The RPS Electronic Wireless: Leigh Alexander!

By Kieron Gillen on March 19th, 2009 at 10:44 am.

We’ve been promising this for a while, but I’ve finally managed to go through and edit this. It’s still fifty minutes recorded when I was off in New York for NYCC and crashing overnight at game journalist dynamo Leigh Alexander‘s Brooklyn apartment. At near midnight, after hitting a bar somewhere, whilst drinking some manner of whiskey. We mainly focus on Leigh’s background in games and her ongoing interests – which includes lots on sex and sexuality in games, and culture generally. It’s both more off-topic and probably more explicit than usual. To say the least. It’s a fascinating carcrash between some fancy games and cultural theory and… well, just a carcrash. Also, takes a while to get the mic position sorted so Leigh’s laugh causes some peaks, especially early on. We know that some of you are sensitive like that. Anyway – you can download it direct here, it has a special internet home and here’s the Itunes home, while the full running order is beneath the cut…

0:01 Intro, which includes lies about not having done a podcast in a while. It was done back in February, when we hadn’t. Hello Kieron! Hello Leigh!
0:35: Which podcast is best? Is it ours? Is it?
1:20: Some Xenophobia. RPS reader percentages.
1:43: This is as loud as Leigh gets, by the way, and we sort out the mikes from now on in. Don’t run away, sensitive-eared listener.
1:55 Kieron introduces Leigh and what we’re going to do – as in, interview her about her history with PC games and why she stopped being a PC gamer.
2:55 Leigh’s history in gaming and having a blessed childhood.
6:30 Leigh’s cat makes its first entrance as she talks about her depression with Crashing PC Games.
7:05 Leigh says the word “lugubrious”.
7:50 Leigh talks about Majestic. Kieron suggests that stalker internet boyfriends are the new ARGs.
9:25 Kieron is silent for a very long time.
9:30 We start discussing Japanese Dating Simulators. As in, Hentai videogames and Leigh’s reviewing thereof. Also, her cat making noises.
11:10 Leigh tries to get Kieron in trouble with his girlfriend.
11:30 Hentai Achievements on Xbox Live. Discuss.
12:30 Sincere romantic stories in the game leads to Kana Little Sister. Plus stirring defense of incest in fiction on Leigh’s part.
14:05 Kieron proves that he isn’t mature enough for this conversation. Leigh soldiers on.
14:50 Why does none of this get reviewed? Other than Leigh and Something Awful. And more importantly, why can’t Leigh get free copies?
16:55 Leigh is upset that Kieron may edit the podcast. He did edit the podcast, though not to clean it up. Just to remove the totally slanderous stuff. Though not all.
17:40 “Refining our approach to sexuality in videogames”. Yes. Leigh takes in how it works in real world drama. Kieron interjects with meanness against fellow RPS members.
19:00 Leigh gets worryingly close to confessing she’s a furry.
21:05 Do drunk podcasts work? Drunks! A little about what we’ve been up to. Possibly not on topic.
22:20 The story about the man who stunk of piss. Kieron is mean to another member of RPS.
23:00 Why are we interested in shitty videogame narratives? The reason why videogame movies suck and our love of certain characters in games.
25:10 Cheesy hentai conventions which, in themselves, can be the entire point. Yes.
26:45 Kieron paraphrases John Walker’s argument against her position. Perhaps too paraphrased.
27:40 Red Alert 3 add-on discussions. Leigh proves she understands PC Games. Communazis.
28:30 Kieron gets back to the point: the Highlander’s Understanding Comics and iconic imprinting on simple narrative.
30:10 Halo Novels and other spin offs. Kieron may get no more work from certain employers. Deep Resident Evil Fanfiction.
31:10 Games Journalist slash/fic. No, really.
32:25 Leigh does NOT fancy Warren Spector. We tease about his seeekrit product.
33:00 Kieron calls Leigh on her Furryness. Leads to a serious chat about animal sexual characteristics in humans: “The theoreticals of certain fetishes”.
36:10 Kieron pours Leigh more booze. Will they never learn? Debate continues on similar sexual elements and literalism in Western culture.
38:00 Bonesville as a western porn game. Plus Red Light District. Swiftly segues to Second Life not turning Leigh on. At All.
39:20 Escort review sites for Second Life. Leigh plugs her column on Red Light District. How having people in her sex fantasies is a turn off.
41:00 Cybersex versus Avatar Based sex.
42:15 Kieron probably asks too personal questions. Leigh talks about Roleplay scenarios back in the day and wrestles with her aversion to avatar-sex.
43:25 Second life and games journalist Matthew Kumar. We are incredibly mean to Matt Kumar.
45:00 Leigh talks about people who take Snow Crash a bit too seriously. Kieron just won’t leave Matt Kumar alone.
46:45 Leigh is very arrogant. Kieron is very mean. Plus GEEK PRIDE…
48:00 Except that geek. You know the one. The one who likes Second Life.
50:00 Sex and the Sims.
50:05 Which Leigh brings in tales of small town bicuriosity and making Jesus and Priests have sex. No, really. The Sims as an experimental lab of race, sex and class.
51:50 Sick things Leigh does with the Sims.
53:00 “Maybe I’m just a psycho”.
53:15 Wrapping up and high fives. Leigh Loves you.

