Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 304: The Game Shack

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It's a week of ambition, both realized and failed. All three hosts continue their journeys through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but Nick Breckon goes the extra mile by slogging through the entirety of the oft-maligned Trespasser: The Lost World. There, he discovers moments of brilliance years ahead of their time, and also a lot of broken dinosaur animations.

Discussed: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Trespasser: The Lost World - Jurassic Park
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 303: Great Play Dad

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An old man sits in the dark, alone, waiting for a hero to arrive. The old man has lived a full life; he has seen things you wouldn't believe, but the world has changed around him, without him. "Were you able to get the files to download? I bought the game but nothing showed up," he says to no one in particular. "I was having a lot of trouble." He continues to wait for help.

Discussed: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mac shareware, ResEdit, Nintendo Switch, Bloodborne, choose-your-own-adventure books, Wasteland, Fatal Frame 2, old man complaints about technology
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs BONUS: Ruination Online March 2017

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Enjoy this bonus episode drawn from our Idle Thumbs Patreon Ruination Online! Each month, we do a livestream where all topics have been posed by high-tier backers of our Patreon campaign: patreon.com/IdleThumbs

Due to popular demand, we're releasing the audio of that stream to the main podcast feed for easier listening.

Discussed: The hype cycle, making movies, death robots, music listening habits, World of Warcraft and missing the boat, The Legend of Zelda series, Jake Rodkin, robot overlords, infinite money, cyberpunk, dumb Star Wars names, Jurassic World, Firewatch, Twin Peaks, board games, video podcasts, the moon, pets
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 302: The Stupidity and the Grandeur

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You peek over the edge of the hill to confirm — good, they're still there. One of them gets up and walks away from their friends. You inch forward to get a better look and, yep, that one saw you. Their weapons come out, they call for help. You ready a grenade, turn to throw it, run into a rock you didn't see, and drop the grenade at your feet. It rolls down the hill. The hill is on fire, the tree is on fire, you're on fire, you accomplished nothing, and it was wonderful.

Discussed: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Far Cry 2
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 301: Dead Ringer Dr. Mario

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Look, I'm gonna level with you: this Mario thing goes deeper than we thought. We uncovered a cache of classified information in a stack of floppy disks we picked up in an EB at the mall, but now we're hearing time travel's involved too? You'll be airdropped into the Mushroom Kingdom for a BLOPS reconnaissance mission. And hey, there's one more thing. That Mario guy? We think there's two of 'em now.

Discussed: Mario, Dr. Mario, Mario Is Missing, Mario's Time Machine, shareware, Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Dead Ringers
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs BONUS: Welcome... to Important If True

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On this week's Idle Thumbs, enjoy the first full episode of "Important If True," our newest podcast (surrounded by some dumb Idle Thumbs pre-roll and post-roll in classic fashion). We hope you enjoy it! If you do, head to importantiftrue.com to hear more—the second episode is already live.

And never fear: next week is Idle Thumbs Episode 301. Join us!

Want to support Idle Thumbs and hear the rest of Important if True ad-free? We have a Patreon campaign for that!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 300: Our Weird Monstrosity

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You look around the table and see faces that comfort you. Maybe they don't look exactly how you expect, but in their presence you feel safe and at home. More faces appear on a big screen in the corner you didn't notice before—faces you haven't seen in ages, not in this room at least. This isn't what you expected. As face after face fills the screen, you feel something growing in your throat, and realize it's an overpowering sense of nostalgia as you get to spend time hanging out with a bunch of friends you miss. Eventually, a montage goes on way too long and you delete the episode before it's over.

(We'll be back in two weeks with another episode. See you then!)

Discussed: Nontraditional use cases for 3D televisions, invert-X vs invert-Y, resisting scratching an itch, Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid, nostalgia in virtual spaces, brotherhood and growing up, what we look like, Cribbage with Grandpas, Resident Evil VII, Dark Souls, living in haunted houses from the 1970s, Idle Thumbs

Check out Chris, Nick, and Jake's new weekly series, Important If True!

Want to support Idle Thumbs and hear our new show ad-free? We have a Patreon campaign for that!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 299.5: Reader Mail Spectacular

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Your burning questions were so white hot they melted through the mailbag, through the table, and through two stories of floor and ceiling. Join us three floors below the earth in the Idle Thumbs underground bunker (now with mail-shaped skylight) as we get down and dirty with what's left of your letters.

Discussed: Donkey Kong Jr., Solar Jetman, Super Metroid Rotation, Dwarf Fortress, Skyrim, Dr. Mario, Doctor Mario (D. Cronenberg, 1992), League of Legends, Freecell, Animal Crossing
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 299.25: With Bagblast

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It's Reader Mail! Episode 300 is looming big on the horizon, but we pushed it back a ways so we can live in this moment together and enjoy what we have. Join us in delaying the inevitable, with an all-reader-mail, all-video-games podblast.

Discussed: Spyro the Dragon, Minecraft, Myst, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Donkey Kong Country
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 299: Somebody, Somewhere, Somehow, Something

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Somebody once told me the following on a podcast: Somewhere a moth is happily driving a car around a room, hunting for things that smell nice. Something deep in a crocodile whispers "you could have been a bird." Somehow these are the things that interest us. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

Discussed: The Idle Thumbs Podcast, Mouth Moods/Mouth Sounds, the evolution of dinosaurs and birds, Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World, cyborg moth cars, Bubble Tape, XOR, hobbies, cooking, cocktails, Dark Souls 2
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 298: For You, Not Them

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This week we talk about two fictional metropolises, both invaded by strange, small men intent on messing up the lives of regular folk just trying to get through their day. Also we met Jeff Goldblum.

Discussed: Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, Super Mario Odyssey, Batman Returns, Donkey Kong Jr., Bubble Tape, Toxoplasmosis, Robots
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 297: Patent Pending

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It's rainy, it's cold, and you have nothing to do, or maybe too much. Sometimes you just need to curl up with the old classics, and their sequels, and their sequels' sequels.

Discussed: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Jurassic Park III, Star Wars, Star Wars: A New Hope, The Witness, Tales of Monkey Island, clowns
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 296: Super Hollyweedland

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You're not sure how it got this bad. The descent was slow, but then suddenly it seemed the world had changed. Our heroes became villains, twisted, corpulent, ruling from a golden throneroom in a palace above the town. A palace you built them. You go to talk to him, but Super Mario looks past you, out into the world he has made. Mario doesn't see you, and doesn't care.

Discussed: Hollyweed sign, Super Mario Run, Super Mario World, anime robot in a jar, Glittermitten Grove, Frog Fractions 2
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 295: Good... Bye

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Let's cast out 2016 and make room for whatever it is that's coming next. Join us as we look deep, deep into the future and... actually never mind that, Nick's just fired up Diablo 1 and managed to connect to the late '90s version of Battle.net. See you all next year!

Discussed: Diablo, Diablo 2, Diablo 3, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 3, Time Commanders, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 294: Pan Pan Pan

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As the year draws to a close, things get a little out of hand. What starts as a discussion of Super Mario Run quickly gets away from us and leads us deep into the worlds of sound editing disasters, mascot shoplifting, the history of gaming retail chains, and how to tell when a store might be laundering food stamps.

Discussed: Super Mario Run, MARIO, Super Mario, Bay-Mission Market, Portal, The Mummy
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 293: Warmest Greetings

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Chris buys a cup that he thinks looks like a piece of human anatomy, and against all odds, it leads to an unexpected and completely impromptu look back at some of our favorite games of the year.

Discussed: Hitman, Super Hypercube, Planet Coaster, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, Super Mario Run, Super Nintendo World, Catacombs of Solaris
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 292: Sit In A Row And Look At The Wall

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This week we take your questions, line them up, and knock them down. Yes, it's mailbag week! After Nick takes a wager in Dark Souls that will change his life forever (and Chris digs a hole in the ground) we go deep into the Idle Thumbs Reader Mail inbox.

Discussed: Dark Souls, Planet Coaster, The difference between game genres and genres in other mediums, The Secret of Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, The Stanley Parable, Friends you only connect with inside video games, StarCraft II, ICQ, "Low fidelity" game development, "Millionaire caves," Wizard Jam, Gomix, Many unsolicited promotional offers, The septic tank that is the underbelly of the Internet, Video Games
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 291: Mid-Jam Power Move

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You are not locked in a prison of your mind, this is what you want to be doing. This is what needs to be done. Trees must be planted, more trees. The guests love trees. This boss won't beat himself. You know you can do it, but you can't talk; everyone is asleep. If you don't sleep, the world will stay just as it is.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 290: The Sad Story of a Modern Idiot

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Join us on a grand circle tour of massive-scale architecture, both real and imagined. In Planet Coaster we step through the mouth of Dot Gobbler himself, crossing the threshold into Thumbsland, the park that never closes, the park whose rides never end (because they are incomplete). Did you hear that? It's the sound of San Francisco, California, without a bus or train in sight. Sounds like someone needs to fire up Cities in Motion and get to work. The last leg of our journey will take us along the rim of the Grand Canyon, care of Google and Alphabet Incorporated. Please remain standing so we don't have to stream in the canyon floor at high detail.

Also, Nick played Dark Souls. Happy Thanksgiving!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 289: Old Fruit and Dirty Water

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This week you are beset by waking nightmares and cannot continue. Giant insects pour from the sky and from the walls, hungry for blood, or maybe bones. A funny man screams out again and again for meat, for any meal, and you know he will not die because your voice says so; he is now in a state of infinite hunger, living on old fruit and dirty water. A popup window appears above your head, which reads "Everything is okay, none of it is real. You are part of an elaborate simulation built to entertain Steve Gaynor." You dismiss the popup and sleep soundly.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 288: Pizza Tonight!

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Feeling like the world's driving you up a wall? Life's out of control, galloping over a cliff? Everything you thought you could achieve is just on the other side of the glass, out of reach? Fortunately we have video games, where all your wishes are granted. Join us as we scale the walls of Titanfall 2, rein things in and take control of Battlefield 1, and discover that no matter what you try in Hitman, maybe the game IS rigged and you just can't win.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 287: The Fun Cast

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Are you guys ready to do The Fun Cast? Your employment agreement stipulates that you're are, so let's go! This week our hosts Shmirkin Burpin and Minion 600 check out Owlboy, finally released after nine years in development! Then, Nick Breckon, confused as to where he is, drives a tank up a hill and back down. Finally, an update on the new intra-organization subway service. Thanks everyone, back to work.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 286: I Can't Do It, Gilgamesh

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The fog clears, the blazing guitar solo ends and echoes off the walls. You crack your knuckles and slam Sim Ant into the SNES; your oppoent, Gilgamesh, really starts to sweat. Black ants overtake the yard, leaving a sea of red in their wake. "Please, I'll give you anything," Gilgamesh pleads. Before his colony is fully destroyed, you switch inputs, drop your GameCube onto the table (by its handle) and load up Pikmin 2. "No more, no more," he begs, his eyes watering, hands shaking. You can't stop.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 285: Candor, Expertise, and Candor

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The future arrived and for once, we liked it. This is very confusing, but it's definitely happening now. This is really when it's happening. Nick and Jake get their hands on PlayStation VR and play the heck out of it. Chris, who prefers a more traditional immersive themed environment, visits the immaculately produced Tokyo DisneySea and can't contain himself. Where does VR sit next to the rest of gaming? Is there space for the player in stories that aren't about them, especially in a medium fixated on literally putting players in the heroe's shoes? What does this have to do with a fictional New York in the middle of Japan, with a janitor who, when your back is turned, starts emitting cartoon sound effects and giving high fives to everyone around him? Find out moments from now. Step into this pod, press play, immerse yourself, and please tell a friend about what you experienced here.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 284: Live From The Past

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Welcome to episode 4186-0000-028C-E9F8! We bring you word from a simpler time. A better time, before the mess we're in today. A time when you played World of WarCraft. Join us in this life until Chris Remo returns from Japan and tells us of what he saw there.

