#21 Erika Vale - My Rule is as many controllers as possible.

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#21 Erika Vale

My Rule is as many controllers as possible.

This week we welcome Erika Vale to the podcast, host of Bristol Video Games Social. Erika tells us what it’s like to host a regular gaming-centric event, the paradox of having social anxiety and being a confident host, and what providing such a social space means to her.

Also we talk Game Gear and Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap, weird and wonderful platformers, JRPGs as comfort food, world design within Soulsborne titles, the strong personality of Vib Ribbon and Gitaroo Man, and the part that Final Fantasy XIV played in Erika’s transition.

Follow Erika on Twitter @MeadowDrone

#20 Odai Quaye - "I want my friends to understand why i'm enamoured with this."

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#20 Odai Quaye

I want my friends to understand why I’m enamoured with this.

Odai Quaye (Audible Autism, STGWeekly) talks to Robert about growing up in the late 90s/early 00s as a young black game enthusiast in North London during the postcode wars, the magical off-kilter library of the PlayStation 1, and how indispensable MAME and emulation is in preserving wonderful media.

Also, we discuss the state of grime and drill in 2018, fighting game trauma, Suzuki Bakuhatsu, Data East Jank and Trio the Punch, Shaq Fu diss tracks, British video games TV, G.R.O.W.L, and Meat Loaf.

Follow Odai on Twitter @wheresmygift, and check out his blog Nomatrix12.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#19 Matthew 2Mello Hopkins - Music that wants to punch through your heart

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#19 2Mello

Music that wants to punch through your heart.

Prolific composer 2Mello (Regular Human Basketball, Read Only Memories, Waypoint) joins us to talk about his early experiences with QBasic and NES, and his journey into becoming a full time musician and his unlikely route into composing game soundtracks. We talk about his releases Return of the Soul and Memories of Tokyo-To, and he shares exclusive details on his upcoming Silent Hill-inspired concept album.

Also, we talk faking piety to play Super Metroid, what sets Hollow Knight apart from its peers, the tenets of good horror, and the joy of Hideki Naganuma and Shibuya-kei.

Follow Matthew on Twitter @MelloMakes, check out his own Podcast The Sample Study, and please consider backing his Patreon.

Note: Since the recording of this podcast, Mello released D&B album Trunk Fiction, which you should definitely hear.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#18 Ollie Scarborough - You don't need to force yourself into a certain routine; creativity is something that comes from being in your element.

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#18 Ollie Scarborough

You don't need to force yourself into a certain routine; creativity is something that comes from being in your element.

We’re back after an unexpected hiatus to talk to freelance translator and localizer Ollie Scarborough,), who became enthralled with narrative-based video games after playing Ys I on Master System. His interest in games led to him pursuing Japanese language, fan translation, and eventually a career in localization with a number of well known publishers.

Also, we talk ribald German Zelda localizations, right-wing fan translators, the Finnish Cabin, the internet of yesteryear and how fan communities existed, more Night in the Woods praise, being the dick you want to see in the world, Ollie calls me out for not understanding the brilliance nuance of Suda51, and we find out happens when you get two quiet introverts in a room together (spoilers: the entire podcast).

Intro Music "A Cruel Angel’s Thesis" by Yoko Takahashi
Intermission Music “Theme of Jamie” by Konami Kukeiha Club (from Snatcher)
Outro Music "Fly Me to the Moon” by Yoko Takahashi

#17 Anne Lee - There's an ongoing conversation on what we can and can't do as researchers in Australia.

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#17 Anne Lee

There's an ongoing conversation on what we can and can't do as researchers in Australia.

Anne Lee (Chic Pixel) joins us this week to share tale of her terrifying encounter with Oddworld posing a rocky start to her relationship with video games, eventually followed by an enthrallment with Final Fantasy VII and a lifelong fascination and academic interest with Otome and Boys’ Love media. Now working within the industry as a translator and localizer, we discuss questions of licensing and regulation posed to visual novels and H-games, and the bittersweet reality of creativity under NDAs.

Also, we talk Chic Pixel’s Community Game-A-Long, practicing Japanese through Tokimeki Memorial Girls’ Side 2, having problematic faves, her work as marketing consultant for JAST BLUE’s upcoming Sweet Pool localization, and why Falcom is cool as heck.

Follow Anne on Twitter @apricotsushi and Instagram @apricotsushi. If you want to know more about Otome, be sure to read her excellent overview of Koei’s Ruby Party imprint at Waypoint.

Also, be sure to snag Cat Painter (iOS/Android), which Anne localized!

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#16 Jeremy Wyatt - Having a character who is clear, open, and positive about her faith was a wonderful experience for me.

