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Episode 13: The Indoor Kids
Video Game Addiction…
The Indoor KidsThe Indoor Kids

The Indoor Kids #13: Video Game Addiction Episode (with Tom Lennon)

Recovering video game addict Tom Lennon (The State, Reno 911, I Love You, Man) tells The Indoor Kids about the horrifying struggles which led him to quit video gaming forever. Also, he shares his tips on getting laid. None of them, unfortunately, involve video games. 🙁

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  1. Lu says:

    This episode really troubled me. I don’t know how you can go from the mention of “tranny” to jokes implying hooker, acting like transgender people are low class, and heroin addicts (which bothered me the most). You know the GLBT community has higher rates of drug abuse? That is not something I find funny. I really just didn’t like the feeling that “really being a man” was some presupposition, or a joke that requires that trans people make a choice to be trans.

    Thankfully these comments are almost the complete opposite of the what you’ve said on other episodes. Especially with Chris commenting on addiction in a few episodes. Also, I’m glad somebody else was able to write a long post detailing the issue. It can be tough when discriminated against for trans people to be successful professionally, so it’s great that there are many examples of successful people of all sorts to break through the ignorance.

  2. snoot the hoople says:

    You guys probably won’t read this, but you should bring Jeff Rubin and Patrick Cassels, from colleghumor, on the show

  3. Gerry Domain (Real last name) says:

    all of this just supports my theory that if anybody wants to use an offensive slur of any kind he should just use them all at once.

    “Hey look at that (African American slur, Asian slur, Native American Slur, Middle Eastern slur, Caucasian slur, sexual orientation related slur, etc) over there.

    That should either curtail the usage of slurs….or greatly increase it because it actually sounds like a pretty fun challenge.

  4. J. says:

    Charles: Well, I for one would enjoy a quality brothel! But mostly if it was like the one from the “Heart of Gold” episode of Firefly. 😉 I’m in favor of legalized and regulated prostitution where anyone who wants to do it can have power over their own choices. Generally, the staff of a brothel is people who don’t really choose that life, and the majority are likely victims – not aggressors.

    K: I’m completely chill. As I responded to Emily and Chris, because this wonderful world of podcasting gives us a chance to get to know people, I’m not all angry-yarr-grar thinking folks are jerks. So much I don’t think they’re jerks that I felt there was a weak point in their awareness of something and I went ahead and said some stuff that hopefully would be considered in the future by these reasonable people that I am a fan of.

    Charles, K: The thing is, I don’t know if I have ever seen a “tranny” joke qualified in any way, any where, it is always put forth as an “everybody knows” bunch of things you have to go along with to find it funny. The “humor” there is based on believing and going along with the idea that this is all any trans person could ever possibly be. You have to buy into that stereotype on some level for the joke to make sense. Often buying into a stereotype is easy if you lack the experience and exposure that would break it, doesn’t make anyone a bad person, just uninformed. There’s only so many hours in a day to keep up with these things, I know!

    Comedy when performed by professionals has such a weird and complex way of broaching taboos and eventually breaking them, but as consumers… let me tell you how much of every day people repeat these jokes, reveal how they not only bought into the stereotype, they bought stock in it it, and hope to retire on the profit one day.

    And really, after a while, we just get into this territory:

    Nobody has to agree or like what I say. I was just throwing in my 2 cents that 7 or 8 minutes of making jokes demeaning a class of people as sickos doesn’t sit terribly well, and I’d rather put information out there than just angry-yarr-grar. I bother to even speak up because we are fortunate enough to know the real quality of the people involved, and that it isn’t really what is in their hearts.

  5. Ben Clarkson says:

    Man, I’ve listened to this and the Paul Scheer episode even more times than I’ve listened to the others. As in like 4 or so times a piece already. Just really funny great stuff.

  6. Charles says:

    @J I think Tom was making a joke in which a you take your hypothetical child to a hypothetical “t-word” brothel. I think all of the “depraved hookers who would attack and molest some straight kid like a pack of animals.” would apply to the fact that it is a brothel.

