‘The Walking Dead: Michonne’ & ‘Invisible, Inc.’

‘The Walking Dead: Michonne’ & ‘Invisible, Inc.’

A spoiler-free review of the first episode of “The Walking Dead: Michonne,” a new miniseries from Telltale Games. Has the studio that’s widely regarded as the premier creator of episodic interactive drama lost a step? Could “Michonne” learn something from “Life Is Strange” (6:03)? Then, why “XCOM 2” should have been more like “Invisible, Inc.” (13:14)

NEXT WEEK, WE HOPE:

“Superhot” & (more!) “Life Is Strange”

SHOW NOTES:

The “Shall We Play a Game?” Steam Curators page

Chris Suellentrop’s very first New York Times video game review, of “The Walking Dead: Season One”

The “Shall We Play a Game?” Steam community

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‘XCOM 2’ & ‘The Witness’

‘XCOM 2’ & ‘The Witness’

Sometimes you recognize that a video game is good, but you still don’t like it. Sometimes you recognize that a game is bad, at least in part, but you don’t care. This podcast is about two of these games.

We start with “XCOM 2,” then talk about “The Witness” (20:11). For the intermission: Why Chris is still playing Donald Rumsfeld’s “Churchill Solitaire” (17:38). And listener mail! (28:37)

NEXT WEEK, WE HOPE:

“The Walking Dead: Michonne” & “Invisible, Inc.”

SHOW NOTES:

The official ‘Braid’ walkthrough

“Defending a Video Game Designer,” the Social Q’s column by Philip Galanes in The New York Times

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‘Firewatch’ & Leigh Alexander

‘Firewatch’ & Leigh Alexander

We review ‘Firewatch,’ the new video game from Campo Santo, without spoilers. Then (at 20:22), Chris talks to Leigh Alexander, the former editor-in-chief of Boing Boing’s Offworld, about why she is quitting writing about video games, why the culture’s collective amnesia about video games is harmful to the medium, and whether the sexism in video games is worse than the sexism in movies and television. 

NEXT WEEK, WE HOPE:

“XCOM 2” and “The Witness”

SHOW NOTES:

Boing Boing’s Offworld

Leigh Alexander’s Gamasutra essay, “‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over.”

Leigh Alexander’s Vice essay, “The Final Word on ‘The Phantom Pain,’ a Video Game About Video Games”

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Slate editor Julia Turner: What I Play

Slate editor Julia Turner: What I Play

Julia Turner, the editor-in-chief of Slate and a host of Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast, talks about why she plays games on her iPhone, why she aspires to be called a gamer, and why she can’t stop playing Two Dots. LANGUAGE WARNING: Chris forgot to tell Julia that this podcast is supposed to be PG rated.

NEXT WEEK, WE HOPE:

“Firewatch” and “The Witness”

SHOW NOTES:

Michael Kinsley’s essay: “The Secret Vice of Power Women”

Frank Lantz’s GDC talk: “Hearts and Minds”

Donald Rumsfeld’s Churchill Solitaire in the Wall Street Journal

Donald Rumsfeld’s Churchill Solitaire in the New Yorker

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