close menu
Episode 82: The Indoor Kids
Jilling Off on Violence in…
The Indoor KidsThe Indoor Kids

The Indoor Kids #82: Jilling Off on Violence in Gaming with Devin Faraci

Today Kumail and Emily are joined by Devin Faraci of Badass Digest to talk about a very hot, very annoying topic to many gamers: the role video games play in violent behavior. We talk some science, some opinion, but don’t worry, we also keep it fun and talk about snapshot gaming memories, iOS gaming, and masturbation a lot.
Which reminds us, don’t forget to tweet us your terms for female masturbation!
Games discussed:
Temple Run 2, StarCraft, Call of Duty, GTA, Mortal Kombat, Manhunt, Hitman, The SIMS, Medal of Honor, Portal 2, Simpsons Tapped Out, Jurassic Park Builder, Custer’s Revenge, Strip Poker, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse, Condemned Bloodshot, Def Jam Fight for NY, Halo 2, Age of Empires 2
Movies discussed:
Straw Dogs, Fight Club, Dune, Star Wars, Full Body Massage, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wild Side, Silence of the Lambs, Communion, Star Wars
TV discussed:
The Simpsons, Jackass, Three Stooges, Portlandia

Follow @devincf on Twitter!

Buy Indoor Kids merch!

Follow @matthewburnside on Twitter!

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

Support the show by clicking on the banner and shop at!




  • Clam hammering? Not a chick, but that sounds painful.

    I do know that when I’m going down on a girl I’l generally alternate between flap lapping and nub nuzzling. Then when I can tell she’s getting close I’ll do some simultaneous tunnel funneling and node yodeling.

    But ymmv.

  • Someone else already took the red soles = Loubutin rather than Mahnolo comment. (I know of it from one of Lindsay Lohan’s court dates) but I could tell that Emily was in the middle of issuing a potential correction until losing the train of thought.

    As other “you don’t really need to know this” things go– the stuff that you guys accused of being sort of racist Chinese actually was legit Mandarin even if I couldn’t quite figure out what it meant. (The only other language I recognized was Japanese and maybe some German?)

    Oh, it’s actually just listing off occupations for the most part, so no wonder I didn’t recognize a lot of them.

  • I don’t own a weapon and never have. I grew up where they were not allowed in the house and I wasn’t allowed G.I. Joe’s. I was allowed to have a Nintendo, but no war games. I happen to agree with most of the president’s ideas about gun control, except for the bans on assault weapons and magazines, because of exactly the reasons you point out about video games. I think too many people get caught up in the emotion (understandably so) after such tragedies, but they refuse to admit that your rock solid reasoning about video games not causing this violence can be precisely applied to weapons. People often say “I don’t see the point” or “why do people think they need these weapons” but that’s kind of like a person who does not drink saying to someone who drinks “I don’t see the point.” It’s not for some people to tell those others why they need it or not. In fact, it’s precisely for the reasons we think are so remotely possible that the 2nd amendment exists. I hope it’s more difficult for people who can’t be responsible with weapons to get them – as “impossible” as we can make it. A person who wants a gun for proper reasoning should be willing to wait and submit to checks. Infringing on gun owner’s rights, however, shouldn’t be pursued simply because some mistakenly label it “common sense”, especially when the bans being called for clearly won’t stop gun violence…just as banning or limiting video games won’t stop it.

  • I’m in the middle of the podcast now, so I don’t know if you talk about it past 41 minutes, but I live in a town near Newtown and that town was planning on collecting and burning violent video games. BURNING. It’s kind of hilarious to me that the town was going to destroy violent media in this way.

    Frankly, I’m a little sad that it ended up not happening. I think I could have made some money there. $25 dollars for turning in your used video games? I’m in! More money than GameStop would give me.

  • Overall, a very entertaining episode. You guys are at your best when you’re tangential and goofy. I love that about your show.

    I also love that you guys decided to tackle the violence in video games issue, but…there were a couple of things that bugged me about that discussion. First, I thought all three of you came into the discussion already assuming that the idea that violence in video games is unrelated to violence in real life, which is understandable, given you all play video games pretty regularly. It’s weird that I’m objecting to this, given that I have played video games most of my life, including violent ones, and fall on this side of the debate as well, but I feel like if we are going to tackle this subject at all within the gaming community, we need to give the idea that maybe–just maybe–violence in video games (albeit “play” violence and not real violence) can be detrimental in some circumstances. I work in mental health, including several years on an acute adolescent hospital unit, and had and overheard many conversations among pre-teens and teenagers about games like GTA and COD that were, well, disturbing. It’s not that I believe these games created these kids or their mentalities, but there is SOMETHING there. It’s worth exploring. Perhaps this means bringing in a guest who genuinely falls on the other side of the debate (but who can be rational), or at least someone with a more objective opinion. I guess what I’m saying is that in the same way we all so casually dismiss the viewpoints of “gun nuts” because they are so defensive and unwilling to hear any other side of the argument, we can fall into that same trap if we aren’t opening our minds to outside perspectives. You guys certainly took this discussion seriously and made very valid points, but it seemed like suddenly you were talking about horror movies and then E.T.’s penis neck and it just felt like there was a part of the discussion that got left behind.

    Perhaps your podcast isn’t the place for it, but I just don’t want the gaming community to get caught in the classic “people are attacking our thing, so let’s just start a circle-jerk and hope it goes away”. I know not everybody does this, but there is a lot of it going on out there these days, and it’s a path that’s no different than, say, the NRA’s.

    Sorry to bring a bit of negativity to the party, but I felt I had to put it out there. Love what you guys do.

  • Am I the only one nerdy enough to get their science hackles up when Devin suggested the Kessel run shouldn’t be measured in parsecs? It’s all about how close you can get to the black hole, man!

    Now I must away, so many women to turn off, so little time.

  • Thinking about it a bit more, blaming Kevin Smith for the rise of angry nerds is like blaming him for nerds getting on the internet, it’s a really odd point to make in a podcast that establishes pretty early on that correlation and coincidental timing don’t equate to causation.

    A chubby guy, who was working a crap job in Jersey, getting to write and direct his own films full of characters talking about Star Wars and comic books? Hardly the worst thing to happen to “nerd culture”. Kind of inspiring actually.

    But if we’ve learned anything, you should teach your human-gremlins what “You got beef?” means! It’s for their own good.

  • So if you pour acid on something and cause it to disolve you are just freeing it’s potential state?

    Drugs and alcohol cause chemical and hormonal reactions in your body which *Can* alter your behaviour- they simply don’t free it.

    Your summation is child like simplistic.

  • I HAVE to point out, when Han Solo say he’s made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, he actually IS talking about distance. Pretty sure they weren’t thinking about this in the original script, but it has come to be accepted by many Star Wars fans that the “12 parsecs” reference is a boast of Solo’s skills as an astrotime navigator rather than a speed-demon. Being able to navigate a series of hyperspace jumps so specific and so accurate that you’re ONLY travelling about 12 parsecs to complete the entire “Kessel Run” (whatever THAT is), is supposed to be pretty darn impressive.

    I just thought you’d like to know.

    Also, JJ Abrams will do way better with Star Wars than he did with Star Trek, in which he rather tragically did not bother to include Andorians.

    Also, regarding the general theme of the pod, people are going to do what they’re going to do. I don’t play military games and the most violent game I’ve played is probably New Vegas or Skyrim, but I’m glad we have video games that simulate horrible graphic violence because I believe it keeps the people who might be most prone to act in violent ways placated. Not everyone has the mindset and budget for martial arts or the space and energy for a punching bag, but most kids have room under the tv for a console system. If video games can move violence from the real world to the imaginary world, I’m all for it.

  • But Ryan don’t you think that Ericmci’s 5th grade comportment as he delivered his point made for a deliciously ironic twist? His inability to introspectively examine his own behavior for childlike qualities before calling someone else childlike was like a beautiful bittersweet pretzel of meta patheticism. I quite enjoyed it.

  • Right off the top, you made the Canada comparison, and asked the question why don’t Canadians shoot themselves up like Americans, but then went on to say “…because they get the exact same media as Americans; the EXACT same [sic]”.