    In no way did Tom imply that these are the characteristics of all transsexuals. I feel like you jumped to conclusions (mat) and focused on that one word and then put all of the negative connotations of the brothel that followed on that one word.

    -Respectfully Rebutting

  7. JDS says:

    Wow, Tom’s story really put my own gaming habits into perspective. I think I’m gonna take a long overdue break from gaming myself.

  8. @Phil – Amusingly, The Dig was also one of the most hyped, anticipated, and long-delayed LucasArts adventure games. There’s probably a moral there.

  9. Phil says:

    The game with Robert Patrick that Tom was talking about was The Dig, easily the worst Lucasarts adventure game. Go play “Grim Fandango,” it is the best story of any game ever.

  10. K says:

    little known fact, this is the episode of the podcast where all comedians actually forgo jokes, and express stone cold facts about things. Like how they discussed the fact that Transsexuals travel in packs and attack children who are faced with the dilemma of fighting, or “f*cking” their way out of a whorehouse that his father brought him to….

    I guess what I’m saying is, chill out a lil bit. It was a riff that required such a heavy suspension of belief that its silly to become offended by any one thing in it, unless you just want to be offended. I’m sure none of the indoor kids have it out for Transsexuals. nobody hates transsexuals. In fact, they’re the one group of people that have a little something that everybody can appreciate.

  11. Bryan says:

    LOVED the Rasheed Wallace reference. I remember that game, I nearly shat my pants.

  12. The tranny hooker thing was out of line. You should’ve just stuck to regular hookers, because everybody knows they’re not people!

    (just kidding!)

    I enjoyed the episode. Particularly Tom’s explanation for how he knew it was time to quit smoking. Also don’t be the fat kid who is in drama – you’ll just watch all the thin kids hook up. Actually if I had to sum up my high school experience in a single piece of advice, I’d probably just go with “avoid being the fat kid.”

  13. Ian Prettyman says:

    I have a similar “beat a game in 24 hours” story. Basically I got Half-Life 2 and started playing. In under 24 hours the game was beaten. First and only play through. I imagine at that point I ripped the game out of the CD drive and spiked in on the ground. I was very tired and do not recall.
    Strangely, I don’t remember it being a ground-breaking FPS experience the way I remember Duke Nuke’em 3D or Doom. Regardless, there is no denying the magical power that drove me to such madness. Half-Life 2, I salute you.

  14. Emily says:

    Spraynard Kruger: Peach fuzz headed! That’s literally exactly what I thought when he took off the doo-rag at the end!
    We talk about Gears a lot with Blair Butler, so stay tuned for that episode, and even though Anya was respected (despite her tig ole bitties), it did bug me that Baird’s dumbass flirtation with Sam always involved him trying to pretend like she was ugly. Shut up Baird! She’s a fox with a face Band-Aid!

  15. Spraynard Kruger says:

    I haven’t listened yet but this sounds like a juicy episode! Can’t wait. You guys are the best and I hope you talk about Gears 3 sometime soon. I’m interesting in hearing your opinions. Maybe you haven’t had time to play it yet considering you are both busy adults with busy adult things to do so I will sit patiently and believe that the day will come.

    The day when Kumail and Emily speak spoiler freely about one of gamings most beloved series. What Kumail thinks about the emotional toll this journey had on the cogs. What Emily thinks about adding Anya and that other broad into the group and not implementing the usual videogame misogyny such as using the word broad and giving them tig ol bitties. What Kumail thinks about Marcus taking off his doo-rag at the end and thinking he looks like a ripped peach fuzz headed baby. I can look forward to this someday but for now… I wait.

    Thanks again!
    Much Love.
    One Love

    Spraynard Kruger

  16. Jay Hernandez says:

    HEY TOM! Your show deserved to be cancelled if you cant even be a decent person and not fire half the fucking cast. Dick, Love your work btw.

  17. J. says:

    Thanks Emily and Chris! I know that comedy gets tricky, everyone in the audience has their own thing going on and can react in any sort of way. This just felt like a thoughtless moment (and don’t we all have them in spades!) from people who ordinarily don’t go that route. Thanks to all of the Nerdist family efforts, we’ve had a good time getting to know so many people, and seeing what their motivations truly are. We know they aren’t bad people, or trying to hurt anyone. There’s just only so many hours in a day to keep up with the plethora of issues in society. I can respect that!

