Hey, it occurred to me that I haven’t offered any behind the scenes insight to the 4th episode of The Space Quest Historian podcast, even though it’s been out for almost a week now. And I also promised on Twitter that y’all could listen to Serena “Indendant_S” Nelson’s rant about girl gaming uncensored (live und in farbe!), so … my apologies, Serena; rant away! No bleeps!
(Again, just wanna make it clear, these uncensored bits from the podcast are not affiliated with the Two Guys in any way. These are just for the added pleasure for those of you who find censor bleeps distracting.)
Anyway … girls. And gaming. Yeah, I was really braving the waters here. Far from a “silly” topic, like the previous episodes, I decided to dip my toes in and, quite serendipitously as it turned out, tackle what I’ve always thought was a huge elephant in the game room, so to speak. Honestly, Scott Murphy and I have had not just a few discussions on the subject of girls in gaming, so, inspired by the man’s own fabulous quote, “Girls have a right to be space losers as well,” I felt confident enough to provide my own take on what I think is, quite frankly, a fucked up misjudgement on the part of corporate game development and marketing that I feel has been perpetuated for far too long: that “girls don’t play games” — or, perhaps even worse, that certain games somehow had to be “marketed to women.”
I mean, what the fuck. Since when do anyone play games because they feel more like a man or a woman? Or anything in between, for that matter?
And, just to cap things off, a couple of days after the podcast came out, this article was published about just how fucked up the whole girl gaming thing is. So, not to toot my own horn or anything, maybe I really was onto something here.
So that was the topic I set out to do. Little did I know that real life would catch up with me while I was preparing the episode. A certain someone, who shall of course remain nameless until such time as it is no longer a liability, went ahead and outed our good friend Serena — yes, the same Serena — in the worst way possible. You just don’t do something like that. A veritable shitstorm ensued, and what Serena had planned to be an elaborate little “surprise” of sorts ended up being public knowledge in a way that definitely wasn’t intended. The whole thing was hurtful and I’m not going to waste too much time dwelling on it, but suffice it to say: We went ahead with the episode as planned; not a word changed … ‘cos what better way to stand up to a bully than to not give him the satisfaction!
So, from the bottom of my otherwise black and cold heart, thank you, Serena, for your bravery.
And my undying thanks as well to the other “femme fatales” of the adventure gaming community, Say Mistage and Cassie Benter, who joined Serena on the podcast to talk about just what kind of a fucked up notion “girl gaming” really is. To cap it all off, the man himself who inspired the whole thing, Mr. Scott Murphy, came in to tie a neat little Space Quest-ey bow around it.
And then, just to make sure we weren’t getting too high on our pedestals, we bring in my dear friend, Professor Jess Morrissette (yes, he really is a professor!), to recap the female presence that exists in Space Quests 1-6.
After that, we once again let our hair down (quite literally) and listen to part two of Brandon Blume’s excellent SQ4 metal medley, along with commentary by both the man himself and also the man who actually composed most of the damn thing, the gentleman of music, Mr. Ken Allen … who, shockingly, actually didn’t compose the bit we were talking about here (the Landing Bay theme), and who decided to use the opportunity to verbalize a giant love letter to the community that has preserved his (and other composer’s) music for the ages. Wow. Right back at ya, sir.
And, lastly, Jeremy Kitchen from Infamous Quests (formerly Infamous Adventures) went in to talk about the art he did for Space Quest II VGA and what he might’ve done, had the plans for the Space Quest III VGA remake gone through. Jeremy actually did send me on a wild ride, trying to weed out the many times he said “shit” during the podcast — which I don’t mind at all, but there was one I missed, and I had to literally “stop the press!” and hurriedly prepare a new version of the podcast for release. (And someone tells me there’s still an unbleeped word in there, so … uh, cover your ears, please.)
A thing about the censorship, actually: I suppose you’ve noticed by now that my “censor bleep” noise is actually the “points” sound effect from SQ4. It’s my subtle way of awarding people who swear on my podcast “points” for doing so. I don’t mind having to bleep swear words, but I also reserve the right to have a little fun with it as well. ;)
Anyway, not much to say in terms of actual production here. This episode went rather smoothly; everyone handed in their stuff way ahead of time; I recorded my spiel in one smooth get-go; and the mixing only took about a couple of hours, most of which were spent finding the right music cues. Oh, that reminds me; another thanks goes out to Brandon Blume, who provided me with Tandy-3 versions of the SQ4 soundtrack, which you’ll mostly hear while the ladies are talking.
There ya go! I promise; the upcoming episodes won’t have nearly as weighty topics to explore. In fact, we’re going right back to just being nerdy about the games themselves. The next two episodes, right up until Christmas, are all about game glitches, easter eggs, secret assets in resource files and even hidden soundtracks. So that’s something to look forward to … I hope? Yeah, don’t answer that.