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.


Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Zach Alexander: Hailing From the Edge

Tevis Thompson: Tevis Thompson

Maggie Greene: The Wayward Historian

Scott Nicols: Gay Gamer


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.


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


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.


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.


Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Ben Abraham: i am Ben Abraham

Ian Miles Cheong: Stillgray

Adrian Forest: Three Parts Theory


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.


Eric Swain: The Game Critique

Ben Abraham: i am Ben Abraham

Ian Miles Cheong: Stillgray

Kirk Hamilton: Gamer Melodico

Denis Farr: Vorpal Bunny Ranch


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

AND WE ARE BACK! After a long hiatus the CDC Podcast has returned with a force–music and an icon. This week we talk about under privileged voices in games, specifically women in games, where all your questions will be answered and the issue will finally be put to “rest.” Of course I am joking but please come continue the discussion in IRC. We have moved to the irc.quakenet.org server, the room as always is #GBConfab. For those wondering why this hasn’t been updated on iTunes yet, we changed hosts for the podcast and the RSS is still in the process of updating.


Alex Raymond: Iris Network
Olivia Luna: Cerise Magazine
Regina Buenaobra: Acid for Blood
Simon Ferrari: Chunking Espresso

Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape
Brainy Gamer – OMG, Girls in Trouble
DoveArrow’s Blog – Oh Goddess, My Goddess
Tracy John of Mtv Mutiplayer
Gender Swapping and Socializing in Cyberspace: An Exploratory Study
Women in Games: The Gamasutra 20

Get it via: Direct Download, RSS, iTunes

This episode of the CDC Podcast is extra long to make up for the missed days in releasing last week’s CDC Podcast. This week we discuss genre in videogames by starting off with the Western and eventually interrogating the role of genre between videogames and other medium, videogame genres in general, and the role of genre and videogame hardware. After this week’s episode the CDC Podcast will be taking a brief hiatus, but stay tuned for future episodes. As always, I urge you to leave feedback in the comments thread and don’t be shy to drop by IRC to chat. The room is #GBConfab under the freenode.net server.


Michael Abbot: http://www.brainygamer.com
Travis Megill: http://www.theautumnalcity.com
D. Murray: http://www.graduateschoolgamer.com
Roger Travis: http://livingepic.blogspot.com/

Show Notes:
Braingamer on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
The XBOX Live community “Seasoned Gamers”

Get it via: RSS, iTunes, Direct Download.

It has arrived! Episode 3 of the CDC Podcast. This week we discuss the approaches to videogame narrative, specifically the differences between showing and telling narrative in games. We have a very special international cast this week. So sit back and enjoy as once again we interrogate game narrative, go off on an array of tangents, and eventually come back to the question of “show and tell.” Feel free to leave us feedback on the Critical-Distance comments thread and continue the discussion on IRC. That is the freenode.net server, the room is #GBConfab.

The Cast:
D. Murray: http://www.graduateschoolgamer.com
Erik Hanson: http://www.elementsofmeaning.blogspot.com
Justin Keverne: http://gropingtheelephant.com
Arthur Tellurian: http://tellurianspetshop.wordpress.com
Eric Swain: http://www.thegamecritique.com

Show Notes:
Corvus Elrod’s article on “Show & Tell”
Ken Levine’s GDC 2008 Keynote

RSS: http://www.critical-distance.com/podcast/cdc-podcast.xml
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cdc-podcast/id415241874
Direct Download: http://www.critical-distance.com/podcast/CDC_003_050409.mp3

This week on the CDC Podcast we discuss Bioshock and narrative dissonance. Join us as we attempt to wrap our heads around the subject and come up with the definitive answer to the question “How do we define narrative dissonance?” You don’t need to go to GameFAQS or Youtube to discover the ending of this conundrum; we don’t end up coming up with a consensus on the subject! My apologies to Roger Travis who become disconnected midway through the podcast and could not return due to prior obligations.

Direct Download (32MB, 42min)

D. Murray, Denis Farr, Travis Megill, Alex Myers, Eric Swain, Roger Travis.

Show notes:
Iroquois Pliskin on Bioshock,
Clint Hocking on Bioshock
Michael Abbott on Theater and Videogames
Corvus Elrod on Fabula

Welcome to Episode 1 of the Critical Distance Confab. The CDC podcast is a weekly discussion with a cast drawn from an irregular pool of videogame bloggers and contributors to the Critical Distance website. We discuss issues of design, culture, art, and the industry viewed through the lens of videogame criticism.

In this, the first of a tentatively scheduled weekly podcast, we have an extended discussion about the daunting topic that is Games Criticism.

Our cast for this episode includes:

Ben Abraham, Randy Ma (aka demonicmurry), Travis Megill, Alex Myers, David Sahlin, and Eric Swain.

I apologize for the audio quality as this is our first attempt at a podcast – rest assured that the quality of the recording will improve in subsequent episodes. With that in mind we hope you enjoy the first episode and stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes here, or via regular RSS here.  You can also download the episode directly. (55:42, 52MB)

Show notes: