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Episode 14: The Indoor Kids
Revenge of StarCraft (with…
The Indoor KidsThe Indoor Kids

The Indoor Kids #14: Revenge of StarCraft (with Duncan Trussell)

Today at The Indoor Kids headquarters, comedian Duncan Trussell (The Lavender Hour) stops in to school us on StarCraft 2, and why he thinks it is the greatest video game ever made. We also discuss sex vs. violence in video games, and find out more about Stephen Hawking than any of us had bargained for. Like, way more. Yep.

Follow @duncantrussell@kumailn and @thegynomite on Twitter and check out The Lavender Hour!

And email us at [email protected]!

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  1. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your website offered us with valuable information to work on.
    You have done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  2. jdstein1 says:

    Wow. Great show. Duncan really pulled out some mind-blowing stuff at minute 48…

  3. yourself says:

    I know this is an old podcast, but it sounds like you guys are unfamiliar that AoE and SC are an entire genre of games, Real Time Strategy. Which is quite disheartening to know.

  4. Stephen says:

    Ok, it was just a quick moment, but there was an amazing part where Kumail was like ok, “i tend to overthink things. or wait, do i?” that was just sooo perfect

  5. Rob says:

    I loved every tangent that this podcast went on that was off-topic. Unrelated, but while I’m commenting I’ll say that I really enjoy this podcast as a whole and listening to what the hosts have to say. I think you do a great job, and I really enjoy listening.

  6. bowl of snakessss says:

    Great podcast, just found yall, love the idea of just sort of talking about gaming but not taking it too seriously and riffing on everything. Actually it would be funny if you just brought someone really into one game in each week and then let them go on and on about how they play the One True Game. That dude started to get all hologram-magnet-braceletty when getting really into that singularity stuff, wish you all would’ve have gave him shit for that.

  7. Tiffany says:

    I’m fine with tangents generally, but this episode was a little rough for me at times. I also experienced most of the same reactions as Rob O. and junesongprovider – I’ll refrain from going into detail because I’m afraid of sounding repetitive and/or like a jerk. That said, I enjoy the podcast overall and I’m looking forward to the next episode.

  8. sTalking_goat says:

    I call bullshit on that whole SM club story. Every club I’ve been too have a No Bloodplay rule, especially drawing blood during a flogging where then its just going to wind up being thrown all over the room. No public club would ever do this and anyone in the scene who knew anything about SSC would not go there, even if the health department didn’t shut it down first.

  9. dangeraardvark says:

    Funny ass podcast. I would have said that I LMFAO’d were it not for the stigma of terrible dance-pop attached to that initialism.

  10. junesongprovider says:

    People like Duncan Trussell are the reason I hate Starcraft fans. Starcraft is the only “real game”? Any non sandbox game is “a baby game”? Obviously, he’s exaggerating and oversimplifying for humor, but it kind of offends me that he would come on a podcast that is by and for people who genuinely love this medium and assert that 95% of games are not “real games” and most of the best games of all time are “baby games” because they don’t allow you to go kill everyone when you get bored or because they’re not on the level of your beloved and exalted Starcraft.

    Sorry to devolve into a dick commenting on the internet. And it should be mentioned this is the only time I have ever had a shadow of a problem with anything on this show. Keep up the good work Kumail and Emily.

  11. Vincent S says:

    Alright everyone, we have it on paper. Emily loves everyone of us. If we all sign a petition, I think we can have Emily divorce Kumail in order to marry each and everyone of us. Only then will we have that perfect meaning of life* that everyone’s been trying to grab onto. Males and Females… and Shims included! Are meth-offed trannies welcome too?

    *I was going for the gooey stuff… but it’s probably too much. @[email protected] I need to sleep…

  12. BluShine says:

    Bronze league represent!
    I play Terran, and I gotta agree about how awesome banelings are. Terran vs Zerg is always the best match-up. Part of me just loves seeing my whole army get obliterated, to the point where I’ll even compliment my opponents on successful baneling bombs. Of course, it’s also a great feeling when I scout early and discover my opponent’s going mass-mutalisk. I just build like 20 missile turrets, tons of marines, and even some thors. 30 mutas charge into my base and there’s just blood raining everywhere. If it’s early game, they might even gg, too.

