Artwork for podcast Pixel Therapy Pod
The Emotional Benefits of Gaming with Counselor Jamiere Leslie
Episode 1416th February 2021 • Pixel Therapy Pod • Pixel Therapy Pod
00:00:00 01:29:24

Share Episode

Shownotes

Y'all been hitting that pandemic wall lately? Us too. Spencer's coping by working through half the Assassin's Creed series, which just HAPPENED to be super on sale in the Playstation Store, and getting elbow-deep in the lore. Meanwhile, Jamie's cleansing her palate from 200+ hours of Persona 5 with Aegis Rim: 13 Sentinels, a reality-altering JRPG starring high schoolers jumping into another reality for turn-based fights-- wait a minute.

Here's a follow-up article on the Ubisoft diversity debacle Jamie mentioned from 2020: https://kotaku.com/head-of-ubisoft-announces-plans-to-shakeup-the-company-1844252024

Then we're joined by Jamiere Leslie, a counselor based in Massachusetts's south shore who's rediscovered her love of gaming during the pandemic. How can you tell if you have a gaming addiction? Can Animal Crossing cure depression? What's the deal with therapy? All this and more awaits you.

Follow Jamiere on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JayTeeEll17.

Looking for a therapist in MA? Check out Northeast Health Services: https://www.northeasthealthservices.com/.

SIDE QUEST

Support the global organization working to end white supremacy and creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy: https://blacklivesmatter.com/

Our February Patreon-Exclusive Co-Op Mode episode is out now. Visit patreon.com/pixeltherapypod to unlock bonus episodes for $2/mo! We're also going to be LIVE at Uplink 2021 on February 20th, 2021, at 6-7 pm EST! If you're interested in the convention, get your tickets on our website: pixeltherapypod.com.

This episode is sponsored by the following Patreon supporters: Yinka Araromi

About Pixel Therapy

New episodes drop every other Tuesday. Learn more at pixeltherapypod.com or follow us on social media @pixeltherapypod. We're proud members of the But Why Tho? Podcast Network: visit ButWhyThoPodcast.com for everything pop culture in an inclusive geek community! If you like what you hear, please take a moment to rate us, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts (or your listening app of choice) & subscribe! Want more? Join our little community over on Patreon!

Transcripts

Jamie:

Pixel Therapy is a member of the But Why Tho Podcast

Jamie:

Network

Spencer:

Go to butwhythopodcast.com for an

Spencer:

inclusive geek community offering pop culture news

Spencer:

reviews and podcasts.

Jamie:

Podcasts like Super Deluxe Games Cast. SDGC is a

Jamie:

news and entertainment collective based around nerd

Jamie:

culture, bringing honest but thoughtful analysis and

Jamie:

commentary and championing both inclusiveness and mental slash

Jamie:

emotional well being. Catch them live on Twitch @officialSDGC,

Jamie:

Thursdays at 9pm Eastern time or get the podcast on Soundcloud

Jamie:

and Spotify by searching SDGC.

Jamiere:

Look, I can make my Sim go to work and get some animals

Jamiere:

and go to sleep versus that's not exactly what's working

Jamiere:

during the pandemic. Like I can actually let them go outside

Jamiere:

when I can't go outside.

Jamie:

Yeah, yeah.

Spencer:

Yeah you know the bar is low when it's like all we

Spencer:

want to do is just work, hang out with animals, and go to

Spencer:

sleep. [music break]

Jamie:

Welcome to Pixel Therapy, the video game podcast where we

Jamie:

look at the games we play through the lens of the player,

Jamie:

where what you play is just as important as how you play it.

Jamie:

And where emotional intelligence is a critical stat. Every other

Jamie:

week we bring on a guest who may or may not consider themselves a

Jamie:

gamer to discuss the games that made them and changed them and

Jamie:

all the feelings they have about our favorite pastime. I'm your

Jamie:

co host Jamie, pronouns she her.

Spencer:

And I'm your co host Spencer, pronouns they them.

Jamie:

And this is Pixel Therapy. Spencer, we got some

Jamie:

new and noteworthy news this week. So let's run through these

Jamie:

real quick here. First, our February Patreon bonus episode

Jamie:

is out. This month in honor of the Valentine's Day feels

Jamie:

Spencer and I are chatting about our video game crushes. Awww.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

So go to patreon.com/pixeltherapypod and

Jamie:

subscribe at the $2 Tier or above to check that out. If

Jamie:

you're a fan of what we do on Pixel Therapy and you have a few

Jamie:

bucks to spare, we'd really appreciate it. And if you don't,

Jamie:

no worries, you will keep getting your bi weekly dose of

Jamie:

Pixel Therapy for free right here, wherever you get your

Jamie:

podcasts. Up next Pixel Therapy is hosting a panel-holy shit! Us

Jamie:

on a panel! What could we possibly have to say? Saturday,

Jamie:

February 20, at 6pm Eastern time, you can come watch us live

Jamie:

as part of Uplink 2021. Uplink is a full digital weekend

Jamie:

extravaganza produced by the award winning team behind the

Jamie:

LI-that's Long Island-Retro Gaming Expo. And they're putting

Jamie:

together an unforgettable weekend celebrating gaming

Jamie:

culture with online sessions of retro video games and tabletop

Jamie:

games, engaging panel discussions like the one we're

Jamie:

going to be doing, and much more. Tickets are $10 each,

Jamie:

which gets you access to the full digital convention going on

Jamie:

that entire Saturday. And you can get those tickets by going

Jamie:

to our website pixeltherapypod.com. And

Jamie:

following the link from there, we'll put that link in the

Jamie:

description description of this episode as well the direct link

Jamie:

for the tickets and on our social media.

Spencer:

I just want to say like, this is our first panel.

Spencer:

So we're super excited because it's like-

JamieRead::

nervous.

Spencer:

Yeah, we're nervous as hell. I don't know what it is

Spencer:

like we, we're talking to y'all all the time, but something

Spencer:

about it is gonna be different. I'm just nervous. I guess it's

Spencer:

the live aspect. But maybe someday it'll it'll be it'll

Spencer:

prepare us for the live shows we'll have someday.

Jamie:

Yeah, one day one day in the faraway future. But yeah, so

Jamie:

we would you know, if you're free that evening, and you want

Jamie:

to come check us out, we'd definitely appreciate it.

Spencer:

No pressure.

Jamie:

No pressure. We're trying to put as little pressure on

Jamie:

ourselves as possible. So-

Spencer:

And failing, it's fine.

Jamie:

But yeah, it should be a fun time again, Saturday,

Jamie:

February 20 at 6pm. And you can come over to our website

Jamie:

pixeltherapypod.com to get the link to buy some tickets.

Jamie:

Alright, enough of that, Spencer, it's time to get cozy.

Jamie:

Pull up that armchair. Feel free to lie down on the couch. You

Jamie:

better lie down on your couch. We're gonna talk about our

Jamie:

feelings. Spencer, what's going on with you today?

