while now Lara Croft and her Tomb Raider franchise has been wallowing in irrelevance. One too many subpar games with date control scheme and sensibilities holding it down. Then, earlier this year, the reboot of Tomb Raider launched the franchise back into the public eye and brought with it much examination and discussion. Three people were driven to have a voice-to-voice conversation about it. They did so. This is that conversation.

Podcast: Direct Download

CAST

Zach Alexander: Hailing From the Edge

Kris Ligman: Dire Critic

Cameron Kunzelman: This is Cage of Worms

SHOW NOTES

Tomb Raider Review Mutliplatform

The role of her life.

Legends Of The Hidden Template

Regarding The Pain Of Avatars

Tomb Raider: Lara Croft and the Secret of the Tenth Death Totem

Tomb Raider: How long does it take to become an axe murderer?

Where have I heard the wind in Tomb Raider before?

Why The Fearful Hero Is A Good Thing For Video Games

What five games say about violence

Notes on Tomb Raider

This isn’t the article I wanted to write about Tomb Raider

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Sorry this is late, but it is finally here.

Back in March of 2011 I played Deirdra Kiai’s recently released Life Flashes By and wanted to talk to her about it. I asked for an interview and she graciously accepted. Through a series of semi-ludicrous events that interview has ended up here for your enjoyment. You can download and play Life Flashes By at Deirdra’s site as well as check out her other work.

Podcast: Direct Download

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

And here it is. After much loss of sleep and sanity the 2012 end of year podcast has finally arrived. After last year’s hopefulness of things being better, on one front 2012 proved to be an even worse year than its predecessor. And on the other hand, proved to be one of the best years in gaming. Those of us willing to brave the recording hours tackled it all.

The first three parts deal with the events and controversies in the gaming community. The third one was a trigger warning for the entire thing. Then in the last four we talk games from Katawa Shoujo to Far Cry 3.

CAST

Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Kris Ligman: Dire Critic

Alan Williamson: Five out of Ten

Ian Miles Cheong: Gameranx

SHOW NOTES

38 Studios Downfall: The Gamasutra Report

Lost Humanity 18: A Table of Doritos

Game Theory

Why are we still so bad at talking about video games?

Killing is Harmless

Five out of Ten Magazine

Take This Project

Image Based Harassment and Visual Misogyny

#1 Reason Why

Part 1: Direct Download

Part 2: Direct Download

Part 3: Direct Download

Part 4: Direct Download

Part 5: Direct Download

Part 6: Direct Download

Part 7: Direct Download

Opening theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Yes, only 6 months late Critical Distance is proud to bring you episode 9 of the CDC podcast.

This time we decided to focus on an actual game: Braid came out many years ago and sparked critics to write a megaton of criticism. 3 years after its initial release we bring you a panel of people with strong opinions on the game. Some loved it, some with not so kind feelings towards it. Consider this a companion piece to our Critical Compilation on the game.

CAST

Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Zach Alexander: Hailing From the Edge

Tevis Thompson: Tevis Thompson

Maggie Greene: The Wayward Historian

Scott Nicols: Gay Gamer

SHOW NOTES

Braid Critical Compliation

Braid Official Walthrough

AV Club’s Jonathan Blow Interview

Podcast: Direct Download

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

No, you did not read that incorrectly. This is indeed episode 10. Episode 9 is in the works still. (It’s a little more evergreen of a topic.)

Another year has come to a close and with it another year-end podcast to try and catalog it all. This time around we got the whole Critical Distance crew around the Skype fire to chat. This being that time of year a few of our panelists had to leave for family and friends, but the rest of us stuck it out. We don’t get around to talking very often, but we sure make up for it in volume.

The first two parts are on the events of the year from the Supreme Court to SOPA, from Sonic to Suparna Galaxy and everything in between. And the we wrap up with all the major releases this year from DC Universe Online to The Old Republic.