    As a Canadian who has traveled extensively in the USA and overseas, and who as lived in several regions of Canada, I have to agree with the question but strongly disagree with the point about Canadians getting the exact same media. The simple answer is that we don’t.

    First, look at the News. In Canada, the news actually is the “news”, not non-stop punditry. Sure, the different channels lean in different political directions, but the big three (CBC, CTV, Global) are very balanced in their coverage. When panel discussions occur, participants generally take their time and let the other side make their point (it becomes obvious when an American guest comes on, as they clearly are gunning for the best sound-bite). Also, our news tends to be more national/international, whereas I’ve found that American news tends to be hyper local, with the only real national coverage coming from the heavily biased CNN/MSNBC/FOX. Although we can get those in Canada most people I know watch them (esp. FOX) for entertainment (as in, how can anyone take this seriously???). The same can be said about our newspapers, generally.

    Then, look at movies, especially the ones shown on TV. In Canada, the censorship tends to be more about the violent content and less about sex. About the only place where I’ve seen really gratuitously violent movies on TV in Canada is on the American direct cable channels that we can get here (such as TBS/Peachtree).

    About the only place where we do get the exact same media is with video games.

    I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the media environment strongly influenced people’s behaviour. However, video games seem unlikely to be e primary factor, given the Canada/USA comparison. That being said, although mass shootings in Canada have demonstrated that it can happen here, the ease with which a person can get a gun in the ‘states surely doesn’t help the situation.

  • Couldn’t agree more that violence in the media has a significant effect on people’s behavior, but keep in mind that they only report what’s actually happening in the world. A violent video game, by contrast, is a fictional set of events and has much less of an impact on human behavior, in my opinion.

    Sorry for the length of the following quote, but I think it’ll illustrate my point effectively. It’s an excerpt taken from a speech written shortly after the war:

    “For ten years I have lived in a neighborhood which is by no means criminal, and yet during last October and November we were startled by seven murders within a radius of ten blocks. A little investigation of details and motives, the accident of a personal acquaintance with two of the criminals, made it not in the least difficult to trace the murders back to the influence of war. Simple people who read of carnage and bloodshed easily receive its suggestions. Habits of Self control which have been but slowly and imperfectly acquired quickly break down under the stress.

    Psychologists intimate that action is determined by the selection of the subject upon which the attention is habitually fixed. The newspapers, the theatrical posters, the street conversations for weeks had to do with war and bloodshed. The little children on the street played at war, day after day, killing [the enemy]. The humane instinct, which keeps in abeyance the tendency to cruelty, the growing belief that the life of each human being – however hopeless or degraded, is still sacred – gives way, and the barbaric instinct asserts itself.”

    This was taken from a speech written, not after the war in Afghanistan, nor Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, World War II, or World War I. It was written and delivered in 1899 by Jane Addams after the Spanish American War.

    Violence begets violence. The fundamental things apply as time goes by.

  • Overall it was a good episode, I really enjoyed listening to it (there were some great insights on videogame violence). However, there are a few things that need to be said.

    First off, Kevin Smith is one of the friendliest people on the entire Internet. His passion for Star Wars and Batman goes so deep, he often breaks into tears talking about its beauty.

    Second, you don’t get to decide what is and isn’t nerdy. You can be an anything nerd. If someone sees him of herself as a fitness nerd, then so be it. A nerd is simply someone who is super passionate about something (or a set of somethings) and who devotes a large part of their lives to this subject. I’m getting a little sick and tired of people saying you need to like Star Wars and Doctor Who to be a nerd. That you’re only a nerd if you finish the following litany “I must not fear, fear is the mind-killer”.

    I became a nerd because I didn’t want to have to conform to a standard (like a goth, or a jock, or a metalhead). I wanted to pursue my own interests no matter how much I got made fun of. Nerds were the people who agreed with this and who followed their passions. There were some things my friends and I all had in common, but we each had our thing and that was just fine. Now, so-called nerds are saying that girl on Facebook who said she’s a nerd isn’t because she doesn’t look the part or because you can’t be a [something] nerd. It’s the same sort of bullshit elitism we call out other groups for (like jocks or hipsters). Instead we should embrace the fact that people want to be nerds and show them a positive role model. Show them the love and effort we put in our passions.