Spencer:

Ah, well, it's another snowy weekend here in

Spencer:

Massachusetts. Um, it's very cold. I need sun. It's been

Spencer:

bleak. Oh, one thing I don't know if I mentioned to you, but

Spencer:

y'all may remember that lately I've been playing Assassin's

Spencer:

Creed Valhalla, loving it. So there was the sale on

Spencer:

PlayStation Store and my boyfriend Eron and I are now an

Spencer:

Assassin's Creed family. We literally-Okay, they were all

Spencer:

like $11 to $15 so you cannot blame me-

Jamie:

Oh, no. Wait, how many did you buy? How many did you

Jamie:

buy, Spencer?

Spencer:

We've got the pirate one. So we got Assassin's Creed

Spencer:

Black Flag.

Jamie:

Yep. Okay,

Spencer:

We got Origins. That's when you're in Egypt.

Jamie:

Yes. I like that one a lot.

Spencer:

We love it. Love Bayek.

Jamie:

You can ride a camel.

Spencer:

You can Oh yeah, that was the best part when you're

Spencer:

you call for your steed and a fucking camel rolls up. Like

Spencer:

loving that! It kind of made me mad because I'm like, so. At the

Spencer:

beginning of every Assassin's Creed game, they put up this

Spencer:

message that's like "The team who made Assassin's Creed is

Spencer:

full of people of different races and genders and creeds,

Spencer:

and stuff." But with AC Valhalla, it's like, every one

Spencer:

of them in the game is basically white and it wasn't until I was

Spencer:

80 hours into the game, that I finally encountered a black

Spencer:

woman. But this person literally is only in the game for five

Spencer:

seconds, she gives you a quest, you don't really learn her name,

Spencer:

and then she's gone. And so it just kind of feels disingenuous

Spencer:

to the message, or the tone they're trying to set at the

Spencer:

beginning. Like, I'm playing Origins now. And that game came

Spencer:

out in 2017. But everything from the just richness and the

Spencer:

diversity of the landscape and the casting and and the love

Spencer:

brought to bringing the characters to life and

Spencer:

everything about it. It just makes me feel like, do they

Spencer:

think that games can only be diverse racially when they're

Spencer:

set in a setting where people would expect, you know, quote,

Spencer:

unquote, quote, unquote, expect to see people of color? Like it

Spencer:

still feels like I'm being served diversity through a white

Spencer:

gaze, and I'm disappointed to see that. You know, all of this

Spencer:

diversity that was celebrated in Origins, like isn't really

Spencer:

carrying through. Like, I kind of feel like I take the same

Spencer:

stance that I take on the Witcher 3. Like famously, The

Spencer:

Witcher 3 is a game about Geralt, The Witcher. There's

Spencer:

also a TV show about it now. So I'm sure a lot more people may

Spencer:

have heard of The Witcher. But you're like this guy in a

Spencer:

fantasy world and you're hunting demons and shit. I didn't finish

Spencer:

it because I was kind of pissed off by it. I found it sexist and

Spencer:

flat and white supremacist, but-

Jamie:

Yeah, which is like, why are people so surprised that

Jamie:

Cyberpunk is the way it is?

Spencer:

I know, right? Yes. Same developer who made

Spencer:

Cyberpunk 2077. So that's all you need to know about that. But

Spencer:

essentially, like, the developer famously came out saying,

Spencer:

because there's literally I think everyone in the Witcher 3

Spencer:

is white. Like it was like a thing.

Jamie:

Like, there's white people, and there's monsters.

Jamie:

And that's-

Spencer:

Yeah. And the developer was like, "Well, we know it's a

Spencer:

fantasy, but it's a fantasy set in Poland. So Poland is like

Jamie:

That's, that's cool. I hope you guys enjoy them. I

Jamie:

99%. White. So there's just no reason why black people would be

Jamie:

here." And it's like, well, you also just said, it's a fantasy

Jamie:

world that has monsters or shit. And so you're saying that, in

Jamie:

this reimagining of a fantasy, there's no room for people of

Jamie:

color to exist? Like that's to fantastical? Like, um, I just

Jamie:

think that's the weakes argument that people have. So

Jamie:

you know, it was a little like Hmm. But anyway, we bough

Jamie:

Origins, we bought Black Flag w bought, um, we're gonna bu

Jamie:

Brotherhood because I've heard rumor that Brotherhood is lik

Jamie:

the best one. We bought Odysse with the Spartans, and Greeks

Jamie:

And there's like one more in th backlog but I don't remembe

Jamie:

which one it was. There's too m ny of Assassin's Creed g

Jamie:

mes, but we're gonna be world ravelers by the end of this. W

Jamie:

're going to be visiting al the

Jamie:

mean, I think you're-Yeah, I've played, we've talked about this

Jamie:

before, I played almost all the Assassin's Creed games. They-I

Jamie:

don't know. They're fun games. But they leave a lot to be

Jamie:

desired. I think. And I think to your point about the that

Jamie:

statement that they always put at the beginning of the games,

Jamie:

and how this is made by a diverse team that come from a

Jamie:

lot of different backgrounds. I think that statement is true.

Jamie:

But then, you know, when we heard, what was it was like

Jamie:

almost a year ago now? That all the accusations and stuff came

Jamie:

out of Ubisoft about how the marketing team was really

Jamie:

forcing people to really only make games and narratives that

Jamie:

centered white men.

Spencer:

Oh, I have not heard this.

Jamie:

Or men in general. Yeah. So like, actually, the fact that

Jamie:

Origins being set in Egypt even exists is really kind of a

Jamie:

shock. And the game I don't know if you've gotten to this part

Jamie:

yet, but the game does you give you periods of time, where you

Jamie:

play as Aya, Bayek's wife. Originally, the original pitch

Jamie:

of the game was that Aya would be, I can't remember now if she

Jamie:

was supposed to be the main character, or like you were

Jamie:

playing as her a lot more. And the studio execs actually made

Jamie:

them pare that down, because they didn't think people would

Jamie:

want to play as a black woman.

Spencer:

Wow.

Jamie:

So the the fact that we've gotten the diversity that

Jamie:

exists in the Ubisoft games is like huge when you find out that

Jamie:

behind the scenes, there was so much pressure to prevent any of

Jamie:

that from happening. So like props to the developers who have

Jamie:

been working at Ubisoft and like striving to make these these

Jamie:

adjustments and get the diversity into the games that

Jamie:

they could, but the games are not as diverse as they should

Jamie:

be. And it's really because of this toxic bro marketing culture

Jamie:

that was coming from the top down. Ubisoft is trying to make

Jamie:

changes you can you can look them up and I and I'm not as

Jamie:

versed to speak on exactly all the stuff that they're doing.

Jamie:

But they've been saying that they're making changes a lot of

Jamie:

those marketing bros had been let go, but none of it really

Jamie:

happened in a way that was super satisfying. And and the the

Jamie:

owners of the company, specifically Yves Guillemot are

Jamie:

still in their positions of power. And there's just no way

Jamie:

they kind of didn't know what was going on. So I'll be

Jamie:

interested to see what happens as they continue forward. But

Jamie:

part of the reason those games are as limited in the ways that

Jamie:

they are is because there was a really like intentional push

Jamie:

from the top down to make them that way. And so it just means

Jamie:

that that the bit of diversity that we do see shining through

Jamie:

was really like developers pushing as hard as they possibly

Jamie:

could to get that kind of stuff in there. But yeah, I don't

Jamie:

know. The games also have a certain level of jank to them.

