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Great stories of how tech shapes our culture in wild ways.Would you be surprised to find out scientists are using World of Warcraft to learn how to fight COVID-19? What if I told you that I could spoil almost any movie based on who uses an iPhone? Or how about the fact that Disney is afraid of butts? Well, that’s Wild Wild Tech, the podcast that brings you the wildest, most bizarre, most interesting stories about how tech is shaping our culture. Hosted by Jordan Erica Webber and Joshua River ...
 
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Murder by Numbers is a joyful mix of genres: a visual novel with Phoenix Wright style witness interrogation interspersed with nonogram puzzle-solving, in a camp 1990s setting. To get a sense of how a game like that gets made, Jordan spoke to its lead programmer Liz Wright, who explains how she built the framework to hold all of those disparate part…
 
Sarah Wendell is the co-founder of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, a website for readers of romance fiction, and host of their podcast Smart Podcast, Trashy Books. When she's not reading, she loves to play video games, so Jordan invited her on the show to talk about how games approach her area of expertise: romance. For this whistlestop tour through h…
 
Jordan knew she would love Unpacking, but it turned out to be one of her favourite games of the year so far. In this episode, she interviews its creative director Wren Brier about how this gentle puzzle game about unpacking moving boxes uses that popular concept of 'environmental storytelling' to almost wordlessly convey a character's life and rela…
 
After playing yet another indie game that used something that looked a lot like mental illness for its plot twist, Jordan wrote an article for Waypoint criticising the trope, which quoted a similarly critical review of the game Draugen by writer Katherine Cross. For this first episode of Season 3 of Talking Simulator, Jordan and Katherine pick apar…
 
Have you ever wondered what famous people actually eat? In our new podcast, Guardian restaurant critic Grace Dent does just that, asking well-known guests to lift the lid on the food they turn to when they’re at home alone – and what comfort foods have seen them through their lives. In the first episode, screenwriter Russell T Davies tells Grace ab…
 
Wild Wild Tech presents an exciting new tech podcast, Fast Forward! Fast Forward is a new series by cyberculture channel Tomorrow Unlocked by Kaspersky. It explores how tech history can help us understand today’s evolution of technology. Here's episode one, "Welcome to the Labyrinth." Follow Tomorrow Unlocked on YouTube Follow Wild Wild Tech Love W…
 
With the continually rapid evolution of the technology around us and the advent of computers and smartphones, it would appear that the future is upon us. But is that necessarily a good thing? This week, Jordan and Joshua speak with writer and tech journalist Alexandra Samuel to discuss how our new reality was merely science fiction just a few years…
 
Nintendo is a household name, but how is that possible for a video game company that's over 100 years old? This week, Joshua and Jordan discuss the enduring legacy of Nintendo, a video game company that has found appeal across all levels of gamers, from casual to the most die-hard. Nintendo was started in 1889 as a playing card company, but they're…
 
What if you were offered the chance to speak with a lost loved one? New technology, namely the app Replika, is offering the chance to upload someone's data to recreate them in the digital form. Joshua and Jordan chat with journalist with Protocol, Mike Murphy, who has written extensively about the subject of recreating the digital self using data. …
 
Ratatouille: The Musical started as a meme, then a viral TikTok video until ultimately becoming a hit Broadway musical that Disney approved. How is that possible, especially during a pandemic? This week, Jordan and Joshua talk to a few of the key players in turning a short internet video into a full-scale production. Jordan and Joshua speak with Mi…
 
As the 35th anniversary of the Zelda franchise prompts rankings and discussion of which game was best, Breath of the Wild seems to top everyone’s lists. But not Shay Thompson’s. In this final episode of series 2 of Talking Simulator, she tells Jordan what she loves about a very different kind of Zelda game: the creepy time-looping Majora’s Mask. Se…
 
Gamestop, Robinhood, Hedge funds, Reddit; there's a good chance you've been hearing these terms being thrown around, but what exactly is going on? This week, Jordan and Joshua break down the timeline events of that made Gamestop stock soar and make redditors millionaires overnight. Journalist and writer for VICE MOTHERBOARD Matthew Gault simplifies…
 
mattie brice is an activist, critic, designer, and currently Visiting Assistant Arts Professor at New York University’s Game Center. In this episode, she and Jordan discuss the effectiveness of so-called educational games and games for change, and mattie shares her ideas for how we can use play for everyday activism, touching on topics from diversi…
 
