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The Indoor Kids #129: The Evolution of Themes in Games with Film Crit Hulk
Episode 129: The Indoor Kids
The Evolution of Themes in…
The Indoor KidsThe Indoor Kids

The Indoor Kids #129: The Evolution of Themes in Games with Film Crit Hulk

Today we welcome our pal Film Crit Hulk to talk about how story has evolved in video games over time- plus we play the Twitter game and discuss games we’re playing now. In the beginning you’ll be treated to an extended Intro Kids where Kumail and Emily discuss all the movies, TV, and games they’ve been consuming over the holidays.

GAMES: Room, Room 2, Super Mario 3d World, Rayman Legends, The Walking Dead, The Assassin’s Creed series, Far Cry 3, Red Dead Redemption, Peggle 2, NBA 2K14, Shin Megami Tensei, The Last of Us, Dark Souls, Demon Souls, Gone Home, BioShock Infinite, Tearaway, Flower, Journey, Skyrim, GTA, Borderlands, Tales From The Borderlands, Game of Thrones, Fable, Portal, Uncharted, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Spec Ops: The Line, BioShock

MOVIES: Her, American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, Anchorman 2, Hobbit, Hobbit 2, Batman, Life of Pi, Noah, All Is Lost, Titanic, Cast Away, The Impostors, The Perfect Storm, Boat Trip, Speed 2, Office Space, Captain Philips, Blue Jasmin, Inside Llewyn Davis, Labor Day, Nebraska, Up In The Air, Juno, The Hobbit:The Desolation of Smaug, The Lord of the Rings, Monty Python and The Holy Grail

TV SHOWS: Doctor Who, Silicon Valley, Flower Deranger

MUSIC: Trent Reznor, The Beatles, The Monkees

BOOKS: Moby Dick, The Old Man And The Sea, Snow Crash, Screenwriting 101

Get Film Crit Hulk’s book Screenwriting 101!

Tour dates for Kumail, Jonah and Emily in January and February!

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Follow @indoorkids@kumailn, and @thegynomite on Twitter! And email us at!


  • Hey guys, I finally caught up on all of the episodes and I have to say, you guys are great!!!! As a long time gamer (I was born in 1972), I really appreciate the way that you guys cover the entire spectrum. Whatever bizarre experiment that video games have been since the late 70’s, I fell for it…I play every day, and now my 9 year old daughter is following in my gamer footsteps. Keep up the great work. I love it!!!

  • I was listening to this at work this morning. Bagel in the background on Intro Kids sounded so much like my cat at home that I had to check my surrounding to make sure I wasn’t there.

  • @Kyle S: Spoilers go from 1:00:40 to 1:06:00, then Kumail tells an analagous personal story that acts as a metaphor for the game, so maybe skip forward to 1:08:30. They talk about it again, but no spoilers the second go around. I had to take a break so after 1:15:30, so that’s no man’s land. I’ll listen to the rest tomorrow. Good luck!

    Man, Bagel really wanted to get his two cents in this particular podcast. She (I think it’s a she?) was real CATty, right Kumail, professional comedian?

    … I’ll show myself out.

  • The Last of Us always made me think A Blast of Pus. XP

    So, uh, the merch contest…bummed to not place(oh well) and annoyed to not have seen anything at all. We don’t get to see the winner(s?) or any other entries?

  • You guys should do an episode where you just interview Bagel.

    I think it would only need to be about three minutes long.

    I’d be happy to sponsor it myself.

    …as long as that is cheap or free.

  • This is going to sound mean, but as much as I love Hulk and what he brings to the show, I wish he’d make a little more effort with how he projects his voice. Half the time he’s mumbling, speaking from the back of his throat, and he trips over his words a lot too. Over an hour of that on a purely audio podcast can become difficult to listen to. I don’t mean to be mean or overly critical, it’s just a comment that would improve my enjoyment a little bit.

  • Peter Jackson doesn’t care about the Hobbit, because he’s been forced to stretch it out into so many movies. If he’d stuck to his guns, he could have made the Hobbit that he wanted, but the paycheck was too big to turn down.

  • The Hobbit – I feel like people aren’t taking the overall arc into account. People are taking each film as if they are standalone – and they kind of aren’t.
    Regardless of how you feel about the hobbits one and two – are they good first and second acts? Just wondering.

  • I don’t like how Gone Home seems to be getting all of this positive attention for having a pretty good story stretched over no gameplay, while games like Papers, Please and The Stanley Parable have actual gameplay and mechanics, where you actually contribute to story being told rather than pure voyeurism, get looked over. So much of what happens in Gone Home is theater of the mind chicanery that, when viewed from the retrospective lens, offers nothing more than what you’d get from a first person pop-up book. Just look at the setting, an old, creepy, abandoned house during a dark and stormy night. That’s how you start off all the terrible ghost stories you heard as a kid. You could convey the themes and story from Gone Home in a novella or radio play and lose nothing. The process moving the camera around the house adds nothing. There is no agency.

  • I’m bummed you guys didn’t talk about Beyond: Two Souls. I thought that game did a great job of focusing a lot on story, but still had enough gameplay mechanics to make it feel like a game. Plus, Willem Defoe and Ellen Page did great.

  • Hulk love indoor kids, but hulk find Film Crit hulk to be one of least enjoyable guests. Hulk get it that hulk crit has found a way to criticize capable risk taking professionals in new gimmicky way, but hulk crit hulk find film crit very hacky and chock full of smarm. Hulk Crit Hulk LOVE Kumail and Emily.

  • Totally agree that the Indoor Kids need to check out Dark Souls. People have been suggesting ti occasionally in the comments since episodes in the mid-30s.

    I feel that Kumail’s and Emily’s reactions to the game would be highly entertaining (also, if they have two XBox’s and two games, they can make two characters and then summon each other. It’s a bunch of fun playing with friends, and it’s also a part of the game’s challenging PvP).

  • Yes, Azog and Bolg are in the book (Though Azog is killed during the mine fight flashback), they are father and son, and the reason they look so glowy and bright compared to others is because they’re the only two “Pale Orcs” in middle earth. However every Orc in the movie was practical except those two. Also, The practical suit for Bolg looked more like a terrible Rooster-man then an Orc, CGI was a better choice.

    Still an amazing episode as usual.