Discussed: Virginia, World of WarCraft: Legion, Nidhogg 2, GameMaker, Nintendo NX
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 283: Fantastical Tactical Spectacular

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Before Chris boards a plane to Japan we take a trip to Hitman Con 2016, where there are no talks, and no one wears a badge, but the cosplay game is off the charts. Join us for a brief look at the most recent two Hitman episodes, talk of episodes yet to come and episodes that will never be (outside of our dreams).
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 282: Winnie the Putin

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Slap on your 3D scanned face, check your latest upgrades, don some really expensive stupid sunglasses, and hit the streets: it's time for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Then, slap on your 3D scanned face, check your latest upgrades, don some really expensive stupid sunglasses, and hit the streets: it's time for NBA 2K17. We do all of these things, and tell you how it went.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 281: The Marfing Barfo

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Hey, over here. Yeah, it's me. My friends call me Wide Boy. You can call me Wide Boy 64. So where's that other goatscaver? What? It's just you? You uncle-terder. You wod head. You goat-jashiping crassmicker. Fine. Let's get going. Take this pill, put on this nice mask. Try to blend in. Look happy. And hey, clotwizard: if you get caught, you're dead. I'm not coming back for you. You marfing barfo.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 280: Hamburger Mode

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If your controller has a hamburger button, you should press it. Chris pressed the hamburger and watched as his copy of Halo traveled in time from his Xbox 1 to his Xbox One. We also pressed the hamburger button in our minds, mentally transporting ourselves to the mid '90s with Obduction, the latest from Cyan. Meanwhile, Nick, starting up his third new game studio in as many years, demanded his employees add hamburger buttons to all their latest product in Software Inc.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 279: Horrible Adorable

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High up in the clouds, the best pilot you've ever flown with leads you to your next target, a target the two of you cut through like it's made of tin foil. You're the front gunner, pretty new to the job, but already you two are working like clockwork, knocking fighters out of the sky left and right. "I'm hungry," says the pilot over text chat. You see he's named Nick. You're hungry too. Maybe there's somewhere to eat, maybe the two of you will go together like the great friends you've become? You look up and Nick has left the pilot seat. You're alone. The mountain fills your viewport and you wish you'd joined Jake and Chris at PAX instead. (Despite what we say at the start this truly is Idle Thumbs 279, not 280.)
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 278: Beef Chief

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Beef Chief [3/5 stars] We visited Thumbsland this weekend, and while riding Beef Chief I had fun with my son! So many ghosts every time I go down there! (Which is certainly not a problem.) I heard that burgers are real. I heard they're from burger church. I think about Thumbsland in my head, and it hurts, so I don't think about it for many years. Anyway, enough with the pleasantries! Come to our PAX meetup! (Saturday at 7pm at The Diller Room.)
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 277: Coming Attractions

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Finally, time for video games. You settle down for a long night of cyber-hacking and theme park design. This is going to be so immersive, you think. But the experiences are fleeting, fractured. Not quite what you expected, in ways you can't pin down. Your memories feel...misplaced. No wait, they're just in that drawer over there. You can't help but feel there's a more complete version of this, if you could only focus. You close your eyes, but they blink back open against your will. Now you are dunking a basketball—blink—you are sorting ever-taller stacks of hats—blink—you are button mashing for your very life. Over it all, a haunting piano repeats a single note. Coming soon.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 276: Hype and Anticipation

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With tens of thousands descending on Seattle's Key Arena to bathe in the spectacle and drama of The International 6, and hundreds of thousands more barreling towards the uncertain center of No Man's Sky, ears are ringing and plugged in equal measure as hype, anticipation, uncertainty, and excitement fight to drown each other out. We are joined by Sean "Famous" Vanaman to try and talk it all through, to figure out what we think.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 275: The Robot's Lips

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The cockpit lid closes, the engines fire up, the atmosphere melts away, and the infinite vastness of space is laid before you. "VHERH THOO?" flap the disgustingly real rubber lips protruding from your cockpit dashboard. "STHOMWHER NICE I THOOPE." You know the lips are still learning, but this knowledge does not endear you to them. You zoom out to check the galactic map, enter a destination for yourself, and prepare for a long trip. "DTHID YOU KNOW" the lips started, "I KNOOW THREE DITHVERENT PLEPLE NAMMED SEAN MURRAY?" You violently claw at the cockpit lid, spring it open and are sucked into the void, barely missing a resplendent space whale that happened to be cruising by. You think there's something written on the side of the whale, but before you can read it, you die in space.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 274: A Good One

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"This has happened, look what you've done," the robot wrote. Chris sent Danielle to her death in deep space, but her estranged husband still comes to visit. "It's just garbage," the robot continued. Smirking, a besunglassed Nick Breckon catches a ride on a dolphin and breaks the surface in a graceful arc. "Video game & pop culture cast, hacking and robot-mongering awaits," the robot concluded, incorrectly. "It's a good one!"
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 273: "Batman Loves Him A Parallelogram" or "I Considered An Oeuvre"

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Join us on two very different journeys to the future... of the past. We crack open our briefcase-sized laptop and hack through layer after layer of security in the 80s cyberpunk world of Quadrilateral Cowboy, then take a wrong turn and find ourselves in the polished fiberglass and shag carpet Fondlarium of Headlander. Batman is destroyed.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 272: Sorrow and Horror

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Dear Mom: Life in the new colony sucks. No one knows how to hunt, the clothes they give us keep falling apart, every night there are literal wolves at the door, and Nick (or "Goldblum" as he has fashioned himself) can't keep a handle on his most basic impulses. The cable package only has ESPN 1, so Evo's out of the question. I had a pet rat for a while but I don't know what happened to it. Probably something terrible. I never thought space would be like this. I hope I can go home soon.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 271: Cool Blob Future

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You pass someone on the street and immediately you know. The light hitting their face, the way they amble forward, aware of the world but maybe simultaneously inside a totally different world too. You pass them and keep to yourself, knowing that you are apart from them, not of them, but you also know, deep down, that you could become one of them at any time.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 270: BIG GAME HUCKSTER$$$$

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This week we do our best to unpack the criminal scandal surrounding Counter-Strike: GO gambling sites and the streamers who secretly own them while publicly promoting them, then we play a game exclusively about criminals packing things.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 269: Robot Russian Roulette

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The robot hovers silently in front of you; its micro-props keep it nearly still in the hot evening breeze. System Shock buzzes on the screen behind you. Next to it on another screen, the new Hitman runs idle, waiting. You've made a little easy cash from the robot tonight already - no big scores but better than the alternative - which means your luck has to be running thin, but how thin? You're not sure if you imagine it but as your hand approaches the palm acceptance plate the robot seems to pause, as if to breathe in. You lower your hand, slowly slide the balcony door shut and go play video games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 268: Cheatin' Hitman

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Look, I am amazing at sneaking. Everyone knows I’ve always been amazing at it. It’s breathtaking–just incredible–how well I hide in a box. Cheatin’ Hitman has all the codes and tricks, and everyone still sees him. Ruins all credibility of the franchise. Just pathetic. Can’t even find the secret ghost window. Sad!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 267: Real Slyboots

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It's E3 time again. This is a weird E3, landing in a transitional time when everyone might have preferred to not come but felt the obligation all the same. We untangle our own understanding of Sony and Microsoft's announcements, get stoked about Zelda, and visit the world's largest bag of Doritos.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 266: Memeify McCree

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Maybe, somewhere beneath the games you play, somewhere too deep to feel, there is another battle taking place between forces so staggering, so total, as to be invisible. You choose a hero, enter the arena and attack, then hear a faint echo coming from miles away, or maybe the past, the future? An assailant vaporizes before you, your leaderboard lights up and you smile, but way down deep in the earth, deep in your bones, you hear the muffled cries of the Heavy and all the heavies that came before and after him, and you know what you are a part of. You change loadouts and respawn.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 265: A Chill Hell

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This week we're joined by special guest Danielle Riendeau to wander the abandoned hallways of Mars, where we create a Hell of our own, one where there's no one to bother us and all the time in the world to relax and take it in. Meanwhile, Chris takes a risky assignment in Marrakesh and is killed on the toilet, but makes it home to regale Jake with accounts of how good Overwatch is.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 264: A Very Pretty Pipe Dream

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This week we're throwing away our traditional hyper-competitive leaderboard and focusing on hand-selected stats that show us what we've accomplished. Chris plays Overwatch and discovers that, after years away there's still a Blizzard for him. Nick goes to Disneyland, comes home and finds a new release of Planet Coaster. "This means something," he says, burying his theme park under mountains of dirt. Alone, late at night, Jake builds the Nublar.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 263: Disable Enemies to Reveal Enemies

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In the middle of an awkward conversation you accidentally press down the left and right sticks at the same time. It turns out to be for the best: Your buddies look completely ridiculous frozen mid-sentence and you decide this is a perfect moment to preserve as a photo. You try to clear up the shot by setting any enemies to hidden... and find yourself suddenly alone in the room. Realizing you have no friends, you go load up Steam and play Doom for eight hours without interruption.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 262: Dead Letters

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Before Chris disappears deep into Russia on assignment, we check all our dead drops for incoming correspondence with readers abroad, and find some gems, long forgotten and wedged way in the back. Enjoy tales of babywalling your identical twin, of vile things left in jars, of theme parks gone wrong, and of the time Nick Breckon played Dark Souls 3 alone with nothing but a bottle of rum.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 261: Unsubscribe

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Join us as we wander the world without a map, pecking away with tiny pointed attacks at anything perceived as adversarial, navigating with only the barest remembered scraps of where things were, what they were like, how they should be.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 260: Charge Guy, Tree Guy, Ice Guy, Bendy Guy

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Our descent into Dark Souls 3 continues, but we started over with a brand new guy. This new guy is less lucky than the old one, but otherwise actually equipped to fight the charge guys, tree guys, ice guys, bendy guys, etc, that he encounters. He's still working on remembering their names. Meanwhile, in an Italian villa, Agent 47 visits a Spirit Halloween Store, tries on some cellophane-wrapped "Charge Guy," "Tree Guy," "Ice Guy," and "Bendy Guy" costumes, and is unimpressed.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 259: Breckon's Similar Sausage Face

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You roll the sausage along the ground. In the far distance, lumbering beasts wage ancient battles, and a naked multicultural society roams the prehistoric plains. You roll the sausage on to a grill, and it acquires a satisfying char. Beyond the horizon, teams of highly-armed warriors fight lightning-quick pitched battles and acquire ever more advantanced technology. You drop the sausage into the ocean. Crap. Isn't something supposed to, like, happen?
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 258: Change the Name to Game

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It's game time. You're confident. You know this. You load up Dark Souls 3. You have some trouble with the menus, but it's alright, you figure it out. Forty minutes later, something on the screen almost resembles a human face. Enter the game—it's brutal, not what you remembered. As your grotesquely-faced wizard is wrecked beyond belief time and again, you reflect on how one can feel so old and yet like such a baby. You load Super Hypercube and watch a small cube slowly and satisfyingly descend into an appropriate receptacle. You make a drink on the rocks.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 257: "Some Kind of Drifter" or "Rigid Body Rat King"

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Outer space is burning, ravaged by the never-ending military-corporate conflict factory that is EVE Online. While reports are still coming in from deep space, we can confirm that just like real wars, Spacemonkey's Alliance is involved, as is Killah Bee, 1ronBank, and the Moneybadgers. If this is all too much for you, know that IKEA has released a piece of VR software that lets you chill out in a perfectly clean, virtual kitchen forever.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 256: The First Great Brand War

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It is 2017. The stench of scorched mozzarella stings your nostrils. Brand warfare has emerged as the dominant vector of economic and military conflict. A delivery bot rolls your way, and you frantically dig a receipt out of your pocket, showing a recent order for a medium half-sausage, half-pepperoni. Too late, you realize your mistake: this is a Taco Bell bot. "Okay, I will destroy humans," it offers cheerfully, then everything goes black.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 255: Awkwardness and Harmony

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There's something strange about the person facing you—as though their face isn't quite their own. Strange. Everything seemed fine when you were talking online about resource management games and the new Hitman. They even had some great tips to deal with your rodent infestation. But now something seems off. You confidently offer a handshake, but just then, they go in for the fist bump. Oh, God. It's all over now.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 254: Welltris and Wetrix

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This week, game developers gather in San Francisco to confer. Chris, Nick, Jake, and Steve swap stories from this year's Game Developers Conference including Super Hypercube and VR as its own medium, a look into the creation of Darkest Dungeon and finding, and adapting to your audience, and Nick Breckon's return to the NBA.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 253: Ambitious Ambivalence

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We paid some of the smartest and most hardworking university-grade linguists to translate the contents of this week's episode into a language you will understand. Unfortunately they were unable to finish their work, as one was suddenly gored by an elk, the others are caught up in a cheating scandal surrounding the game of Bridge, and a randomly propagated fire seems to have engulfed the room they were using to do most of their work. We were able to save one notebook from the blaze, a notebook empty except for the phrase, "You are the One."
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 252: Jonathan Bro

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This week we take a look at harbingers of our dark future that are not only available today, but can be controlled with an Xbox 360 controller. We dive into the final release of SUPERHOT and become sweat-soaked, tool-assisted killbots for reasons too convoluted to bother with, and chase that down with videos of a new silent robotic BigDog, and its encounter with a very agitated normal small dog.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 251: Signature Moves

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Boston Dynamics has upped its robot game, advancing the state of cybernetics ever further. Meanwhile, all we've been doing is playing some video games. So grab your hockey stick, your basketball, and your devil dagger, because the clock is counting down, the future of humanity is on the line, and all eyes are on you. It's time to bust a signature move. Featuring James Spafford as Jake Rodkin, and Robot Jake Rodkin as Jake Rodkin's introductory spiel.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 250: A Palpable Dream

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This week we dream of success in the face of almost certain failure. Of reaching out and, just for a second, really feeling like you've achieved something. A soldier in XCOM 2 lasts long enough to top the squad leaderboard, long enough to earn a permanent seat on the transport ship, long enough that we recognize her trademark smirk, but no longer. In NBA 2K16, a five foot eleven kid gets drafted out of high school, makes his family proud, and even plays in a few games, before his teammates conspire against him and sink his career. A video game podcast produces 250 episodes over eight years.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 249: Half-Take Special

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Today's the day. Today you can play all those games you've been eyeing but didn't feel you had the time. Unfortunately you only have a couple spare hours, and those games are XCOM 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the goddamn Witness. This week we scratch the surface of some great games, and share our impressions with you. Welcome to the half-take special.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 248: The Bear's Black Heart

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Happy birthday to you. We're getting really into The Witness, and we've kept it spoiler-free. Happy birthday to you. Nick has also joined Chris in his Just Cause 3 devotion, and we mull over the lineage and legacy of Myst. Happy birthday to you. There's also a teddy bear that keeps singing "Happy Birthday to You." Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to—
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 247: The Clone Progenitors

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Welcome, cadet. Your mission: go back in time, and kill baby Hitler. To assist you in this perilous but vital task, you will be outfitted with an array of dice, two decks of standard playing cards, a two-stroke go-kart engine, one swarm of bees, and a Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger. Good luck. Never give up. Never surrender. Oh, and if you see Winston Churchill, give him this teddy bear for me.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 246: Mesmerized, Process, and Anxiety