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#16 Jeremy Wyatt

Having a character who is clear, open, and positive about her faith was a wonderful experience for me.

Jeremy Wyatt (Astral Era Podcast) joins us this week to discuss faith and queer identity; particularly, how Final Fantasy Tactics allowed him recontextualize his evangelical upbringing and come to terms with his homosexuality. Jeremy talks about his family's struggle with poverty and addiction, as well as time as an outreach worker for at-risk youth. Together we discuss our individual issues with organized religion, and our love of Supergiant's Pyre depiction an uplifting and progressive character of faith.

Also we talk Arizona's regressive politics, queer identity, Westboro Baptist Church, falling asleep in job interviews, friends in the church, secret baptisms, what it means to make your own family, and Robert uses Pastor K as an excuse to rave about Night in the Woods yet again.

Follow Jeremy on Twitter @Homoagogo.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#15 Becky Cunningham - I used to be about saving the world; if I still have to do that in my 40s I'm going to kill myself.

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#15 Becky Cunningham

I used to be about saving the world; if I still have to do that in my 40s I'm going to kill myself.

Freelance writer and game developer Becky Cunningham (RPGamer, OpenCritic) joins us this week to talk about her early experiences with the Apple ][ and how her love of SF and fantasy literature led to a lifelong relationship with interactive fiction, adventure games, and RPGs, and how she discovered she was genderqueer along the way. She also tells me about her upcoming otome game based on Robin Hood, from the perspective of Made Marian.

Also, we talk cowardly paladin love interests, large kitties, the otome renaissance, fiddling with DOS for hours, game critique formats, spousal warcraft warfare stalemates, why FFVIII is a bad first JRPG, and when it's time to let go.

Follow Becky on Twitter @BeckyCFreelance, and be sure to get in touch with her if you're an artist who'd be interested in working on her game.

This episode of Misspent Youth is dedicated to the memory of Michael A Cunningham, editor in chief of RPGamer, who sadly passed on a few days ago. This week's guest Becky Cunningham, no relation, was a former coworker and a good friend of his. I only interacted with Mac a handful of times online, but he was a passionate and thoughtful individual who will be missed by those who knew him and those who followed his work.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Intermission "Beneath the Mask" by Shoji Meguro (from Persona 5)
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#14 Denise Ward - When you've got a problem, drop a Wind Fish on it.

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#14 Denise Ward

When you've got a problem, drop a Wind Fish on it.

Denise Ward (Morning Green Tea & Incorrect Vermintide) joins us this week to discuss falling in love with video games through a neighbour's Sega Saturn; the aesthetics of Nights intro Dreams, in particular. After playing cult PS1 JRPG Legend of Legaia, she began to foster relationships with individual games' lore, leading her to look at the medium in a new light, while also becoming frustrated with the hegemonic interests of the industry.

Also, we discuss being a female-presenting nonbinary person online, falling in love with games without necessarily playing them, preteen fascinations with fatalities, incels, fragile masculinity, topiary simulators, finding friends through LAN parties, being a decent person, tfw you get the skull, and Robert gets accused of being a Hanzo Main.

Follow Denise on Twitter @DrFesty and Instagram @DrFesty. Be sure to check in to @GothTeamEpic's debut Twitch stream of Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor on Saturday 22nd September, 8pm BST / 3pm EST / 12pm PST !!

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Intermission "Dreams of Love & Literature" by Dan Salvato (from Doki Doki Literature Club)
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#13 Nick Ransbottom - The angle isn't that life's unfair; it's just life.

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#13 Nick Ransbottom

The angle isn't that life's unfair; it's just life.

Content Warning: This episode contains discussions on abuse and suicide.

Freelance writer Nick Ransbottom joins us this week to speak about the role narrative games have played in his life, and the impact they made during hardships. We discuss his fraught relationship with his family following his coming out, and his viewpoint on What Remains of Edith Finch as an individual living with cystic fibrosis. 

Also, we about how Sonic the Hedgehog's water levels traumatized a generation, Ni no Kuni 2's blasé attitude toward genocide, fatshaming in The Caligula Effect, and the terrifying appeal of Kingdom Hearts 2's endless summer prologue.

Follow Nick on Twitter @theeziokenway, and be sure to read his pieces I Love You, Man: Exploring Platonic Love in Final Fantasy XV and Trauma and Video Games: How Kingdom Hearts Helped Me Cope With Childhood Abuse.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Intermission "URE-P" by Shigeru Tomita (from Rune Worth)
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#12 Raven Mulvany - Games are a window to other places… Planets, countries, viewpoints.

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#12 Raven Mulvany

Games are a window to other places… Planets, countries, viewpoints.

