Gavin Stuff, Op-Ed

Jason Vorhees and the TikTok Trend (feat. Katy Perry)

Last month a forgotten survival horror game saw a brief spike of interest thanks to a TikTok meme featuring a quirked up white boy busting it down sexual style on Jason Vorhees, all scored to a 2013 Katy Perry single.

It was a flash in the pan few will remember, but in that moment this forgotten game highlighted a weak spot in the superstructure of video game criticism that demands discussion. With single-player games critics have things pretty well covered. You get a review copy, play the game, write one review and call it a day. If a remaster or substantive story DLC comes along there will inevitably be a second write-up covering the content changes so consumers have a fresh interpretation of the game with the added clarity of modern context.

Content Warning: One instance of a homophobic slur. Have fun finding it.

Continue reading “Jason Vorhees and the TikTok Trend (feat. Katy Perry)”
Gavin Stuff

Wolf Stockburn: Failroad Detective

The many (badly photoshopped) faces of Wolf Stockburn.

Occasionally I type the word “railroad” into audiobook apps to see what’ll pop up. Mostly I get the usual suspects of dry history books, but a few weeks ago an enticing cover caught my eye: Wolf Stockburn, Railroad Detective. Written by first-time author Max O’Hara, the book follows the titular detective solving train robberies on the newly-completed transcontinental railroad. 

What I expected was a Book for Dads with some occasional spurts of train-based action and intrigue. What I got was a book that genuinely spurred me to return to fiction writing. Not because it’s a good book, heavens no. If anything, I read the sequel Hell’s Jaw Pass purely to see if the inherent problems of Wolf Stockburn were systemic or just first-novel hiccups. 

They were not. 

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Gavin Stuff

Halo: Infinite Isolation

Halo: Infinite’s multiplayer beta is nearing the end of its first weekly event and I cannot get over how goddamn lonely 343 Industries has managed to make a multiplayer game. A series known for a bustling community has been reduced to an excellent video game choked underneath a thick layer of tried and true moneymaking tactics. In the olden days one could boot up Halo for hours of fun, joining naturally-forming micro-communities and potentially making friends with complete strangers. Halo: Infinite is the online multiplayer equivalent of walking around a dead mall. Sure, there’s technically other people there, but it stands as more of a reminder of times when the area thrived. 

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Gavin Stuff

Gas Station Simulator: A Pit Stop from Bland “Simulators”

Twelve hours into DRAGO Entertainment’s newest release Gas Station Simulator I find myself at a crossroads. The first few hours are a wild ride that seems to buck the trend of the asset-flip homogenous “simulator” game genre, only to fall to pieces as its flashy mechanics degrade into annoyances to be automated or outright ignored. In those opening hours it’s better than the rank-and-file barely-functioning “[Insert Job] Simulator” games, but what points it earns with moxie it loses to unpolished jankiness and an insidious dark secret. Welcome to a 4,300 word review of a $20 game you’ve barely hard of.  

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Gavin Stuff

The Abyss Stares Back – Inside Bo Burnham’s Camera

Every YouTuber and their communist lesbian mother has talked about Bo Burnham’s quarantine “comedy” special Inside by this point. Not a damn one I’ve found so far has talked about one of the most obvious pieces of visual symbolism that feels specifically targeted at content creators, so here’s a blog about that. 

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Gavin Stuff

The death of The Pod Report.

No, this is isn’t a tell-all YouTube drama video about myself, although that’d be pretty wild.

A quick glance up above will show the domain of this particular blog has changed. While partially motivated by the fact I’m no longer attending Podcast Movement 2021 and am in the mood to make impulse purchases to quell the sadness, there’s a method to this madness.

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Audio Drama

Romcoms, Nashville, and Donuts. An Interview with Faith McQuinn

This November I have but one mission: convince podcast audiences to adopt Margaritas & Donuts as a yearly Thanksgiving tradition. If millions of people can cajole Die Hard into being considered a Christmas movie, this excellent romcom miniseries with a heartfelt finale set during a family Thanksgiving dinner deserves to be a Thanksgiving re-listen.  

In pursuit of this goal I sat down with show creator Faith McQuinn to pick her brain about her first venture into romantic comedy, making a show set in Nashville that isn’t about Nashville, subverting romcom biases towards young characters, and boozy donuts. 

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The Pod Report Weekly – 8/21/20

Audio version tomorrow! My fiance is off work and, to be real for a second: I get stage fright recording around her so… IOU podcast version. This week is once again recommendation-less as I got a very cool email last week that set me up for a paid review gig, but a side effect of that is I’ve only listened to [Redacted] and comfort shows. Hence the episode spotlight below.

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First Impressions

Wendy’s made a thing they’re calling a podcast.

A Spotify embed of the Wendy’s “podcast”

On August 12th, 2020 the podcast Sir, This is a Wendy’s Podcast launched with a nearly two-minutes first episode offering a promo code for a free* 4 for $4  meal. The show is hosted on Anchor and seems to be headed by someone aware enough of the podcasting world to submit on both Spotify and RadioPublic. 

Continue reading “Wendy’s made a thing they’re calling a podcast.”