Spencer:

Yeah, cuz they're trying to make them so fast?

Spencer:

Like-

Jamie:

I don't know I mean, yeah, they're they have a bit of

Jamie:

a bugginess and and before Origins-Origins was the game

Jamie:

they released after they took a short break. Before Origins they

Jamie:

were turning the games out once a year. And then they had kind

Jamie:

of a disastrous launch of I think Unity was the one that

Jamie:

came out that was just completely broken. You can go

Jamie:

find all these screenshots of characters with like their faces

Jamie:

missing and they're just lips and and they kind of became,

Jamie:

that kind of became a joke after that, and then and then they

Jamie:

took a break and then they came out with Origins, which everyone

Jamie:

really thought was like a return to well, not a return to form

Jamie:

but such an improvement. So many new systems and and being in

Jamie:

such an interesting location. You know, the games before that

Jamie:

had almost all been set in Europe, in very white European

Jamie:

areas. Then Odyssey to follow Origins. Odyssey also more white

Jamie:

than Origins, but more diverse than a lot of the games that

Jamie:

came before it. Set in kind of Greek Mediterranean area. But

Jamie:

then yeah, then they can I almost feel like Valhalla is a

Jamie:

little bit of a backslide in terms of some of the diversity

Jamie:

that showcased. We're like we're back in Europe, and we're back

Jamie:

in like a very white area. But Valhalla does a lot of other

Jamie:

interesting things. So I don't know we'll see what they do

Jamie:

next. But there's a whole part of the globe that they just

Jamie:

haven't touched with these games and for games that are supposed

Jamie:

to feel so expansive and giving you the opportunity to

Jamie:

experience a piece of history. It really feels like they've

Jamie:

limited themselves with this shitty marketing culture that

Jamie:

they have.

Spencer:

Let's get an Aztec story. Like let's get an

Spencer:

Indigenous Filipino story. Let's get some. Let's go Come on. Like

Spencer:

there's so many-it's like the same old stuff going back to

Spencer:

Europe and Britain shit like it's like, oh my God just play

Spencer:

any RPG. But you know, what you're saying is fascinating,

Spencer:

because I didn't know that context. And even when you look

Spencer:

at the marketing for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, which is the one

Spencer:

that just came out, so the game has this whole-Okay, this is I

Spencer:

guess, light spoilers, so maybe skip ahead a few mins if you

Spencer:

really don't want to get spoiled on any detail at all about

Spencer:

Valhalla, but I feel like if you've, if you've read anything

Spencer:

about the game, this is kind of just like common knowledge at

Spencer:

this point. But Eivor as a character. So Assassin's Creed

Spencer:

essentially like you're, you're a present a character who's in

Spencer:

this machine called the Animus that using DNA of people who

Spencer:

have passed you're able to kind of see their memories and live

Spencer:

their lives and that sort of simulation. And canonically

Spencer:

Eivor when the skeleton of Eivor is found by the main character

Spencer:

Layla that you play and then the DNA is put into the Animus,

Spencer:

Eivor's body, she is canonically female Eivor. But in the Animus

Spencer:

she has so much DNA from the Isu, which are the also called

Spencer:

like "the first people", but they're the essentially this

Spencer:

civilization that came before in the Assassin's Creed universe

Spencer:

and created all these, they're like God, like the ideas of gods

Spencer:

that we have, essentially, in the lore of the game descended

Spencer:

from these great beings that existed and died out before

Spencer:

humanity today, and she has so much of this Isu DNA mixed up

Spencer:

that when the Animus renders her simulation, it's not sure

Spencer:

whether to render her as man or woman because it has because she

Spencer:

has a ton of Odin's DNA-Odin, a guy I guess if we're going to

Spencer:

assign genders to Gods. And he's the All father in Norse

Spencer:

mythology, and so essentially Eivor is Odin, she's the

Spencer:

reincarnation of Odin, she's canonically female or a woman.

Spencer:

And she in vision quests throughout the game, she is able

Spencer:

to go back to her memories as Odin, and you do play portions

Spencer:

of the game as a guy as Odin in the past and Asgard. But the way

Spencer:

the game has been marketed is entirely with the guy Eivor.

Spencer:

Like the cover of the game, the PlayStation screen when you're

Spencer:

loading the game, all of the marketing out there like in

Spencer:

terms of articles, and imagery and concept art, it's all the

Spencer:

guy Eivor. But if you play the game, the way it's meant to be

Spencer:

played, there's two ways to do that you can either use like a

Spencer:

unless you pick your gender in the beginning you can you can be

Spencer:

he/him Eivor, you could be she/her Eivor, or you pick this

Spencer:

option that says let the Animus decide which is the way the

Spencer:

story is meant to be played. And the Animus decides that you are

Spencer:

she/her Eivor for the entire game. And the only time that you

Spencer:

are he/him Eivor, you're not Eivor, you're Odin, you have you

Spencer:

look, you look different, you have a different face different

Spencer:

hair. So if you would play the game, the way it's meant to be

Spencer:

played, you actually would never see he/him Eivor. You would

Spencer:

never see Eivor the way that he's designed in marketing. So

Spencer:

it's like, why do they feel the need to do that because clearly

Spencer:

everyone's playing this game and having a great time. And Eivor

Spencer:

is an incredible character. I've played as she/her Eivor. My

Spencer:

partner is playing the game again as he/him Eivor, and I

Spencer:

don't hate on Eivor. I think they are great regardless of who

Spencer:

you decide to play. I love the aspect of being able to play

Spencer:

with gender like that. And I think it's really great to

Spencer:

introduce this mechanic as a way of just, you know, I think games

Spencer:

still today, there's a lot to complain about in terms of how

Spencer:

women are characterized how women's bodies are sculpted, and

Spencer:

the types of armor that they're given and the types of people

Spencer:

that they're allowed to be in games. I personally was very

Spencer:

validated. And I really enjoyed the way that because NPCs for

Spencer:

example, would say the same dialogue to you, regardless of

Spencer:

whether you're he/him Eivor or she/her Eivor, I think it

Spencer:

unintentionally even sort of turns on, it's on their head a

Spencer:

lot of stereotypes about what a like a man hero can be in a

Spencer:

video game. And so like I really liked the way that it opened up

Spencer:

diversity in terms of performing both any gender. But I'm really

Spencer:

pissed at the way that these marketers seem to think that the

Spencer:

only reason people would buy Valhalla is if they see that

Spencer:

they can play a man character on the cover. Like it's

Spencer:

disrespectful to the character of Eivor too because Eivor is a

Spencer:

badass woman and like, it's like why it's just why?

Jamie:

Well, and they did-Yeah, they did the same thing with

Jamie:

Odyssey. Odyssey-Odyssey is just straight up lets you choose

Jamie:

between-In that case, they are not the same character as they

Jamie:

are in Valhalla where Eivor is Eivor regardless of which gender

Jamie:

you choose. In Odyssey there's a brother or a sister that you

Jamie:

choose to play as and the other person will still appear in the

Jamie:

game depending on your choice. By and large reviewers said that

Jamie:

Kassandra the the the woman option was the better one to

Jamie:

play as. The you know, they said the voice acting was better than

Jamie:

just her charisma and stuff was better. It was a more

Jamie:

interesting game to play as her. And yet yeah, all the marketing

Jamie:

was Alexios I think his name was?