Game designer and programmer Raven Mulvany joins Misspent Youth to talk the role Pokémon played as an alternative means of communication in her youth, and how Treasure's Gunstar Super Heroes inspired her to start making her own games. We discuss her numerous projects, including an RPG that teaches Gaelic, and her upcoming Vive game Transition Level which you can play now.

Also: How Christine Love's Digital: A Love Story appeals to us extremely online introverts, why Naughty Dog can only intersperse queer romance with extreme violence, hopes and anxieties for Fallout `76, and the respectful etiquette of Dark Souls online.

Follow Raven on Twitter @ravennoises and itch.io at aka-y.

Bonus Episode - Alva Chua on Sex Work, Representation, and Dysphoria

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Bonus Episode

Alva Chua on Sex Work, Representation, and Dysphoria

We welcome Alva Chua back to discuss representation and performativity within games, and how it relates to her past career as a pro-domme. We also touch on contextualizing trans experience through genre, negotiating empowerment, where the lines in fantasy begin and end, games' terrible track record of portraying BDSM, and we critique VA-11 HALL-A and The Red Strings Club, as well as Waypoint's review of the latter title.

Follow Alva on Twitter @vinomatic, and come to her performance at Tweak #2 in London on Thursday 16 August.

This episode contains spoilers for The Red Strings Club, Catherine, Digital Devil Saga, and Danganronpa.

Intro Music "Gyaru-kei Digital" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#11 Huw Owen - America had the Unabomber; We had people furiously making games. Like those twins who made Dizzy.

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#11 Huw Owen

America had the Unabomber; We had people furiously making games. Like those twins who made Dizzy.

Huw Owen (We Don't Talk About the Weather) joins Robert to discuss the off-putting inscrutability of the ZX Spectrum, the seedy horrors found at British Computing Fairs, the time he received an Atari Lynx from an inmate of Broadmoor Hospital, and the world-ending battle between the Virgin Sony PlayStation and the Chad Sega Saturn.

Also: We roast those incorrigable TERFs Graham Linehan and Mumsnet, mock the failings of the Labour Party, we figure out what Question Time is, Street Fighting in a kebab shop, selling Panzer Dragoon Saga for weed, buying six copies of Diablo 2, playing Alpha Centauri at a NYE party, the art of trolling in Dark Souls, and what the deal is with Destiny once and for all.

Follow Huw on Twitter @tanasmashing and Instagram @tanasmashing

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#10 Mike Sollosi - You want to root for these characters; you're growing alongside these characters.

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#10 Mike Sollosi

You want to root for these characters; you're growing alongside these characters.

Mike Sollosi (RPGFan's Retro Encounter Podcast) joins Misspent Youth this week to share how he first discovered video games playing the NES at a neighbor's house, before examining the role video games played in forging important, lifelong friendships.

Also: The joy of Chrono Trigger's limited cast, the golden era of game rentals, Super Sentai, Sandy Frank's iron fist, that one rich kid with the Neo Geo, and Anime Andrew Jackson.

Follow Mike on Twitter @therealmonsoon, follow RPGFan @rpgfancom and don't forget to subscribe to his podcast, where a month of episodes devoted to Lunar are currently airing.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#09 Heidi Kemps - I love researching things and pursuing stuff, which led me into writing about games.

#09 Heidi Kemps

I love researching things and pursuing stuff, which led me into writing about games.

Kusoge aficionado Heidi Kemps (Gaming.moe) joins us this week to talk about her shaky introduction to video games; a one-two punch of having too much empathy for Frogger, and the assumption that the most interesting games were "for boys only." After this belief was challenged by a bizarre Super C commercial, Heidi embarked on a lifelong journey that eventually found her in possession of the only Fighting Vipers 2 cabinet in America.

Also, we talk the vagueness of Phantasy Star II, the inscrutable Presto Studios-developed Gundam FMV game, GIRLZ BUTTZ, Sega loyalty, Raimais' plethora of secrets and the general wonders of Taito, Seiken Densetsu 3, the effortless rebellion of Jet Set Radio, and how multifaceted enjoyment of the medium can make research more enjoyable than play. Be sure to read her deep dive into quiz cabinets.

Follow Heidi on Twitter @zerochan, Twitch devilrei, YouTube devilREIchan, Be sure to check out her friends on Twitch RetroPals and LordBBH for more obscure weirdness.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#08 Caitlin Argyros - I didn't want to commit to a game that would make me like this couple and then kill one of them.

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#08 Caitlin Argyros

I didn't want to commit to a game that would make me like this couple and then kill one of them.

We welcome law librarian Caitlin Argyros (RPGFan, Rhythm Encounter) to discuss being a romantic introvert, coming to terms with one's own body, and if gaming can still be considered "just" a hobby when it's a major part of one's life.

