Playdate Podcast Episode 15: Oh Hey What’s Up

Whoa what happened to the last month and a half.* Anyway. Outside of games, me and Bela have been:

Reading: Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson, The Familiar Vol. 5: Redwood by Mark Z Danielewski, & Crash Override by Zöe Quinn (the shit that went down the day of the reading)

Watching: The Craft, Battlestar Galactica, Cube

Oh, and in case you missed Ben’s present to the internet on his birthday: I apologize in advance

For the game discussion, we again didn’t curate anything. In lieu of the usual segment, we ended up talking about:

We also brought up a bunch of articles and podcast discussions (well, Ben mostly did). Here’s some links to them:
Overwatch’s Mercy Problem – Fave This (Gita Jackson, Patricia Hernandez, Nico Deyo)
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is at war with itself over slavery – Polygon (Cameron Kunzelman)
The Orcs of Shadow of War Face a Fate Worse Than Death – Waypoint (Cameron Kunzelman, Austin Walker)
Real Human Beings: Shadow of Mordor, Watch Dogs and the New NPC – Paste Magazine (Austin Walker)
The Nazi-Ruled America of Wolfenstein II Isn’t That Different from Our Real History – Paste Magazine (Dante Douglas)



*Ben’s brain wasn’t being particularly cooperative

Playdate Podcast Episode 14: Storytelling in Games

No guests or curated games list this time around, so Bela & Ben just get together to talk about what they’ve been playing, and what they’ve been up to. We accidentally hit on a theme of talking about how games like Age of Empires III, StarCraft, and Limbo tell their stories, though. Ben also goes on a mildly conspiratorial rant about the real meaning of 1998 in games.

Outside of games, Bela has been listening to Stuff You Missed in History Class and reading Barefoot Gen. Ben shouts out specific episodes of Waypoint Radio and Beyond the for the former, and The World of Twin Peaks with Joel Bocko from the latter.

Let us know what you think by leaving a rating on iTunes, subscribing to the show, or following us on Twitter or Facebook. And send us an email at playdategs[at]gmail with any questions or comments.

Playdate Podcast Episode 13: Adam & Veronica

This episode, Ben is joined by Adam Longhurst and Veronica Dolginko to talk about Veronica’s movie site Back Row Cinema and a new play she’s co-authored and associate produced called The People vs. Donald Trump (showing at The London Theatre – New Cross from September 19-24). We cover pluviophilia, the Theatre, Ingrid Goes West, King of the Hill hot takes on ice, having hobbies, and more.

Before that, Ben and Bela talk about three games that Ben chose. The games discussed are:

Luminous Corridor 0 by Loren Schmidt & Katie Rose Pipkin
Pet the Pup at the Party by Will Herring
LOCALHOST by Sophia Park, Penelope Evans, Arielle Grimes & Christa Isobel Lee

Let us know what you think at playdategs [at] gmail, or on Twitter @PlaydateGS or We’re also available on iTunes and Podbean.

Note: The audio quality on the interview portion is a bit uneven. If occasional snacking sounds or volume disparities bug you a lot, you might want to skip it! It’s a fun time if you don’t mind that too much, though.

Playdate Podcast Episode 12: Gamejolt Co-Founders David & Yaprak

Gamejolt is a marketplace that aims to connect independent developers with gamers. The co-founders David (@TheyTookCROS) and Yaprak (@maskofthoro) join us to talk about the work it takes to make that happen, how they make sure people’s games get highlighted, and more.

Outside of games, David and Yaprak have been hitting up some breweries in Denver, Bela’s been at his grandparents for a pool party, and Ben loves Kesha’s new singles (especially “Praying”). We also hit on tackling grandpas, getting to the point, saisons vs szechuan, learning Turkish in secret, and more.

David and Yaprak also curated some games for us for that they’re going to be showcasing at their party at PAX West. If you’re in the area on September 1st, you can register to attend it here.

The games discussed this episode are:

Get in touch with us on Twitter @PlaydateGS, on Facebook, or through email at playdategs[at]gmail[dot]com. You can also subscribe through the RSS feed on this website or on iTunes or Podbean, or by searching ‘Playdate Podcast’ on your app of choice. Feel free to give us a rating/review on iTunes especially if you enjoy the show!

Playdate Podcast Episode 11: Sole

Rapper, podcaster, anarchist organizer, and all-around comrade Sole (@mcsole) joins us to talk about games. Ben chose three games that he thought Sole would find interesting. We cover those, then talk about what we’ve all been up to in games. Sole not being a games person, we figured that made the most sense.

