The Binding of Isaac

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The Binding of Isaac
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Today we will be talking about the Binding of Isaac. The Binding of Isaac is a roguelike game designed by Edmund McMillen Florian Himsl initially released in 2011. Roguelike games are a genre of rpg games that usually have procedurally generated dungeons, to different extents of turn based gameplay, and often pixelated graphics. Dungeons in this case would usually mean randomly generated stages that have different enemies and drops each time players enter them. 

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Time To Settle This With Catan

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Time To Settle This With Catan
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The Settlers of Catan is a game that almost everyone has at least heard of, if not played. Although released in 1995, its popularity is only growing all these years later. There are so many layers and facets to this game, that a single 10-minute podcast episode cannot do justice to it. Still, we try our best to touch upon some of the factors that make this game unique and relevant. ‘Strategy’ is a word that comes up very often while talking about Catan, and we talk about what kinds of strategies we need to use in the game, the way we need to think while playing, and why this is relevant to everyday life. We also talk about why Catan is a more accurate representation of how Capitalism works, as compared to other games, like Monopoly. Lastly, we also mention how the game has an underlying message of Colonialism, and why it is important to recognize that every part of the game has not aged well.

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Fantasy Football

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Fantasy Football
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While baseball may still be on the books as “America’s favorite pastime” it is very clearly no longer America’s favorite sport. As baseball fans clutch onto pre-war glory days of the previous century, filled with legends like Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, they stay memories. Slowly fading into obscurity with lowered fan attendance and network ratings, the future of sports has pivoted towards more action packed games with more concise seasons – football and basketball. Football – Gridiron football, a game so American almost no one else outside of the hemisphere plays it – has been a shining success in usurping the throne as a cultural mainstay, with games regularly topping viewership records and the cementing of the Super Bowl as a national holiday. With this huge boom in popularity in the information age, both of these sports have experienced the effect of a novel interloper: fantasy leagues.

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Is Moderation the Solution?

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Is Moderation the Solution?
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The 2020 US presidential election might be over, but just as other elections in the past, its stories and lessons remain: why did the winner win and the loser lose? What issues do American care deeply about at this moment? How will the country look like 4 years from now? Each question unfolds other questions that would take forever to find the right answers. Luckily, Democratic Socialism Simulator will help us solve part of our wonders, if not all. In this episode, we examine the choices a president makes during his/her term as well as the repercussions they bring. We hope you will gain insights into what makes a successful presidency. 

Sources

  • Flanagan, Mary. Critical Play: Radical Game Design. p. 4-6 Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2009.
  • Johnson, Steven. Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter. p. 26-27. New York: Riverhead Books, 2005.
  • Ketsa. “Empty Playground.” Free Music Archive.
  • Engel, Kai. “Homeroad.” Free Music Archive.
  • Democratic Socialism Simulator by Unity, 2020

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Journey through Quarantine

The Longest Rainy Sunday
Journey through Quarantine
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In this episode of The Longest Rainy Sunday, we look at Journey; a game that is seen as a work of art by many. Journey certainly has its complexities beneath the stunning visuals and simple concept. In this episode, we analyze the meaning behind the Journey through probing, analyzing the multiplayer aspect, relating it to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and much more. Enjoy our take of the indie adventure-game, Journey. We can make it through this journey together!

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Super Mario in Quarantine

The Longest Rainy Sunday
Super Mario in Quarantine
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In this episode of the Longest Rainy Sunday, we bring our listeners to Super Mario Odyssey, which on one hand connects people’s childhood memories and emotions, but also extends horizons to the future modern world. In our podcast, we mainly analyze the elements that remained the same in Super Mario Odyssey when comparing it with previous versions in the series and the elements that become new in this newest version. Finally, we connect that with our current social and pandemic time, illustrating how Super Mario Odyssey is related to people’s daily lives under such a unique circumstance. 

Sources:

Super Mario Odyssey for Nintendo Switch – Nintendo Game Details. 

Thier, Dave. “‘Super Mario Odyssey’ Review: A Perfect Game With One Problem.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 2 Nov. 2017, .

Flanagan, Mary. Critical Play. I, “Introduction to Critical Play”. MIT Press, 2009. 

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Hidden Folks and Unhidden Childhood

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Hidden Folks and Unhidden Childhood
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Hidden Folks and Unhidden Childhood takes a look at the relatively unsung game: Hidden Folks. It is an interactive hidden objects game. The basic premise of the game is similar to Where’s Waldo, but in reality, it’s so much more. We think that Hidden Folks, on some subliminal level, instills a sense of appreciation for the smaller moments in life. As we grow older, we are so engrossed in the constant pursuit of ‘productivity’ and finding meaning in everything we do. It’s just not easy to fascinate us anymore. Hidden Folks allows you to just slow down and take a moment, and relive that childhood excitement. In the episode we also talk about other skills this game can teach you, what makes it different from other games of its genre, and its relevance in this unprecedented year.

Sources:

Webster, Andrew. “Hidden Folks is a serene, gratifying Where’s Waldo for Adults.” The Verge. February 15, 2017.

Martens, Todd. “Surviving as a single-player in video game’s multiplayer world.” Los Angeles Times. June 19, 2018.

Everything Bad Is Good For You by Steven Johnson.

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Oxenfree: Finding Certainties in Uncertainties

The Longest Rainy Sunday
Oxenfree: Finding Certainties in Uncertainties
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In this episode of The Longest Rainy Sunday, we look at Oxenfree, a game that consistently ranks among the best fifty games since its release by Night School Studio in 2016. The game certainly has its complexities from the characters’ personalities to the daunting supernatural elements that take over the game when players least expect it. In this episode, we analyze how a game in which we seemingly have no control teaches players to find control, a helpful tool during these uncertain times. We hope you sit back and come listen to our critical take on Oxenfree.

Sources

Crouch, Chad. “Ellipsis.” Free Music Archive: Chad Crouch – Ellipsis, Free Music Archive, 13 September, 2019.

Johnson, Steven. Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter. p. 26-27, 32. New York: Riverhead Books, 2005.

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Valorant

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Valorant
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Rush A! Drop me a Vandal! Smoke mid, Brimstone! These are the kinds of expressions that you will typically hear in this week’s game. This game is a 5 vs. 5 multiplayer, first person shooter game where one team attacks and one team defends. Officially released to the world by Riot Games on June 2, 2020, this fresh game is booming in popularity all over the world. With the game developers releasing new patch notes every 2 weeks to keep the game updated and hyped, it seems like the game won’t die anytime soon. ​Let’s talk about Valorant and how this game teaches us to be more logical, have more trust, and take greater risks.

Sources

Audio:

Deliberate Thought” by Kevin MacLeod

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Plague Inc.

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Plague Inc.
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Plague Inc is an old best selling game that was released in 2012 by Ndemic Creations; it was the #1 paid app for both iPhone and iPad in the U.S. for two weeks after launch. This game became wildly popular again this year with the spread of the pandemic. In this episode of The Longest Rainy Sunday, we’ll be talking about how this game evokes the public awareness on public health, and how people could learn from playing this game. 

Sources:

Plague Inc.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2013/04/plague-inc/. 

Plague Inc: Evolved (PC).” Plague Inc: Evolved (PC) – Ndemic Creations, www.ndemiccreations.com/en/25-plague-inc-evolved. 

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