Episode 60: Playable Character by Eric J. Juneau

If Rish survives this week, we present to you “Playable Character” by Eric Juneau.
It’s not easy being a character in a computer role-playing game. You can rarely go where you want to, hang around your friends, wear the armor you’ve been eyeing. Worse is when your player wants you to run all over the kingdom and slay monsters, or worst of all, when high-level campers stand in the way of you and your player’s goal.

Also, Big and Rish talk a bit about World of Warcraft, but mostly they revisit everyone’s favorite topic: irrational fears. This time, they take a look at some listeners’ fears and have fun mockin–er, commiserating with them.

Special thanks to Bryan Lincoln for producing and editing today’s story, and to Liz Lincoln, John Lincoln, Bryan Lincoln, Buchis and Ghomus from the AIE guild on Earthen Ring, and Aeriah and Siek from the Imperfection guild on Lightninghoof for lending their voices to today’s episode.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.bloopers


Related Links:
Eric Juneau’s Site
Bryan Lincoln’s Podcast – The Iocane Project
Music was by Zero-Project, First Dawn Of Spring, Disabled Emotions Suite – Part 3, Battle At The Misty Valley, and by Filippo Vicarelli, The War Begins.
Some sounds used on today’s story are from Freesound.org.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


15 Responses to “Episode 60: Playable Character by Eric J. Juneau”

  1. What a fun story! I LOL’ed. Really good job producing it, Bryan!

    Cockroaches – yes, Rish, they do fly. There’s nothing quite like thinking that a nice, cute, HUGE, soft, fuzzy moth is bumping around the light. And then realizing it’s not a moth.

  2. Thanks, Abbie! This one was a ton of fun to produce.

  3. I enjoyed the production; very entertaining. I guess I’m torn on this one. Not the story quality or anything, just the audience. It seemed more guy-oriented. Or maybe it’s just me. I’ve never done anything like WOW, except a brief stint with D&D waaaaaaaay back when I was in high school. So for me, it was just the topic that did not interest me so much.
    The closest I’ve come to this is playing all of the Space Quest games, King’s Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, etc.

    And for those of you addicted to WOW, [url=”http://rosengardenmedia.com/films/drugs.html”]here’s a little film [/url] to help you in your recovery.

  4. Naomi Watts was already in a movie long before Mulholland Drive!!

    TANK GIRL!!!!
    (which I’m sure no one remembers, but still….)

  5. That story was great, and I’ll echo Abbie on Bryan’s production. Well, well done. That was hilarious.

    I love this podcast. Despite the fact that neither of its hosts shares my fears.

    I’m not even going to try to argue for the validity of the butterfly fear. Long and hard-won experience has shown me the futility of that project. If even Snow White considers you a punk…. well, anyway. As for Mulholland Drive, well, I haven’t come within feet of the physical DVD since the first time I watched it several years ago, so who knows, maybe that one horrific experience was just a fluke. Future generations will have to ponder that particular conundrum.

    Thanks for another great episode! It is a good feeling when I see ‘The Dunesteef’ appear on my screen. (‘yes!’)

  6. Apropos of nothing (this is why you need a forum, guys – I can’t make a proper thread for this), I present Jay Lake’s “The larval stages of the common American speculative fiction writer” http://jaylake.livejournal.com/2033417.html

    This will make some of you giggle.

  7. Great story and great production.

    Big, I’m pretty sure the fear of being trapped in a car that runs off the road and sinks to the bottom of the ocean is NOT irrational. I think that’s a perfectly rational fear.

  8. I really enjoyed this story. While my geek factor is quite low, I do remember the days!

    And, here in Texas, we have 3 inch long flying roaches.

  9. Cambodia Carl Says:

    But how do they taste, cdugger?

  10. Cccann’t type, over…overwhelmed with convulsive shudder.

  11. this story was very original and refreshing;

    i used to play american mcgee’s alice, and i tried to avoid killing alice by skipping fights where possible and keeping health and strength of will maximized as much as possible; i preferred to enjoy the imaginative scenery and move though the game, fighting only where necessary;

    i don’t like the massive online multiplayer stuff because i usually get to the game late, and the game is essentially shut off to newbies;

    the first story i remember about characters inside a computer was harlan ellison’s “i have no mouth, and i must scream”, which was very dark and terrible; i prefer eric juneau’s “playable character” because it is positive and hopeful;

    why create an imaginary world that is terrible and hopeless, when we already have a real world that is terrible and hopeless?

  12. Really enjoyed this one. Almost made me want to play a video game.


  13. I remember Tank Girl. I freaking LOVED that movie… and during Hurricane Floyd, I had to do multi-station legal IDs at the radio stations I was working at, and I used some of the music as a bed for the :10 legals before the news coverage. I just… ahem… HAPPENED… to have that CD in my car…

    I was really concerned that I would hate this story — a playable character with a mind of his own? Who doesn’t like his player? Who wants to rebel? AGAIN? But then, as we learned, the story was really about real problems in MMORPGs and how a grassroots effort can succeed where going to the authorities cannot — and then the authorities take note and WHAM, there goes the Blood Samurai or whatever those things were. I also liked how the entire thing took place in the game, and Bedevere getting disconnected was great (although it would’ve been awesome if it had just been a lag issue). Peachbutt sounds familiar to me as a character name…

    The production values were good, and I enjoyed the character voices — especially Bedevere; Rish seemed to have a lot of fun with that one. The game judge voice really did sound like a bored 19-year-old talking through a voice modulator, which I guess was the intent, but it was a little annoying.

    The fear thing was fun to listen to.

  14. I loved playing Trade Wars 2002 on local BBS’ when I was a lad.
    Got good enough to build my own planet, and someone with a lot more firepower blew it up…

    Then I played Lands of Devastation which was almost a Fallout precursor, except with text and ASCII graphics. I put a couple hundred credits into the bank, forgot to check it for a few months, and came back to a few million credits. Bought the final bosses weapon from him, then killed him with it. Gotta love 10% interest compounded daily…

    This episode brings back fun memories.

  15. I never really liked Trade Wars, but I enjoyed Galactic Empire and… Crossroads? Was that the one where each direction took you toward a different element? And South was Earth?

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