Radio K: Ask/Tell #12

New issue of the podcast Ask/Tell by Adam Cadre, 4 years later!

Welcome back, Adam!


It was very interesting that he acknowledged Tracy Valencia.

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NICE! Really glad that this is back from the dead. :slight_smile:

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Welcome back, Adam !

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


And there was yet another issue of this podcast a few days ago, with a review of Emily Short’s Floatpoint!


And today, there are no less than TWO new issues of Radio K! With reviews of The Baron and Delightful Wallpaper.

Radio K: Ask/Tell #14
Radio K: Ask/Tell #15


That’s an amazing 1 hour+ discussion of The Baron, mostly making me embarrassed that I wasn’t able to write a better piece back in 2006, but also, of course, to some extent making me proud! It’s ultra spoilery, so Adam Cadre would certainly say that if you want to play The Baron, do it before you listen to the podcast. However, I agree with his guest Rachael K. Jones that nowadays this game would 100% get a trigger or content warning, and the warning is this (massive spoiler):

child sexual abuse


Truly amazing debate around the game! Highly recommended.

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I can’t say that I fully agree with the interpretation being advanced in the podcast, but I suppose that that is to be expected.

Most centrally, I don’t think the podcast gives a very good answer to why The Baron was perceived as being worthy of a Best Use of Medium XYZZY back in 2016, because it doesn’t delve very deeply into the game’s use of interactivity. And I also think that while there are certain moral criticisms that can be made of the piece, the ‘not giving voice to victims’ criticism is not entirely on point. Also, but perhaps less importantly, the podcast misidentified the cultural influences on the game. But I think I’d need a long essay to give my own point of view! I’m happy that these discussion are being had at all.


cough cough THE ROSEBUSH

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I’ve thought about that, but the combination of:

  1. I’m an editor.
  2. It’s my game.
  3. I would be arguing against someone else’s interpretation

makes me think I shouldn’t do it. Without 1 or 2, no problem. Without 3… less of a problem. All of them together really starts looking like I’d be misusing the platform for my own purposes, doesn’t it?

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We will really happy to read you here.

anyway, in those times, you didn’t make any postmortem or something? Maybe it is worth undust it.

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Yes, it would be worth it. :slight_smile: But right now I’ve got to get my IFComp game ready…

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No. I mean: If you already did a postmortem back in the day.

I don’t think I did, though I planned to as part of a rerelease that never happened. checks folder Looks like I got 500 words into one, back in 2008, but that’s really just sketching some background about TTRPGs.

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I’d say 2 and 3 together is a major factor for doing it. I really hate it when a creator is misunderstood. You can overcome 1 with a disclaimer, IMO. I don’t think providing an alternate POV is a problem.

Then again, I understand not everybody likes to hear other opinions other than their own, hence your hesitation.

I disagree with a lot of the stuff on Radio K, but especially with these last two episodes. They praise Lolita and call Nabokov a genius, but then criticize The Baron for a lot of the things Lolita does. Personally, Nabokov might be my least favorite author, so I’m definitely biased in the opposite direction.

I don’t think any other book has repelled me as much as Lolita. I read it in college and came away with the sense that the emotions in the story were basically just toys for Nabokov to arrange “aesthetically” for his own satisfaction. The whole thing felt like it was radiating a contempt for humanity. “Bad faith” is the shorthand way to sum it up. Everything I’ve read from him gives me a similar vibe, but Lolita was the worst.

On the other hand, The Baron felt like its heart was in the right place, even if some of the material might have been handled a little better.

But I’m also biased in favor of The Baron because it was literally the first parser game I ever played, and it kind of blew my mind. I’d never realized a story could be constructed interactively in such a way, or that games could even take themselves seriously like this (“taking itself seriously” being something else that Radio K viewed as a negative). I can still remember the mood it evoked when I played it years ago. The atmosphere of the experience.

They weren’t quite as harsh with Delightful Wallpaper, but that was another early parser game for me that I absolutely loved. I liked both halves of the game too! Even though I preferred the second half, I still had fun solving the maze in the first half.

And the ending, where you finish completing the verses, wasn’t anticlimactic for me either. By that point, I felt like I had control over the configuration of the intentions, and it was just a matter of clicking the last one into place. Then it did click into place, as expected; and the game ended, as expected. So the promise behind the mechanics was fulfilled, and I was pleased!

It probably helps that I’m a huge Edward Gorey fan, though, and so much of his stuff is structured unconventionally, to say the least. Delightful Wallpaper felt true to the spirit of something like The Awdrey-Gore Legacy.