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8. Both sides of the coin. | One Time

YouTube siblings Ariel and CJ Bissett tell the same stories separately without discussing any major details beforehand. I may just be a weird storytelling/psychology nerd, but it gets freakin’ interesting

Episode 4: Knocking Over Old Ladies Left and Right

Episode 4 of PopTopPodcast begins with a riveting true-life story from Benjamin about a citizen’s arrest he performed in his early days as a New Yorker.


Also on the podcast docket: season 2 of TellTale’s The Walking Dead adventure game (and modern adventure games in general), the recently released 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, Amazon’s $970 million purchase of Twitch, The Legend of Korra season 3 finale, issue #1 of Grant Morrison’s Multiversity, and so much more.


I’d been fascinated with Rand since I’d written a story in the New York Times magazine about a competitive championship tournament bridge player who was also an active objectivist and Rand devotee. I had read half of Atlas Shrugged before I got the gist of my role. I really enjoyed the book because of its absurdly reductive philosophy that inadvertently plays on adolescent male narcissism like a jazz saxophone — to draw a connection to the famous Randian saxophonist and economist Alan Greenspan — but it also spoke directly to the adolescent male fantasy of “I’m the only smart one. Everyone is leeching off of me and I’d rather destroy my work than compromise my integrity by being nice to others.” Her moral severity came as a tonic to my cultural relativist upbringing.

The dress in which John Hodgman impersonated Ayn Rand, one of the many magnificent garment-related tales in Emily Spivack’s Worn Stories.

What I will show is the boy reaching an understanding of the girl, and the process of the girl’s heart opening up to the boy.

In the end the girl may say to the boy, ‘I love you, Ashitaka. But I can’t forgive human beings.’

The boy will smile and say, ‘That’s alright. Won’t you live together with me?’

This is the kind of film I want to make.

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Hey guys! In relation to a lot of conversations I have and truly enjoy thought to share a personal story with you all! If you’d like to hear the story in full head to me facebook profile and let’s chat! Lots of love, Shawnna xo

#storytelling #acceptance #awareness #life #theshawnnajourney #splash #bestill #beyou

There is a clear difference between replicating something and critiquing it. It’s not enough to simply present misery as miserable and exploitation as exploitative. Reproduction is not, in and of itself, a critical commentary. A critique must actually center on characters exploring, challenging, changing or struggling with oppressive social systems.

But the game stories we’ve been discussing in this episode do not center or focus on women’s struggles, women’s perseverance or women’s survival in the face of oppression. Nor are these narratives seriously interested in any sort of critical analysis or exploration of the emotional ramifications of violence against women on either a cultural or an interpersonal level.

The truth is that these games do not expose some kind of “gritty reality” of women’s lives or sexual trauma, but instead sanitise violence against women and make it comfortably consumable.
Now, to be clear, I’m certainly not saying stories seriously examining the issues surrounding domestic or sexual violence are off limits for interactive media – however if game makers do attempt to address these themes, they need to approach the topic with the subtlety, gravity and respect that the subject deserves.

Though not about the abuse of women, the 2012 indie title Papo & Yo is an example of a game that respectfully deals with the very serious issue of alcoholism and domestic violence against children.

The game does so by telling its story from the point of view of a protagonist directly affected by the trauma of abuse, not someone on the outside coming to their rescue. It focuses on the journey of a figure who is struggling through a traumatic situation and attempting to deal with the repercussions of violence. It makes that struggle to cope and survive central to both the narrative and gameplay – not peripheral set dressing to a story about something else. And critically, the game employs powerful metaphoric imagery to make its point instead of relying solely on sensationalized or exploitative depictions of the abuse itself.

Papo & Yo is an intense and at times gut-wrenching game that doesn’t sugarcoat or glamorize violence. In this way it’s an honest and emotionally resonant experience for players.