    Lastly, on the “what makes someone a gamer” subject. It’s kind of the same story. I consider myself a gamer. I play games regularly, follow the game news, been playing since I was five. I don’t think you need to be able to name all Final Fantasy characters, or all Street Fighter moves to qualify as a gamer. You just need to be into games and consider yourself a gamer. That should be enough. And again, just because you don’t like a game, doesn’t mean it’s not a game or its fans are not gamers. It just doesn’t work like that.

  • I liked your snapshot gaming moments and thought of my own. My friends and I all got together for a big Super Smash Bros party. Two N64s were hooked up, one upstairs and one downstairs and everyone was playing or waiting to get in a game. One match came down to me and one other guy. I was Fox and he was Pikachu. We each had 3 lives left. He picked up a Bob-omb and threw it at me. I reflected it back with Fox’s power and it killed him. The fight went on until we each had one life. He picked up another Bob-omb. I was on a platform and was just jumping up and down, daring him to throw it at me. He took the bait, I reflected it back and paused the game right as the Bob-omb hit him. I zoomed in and went all around the scene as he swore. I unpaused and Pikachu flew off screen in a flash. He was so mad he went upstairs to the other N64.

  • Straight off the JJ Abrams ‘sequence’ building talk comes news that he and Valve are going to be collaborating on something! :P

    I hope it’s not just a movie adaptation. JJ seems like one of those guys who can dream up a great premise, but needs other people to take the reins if the project is going to go somewhere satisfying- I’d love to see him collaborate with a studio like Valve on a game or some other open-ended project. If a Portal movie ever gets made, I’d hope to see someone like Duncan Jones or Neill Blomkamp at the helm.

  • Actually, it’s kind of true. If you set aside the residual love of it that you have leftover from when you first saw it as a kid, it’s really just a bunch of small, isolated story segments sandwiched between a really badass snowspeeder battle at the beginning and a really badass lightsaber battle at the end. The isolated story segments in the middle only serve to develop the characters and don’t really move the main plot of the trilogy – the Rebellion’s war with the Empire – forward at all.

    So while it’s true that there is a plot, it’s kind of all over place and not the consistent through line that most movies need, which is what I think he was trying to say.

    (For the record, my opinion is that its good qualities make up for its relative lack of overall plot a thousand times over.)

  • Guys, I hate that this keeps happening… and I sort of hate that I’m posting about it, because who cares about one dude’s thoughts… but more often than not these days, the podcast just makes me feel crappy for liking the things I like.

    I am a Star Wars fan. I love the original trilogy, the prequels, the special effects, the books, everything. I understand their flaws, but I don’t love Star Wars as a cinephile, and I don’t care about the bad directing. I love the world, the escapism, and some of us NEED escapism. You’ve said Star Wars isn’t a nerd thing anymore, but it would seem that continuing to love Star Wars today makes you a bigger, more devoted nerd than it ever did before. God forbid, the political stuff in the prequels actually gives Star Wars an overarching plot, instead of making it just a series of sequences, as Empire was said to be. Then of course he proceeded to criticize Kevin Smith for popularizing the angry nerd… but how is “angry nerd” any worse than “snobby nerd?” At least angry nerds have passion.

    So most often, I just think: who the hell are you to reduce it to a social phenomenon, if there are still people like me who love the THING itself, regardless of its reputation? And to thereby diminish my tastes with that dismissal, as if popular opinion is somehow unanimous and objective…

    I’d just like to see you guys get back to talking about things you love, more than things you dislike. I’m such a fan, but the podcast seems to have become a hip-nerd bitchfest (“bitch” as a verb, not a noun, for the record). I know that’s not you, but the “conversation prism” of the podcast has, for whatever reason, focused those energies lately.

    Please don’t take that the wrong way… I’m just feeling dumb for liking stuff now, and I often think, aren’t we past that? Can’t we let people like the things they like, and let positive opinions trump negative ones? I dunno.

