Episode 9: Life is Strange – Suicide Ain’t Painless


Life is Strange is one of the stand-out games of the last few years. What makes it work so well, though? And what’s going on under the surface? Is there a difference between raising issues under-represented in gaming and actually dealing with those issues? We take a look at the subtext, the mechanics, the characters and the games it sits alongside.

Spoilers for the whole of Life is Strange, natch.

Cited works (in progress):





Episode 8: Layers Of Fear – “Littered With The Corpses Of Once Beautiful Women”


For halloween our intrepid heroes delve deep into the gothic with a look at Layers Of Fear. Beneath the game’s beautiful exterior lurks a dark, worm-ridden subtext, but like the best of the genre there’s a perverse pleasure in coming back for one more taste…

Spoilers for Layers Of Fear and its Inheritance DLC.

References and Recommended reading:

Carol J. Clover. Men, Women and Chainsaws; Gender in Modern Horror Film

Vivian Sobchack.  Child/Alien/Father: Patriarchal Crisis and Generic Exchange.’ in Close Encounters: Film, Feminism, and Science Fiction

Barbara Creed.  ‘Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine; An Imaginary Abjection.’ in  The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis

Linda Williams.  ‘When the Woman Looks.’ in Horror, the Film Reader

Barbara Creed.  ‘Dark Desires; Male Masochism in the Horror Film.’ in Screening the Male: Exploring Masculinities in the Hollywood Cinema

Peter Hutchings. ‘Masculinity and the Horror Film.’ in You Tarzan: Masculinity, Movies and Men

Brigid Cherry. ‘Refusing to Refuse to Look; Female Viewers of the Horror Film.’ in Horror, the Film Reader

Dale Townshend (Editor), Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination

Episode 7: Finding Something To Fight For – The Last Of Us


We spent this podcast looking at the last 6 issues in relation to ‘The Last of Us’, so expect all the spoilers, some bickering, lots of pondering and thoughts on topics such as damaged dads, absent mums, patriarchy, narrative points, game play versus story telling, character point of view, and all the subtext, that’s right, all of it.

Spoilers for the games: The Last of Us, Left Behind DLC, Life is Strange, Gone Home, Bioshock Infinite, Walking Dead season 2, Witcher 3

Resources and Recommendations:

We Don’t Talk About Kenny: Telltale’s Walking Dead Season 2‘ by Innuendo Studios

‘The Last of Us’ by Errant Signal

The Last Of Us – The Movie (Marathon Edition)‘ by dansg08

The Making of The Last of Us‘ from PlayStation

‘Passionate Detachments:An Introduction to Feminist Film Theory’ By Sue Thornham

Episode 5: Parents – ‘Elizabeth, Why Is Your Mom A Ghost?’

lady-comstockIn which our heroes discuss the way parents are represented in recent games . . . or not represented most of the time, if they’re mums.  Questions on our minds were: how do divorce rates and single-parent families affect representation in games? Does the in-game patriarchy reappropriate ‘female suffering’? Daughters, hot or not? Do daughters sit in judgement on the decline of patriarchy, or inherit the power-baton from dear ol’ Dad?  What’s progressive about these games and what might they be saying about the role of women in hyper-masculinised landscapes?

Spoilers for the games: Last of Us, Witcher 3, Bioshock Infinite, Walking Dead 1 & 2, Dishonored.

Referenced and recommended resources:

‘Melodrama and Men in Post-Classical Romantic Comedy’, Kathleen Rowe, Me Jane: masculinity, movies, and women, ed. Pat Kirkham, Janet Thumin

Where are all the video game moms?’, Colin Campbell

‘Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?’, Sarah Boxer

‘They will remember this: How Telltale taught me to love and fear parenting’,

‘Putting My Girl Back Together Again’, G. Christopher Williams

‘Let’s Get Real about Fatherhood and Video Games’, Greg Pollock

‘The Last of Us, Bioshock: Infinite and why all video game dystopias work the same way’, Keith Stuart

‘Brutal:Manhood and the Exploitation of Animals’, Brian Luke