The following is an episode of With a Terrible Fate’s weekly podcast discussing video-game storytelling from all angles. Find all episodes here.

On this episode of the With a Terrible Fate podcast, we celebrate Dan’s birthday with a conversation ranging from becoming a real boy to becoming a… real old man!

We begin with a postgame analysis of Lies of P in which it takes Aaron and Dan a hilariously long time to uncover that, contrary to their first impression based on each other’s perspective, they’d actually chosen different endings to the story! This lays the foundation for a discussion of how games’ content can prompt philosophical dialogues between their players, revealing a wealth of hidden depth that makes Lies of P well worth the time of the thoughtful gamer—especially if she comes to it with a background in the oeuvre of Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Later, we turn to Dan’s birthday as a context for revisiting formative childhood games we hated and striving to read them anew through the principle of charity, a core tenet of With a Terrible Fate‘s ethos. We articulate practical methods for approaching games from this perspective, including the distinction between asking what a game is “capital ‘A’ About” and what a game is “capital ‘S’ Saying.” When we apply these methods to some of those first games that left a bad taste in our mouths, we argue, we have the opportunity not just to discover new value in an old game, but also to recontextualize our entire gaming history in the bargain.

Whether you’re seeking new ways to evaluate the game you just finished or new values in the games you’ve been seething over for decades, this episode has something for you!

Works Referenced

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.

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.

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