e58. Gaming an Empire

History does not look upon tyranny with favor. The Persian Empire, The Mongol Empire, the Roman Empire, The Qing Dynasty, The British Empire. In our modern contemporary moment we tend to think of all of these as affronts to freedom and democracy… and with good reason. That said, there are a surprising number of games …

Call for Comments: Great Expectations for Disappointing Endings to the Game of Thrones

From Hannah: Game of Thrones ends Sunday and, based solely on audience opinion of the last two-to-three seasons (particularly the penultimate episode ever), it’s going to be bad. Depending on who you ask, it may be the worst finale of a television show ever (except maybe Dexter). There are a lot of reasons people are …

Call for Comments: Poverty Shaming

From Hannah: According to a new Bankrate Survey, just over a quarter of Americans will not being going on summer vacation this year (while twenty-two percent are on the fence). Sixty percent of those respondents are forgoing vacation because they can’t afford it. Those who are going on vacation are spending an average of $1,979 …

Call for Comments: Gaming an Empire

From Katya: Previously, we’ve have gaming episodes on direct violence in video games (I stab/shoot/punch/explode/magic the enemy.) This time we want to turn to another common theme in gaming: empire. Risk, Command and Conquer, Axis and Allies and other strategy games— analog and digital — allow players to command armies waging war, claiming/reclaiming territory, to, …

e55. PCA-2019 Recap

If you’ve been listening to the show for the last few weeks, you know that all four hosts have been preparing for PCA2019, the national conference of the Popular Culture Association in Washington DC. In fact, episode 52 and episode 53 featured previews of our papers. The conference was from April 10 to April 13, …

e54. The Unbearable Whiteness of being Batman

Do you remember all of those great Batman supporting characters of color. You know… Batman’s black, latinx, asian and other ethnic sidekicks and villains like… errr… uh… you know… yeah… ummm…. It’s actually hard to come up with some, isn’t it? Well, there’s probably a reason for that. There are actually several, and have been …