  13. Ian Prettyman says:

    Another great podcast! Loved hearing some impassioned SC2 fanboyism. A great RTS really can be like an altered state of consciousness.

    Anyway, I’m writing to implore you guys to play The Binding of Isaac. I just got it and it’s awesome/so fucked up. In short, it plays like zelda but it’s about a boy who’s mom thinks that god wants her to kill him. You run around killing enemies with your tears. I swear this is actually a good game. It’s $5 on steam and totally worth it.

  14. Emily says:

    Hi everyone!
    cr1x- I know, right? I thought “surely this will never come up in a podcast about video games, right?”
    Nick B- That’s a great suggestion, and Jonah has been playing- and not enjoying- Dead Island already. Boom!
    Kumail- That game sucks, and the best thing about the newest one is that it starts with a very obnoxious woman singing “They’re playing basketbaaaaall”, which seems to embarrass you.

    As to the debate about whether or not we should have bigwigs on the show, I learned from working at G4 that some bigwigs take themselves too seriously, and some do not, and it’s my goal to not have anyone on who takes themselves too seriously, and not ever treat anyone too seriously, no matter what they do. It’s the difference between Inside the Actors Studio and Conan- I’d always rather be Conan.

    To everyone: I love you.

  15. Nick B says:

    love the podcast, I have been a listener of Nerdist from day 1, but as a massive video game fan I have to say this has now become my favourite podcast.

    Only criticism is having to wait a whole week between episodes, but then again you are doing it for free so I have no right to complain, thanks again.

    Would love to hear Jonah Ray on the podcast, but give him a copy of Dead Island (most over rated game of 2011) to review.

    I listened to your podcast about starcraft and went online to look up ‘Idra’ the professional US player living in Korea, that guy is hilarious he would be an awesome guest to get on if you could get him!!

    Would love to hear some reviews of recent game releases as well, or even an update on stuff that is coming out even if you haven’t played it just to keep up to date with what you are hearing about new games.

  16. cr1x says:

    well this got a bit weird. I listened to it with my gf and she must’ve felt a bit like Emily ^^

    Looking forward to the next episode


  17. Nick says:

    I love the podcast – and this episode was great too – but I found it pretty funny that Duncan spends a few minutes complaining about people who disparage Starcraft, then proceeds to basically exclaim that it’s the only “real game” because of the strategy involved.

  18. Kumail Nanjiani says:

    Highonfailure, I may be wrong guy to ask about this, since I have bought and played every single NBA 2k game since the first one, but… Yes! 2K12 is AWESOME! Best one yet. The legends mode is amazing. Older games have matching presentations too. Washed out colors, grainy picture. And its the first time I’ve ever cared about commentary in a sports game, since they talk about the impact of all of these players on the league etc.

    Best one yet, I say.

    I would love to talk about it on the podcast, but Emily has such a visceral negative reaction to it. (Maybe she reads these comments and realizes how much I love this game? Hi Emily hi!)


  19. MikeH says:

    I’ve only played the starcraft type games a bit, but I still enjoyed this movie. If you want to understand the obsession that can result from starcraft/warcraft3 I would recommend this free movie.

    “Warcraft III is the most popular real-time strategy computer game, thrilling over 2.5 million North Americans and 10 million people worldwide everyday. The game creates an alternate universe, where players challenge each other with a mythically-charged online world of humans, orcs, the undead, knights, and elves.

    In Beyond the Game, we meet – in real life and within the game – two of the game’s leading figures, known as Grubby and Sky. Acclaimed filmmaker Jos de Putter tracks these Kasparovs of a new generation and a new game across the world all the way to the world championships in Seattle.

    A fascinating, surprising, and genuinely touching portrait, Beyond the Game is a study of, and participation in, the reformation of our communities in the internet age.