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This episode contains three documented favorite words of Nick Breckon, age 3. Mesmerized: Jake tries a Vive for the first time and briefly forgets his friends, loved ones, and the world around him. Process: Chris spends more time with Just Cause 3 and his feelings become increasingly mixed. Anxiety: As Valve opens the Half-Life and Portal universes up to the community to make and sell expansions, we fret over the future of some of our favorite games. Plus we play Oxenfree, get excited for The Witness, and fall into the surrealistic adventure that is Nick's childhood.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 245: Psyching Out That Bear

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You soar over a Mediterranean villa and find it so thrilling you think, "Hey, I'll build myself a new computer so this looks nicer." In the time it takes you to have this experience and this thought, a plastic robot toy built in 1985 completes Super Mario World. You remember throwing out the unused cables from your old power supply and curse. The plastic robot toy effortlessly re-programs the old Nintendo game, unlocking secrets not seen in Mario World's 25 year lifetime. The third CPU re-seat fails. As you wipe the thermal paste from your hands and start again, the robot turns off and is carried from the stage to rapturous applause.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 244: Heroes vs Villains

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Jake Rodkin has vanished. In his absence, we discuss Bushido Blade, Yakuza 5, Rainbow Six: Siege, and the obscure Japanese open-world game Mizzurna Falls. Which can mean only one thing: Steve "Hot Scoops" Gaynor has returned.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 243: Idle Thumbs Demo Disk Q1 2016

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The new year should be treated as a time of opportunity. A time to seek out fresh experiences, to get motivated to try some things you normally wouldn't. It's also a time to collapse in a tired heap and take a break to recharge. It is for both these reasons that we're bringing you an Idle Thumbs Network Sampler this week: You get a taste of the other great shows we host here at Idle Thumbs, and we get a quick breather to rest our weak old bones. We'll be back next week with a full new episode!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 242: A Simple Goat

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For many, this is the season of cheer and joviality, a time best spent close to family and loved ones. For others (like Nick Breckon), its the perfect time to dip a first toe into Dwarf Fortress and disappear from this world altogether. Plus, Chris shares his experiences with the top-down shooter Helldivers, and we take a look back at Star Wars games of the 1990s.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 241: Suddenly the King of France

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Your favorite creators are coming back, they've brought your favorite games, and to play them all you have to step into this skintight vibrating body suit. Plus, Nick returns to Crusader Kings 2 with disastrous (if unsurprising) results, and we stare straight into the surreal heart of the Frog Fractions 2 ARG.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 240: Mikami's Iconic Hat

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Come in, come in… Ah, I'm surprised to see YOU wearing that hat. But welcome. My name is Dr. Caligari. I mean Dr. Strangelove. Actually, call me Dr. Langeskov. Sit back and let's take a look into your history. Boy, there are a lot of murders, aren't there? Very…densely packed. And more tweets than I expected. Still, we'll see if we can't find some gems… Just a little puzzle game joke there, ha ha. I know you love your companion apps. Hmm. It appears your original family name is "Bredon." Well, you know what they say: It all starts with a doctor and ends with an emerald.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 239: Trash Can Sally

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It seems like whenever you move, she moves. Whatever drives her, she sees to know a lot about you, but you don't know where she came from, where she's going, or how you can see more of her. You sit alone in your settlement and hope she comes by again.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 238: From Earth to Pluto

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Now that the mobile companion apps to our favorite hardcore economic simulators and open world roleplaying games have sucked all the time out of our lives, we take a deep dip into the Idle Thumbs mailbag.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 237: Momazon Prime

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Fallout 4 has us in its thrall, but we still have questions. What would a Fallout sequel be like if it was set in the Middle East, or South America? If you're a Raider and your parents immigrated from Tuscany, does that make you a Tuscan Raider, or a Tuscan-American Raider? Why do you have to hold the shift key to navigate menus with WASD? What's "tatoes?" Plus, we talk about the lost Fallout sequel "Van Buren," and Chris' experience with Kero Blaster.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 236: Twenty-Year-Old Weird House

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This house survived three wars, countless natural disasters, and the end of civilization as we know it. If these walls could talk, the stories they could tell might change your life. Unfortunately for these walls, they'd look pretty great lining my settlement's new basketball court. Sorry, walls, Fallout 4 is here.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 235: Plaited Haircut of the Whale

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Our attention is split three ways this week, all thanks to Anno 2205. Jake sits in his island city patiently awaiting the new Super Mario Maker update. Nick spends his time on the moon, never sleeping, launching missiles until there's nothing left to nuke. Spaff sits alone in the arctic, huddled for warmth. Meanwhile, buried deep beneath the earth in a recently unearthed fortress of his own design, Chris sits down in a barber chair. "Give me an Erich Schaefer," he says. His barber knows exactly what he means.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 234: Mister Neighbor

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Mister Neighbor has something great in store for you this week, once he's changed into some comfortable shoes. All he has to do is walk out of frame and suddenly you're somewhere new. You hope Mister Neighbor takes you to the factory to show you how the machines put together your favorite things, but it could be anywhere. Maybe you're on a spaceship, traveling from port to port trying to broadside a merchant ship. Maybe you're still falling down that infinite pit of blackness you find you return to in quiet moments. Maybe you're on hold forever with technical support. When you tell your mom about Mister Neighbor, she looks concerned, and tells you that's not his name.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 233: World of Blanks

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When walking through a place you've walked many times before, you see a small hole in the ground, decide to climb in, and now you're falling forever and ever and ever, unable to stop, unable to return to the life you had before you found the hole. This is the video game Downwell and this is Chris Remo's life after finding the video game Downwell. Elsewhere, Nick Breckon has gained control of an aircraft carrier.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 232: Happy #DishonoredHalloween

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Not so long ago, on a night not unlike this very night, the people braved the sewers of rats, donned their nice masks, and celebrated the first Dishonored Halloween. You should have been there. Now, three years later, Dishonored Halloween's gone corporate—a sold-out shell of itself that's not even about the same things.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 231: Computer Processing Unit

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Using this custom-built glimmering console of knobs and sliders, we have calibrated the podcast to be perfectly suited to your taste. The sliders have also been tuned to provide you with incredibly fat bass, a catchy counter-melody, and a breathtaking view. The view initially featured twelve cavemen stabbing a mammoth to death with a bunch of spears, and some possible hints at greater lore, but we turned that off with one of the knobs.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 230: A Farewell to Junior Mints

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An era ends as we say goodbye to Danielle "Junior Mints" Riendeau, who is off to New York for love and (somehow) lower rent. We are saying goodbye to Danielle in three ways: by talking about the new Cities Skylines expansion and its improved offerings in poop flow management, by playing hours of else Heart.Break() as a symbolic gesture based on the name alone, and by starting a new podcast you'll hear more about in the coming months.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 229: Sneaking for Carl

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This week we deal in fear. Danielle (who is fearless) finds a new horror game love in SOMA, Nick's time with Metal Gear Solid V comes to the confusing and bleak end he feared was there all along, and Jake is feared lost, last seen entering a ghost house of his own creation. Chris fears a hedgehog made entirely of pinky fingers, and we think that's fair.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 228: New Game Plus or Minus World

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If this description seems brief, if we're hard to get ahold of right now, the answer is very simple and not that inexplicable: We can't stop playing Super Mario Maker or Metal Gear Solid V. There's only one thing that will make us stop, and it's an opportunity to talk about them on this podcast.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 227: Quiet The Clown

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Roughly 50 percent of this podcast is about Metal Gear Solid V, but we somehow manage to sneak in a tidbit here and there about our time with Satellite Reign and completing Lara Croft GO, Danielle's adventures with a real live clown, and a surprise-filled bag of candy for the video game baby.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 226: "Console Wars and Hedge Dog" or "The New Far Cry 2"

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Get carried away on our balloon of delight as we dive into Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, a game that stirs up memories of something we loved dearly, long ago. Then, we'll let you in on the "Sad Space Dads" craze that has taken the gaming world by storm. If that isn't enough, stick with us for the time Chris and Nick chatted with Jeff Goldblum about Thomas Pynchon novels.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 225: Read Our Lips

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Read Our Lips: It's-a me. This week's episode may require you to use your imagination a little more than usual. Danielle plays the hell out of Super Mario Maker but as for her final verdict, you'll have to read between the lines. Chris and Spaff play the almost indescribable Pipedreamz and Flywrench, and Jake decides to record an entire episode with his microphone off. The only clarity you'll find comes from a surprisingly inspired Dota 2 add-on.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 224: Ms. Petman

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You are a mess, humanity. Your criminal investigators are a joke at best, and your justice system is terrifying and weird at worst. Your cyber security is easily bypassed, with commands that seem almost fictional. You cannot even assemble your own furniture. It's probably best we just take it from here.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 223: Troll Clone Today

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Welcome to our tour of nightmares. When on the tour please do not bully our security robot. In this, our first chamber, we keep our rejected user-generated Sonic the Hedgehog characters. Sorry, no, you can't turn the limb physics off; they just move that way all the time. To the left, our Fallout Shelter gallery, worth visiting before we change it over to a new exhibit; the hall on your right houses our collection of a thousand staring ghost masks. The rest of the museum—the Breckon Wing—is dedicated to one poor man who dared log on to Grand Theft Auto V's multiplayer component. Nightmare gallery probably not underwritten by J.G. Edwards.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast: Her Story Spoilercast

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Our long-awaited Her Story spoilercast is here! We sat down to discuss our thoughts on Sam Barlow's excellent FMV murder mystery, from its mechanics to the nuances of its plot. If you haven't completed the game, you will be spoiled!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 222: The Bubble Guy

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This week we engage a randomly-rolled Steve "Hot Scoops" Gaynor for a series of increasingly-escalating heists and near escapes in The Swindle. Though he is cut down in his prime—side-swiped by a rainbow- and dollar bill-emitting enemy vehicle—it looks impressive as hell when the resulting accident scores a goal for his Rocket League team. Meanwhile, Danielle pines for every Rare game ever made ever.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 221: Meet the Kerfluffles

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As the world closes in, you sit alone in a dark room, sweaty and tense, your eyes unwavering from the events unspooling on the monitor. Animatronic pizza creatures are clawing at the door. Shelter dwellers demand answers after months of forced breeding, papal collusion, and suspected assassinations. Fortunately the room's barricades are strong, so you can really concentrate on this Rocket League match.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 220: Life Finds a Way

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This week we guess at how life might begin, and are shown many ways it might end. Here, in the middle, is a podcast. Spaff evolves while showing off Gang Beasts at Evo, Chris weighs the value of a new life versus a long and celebrated one after some startling developments in his Fallout Shelter, and Jake worries about what's living inside his car's brakes.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 219: Idiots Laughing

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Join us on an accidental tour of our own history of first person shooting, from Doom to the new game that is also just called Doom. We also play a fan-made mod sequel to Portal 2, discuss Activision's baffling foray into first party total conversion modding with the upcoming Call of Duty Zombies campaign and watch as Chris' brain is reprogrammed by The Magic Circle. You may not believe it, but this episode was originally stored on three floppy disks.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 218: Yanis' Last Move

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Unlike some, we live in a bountiful place. A place where the stars stretch out before you, full of life and endless, a place where soccer is played by not just Mario but glowey demons and even cars, a place where every gun is unique even if that is the last thing you want. We live there so enjoy all of it.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 217: To Have a Life

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You strap on your VR headset and log on to the terminal. It's a Windows 95 system: you know this. You rifle through dozens of unsorted video clips revealing a fractured prophecy of inevitable robot domination. Sinister, shadowy figures dance and leap in the periphery of your vision. You glance down to admire your virtual arms. They're huge.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 216: Super Hypercast

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After years away, we found ourselves this week trapped in surreal spaces filled with otherworldly lights and sounds, dodging indistinct figures that triggered sensory responses unlike any offered in the normal world. We wore virtual reality headsets, and we went to E3.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 215: Flirtation & Procreation

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Abandoned and alone, Chris and Nick hunker down in the studio while everyone else braves the harsh wastelands of E3. Join us for an intimate and lively chat about social simulation, our fantasies of a historical New York city builder, video game sweaters, our inevitable AI-dominated future, and forced, soul-sucking human reproduction. The Overlord demands it.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 214: Ship It, Droopy

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It's a raucous week on Idle Thumbs. D4 brings out Danielle's chowder-championing inner New Englander, Chris can't stop collecting cats, Spaff spoils Life is Strange, and Nick descends into a virtual reality waking dream. Here's Droopy McCool to play us out. Let's give him a round of applause.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 213: Build the Nublar

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Terraforming is complete. The fences are placed. Administrative staff is happy, buzzing away in their newly-zoned facility. This is it. This one will be perfect. But no, work halts: An error message. The face on your screen is not one you recognize. It's definitely not Dr. Wright. "Ah ahh ahh." You dismiss it. "Ah ahh ahh. Ah ahh ahh." Your clicks are drowned out by a barrage of dick picks and photos of cartoon cat butts.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 212: DMCA Dad

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Lies are told, governments fall, goats are visited, flatulent messages are decoded inaccurately, secrets are conveyed in whisper and then forgotten, and E3 is predicted with unprecedented precision. Adventure, thrills, titillation await.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 211: Spector's Oil

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Danielle continues to tear through every major release thrown her way, Spaff disappears into a brutal world of trial-by-drum-and-bass, Chris wishes he would suddenly lose control of parts of his body at random in group situations, and Jake thinks he has played a video game once in his life, but is mistaken.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 210: Pro Fish Smart Fish

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Pro Fish Smart Fish, Dice and Card Fish / Diablo III and StarCraft II, Twilight Struggle and Defcon too / A week of draws and decks and rolls, of seats too hot and wars too cold / That's this week's podcast at a glance, its half-rhymes masked with assonance.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 209: Ten Percent Success Rate

