ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 121.
The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox is first and foremost an attempt to rethink educational games, and specifically to rethink them into something that kids would actually want and choose to play. This is of course far from the first time that a game developer has attempted that lofty, elusive goal—so in this interview, Mike Grieci explains Flamehawk Studios’ plan for building a game that not only takes the edge off kids doing their actual homework, but simultaneously provides a space for socializing and tells a meaningful, memorable story.
You can wishlist The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox, and play the demo, on Steam.
You can also follow Mike (and Flamehawk) on Twitter.
• The future (or a part of it) will certainly look a little something Minecraft Education Edition and/or Zachtronics’ Zachademics initiative.
• We talk a fair bit about Magic Wheelchair.
• For more on AbleGamers—as well as on the idea of many disabilities being invisible, and on the importance (and limits) of representation, and on the harmful trope of disabled folks supposedly wanting to “escape” their disabilities—do check out our talk with Greg Haynes.
• And for more on the character of Gustav in Spiritfarer, and on listening to feedback as an artist, you can give a listen to our conversation with Nick Guérin.
• There do indeed seem to be no notable videogame characters with cochlear implants (hype about how various versions of Hawkeye might be hearing impaired notwithstanding). Hayley from the recent Miles Morales game does bear mentioning, though, since she uses a hearing aid, talks to Miles in ASL, and (says the text) is very cool while doing so.
• Sarah Chayes calls infinite-acquisitiveness-for-its-own-sake “the Midas disease” in her book On Corruption in America: And What Is at Stake.
• For those interested, here’s the Dice Punks Spooky Streets spectacular.
“All The People Say (Season 4)” by Carpe Demon.
“Magmadon’s Moment,” “Snow and Ice,” and “The Secret in Paradise,” from The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox OST by Bill Bressler.
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Logo by Aaron Perry-Zucker, using Icons by by Llisole, Dávid Gladiš, Atif Arshad, Daniel Nochta, Mike Rowe, Jakub Čaja, Raji Purcell and IconsGhost from the Noun Project.