Programming Note: Darts and Letters is off and retooling to relaunch in a new format early 2024.

EP20.1: Solid Strunk (ft. Trevor Strunk of No Cartridge)

In this bonus episode, we talk more with Trevor Strunk of No Cartridge.  Trevor has a forthcoming book called Story Mode: Video Games and the Interplay Between Consoles and Culture. It’s coming out this November.

The book looks at the shifting politics of major franchises, including Metal Gear. Metal Gear offered a trenchant critique of war, militarism, big data, surveillance, and the deep state. But for Trevor, Metal Gear eventually lost its way– the series ended up lionizing warriors. By the end of the series, its politics aren’t much better than a Marvel movie.

Trevor and Gordon talk about Metal Gear and what went wrong, but it’s part of a much wider-ranging conversation about the politics of video games. We also return to that perennial debate: are video games art?

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Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer on this episdoe was Ren Bangert, and our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Our research assistants are Addye Susnick and David Moscrop. Our theme song was created by Mike Barber. Our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop.

This episode received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research, which provided us a research grant to look at the concept of “public intellectualism.” Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia is the lead academic advisor. It was also part of a wider project looking at the politics of video games, housed at UBC and also advised by Lennart E. Nacke at the University of Waterloo.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. It is also produced in Vancouver, BC, which is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

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