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103 Comments »

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  1. Feet says:

    This should be amusing.

  2. ChaosSmurf says:

    FEMALES? ON MY INTERNET? and such forth.

  3. Feet says:

    I’m going to stop listening to Three Moves Ahead ep4 to listen to this. Should be an interesting change of pace. ¬_¬

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    We talk about terrain briefly!

    KG

  5. Fashigady says:

    Wow, can’t wait to listen to this… I think :/

  6. Feet says:

    Here you go Leigh, the whole of the Last Express on vimeo.

    http://vimeo.com/3089597

  7. PC Monster says:

    Anyone would think you’re a bit smitten, Keiron, the way you keep banging…on about her. :P

  8. Feet says:

    Come on, let’s be honest the entire internet gaming community is smitten with her.

  9. Premium User Badge

    MacBeth says:

    PC Monster, that’s been obvious for months…

  10. Steven Hutton says:

    I have to say after trying for 2 HOURS last night to get a game on left 4 dead which didn’t immediately disconnect me from whichever awful basement server the game was running on. I can really sympathise with Leigh’s move to consoles.

  11. Okami says:

    You know, at some point you will run out of naming conventions for the podcast file and have to use re-use an old one..

  12. PC Monster says:

    “Come on, let’s be honest the entire internet gaming community is smitten with her.”

    I’m not. Does this mean I’m not part of the gaming community? :(

  13. Kieron Gillen says:

    Okami: I thought I re-used the one most of them have been? What have I fucked up?

    KG

  14. Klaus says:

    @ PC Monster.

    Yes, that’s exactly what it means. Some men in nice hats will be at your location shortly to decommission you. Thank you and good day.

  15. PC Monster says:

    *cries*

    Meanwhile…great point about game narratives usually sucking hard. Resident Evil had a pants narrative, but was enjoyable to play. What’s with that?

  16. Bobsy says:

    “deleted the slanderous stuff”? What about the libel? Surely that’s more pertinent?

  17. Kieron Gillen says:

    I like to think we’re in conversation with you guys rather than broadcasting, because we’re all friends. Except with pedants. Those guys are tedious as hell.

    KG

  18. Pedant says:

    Your last sentence should have another as in it; “those guys are AS tedious as hell”

    XD

  19. Serenegoose says:

    Achievement unlocked! Mr Bubbles: Be the adored playmate of 50 underage girls.

  20. Kieron Gillen says:

    Well played.

    EDIT: You too, Serenegoose.

    KG

  21. Feet says:

    @ PC Monster
    Ok, smitten is probably the wrong word, the gaming community should certainly think that she’s awesome though. ;)

    I’d say Leigh deserves a huge amount of credit for her work in games journalism. The whole Rapelay thing she did recently being a case in point, but her abberant gamer column contains loads of great articles. She’s smart, articulate and clearly love games. And, well, she’s a she. So she can’t be instantly dismissed as a testorone-filled pervert.

    She does write about consoles too much though.

  22. Matt says:

    You guys really need some better mic’s! the high pitched breakup is destroying my ears. Aside from that, good cast.

  23. Roritharr says:

    This was an incredible podcast… i’d love to talk about games like that, but here in germany most people haven’t accepted video games and so it is still stigmatized if you try to talk about it seriously.
    At Night.
    On a kitchen floor.
    Drunk.

  24. PC Monster says:

    @Feet

    Sorry, I tend to get a bit literal. But yeah, I agree – she’s a very interesting figure. Doesn’t hurt that she’s also pleasant on the eye but I’ve read and enjoyed more than one of her reviews and blog posts. Exploring the areas of gaming that she does is also very brave and highly commendable.

  25. Okami says:

    I’ve allways thought of myself as beeing pedantic in a rather cheerful and nice sort of way. I’m also a really rather sloppy pedant, since this really is the most common naming convention.

    *sigh*

    Anyway, what’s more important than my stupid nitpicking is, that this is, as always, a grand podcast.. Made even better by mentions of bunny girls and cat girls.

    Err…

  26. Kieron Gillen says:

    Okami: In your case, I seriously want to know what I did wrong. :)

    KG

  27. MetalCircus says:

    A GIRL.

    WHAT

  28. Okami says:

    You actually did nothing wrong. I just tried to be pedantic about all the RPS podcasts having files named after different naming conventions and failed. Miserably. Because there actually is a certain method to it.

  29. Matt Kemp says:

    Insightful comments hidden between piercing laughter.

    My brain hurts now (from both).

  30. Kerotan says:

    That was awesome, I enjoyed it very much.

    Also I love the shittyness factor if you know what I mean from all these podcasts, something touches me when it is announced through cackly mics that you’re recording from the bedroom/kitchen/train, and then podcast starts to derail minutes into the discussion of things I wouldn’t traditionally associate with gaming, but are still incredibly interesting.

    Bravo.

  31. Tworak says:

    Who? Also, sex?

  32. pignoli says:

    @Matt: The mic is fine, it’s just the pitch of the voice going into it is too high for a pc game podcast…

    Interesting insights into a segment of gaming I don’t really have the time or inclination to get into though, nice work.

  33. Markoff Chaney says:

    Enjoyable Listen! Slight variations in loudness and timber lead toward keeping my hand on the volume, but the content was enjoyable. Good to hear a colonist’s voice on an RPS podcast. ;)

  34. Leigh says:

    I hardly remember any of this conversation. And man, I am an annoying drunk!

    Thanks for the very kind things you said about me, though.

  35. Baris says:

    Brilliant podcast, I had never looked at sexuality in hentai or MMO games that way before. Kieron’s comment at the very end almost had me on the floor with laughter too, definitely a nice way to end it.

  36. Kieron Gillen says:

    I almost cut that actually.

    KG

  37. Baris says:

    Glad that you didn’t, while the whole podcast was very funny that last bit at the end really made it perfect.

  38. Nutterguy says:

    Glad you didn’t because it was priceless! X-D

  39. Nutterguy says:

    oh Jinx!

  40. Kieron Gillen says:

    It was a borderline “I think this is funny but someone will take it seriously and say ‘You’re disrespecting your readers!'”. But totally went for it.

    KG

  41. Nutterguy says:

    …and that’s why you are who you are and we love you all the same!

  42. PC Monster says:

    …and you were spot on. *whistles nonchalantly*

  43. Robin says:

    More drunken podcasts please.

    Leigh should try emulating the old Japanese home computers (PC-98 etc.). Some of the 1990s eroge are interesting. Developers only had a few floppies worth of storage, 16 colours and midi music to play with, but were still able to make the games weirdly atmospheric. Every picture had to be a ‘payoff’ (ahem).

    Yeah, I probably wasted my teenage years.

  44. AndrewC says:

    There’s a lot of furry-hating and general ‘look what shit Japan came up with now!’ that goes on around the Internets I frequent – and lord knows it’s fun. But Leigh gave a pretty good explanation of why it always felt a touch ‘off’ to me – namely the stuff about Westerners treating their narratives literally, but those crazy Japs being much more abstract about their stories. The mocking suggests we’re better, as opposed to just very, very different. Still, as long as I can mock Halo fans with equal brio I guess i’m balanced out. And Resident Evil 5 is soooooo racist.

    However she never seemed to be able to elucidate her misgivings about second life sex beyond ‘eeeuuuu!’. Maybe it was because she was too drunk by that point, Kieron you terrible man.

  45. Saskwach says:

    I hate admitting this but I have in fact read the first three Halo novels, when I was young and stupid, or maybe just a bit younger and more stupid than now. God were they terrible. Fittingly enough, the worst by far was The Flood, which was a novelisation of the game (how anyone could have thought that a good idea I don’t know, but then they got my money for it so who am I to judge?) while the best was The Fall of Reach, which was a prequel, and thus the least constrained by the game plots.

  46. The_B says:

    There should totally be an achievement when you start a hentai game.

    ACHIEVEMENT UNLOC…
    This never normally happens. Honest!

  47. AndrewC says:

    Halo game plots hahahahaha. We all did stupid things when we were young.

  48. PleasingFungus says:

    Saskwach: Honestly, I really rather liked The Fall of Reach. Shame it vanished mysteriously from my shelves about a year ago.

    I’ll agree with you about the rest, though, especially The Flood. That one was… so very bad.

    (Halfway through the podcast now, paused to respond to Leigh’s question about the Halo novels. It’s like I’m having a real-time conversation! Except, less so.)

  49. Okami says:

    A novelization of the original Halo game?

    That sounds grand.

    The master chief was told to look up, so he looked up. Then he was told to look down and he did that as well. After he had looked up and down, he had to look left and right and not even that was an obstacle for the hero.

    tbc…

  50. Kester says:

    @Okami: And I guess the second half of the book would just be the first half, only written backwards.