The Experience Points Podcast
A weekly video game podcast from the co-writers of

You probably have a box of them in your house. Some of them might be broken or worn down through use. Others you may have broken throwing against a wall. They are video game controllers, and we love to hate them and argue which are better than others. But how do controllers express their own meaning?


This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I are inspired David Shimomura's recent piece on "The semiotics of controllers." With so many buttons, we'll have plenty to discuss.


Show Notes:


- Runtime: 32 mins 28 secs

- "The semiotics of controllers," by David Shimomura, via Kill Screen.

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_318_-_In_Control.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04 AM

Why is the thimble the best Monopoly piece?  What makes naked Shulk so enraging?  Why does your best friend always pick the red token?  Lots of things influence the avatars we pick in games.  Inspired by G. Christopher Williams' piece about his affinity for blue, we dive into the rationale behind the characters we pick.  What color palette is near and dear to your heart?  Let us know in the comments!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_317_-_The_Thimble.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00 PM

It's time to take the black my sworn brothers and sisters. This week on the EXP Podcast, we jump right back into a world dark and full of terrors: Game of Thrones. Telltale's story continues, taking us on a journey from Essos, to Westeros, and the Wall.

Show Notes:


- Runtime: 62 mins 56 secs

- Music by Brad Sucks, HBO's Game of Thrones

Direct download: EXP_316_-_Game_of_Thrones_Episode_2_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:48 AM

The time has come!  Grab your baseball bats and and your hamburgers because it's time to play Earthbound.  We start our journey with some broad thoughts about this supremely strange game and make it to the Happy Happy Village before calling our dad and turning in for the night.  Playing along with us?  Don't hesitate to visit the comments and ward off your homesickness.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_315_-_Earthbound_pt_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00 PM

From overturned wagons to the earthquakes, games have long been rife with disaster, but how well have they depicted tragedy? And what risks do we take when designing for tragedy in games? This week on the EXP Podcast, we are inspired by Paste's Maddy Myers when she asks "should disaster games be fun?" 

Show Notes:


- Runtime: 32 mins 22 secs

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_314_-_Fording_the_River_of_Tragedy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:56 AM

This week on the podcast, our very own Jorge Albor creates a new genre: "big small games."  Don't worry, it actually makes sense.  We've been laboring under the majestic weight of sprawling epics like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, so we decided to take a break with some games that have a smaller scope.  We talk about Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Infamous: First Light, Monument Valley and the overall concept of going for design depth rather than breadth.  Have any favorite games that fit somewhere between free indie and blockbuster status?  Let us know in the comments!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_313_-_Big_Small_Games.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00 PM

We may have enough games to while away eternity, all from the latest Steam sale alone, but Scott and I still find time to check-in on our regularly scheduled games of the season. This week on the EXP Podcast, we bring up our patch notes and discuss TitanfallLeague of LegendsDestiny, and Super Smash Bros. Has anything changed in the games or in our thoughts? Absolutely!


Show Notes:


- Runtime: 47 mins 17 secs

- Music by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_312_-_Seasonal_Check-ins.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:47 AM

Gather round, my sweet summer children. Winter isn't coming; it's here, as is the first episode of Telltale's Game of Thrones series. Hanah joins us this week as we recap the story so far and justify our choices. We swear we acted for the good of the realm.

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_311_-_GoT_ep_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00 PM

One hundred years ago, the world was at War. Today we are remembering how that war effected the lives of millions, and continues to effect our own lives today, by playing a video game. This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I discuss Valiant Hearts: The Great War by Ubisoft Montpellier. If you have played the game yourself, be sure to hop into the comments on and share your thoughts. How does this game depict the war as you understand it? Is this was a "playable-museum-exhibit" should look like? We want to know!

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_310_-_Valiant_Hearts_Debrief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:58 AM

We talked about our games of the year and the honorable mentions and now it's time to wrap up 2014.  Let's start 2015 by taking a look at the calendar and talking about the games we're looking forward to playing next year.  What do you see yourself enjoying in the coming year?  What do you hope to be surprised by?  Maybe a visit from a mythical fox-dragon?

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_309_-_fired_up_2015.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:48 PM