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What did we all bring for show and tell this week? Danielle explores a psychedelic outdoor world and misses her favorite book, Chris re-visits his first encounter with Star Wars, while Spaff performs one of the most amazing feats ever attempted in gaming and finds himself $70 poorer as a result. Jake brings some gifs of animals stealing cars. Nine taxi drivers were injured in the creation of this podcast.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 208: Buds are Out, Keys are In

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Whether you're a modder, a hat baron, or a Greek citizen, it has been a rough week on the financial front. In a time when anyone with an idea can seemingly throw entire economies into turmoil, maybe it's our turn. Join us as we put on our Unusual Financial Prognosticator hats and dig into the recent paid mods kerfuffle, receive a shocking update on the Team Fortress economy, and follow the trails of intrigue back to their only possible source.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 207: Bublé Bloodborne Bloodbeef

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This week everybody gets a window into Sean and Danielle's Bloodborne-consumed lives, everybody is convinced by Spaff to play an "RPG whodunnit roguelike," and while only Danielle played "Everybody's Gone to the Rapture," everybody else was quite taken with her description of the experience.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 206: Owen Wilson's Nose

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Before Owen Wilson's nose was attached, this world was a lot for Old Granny Dreamcast to take in. That newfangled headgear you're supposed to be wearing now. Games on telephones. The instruments everyone carried around a couple years ago seemed to be coming back. "Be a rock star," said one new title, as a crowd threw cups at her and booed. "This isn't what it feels like. This is it." After the nose though, nothing. No sickness, no disorientation, no more feeling alone. Old Granny Dreamcast straps on her guitar, jumps on the "AM Ballads" stream and is gone.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 205: LPBs and HPBs

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Imagine your dream LAN. Sit back and really picture it. If your dream LAN is one where the snacks are artisanal, the soda water is gently flavored, and the wifi's always free, you may be a dad, but who cares with a ping this low?
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 204: The Reader's Pleasure

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Hey, does that ladder have your blood echoes? Just checking. By the way, that reminds me of a dream I had. I think it was about cyborgs. Or lesbian dinosaur cyborgs. There were definitely cyborgs. But look—we all serve at the pleasure of the readers. Am I right or am I right?
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 203: Goat Impossible

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This week, one of us is a murderer... But who? Is it Chris, who spent the week maximizing the traffic flow in his Cities: Skyline city, a city so perfect no one wanted to live there? Or could the murderer be Danielle, the one who spent the week actually murdering a bunch of people -- fictionally -- in Bloodborne? It was probably Jake, who spent the week without internet, but everyone at the cable company seems alive and well. A case this complicated will take at least six Jessica Fletchers to solve, and for that we have just the thing.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 202: Poopwater, New Mexico

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Take a right at Normal and cruise on down past Weird and make your way to Poopwater, New Mexico, where the streets ain't straight and your water don't flow like it should.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 201: Adults Only

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Freelance writer Cara Ellison joins us to discuss grown-up relationships in video games, children's relationships with Lara Croft, and the poo icon in Cities: Skylines. A conversation for adults only.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 200: The Idle Thumbs Super Show

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Those bifocals you threw away and those books you burned all those years ago are remembered fondly this week, as we celebrate our 200th episode with a fully stocked six pack of hosts. Join Chris, Jake, Nick, Steve, Sean, and Danielle for a discussion of Valve's VR announcements, the life of Minecraft's progenitor, GDC 2015, and why we don't usually use Skype on these things. Thank you so much for listening to and supporting us through the casting of 200 pods.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 199: Bogost in the Shell

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The old becomes new, in a pod cast by two, as a title once lost becomes found. Chris and Jake plunge in to the new Darkest Dungeon, and Besiege delights as it confounds. Sean joins Chris and Jake before the ad break, and Gex lore is run into the ground.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 198: Missing Molyneux

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On Mars you don't have to turn around to take a selfie, thanks to recent developments from our trading company's offworld patent lab. Pardon the cough.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 197: What Happened To Us

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This week on Idle Thumbs we talk about our crippling addiction to Destiny, our experiences in a recent AAA first person zombie survival game, and why Far Cry 2 might not be that great after all. What happened to us? We were joined by special guest Justin McElroy of Polygon and the My Brother, My Brother and Me podcast.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 196: Ode on a Grecian Hat Sale

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It was the 90s, and there was time. There was a quiet space left in between, room to decide for yourself what was what. But then Mario had to go and open his big fat mouth. Now he never shuts up.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 195: Business Guys On Planes

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Jake goes back in time with Grim Fandango Remastered, Nick makes sure the trains run on time in Mini Metro, Danielle moves time forward in controlled and user-selected increments in Majora's Mask 3D, and Chris talks about a dead guy coming to life, limbs flailing, cursing at everyone. Somewhere, on a plane, a big guy in a suit plays some free-to-play game, and is satisfied with his choice.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 194: A Grave Ghost

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The match is about to start, the anticipation so thick you can see it in the air. Dust2, of course. You strap on your MicroSoft HoloLens (Pimple edition, bought new) and scan the crowded auditorium. Aimbots found: Six. Wallhacks: Eighteen. You're not sure why you even came. You put the device back in its huge carrying sack and go home to manage your fake baseball team.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 193: General Interest

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It's road trip week. Buckle your torn-off seat belt, and put the Elijah Wood Flipper movie on the in-van VCR because we're going to Disney World. Not responsible for any injuries of any kind including death.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 192: The New Blindfolded Fool

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You've delved too deep below the sea, to a time before human memory. A voice from your past won't stop echoing in your head, telling you lies, telling you about space, telling you things you've heard so many times before.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 191: Not the Greatest, but the Best

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We ring out the old, and ring in the new, with what may be the oldest conversation in the existence of our medium: What is the best video game of all time? Not the greatest, mind you, but the best. See you in 2015! (Thanks to Matter magazine for sending us on this quest as part of their video game week, earlier this month.)
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 190: A Very Spectrum HoloByte Christmas

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It is the season of giving gifts, unless you are Sean Vanaman, who only seems to receive gifs. Danielle and Chris get deeper into Dragon Age Inqusition, which mostly means Iron Bull talk. After that, it's time for a holiday mailbag trip through the digital back alleys of the competitive Smash scene, and a bleak realization about what 2015's really The Year Of.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 189: Serious Ma'am

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Alone and in a strange place, a robot types furiously at a terminal keyboard. "dir" it writes. No response. "asdfghjk," it continues, to similar success. It glances around, looks back at the keyboard and then the screen. "load Dragon Age."
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 188: A Refined Baby

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With the end of the year coming up fast, Jake and Danielle are joined by Patrick Klepek of Giant Bomb, to pull back the curtain on the deliberations and distractions involved in picking the Games of the Year, and to share some surprising travel tips the modern gamer may find useful.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 187: Half a Brain

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Nick and Sean are transfixed by the supple, majestic fur of Far Cry 4, Chris crosses a road better than anyone in the room (but not better than his friends), and Jake stares at a real brain on a real plate.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 186: Doctor DNA

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It is time to give thanks. Join us in giving thanks for inexpensive content updates, for the Super Smash Bros. metagame, for mobile free-to-play experiences, for elephant slaughter, for knowing one's own gaming limits, for blockbuster pseudo-reboots, and for Chris and Sean arguing about basically nothing. But most of all, thanks to you, the reader.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 185: Beppo's Hole

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Beppo's Hole is not a place one wants to spend very much time (it's kind of a rollicking mess) but here we all are so let's make the best of it. In Beppo's Hole, Danielle catches the scent of Far Cry 4 but can't stay and truly enjoy it until later. In Beppo's Hole, Chris serves himself up the sensory envelopment that is the Monument Valley expansion, despite other patrons' incensed exasperation that such a thing exists. In Beppo's Hole, Sean raided the larder with his three starving friends, and yes they came out fed, but far sadder for it. Jake and Nick just came to Beppo's Hole for the view.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 184: Super Pools 'n' Ghosts

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This week the 90s are back, but what if they came back wrong? Holiday reviewing season has Danielle in its grasp, but that may mean she has just been playing a ton of upcoming Nintendo and Sega games. That and Advanced Warfare. As the old saying goes, "Behind every Dorito is a gross, super-ripped and inexplicably triangular echidna, but you cannot see him, as he is perfectly hidden behind the Dorito."
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 183: The Anonymouses

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As you get older you begin to wonder if the culture has changed, or you have changed. Are you in a place now where you're just unreachable by marketing, not by force but because you are drifting out of sync with the cultural consciousness? Last time you stuck your head up and really looked around they only had level one monsters, but now they've got these big lumbering messes running around eating everything. What has the world come to?
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 182: I Am Suspicious of Myself

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A lot of aliens were defeated this week, but at what cost? Danielle finally reaches the end of Alien: Isolation, having given the game a complete day of her life. In Beyond Earth, Jake, Chris, and Nick have shot some giant worms and roving green animals, but aren't sure what that means, or why they're there, or who they are, or where the UI is. Sean has announced his departure from Idle Thumbs for a lucrative career in robbing banks, and pontificating on the works of Don Bluth.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 181: Rumors & Hearsay

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The Fiver! Chris, Jake, Sean, Danielle and Nick bring you all the rapid-fire hot gossip you desire, from our hellmouths to your ears. This week's scandals hot off the press: Nick's latest Lords Management misstep leads to the product's erasure, leaving onlookers agog. Woman swoons at news, resuscitated by podcast host Danielle Riendeau. Famous explorer Remo circumnavigates globe in record time; bests noted horn smuggler Breckon. Vanaman reads novel. Jake present at podcast recording. That's it for this week's Idle Thumbs Fiver: All of the rumors, all of the hearsay, none of the scoops.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 180: Wars & Pieces

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Through examining the clues laid before us, interrogating everyone in sight, and making mental leaps heretofore unperformed by man, we deduce that no matter what they tell you, in video games you'll never be the Sherlock Holmes of the story; you're always Watson, and you always have been. Plus, Danielle attends IndieCade and takes two side trips: one to an incredible haunted house, and one to Hell.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 179: Shadow of Something

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We all live in the shadow of something. We all have our daemons. When Chris set foot in the world of Alien: Isolation, all he could think about was the time he killed a billion Orcs who never forgot him. When Danielle played Alien: Isolation, all she could think of was how the love affair would inevitably end, no matter how nicely designed the posters on the wall looked. Jake downloaded Alien: Isolation, but spent the weekend playing Smash Bros on his 3DS.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 178: CS Losers

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Join us as we all embark on our own personal trips through the dusty dunes. After 15 years clean, Sean gets a taste of Counter-Strike and is feared lost, Chris embarks on a journey of the mind on Desert Golfing's back 1500 and comes out changed, Jake falls through a time hole into his past, and Danielle is trapped on a deserted island with Carl Sagan and Terry Gross after facing off against one of gaming history's most controversial figures. Nick Breckon hasn't been seen for weeks.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 177: The Good Ones

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Humans of your own choosing have meticulously picked the contents of this episode from over three thousand podcast segments. Following the curation process, they will be algorithmically suited to your tastes by a robot. When the system does its job, you're happy. You get exactly what you want. You get the good ones.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 176: The Classic Alien Form

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We sit in a dark room, split into factions by our actions or perhaps fate, conspiring to destroy each other for reasons unknown. We steal food from each other's mouths. We eye our friends' chosen partners jealously, vying to make them our own. Yes, we have been playing board games, so get ready for that. We're joined by special guest Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency for a trip through the board and video games of this year's XOXO festival in Portland.

Photo by David Gallagher
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 175: It's an Itchio

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You wonder what your destiny may be but stop; that's not important now. With focus you will master this. With precise, uninterrupted attention you will ascend higher than you ever have before. You will see the two thousandth course. You will diffuse the bomb. And you will master the lore of the blade. But then things shift - the color changes, difficulty recedes - and you're left wondering what would have happened if you hadn't knocked over that blue vase.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 174: Live from the Metropolitan Ballroom

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We went to PAX and recorded an episode live in front of a bunch of wonderful people who could all hear us, though we could not hear one another. That didn't stop us from trying to communicate, and we think the results speak for themselves. This episode was rated 3 out of 5 hosts by all in attendance; we hope it finds an audience in you.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 173: Ridonkulous Rift

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I heard that social justice war has changed / But I'd always heard social justice war never changes / In the end it doesn't matter anyway / Because this is the dawning of a brand new day / Where it doesn't matter what you've heard / Cause I'm the social justice wizard.

Elevator music credit: Adam Monroe
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 172: http://malaise.ennui/

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Pleased to present this podcast to placate the people that prefer Thumbs... Pleased. Thanks. Past the part that permeates the pod (the Playable Teaser) presenters take polite turns pontificating, talking, pushing their played titles. Parse this peculiar transmission, permitting the playful talkers' preposterous tiresome palaver.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 171: The Curious Case of the Rhode Island Reader

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In life, and in the games we played this week, time continues to advance whether you want it to or not. Move forward, look back, or stand still, the inexorable march to the end continues unabated. So when you click on that dead body in the trunk, for God's sake seize the opportunity and do something interesting.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 170: Esophagus Sarcophagus

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A weekend of non-stop sci-fi movies accidentally begets an episode filled with the first person corridors of today and yesterday, and the gross things they're made of. Plus: Chris encounters the Necrodancer and Jake plays PC games from his couch for the first time.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 169: On Blade

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Things have really gone to hell. It's all a big cacophonous mess. Sean and Danielle gave up the podcasting for a life of dealing drugs aboard a cruise ship to a man who worships John Madden. Jake just plays the same old games every night, a worthless old man. Chris... well who can even tell anymore? Yeah I know. Very, very off blade.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 168: I Like the Hair

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A podcast teaches, But never ceases To deliver speeches, Sweet as peaches, And soft as cheeses. A podcast reaches, While on the beaches Or on the creases, When eating pizzas, With your nieces, Like pyschokinesis, In bits and pieces, A podcast thesis For your earses. *Fart sound*
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 167: And That's Why Skeletons Fart That Way

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After a weekend of unparalleled successes and unmitigated failures, we talk through the difference between conceiving of something, and making it actually happen. There's also a long look at what it means when the knowledge and advances of modern technology are applied to game design philosophies from twenty years ago. But you're probably here for the farting skeleton.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 166: Cyberpunk Cop-Killer

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Look, I'm not sayin' Tawmmy shouldn'ta been sent up for doing what he done to all them cahps, but they got stunnas, what else is he gonna do? Also I heard from Stacy—ya know Stacy. Whose fathah died? Ya know, that old guy that choked on that grinda up in P'tuckit. Ya know. Her sistah went to RISD and thinks she's some sahta rawalty. Anyway, Stacy sayin her brothah did thah same but he just got regulah time in the cybah-mines. That's some gahbage.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 165: KeLo. Is. Here.