Bela has been playing Overwatch and has a Doomfist Hot Take; Ben highly recommends the demo for Mafia III and likes Pixel Dungeon quite a bit; and Sole has been failing his poor Rimworld inhabitants and taking out scrubs in Titanfall 2. We also talk about Sole’s garden, his podcast The Solecast, and Channel Zero Network, an anarchist and anti-authoritarian podcast network that he’s involved with creating.

The games curated for this episode:

Hit us up at @PlaydateGS, on Facebook, or send us any questions or comments at playdategs[at]gmail

Playdate Podcast Episode 10: The MIX at Evo

Quick note: The audio quality on this isn’t the best. Ben’s end has some train noises and some echo-y acoustics, and Bela’s has some persistent clicks. I did my best to mitigate those problems. Hopefully it’s not too bad.

This time around, Bela and Ben get together to talk about Evo. Ben picked three games that were at The MIX at Evo this year for us to play. Ben talks about Smash and Tekken, and we reminisce a bit about being at last year’s event with Bela’s game. Then we get into the selections.

After that, we talk about what we’ve been up to outside of games. Bela just finished a smaller Playdate event! He talks about being at Nonplussed Fest with some Playdate 2017 developers, and watching some of the films that were showing. He specifically mentions Atlantic City Character Study by Ben+Bill and Vivian & Veronica: Cheetah by imagesbykelsy.

Ben’s been reading a lot, but mostly we talk about his recent trip to The Castro Theatre. There’s some discussion of when he went to see Cibo Matto New Scene back in 2015 (and Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet), and then we get into the double feature he saw recently. Modern Times (starring Charlie Chaplin) and Metropolis by Fritz Lang, specifically. He even mentions the post he made on his blog, if you want to read it: Charlie Chaplin & Anti-Comedy.

The games discussed this episode are:


Playdate Podcast Episode 9: Brendan Vance

Brendan Vance (@4xisblack) joins us to talk about some (un)licensed games, his work with Heart Projector, and experiences with dentists.

The games we discuss this time include:


Playdate Podcast Episode 8: Dante Douglas

Dante Douglas (@videodante) joins us to talk about a selection of games that he curated for our show. Outside of games, we’ve been up to Xena: Warrior Princess (Season Three), the Bug Fair, and finding bike paths and writing poems. We talk about the games, then get into an in-depth interview with Dante. Subjects include the conferences he organized while a part of University of Oregon, getting sappy about videogames, feeling accepted and changed by community, and more.

The games discussed this episode include:

You can also check out Dante’s games on his page, which has a favorites list that includes these games and many more. In the interview we discuss his A Game-Poem / In Which DEPRESSION / The Psychological Condition, / Is Presented Ludically, / In the Form of / A VIDEOGAME, and DIVINER.


We’ll be back in 2 weeks

Hi all! Unfortunately we don’t have an episode for you this time around. In the meantime, why not check out some of the interviews we did with fifteen of the folks we had at Playdate this year? You can find them all right here.

Now that Playdate’s over and Ben’s in the process of moving around for a little bit, we just didn’t have time to get together a full episode. We’ll be back in 2 weeks with the next one, we promise. And we also promise it’ll be real good.

Choosing any one of those interviews is impossible, but if you want a good jumping off point to dig into them, Ben has a few suggestions:

  • If performance art and ecofeminism are your jam, try this.
  • If you think games as installation art is interesting, this one has you covered.
  • If the intersection of play, cuteness, humor, and power is your jam, start here.
  • The scope of games and the trickiness of adapting them from other media is here.
  • And for a deeply personal discussion of one, try out this episode.

Each of these are good starting points; like we’ve said before, there isn’t one among the whole batch that we don’t think is valuable and interesting in its own right. We’ll see you all again in two weeks!

Playdate Interview Series: Sundays with Absalon

John Vanderhoef (@johnvanderhoef) joins us to talk about his game Sundays with Absalon.

Outside of games, John has been enjoying the MCU. Bela saw Guardians of the Galaxy, so we mostly talk about that. Ben also reveals a dirty secret about himself and those films, given that he’s sometimes a film critic.

This personal RPG Maker exploration leads to us talking about where the game comes from, relationships to mothers and motherhood in games, Anna Anthropy’s Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, where creative license comes into play, how systems can haunt games, and more.

Playdate Interview Series: Psychic

Ascot Smith (@ASCOT_WORLD) joins us to talk about his game Psychic.

Outside of games, we talk about working in a comics shop, and just how many boxes (in just how many cities) Ascot has full of comics.

This comical detective interactive fiction gets us on the topic of worldbuilding versus comedy, other media that involve telepathic animals, and more.

Playdate Interview Series: Mystal

Browntourage + Friends’ Tonia Beglari (@yaytonia) and Symrin Chawla (@sym_____ru) joins us to talk about their game Mystal.

Outside of games, we talk about Symrin’s performance piece.