CAST

Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Ben Abraham: i am Ben Abraham

Kris Ligman: Dire Critic

David Carlton: Malvasia Bianca

Ian Miles Cheong: Gameranx

Katie Lloyd Williams: Alive Tiny World

SHOW NOTES

Suparna Galaxy

The Many Faces of Tim Schafer

A blunt critique of game criticism

Bioware Neglected Their Main Demographic: The Straight Male Gamer

The Best Gaming Podcast Ever: Episode 19 [SOPA Special]

Debacle Timeline

Final Fantasy VII Letters

On the first person military manshooter and the shape of modern warfare

Part 1: Direct Download

Part 2: Direct Download

Part 3: Direct Download

Part 4: Direct Download

Part 5: Direct Download

Opening theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

So a podcast that was recorded in April about a conference in March, is finally released in May. Here we have our two part GDC podcast. We asked developers, journalists, academics and critics to join us in multiple round tables to discuss the panels and the overall feel of GDC ’11.

Hear us talk about the GDC trifecta of Hocking, Hudson and Worch, the fan-gasming over SWERY, the fawning discussion of Brenda Braithwaite, the exasperation caused by Brian Moriarty, the disappointment in the keynote and much much more. (Plus a special celebrity guest voice.) All from the people who actually attended. We may be late, but the second word in the title is Distance.

Host

Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Side A Cast

Jorge Albor: Expirience Points

David Carlton: Malvasia Bianca

Chris Dahlen: Kill Screen

Annie Wright: Gamer Melodico

Side A Show Notes

Satoru Iwata Keynote

Social Game Developers Rant Back

Brenda Braithwaite’s One Falls for Each of Us: The Prototyping Tragedy

Eric Chahi’s Another World Postmortem

Matthias Worch’s The Identity Bubble: A Design Approach to Character and Story Creation

Side B Cast

Nels Anderson: Above 49

Matthew Gallant: The Quixotic Engineer

Mitu Khandaker: Mitu.nu

Courtney Stanton: Here’s a Thing

Side B Show Notes

Clint Hocking’s Dynamics: The State of Art

Randy Smith’s Leave Enough Room: Design that Supports Player Expression

Brain Moriarty’s An Apology for Roger Ebert

SWERY’s Game Design in the Coffee. Lovable Game Design

Designing Limbo’s Puzzles

Direct Download: Side ASide B

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy


It’s time for another episode of the Critical Distance Confab. Before we get into it, a little background information. Right around the last podcast a debate sprung up over Ben’s refusal to allow comments on his personal blog, finding them not worth worth the time and effort. This had been his policy since starting his new blog, but after reading his post Rhetorical Questions many wanted to engage with the post and found they couldn’t. The discussion/argument moved to twitter, as it often does, and became one about the nature and usefulness of comments.

This episode sees the two sides come head to head to tackle this point in person. (Okay, not quite in person, but you know what I mean.) Do we live in a post comment world or a post-comment world?

A note: the audio sounds strange at certain points (aka every time I try to say something) because of a recording error. All other audio was unaffected and I managed to get most of what I said unwarped and pieced back together. I left an untouched segment of my voice after the closing music to give you a taste of what I fixed.

CAST

Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Ben Abraham: i am Ben Abraham

Ian Miles Cheong: Stillgray

Adrian Forest: Three Parts Theory

SHOW NOTES

Rhetorical Questions

Why Daring Fireball is Comment Free

Derek Powazek on Comments

Rock, Paper, Shotgun, And Why We Need To Make Publications Into Homes OR Maybe Just Local Pubs

Direct Download

Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

And so comes to pass the resurrection of the Critical Distance Confab podcast. We’ve been away for almost a year and a half.  We decided to return in a big way. We gathered our panelists to review the year 2010: the biggest stories, events and of course games of the past year. We discuss them, from Bayonetta to Cataclysm. You can download it here or wait the few days till it gets up on iTunes.

Being this is the first time I’ve done audio editing on this scale I hope you all enjoy it.  Please critique and give an suggestions you feel can improve it in the future.

CAST

Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Ben Abraham: i am Ben Abraham

Ian Miles Cheong: Stillgray

Kirk Hamilton: Gamer Melodico

Denis Farr: Vorpal Bunny Ranch

SHOW NOTES

Rhetorical Questions

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter (and Why They Don’t Matter More)

Hills and Lines: Final Fantasy XIII

The Ebert Response

Critical Compilation: Jesse Schell, ‘Design Outside the Box’

“No Cheering in the Press Box” and Other Rules Game Journalism Needs (Link is Defunct. Updated link is here. Thank you PCWorld -ed 2012)

Why Are So Many Indie Darlings 2D Platformers?

Part 1: Direct Download

Part 2: Direct Download

Part 3: Direct Download

Opening theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy