Raising a Geek Child: Vol. 2

March 16, 2018

[School of Everything Else 2018]

We're back for the second part of this series (we may do another in the future, it really depends which parents want to contribute their experiences). 

We have an even broader range of guests and questions, with geeky children ranging from toddlers to tweens. 



Jesse Ferguson father of Connor aged 10 & Erin aged 15 

James Batchelor father of Freddy aged 20 months (Bond & Beyond)

Matt Wardle father of Scott aged 12 (New Century)

Brittanie Boe mother of Hailey Boe aged 8 (BeBoldGames)

And Mike Hearn father of Lily aged 8 & Violet aged 3 (Walter the Wicked)


Raising a Geek Child: Vol. 1

March 9, 2018

[School of Everything Else 2018]

The first of our two recorded shows on this subject so far. This was commissioned back in 2017 and Sharon and I began preparing copious notes on how we'd raised Lyra. Those notes became the beginnings of a sprawling self-help book which we planned to turn into audio. Then eventually we accepted that the subject was too big and far too important to just rely on our take. 

So we pulled together two round table sessions with parents of geeky children. I go into detail on how that definition works at the beginning, but as it stands these interviews are packed with honest accounts and experiences that might help any number of parents out there. Whether you already have children or are thinking about having them or never want to have them at all but are interested in how the geekier parent might handle it, this show is essential listening.


Brendan Agenew, father of Marian, aged 1 (Cinapse)

Neil Taylor, father of Mikey, aged 3 (TheKidDogg)

Gary Blower, father of Imogen, aged 8 (GameBurst)

Sharon Shaw, mother of Lyra, aged 9 (New Century)

I'd also like to promote another geek Dad; Andy Robertson, who is running a project designed to help parents concerned about video games and technology: https://www.patreon.com/geekdadgamer


Episode 501

September 23, 2016
[School of Everything Else 2016]
This is one of the films of the year. A Japanese fable delivered in stunning stop-motion by American studio LAIKA, the team behind Coraline, ParaNorman and Boxtrolls. 
Every single one of you needs to see it. 
Joining us are animation experts Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst. Among other things we discuss the climate for animated films and what it takes to make a hit, which this, tragically, despite its beautiful direction, tight, well-delivered script, vibrant, fun characters and playful yet heartrending score, is not. 

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

The second collection of clips from my shows, this time covering the period between 2013 and 2016 when Sharon became my co-host, Digital Drift and School of Movies. They are pulled from fewer overall episodes but they are more meaty and substantial with some of the funniest, sustained moments and memories. You'll also hear from my guest spots from That Awful Sound and The Mana Pool along with a host of new voices.

And of course the now-infamous introduction of Dramatic Readings and Bad Reviews Against Humanity.

Volume 3: Digital Drift

Avatar Responses [DD49 2014 - 0.01.00]
The formation of Digital Drift [0.02.05]
50 Shades Trilogy Rant [DD06 - 0.06.25]
We Hate Movies [DD05 - 0.09.30]
Rhianna Pratchett [DD08 - 0.25.38]
Spider-Man 3 - Harry's Problem [DD12 - 0.32.18]
Transformers - Non-Dairy Dessert [DD32 - 0.36.01]
I've Been a Bad, Bad Angel [That Awful Sound #18 - 2015 - 0.37.36]

Volume 4: School of Movies

Robin Hood - Hysterical Inaccuracy [SOM143 2016 - 0.57.53]
Flight of Dragons - Racist Wizards [SOM145 - 1.05.21]
Terminator 3 - Joshua Rants [DD72 Mid-2015 - 1.11.02]
Deadpool - Colossus on Music [SOM146 - 1.24.06]
Making Fantasy Fun [Mana Pool #393 - 2015 - 1.27.11]
The New Century Multiverse 101 [1.35.58]
Jurassic Wrestling [DD68 - Mid 2015 - 1.47.54]
The Daddle [DD44 - Late 2014 - 1.56.32]
Crap Chinese Toys [DD48 - 1.59.50]
RobertCop 2 [School of Everything Else #88 - 2.09.35]
Grey [SOEE87 - Late 2015 - 2.14.17]
Credits [2.22.50]


Episode 500

September 16, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

Alex's 500th Podcast.

I've been at this game for almost a decade and produced and hosted  four media discussion shows, Digital Cowboys, Digital Gonzo, Digital Drift and School of Movies. 

What we have here is a collection of highlights from the first few years. This celebratory episode ended up as two, simply because there was so much to choose from. So Episode 501 will be released next week. Consider them like Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2. 

This is significant interviews, first meetings, moments of particular insight and of course the absolute funniest bits, many of which were suggested by you guys while I was putting this together.

Volume 1. Digital Cowboys

  • Another Day at the Office [Joinee Radio, Early 2007 - 0.01.22]
  • Curse of the Golden Flower [Digital Cowboys Episode 01 - 0.06.36]
  • An Important Announcement [DC48, 2008 - 0.08.58]
  • First Meeting With Daniel Floyd [DC10, 2009 - 0.12.13]
  • Red vs Blue Interview [DC126 - 0.15.24]
  • Giant Bomb Snackbox [DC104 - 0.19.40]
  • Jonathan Coulton Interview [DC121 - 0.22.23]
  • Dominik Diamond Interview [DC133 - 0.27.07]
  • The Wii - First Meeting With James Batchelor [DC130 - 0.32.51]
  • First Meeting With Neil Taylor [DC167, 2010 - 0.34.37]
  • Duke Nukem Kicked Out [DC180 - 0.35.18]
  • Legends of Zelda - Opening Montage [DC164 - 0.38.41]
  • Paul & Storm Interview [DC163 - 0.42.53]
  • Digital Cowboys - The Last One [DC109, 2011 - 0.49.10]

Volume 2: Digital Gonzo

  • New Solo Show [Digital Gonzo Episode 42, 2011 - 0.55.23]
  • Thor - Alex Doing Mr Plinkett Doing Thor [DG70, 2012 - 0059.44]
  • Never Mind the BuzzGeeks: Cosmocats [DG33 - 1.02.20]
  • Back to the Future - Time Travel [DG19 - 1.05.00]
  • Fire [The Internet News - 1.09.42]
  • Never Mind the BuzzGeeks: Coffee Commercials [DG39 - 1.13.06]
  • Movie Clichés - The Wilhelm Scream [DG34 - 1.15.43]
  • Schools [The Internet News - 1.17.44]
  • Blue Sun Audio Drama [DG35 - 1.22.25]
  • James Bond - The Henchman Agent #1 [DG43 - 1.29.30]
  • James Bond - Henchman Agent #2/Herr Stamper [DG45 - 1.33.51]
  • Firefly - The Henchman Agent #4 [DG106 - 1.33.52]
  • Batman Returns - The Henchman Agent #3/The Finale [DG77 - 1.36.51]
  • Alien - Shotgun Penis [DG74 - 1.41.36]
  • Alien Resurrection - Alien DNA/Executives [DG82 - 1.45.29]
  • Superman IV - Physics! [DG133, 2013 - 1.51.56]
  • Sound of Gonzo - Snowboarding Spy [DG102 - 1.57.00]
  • The Last Airbender - Exposition Scrolls [DG95 - 1.59.26]
  • Sound of Gonzo - Vice City/Dance Hall Deadlock [DG142 - 2.00.47]
  • Iron Man 3 Avengers in Advertising [DG154 - 2.02.51]
  • Return of the King - Lyra on LOTR [DG112 - 2.06.40]
  • The Two Towers - Gollum [DG111 - 2.07.36]
  • An Unexpected Journey - Gollum-Off [DG113 - 2.11.29]
  • Fan Response - First Meeting With Bob Chipman [DG149 - 2.12.25]
  • Pacific Rim - Signing Off [DG161 - 2.21.30]
  • Tower of the Sorcerer - "Can I Ride It?" [DG150 - 2.32.15]

The Hero’s Journey

April 15, 2016

[School of Everything Else 2016]

This show (which is one of the best individual podcasts we've ever put together) is all about The Hero's Journey. It explores the monomyth, the idea that nearly all of the tales that we embrace as a species are telling the same story. 

Carl Jung theorized with the collective unconscious that our brains are all roughly the same shaped organ, with very similar emotional responses which have remained very similar for thousands of years, so it stands to reason that there would be certain universally appealing themes that we like to explore time and again. 

Joseph Campbell codified this in the 1940s by examining our mythology, dating back to ancient times and analyzing recurring patterns in the most abiding stories from all over the world when he put together his seminal work; The Hero With a Thousand Faces. This includes a multi-part symbolic series of events a hero always seems to go through in some form or another and what that really means. 

Christopher Vogler took this further with his book The Writer's Journey, examining the most popular and successful movies and the similarities therein.

And we ourselves have produced literally hundreds of podcasts covering our favourite movies, the greater proportion of which this manner of thinking can be applied to. 

So it's time to take a deep dive into what those steps are and why they are so important to our species. 

Joining us are Megan Hopwood and Lorin Grieve, both of whom have also taken a longtime interest in this. 

You're in for a treat here.


Gonzo Adventures: Tower of the Sorcerer

October 4, 2013

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

The 150th episode of Digital Gonzo.

This was a one-off show inspired by the episode of Community 'Advanced Dungeons & Dragons'. It's a sit-down gaming session conducted over Skype with myself as Dungeon Master and my guests as a team of adventurers. For this one we were using the flexible, simple ruleset of Advanced Fighting Fantasy by Graham Bottley which itself stems from the gamebooks of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone (The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Deathtrap Dungeon) and detailed in the starter book Dungeoneer. This is the first of the two adventures within that book.

I wanted to bring you guys something different, in the style I have honed over the years so there's music and sound FX as well as a hefty chunk of silliness and getting into character. The lengthier fights have been edited for pacing but you're mainly missing a lot of dice rolls. The team that begins this story comprises of the following.

Thrale Copperhelm: A tough-as-nails dwarf, played by Neil Taylor of GameBurst 
Lastern Darkfire: An elf fresh out of the forests, played by Mark Reay of The A.I. Bots 
Kellis Payge: A human mage from the city watch of Chalice, played by Sharon Shaw of School of Movies 
Harron Brondyn: A sarcastic thief played by Matt Ramsey of Do Try This at Home

Focus is on character and story over action and complex systems, almost closer to an audio drama than the recording of a game. The guest soundtrack for this week is the original World of Warcraft OST by Jason Hayes, Tracy W. Bush, Derek Duke, and Glenn Stafford. Many thanks to my guests, who played brilliantly and went easy on me in my first-time role as Dungeon Master. The combat rules were still being learned by all of us, also Gonzo is an adult podcast and we use adult language in this. 

And thank you all for making this one of the warmest, smartest, funniest communities on the internet for 150 episodes of Gonzo.


Fan Response

September 26, 2013

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This episode, originally published in September 2013 I invited on Bob Chipman, AKA MovieBob along with Daniel Floyd and Leelee Scalaferri of Extra Credits to talk about the age old scenario of fans flipping their lids when something they love is perceived as being meddled with. With the ascent of Twitter and Facebook, forums, comments sections and YouTube we have more opportunities than ever before to voice our discontent, and voice it we have in ways often so hostile and illegible that some sections of the internet appear to be transcripts of the death-screeching of broken killer robots with electronic Tourette's syndrome. 

Among other specific instances we cover Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist frequency, The Xbox One, Batfleck, Phil Fish, Grand Theft Auto V, Devil May Cry, Mass Effect 3, Green Lantern, The Star Wars Special Editions and Fifty Shades of Grey. The aim was not to be wholly objective and detached and there is a lot of opinion being flung back and forth during this crackling debate with four vibrant personalities all vying for the mic, but we do try our best to be fair.  

To illustrate the many facets of this immense debate I have employed audio segments from some of the best and brightest.

With Great Power [Bob Chipman: The Big Picture] 
Crass Effect [Bob Chimpan: Game Overthinker] 
Rebecca Black [Charlie Brooker: 10 O’ Clock Live] 
Anita Sarkeesian: The Monster Gamers Created [Jim Sterling: Jimquisition] 
Harassment [Daniel Floyd & James Portnow: Extra Credits] 
GTA V Review Revulsion [Johnny Chiodini: GameSpot - Feedbackula] 
Guide to Comments [Vi Hart] 
A Day at the Park [Kiriakakis: Mused]

Bob, Dan and Leelee have made hundreds of video presentations between them and their recommendations if you're newcomers are the following.

Extra Credits [Of Penny Arcade TV]

  • Call of Juarez: The Cartel
  • A Little Bit of Yesterday
  • Art is not the Opposite of Fun


  • The Big Picture - Skin Game
  • Game Overthinker - Never Grow Old

Music on the show played by Lindsey Stirling

  • Crystallize 
  • Elements
  • Electric Daisy Violin

Of course there wasn't time to discuss a bunch of well known examples, including the Derpy Hooves debacle but we do want this show to spark debate on ways for the more considerate side of the internet to gain more of a vocal share of the general discussion, which often seems to be dominated by the enraged and abusive.


We Hate Movies

March 11, 2014

[Digital Drift 2014]

This week we talk to two of the hosts of one of the funniest, most insightful movie podcasts we've yet heard; Andrew Jupin and Eric Szyszka of We Hate Movies. 

As is discussed on the show, don't let the name fool you. You'd be hard pressed to find a bunch of chaps who love movies more than these guys, and while they often cover well-known stinkers they most frequently mine comedy value from films nobody ever seems to talk about, which tend to be the obscure, the ridiculous and/or the terrible. For many years they have accumulated a vast archive of reviews and experimental tangent shows, so once you've heard this episode go ahead and mosey on over to www.whmpodcast.com and check out what's on offer in the full collection. Then subscribe on iTunes and you'll find a generous helping of their shows on there.  

I'll confess to being a little excited at getting these guys on our show as we take the opportunity to ask all about how they started out, their review style, why they focus on these forgotten, dubious gems and we get to showcase some of the funniest moments of the past few years, including...

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Jaws: The Revenge, Casper, After Earth, Star Trek: Insurrection and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.

We also talk a little about my show for the benefit of newcomers, and why I haven't yet covered the Transformers franchise. Five more episodes of We Hate Movies, I heartily recommend for my listeners

Bad Boys II, Batman Forever, Godzilla, Mrs Doubtfire and A Good Day to Die Hard (Because we sure as shit will not be covering that last one).


The Seven Most Important Superhero Movies

April 29, 2015

[Digital Drift 2014]

On this very special episode (in the week I'm celebrating eight years in the podcasting game) I gathered Bob "Moviebob" Chipman, Parris Lilly of "Gamertag Radio" and Joe Cunningham of the "Cinematic Universe" podcast, and along with my wife and co-host Sharon Shaw we asked ourselves...  

Which are the seven most important superhero movies to date?  

Not our favourites, not best, most important.   

We debated them up and down the history and our conclusions may surprise you... or they may be the exact seven you chose in which case you have your finger well and truly on the pulse because we spent ages on this.   It's a brilliant episode and one I was so proud to host. A big thank you to our guests who brought all kinds of intelligent and reasoned viewpoints along with them.