Spencer:

Yeah, yeah.

Jamie:

The male version. And you didn't see that anywhere. And

Jamie:

then I there was a study that, or not a study, but Ubisoft like

Jamie:

released the statistics of the breakdown of who played which

Jamie:

gender and and the male character was more people picked

Jamie:

the male, but I just wonder how much of that is self fulfilling

Jamie:

prophecy? Like, if that's what you see in the marketing, that's

Jamie:

what you see on the box-

Spencer:

Mm hmm.

Jamie:

Are you just assuming that that's how you're supposed

Jamie:

to play the game and choosing that? Or is there, is there

Jamie:

genuinely a preference to play the game that way? And I think

Jamie:

if you know, if you're never showing people the other option,

Jamie:

then I don't know. I feel like you're kind of setting yourself

Jamie:

up to not get different results. I don't know.

Spencer:

And another thing! Speaking about Assassin's Creed

Spencer:

Odyssey. So when you brought that up, it was making me think

Spencer:

about this Reddit thread that I was reading the other day. And

Spencer:

when Odyssey came out, it was the first game that because you

Spencer:

could play as either Alexios or Kassandra and be, pick, you

Spencer:

know, man or woman, male or female-I personally, like, if

Spencer:

folks are hearing me halting around saying male and female. I

Spencer:

just don't like saying it because I think it can be

Spencer:

prescriptive around like, what it means like the sort of

Spencer:

relationship between sex and gender of which I personally

Spencer:

believe there is none. So that's why you may hear me pause but

Spencer:

there's nothing wrong with identifying as female or male.

Spencer:

But essentially, because it was the first game where you could

Spencer:

do that. It was also the first Assassin's Creed game where you

Spencer:

could be gay or you could be queer, because of the NPCs that

Spencer:

you had romance options with, they would be made available to

Spencer:

you, regardless of if you picked Kassandra or Alexios. And so

Spencer:

lots of people at first were like, "Oh, wow, we're finally

Spencer:

getting queer representation in Odyssey. This is amazing." Like,

Spencer:

like, people were posting screenshots of Alexios with

Spencer:

their partners and just having a great time. And then the team at

Spencer:

Ubisoft decided to release a DLC that regardless of whatever

Spencer:

player choices that you made in the main game, it ended with

Spencer:

Alexios marrying a woman and having a baby. So regardless-

Jamie:

Or vice versa.

Spencer:

Or vice versa.

Jamie:

Kassandra would marry a man but yeah, ending up in a

Jamie:

heterosexual relationship and having a child. Yeah.

Spencer:

So it's like, what is that? And there was some, so

Spencer:

when the initial backlash from fans was coming out, the company

Spencer:

did release a statement essentially being like, hey,

Spencer:

sometimes people have to get married for duty. And this is

Spencer:

about ensuring that Alexios or Kassandra is able to continue

Spencer:

their line. And it's about that it's about the line, because in

Spencer:

older Assassin's Creed games in the lore of the world, the only

Spencer:

people who could go into the Animus and relive the memories

Spencer:

of the people that they found, had to be directly descended

Spencer:

from that person. However, and this is just indicating to

Spencer:

people how deep I've been getting into the Assassin

Spencer:

fandom. The introduction of Layla Hassan in origins actually

Spencer:

changed that canon because now, ever since then, all of the

Spencer:

people that have come up that you the heroes that you are in

Spencer:

these games, were no longer connected by direct descendants.

Spencer:

So that reason they gave to force you to become a

Spencer:

heterosexual person was just complete bullshit. And they

Spencer:

actually ended up ended up basically retconning the whole

Spencer:

storyline by releasing an update, where Alexio slash

Spencer:

Kassandra's entire family is killed, and he or she goes back

Spencer:

to being a mercenary. So it's like, it sucks that that has

Spencer:

happened. But it's like y'all.

Jamie:

It was definitely a misstep. I do I give them some

Jamie:

slight props for like, listening to the feedback and trying to

Jamie:

adapt it. But But yeah, I mean, it just speaks to like, that

Jamie:

probably shouldn't have happened to begin with, like, yeah, yeah,

Jamie:

just people not not thinking. So.

Spencer:

I don't know. Yeah, I I, what you said earlier about

Spencer:

the kind of overall jank-iness of it, like, I feel like, just

Spencer:

because of the way that I like to consume media and, and

Spencer:

culture, like, I'm trying to pull, like, as I'm playing, and

Spencer:

I'm looking for the deeper meditations and truths on on

Spencer:

life, and identity that I get from like, the God of Wars, and-

Jamie:

Yeah-

Spencer:

I'm not quite-

Jamie:

Those might be sparse.

Spencer:

It's fun, it's snack food. It's, it's, it's fun. It's

Spencer:

a great, I think-

Jamie:

Yep

Spencer:

I think it's a great like, maybe an entry point, RPG

Spencer:

for someone who wants to try a big open world adventure game,

Spencer:

but doesn't necessarily wanna read.

Jamie:

Well, and one other thing that, in particular, the more

Jamie:

recent Assassin's Creed games have done, I feel like Origins

Jamie:

was the first one that did this, but they actually have a mode

Jamie:

that's like called history mode or something like that, where

Jamie:

you can actually play the game without there being any combat.

Jamie:

And and teachers have actually been using it because they put

Jamie:

so much time and effort and research into the world that

Jamie:

they build professors and stuff. And well, I don't know if

Jamie:

college professors are using it. But I've heard that teachers

Jamie:

have been using it to get students to interact with

Jamie:

historical spaces. So like, if you're teaching a section on

Jamie:

Egypt, actually using Origins to show like, this is kind of what

Jamie:

it looked like. And this is kind of what you could expect and the

Jamie:

fact that they're putting that level of detail in the worlds I

Jamie:

do think is cool. But yeah, to your point, these are these are

Jamie:

popcorn games. I don't I don't think I've had like a really

Jamie:

emotional experience with a, with an Assassin's Creed game

Jamie:

and probably the closest I got was Bayek and Aya's story in

Jamie:

Origins, which is why that I hold that one up as my favorite

Jamie:

but even then, I don't. You know, there's so much of that

Jamie:

game that's not about that. The world just gives you so much to

Jamie:

do that you can really lose the thread of what the narrative

Jamie:

even is.

Spencer:

And plus I feel like a lot of what makes Origins so

Spencer:

great is the really charismatic voice acting by Abubakar Salim.

Spencer:

He plays Bayek and he's incredible. Like, I think what

Spencer:

you were saying earlier about like, like part of it Isn't when

Spencer:

you were talking about the voice acting being better for

Spencer:

Kassandra like, I definitely thought, like, when I'm watching

Spencer:

my boyfriend play he/him Eivor, like the voice I think is just

Spencer:

not as rich and, and alluring and strong and, and full of

Spencer:

emotion as, as the she her Eivor person is, and I just think,

Spencer:

again, because we're people and it's impossible not to have

Spencer:

empathy and connect with these games emotionally, it's just

Spencer:

like, the people who feel the most human are the characters

Spencer:

that really stick out to me and those who are really brought to

Spencer:

life by these voice actors.