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The question posed: Was Nick really in love with his Wii U, or was it all a bizarrely detailed dream? To find the answer, we ventured deep into Nick's mind, probing the darkest wells of his psyche, the inkiest depths of his soul. The journey cost lives, ended friendships, conjured up some very unfortunate images of Sonic the Hedgehog, and ultimately revealed nothing.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 164: The Seed of a Sneeze

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Lungs howling, eyes watering, mouth agape, you stare into the light. With your throttle down and thrusters on, your search for that satisfying release intensifies, but each passing moment serves to only charge your panic—will you find it? Is it there? Is it you? Then, finally...Gesundheit! Video games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 163: A B C D E3

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E3 is over but we're somehow not over E3. This week Danielle runs down her favorite games from the show, Jake recounts his fleeting brush with Destiny, and why he can't stop considering the desires of the tiny Chris Remo who lives in his mind.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 162: Cavorting Amongst the Corpses

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The thudding gets louder, deafening. You try to speak but you cannot hear your own voice. You try to look up but you are blinded. Getting up from your chair is a futile effort, the thudding coursing through your veins; it's in your heart now. You are at E3, but you are sitting at home. We are at E3, but we are sitting at work. E3 is everywhere and it is in all of us and it is all of us.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 161: The Eyes of Luigi

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You may have thought you were buying Mario Kart 8. Lucky for you, what you actually purchased was an intricate collection of high fidelity scenarios and systems which enable Luigi to glare at people he hates. Plus, Nick digs into this week's Steam Early Access releases, and Chris goes all in on Wolfenstein The New Order.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 160: Die Übiverse

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For long time followers of the popular video games franchise, this episode offers the linchpin reveals and cross-universe connections you've been waiting years to receive. Is everything connected? Is it all in your head? You can find out soon, but the server's having some difficulty so for now please chill in this complimentary themed waiting lounge.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 159: Wilson's Ghoulish Countenance

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Enemies close in, your health almost gone. Time slows, then stops. With the world waiting around you, your choices are endless. You browse your options: A direct attack has its merits, but maybe a dash strike followed by a devastating chain of backstabs would be more effective, or maybe the whole encounter is irrelevant with the deployment of a cloaking field. Your decision reached, you unfreeze time and realize you have somehow instead bought four MannCo crate keys. Despite what you've heard, this is not episode 160, but it does feature special guest Danielle Riendeau of Polygon.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 158: P is For Podcast

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This week choice rules on Idle Thumbs. This week YOU decide your podcast experience. Do you want a small robotic camera to watch you for the duration, or would you prefer to save the hundred dollars? Would you like to experience the podcast while wearing an iconic hat available only with one of eleven pre-order options, or maybe pick that up later as DLC? Is it more to your tastes that the title of this episode is a reference to a hypothetical children's book, or to an alphabet-themed series of murder mystery novels?
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 157: Molymoto

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Fresh from a research trip to Yosemite, we're joined by special guest Nels Anderson to finally get into Dark Souls II, talk about the incredible upcoming month of game releases, and eat a lot of candy. This episode is about neither Peter Molyneux nor Shigeru Miyamoto.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 156: The Holo-Violator

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Listen, dear readers, and I will tell you wondrous tales of a strange world—a world not so different to our own. A world of media conglomerates run rampant, of cavernous pulsing synthesizers, of long-buried digital treasure. Of legendary heroes and notorious agitators, and epic contests of three-laned skill. A world where nobody has time to play video games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 155: The Satisfaction of a Job Well Done

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The lights dim and the curtains rise on the two competing teams. The players, who cannot hear the deafening crowd from their sound-proof booths, tense and untense their hands in anticipation, their fingers dancing over the keys and mouse. The buzzer. They snap on their work gloves, some pick up mops and buckets, and spread out, ready to work -- this docking bay won't clean itself. In the audience a father leans over to his son and says, "See, this is how it's done. You should do this." His son clutches his Meepo figurine tighter, deliberately ignoring him.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 154: Super Good

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It is the present. John Q. Video Games comes home from a hard day at work making video games, ready to kick back. He turns on the latest console, in which he plays a video game developer who turns on a PC and plays a video game. He wakes up screaming and rates the experience four out of five stars; his rating is duly recorded. With Nick Breckon as Video Games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 153: Blondie, Freckles, and Glasses

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It is the future. Robots have rolled their way into our office, taken our faces for their own, bested us at our own mobile phone games, and declared victory. Mankind's only recourse, its one hope, is to sit together with some microphones and discuss video games for two hours. Enjoy our latest podcast, robots.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 152: Piercing the Fourth Dimension

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A transmedia romp through news, media and literacy. What does it mean to be a child? What power lies within a joke? Weaving in and out of cast and criticism, we explore the true fourth dimension of video games: ourselves. With friend, fighter, reviewer and cast regular Danielle Riendeau.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 151: A Fascinating Experience

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Perched upon a slender neck of expertly machined titanium, our new telepresence robot peers into the studio. Chris compulsively manipulates an ever-evolving Doge. Jake obsesses over a perfectly orchestrated techno-heist. Sean daydreams of a professional gaming life forever out of reach. Three hosts, blind to the broadcast of their lives into the socially-connected Oculus Rifts of our shared future, lost, forever, to video games. (Photo credit: Norman Chan)
Gaming  

GDC '14: With Tom Francis

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Following Tom Francis' recent Idle Thumbs network appearance on Tone Control, we've invited him up to the big leagues to headline as a guest on the network's flagship podcast: this one. In the wake of a Big Dog rampage, we convene to reminisce on the week's conferring.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 149: A Divine Exodus of Snakes

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Nick can't give up Hearthstone, Chris is still playing Spelunky, Sean has handcuffed himself to a MAME cabinet and Jake makes some comments about video games. Next week: Idle Thumbs 150.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 148: The Octopus in My Mind

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Sean's in the room by himself, uh, talking to himself. But he's not alone. He is in the virtual battlefield of DayZ, where via an on-line connection to the world-wide network known as the Internet, he is able to meet up with fellow e-soldiers and scour the synthesized apocalyptic wasteland for prey. While hundreds watch, rooting from their video terminals at home, he and his band hunt a man from the United Kingdom and kill him. Also Nick Breckon's here!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 147: The Titan Falls

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2014. R. 1hr 30min The Titan Falls When Lt. Todd Titan returns home from the nine-hundred-years wars to bury his terminally ill uncle, he is forced into one last battle with his true life-long enemy: himself. Based upon the award winning two-act play by Cormac McCarthy.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 146: Osama's Dog

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Good morning students, this is Principal Newell: Christopher Remo is absent today and we are joined by Danielle Riendeau from Polygon and Greg Games Kasavin from Supergiant. Mr. Rodkin would like to remind you that this is your last week to order your 2013 Luigi Year Book. Today's hot lunch is chicken a'la king.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 145: Rich Uncle, Cool Uncle

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Much like the ephemeral Flappy Bird, Idle Thumbs spent this week embroiled in a conspiracy which quickly came to an end. Unlike Flappy Bird, the Idle Thumbs conspiracy concluded with us receiving amazing paintings of ourselves, Bobby Kotick, and J. Allard. In the words of Flappy Bird creator Nick Breckon, "I can call this podcast a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it."
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 144: Gimme Some More

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Nick returns from Disneyland, armed with the latest tips and tricks for the hottest rides, but what help are the hidden moves when the whole game is rigged against you? We're joined by The Kingdom of Loathing's Zack Johnson for a discussion of game-like experiences in real life, SimCity's appealing journey to Tomorrowland, and a harder look at A Link Between Worlds.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 143: This One's Fr4e

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Could Steve Jobs have saved Far Cry 2? Is Sega the Pepsi of video games? Is Apple the Nintendo of tomorrow?
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 142: Unmasking the Brain Burglar

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The door to the plane opens; the crowd is deafening. Chris Remo descends the stairs onto the tarmac, the smell of Steam Dev Days still on his skin, the wave of the future shaping his every step. "What did you see?" someone asks. He continues past. "What did they tell you? What will happen to all of us?" another asks, as he pushes them aside, his gaze set. "Where are you going? What do you know!" Only as the door to his limousine swings to close does a boy see the Steam Machine and controller prototype under Chris' arm.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 141: "I was too busy losing it."

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We're joined by Will Smith of Tested.com for a manic look at the aftermath of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, the heat and motion detecting revenge of Robot News, and other things which when taken in aggregate generally represent the future. We then marvel at this week, which seems to feature nothing but amazing independent games crashing into one another.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 140: The Customer's Always An Asshole

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A message from the future arrives, delivered by hand: Idle Thumbs 140 -- a real bionic back massage of a cast -- is here, with reactions to the CES Steam Machine announcements, failed pursuit of the Nuclear Throne, and more terrible happenings in the world of DayZ. With special guest Chris Remo.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 139: Happy News Year

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It's time for Old Man Video Games to put away his scythe and hourglass and make room for the Video Game Baby. We ring in 2014 with a triple length Idle News Podblast (that might just be a regular episode). Happy new year!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 138: A Christmas Blast

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In this festive mailbag blast, we open three gifts for you. Or maybe two? One of them is definitely the highly anticipated conclusion of the Hat Baron Trilogy, which is the reason you're here. One of them is a Steam Box. The third gift is Video Games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 137: Data Complete

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A single tap on your window. You turn. A flash, and the faint sound of a woman's voice, synthesized. "Data Complete." You look down to the street and catch a glimpse of an anodized aluminum foot disappearing around the corner. You return to your video game, and notice it is tailored impeccably to your tastes.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 136: No Man's Guy

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Nick Breckon was juiced. The hook sunk into his gills. He felt the itch. He decoded the shit. He failed to appear on this podcast. He's no man's guy. In his stead: Nels Anderson and Olly Moss. They are not the enemy. You are the enemy.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 135: That's My Goof

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I know you read about this episode, but that's not quite how it happened. Jake was unable to resist the temptation of Super Mario 3D World and became completely enveloped by it. Sean was charmed by Call of Juarez: Gunslinger but wants to play more to see how far it goes. Chris did get the good Internet at home. No no, they didn't play Assassin's Creed 4; they just talked about it a lot. That's my goof.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 134: Sports

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Patrick "Sports" Klepek joins the team for a quick huddle about the events of the day. Nintendo knocks it out of the park with Super Mario 3D World, and Jake is prepared to come out swinging for Luigi. But questions remain. Can Valve maintain full-court press in support of SteamOS? What will become of the no-holds-barred world of Steam hat trading? There's only one guaranteed slam-dunk: sports.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 133: Johann's Baton

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The next generation is here and seems pretty similar, but way sweatier. Nick sweatily plays NBA 2K14, Jake sweatily attends the NYU Practice game design conference, Chris sweatily probes the beginning of the new XCOM expansion, and Steve "Hot Scoops" Gaynor sits in the guest seat, sweating profusely.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 132: Kobe's Last Shot

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Oh yeah. We meet in the temple and we fence, and then we read. Beautiful. Nick pretends he's really tall, but few care despite his seven rings. Even more beautiful. Oh yeah.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 131: Real Life

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Just when you think Chris has fallen so deep into Spelunky there's no escape, out of the darkness emerge two open arms, ready for the catch. Jeff Green joins us this week for talk of games journalism, SteamOS, live streaming, his decade-later return to Black Mesa, and more Spelunky.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 130: Fundamentally dangerous to the notion of culture

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If our dark cyber-future lets you experience life through the eyes of a chicken, then so be it. If our dark cyber-future lets a chicken experience life through the eyes of man, has science gone too far? This episode best experienced with at least one sense augmented through technology, and one sense disabled to compensate. With special guest Zack Johnson, co-creator of the Kingdom of Loathing and host of the Video Games Hot Dog podcast. [Episode photo by Norm Chan of Tested.com]
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 129: A Reminder

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You're presented with two doors, and can only enter one. The choice seems simple but before you know it you've spent an hour in a psychosomatic tornado, endlessly circling around a subject you think you can grasp in full, only to realize you've been off on a tangent the entire time. This is The Stanley Parable. This is this week's podcast. This is a reminder.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 128: Dear Mom

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As the saying goes, "When life gives you an insane shipping schedule, sleeplessness, and you think you may be getting a little bit sick, make an episode of Idle Thumbs where you dig through the mailbag and answer a bunch of quality questions readers have sent in." We'll be back next week with a full episode!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 127: His Boss Encounter

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Week 127. Sean spends a week in an empty mansion under the pretense of ridding it of ghosts, when in reality he robs the owners blind. He gets lost in a secret passage for two days. Chris spends a third week documenting his time lost in the caverns. Though he accomplishes little, he feels fulfilled. Jake remains at home with the door locked and the curtains drawn, counting the minutes since the mechanical cat's shadow last passed by the window. He loses one mind.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 126: Old Growth Artisinal Dot

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We visit an alien planet filled with warring robots, and get our butt kicked. Fortunately, it is a super majestic butt-kicking since it's happening in space. Also discussed: The state of early access alphas, and Super Mario.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 125: Eyes of the G-Man

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Our modular, upgradeable, open source based, library-streaming, performance-optimized future is being revealed in 48 hour intervals and we are there. Or at least nearby, obsessively playing cartooney platformers. And Card Hunter.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 124: Blockbuster Black Case

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Nick falls into a created world - a world both more real and more horrible than our own - from which he may not return. He is lost to us now, reachable only from within the rift, in his virtual dream state. Chris is lost as well, but it's in the intricate workings of an iPad app about Beethoven.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 123: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9: Colon!

