JJ and Chris review “The Taken King,” the Peter Dinklage-less expansion for Bungie’s “shared-world shooter.” A year ago in The New York Times, Chris wrote that “Destiny” was “beautiful but vacant.” Can “The Taken King” turn skeptics into fans? Then, Chris talks to Michael W. Clune, the author of “Gamelife,” a memoir of his 1980s childhood and the computer games he played during it. Clune, a professor of English at Case Western Reserve, says people are wrong to compare his still-current video game habit to his heroin addiction, the subject of his previous memoir, “White Out.”
Who will be the first gamer president? With Gen-X candidates like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio touting their video game bona fides as they seek the White House in 2016, Olivier Knox–the chief Washington correspondent for Yahoo News and briefly a nationally ranked “Battlezone” player–joins the show to discuss the politics of “Gauntlet,” the potential for congressional hearings about iPhone games, and the evolving relationship between American politicians and interactive entertainment.
Does “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” make any sense to newcomers? Does that even matter? Chris and JJ begin their serial review of Hideo Kojima’s new game. Plus, an audio “Let’s Play”: JJ narrates a playthrough of the turn-based tactical RPG “Shadowrun: Hong Kong.”
JJ and Chris are newcomers to the “Metal Gear Solid” series, so we turn to two experts. Jason Schreier, the news editor at Kotaku, has played more than 40 hours of “The Phantom Pain” already. He explains what he likes about the series in general and the new game in particular. Then, Ashly Burch, a voice actor and writer, talks about the new book she wrote with her brother, Anthony (the lead writer of “Borderlands 2”), about Hideo Kojima’s 1998 game for the PlayStation.