Also: The uplifting melancholia of Xenogears, Ace Combat fulfilling air force fantasies, when entertainment metamorphoses into critical engagement, Boogerman, strong opinions on Metal Gear Solid, and Caitlin's top ten games of all time.

Follow Caitlin on Twitter @Lian_Kazairl, and check out our friend Derek Heemsbergen's FFXIV Podcast Astral Era.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Intermission "June Mermaid" by Yasunori Mitsuda (Xenogears OST)
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#07 Hannah Flynn - I love strange singular experiences, novelty, and tat.

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#07 Hannah Flynn

 

 

I love strange singular experiences, novelty, and tat.

Hannah Flynn (Failbetter Games) joins Robert to discuss her journey from being a Sega kid, through the world of publishing, to her career as communications manager for a studio that specialises in flexibile interactive narrative, and how exciting it can be when interests and hobbies intersect. 

Also: Failbetter's upcoming Sunless Skies, the importance of authenticity when writing representation, beating teenage boys at Sonic 2, musical theatre, chasing actors at PunchDrunk performances, The Sexy Brutale, social gaming, adjusting to motherhood, the horrors of London real estate, and Douglas Adams' bathtub.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @itshannahflynn, and Failbetter Games on Twitter @failbettergames & Instagram @failbetter_games

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#06 Seb Grey - Everyone hates the Water Temple. It's my favourite.

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#06 Seb Grey

Everyone hates the Water Temple. It's my favourite.

Developer and Musician Seb Grey (Fashion Shuriken) comes in for a freewheeling discussion on the wonder of the N64, fantastical open worlds, how strong localization can elevate a work, what it means for a game to be "good", and using Link's Awakening as a conduit to conquer anxiety.

Also: the positive influence of Shovel Knight, Xenoblade Chronicles 2's merman aviator pastry chef, and the failed romance between Jeremy Corbyn and Grace Jones.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#05 Emily Rose England - Final Fantasy VII is, unintentionally, very feminist.

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#05 Emily Rose England

Final Fantasy VII is, unintentionally, very feminist.

Artist and photographer Emily Rose England (Sassitude) joins us to talk about how she processed depression and anxiety through the joy of emulation, feminine power dynamics in Final Fantasy VII, and how the graphical limitations of Link's Awakening allowed her to interpret Link as gender-ambiguous.

Follow Emily on Instagram @emilyroseengland, and buy her art so she can get a Playstation 4.

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#04 Samer Farag - Where can I get the video game narrative equivalent to East of Eden?

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#04 Samer Farag

Where can I get the video game narrative equivalent to East of Eden?

Samer Farag of Cocoa Controller joins Robert to discuss his early experiences playing The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and Ocarina of Time back-to-back, learning to read through fantasy novels and RPGs, and the elusive search for good writing inspiring his drive to critique.

We also talk cyberpunk, Metal Gear Solid 2, Deus Ex, rediscovering the joy of fighting games through Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], toxicity in fandom and the need for progressive games communities, how representation in Watch Dogs 2 and Assassin's Creed Origins revitalises the AAA formula, the struggle to stay motivated in web 2.0's sea of talented creators, The Caligula Effect, our shared feelings on Hideo Baba and Katsura Hashino, and the key difference between Fumito Ueda and Hideo Kojima.

Follow Samer on Twitter @eightbitsamurai and Cocoa Controller @CocoaController

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Intermission Music "Mast in the Mist" by Yoko Kanno (from Koei Game Music Works: Kanno Yoko Collections 〜 Uncharted Waters 2)
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe

#03 Alva Chua - "Beloved fiction franchises are stories told around the spirit of something."

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#03 Alva Chua

Beloved fiction franchises are stories told around the spirit of something.

Alva Chua (MisanthroPlay) shares tales of her misspent youth across the globe; from getting drunk on Babycham and playing Space Invaders at age 4 in an English beer garden, seeing the first McDonald's open in Yugoslavia, to scouring (and working in) a physical black market for computer games in Singapore.

We also talk coding Eliza on an Atari 2600 PC, teaching oneself spells in Ultima IV without a manual, illicit console ownership, the beauty of shmups, playing Leisure Suit Larry in school, Chuck Yeager's flight sims, immersion, gate-keeping nerds through the lens of Lyotard, and what happens when you ask questions in Delta Force.

Follow Alva on twitter @vinomatic

Intro Music "Summer Vacation in Scanline" by Nurvuss
Intermission Music "At a Harbour" by Tadahiro Nitta & Ryuji Sasai, from Xak II: Rising of the Redmoon
Outro Music "トワイライトでHEART-BEAT" by パフェ♥カフェparfait♥cafe