Jamie:

Yeah, and in the history of the Assassin's Creed

Jamie:

franchise, and you may notice this if you go back to to Black

Jamie:

Flag and, and to brotherhood, the-well Ezio was a fun

Jamie:

character in his own right, he was the main character of the

Jamie:

first like, three, four games, whatever it was, but Bayek felt

Jamie:

like such a departure because he was such a-Well, for one thing,

Jamie:

he's a dad. And that's very different from so many of the

Jamie:

Assassin's Creed game focus on focus on like kind of loners.

Jamie:

But he's a family man, and he's a Medjay and he really wants to

Jamie:

protect his people. He's got a lot of empathy. He's very

Jamie:

friendly, and kind and gentle. And it was just such a departure

Jamie:

from so many of the protagonists that we had in those games that

Jamie:

it really stood out to me when I played it.

Spencer:

So, Assassin's Creed. What are your thoughts on

Spencer:

Assassin's Creed? Let us know honestly, I'm just I know it's a

Spencer:

very rich and big fandom. So if y'all have feelings about

Spencer:

Assassin's Creed, like please email us because I kind of just

Spencer:

want to know what people think about it. I'm like a very much

Spencer:

late comer to the series. But enough about me. What? What have

Spencer:

you been playing?

Jamie:

Yeah, sure. So you may recall, in our last episode, I

Jamie:

talked about how I had ascended the mountain of Persona 5 Royal,

Jamie:

I had gotten to the end of a 200 hour video game about Japanese

Jamie:

high schoolers, living their day to day lives, having their

Jamie:

romances and their dramas than being pulled into an alternate

Jamie:

reality, where they participate in turn based fights with

Jamie:

monsters of various kinds, right. And I was like, I'm ready

Jamie:

for something completely different. After 200 hours of

Jamie:

that.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

So I tried about seven other games. Played like an hour

Jamie:

of each game. As we know I have an extensive backlog. So I tried

Jamie:

a bunch of different stuff. I even tried getting back into

Jamie:

Valhalla. I was encountering a bug where the characters mouths

Jamie:

weren't moving.

Spencer:

Oh I know. I don't Yeah, I know.

Jamie:

And I just like can't. I just like yeah, I gave it like

Jamie:

another good college try of like four to five hours. And it's

Jamie:

just like, this just isn't clicking right now.

Spencer:

Takes you out. Yeah.

Jamie:

What am I gonna get into? You know, keep in mind-ready for

Jamie:

something completely different. So the game that I've settled on

Sentinels:

Aegis Rim.

Spencer:

Oh!

Jamie:

Which is a game about Japanese high schoolers.

Spencer:

I was like, Oh, is that a game?

Jamie:

Yep, it is a game about Japanese high schoolers, who are

Jamie:

living their day to day lives and dealing with their drama,

Jamie:

and then getting pulled into a future reality where they fight

Jamie:

kaiji in mechs, and it's turn based strategy. So essentially I

Jamie:

came full circle and I'm playing a game that could not be closer

Jamie:

to Persona 5 Royal.

Spencer:

Woah! I've never heard of this game!

Jamie:

Okay, so yeah. 13 Sentinels came out in September

Jamie:

of this year for the US. It was released in 2019 in Japan, but

Jamie:

it came out worldwide in September-or not this year.

Jamie:

Jesus, it's 2021 now it came out in September of 2020. That's

Jamie:

technically last year. What is time? It's I'm really digging

Jamie:

this game so far. I'm like 15-16 hours in. It's a part visual

Jamie:

novel, part realtime strategy. And I guess you could say the

Jamie:

visual novel has adventure game elements. It's it's actually

Jamie:

like, clearly divided. When you when you load up the game,

Jamie:

you're brought to a screen that literally has three sections of

Jamie:

the game, you can go into the realtime strategy battles, you

Jamie:

can go into a mode called remembrance, which is when

Jamie:

you're playing the visual novel scenes. And then there's another

Jamie:

I can't remember the name of the mode but the other one is, is

Jamie:

just kind of like looking at all of the the mystery that you're

Jamie:

putting together. The narrative throughline of the game is

Jamie:

you're playing as 13 different characters. You play different

Jamie:

scenes with these 13 different characters. They're all Japanese

Jamie:

high schoolers. They are, it's the main, sorry, there's a lot

Jamie:

of time travel in the game, and a lot of time jumping and the

Jamie:

narrative isn't told in a linear fashion. So essentially, when I,

Jamie:

when I go into remembrance mode, I've got all the characters

Jamie:

there on this wheel, basically. And I can select which one I

Jamie:

want to jump in and play part of their story as. When I when I go

Jamie:

into their story, the main time frame of the game is set in

Jamie:

1985. So you go in, you see a scene a day of their life. But

Jamie:

you're getting these flashbacks to other things. Sometimes

Jamie:

you're being pulled back into the 1940s. Sometimes you're

Jamie:

being pulled into the future as far as 2185. And essentially, as

Jamie:

I'm starting to piece the narrative together, all of these

Jamie:

teenagers are somehow involved in this thing that's happening

Jamie:

in the future, I think a lot of them have actually come back in

Jamie:

time from the future?

Spencer:

Oh my god. Okay.

Jamie:

And in the future. They're all getting into these

Jamie:

mechs. And fighting these kaiju that have come in are attacking

Jamie:

the world, they're trying to destroy the planet. And so

Jamie:

they're going into their mechs in the future and fighting the

Jamie:

kaiju. But I haven't quite pieced together, like how

Jamie:

they're coming back in time. What exactly is happening, and

Jamie:

there's also a ton of like science fiction tropes being

Jamie:

pulled in, like there's basically terminators that you

Jamie:

see. And the you know, the kaiju are they're not actual monster,

Jamie:

or like they're not living beings. They're robots that are

Jamie:

made for terraforming. So what's going on there? It's a really

Jamie:

interesting and complex game. And when you're playing the

Jamie:

scenes, you're actually you're having conversations with

Jamie:

characters that are unlocking keywords that then allow you to

Jamie:

have other conversations with characters. So you're, you're

Jamie:

like piecing together this mystery of what's going on. That

Jamie:

probably sounds a little bit confusing, because it is a

Jamie:

little confusing right now. But I'm so engaged in like this

Jamie:

narrative and trying to figure out what, how this mystery is

Jamie:

going to come together. And trying to figure out why these

Jamie:

characters have come back in time from the future and what

Jamie:

they're trying to do in 1985. And some of them realize that

Jamie:

they've come back in time and others don't. So there's

Jamie:

interesting pushes and pulls there. And then because you're

Jamie:

playing, you're going through and you're picking scenes from

Jamie:

different characters. Again, nothing's linear. So I might see

Jamie:

a scene from one character's perspective and then that

Jamie:

unlocks the scene from the other characters perspective, and you

Jamie:

get a whole different take on what was actually happening

Jamie:

there and why it was happening.

Spencer:

Woah. Okay, I'm might need to play this.

