Video Games

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 47: Rachel Weil on Femicom and the Value of Preserving Classic 'Girl' Video Games


Do you remember all of those video games that were made for girls back in the 90s? Well they're not being archived the same way that stereotypical boy games are being preserved. They don't have value in the gaming community and many of these games are being forgotten even though they were just as creative and innovative for the industry. Our guest Rachel Weil is trying to change that by preserving these 'girl' games by going around the world and collecting these games and talking to the people who made them. She is a software developer for Microsoft and the founder of the Femicom Museum, a hybrid physical/digital museum and archive dedicated to the preservation and reimagination of femininity, girlhood, and the aesthetics of cute within twentieth-century video games, computing, and electronic toys. Rachel did not appear on the Adam Ruins Everything TV show but her work reminded us of the themes we explored in our Adam Ruins Summer Fun episode. And since we're in the off-season of the TV show, we'll be inviting more guests onto the podcast whose work relates to themes we explored on the TV show or who are doing fascinating work or research that's worth discussing anyway. On the podcast Adam and Rachel had a lively discussion about gender expectations, the negative effects of marketing towards girls and boys, their favorite classic games and even their favorite savory breakfasts.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at

Produced by Shara Morris for

Story Break Episode 46: Stardew Valley: Monster Hunter

Story Break

After getting a split-result on a poll, the team blends the story of two of today's hottest games: Stardew Valley and Monster Hunter: World!

Story Break #43: Mario

Story Break
Alex Lemley

The team is joined by the creator of @SuperMarioFact, Alex Lemley, to break the potential story behind the upcoming Mario movie!

Story Break Episode 41: Duke Nukem

Story Break

This week the team attempts to break the story of gaming's beefiest boy: Duke Nukem!

Story Break Episode 34: Contra

Story Break

This week the team attempts to break the story of the game that has been known to "break" lesser players.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 18: Game Designer Jonathan Blow Unpacks 'The Witness'


On the Adam Ruins Everything podcast, Adam typically brings experts who appeared on the TV show to further expand on the arguments they make on the show. But during the off-season of the TV show, we thought we'd try something new. We are going to start bringing guests onto the show who may or may not have appeared on the show, but who are just as thoughtful and groundbreaking in their work.
Today's guest is Jonathan Blow, the indie game developer who is best known as the creator of Braid and The Witness. In The Witness, which was released last year to rave reviews, a player walks around a picturesque island solving complex puzzles. The puzzles themselves are not only incredibly challenging and quite philosophical, but they're almost a glimpse into the highly intelligent mind of Jonathan himself. Jonathan attended the University of California at Berkeley, and worked several jobs including Game Developer Magazine, before releasing Braid in 2008.On the podcast, Jonathan and Adam discuss The Witness at length... including, SPOILER ALERT, the solutions to puzzles and the game's ending! (Don't worry, spoilers will be clearly marked, so you have time to pause.) Within the game, they discuss architecture's role in gaming, how the game raises questions about religion and the self, and much more. If you're planning on playing the game, we encourage you to pause the episode before it gets spoilery and play the game yourself before finishing the episode.

Judge John Hodgman Episode 272: On Advice of Console

Monte Belmonte

On Judge John Hodgman this week, Tarah brings her husband, Jason, to court over their disagreement about video game consoles. Tarah would like to buy a console for their two kids, but Jason is strongly opposed. Who's right? Who's wrong?

With Summertime Funtime Guest Bailiff Monte Belmonte!

Thank you to Sebastián Luis Chávez for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.


You can still buy tickets for the Judge John Hodgman Live Justice tour! Check out the right side of this page or for links and more information!


#68 - Best Classic Arcade Game with Austin Creed aka Xavier Woods

Austin Creed

In the rich history of the arcade, so many games have captured our imaginations, our hearts, and tons of our quarters. But which game rules supreme over them all? Mark and Hal go into co-op mode and enlist the help of Up Up Down Down Host Austin Creed, also known as one third of the WWE's New Day, Xavier Woods! Austin's gaming bona fides are no joke, so get ready for one of the greatest video game mysteries of all time to finally be solved!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Elizabeth Gilbert, Gillian Jacobs, Fred Armisen

Elizabeth Gilbert
Gillian Jacobs
Fred Armisen
Keith Phipps
Nathan Rabin

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Elizabeth Gilbert on Curiosity, Writing "The Signature of All Things" & Life After "Eat, Pray, Love"

If you know of the writer Elizabeth Gilbert, it's probably from her 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love. Gilbert's book -- about travel and love and re-gaining confidence and a sense of self -- spent years atop the bestseller list, inspired a movie starring Julia Roberts, and saddled Gilbert with a certain kind of fame.

Gilbert was already an accomplished novelist, biographer and journalist when that happened. But the massive success of Eat, Pray, Love necessarily transformed Gilbert's creative life.

Gilbert has returned to fiction with her first novel in thirteen years, entitled The Signature of All Things: A Novel. She spent several years researching for the book, which adventures of Alma Whittaker, a 19th century botanist who studies moss. The book shines with Alma's curiosity for life and science and the struggle of self-discovery.

Join us for an extended conversation with Gilbert, including talk of "dirty words" from the 19th century which didn't make the radio edit.

She'll talk about why she chose to write a "great moss novel", how she chose to write her heroine Alma (homely, brilliant, and moneyed), and how she dealt with the fame that her memoir bestowed on her.

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The Dissolve Talks about All-Time Favorite Movies: "Real Life" and "To Be or Not to Be"

This week, a look back at some favorite films. Staff writer Nathan Rabin and Editorial Director Keith Phipps of film site The Dissolve join us to talk about some of their all-time favorite films.

