TWW_Generations Part 1

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Ryan and Alex are back to talk about the consoles and games they grew up with and ramble about everything in-between, as TWW returns!

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Internship_Banshees and Bold Faced Lies

When I moved into my new “residence” I was told of a few conditions that came with the rent. There was a dog, which I’m fine with. Dogs are awesome! Loyal, lumbering, stupid, stubborn and awesome. That sums up Rocco nicely. Still a pup, but a friendly beast all the same.

Then there was the kid, a two-year old to be exact. I’m usually not the kind of person to say that I hate kids but I’m not particularly fond of this one. Loud and spoiled are two things that don’t go well together. Now to be fair, these are things that a parent should be tending too at that age but that’s a topic for another time, if at all. Anyway, the daughter would only be over on weekends. Understood and after all, when a couple splits, it’s good to keep both parents in the child’s life.

Apparently when my lodging buddy said weekends he meant weekdays, weekends, Christmas, Boxing Day, Easter, The Long Winter, The Return of the King, Ragnarok, high tide, low tide, harvest…So, yeah, not quite two days a week.

Perhaps the 2 foot tall shrieking dwarf is a prelude to what eventual parenthood holds in-store for us all? Sleepless nights in the service a little person who could pass for a hobbit. As much I look forward to that in the future, this is not then and I, like anyone in radio, treasures their hours of sleep as if they were diamonds. On a good day, about 6-7 hours’ worth of diamonds. They are precious, is the point of it all.

At the same time, I’ve had to consider what I get out of this deception. Roof over my head, fairly low rent that includes utilities and internet, use of a kitchen, and a glorified closet to call my room. In the end, I guess it’s not all that bad. The “room” does have a window. Still, a little silence would be quite golden right about now.

 

I suppose at some point I should mention something about the radio internship itself.

Now there’s a novel idea!

Internship_The Adventure Begins

Living on your own is a big step in life. It’s the first true test of independence and of how you handle yourself without someone else providing s shield against the rest of the world. You’re health, you’re peace of mind, meal preparation, bills, oh the bills, it’s all on you.

Now in my mind, there are three major kinds of “living on your own” that most people deal with. There’s the very literal version where you’re by yourself with little more than a futon, the internet and all the colours of the no name rainbow to keep you company.

There’s the “living on your own” where you’re out mom and dad’s house but living with people you know, friends, your significant other, maybe both. This version is by far the most welcoming of the three because it’s kind of like Cheers. Everyone knows your name; it’s a comfortable environment you can relax in. Well, at least until everyone’s bad habits start driving you up the wall but for the most part, things are copasetic.

And now we come to number 3. Living with people you don’t know. The social equivalent of playing Russian roulette with a double barrel shotgun and only one of the barrels is loaded. Simply put, things will either go really well or really bad. With friends, you have a sort of psychological resume on file at all times. You know what to expect from them, how they’ll react, what lines you shouldn’t cross, etc. With anyone you don’t know, there’s no such road map. Time to brush up on your cartography kiddies because you’re about to chart some new territory!

Now for the few years I’ve spent as an “adult” and I use term loosely, I’ve lived among friends. Sometimes it was just my girlfriend and I; sometimes it’s been with a group of people but in all those cases it’s been with people I knew.

During my radio internship, I’ve moved to another city and am sharing a living space with someone whom I have no previous history. I am experiencing the number 3 slot for the first time and it’s interesting to say the least.

In many ways it can feel like a forced friendship. You’re living, sleeping, eating and existing in the same space. If you want things to move along pleasantly, you have to respect or at least tolerate one another.

There’s the clash of cuisine, my signature omelette and mashed potatoes against his spicy curry something with a side of rice and spicy curry something. My simple Italian sausage pasta against his slow cooker experiment of the day. The kitchen becomes ground zero for how the two of you will co-exist. If you can prepare a meal in the same space and eat said meal without resorting to food protective caveman growls, then congratulations. You have passed the first test.

Into an Ocean

Creating something, anything, is intimidating. You’re putting a piece of yourself out there for public consumption and criticism. There’s a chance that what you have will catch and there’s a chance that it might go completely unnoticed. In the end it’s a matter of whether or not what your putting out can stand on it’s own two feet. Is it original or are you pouring a glass of water into an ocean?