Jamie:

Yeah, I'm, I'm really into it so far. Also, the, you

Jamie:

know, just another selling point that the artwork in the game is

Jamie:

so beautiful, the visual novel scenes, almost look like they're

Jamie:

done with colored pencil. It's like very detailed and artful.

Jamie:

The voice acting is really good. All all the, you know, you're

Jamie:

like, "How am I going to get invested in 13 character

Jamie:

stories?" but I totally AM, like, I care about all of them

Jamie:

immensely. And I want to see like, what's going to happen

Jamie:

with them. And they're all very unique and distinct from each

Jamie:

other. And, and also, there's all because it's, you know,

Jamie:

they're all Japanese high schoolers. There's like pairings

Jamie:

that you can see between the different characters and you're

Jamie:

like, "Oh, you're going to end up with them, and you're going

Jamie:

to end up with them. And I hope things work out for these two"

Jamie:

and that kind of a thing. The only downside to the game is

Jamie:

it's developed by Vanillaware. And they have a track record of

Jamie:

making interesting games, but they're they really like

Jamie:

boobies. And-

Spencer:

Boobies or movies?

Jamie:

Boobies. [laughs] They like they like some knockers. So

Jamie:

they Vanillaware has made games like Odinsphere and Dragon's

Jamie:

Crown. And if you look up any of the art from those games, you'll

Jamie:

probably see what I mean. Dragon's Crown in particular, I

Jamie:

remember having this a witch character that just had boobs

Jamie:

that were like, like half the size of her body, that kind of

Jamie:

thing. And so you're playing this game with Japanese high

Jamie:

schoolers. The school nurse has ridiculously huge boobs, and

Jamie:

every time one of the characters comes into contact, like the

Jamie:

male characters come into contact with her they like

Jamie:

blush. It's just like inserting like dumb sexual stuff for no

Jamie:

reason. There's also the thing I hate the most is that when the

Jamie:

kids go into the mechs, okay, it shows you like a an animation of

Jamie:

them on the screen that shows them inside the mech. They're

Jamie:

naked.

Spencer:

Oh.

Jamie:

For no reason, going into the mech, makes them naked.

Spencer:

Like magical, magical girls and boys like when they go

Spencer:

through transformation. But there's no end of the

Spencer:

transformation.

Jamie:

Yeah, so they're like fully clothed on the ground and

Jamie:

then they get sucked into the mech and all their clothes

Jamie:

disappear. And like actually, the first time it happens, it's

Jamie:

with one of the teenage girls and she's like, "Oh, no, what

Jamie:

happened to my clothes?" Now I will say like they don't fully

Jamie:

show this teenage girl naked. Which thank God because that I

Jamie:

don't think I could even play this game if they were going

Jamie:

that far. But they put them in like these alluring poses. And

Jamie:

it's like, oh, you can see like, the hint of a butt or the hint

Jamie:

of a boob. And it's just like, why did we need this? It makes

Jamie:

me so frustrated because like, this game is so fucking

Jamie:

interesting. The narrative is so complex. I would love to

Jamie:

recommend this game to people, but then I feel like someone

Jamie:

who's not a gamer is going to look at this and be like, "Oh,

Jamie:

video games, right? It's just tits and ass and guns."

Spencer:

Right.

Jamie:

There's a really complicated narrative here.

Jamie:

That's so deep and interesting. But on the screen, there's a you

Jamie:

know, naked girl.

Spencer:

I noticed it's an Atlus game too, which is like the

Spencer:

same, like parent developer that made Persona 5.

Jamie:

Yeah, so Oh, sorry. No, I was just gonna say I was just

Jamie:

gonna Atlus developed Persona 5, or develops the Persona games.

Jamie:

They published this game. So Vanillaware's the developer.

Jamie:

Atlus is the publisher.

Spencer:

Gotcha. Just that. It doesn't necessarily surprise me

Spencer:

because I've I've definitely heard. I mean, anyone who plays

Spencer:

Persona, like there's a giant penis that you fight. There's

Spencer:

creepy, like, like one of the adults that you take down. Like

Spencer:

it's about rooting rooting out corruption. So of course, you're

Spencer:

gonna have people with fucked up desires and shit. But there's

Spencer:

always been this kind of weird tension between, "Oh, the

Spencer:

writing in this in these games is really interesting. It's

Spencer:

really tackles so many themes. It still manages to have this

Spencer:

like, core a friendship and and, you know, overcoming incredible

Spencer:

odds together." Yet at the same time, the way it treats like the

Spencer:

bodies of young women and sexuality, the kind of latent

Spencer:

sexuality in general, just kind of is a head scratcher. I think

Spencer:

we'd have to kind of get into just anime tropes.

Jamie:

Yeah. Yep. There's there's a whole like, yeah,

Jamie:

culture and like tropes and stuff to unpack there behind

Jamie:

that. But I get like, for me, sitting here as an American with

Jamie:

my very, like, white American perspective. I'm just like, this

Jamie:

feels egregious. I guess in Persona, when those kind of

Jamie:

things would happen. They just felt more knit into the

Jamie:

narrative. And it wasn't being positioned as a good thing. Like

Jamie:

when adults are being creepy and sexual towards the teenagers. It

Jamie:

wasn't a good thing. But there is that weird fact that you as

Jamie:

the main character, who is a high schooler can date adults,

Jamie:

like you can date your teacher, if you want to. That was that

Jamie:

option's available. I never did it, but it was available. So I

Jamie:

guess in Persona, I was just able to avoid the stuff that

Jamie:

felt off and egregious to me, whereas in this game, like I

Jamie:

really can't avoid the fact that there's a naked girl on the

Jamie:

screen when I'm going into the mech battles.

Spencer:

Yeah. Consent's a big part of it.

Jamie:

Yep. So that's 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. It is a

Jamie:

great game. I'm really excited to see where the story goes and

Jamie:

and piece together this mystery.

Spencer:

But it is horney on main,

Jamie:

It is horney on main. Yes, that's a great way to put

Jamie:

it. All right, let's go ahead and get transitioned over to our

Jamie:

guest today. Today we have Jamiere Leslie. Jamiere is a

Jamie:

mental health counselor based in South Shore of Massachusetts.

Jamie:

She is a voracious reader, just want to mention that the average

Jamie:

person reads 12 books a year and Jamiere read 30 in 2020. Holy

Jamie:

cow-

Spencer:

3-0.

Jamie:

3-0. I mean, I don't even hit the 12. So that is-

Spencer:

I finished 2?

Jamie:

Like, if I'm lucky. That's Yeah, that's really

Jamie:

impressive. It makes sense though, because she's someone

Jamie:

who manages to simultaneously be the wisest person in the room

Jamie:

and the life of the party. And I think you're definitely going to

Jamie:

hear that, on this episode that we have for you today. Jamiere

Jamie:

was brought to us via Yinka over on Patreon. Guest requests and

Jamie:

recommendations are a perk for those of you who are generous

Jamie:

enough to help us underwrite the show. So big thank you to Yinka

Jamie:

and thank you to all of you for being here. It was incredible to

Jamie:

get the perspective of a therapist on the show. Thank you

Jamie:

essential workers, but we'll let the convo speak for itself. So

Jamie:

without further ado, let's go hang out with Jamiere Leslie.

