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The Life & Times of Video Games

Leisure

An award-nominated documentary and narrative audio series about video games and the video game industry — as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are today. History doesn't just vanish into the distance behind us; it casts a very long shadow that affects everything that comesRead more

Popular episodes

The Tomb Raider grid (remastered)

Oct 25 • 01:01:56

To celebrate the 25th birthday of my favourite game franchise, I thought I'd pull out the old Tomb Raider grid episodes from Season 1 and merge them into one. I also put some time into cleaning up the audio, though it'll still sound rough compared to newer episodes — given the lower-fidelity recordings I was using then. Here's the original episode description:...

33 - MobyGames, the IMDB of Video Games

Oct 3 • 58:04

There was no encyclopaedia nor fleshed-out database of video games in 1999. There were barely even any reliable or comprehensive lists of video games. Not until Jim Leonard decided he needed to build one....

Interview: Kate Willaert (A Critical Hit)

Aug 5 • 01:34:55

I speak to games historian and graphic designer Kate Willaert about her research and current projects, as well as her efforts to turn this work into a job....

32 - Flight Control, the simple little iPhone game that helped redefine an industry

May 19 • 43:55

How a game designed in a week helped to change everything — for the company that made it, for a local industry in turmoil, and for a global industry in transition. ...

Interview: Andrew Borman (Strong Museum of Play, PtoPOnline)

Apr 28 • 58:24

The Strong Museum of Play's digital games curator Andrew Borman describes his deep passion for uncovering and preserving cancelled, unreleased, and prototype games. This is so much more than a vocation for him, and here you get to hear all the stories and insights he shared with me when I interviewed him for the season 4 finale, The Ghosts of Games That Never Were....

Soundbite: Chris Crawford on thinking in processes vs facts

Feb 24 • 10:45

When I interviewed the legendary game designer and GDC founder Chris Crawford for episode 30, on his famous Dragon Speech, I asked him if he'd have pursued this dragon had he known he'd still be chasing it three decades later. He admitted that he probably would have not. He'd have instead put his energy into making more simulations, teaching people to think in a way that h...

31 - Ghosts of Games That Never Were

Jan 29 • 42:14

What about the games that never make it to market? Do they have stories worth telling, or lessons worth learning? These are the ghosts of games that never were....

Soundbite: Chris Crawford on how to give a great speech

Jan 17 • 11:47

If you've listened to episode 30 of the show, even if you weren't previously aware of his work, you'll know what a brilliant orator Chris Crawford is. The Dragon Speech, that famous moment where he charged out of the games industry — by literally charging out of the room — was arguably his magnum opus. And it was only possible thanks to Chris's mastery of the spoken word. ...

A Christmas gift from meow to you

Dec 23 • 11:26

Given the hellish year we've had in 2020, I thought it'd be fun to close the year with a touch of levity...in the form of my cat, interrupting me, and just generally wanting to be podcast famous. ...

Interview: Sam Dyer (Bitmap Books)

Dec 22 • 01:15:45

I speak to Bitmap Books founder/publisher/owner/designer Sam Dyer about the hows and whys of publishing visually-led, high-quality books about games history, including why he loves to publish them and why they are so much more than just "picture books" — indeed, as we cover in the interview, there's both a huge amount of care and craft that goes into making them and we can...

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