The Guardian has launched a new series called Reverberate that we think you’ll like. Each week, Chris Michael will explore incredible stories from around the world about when music shook history. In the first episode, we hear from Kashy Keegan, an unknown singer-songwriter in a sleepy English town who became the voice of Hong Kong’s nascent pro-dem…
 
Writer and narrative designer Leigh Alexander, known for her work on games like Neo Cab and Reigns: Her Majesty, talks through some of her thoughts on the current state of narrative design in games and its potential for the future. How can narrative designers meet a younger audience where they already are? Is it possible to harness the undeniable p…
 
Will we eventually reach a point in technology where realistic sex dolls can become suitable companions? This week, Joshua and Jordan speak with Erin Griffith, an investigative journalist who came face-to-face with Henry, a sex bot from RealBotix that could be a glimpse into the future of human companionship. RealBotix, founded by Matt McMullen, is…
 
Kim Belair is a writer and narrative designer who has worked on a wide range of games, from big franchises like the recent Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League to smaller, more unique titles like Neo Cab and Goodbye Volcano High. She talks Jordan through what it was like to work on Valhalla, the latest e…
 
You may not realize it, but that smartphone in your pocket has influenced how you and much of the world speaks to each other. This week, Jordan and Joshua speak with two linguists to discuss how internet culture and even the act of texting has completely morphed the way the world communicates with each other. First, linguist David Crystal discusses…
 
I Am Dead is a charming puzzle adventure game from the creators of Hohokum and Wilmot’s Warehouse, in which you play as a ghost finding other ghosts by exploring an island, unlocking the memories of its colourful characters, and using supernatural powers to peer through objects and find mementos linked to the dead. Catherine Johnson is an experienc…
 
The African continent has historically been underrepresented in the global game development scene, but game developers living there want to change that. Sithe Ncube, who is Zambian and currently studying Computer Science in South Africa, spends much of her spare time working with various initiatives supporting Black game developers, African game de…
 
If you missed out on your chance to purchase a PS5 or Xbox Series X, you are not alone. In fact, you might find it a lot harder to find any hot ticket item this holiday season, and potentially every major shopping event in the future, all thanks to bots. Jordan and Joshua explore the world of online shopping bots, programs that cut the line of any …
 
The Sims is one of the most popular series of games in the world, in part because it caters to many players who are underrepresented elsewhere. But players like Danielle have long been dissatisfied with the way this series represents Black people, with fewer options for skin tones and hair styles than their white equivalents and often lower quality…
 
The FBI estimates that as many as 40% of homicides go unsolved, with no national database to keep track. But what if an algorithm could help identify trends and even potentially bring the number of unsolved murders down? This week, Joshua and Jordan delve into the Murder Accountability Project, a nonprofit group dedicated to mapping unsolved homici…
 
In 2019, Elizabeth Orji-Smith was one of the winners of that year’s BAFTA Young Game Designers competition for their game concept Creatively Bankrupt, an action RPG that uses heists to explore topics like unionisation in creative industries. In this episode, they tell Jordan where they got the idea for the game, what they’re up to now, and what the…
 
Amidst the influencers, cute animals, memes and other videos on Instagram lives a bizarre, dark and strangely legal underworld where people buy and sell human skulls, bones and body parts. Jordan Erica Webber and Joshua Rivera dig deep into this macabre marketplace where they meet with Henry Scragg, proprietor of curiositiesfromthe5thcorner, and ac…
 
Brittney Morris is a writer of novels and video games. Her debut novel Slay (2019) is about a fictional online multiplayer game of the same name, designed by a teenager called Kiera as a secret safe space for her and other Black players. In the novel, Kiera faces a crisis when the rest of the world finds out about her game, but this conversation do…
 
On this special pre-election episode, Jordan Erica Webber and Joshua Rivera explore the cloud of misinformation that is affecting the country, more specifically, how it's targeting the state of Florida and the Latinx community that resides therein. They speak with Sabrina Rodríguez, Florida native and politics writer for Politico, who wrote an arti…
 
For this first episode of series 2, Jordan invites her good friend Chella Ramanan to talk about her new game Before I Forget, which tells the story of a woman with dementia. They discuss the main characters—Indian cosmologist Sunita and her pianist husband Dylan—and how Chella wrote mental illness into the game, which may well teach you something y…
 