Jamie:

[music break]

Spencer:

Hello to our wonderful guest. Thank you for joining us

Spencer:

in the virtual Pixel Therapy podcast Studio, Jamiere Leslie,

Spencer:

I'm so happy to be here with you. Can you take a minute to

Spencer:

share your pronouns and maybe just a little bit about yourself

Spencer:

and how you've been spending your time lately?

Jamiere:

Okay, my pronouns are she her. Over quarantine I've

Jamiere:

basically been spending time I've done a lot of reading and

Jamiere:

then obviously a shitton of gaming. Quarantine kind of like

Jamiere:

brought that back out so that's one thing like that has kind of

Jamiere:

been good for quarantine for me like the inner gamer was like,

Jamiere:

"Yes I must be out."

Spencer:

Oh my god

Jamiere:

Yeah, so it's it's been pretty great. A little bit about

Jamiere:

me I am actually not really from here. I moved here about six

Jamiere:

years ago at this point. I'm an individual therapist out of

Jamiere:

Pembroke so mental health is that's my stuff and I don't

Jamiere:

there's nothing else I guess.

Spencer:

Right and here for the for the folks at home I should

Spencer:

mention that here is the lovely state of Massachusetts where we

Spencer:

all happen to be.

Jamiere:

Thank you. Thank you for doing that.

Spencer:

When you mentioned that you aren't from here originally

Spencer:

Where are you from? Originally?

Jamiere:

I'm originally from Buffalo, New York. So the city

Jamiere:

of snow, snow, with a side of snow.

Spencer:

Okay, I have a question. Buffalo wings are

Spencer:

those from Buffalo New York.

Jamiere:

No.

Spencer:

[gasp]

Jamiere:

No.

Spencer:

Okay, I may need to-

Jamiere:

I mean the, I think the franchise is but like if you're

Jamiere:

in Buffalo you don't go to Buffalo Wild Wings like it's

Jamiere:

there but there are clearly like way better places to get wings.

Jamiere:

That is the one thing I do miss about Buffalo is that there's no

Jamiere:

much good food.

Spencer:

Okay, wait so Buffalo Wild Wings the franchise not

Spencer:

from Buffalo. But buffalo that sort of tangy spicy flavor that

Spencer:

we all know and love. Is that from Buffalo New York?

Jamiere:

Um, that is I really should know the answer to that.

Jamiere:

I don't really know.

Spencer:

Jamiere's like, "Listen I'm a mental health professional

Spencer:

not a food connoisseur so please take your questions elsewhere."

Jamiere:

Pretty much. Like, there's so many like wing places

Jamiere:

that like I've know very few people that like actually go to

Jamiere:

Buffalo Wild Wings. Like just put that out there. I'm black so

Jamiere:

like we know good chicken and Buffalo Wild Wings is not it

Jamiere:

like there are so many better places in Buffalo that like I

Jamiere:

would definitely go to before I step foot in a Buffalo Wild

Jamiere:

Wings.

Spencer:

Buffalo-ians are like, "Listen, don't don't loop us in

Spencer:

with that."

Jamiere:

Pretty much. No don't. There's, I promise you, there's

Jamiere:

better chicken at many other places.

Spencer:

Um, okay, so let's go back a little bit because you

Spencer:

mentioned that the inner gamer has been coming out in the

Spencer:

pandemic. And I just wanted to ask, why hasn't the inner gamer

Spencer:

been allowed to come out and play before the pandemic?

Jamiere:

Um, I guess like, I, I gamed like, a little bit when I

Jamiere:

was younger, but there really was more forced gaming because I

Jamiere:

have brothers. So it was more like they took over the TV. So

Jamiere:

if I wanted to do anything, I had to game with them. And they

Jamiere:

weren't necessarily games I enjoy. Like my brothers like

Jamiere:

more like NFL Madden, like 2K, like NFL the Streets-this is

Jamiere:

when the GameCube was out. So like that was like the big one.

Jamiere:

So like those were the kind of games they played and obviously

Jamiere:

Grand Theft Auto because we all were inappropriately playing

Jamiere:

those games when we were way too young.

Spencer:

How else do you learn about what adulthood is like

Spencer:

other than playing GTA when you're eight?

Jamiere:

Right, pretty much. So like I played those. But then

Jamiere:

like once, once we started to get older, I didn't really play

Jamiere:

because gaming is for boys and so like my brothers got the

Jamiere:

systems and I like I only had one system that was like a hand

Jamiere:

me down. And then after that I had no like gaming and then we

Jamiere:

know what computers were like back then. So it was like

Jamiere:

absolutely not trying to game on a computer at that point.

Spencer:

You weren't trying to wait like five minutes and

Spencer:

listen to all the dial up sounds?

Jamiere:

[imitates dial up tone]

Spencer:

Um, what was the hand me down system that you got?

Jamiere:

It was probably one of the first Nintendos. It was like

Jamiere:

the one where you had to like [pffft] on the cartridges. You

Jamiere:

know, blow on them? And then like at that point, you just had

Jamiere:

A, B and then the four and then select at the top. That's all I

Jamiere:

had. So that was like the original like the one gaming and

Jamiere:

that was a hand me down from my mom and my aunt. They actually

Jamiere:

had that game when they were kids.

Spencer:

It's funny, I have so many fond memories with the

Spencer:

Nintendo 64 of holding those cartridges, blowing into them

Spencer:

trying to-I have this method of like first you got to blow for

Spencer:

30 seconds then you have to push it and then slam a little bit in

Spencer:

the last second but not too forcefully and then you just

Spencer:

sort of turn it on and pray. The first few times it might sputter

Spencer:

and then that third or fourth time it would get going. And

Spencer:

honestly, I'm just trying to imagine now like sitting down in

Spencer:

front of my PS5, and just having to start it three times to get

Spencer:

it to go. I feel like I would have a heart attack. Like, it's

Spencer:

like, we really were fine with-[laughs]

Jamiere:

Yeah, I refuse. I refuse to ever do that again.

Jamiere:

And I love how we all blew on the cartridges. Even though on

Jamiere:

the back there was a big ass part that said, like, "Do not

Jamiere:

blow on cartridges." [laughs]

Spencer:

Do not. [all laugh] We all just knew.

Jamiere:

I'm like, "But without blowing on it, though? You like,

Jamiere:

then it just, it just didn't work." So I was like, "I don't

Jamiere:

even care what that says. I'm blowing on it cuz then it

Jamiere:

works."

Spencer:

Mm hmm. It's funny, you were mentioning this concept of

Spencer:

forced gaming a few minutes ago. And and that sort of pressure

Spencer:

you're feeling there like, what was that like for you? Like,

Spencer:

like, what do you associate with forced gaming, like, what kind

Spencer:

of situations that you find yourself in?

Jamiere:

It was mostly situation I found myself in of like, my

Jamiere:

brother's friends would come over. So it was like they, there

Jamiere:

was one TV which was in the living room. And so it's kind of

Jamiere:

like, well, it's either like, and sometimes I would just read

Jamiere:

because I was like, I don't have time for this. But it's like, if

Jamiere:

I wanted to be in the living room, I kind of had no choice.