  • Hey RG,

    I come in peace, just wanted to address some of the things you said in a friendly disagreement kind of way:

    Let’s say you like oatmeal because of the way it tastes. You’re not a guy who really cares about food texture; it’s just not an important factor for you. You could eat anything from cream of wheat to a fried green tomato smoothie as long as it tastes good. And that’s why you love oatmeal.

    You have a friend who doesn’t give a womp rat’s ass about taste. All he cares about is texture. He just doesn’t like food that’s sticky, never has, never will, it’s just part of who he is. Clearly, he doesn’t like oatmeal. Does your friend’s negative opinion of oatmeal make you feel dumb for liking it or taint your enjoyment of it?

    I draw this comparison because, from where I’m standing, you seem to feel that they were saying that anyone who likes the Star Wars prequels is an idiot. I think that they were just weighing in with their own opinions. Just because the Star Wars prequels don’t do it for them because the films are lacking something that they need in order to be enjoyable to them doesn’t mean that you should feel any worse for liking them for an entirely different reason than they dislike it. And I’m not saying you’re wrong to feel that way, I’m just saying that I don’t get it.

    Two other points:

    1. I completely agree with you about Kevin Smith. I fucking love that guy and get a bad taste in my mouth when people take shots at him, or Chris Hardwick, or anyone who puts everything they have out there for the world to see every time they step in front of a microphone or behind a camera. People who wear their hearts on their sleeves are easy targets by definition, so I’m not impressed when people take shots at them for stupid reasons. It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

    2. As far as I can tell, Kumail and Emily have never kept the conversation completely fixed on things they like. In fact, I’ve been catching up on the old episodes and just listened to one entitled “Beloved Games that we behate”. I’ll just reiterate, I think you should like the things you like for the reasons that you like them and not let other people’s opinions about entirely separate aspects of those things affect your enjoyment of them.

  • @Mescalineous: I’m not saying that a disagreement bums me out… but it’s the specific sort of blasé dismissal that gets to me. If you listen to that part, it’s pretty condescending, and probably not what someone would say to your face if they knew you were a fan. It’s mostly on Devin’s part, and fine, he has a particularly incisive voice on most issues.

    Anyway, I guess the best explanation was something I heard on NPR the other day: the guy who directed Warm Bodies was talking about how his movie was accused of trying to pick up the scraps from the Twilight audience (trendy monster + love story), and he said that at first he hated the comparison… but then he started thinking about the Twilight fans, and how the whole thing was so widely panned, and started to feel bad for them; they like a thing, and that’s generally more valuable than disliking a thing… so why alienate these people because of their interest?

    It’s not easy for a Star Wars loyalist. There’s no end to the hate. I guess I look to the Nerdist network as being generally smart and cool about stuff, and it is, but it just sucks to constantly be reminded that the thing I like is so widely reviled, even in certain corners of this mostly-positive group of podcast producers. It makes the escapism that much more necessary, in a way.

    But again, I said I shouldn’t have even bothered posting, because it IS weird. Maybe the point was to remind everyone about part of Wheaton’s Law: “It’s OK not to like things, but don’t be a dick about the things you don’t like.” I suppose, to me, a condescending dismissal is a dick move. Disappointed is one thing, but dismissive is something else.

  • @RG – I know it can be a bummer when people you like deride things that are important to you, especially when the person is clearly uninformed as well as dismissive. I don’t really think that was the case here. Devin (and Kumail to a lesser extent) seems to have spent enough time with the Star Wars franchise to know what he does and doesn’t like about it, and has come by his opinions honestly. Heck, he name checked Grand Admiral Thrawn and Dash Rendar! That’s pretty deep knowledge for a casual dismissal.

    Anyway, as to the podcast as a whole, I thought this was an especially fun one. I enjoyed the range of topics covered. I listen to a bunch of podcasts, but Indoor Kids is the only one where I’m regularly almost physically agitated over the fact that I can’t join in the chat. Keep up the great work.

  • When you were talking about what games you’ll let your human gremlins play, it made me realize that we’re going to start having parents who screen what games their brood can play but actually playing the game. That’s awesome!

