The Realistic Escapism of Microsoft Flight Simulator – DEBUG MODE

The new Microsoft Flight Simulator is an amazing thing. It isn’t magic, but it is frequently magical. Rather than a more straightforward review or discussion of the game, I wanted to make something that was more of a general essay.

In a lot of ways, Flight Simulator transcends normal video games. It’s a way to experience a version of the real world – and realistic aviation if that’s you’re interest. Although I thought about getting a new flight stick (my ancient Logitech Wingman Attack 2 didn’t seem to be working all that well), I ended up being more interesting in touring the world than learning how to fly so the video is entirely “cinematic” – no UI or menus; no in-depth discussion of controls or options. That was a nice change of pace.

Above all, I wanted to put something out into the world that was positive, uplifting, and uniting. It’s been a rough year for just about everyone. Flight Simulator offers a bit of an escape from that while also allowing us to step back and appreciate how far technology has come to simulating and imitating the beauty of nature.

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The Workshop #63 – Selectively edgy

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On this episode we attempt to keep things lighthearted by not to talking about this garbage fire of a year, but we can’t totally avoid it. Garbage fires spread. Nevertheless, there’s some good old fashioned random banter, the censorship bleep joke, and also discussion of an obscure nautical term! Truly this episode has it all. All of those things I mentioned.

Tenet – Popcorn Not Included

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We braved the theater to see Christopher Nolan’s latest spectacle. Was it worth it?

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Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Produced by: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
Screenplay by: Christopher Nolan
Edited by: Jennifer Lame
Cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema 
Music by: Ludwig Göransson
Starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Revenant – Popcorn Not Included

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On this episode we discuss the movie that finally got Leo his Oscar. Is Leo really great in it? Oh, and how’s the actual movie?

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The Revenant

Directed by: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Produced by: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon, James W. Skotchdopole
Screenplay by: Mark L. Smith, Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Based on: The Revenant by Michael Punke
Edited by:
Stephen Mirrione
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Music by: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Jaws – Popcorn Not Included

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Our discussion of the classic shark attack movie meanders through talk about the filmmaking, Spielberg’s catalog, and fun debate over a theoretical remake.

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Jaws

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Produced by: Richard D. Zanuck, David Brown
Screenplay by: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb
Edited by: Verna Fields
Cinematography: Bill Butler
Music by: John Williams
Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton
Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Inception – Popcorn Not Included

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Inception recently turned 10 and since we can’t see Christopher Nolan’s new movie yet, we thought this was the perfect time to revisit Inception… that dream within a dream… within a dream.

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Inception

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Produced by: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
Screenplay by: Christopher Nolan
Edited by: Lee Smith
Cinematography: Wally Pfister
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

 

The Workshop #62 – Albums of the Decade Extravaganza (Part 2)

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Was there supposed to be a 3 month gap between part 1 and 2 of our overlong musical extravaganza? No, absolutely not. Is it worth the wait? Same answer.

Anyway, here we are trying not to sound too pretentious about our favorite music of last decade. It doesn’t go well in that particular regard but stick around until the post-credits if you want to hear some bad Wisconsin accents.

Next episode will be better!

Probably.

The Last of Us Part II: A Story Worth Telling? – DEBUG MODE

Generally I’ve avoided discussing extremely popular things when the iron is hot. I do this gaming YouTube channel in my spare time “for fun.” Trying to keep up with people who do it “professionally” while still maintaining a level of quality that I’m okay with would be utterly exhausting. But I decided to try my hand at chiming in on the discussion surrounding The Last of Us Part II. We’ll see how this goes.

This was maybe the hardest script I’ve ever written for this channel. The game is long, sprawling, and very ambitious. It’s kind of difficult to talk about because there’s so much there and it isn’t laid out in the most straightforward way. I think I managed to make my points in the end but I’m sure I could have done a better job somehow.

This video ended up being a lot longer than I expected or intended and there’s still a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t touch on at all. I barely talk about the gameplay and, really, the gameplay is not why I played the game so it’s not what I ultimately wanted to talk about. The interesting things to me with this game are story structure, pacing, and when it chooses to reveal information to the player.

Going from Animal Crossing to this was a pretty big change of pace. It’s a super bleak game so while putting the video together was a good challenge, it wasn’t nearly as fun. Next up is something I think will be more fun – at least for me.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – Popcorn Not Included

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If you’re subscribed to our podcast because you want to hear us talk about Gilmore Girls, you’re in luck! We’re doing that again.

If you’re subscribed to our podcast and you’re sick of hearing us talk about Gilmore Girls, you’re in luck! This is the last time we’re going to do that (unless there’s more new episodes in the future)!

If you’re not subscribed, you could do that with the links above! We’d appreciate it.

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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Created by: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Starring: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Melissa McCarthy, Keiko Agena, Yanic Truesdale, Scott Patterson, Kelly Bishop, Edward Herrmann
Composer: Sam Phillips
Executive Producers: Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino, Gavin Polone
Original network: Netflix
Original release: 2016

Why I Stopped Playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons – DEBUG MODE

Is it possible? Two Debug Mode videos in such a short span? Nay, three videos! What new devilry is this? Only the wild year that is 2020 could bring about such unprecedented events!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons one of the biggest game releases of the year and in this video I explain why I quit playing. I do like the game though – especially in the midst of all the insanity this year. It’s extremely well made and very inviting – it’s just got fairly major design issues that push me away.

This is the first video of the kind of new format I’d like to continue exploring – not a comprehensive review, nor a list, but a vehicle for me to talk about just a subset of things about a particular game that I find interesting. Maybe it’s a particular mechanic, the evolution of the series, or an analysis of the story. I have more videos in the works and I’m hoping there will be two more out before the end of the summer which would be a big deal considering the historical upload pace of this channel. Then I’ve got to get back to the Arkham retrospective because there’s probably going to be a new one of those out in the near future.