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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 23: Don't Worry, Be Nerdy

We're all here to have fun, right? ...RIGHT?!

Hi there. We're all nerds and geeks here, right? We're passionate about our hobbies, but why does that passion so often turn to rage and complaining? Can't we all just have fun and enjoy each other's thoughts and company? Well, this week on Nerds Without Pants we're joined by a couple excellent guests to talk about just that. Enjoy the beautiful voices and even-handed opinions of Erika Szabo and John Gholson!

We kick things off with introductions. Erika is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the realm of games and tech writing. John has started a new comics blog, acted in a movie, and been on VH1 since last we heard from him. After that we move into Consumption Junction. We talk about Iron Man 3, comic book back issues, Fire Emblem, anime, and the proper language needed when reviewing vibrators. Yes, you read that right.

Then, we go deep on the echo chamber of nerd rage that can be found on the internet. Sexism comes up a lot, as it's been a hot button issue in the games sector recently. From the Dragon's Crown art kerfluffle to Iron Man 3 ruining people's lives, the crew tries to preach a message of tolerance and positivity. Simply put, why so serious, gamers?

This is a very different episode of Nerds Without Pants, and you're really in for a treat. Let us know your feelings on nerd rage in the comments below. Also, give some love to Erika, who we would really like to have back on the show very soon. Possibly forever. And ever. And ever.


Bobby McFerrin- Don't Worry, Be Happy

Brian Tyler-Can You Dig It (Iron Man 3 Main Titles)

Matthew Wilder- Break My Stride

Robbie Rob- In Time (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure soundtrack)




05/17/2013 at 11:09 PM

I appreciated the "more rational" and less sensationalist conversation you all! Please,continue the good work. Hopefully your common sense will catch on as the next fad. lol.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/18/2013 at 01:26 AM

Thanks! I know that's what me and Patrick did with our PS4 episode, and I think our next episode is going to be about the Xbox reveal. I'd love to get Erika back for that one, because I have a feeling there will need to be some positivity to combat the general internet hating.


05/18/2013 at 01:23 PM

Erika has a level head & open mind on her shoulders,Julian. We really need more like her! The rest of you were great too though! This was probably one of my favorite pixlbit podcasts so far!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/20/2013 at 01:43 PM

You flatter us, sir! I'm really happy to hear that. We put a lot of love into this show.


05/20/2013 at 02:07 AM

Great episode, plus I'm quite enthusiastic about Zero Charisma, never heard of it before today but looks like a must see for me, particularly like the bit where he's caught playing with the figures in his bedroom, classic!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/20/2013 at 01:49 PM

Thanks! We're getting another screening of Zero Charisma here in Austin around July, so I'm going to be sure to catch it then. I've always liked John and Sam when they act together.


05/20/2013 at 07:41 PM

Fantastic topic, discussion, and cast. It's nice to hear that Patrick is doing a little painting again, I hope he can get a blog in sometime soon showing any work(s) he wants us to check out. I really appreciated Patrick's Triforce painting as well as the other ones he's posted. I wish all the best to Master Gholson, Zero Charisma looks like a really compelling story. There's no history behind why I call him Master Gholson, it's just the title I instinctively gave him the first time he came on the show, it became a habit, and now I realize I've never referred to John as anything else lol. He seems like a very humble and kind person, and there's something about him that exudes a master or sensei-like quality. Much love goes to Erika as Julian requested, I appreciate the positive, level-headed, and informed attitude she brings. Jules listed her on a follow-Friday on twitter one time so I started checking out all of her works and I'm a fan now.

The part of the discussion that got me thinking the most was when John explained the difference between passion and obsession, and why it's unhealthy to get too attached to these hobbies and material possessions we love and how we can't allow them to become the only thing making us happy. The approach every one took to this discussion really injected a healthy dose of not only sensibility, understanding, and love, but also context. We love video games but they're just a part of our lives, not our entire lives. If my room burned down and I realized I no longer have all my Gamecube and 360 games, I would have to make sure I could psychologically be okay the next day. My games are a great outlet for me and depending on the type of game they can stimulate me cognitively, intellectually, and emotionally in unique ways that school and the society around me isn't. I really love the craft of design and if I can I want to be on a team and make a living building, so games may indeed end up being a big part of my livelihood but I can't loose that bird's-eye view that John was explaining.

