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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Aug 16, 2018

The Holodeck and Video Games.

For Starfleet’s avid gamers, the holodeck offers a seemingly endless repertoire of thrills. You can battle the Spartans at Thermopylae one minute and knock back a martini—shaken, not stirred—the next. And, you can do it all without leaving the safety (mortality subroutines permitting) of a single room.

Since Captain Picard first donned his fedora and trench coat in the role of pulpy noir sleuth Dixon Hill in 1988’s “The Big Goodbye,” Star Trek’s holographic adventures have given us a glimpse into the fantasy lives—and occasionally the guilty pleasures—of our crews. We’ve seen Tom Paris jump into action as sci-fi hero Captain Proton, Julian Bashir foil devious plans as a debonair spy, and Captain Janeway roam the halls of Victorian gothic romance.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Brandi Jackola of Warp Five and Live from The Edge for a look at Star Trek’s holo-adventures, focusing on how video game culture is reflected in these 24th-century entertainment systems. Does the way a person plays offer insight into their character? Is it cheating to set the difficulty settings to minimum? And what can the unwinnable game—the no-win scenario—tell us about how our heroes will face death in the real world?

Intro (00:00:00)
Escapism and Fantasy (00:06:15)
Guilty pleasures (00:18:33)
Video Nasties (00:28:30)
Easter Eggs and Cheats (00:43:23)
The Unwinnable Game (00:57:37)
Players and Gameboys (01:04:05)
Gaming as Therapy (01:22:10)
Final Thoughts (01:32:00)

Duncan Barrett

Brandi Jackola

Tom Whelan (Editor) Duncan Barrett (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Tony Black (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)