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!

Aaron Suduiko

Aaron Suduiko - Founder and Chief Video Game Analyst

Aaron Suduiko is the founder of With a Terrible Fate and a philosopher of video-game storytelling. He specializes in the impact of player-avatar relations on game stories.  Learn more here.

Dan Hughes

Dan Hughes - Video Game Analyst

Dan Hughes has dabbled in everything from playwriting to religious studies to YouTube personas. He is the seriesrunner for With a Terrible Fate's "Now Loading... The Video Game Canon!"  Learn more here.

Adam Bierstedt

Adam Bierstedt - Video Game Analyst

Adam Bierstedt is an MA student studying Medieval Scandinavian literature and history. He focuses on the ways in which video-game systems—like lore, level design, and politics—influence our understanding of story.  Learn more here.

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