Nathan recommends Albert Brooks' 1979 satire Real Life, a prescient look at documenting "real life" in pre-reality television times.

Keith recommends the 1942 Ernst Lubitch classic To Be or Not to Be (Criterion Collection), starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard.

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"I Wish I'd Made That": Talking about Kraftwerk's "Computer World" with Fred Armisen

We often talk to artists about their influences -- the movies, music, and art that inspired them creatively. Some of that stuff is so good and so perfect that they sometimes wish they’d made it themselves.

So we're introducing a new segment that's just about those things. We're calling it "I Wish I'd Made That."

This week, we're talking to eleven-season cast member of Saturday Night Live and the co-creator of Portlandia, Fred Armisen.

We caught up with him just a few weeks ago at Tenacious D's Festival Supreme. He had just performed as his British punk alter-ego Ian Rubbish (alongside Bow Wow Wow's Leigh Gorman on bass, Blondie's Clem Burke on drums and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on guitar).

Armisen talked to us about Computer World, the 1981 release from the German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk.

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Gillian Jacobs on Surviving Juilliard and the Unique Challenges and Joys of Working on NBC's "Community"

Gillian Jacobs may never know what it’s like to play the ingenue. As an actress, she has an energy that’s hard to pin down, but it’s anything but naive. After a tough stint at Juilliard's acting school, Jacobs pursued a career in film and television, often being cast in dark, gritty roles. However, in 2009 her career took a sudden lurch in the opposite direction when she was cast in a very different role.

You probably know her as Britta Perry, the confident and outspoken student opposite Joel McHale’s self-involved lawyer-turned-study group leader Jeff Winger on Community. Britta is exceptionally eager, mostly to the vexation of her peers who often voice their displeasure at her stances on social issues. Her friends often describe her as "the worst", but she's ever-confident in her own identity.

When Jacobs signed up for the role in Community, all she knew was that Joel McHale had been cast in it, but she soon realized that it would be a very unique and ambitious show.

In this extended conversation with Jacobs, we'll talk about why she didn't fit in at Juilliard, her big break on Community, and get a peek behind the scenes on a beloved but aggrieved network show.

Jacobs co-stars with Ken Marino in the new movie Bad Milo!, available now on VOD, and plays Britta on NBC’s Community. The show's fifth season premieres in January.

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The Outshot: Grand Theft Auto V

Jesse tells us why a perfect balance between the real and unreal makes Grand Theft Auto V so enticing.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Shane Carruth of Upstream Color and Rodney Ascher of Room 237

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Shane Carruth
Rodney Ascher
Kumail Nanjiani
Emily V. Gordon

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Video Games with The Indoor Kids: Ms. Splosion Man and BioShock Infinite

Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, co-hosts of video game podcast The Indoor Kids, join us to share their favorite new releases. Their first pick is Ms. Splosion Man, an imaginative platformer newly available on iOS. (Think Super Mario meets spontaneous self-combustion.) For a lengthier experience, check out BioShock Infinite, which (literally) takes the first BioShock to even greater heights.

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Upstream Color Director Shane Carruth on Creating Cryptic Cinema

Nearly ten years have passed since the release of writer/director Shane Carruth's first low-budget film, a complex time travel movie called Primer. Film fans are still obsessed with teasing out the intricacies of the story, about a time-travel machine and the men who engineered the machine. But within that story, there are emotional and ethical struggles that keep the audience riveted -- a quality that's become a hallmark of Carruth's small but powerful filmography.

Carruth wrote, directed, starred and composed all of the music for Primer, and he had the same all-consuming roles in his new film, Upstream Color. The movie is just as difficult to explain as his first. Upstream Color's two lead characters seem to have a shared experience of bodily manipulation, and cling to that sameness because they have nothing else. The movie delves deeply into identity and loss, and comes through with a powerful emotional experience.

Shane Carruth joins us to talk about the upsides and downsides of independent filmmaking, why plot summary doesn't always get to a movie's heart, and the best James Bond movie that will never be made.

Upstream Color is in select theaters nationwide. The film is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and on demand on May 7.

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Comedy: Kyle Kinane Goes on a Fast Food Adventure

Kyle Kinane had a problem. He was craving fast food, but he'd had a little too much to drink. But he found a solution. It involved a little bit of ingenuity, a wallet's worth of cash, and a very patient cab driver.

This clip comes from Kyle Kinane's latest special, Whiskey Icarus, which is available as a digital download or a CD/DVD. He'll be performing at MaxFunCon 2013 in late May.

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Director Rodney Ascher Opens The Door On Room 237

Stanley Kubrick's movie The Shining made a huge cultural impression. It's a classic horror movie about the psychological tolls of isolation, the dissolution of a family, the Holocaust, and how Kubrick helped fake the moon landing.

Wait a second. The Holocaust? Moon landing? Yep. The new documentary Room 237 features increasingly eye-widening theories about the hidden subtexts of The Shining. Movies often inspire intense debate over authorial intent, but Kubrick's known perfectionism and deliberate filmmaking often take this discussion to another level.

Room 237's director Rodney Ascher sits down with us to discuss some of the film's more creative theories, as well as whether or not there's such a thing as too much interpretation.

Room 237 is out now in select theaters nationwide and available on video on-demand.

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The Outshot: The Grand Tour by George Jones

Pop music is usually for young people – what better audience is there for short, simple, high-energy music? But what does pop music sound like when it grows up? To answer that question, Jesse takes a look at a song by George Jones, called The Grand Tour.

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