Jamiere:

So I had to figure out how to play some of the games, aka a

Jamiere:

lot of button mashing, and then like winning one every 20 games.

Jamiere:

But it was, it was a very interesting experience to be the

Jamiere:

only like, girl there. And my brothers and they could like

Jamiere:

obviously play for hours. So kind of being around my

Jamiere:

brother's friends. I liked that I was exposed to gaming, but I

Jamiere:

didn't like that I didn't have like, my own personal like

Jamiere:

system I could play on. Because like my brother, we we shared

Jamiere:

it, like we shared the Nintendo. And then he got like the first

Jamiere:

Sega and then it kind of went from there. And then he got the

Jamiere:

rest of the systems.

Spencer:

Because it's for boys, so.

Jamiere:

Yeah because it's for boys. And he's not about sharing

Spencer:

I just it's it was really interesting to hear you

Spencer:

so.

Spencer:

say that because I was just-to prepare for our conversation

Spencer:

yesterday I was I was reading some studies. So just sort of,

Spencer:

were there any links between mental health and gaming, sort

Spencer:

of curious to see if there was anything coming out in recent

Spencer:

years. And there was this-and I'll get into it later-But there

Spencer:

was this study that came out of Oxford University in 2020. And

Spencer:

it was about intrinsic versus extrinsic experiences gaming.

Spencer:

And so intrinsic enjoyment is enjoyment that comes from inside

Spencer:

yourself. It's self driven. And extrinsic enjoyment of gaming

Spencer:

has more to do with external influences, compelling you to

Spencer:

play a game. And it was contrasting these two things.

Spencer:

And they found that for people for whom the love of gaming was

Spencer:

intrinsic, they tend to tend to to form much healthier

Spencer:

relationships with it. And it turned out to be is like a very

Spencer:

beneficial exercise, especially like till childhood growing up

Spencer:

into adulthood, and the evolution of the relationship

Spencer:

with gaming. But for those for whom gaming as an activity was

Spencer:

introduced, extrinsically and this often came about they, they

Spencer:

they brought up specifically like people who felt bullied

Spencer:

into playing or people who were peer pressured into playing, or

Spencer:

who felt bullied by the game itself, like the mechanics of a

Spencer:

game being punishing, and putting external stress on

Spencer:

people, that actually produced a lot more concerning behaviors,

Spencer:

especially over time with video games like video game addiction

Spencer:

and, and stuff like that. And I just thought it was so

Spencer:

interesting, because when you said "forced gaming", like I had

Spencer:

my own idea of what that might feel like because I have my own

Spencer:

childhood memories of like certain people like forcing me

Spencer:

to like something or telling me that this was-like Soulcalibur

Spencer:

was a fighting game that was on the Dreamcast, Sega Dreamcast.

Spencer:

Like this was the epitome of gaming even though I

Spencer:

personally-all the blood and fighting-like I found it

Spencer:

terrifying. So I had all these ideas as a young person about

Spencer:

what it meant to game and I don't know, I just thought

Spencer:

that-I've never thought about that before, the sort of

Spencer:

intrinsic and external pulls that we might have that

Spencer:

influence how we game.

Jamiere:

I've never thought about that either so you know,

Jamiere:

I'm a nerd. I'm like, "Yes, give me all the studies, yes." My

Jamiere:

nerd brain is so happy.

Spencer:

So we touched on it a bit here and there but what

Spencer:

like, do you identify as a gamer? Like is that a title that

Spencer:

you feel comfortable with?

Jamiere:

I don't really identify as a gamer because I

Jamiere:

automatically go to like the people that have like the

Jamiere:

headsets and multiple setups and like are like in a bunch of

Jamiere:

games with like strangers and like screaming, and looks like

Jamiere:

that. And I know that's a very wrong image to have. But it's

Jamiere:

like soon as I think of "gamer", I think of like that or like the

Jamiere:

guys that have like four systems on their like TV stand, and they

Jamiere:

go between systems and there lies a whole library. And I'm

Jamiere:

like, "No, that is, that is not my kind of gaming." No, thank

Jamiere:

you. That's like, that's way too, too much stimulation at one

Jamiere:

time. So it's just like, I don't really consider myself a gamer.

Jamiere:

I consider myself as a person who just enjoys certain types of

Jamiere:

games. Like when you're saying like, like, they're really

Jamiere:

bloody ones. Like, I guess those were kind of the only ones I was

Jamiere:

really introduced to outside of like Mario and Kirby and all

Jamiere:

that stuff on Nintendo. But it was like, I have brothers. So

Jamiere:

they wanted to play NBA 2K and Madden and NFL Streets and

Jamiere:

stuff. So like, I barely even knew other games really existed

Jamiere:

because I was like, or it's like, like you said, it's either

Jamiere:

fighting games or shooting games. And so I'm just like,

Jamiere:

well, if this is it, then what am I supposed to do? Because I

Jamiere:

don't like any of this.

Spencer:

Right? Yeah. So So why do you game? Like what-you

Spencer:

mentioned, like what you don't look for out of games. So what

Spencer:

brings you to gaming now? What do you get out of it?

Jamiere:

I, I get a lot of for me, I like a lot of open world

Jamiere:

games. So like I play Animal Crossing. I'm playing a game

Jamiere:

right now called Virtual Villagers. It was like a free

Jamiere:

game on the Xbox. Because my boyfriend has the Xbox One. So

Jamiere:

like, I-he bought it, that he thought he bought it for

Jamiere:

himself. But he really was buying it in preparation for

Jamiere:

dating me. And so like, I play that all the time. And like,

Jamiere:

we've been like, he's been working on me as well like

Jamiere:

finding games that I like, which is just one of the many reasons

Jamiere:

he's wonderful. And so like, I've tried a couple other games,

Jamiere:

and I'm like, No, I'm like, I like open world Animal Crossing.

Jamiere:

I can build like houses and build worlds and stuff like

Jamiere:

that. So like, that is my kind of gaming. And it it gives me a

Jamiere:

sense of like, I built my own world, instead of being like,

Jamiere:

you're dropped in here, like Fortnight-you dropped in there's

Jamiere:

a 100 people. Try not to die. And I'm just like, No, no, I

Jamiere:

like open world. I like to build my own stuff. So once, so like

Jamiere:

once the pandemic happened, then it was like, obviously, we had a

Jamiere:

lot of freaking hours. And so it was like, I don't know what

Jamiere:

we're gonna do and then me and Yinka both found the Sims and we

Jamiere:

were like, "Oh, this is awesome." Because it was like,

Jamiere:

right when the pandemic started, so all the games were like, half

Jamiere:

off, 25% off. Here you go, like, "Please buy us!" And so me and

Jamiere:

Yinka were like, "Oh we'll try out the Sims!" We tried, and we

Jamiere:

got a problem [laughs] playing the Sims. It was, I'm not gonna

Jamiere:

embarrass us like that, I'm, I'm, I'm gonna leave how many

Jamiere:

hours we played, I'm gonna leave that alone.

Spencer:

You're not gonna find-We'll be proud of you.

Jamie:

Yeah, there wouldn't be any judgment here.

J