The following is an episode of The Drawing Board, a podcast and video series by With a Terrible Fate that highlights the unstructured conversations about video games from which our analytical content is derived.
Welcome to the third installment of Meet the Game Analysts, a video interview series designed to give readers of With a Terrible Fate a richer understanding of the people behind the video-game-story analyses available to read in this publication.
Dan and Aaron sat down with Adam Bierstedt, affectionately known as the “resident historian” of With a Terrible Fate. By now a known quantity in With a Terrible Fate’s work, Adam debuted three years ago with an analysis of how real-world models of kingship can change our understanding of Breath of the Wild’s story; since then, he’s covered myriad games and concepts, including plot holes in Fire Emblem: Awakening, an interpretation of Final Fantasy VII Remake as apocalyptic literature, and, most recently, a study of how Midgar’s Sector 5 Church challenges our understanding of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
We spoke with Adam about a wide range of topics, including:
- How an email conversation about Xenoblade Chronicles led to him analyzing games on With a Terrible Fate
- Ideas he’s been contemplating for years about Golden Sun, GRIS, and Hollow Knight
- How to analyze games, and why sparking conversation can be more valuable than being right
- What game analysis has in common with interpreting a 14th-century manuscript
- How video games can teach us about history, and how history can illuminate our understanding of video games
- The right and wrong ways to invoke authorial intent in a video-game-story analysis
- Why Azeroth is probably a more fleshed-out world than Middle Earth
- His life outside of With a Terrible Fate, including his academic career and his work on Twitch and YouTube as Ludohistory
Check out the full interview below—and look forward to more analyses from Adam coming soon!