We pre-ordered Rifts in February. They’re both finally here. We talk about “Lucky’s Tale” and compare the hardware to the HTC Vive. Then, Chris talks to Gabriel Winslow-Yost, an editor at the New York Review of Books, about why he plays video games, even when he’s a little ashamed of it.
Virginia Heffernan, the author of “Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art” and a former TV critic for the New York Times, talks about playing “1010!” on the subway, reaching the top 1,000 on the “Angry Birds” leaderboard, and why the Internet is both a realist work of art and a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
An interview with a British political journalist that isn’t about Brexit: Helen Lewis, the deputy editor of the New Statesman, talks about why “BioShock” is her favorite game, why she plays as Queen Elizabeth in “Civilization,” and what “Fallout 4” might tell us about the future of America.
Frank Lantz, the designer of “Drop7” and the director of the New York University department of game design, talks about why “Crackdown” is his favorite game, why video games are worth studying, and which games (“World of Warcraft”! “Galcon”! Poker!) he has spent the most time playing.
A review of “Warcraft,” the movie, plus an interview with Daniel Lisi, the author of “World of Warcraft,” the book, from Boss Fight Books.
Keza MacDonald and Jason Killingsworth, the authors of “You Died: The ‘Dark Souls’ Companion,” talk about how “Demon’s Souls” hooked them, whether “Dark Souls” is a 21st-century “Super Mario Bros., ” and why “Souls” players are like figure skaters.
MacDonald is the editor of Kotaku UK and Killingsworth is a writer for Riot Games, the studio behind “League of Legends.”
Playing “Audioshield” in virtual reality on the HTC Vive, the first act of “Quantum Break,” and an interview with J.C. Herz, the first video game critic for the New York Times and the author of “Joystick Nation” and “Learning to Breathe Fire.”
Clive Thompson, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and Wired and the author of the book “Smarter than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better,” talks about how fatherhood changed what video games he plays, how “World of Warcraft” almost ruined his life, and why “Mario Bros.” is better than “Super Mario Bros.” Then (at 40:00), JJ talks about his “Clash Royale” addiction. And (at 47:08) Chris tries to rebut Clive’s notion that the designers of games like “Gone Home” are backward-looking prisoners of noninteractive media.
Kotaku reporter Patrick Klepek talks with Chris and JJ about his reporting on Alison Rapp, a Nintendo employee who was fired for moonlighting, according to the company. Rapp also was the target of a sustained campaign of online harassment. Was she a victim of the video-game culture wars?
Then (at 28:51), we have a spoiler-y discussion of Episode 3 of “Life Is Strange,” followed by a toe-dip (at 39:26) into our progress in “The Witcher 3.”
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.