This musical environmental exploration leads to us talking about ecofeminism, the desire to arrange the world, keeping secrets, telling the player to fuck themselves cryptically, and more.

Playdate Interview Series: You Must Be Eighteen Or Older To Enter

James Earl Cox (@just404it) joins us to talk Seemingly PointlessYou Must be Eighteen Or Older to Enter.

Outside of games, we talk about bad movies. Watching them, taking inspiration from Tommy Wiseau, and, especially, making them.

This ASCII-pointillist porn-watching simulator leads to us talking about installation art, non-traditional horror in games, and more.

Playdate Interview Series: L U C A H

Colin Horgan and Nicolo Telesca join us to talk about their game L U C A H

Before we get into it, Colin has been running and Nicolo has been re-watching Twin Peaks. We even solve a Windom-based mystery!

Okay, I’m going to straight up quote Colin here: for this “attempt to make Devil May Cry into an art game,” we talk about being raised Catholic, music as an integral part of game making, pacing, empowerment in a desolate world, and more.

Playdate Interview Series: Thing-in-Itself

We discuss Thing-in-Itself with Arseniy Klishin (@onegin13) and Laura Gray, aka Party for Introverts.

Outside of games, we talk about horror and fantasy, the new American Gods series, and cultural difference in checkers.

This philosophical relationship story brings up making stories personal and relatable, refusing wish-fulfillment, how the character impacts the world, and more.

Playdate Interview Series: Joggernauts

We discuss Joggernauts with Zachary Johnson (@zacharyjohson), Tommy Sunders (@SuperTommy64) and Robert Frost III (@HeyFrostiiie).

Outside of games, the team has been releasing music, modding an NES, and talking (non-games) VR.

In talking about this auto-runner with swearing and teamwork, we touch on appealing to people who aren’t going to buy it, the couch competitive scene, the game’s reception at various events, and more.

Playdate Interview Series: Climb!

Chronic Logic‘s Brent Arata (@BrentArata) joins us to talk about Climb!

Before we get into it, we talk about Brent’s 5-year plan to climb Everest, and some hikes he has done and will do along the way.

In discussing this ultraviolent party climber, we discuss puzzles vs parties, the studio’s philosophies, the games origins, and how it has come to be reflected in his own life.

Playdate Interview Series: Keep in Mind

We discuss Little Moth StudiosKeep in Mind with Cherylynn Lima (@rose_moth), Connor Bridgeman (@akuparagames), and Ian Melinn.

In discussing this psychological horror experience we cover a lot of ground. Making the move from painterly pixel art to more-immersive 3D, whether games need to be fun, communicating personal experiences, and being an indie games publisher are all on the table.

Playdate Interview Series: Walden

We discuss Walden, a game with Tracy Fullerton.

Before we get into it, we talk about the new baseball season. Tracy’s a Dodgers fan who has sympathy for the Giants this year.

For this Not A Survivalist Thoreau simulation, we talk about a decade(+) long development cycle, finding inspiration for games in the woods, incorporating criticism into the development process, and more.

Playdate Podcast Episode 7: Looking Back on Playdate 2016

For this episode of the Playdate Podcast, we take a look back at last year’s Playdate showcase. First we talk a little bit about how we got this thing going, and then Ben brings up Petscop, a new creepypasta with interesting design potential, and Bela talks about the flyer that Floppydisko made for Playdate 2017, which includes some shout outs to the Tiny Splendor collective and a short primer on risograph printing.

We’re doing this because May is a pretty big month over here! At the end of it (the 28th) we have the 2nd annual Playdate showcase as part of LA Zine Fest, which you can find more about here. So this episode is about our first one, and our next episode will be all about the one that’s about to happen. We’re also doing a bunch of short interviews with the participants of this year’s showcase, which we should be releasing on this very feed in the lead-up to the event.

The games we discuss in this episode are:

We certainly hope you can join us at LA Zine Fest for Playdate! And even if you can’t, check out the website; a big chunk of the games we’ll be showing have free versions or demos up online, so you can play them and be there with us in spirit.

And hey, if you do, feel free to let us know: we’re available on Twitter @PlaydateGS, on Facebook, and through email at playdategs[at]gmail[dot]com. We always love to get feedback, good or bad, on what we’re doing!



Playdate Podcast Episode 6: Slow Games, Quick Chat

This time around we chat games from the Slow Game Jam, a jam about privileging slowness in games. It’s another short episode, and this one has a couple audio issues. The beginning is recorded at my house so it’s significantly worse audio quality also, but I felt like it was important to note in the episode.

This time around, we talk:

Like we mentioned, submissions for the second annual Playdate are officially closed! All the games that were submitted are super special, and we’re excited to show off all of them that we can on May 28th at the California Market Center in Downtown LA, and hope (if you can) you join us!