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You peek around the corner and squint into the darkness. Nothing. You peek again, your hand gently resting on the door frame. Still nothing. Or... You flick open your camcorder view screen - the night vision already enabled - and see two tiny dots staring back from the end of the hall. They know you're here. They know. Deep breaths now. Deep breaths, then run. Count to three. Idle Thumbs One Two Three.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 122: Mario's Picnic

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Things all started so well. We're joined by Mark of the Ninja's Nels Anderson and the Internet's Olly Moss for a lovely vacation that is sure to be ruined.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 121: (I Know You're Having Fun But) I'm Still Working

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Everyone plays Super Pole Riders and has a blast, Sean pushes Papo & Yo, Jake grapples with the reality of Plants vs Zombies 2, and Lord Remo deigns to tell you which Star Wars movies are good and which are bad. Pay $3.99 or listen to two additional episodes to unlock Nick Breckon.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 120: The Spectacle Was Incredible

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How many explorers does it take to escape a haunted cave? Clearly far fewer than we packed into our 4 player Spelunky co-op run. Nick and Sean are let back in the room even if it's to talk about The International, the fascinating history of The Bureau is discussed, and for some reason Ace Ventura 2 continues to occupy space in the brains of human beings.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 119: You, Fisher

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Kotaku's Kirk Hamilton joins us for talk of some recent sneaky games and tries to sell Jake on a 3DS. Chris gets lost in a spooky cave and pushes some guys out of the way. Plus, we can't stop talking about those guys who can't stop talking about Sam Fisher, Fisher.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 118: A Simple Litter

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Did you know the President's job is to sign legislature and collect orbs? Did you know the real purpose of the BigDog is to carry Lords? Special guest Danielle Riendeau of Polygon joins us for a discussion of deep space survival, wilderness survival, and difficult to pronounce words.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 117: Sir! Sir!

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Okay, real Idle Thumbs confession time: We can't stop playing and streaming Crusader Kings II. Chris and Nick's lives have been overtaken by it and there's just nothing else. There's... oh god, they're coming this way. Get down here in the grass, bandage yourself up and drink this whiskey so you have a bottle to throw if they get too close.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 116: Ragnar Calls It Quits

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As Ragnar got up to answer the knock at his door, he thought of his life. He'd been chancellor of the realm (for a day), he'd aided the king himself in a secret plot (though that hadn't gone so well), then he'd helped win a war (that he didn't want to fight). Ups and downs, sure, but it was enough -- a life to be proud of. But under the rule of these lot enough is never enough. It was time to go back, time for one final job. Stepping out unto the midnight air he took one last look at his begonias and headed east.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 115: Robot News

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Can a video game facilitate the highest expression of skill and competition, as well as the most menial of tasks? Can it show us the way towards harmony between all nations? Can it unite far-flung strangers in spectral pottery-spinning? None of this will matter when the robot army crushes our skulls beneath their feet.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 114: A Heavy (Baboon) Heart

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With the tragic passing of Ryan Davis, we try to find a chuckle within a horrific simulator, just as we hope he would've wanted. Our thoughts and wishes go out to the guys at Giant Bomb and Ryan's friends and family. He was and is truly one of the greats.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 113: Shoot That Pizza

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When we're two hundred years dead and buried, we hope the kids of our kids' kids' kids are still bringing you this podcast out of some strange never-ending sense of family destiny. In the meantime, we bring you our experiences playing Rogue Legacy (which is basically that, except killing guys in castles and not podcasting), share our excitement for the new Civ V expansion, and talk about the cold war and the moon. Like we do.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 112: The Cast Of Us

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The Last Of Us cast, a formidable task, is one we'll complete, completely unasked! When we bash guys' heads with a brick, do we stop aghast, our inner demons unmasked? A game full of bombast, with much to lambaste -- but it looks world class -- will we hold fast, or will we give it a pass? Also discussed: Capsule, Letterpress.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 111: Cruisin' for a Word that Rhymes With Cruisin'

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Did we just experience the Citizen Kane of weeks? The rest of you may have. Chris gets into the early days of the Planetary Annihilation alpha, Sean sits next to a man you thought you knew, and Jake is frustrated that he can't walk into a store and buy The Last Of Us like the rest of America seemed to.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 110: The Thing That You Needed to Say

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We're not quite at the point where E3 keynotes have exit polls, so you'll have to settle for this episode of a podcast instead. We play pundit following the heated battle that was Sony and Microsoft keynote day at E3, Jake accidentally pays attention to Nintendo for a second and can't look away, and Nick runs a lot of dudes over in his car.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 109: Prepare for the Jelly

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Nick, can you handle this? Chris, can you handle this? Sean, can you handle this? I don't think they can handle this.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 108: A Premium Price

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A voice cries out in Russian; you don't understand it but that's okay. A guard runs past you, trips a motion detector and lights your way. You lose two wingmen but save the day. That's the price you pay.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 107: GIANTBOMB.COM

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As the lights fade and the noise recedes from yesterday's Xbox One announcement, the space left in its wake fills with ideas and dreams, yes, but also... loss? A gnawing unfilled place inside you, left wanting. When you're finally sure you're alone, at the quietest point of the night, you turn to your TV, whisper "Xbox... show me J. Allard," and hope. Giant Bomb's Ryan Davis joins us as we unpack the Xbox One reveal, venture beneath Moscow in Metro Last Light, and gaze into the eyes of Allard one final time.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 106: Imagine the Man

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This week on Idle Thumbs we talk about the video games we've been playing and laugh at each other, but our A/B testing has shown that those things don't really bring in the key demos we're looking for, so we're probably going to just replace this episode with a picture of a woman in a thong, drop a sleazy tagline on it, and claim for some reason that it's rated AO. That should do the trick.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 105: XCOM Obama

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It's Discovery Week here at the Thumb, where we play a bunch of games whose fun comes from learning how to play them. We finally sit down and play our first campaign of Risk: Legacy, Chris falls into CandyBox and Starseed Pilgrim, and Sean takes to the stars to face the nation's most formidable foe.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 104: Emblematic of the Dissonance

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This week on the Thumb, all is laid bare in the weeks-long game of Neptune's Pride, Sean and Jake break out of jail, rob an embassy, and learn something about themselves, and a person is killed inside a video game and it is surprising and meaningful.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 103: A Person-Shaped Thing is a Person

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In the darkness of space it becomes hard to tell friend from foe. It seems landing a crew safely in unknown territory is harder than you thought. You realize your mistake: "I'm low on fuel; need to load up." Without getting up, a simple gesture is recognized and your display flickers to life. "One 16-pocket crazy crust cheese pizza, please. Extra olives." Satisfied, you lean back and wait.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 102: Standing on the Shoulders of Babies

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After an engineering malfunction left our first recording attempt dead on the launchpad, we strip off all the weird bits, hard reset the equipment and try again. We disclose this only in the spirit of early-access game development.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 101: Introduction to Video Games

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There's an old saying in video games that when one door opens, there's probably another door inside of that one that looks sort of the same, and you have to open it, too. We complete BioShock Infinite, Nick and Chris take their first delicious bite of StarCraft 2 in a long while, and Jake's intro stock plummets.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 100: King Chromin' For A Day

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Break out the fireworks, giant creepy parade floats, and ominous presidential statuary: it's the Idle Thumbs centennial! In honor of this, our 100th episode, we talk about one game for the duration. But how could you not when that game is the new BioShock?
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 99: "I'm Blown Away"

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In this knock down drag out episode, we get in each other's face over competition and learning in Dota, and dive deep enough into SimCity that we kind of run out. Odds are high that you'll be blown away.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 98: Happy Dishonored Return of Nick Breckon

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Out with the old and in with the old! Say goodbye to Dishonored jokes and say hello to the past. With citizen demand for current hosts dwindling, you better zone some residential because a hip new family is moving back to Cool Town.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 97: The Dash Rendar Synergy

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Jake and Sean are joined by Olly Moss and the rest of the population of England during their merry jaunt to the Baftas. Chris was left behind in San Francisco, where he's probably still playing Zuma.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 96: Historical Beef

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This week, Giant Bomb's Brad Shoemaker stopped by the Fancy Space to talk Tomb Raider looping back on itself, witness the culmination of Chris' Zuma addiction, and wonder what the PlayStation 4 means for gaming's past.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs '95: H.D. Cool Spot

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Your first choice runs ahead, sliding over the embankment and out of your sight, lost to the sparkling dunes. Your second choice is fine, but seems preoccupied with aesthetic decisions made by architects of the future, and he too fails you with time. Resigned, you accept your fate. Your third choice. The worst choice. Video Games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 94: Readers Like You

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DICE was attended, and games were played, but the bulk of this subdued episode dives into the Idle Thumbs mailbag for questions from you, the readers.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 93: Babywall the Horse Armor

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This week on Idle Thumbs Sean incessantly burns things, Chris gets lost in a world of bespoke puzzles, and Jake talks about a video game he's played. Plus we talk about all the stuff Gabe Newell's been talking about.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 92: The Mind-Tech Contingency

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We come up for air from the fantastic SimCity beta to find ourselves in another place, lost in a world where firing a gun in a video game is a complex and specific act, an unfortunate world where there is cyberpunk crap everywhere. With special guest Steve "Hot Scoops" Gaynor.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 91: The Clapper

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Hundreds of tanks surround the place, murderers around every turn. With no games in sight and nowhere to run, all hope was lost until we were saved by a trip to podcasting school by special guest Shawn Elliott.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 90: Passive But Deadly

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Triangulated coordinates. An esoteric puzzle. An impossible cipher. The door opens to reveal your captor: a beard; mirrored shades; the infallible dictator of a banana republic. But upon second glance you realize it's not a fearsome generalissmo -- it's just Nick Breckon.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 89: The Ship Economy

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Your jet ski lies outside, beached and on fire. Cassowaries peck at the glass door, firmly latched. In one hand, C4; the other, a detonator. As your eyes adjust, before you can make out the faces of the patrons and tellers turning your way, you realize you're already speaking. "Give me all your gift codes to The Ship and nobody has to get hurt."
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 88: Lacks Restraint

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This week we get into the weeds a bit when discussing Far Cry 3 and are subsequently asked to return to the mission area. Plus: immigrant stories in gaming, and the realization that Cart Life is amazing.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 87: Spray Spin-Grill

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Execute commands to survive. Assemble Spaceteam. Alert Sportsfriends. Shoot sad snake. Spray Spin-grill.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 86: Always Support the Danger Layer

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Though the lens turns inward as Amnesia Fortnight consumes Chris' life and Sean leaves the country for adventures abroad, we discover that the real Secret of Monkey Island is to play it with some little kids from The Bahamas. Jake continues to exist.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 85: "An Indulgent Dateline" or "An Indulgent Episode Title"

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Call me Halo. With Sean away, Idle Thumbs is accompanied by Kotaku's Kirk Hamilton for a long walk in the first person perspective through jungles and space stations and all sorts of places. Join us!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 84: Nineties Cockpit Freakout

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You've been through this mess before, your view-cone ever narrowing, but you like the challenge. Then, it all goes wide. Silence. You drift free, frozen; the infinite vastness of space envelops you, strangles you. You feel upholstery. Twin petals at your feet. The glass comes down, securing the seal as displays tink and blip to life, shielding the endless blackness from sight. You grip your SideWinder and you are home.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 83: Free Macintosh Warez

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Day four and you're almost there. Coins pile up, infrastructure is laid down. You miss your friends, even if you never knew their names. You wanted to kill everyone on earth, but the person you killed was yourself. Welcome to real life.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 82: An Ancient Evil Awakens

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We're joined by special guest, designer JP LeBreton, to talk about hidden content, haunted content, and contextualizing your playthrough with a lot of post-game stats. We heard an ancient evil was awakening but it turned out to be a skull that comes out of a face.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 81: Happy Halloween

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In this spooktacular special episode, which is haunted, we discuss video games. The cast is coming from inside the pod.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 80: Happy Dishonored Halloween

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Grab your goblin, and keep your mitts off my last hits. And remember: always pack a parachute. 'Tis the season for video games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 79: Most Memorable Maid

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When two of the best games of the year land on the same day, we have little choice but to call in reinforcements. With special guest Steve Gaynor. Nice mask.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 78: The Ruinationcast

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As part of our Kickstarter campaign, backers were given the chance to help us ruin an episode by giving us a list of topics we had to discuss. The following four and a half hours is the result of that list. Enjoy.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 77: Our Neighbor Scoops

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A fun outing to the city takes a turn once Jake and Sean run out of food. Chris gets more than he bargained for when he brings home a new pet. TV-MA
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 76: The Three Antidotes

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Neon lights flash. Boxes and controllers of games gone unplayed tumble off of your clumsy finger-tips. Turn by turn your affliction goes unchecked and games go unplayed. Before it all goes black Lao Che slams something down on to a table. "What's that?" you ask. "The anecdote, Dr. Jones" "To what?" He laughs aloud. "Video games."
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 75: Save the Razzin'