I found myself asking that question a lot over the last two weeks. Am I producing a show that is offering something unique, interesting, original? Should be trying other things to help it catch on or do I need to re-tool my idea and take a different approach? 

I haven’t been podcasting for very long, a little over a year or so, and it was Greek to me for quite some time. I’m not a very tech savy and when it comes the workings of the online world, I’m a little behind. So, when I started, it was a clumsy attempt to create something similar to what I had heard other people produce. As it turned out, you can’t jump in and expect to swim. Over the months, I reworked my process for producing the show. Audio programs, editing, scripting and research. All of it had to considered to make the show better and even when I had that process in place, it was still being refined.

20 plus episodes of TWW later and things were quite different. I had gone through a few different co-hosts, the show had moved away from movies, games and more to just games and that had helped to narrow my focus. Concentrating on one thing meant that I could make one thing great instead of have a bunch of things that were average. Even still there was something missing.

At first it seemed like it was a production problem. I felt that I needed to give the show more polish. An intro song, music beds for the show, etc. Maybe that would help to make it pop a little bit more. Then, just last week, it hit me. It was the content and I. Was I giving a potential audience something that was worth their time?

This is the big question. Was my product giving a listener something worthwhile or was it just more noise? I feel that at it this point, it is just more noise but that’s not to say that I don’t believe in my podcast. I’m just unsure of how to help it move forward. We all like to see our creations grow and its frustrating when that doesn’t happen. Rather than stew about it, you have to find a way to make that growth happen. I haven’t figured out what that step should be yet but I’ll keep chugging along until I do.

What about you? Have you ever had this kind of moment?  

 

Little Ms.Morality

Video games bring out an interesting side to people. Someone who would otherwise be an average well to do citizen, might become a crazed jacker who views pedestrians as bowling pins when playing GTA. Likewise, your church going grandmother might be the worse ass clown that Skyrim has ever seen. Well, at least compared to the last daedric armor clad dragonborn who shouted a shop to pieces. My point is that when we play games, we tend make decisions that we otherwise would not. It seems that more often than not we unleash our inner jerk and dispense a world of hell upon all digital denizens who cross our path.

This is where the Walking Dead took me by surprise. Oh, the option to be a silent, awkward dick was there but so was a nine year old embodiment of morality. A little companion named Clementine. Now on the outside, being “shackled” with a kid might seem like a chore by gamer standards. At worst, she turns out to be a navi esc side kick who points out the obvious and annoys you to no end but Clementine wasn’t that at all. Instead, you had a companion character who was depending on you, not just for protection, but also as a role model. Your actions as Lee as remembered by Clementine and shape her character as the series roles on.

Oddly enough, it was  that aspect of the game that affected my decisions most of all. For example, I had an opportunity to lance a man with a pitchfork. Everything that had happened up to that point had convinced me that he  needed to go. In any other game, he would’ve made a damn scarecrow after I was finished but then something happened. I wondered how dealing with this guy might affect the way Clementine interacted with Lee. Instead, I threw the pitch fork aside and left the man to his fate, stuck in a bear trap. A good thing too because as it turned out, Clementine had been standing right behind me the whole time.

It really hits home with the emotional aspect of the game that TellTale made. It makes so much sense to deal out cold justice to all who wrong you in a zombie apocalypse. Yet, all it takes is a little girl to make you reconsider your choices and take an action that goes against what you would normally do. Suddenly, it’s not just about you, there’s another characters morality at stake and in turn she serves as your compass.

With the first season finished, I’m left to wonder what season 2 will be like. Will we be introduced to a new group of survivors or will we continue with the few that survived the first seasons finale? Will we be taking the role of Clementine or someone new and how will everything that has happened change her character? For anyone who’s played the game from start to finish, I’m sure you’ll agree that the second season can’t come soon enough. Here’s hoping they do it the same service that was shown tho this first installment.

More isn’t always less

I’ll be the first one in line to say that I’m not a big fan of the Halo series. Something about the first game rubbed me the wrong way. You we’re thawed out of cryo, passed an coloured light eye exam then went straight for the bridge. From that point on it was basically, shoot them, they’re the enemy.

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