In recent history, anytime that one of my consoles had died and I went without gaming for an extended period of time it ended up being a positive thing. I've just taken my attention to reading, drawing, playing guitar, and getting outside more, but that wasn't always the case. When I was fresh out of high school I was a mess emotionally and I wasn't prepared for life afterwards. The tests I took would have you believe I was in the top 10th percentile of the country, but in reality I was a total wreck with no clue what to do. Failing at adulthood made me feel inferior and I lost a lot of self esteem and became like a hermit. I was depressed for a couple years and it's hard to admit it but there were times when I'd look at lists for upcoming video games and I'd reassure myself that I had something to live for. Anytime when that dark corner of my psyche would suggest that I was better off dead, the dominant part of my psyche would make sure to remind me that the next Halo, Mass Effect, or Elder Scrolls was coming and if I was dead I'd miss out on the great memories I'd inevitably create with those games. I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss all the work and love that went into the projects, and I needed to experience them for myself. For a while I felt like if I lost all my games I'd fall off a cliff, but with time I've been becoming more stable, creative, ambitious, I've been reading more, studying more, branching out into various interests, and even though I have a passion for games and I want to build I need to make sure that I can survive without them.

After I listened to this podcast this morning I went to get dressed and during some introspection I did what John did and looked at my life from a bird's eye perspective and realized that the greatest priority I have when it comes to making a career out of this isn't necessarily the games I make, code I write, or the levels I build. Games come and go, technology improves and demands you to adapt, good designers are always learning and challenging themselves with new ideas. The actual game part of this career path is always in flux and it's never perfect. The most important aspect of making a career in design is the people you spend your time designing with. Who cares if you make a groundbreaking game if all your memories of being on the team are poisonous and you hated the culture, the way you were treated, and the experience of building it?

The people you end up spending your years with are much more important than the actual game, or some bullshit Metacritic score, or a flaming thread on some forum of people being racist, sexist, or hateful to you. That's not to devalue the games you design though. Even under the best circumstances, if you're on a great team and you make a great game that you can be proud of, at the end of the day you have to quit making that game, ship it, and move on. Things are always changing in design and teams often change, there's a lot of variables, but the only thing that has a chance to be relatively constant may end up being the people you spend your time with. If you can't find smart, compassionate, level-headed, positive people to team up with I don't see how any ambitions and creativity you have would be worth it in the end. Prior to that I didn't often think about a possible career in this rodeo from that aspect, I just thought purely about ideas and I wanted to be ambitious and innovative and put out the next thing to blow people's minds. Passion and ambition brought me to game design, but the only thing that can keep me here will be finding good people to spend time with.

Patrick Kijek Contributing Writer

05/21/2013 at 02:42 PM

I think that we'd all love to work with you, because of how positive your energy always is. At the very least, let me know what I can do to help you get your ideas to flourish! You've always been great to us.

So glad that you kept thinking of the games that you have to play before you go. Everybody has those thoughts, because our minds tend to explore every fathomable idea. Helps us weigh our options and free choice.

Stay with us!

Oh, and thanks for the kind words of encouragement. End of the year (this is the final month) in school has been really busy with field trips, editing papers and everything else. I should have a blog entry and an essay coming out within the next week.

Thanks again, 117.


05/29/2013 at 03:22 PM

I am quite aggravated that it is taking me so long to get through this.  I feel bad when you guys talk about comic books because I have been slacking a lot.  I tend to stick with trade paperbacks, but still, it has been quite some time since I have picked one up to read.  I should probably finish sandman and transmetropolitan...  

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/30/2013 at 05:07 PM

I definitely go in spurts. The excitement I had over the New 52 has almost been completely exhausted by all of the DC shake ups. The only constant for me is Powers and Invincible, which I read exclusively in trade format. 


05/31/2013 at 06:02 PM

Finallt finished listening to it.

I have to say that I think that how people have treated this past season of Doctor Who on the internet falls in line with what you guys were talking about.  Online I was hard pressed to find people who actually seemed to enjoy the episodes.  I kept reading people tearing apart every little detail.  I kept thinking, why are you guys taking this so seriously.  I love Doctor Who, including Colin Baker, and I loved these new episodes.  Doctor Who has been on tv for so long that it has cycled between good, bad, mediocre, and pure crap so many times that I wish people would remember that.

Looking back I am annoyed at how I initially reacted to the Xbox One announcement, but now I have settle into a mode of cautious optimism.  How can we write off something that we do not know all of the details for, and is not even released yet?



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