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In Sean Vanaman's absence, our co-hosts are joined by Double Fine's JP LeBreton for a discussion of the X-COM series, some ruminating on your DOS CD-ROM drivers, and time dilation versus just being drunk.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 74: That Meat Boy Sat Me Down

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PC Gamer Executive Editor Evan Lahti joins us as we pore over maps and documents in preparation to tail our mark. As we take one step out of line -- as giant circles of sound radiate from our feet for the world to see -- only then do we realize we were killed by the best.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 73: Pegasus Launch

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Chris, Jake, and Sean are reunited with Steve and Nick live at PAX 2012 to discuss the mechanical virtues of aesthetics and scale, and also video games. Doug Tabacco escapes throngs of adoring Walking Dead fans to launch a new website live under the hot lights of the Pegasus Theater. Recorded with regrettably substandard audio quality. It won't happen again.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 72: Crazy Crane's Deceit

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As you contemplate the vast chamber's terrible sense-deadening magnitude, clawed machines grasp uselessly at your limbs, the distant hum of starship engines recede into the distance, and a dispassionate god enacts his ineffable plan. Please attend our PAX panel.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 71: Nothing's as Good as Ya Eat 'Em

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In which Chris and Sean take a ride through a verdant countryside with the Daisy Lord and Jake attempts an analogy he ultimately regrets.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 70: An Angry God

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Soaring through the infinite blackness, observing all that is, was, and will be, he is displeased. Endless turns of the asynchronous wheel, amounting to what? Nothing. He sees them erecting a tower. It must fall. He sees a tiny ship pass through the sky. It must burn. Heretics must burn. Crew must burn. Cast must burn.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 69: I Had a Gleam

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You lower your virtual vis-visor from your face -- the fate of your shipmates will have to wait. On the dusty crust of a distant alien planet, a faraway rumble grows to an inescapable roar and the discarded shell of a heroic jet-pack robot platform plummets towards your face. This is your seven minutes of terror.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 68: That's the Stuff

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Idle Thumbs traveled to QuakeCon 2012 for the express purpose of casting a pod at you live in real time (and also to check out Dishonored). With special guests Nick Breckon and Steve Gaynor. (You can watch a video of the live recording at http://twitch.tv/idlethumbs.)
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 67: Dot Gobbler

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Idle Thumbs spends a day at the video arcade, or more specifically at the California Extreme arcade expo, for an opportunity to relive some nonexistent kid's slowly fading memories of destroying castles, marbles with human faces, and the worst Halloween of his life.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 66: It's Broadcast Jones!

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Please firmly affix your paperboard keyboard overlay (included) for an easy overview of all options made available during this podcast. Q: Witness Chris experience Dota 2 for the first time, W: Discover which games secretly co-exist in the Silent Scope universe, A: Wrestle with what makes games exciting as a medium, S: Toggle shield configuration (forward, rear, or balanced).
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 65: Dance of the Treasure Goblin

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As the dancing creature leaps out into the open night air, its rucksack billowing in the wind, you hear a metallic clank by your feet and look down. A gold-plated slide for your Tec-9. You remember the words of Anton Chekhov -- "A gold gun part found behind a closet door in act one must be used to kill everyone, immediately" -- pocket it and move on.

We're back, again! Also, we have now become one: The podcast that is "Idle Thumbs" now includes the original 51 Idle Thumbs episodes as well as all 13 episodes of the Idle Thumbs Podcast, together under one roof. That's why this is episode 65.
Gaming  

GDC '12: With Blasts

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Picture a podcast which is itself made up of a series of smaller podcasts. Now, stop picturing, and start listening to our GDC wrap-up episode, featuring a series of quick interviews with Christina Norman (Riot Games), Tom Francis (PC Gamer/Suspicious Developments), Derek Yu (independent), and Bennett Foddy (independent), as well as our closing thoughts on GDC 2012. Support our Kickstarter campaign: http://idlethumbs.net/kickstarter
Gaming  

GDC '12: The Death of Nick Breckon

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Idle Thumbs starts to wake up, both literally and figuratively, with our first special episode from GDC 2012. We attended some sessions, we played some games, and we made up excuses to talk about all sorts of things together for the first time in years. With special guests all of us, and all of you. Support our Kickstarter campaign: http://idlethumbs.net/kickstarter
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs Kickstarter Update

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Idle Thumbs is back! Sort of. All signs point to Idle Thumbs soon being back soon. Because we launched a Kickstarter campaign, and it seems to be working. Go to idlethumbs.net/kickstarter to pitch in!
Gaming  

GDC '11: Games Kasavin

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Another GDC come and gone, another Conf Grenade rolls down a hill. We're joined by bonus guest, Media Molecule's James Spafford. In the tradition of GDC episodes, this one has some slight audio wonkiness in places, so get ready for that.
Gaming  

GDC 2011: Hold On To Your B.U.T.T.O.N.

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Game developers confer, and we are there. Chris, Jake, and Sean discuss video games in these dynamics cast.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 64: Fifty-One: Burnin' Down the Wolfman

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Recorded in front of a live audience at PAX 2010's Wolfman Theater, Idle Thumbs presents what is either its third "final episode," or its first "reunion episode," available to the public for the first time in MP3 form. Hear us intermittently forget the audience exists as we share impressions of PAX's finest offerings, fear an exploding microphone, sing songs, and tell the tale of handling Germany's finest wines. With special guests Sean Vanaman and Steve Gaynor.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 63: Day One Perch

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As Chris packs for Boston and we switch off the lights, the Idle Thumbs Podcast finishes up with a bunch of talk about video games, interspersed with loosely related distractions and stories. Thanks for listening!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 62: The Silken Goku

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Don the Silken Goku. Enthusiastically pore over our collection of galactic maps, carefully curated battle decks, and lushly rendered hexagonal tiles, while we try to tell you about game development, girls, and sports.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 61: Diplomatic Pouch

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In this far-flung cyborg future of video game discussion, nobody known where the cast ends and the break begins, when your last shred of humanity gives way to a robot soul, or why you're full of ants. One thing is for sure, though: you will pay to click a cow.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 60: Nasty/Good/Badass

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Though the above choices may seem limiting, we feel they'll be sufficient. Also discussed: space marines, branching narratives, childhood and the human condition. With special guest Sean Vanaman.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 59: Rolling With the Pope

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In video games, you can trust no one. Everyone is in on it, everyone but you. In video games nothing is real. Or, if it is, we're pretty sure you're seeing it via the visions of a comatose police officer, through the projection of genetic memories hurtled into your brain through time at tremendous speed, or in the dreams of a sleeping cartoon dog. With special guest Sean Vanaman.
Gaming  

Announcement: PAX Panel 2010

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Idle Thumbs is going to PAX 2010 in Seattle, and instead of an informal meet-up, this year we've scored our very own official panel. Tell your friends, mark your calendar, and buy your tickets soon--they're going fast. Nick Breckon will return.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 58: A Castro Situation

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As E3 approaches, as the music genre splits to offer the ultimate fantasy or the ultimate reality, as the future of games prepares to descend in a storm of cameras and holographic children, we talk about a bunch of things with little to no bearing on E3. For now, at least. With special guests Sean Vanaman, and a tape recording of Nick Breckon.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 57: Remember The Airfield

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A minicast of rambling awaits you within. Activision continues to cut its baffling path through the industry, as Chris and Steve discover that an enemy never forgets. With special guest star Video Games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 56: Shoveling Your Hat and Crow

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Special guest Sean Vanaman joins us on a slow motion journey through strategy and space as we talk about the Infinity Ward kerfuffle, the most honest week in StarCraft history, and how from the outside, bullet time looks really fast, and dumb. We think it will pique your magic, in an interesting way.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 55: His Cyborg Familiar

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Thumbs returns from its whirlwind tour of every convention and expo one could reasonably cram into two weeks, to ruminate on the rise of connectivity, the future of "real games," and whether or not Nicolas Cage will ever leave the bathroom. Also lots of games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 54: Super Expert Pro

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In a daring escape accompanied by expert commentary, The Idle Thumbs Podcast crew managed to narrowly evade being overrun by a rampaging army of BigDogs flying the Sony flag, aided only by a pneumatic rifle and a an infinite supply of parachutes. Video games.
Gaming  

GDC 2010: Phaedrus 2010

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GDC 2010 ends and we emerge, stumbling through our sleep-deprived, Will Wright-fueled mental haze, to bring you this podcast. We're joined by special guest Sean Vanaman of Telltale Games. 2010.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 53: "Your Buddy, Space Marine" or "The Capper"

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Video game news explodes, as two unrelated sentient robots -- one good, one evil, both out of control -- battle to the death for headline dominance. Amidst the wash of corporate power-plays, decapitations, and ASCII art, we also talk about the Indie Fund, and play some games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 52: Scoops Horn

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This week the past returns, distilled to its core and a little prettier. And on a hex grid, most likely. Also discussed: Scoops horn. If video games made you fly, that would probably be really scary.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 51: THE GREAT GATLING-GUNSBY

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Idle Thumbs is dead. Long live The Idle Thumbs Podcast. It took a little longer than we thought, but we're here. Chris, Jake, and Steve catch up on the last few months, talk about video games a lot. Welcome back!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 50: "Farewell, Video Games" or "The Shitty Wizard"

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Idle Thumbs goes out with some attempt at a bang, by way of a two and a half hour mega episode. The unrelenting Dragon Age revokes Nick's gamer card, Chris can't stop playing Torchlight, and Jake keeps spinning around on the floor. Also featuring farewells aplenty, Dreamcast 2, exclusive Steve Ballmer DLC, and good news.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 49: Bargo Busters

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For all your bustin' needs, we present: video games. We create a scale and proceed to visit both ends, taking gentle, guided adventures with famed explorers and robot pals, while our asses are gingerly handed to us by murderous hoards and off-brand knockoff platformers. Note: No bargos were busted in the making of this episode.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 10/27/10: With Max Schaefer

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After putting the finishing touches on Torchlight, Runic Games co-founders and Diablo co-creators Max and Erich Schaefer did what game industry luminaries always do after wrapping a project: drive over to the Idle Thumbs podcast. We chat at length with Max about the new action RPG, the Blizzard North days, and unreleased football games. And Erich pipes in at the end.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 48: In Space

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As the darkness draws in and the last days creep ever closer, we're joined by 2K Marin's Steve Gaynor for a rousing discussion of video games in the outer reaches of space. While there, we discuss the PS3's recent trips to polar opposites of the hand-holding spectrum, lament the disappearance of Modern Warfare 2's dedicated servers, and are paid a surprise visit by an asshole.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 47: The Lord of the Donk

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All rise. At his command, Chris and Jake play a bunch of Brutal Legend, while Nick frantically stockpiles gas cans to make it through Left 4 Dead 2's Scavenger mode, all the while trying to come to grips with his feelings on Borderlands. Plus a song about video games, but probably not what you're thinking.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 46: First Annual Year

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The Idle Thumbs podcast turns one year old on Saturday, and to celebrate we bring you a regular episode. This week we wipe a curmudgeonly tear from our classic PC gaming eye, and find yet again that making fun of something we thought could never exist only seems to bring it to life. Plus: "Video game stories are serious business," says madly hopping, car-flipping, building-smashing man.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 45: Episode Forty-Five

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Bred in a top secret government lab, or maybe an orphan or a robot or something, this episode hopes to punch you in the face and call you a bitch. Our marketing research shows that this appeals to you. Really, though, we talk about some games.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 44: Salacious Thumb

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With Nick Breckon out on assignment, things go a little bit wrong. 2K Marin's Steve Gaynor joins us for this week's descent into a tempest of hard-boiled corruption and deceit, where no one knows who to trust or where to turn. We're pretty sure ODST is like a film noir, so we took some cues from that.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 43: Jeff "Gone" Goldblum

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This week Chris and Nick don some custom callsigns to check out Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer, become terrified by the high definition frog face of Zuma's Revenge, and almost steal Jeff Goldblum's shoes. As for Jake? He is only good at keeping people focused on the deep depression.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 42: The Dreamcast

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For just one night, into your face we cast not pods, but dreams. Our dreams are powered by robot hands with pistol grips, three part harmonies and too many microphones, but we're thinking you'll find something you like.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs Standalone Expansion PAX 3: BioWare's Mac Walters

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Idle Thumbs brings its PAX 2009 coverage to a close with a quick talk with Mass Effect 2's lead writer, Mac Walters. In Space.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs Standalone Expansion PAX 2: Valve's Chet Faliszek

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Nestled amongst rowdy board game players, the Idle Thumbs crew pins down Chet Faliszek of Valve to discuss Left 4 Dead 2 and how Madden offers but small comfort to Browns fans.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs Standalone Expansion PAX 1: Ron Gilbert

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Idle Thumbs kicks off its PAX coverage and continues its trend of interviewing Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert on a bidecennial basis with this hastily-edited affair. Enjoy.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 41: Space Boss: The Lord of Space

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We play catch-up this week, clearing out both our backlog of nearly-current games, and our overflowing bag of reader mail.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 40: Idle Thumbs 40,000 (Nobody Beats the Blizz)

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We're back from BlizzCon, abuzz with the latest biz from the Blizz. Also sampled: The Monk, The Wiz(ard).
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 39: Video Game Baby

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Following a double-barreled podblast assault, this week's baffling episode sees the Idle Thumbs valiantly but vainly struggle to stay on topic and discuss a new video game, despite dubious double entendres and threatening voice mails. How's our driving? Take a wild guess.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 08/17/09: With StarCraft II 2

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With fleeting, ghostly visions of long- decommissioned Dragoons still haunting their minds, the Thumbs crew attempts to discuss StarCraft II while staving off the effects of sleep deprivation. Jake draws pictures. Plus, rumor has it Far Cry 2 makes its triumphant return--and there's only one way to find out. (Read the games discussed list.)
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 08/13/09: With Brutal Legend

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Chris and Nick got a chance to sit down with the multiplayer component of Double Fine Productions' upcoming Brutal Legend and are ready to share their hands-on impressions with you. Will Chris describe it in terms of Pikmin 2's versus mode? Will Full Throttle be mentioned? Grab your axe, your axe, and probably your axe, and listen in.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 38: Up On This Boss

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This week on the Thumb we dive into the many meanings of Nintendo's mysterious inflatable horse peripheral, reel at how many GameCubes are turned on right now, and debate whether "Castroid" is a game genre or horrible medical condition.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 37: You Gotta Have Spice

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A 386 perfectly captures his slam dunk. Looking down from space, you see the Earth and smile. Mid-swing, the game asks you to recalibrate, and you do it just this once. Sometimes, you gotta.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 08/01/10: Surprise!