This week, Jordan and Joshua explore the light and dark sides of the deepfakes phenomena, synthesizing audio and video to replace the likeness of one person with another. Jordan and Joshua speak with Paul Shales AKA The Fakening about how he's built a career on swapping voices and faces of celebrities, and how the burgeoning technology is only gett…
 
How is it possible that a restaurant that doesn't exist could become the top-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor? We get the answer from Oobah Butler, artist and prankster, who created "The Shed at Dulwich," a restaurant that served microwaved mac and cheese and boxed soup, but still managed to be the most-hyped restaurant in London. Jordan Erica Webbe…
 
TikTok - a place of short, fun viral videos that's constantly on the edge of being banned. But for some of the LGBTQ community, TikTok is the new Tinder. Jordan Erica Webber and Joshua Rivera explore why lesbians are turning to this social media app as an ad hoc dating app. They speak with Megan Mitchell, a news anchor in Cincinnati, who met her gi…
 
You ever get so immersed in the world of a video game you start to believe you could live in that world? Well, the U.S. Army is betting on that. The United States Army has a long history of using video games as a tool for recruiting the next generation of soldiers. Activist Jordan Uhl alleges that recently the military is preying on vulnerable pote…
 
We all agree music is art, but an algorithm is challenging that idea. Damien Riehl and Noah Rubin created the "All the Music" algorithm, and it's tirelessly making songs at the rate of over 200,000 melodies per second to prove music is merely math. If they succeed, it will be the end of music copyright law as we know it. Jordan Erica Webber and Jos…
 
You can't own an iPhone and be a bad person, at least according to Apple. Director of "Knives Out" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" Rian Johnson exposed Apple's strange product placement policy in a video online for Vanity Fair. But hosts Jordan Erica Webber and Joshua Rivera discover that this has been going on longer than most of us would expect. F…
 
If you noticed something hairy while watching Splash on Disney+, it wasn't just your imagination. Disney digitally added hair to cover Daryl Hannah's rear-end, and viewers are confused. Turns out, Disney has been altering it's content for decades to stay "family friendly." Jordan Erica Webber and Joshua Rivera chat with Josh Spiegel revealing this …
 
In September 2005, World of Warcraft, a popular MMORPG, was struck with a virus called "Corrupted Blood." It spread uncontrollably, killing hundreds of thousands of players. And now, epidemiologists are studying players' reactions to this virtual pandemic, trying to predict human reactions to real contagions. Jordan Erica Webber and Joshua Rivera s…
 
Would you be surprised if scientists are learning how to fight COVID-19 from World of Warcraft? What if I told you that I could spoil almost any movie based on who uses an iPhone? Did you know that Disney is afraid of butts? Well, that’s Wild Wild Tech, the podcast that brings you the wildest, most bizarre, the most interesting stories about tech a…
 
We wanted to bring you another episode from our Innermost series. In the last episode of our first season, two callers tell Leah Green how their relationships sent them down unexpected paths, one with criminal consequences Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to hear the rest of the series. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian…
 
The Guardian has launched a new series called Innermost that we think you will like. Each week, callers will tell Leah Green what’s going on behind closed doors. In the first episode, we hear how an uncle’s funeral and meals with an emotionally distant brother help James and Jess think about their families in new and unexpected ways. Subscribe wher…
 
In the final episode of this five-part mini-series all about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Marie explains how she came to host one of the Now Play This at Home events in Animal Crossing, and describes some of the other cultural events she’s seen take place in this game and others in the series. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out informa…
 
In episode four of this five-part mini-series all about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Jordan and Pip discuss the run up to Bunny Day and its much-maligned proliferation of eggs. Since this episode was recorded, Nintendo has reduced the rate at which eggs appear, but people are still annoyed, especially in the Northern Hemisphere where the event co…
 
In the second episode of this five-part mini series all about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Jordan and Chella discuss how well the game introduces his systems to players. With millions playing New Horizons and sharing their progress on social media, what is it like for those players who are taking things more slowly and learning as they go? See ac…
 
While preparing for Series 2 in the midst of a pandemic, we’ve made this bonus mini-series about a game that has arrived at an opportune moment for millions of isolated and anxious people worldwide: Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In this first episode, Jordan and Kat discuss the notion of min-maxing and the discomfort that comes when the process of…
 
In the final episode of Chips with Everything, Jordan Erica Webber and Alex Hern reminisce about their favourite episodes from the last couple of years. Plus, as the decade draws to a close, the duo discuss their favourite tech stories of the past 10 years. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/chipspod…
 
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