Playdate Podcast Episode 5: All Things QGCon

This shorter episode is all about the Queerness and Games Conference. We both went to QGCon at the top of this month and wanted to chat about some of the talks that really hit us and some of the games that we played. Find QGCon at or on twitter @QGCon, and find the archives of all of 2017’s talks at &

The specific talks/panels we mention in the episode are:
Micro-talks: “Out of Sheer Spite” (timestamp: 33:55-end) +
Kris Ligman, Innes McKendrick, Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer, Carli Velocci, Tanya DePass, Zoë Quinn, Todd Harper

Keynote “Play as Transformative Work” (timestamp: 1:37:00-2:52:00)
T.L. Taylor

The games discussed are:
Downtown Browns by Tonia Beglari, Allison Comrie, Jazmin Garcia, Emilia Yang & Luciana Chamorro
Anthrotari by JC Holder
Cactus Blue Motel by Astrid Dalmady
On the Internet, Nobody by Matthew R.F. Balousek
Like Camping by smolghost

The Playdate pop-up at LA Zine Fest is coming up! Submissions to be considered are closing this weekend, and the festival is May 28th at the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles. We hope to see you there!

Playdate Podcast Episode 4: #Resist?

This time around Ben and Bela chat about ten games from the recently-completed #ResistJam. Before that though, we get a little bit into an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer & why M. Night Shyamalan is so fucking good. We also talk about our process with this one and our feelings about #Resist in general.

The games discussed in this episode are:

Quick reminder that submissions for Playdate, a pop up arcade at LA Zine Fest, are still open, so send something in! Playdate is co-organized by your co-hosts Ben and Bela. Get in touch with us with any questions or comments at playdategs[at]gmail[dot]com, or on Twitter or Facebook. Feel free to leave a rating or review on iTunes, or subscribe to the RSS feed here.

Playdate Podcast Episode 3: Games vs Nazis & John Warren Interview

Interview! We talked with John Warren about the Games vs Nazis Jam, which he helped judge. We chatted about judging jams, The Man in the High Castle‘s iffy arc, donating the jam’s proceeds to RAINN and the SPLC, and more.

Before that, we briefly discussed Playdate, Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out (spoilers from ~5:30-9:30). Then we do a Lightning Round for ten games from the Games vs Nazis Jam.

The games discussed in this episode are:

Quick reminder that submissions for Playdate, a pop up arcade at LA Zine Fest, are still open, so send something in! Playdate is co-organized by your co-hosts Ben and Bela. Get in touch with us with any questions or comments at playdategs[at]gmail[dot]com, or on Twitter or Facebook. Feel free to leave a rating or review on iTunes, or subscribe to the RSS feed here.

Playdate Podcast Special: Bela at Scream Queens

The next full episode of the Playdate Podcast won’t be until next week, but to tide you over we have a very special episode.

In this episode, Bela meets up with two members of the team for his game Little Bug to chat about representation, moms, and more. Sep, who is making the game’s music, hosted the interview on her radio show Scream Queens, and Iman, who is one of the writers, talks about what she wants from the game.

Follow Scream Queens on tumblr or visit their mixcloud to listen to the back catalogue. They’re super good.

Playdate Podcast Episode 2: Ride the Lightning Round

The Playdate Podcast returns to the Good Bundle with a new format. This time, we talk about ten games. After we say hello again and Bela tells you a little about what he’s planning on doing at GDC, we enter our new Lightning Round! In the lightning round, we talk the first eight games, offering one piece of praise and one piece of constructive criticism or critical insight.

After the Lightning Round, each of us chose one game to go a little deeper into. Ben talks about Loren Schmidt’s Beads of Orange Glass, focusing on the way that multiplayer changes the narrative of Glitch Art. Bela talks about how Monkey Pop inspired design thoughts in him.

Once again, submissions to Playdate at LA Zine Fest are still open! Head over to to send it in to show it to thousands of folks engaged in the DIY community. Also feel free to subscribe and rate the show on iTunes if you like!

In this episode, we discuss the games:
Catlateral Damage (Chris Chung) @CatlateralDMG
Trackoons (Laundry bear games + robert peacock) @laundry_bear
Blitz Breaker (Boncho Games) @blekdar
Judgement Arena (Missing Sentinel Software) @josefnpat
Spherakill (Spacetronaut) @ambocclusion & more
SnuggleBat (CodeJill) @codejill
Farbenspiel (Rat King) @RatKingsLair
Salvage Solitude 8140 (Missing Sentinel Software) @josefnpat
Beads of Orange Glass (Loren Schmidt) @lorenschmidt
Monkey Pop (Sleazy Wizard) @scumbly