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Sometimes a podcast goes off the rails and is killed for the betterment of mankind. People occasionally ask why. Hopefully this provides an answer. Freshly exhumed from the lot out behind Chris' apartment, enjoy the moist wreckage of the Idle Thumbs Episode 36 that wasn't. Won't titillate or offend, but might.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 36: Shambling, Goofy

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After an earlier attempt to record goes down in flames, we bring you this tale of mice and mods and Miyamoto, of nerds, their noises and Neo Tokyo, of DOTA clones and questions asked, of adventures past and pods cast. Enjoy.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 35: A Great Way to Have Fun

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Join us as we take a safely-secured look at Wii Sports Resort, and spoil exclusive food news. A connection to the Internet is required to listen to this episode.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 34: The First Age of Extreme

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Thumbs accidentally traveled back in time to an age when beards reigned, in this arcade- and strategy-flavored episode.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 33: "The Kane of Lynch" or "This Crazy Robot" or "Rock the Mouse"

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Lengthy discussions abound in this cast-and-a-half. We go off on the experiences unique to shorter, tighter games, the dying art of an equal player vs CPU ruleset, the American Civil War, and what it really feels like being the king. Plus: More video game dreams.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 32: The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

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Ingredients: Co-op grappling-based wizard platforming, never-ending falling blocks, Peter Molyneux, Pyramid Head. Season to taste or until awakened screaming.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 06/29/09: With StarCraft II

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Special Report! Nick's back from Blizzard's preview event, ready to offer up his hands-on impressions of the StarCraft II multiplayer beta. Also, lots of side topics and diversions you can't do without. But mostly StarCraft II. And a gay pride parade.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 31: The Future of Games

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You can't shut your eyes. A small child spots you, waves eagerly. You try to reach him, but are stopped short as the cables restraining your fingers go taut. Struggling against wires and straps binding your shoulders and feet, you get one last glimpse of the boy before he's dragged screaming into Max Payne's departing van.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 06/24/09: Without Nick Breckon

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With Nick still out of town, we're passing the time with more from last week's cutting room floor. We'll be back soon with real podcasts.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 06/18/09: With Cheese Plate

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Where we come from the games beat themseles. There's a shaved Muppet around every corner, and Samus Aran can't shut up. It will please you, with a depth that might surprise you. Featuring Steve Gaynor as Mr. Dream.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 30: Idle Thumbs E30

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We're back from E3, filled with hands-on impressions, tales of awkward industry encounters, and an important question: Who needs a motion wand when you have a ten year old boy trapped in your TV?
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 29: Dreaming of Gillen

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Sometimes the past is just as good as you remember it. Sometimes it's better. Nick turns back the clock ten years to explore the less traveled branching paths of adventure gaming, Jake is revamped and thrown back by Nintendo's latest offerings, and Chris? Chris dares to dream.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 28: Other People Get It

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After taking a week off in silent honor of the Duke, we return. Lawsuits fly and franchises fall as they try to get you to ride around on a fake skateboard. E3's coming back. I probably have Swine Flu. Don't worry, other people get it.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 27: What is Game?

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This week you, the readers, take control, as we spend the entire episode with our grubby mitts elbow deep in the Idle Thumbs mailbag. With special guests Steve Gaynor of 2K Marin, and each and every one of you readers listening along at home.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 26: Raising the 'Bargo

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We return from break full of questions. Why are all the best games about America made in Europe? Does your game dialog sound more like Steven Seagal or John McClane? Is there going to be a twist? We don't know, but we really want to tell you why the Moon is awesome.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 25: Pause Theme from Battletoads

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With the fight against Robo-Manus safely on hold, our co-hosts are free to discuss the love/hate battle with ruthless games, the slow decline of the mod community, and the science gone mad of achievements paired with grinding, all with a funky back beat you can dance to.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 24: Shadow and Colossus: Back in Action

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Like good games on the DS, we are back. With GDC a fond and distant memory, we tackle the surprising stack of good new titles for Nintendo's handheld, learn some new moves from a hobo, see the latest from BioWare and Double Fine, and shed a tear as Wander goes Hollywood.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs Conf Grenade 4: [Transmission Lost]

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The final Conf Grenade pops and fizzles its way into your ear, offering our closing thoughts on the Game Developers Conference. Join us for some last words before the GDC book slams closed for another 51 weeks.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs Conf Grenade 3: Morality, the Medical Surprise

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Steve Gaynor and Duncan Fyfe join us for the penultimate Conf Grenade, blasting through GDC's midsection at a rate so fast, you might not survive the trip. Put on your game designer hat and buckle up.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 03/27/09: With Free Monster Samples

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I don't even know what to say.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs Conf Grenade 2: Don't Look at Me, I'm Hideo

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Partake in a virtual luncheon with a pantheon of gaming greats. Witness the changing of Will Wright's mind. Scream as you are wholly seared into the fourth dimension of experimental gaming. We're joined by guests Alex Ashby, Lawrence Bishop, and B. M. Bronstring.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs Conf Grenade 1: A Fish Called Extreme

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GDC is warming up, and so are we. Idle Thumbs alums Marek Bronstring, Duncan Fyfe, and Lawrence Bishop join in for an look at GDC's first days of Indie-focused content, our anticipated panels, fabricated sex scandals and more. We love GDC this much.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 23: At the Mountains of Money

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You lie on the ground, the last breaths leaving your body as you look up into the glowing, burlap sack-wrapped eyeholes of the man who ended your life. As voices recede and the world drifts away, you realize your dying thought will be "I wish I'd spent the 99 cents on that rocket launcher," and are disappointed.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 22: Put On the Top Ghost

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Sometimes a game blows up in your face, 106 moves in. Sometimes a tutorial man tells you the controls backwards, just because. Sometimes, no matter what you try, the old man just can't kill that snake. When the world's got you feeling down, do what we do, and put on the top ghost.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 03/09/09: Countdown to Tears

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Five years ago, prophecies by Steven Spielberg and EALA's Neil Young charted a course of new, untold emotional resonance, and the future of video games was irrevocably changed. As Game Developers Conference 2009 approaches, the clock ticks ever closer to the video game singularity: Prepare for the countdown to tears. Games discussed: Steven Spielberg, Neil Young, the crying game.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 21: The Hypersonic Effect

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Virtual worlds fall around you. Objectives appear before your eyes, cluttering your vision. Everything falls silent. As tears stream down your space visor you realize, too late, that it has you. Welcome to The Hypersonic Effect.
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 02/26/09: With Saitek Cyborg

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Special Report! Awesome robot robot robot; actually, he's a cyborg, and he comes bearing contests. Saitek Cyborg, at your service.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 20: Idle Thumbs 2000

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Has your desire to explore and investigate given way to a guided experience that just wants to hold your hand? Find out at the next waypoint. Join us as we offer up impressions from the DICE Summit, discuss this week's surprise assault of great games, and eat our own butt.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 19: Upping the Majesty

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Special guest Steve Gaynor joins us as we sail over grassy dewswept mountains resplendent with gaming's bounty, then crash-land into an F-bomb laden cutscene. Plus: Watch your cursor drift towards the "buy" button as Nick fills us in on the Dawn of War II single-player.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 18: Citizen Killzone

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Following modern trends, this episode eschews its core gameplay for a series of scattered but crowd-pleasing showpieces. Hop in a Big Stompin' Mech with F.E.A.R. 2, use a mandatory turret to defend your favorite FPS titles, and perform an overly-animated finishing move on "opinions."
Gaming  

Idle News Podblast - 02/05/09: With Joe Pesci

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Special Report! Duck for cover, commandeer a Jeep, and man a turret: Resident Evil is back, and Idle Thumbs is blasting through the gates of a midnight embargo. With Joe Pesci. Sometimes something comes up mid-week that we want to talk about. This time we actually did. We may do more of these in the future.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 17: War of the Broses

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Grab a brew and waste the Space Fuhrer with your friends from the quad. Chris weighs in on Killzone 2, Nick weighs the good and bad of two upcoming strategy titles, and Jake weighs the importance of a polished first play experience... with your mom. How many times have you heard a dictionary say "penis?"
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 16: The Sources' Duel

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Confidential informants collide and megatons are dropped in this week's high-speed episode. We talk about gaming narrative as a pastiche of tone and suggestion, but you just want your damn cutscenes. Plus: Wired's Chris Kohler joins us to dismember your naked form with a samurai sword. Replayability: 3.7.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 15: I'll Kill the Last Alien

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Kaz Hirai says you'll truly appreciate the complexity of this podcast in about nine and a half years. What's that? Gonna cry? Nick Breckon says you're a baby who likes baby games. And a cheat, too, I bet.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 14: Interface with the Animus

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BioShock 2 lead level designer JP LeBreton joins us for this accidentally retro-filled episode to recount the rich tapestry of game music, talk up the LucasArts classics, and dream of a world where Grand Theft Auto was reimagined as a 1930's Warner Bros. cartoon.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 13: Manipulated Through Time

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We loudly ring in Year of the Video Game with a double episode of post-holiday potluck warmth. Like a worried mom, we lecture about driving under the influence of video games. Like a drunk uncle, we can't shut up about "ol' Spelunky." You know (wink), "the Tomb Raider?"
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs XI-2: The Legend of Big Bird's Bones

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Concluding our trio of podcasts recorded two weeks ago due to holiday issues, the crew remains joined by 2K Marin's Steve Gaynor to discuss psychopathic murderer Gordon Freeman, John Madden getting a government bailout, classic network sitcom Coach, and the love affair between the Japanese people and Wizardry.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs XI: Extremes

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Last week, Thumbs invited 2K Marin's Steve Gaynor to help pre-record a low- key cast on nuclear plant sims, traffic sims, sewage construction sims, bus sims, boat sims, and ghosts. Riveting stuff.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 10: The Ballad of John Riccitiello

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As the CEOs of EA and Activision engage in an epic battle for the hearts and souls of gamers, our co-hosts consider Spike VGA-related game unveilings, fool significant others into buying consoles, look at some IGF 2009 entries, and propose Netflix achievement whoring.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 9: The Confestabaloo

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Our co-hosts sedated themselves a bit this week in deference to special guest Chuck Jordan, Telltale designer and veteran of Grim Fandango and Curse of Monkey Island. Amidst discussions of Disneyland and ARG-based PR, we start to plan for Games of the Year and indulge in some pomposity about Game Narrative.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 8: Green Lantern is the Blindfolded Fool

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Idle Thumbs U.S. returns from vacation fists a'swingin, battering you senseless with tales of lives reconsidered (and rewound), friends (lists) lost, and having to sit and watch someone else really suck (at your favorite game).
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 7: Stop Doing Interviews

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Special guest Steve Gaynor of 2K Marin, last seen in Idle Thumbs 3: Field of Dreams, joins us once again as we drop hot scoops about the Ensemble Studios closing, wrap up discussion of Steve's favorite game ever Fallout 3, and debate bizarre Left 4 Dead tactics. Plus: our giveaway contest is announced, and a new segment is possibly introduced.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 6: Explode Mode

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Your old Xbox is about to become your new Xbox, but that might mean you just start using your Netflix account again. Special guest Brad Shoemaker of Giant Bomb gently guides us through the minefield of this week's industry scandals, helps us finally close the book on Far Cry 2, and rekindles our love of J. Allard.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 5: The Wizard

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This week, Nick was left for dead at Valve's offices where he played some kind of video game, Chris and Jake have experienced what's so amazing about LittleBigPlanet, and we keep attempting to cajole you into playing Far Cry 2. Plus: Will Gears of War 2 blow you away? We investigate. There may be a wizard.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 4: The Fable of Love

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We're a day early and possibly still a dollar short. Weeks of Fallout 3 coverage culminate with Nick's full completion-informed opinions. (Mutants allowed.) Chris and Jake dive into the polarizing world of Far Cry 2, and Fable 2's bizarre romances are set to heart-wrenching song. Join us, for this relatively subdued cast. To your face.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 3: Field of Dreams

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Did you hear BioWare is working on a Star Wars MMO set in the KOTOR universe? Oh, you did? Nick and Chris talk about their day at the Old Republic reveal event, Thumbs alum and BioShock 2 designer Steve Gaynor of 2K Marin joins us as a special guest, Jake turns into an old man, and more. Listen in!
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 2: The Fanboy's Lament

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Tokyo Game Show and BlizzCon may be over, but they live on in our hearts, and our podcast. Stay awhile and listen for hands-on reports, commentary, and the heart-rending ballad of a once-proud console warrior. This episode probably not sponsored by Gamer Grub.
Gaming  

Idle Thumbs 1: Let the Games Begin

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Throw away your bifocals and burn your books. Why rely on reading comprehension when you can sit on your ass and listen to us talk? Idle Thumbs is back, now with 100% fewer articles, and we've been hitting the preview events just for you.