    I hope that as nerds, the idea of digging in and learning about something relevant to the intersection of topics will be, you know, in character 🙂

  18. BluShine says:

    I think you may be confusing the Myst series in this episode. Tom Lennon talks about loving going from island to island in minecart rollercoaster things, which is definately Riven. But then he talks about hating Riven because it’s more character-based. Riven had no more character interaction than Myst, so I think he may be talking about Myst 3: Exile.
    IMHO: Myst was good, but definitely seems dated now. Myst 2: Riven was amazing, and the graphics, sound, and gameplay still hold up. Myst 3: Exile (and all the subsequent ones) are ok, but nowhere near as good as the first two.

  19. Andy says:

    You are completely right about the drama kids. Somehow we were constantly being left unsupervised t0 roam the bowels of the school theater, finding dark corners and nooks to engage in acts I had only previously read about.

  20. Chris Hardwick says:

    J: I haven’t heard the ep yet, but your comment was so kind and well thought out…I hate to think anyone feels attacked or sad about anything we make. I know that wasn’t anyone’s intention. Sometimes “comic rough housing” causes unintentional injury, just like real rough housing. My apologies and sincere thanks for being so sweet and cool about it!

  21. Emily says:

    J., you are 100% correct, and thank you for such a thoughtful, not bashy response. Your points are valid, and my hope is that you posting this will educate the shit out of other Indoor Kids/Nerdist fans.
    Transgender folk are folk just like everyone else, and we didn’t at all mean to perpetuate stereotypes.

    Thanks for listening!

  22. Andrew says:

    Great show! I love Tom Lennon. BTW Stephen Hawking can type at 3 words a minute by switching a muscle in his cheek, When he does an interview the tell him the questions they are going to ask in advance so that he has time to construct them.

  23. Liam says:

    Here’s what I’ve learned in this ep. I need to score some heroin so I can finish my script about a tranny magician who’s also a serial killer from Pakistan and is set in the world of MYST.

  24. Livius says:

    Perfect timing. About to take a lunch break so downloading now :]

  25. J. says:

    I almost couldn’t listen to this episode because the first 10 minutes were kind of disturbing. I can’t really handle the “tranny” bashing. It wasn’t just using the word in a certain context where it isn’t about the word itself (Like the controversy of just saying “Nigger” instead of “N-word” when discussing the topic – NOT when talking about actual people), but it was used to demean and insult and perpetuate a stereotype – I mean, you guys referred to “trannies” as depraved hookers who would attack and molest some straight kid like a pack of animals. SO much of this show has been positive and embracing, so it felt really out of place. I’m kind of surprised there wasn’t a do-over or that Emily (because of her background and training, which you even got into later when talking about addiction and the DSM) didn’t flag it.

    I’ll try to keep this short, I promise.

    The word “Tranny” was basically coined by drag queens as a way or mock insulting each other and goofing around – the way many slurs begin- then it sort of morphed over time and drag queens and gay men used it to demean and insult transgender folks, and now the general population uses it very specifically to dehumanize the transgender. It is nearly always used to push the notion that trans folks are ONLY prostitutes and less-than-human, making them into “it” and thus a safe target for abuse.

    The reality of course is that the trans people who end up with that life are by far a minority, the stereotype is not true. Trans people are people, like any other people, with lives and families and jobs and –

    They play and make games, too!

    My partner works in video games, a variety of my trans friends work in games, and the majority by far or trans people I have known and loved are as ordinary and non-sexually-obsessed as you could possibly imagine. If you’re interested in trying to learn more about trans folks, and trans folks in gaming, I suggest some of these links:

    And in general, to see just how normal and common trans folks are:

    Aside from that bone I was picking…

    I did like the rest of the episode! Addiction and the need to escape suck. Too often people harangue gamers for being “addicted” when they’re really not. It makes it so much harder for those who DO need help to figure out how to get help and achieve balance. Thank you guys for talking about it, and getting a discussion going!