    Also, my wife and I co-manage our Simpsons Tapped Out. Fun game, but Devin’s right that it’s sort of like a slow cooker of video games. I just set everybody to a 24 hour job if they don’t have a character specific mission.

  • I will say that in this episode Devin made me both (1) like him a lot more than I ever have before and (2) also confirm some of my biases against Devin in regards to his attitudes about movies. His stories about games made him seem a lot less like the smug jerk he seems to be when he’s writing about movies (he might not be like that at all in real life, but some of his stuff on BAD is why I rarely visit the site and when I do visit the site it’s mostly for FilmCritHulk) and a bit more like a normal person.

    I very much enjoyed the email Emily read from the person that reads about games and listens to The Indoor Kids but doesn’t have the resources to play games. I’m in my mid-40s and fit into this category. Money is tight. I live an expensive city. I have a kid. But The Indoor Kids is one of my favorite podcast because of the genuine and sincere enthusiasm that never seems to flag or waiver from you two about your gaming lives

    The depth of my gaming in the past several years has basically been Angry Birds (did I mention I have a kid – 4.5 year old). I desperately wanted an Atari system as a teen, but my folks never would buy into it, and the only person I did know with a gaming system had the Magnavox Odyssey, which was Magnavox’s knock-off of both the Atari and Intellivision. Basically it was shit, but if I wanted to play without pumping quarters in, this was my only option. I pumped a LOT of quarters into the arcade in the 80s. A LOT! BUCKETS! I was good at Asteroids and Q-Bert. Go figure. I sucked at Pac Man, Space Invaders and Defender (and I desperately wanted to be good at Defender). I also sucked at Robotron and nearly every other Williams game except Joust, and even that I was only mediocre in. I also loved Tron and the Star Wars game, and was pretty decent at them. And that era was the end of my gaming life until the Playstation, which was primarily purchased because my wife wanted to play the Castlevania game on the Playstation. I ended up playing a few PS games, but the PS2, Dreamcast and Gamecube were really the peaks of home gaming for me personally. I could watch my wife play RPGs for hours, though. She loved them (and still does, but really, with a kid and tight funds we don’t even have those old systems anymore either). I sold my Gamecube and games last year, and sent the Dreamcast off to a very good home. They had been boxed for four years anyway.

    But this weekend, because I’ve been encourage by the enthusiasm from The Indoor Kids, because I’ve been getting more sleep and cutting back on alcohol, because I’ve been getting up early every day and being productive and trying to make my life better so my kid’s life can be better, I decided that I really needed to do something to relax and that maybe getting immersed in a game would be a good idea. After hearing Emily’s glowing reviews of the Lego games, I decided that since I am a Mac owner that one of the Lego games would be a great place to start and as a fan of Harry Potter I went for the Lego Harry Potter Year 5-7. It’s taking some getting used to, such as accomplishment based auto-saves, but I’m enjoy it. I had an old Gravis GamePad Pro USB that I used USB Overdrive to set up to use in the game and it works great. I have been playing and loving the game and the attention to detail with the music and jokes in the Lego game.

    And this is the part I really came to discuss. My daughter watched me play for maybe 15 minutes. She was absolutely captivated. When she heard me explain they were wizards and witches, she later asked when Gandalf showed up. When I told her that was a different story and that there was a game for that story but it wasn’t available for our computer yet her response was simple: “We should get a new computer.” Four and a half. :) Monster creation seems to be underway thanks to you guys.

  • OK so I can’t believe I’m going to defend George Lucas, but here goes. The whole parsec thing, Lucas explained it in the commentary as: you can’t go faster than the speed of light so all ships with lightspeed can get through in the same amount of time, so now it depends on how good a navigator you are, The closer to a star, planet, spacejunk, you can get the shorter the trip and a better pilot you are. Now if any of this is truely what he thought when he was making the movie I don’t know, He could easily have come up with this on the fly when the 1st person called him on the BS. Love the show and if I have any typos know its because I can’t type not I can’t spell

  • It would be cool to hear Gus Sorola from on this podcast. he’s apparently a big fan of Kumail, or at least appears to be if you listen to the roosterteeth podcast.