    Support of this release helps Cinema Purgatorio with its next generation strategies to bring movies to theatres, discs, and downloads, seeing downloads (and torrents) as a “legitimate” release method. The company operates out of strange little movie theatres, hotel rooms, post offices, and internet cafes across the world… “

  20. Benners says:

    I haven’t gotten to listen to this podcast yet, so this is more inane ramblings on the comments by someone who got up way before his alarm.

    First, hooray Starcraft podcast. I’ve been having to chain my inner rabid fanboy for weeks to keep from sending some sort of email about the uninformed poo-pooing done on the earlier episode. Starcraft 2 has been my bread and butter for months now as far as gaming goes. At it’s best Starcraft 2 is a game of chess on Crack-cocaine, with a lot of split second decisions and counters that are just as fun to watch as they are to play. At it’s worst, it’s a game of Rock/Paper/Scissors that has its own merit (ok, at it’s worse it’s a 6 pool/Cannon Rush, but I digress). The single player storyline is a meaty, pulpy Western Sci-Fi that I just love. So… could say I’m a fan of the game.

    As for the suggestion that you guys get Industry big-wigs on the podcast, I’m not sure that The Indoor Kids is the right venue for that. You guys go off the rails and riff so often I can see an industry person trying to shill his game or talk shop being quickly left in the dust and frustrated. TIK has always seemed more about talking about the emotional/visceral experiences they produce than the technical or developing issues a gaming insider would bring to the show. Not to say I wouldn’t enjoy a show like that, but I’m just not sure it would fit with what you guys are trying to do here.

    Anyway, the coffee is kicking in and now that my brain is actually functioning at Mammalian levels, I should probably get to work. Thanks for the show guys, keep up the good work.

  21. Julie says:

    Duncan Trussell on Nerdist Industries? MY PODCAST WORLDS ARE COLLIDING! 😀

  22. Lee says:

    Fuck. I’m sorry this is so long, guys.

    K&E – This was probably my favorite episode so far. I think it was really cool of you to look for a friend who is as excited by Starcraft as you are (or, at least, Kumail is) underwhelmed by it, if not just to make it right with your audience for poopooing the game with Jordan. Even better that it turned out to be Duncan Trussel. The first time I heard him was back when I still listened to Comedy and Everything Else. His manic, enthusiasm about EVERYTHING amuses me to no fucking end. You can hear a grin in his voice talking about even the darkest shit because he’s got this sort of child-like wonder at the very idea of it. The whole bit at the top of the show had me gasping laughing, by the way.

    I also am usually not the “let’s be politically correct guy”, but I felt like the whole stripper thing was a little ungenerous. My ex was a dancer (not humblebragging) and she wasn’t broken or fucked up in any way. In fact, “ex-girlfriend” specifically because she did end up stopping and moving away to go to university. Just saying. I don’t think there’s really any reason to push that stigma. There are probably more people in our everyday lives just as fucked up/broken as that stereotype implies.

    Also, I know you guys aren’t fans of Call of Duty, but I think you should try Battlefield. They’re both military shooters, obviously, but that’s sort of where the similarities end. Battlefield necessitates cooperation in a way that Call of Duty doesn’t even approach. Both teams have reinforcement tickets, each ticket representing a player respawn. If they run out for your team, you lose. You’re placed in a squad of 2-6 players and you stick with them, moving as a group to push against enemy squads and either take one of 4 recapturable bases on an enormous open map or to destroy defended enemy command centers as you try to push across a map and take it over, ending the game that way.

    There are 4 different classes with different capabilities that are important to the survival of the squad. The assault class uses primarily assault rifles and has a defibrilator and medic kits to heal or revive dead players, restoring reinforcement tickets. The support class uses light machine guns to provide suppression, blurring the vision of players in the line of fire and dealing heavy damage while carrying ammo boxes to ressuply squadmates. The engineer class uses submachine guns to pump lead fast while running around and repairing vehicles (helicopters, tanks, APCs, ATVs, etc.). The recon class uses primarily sniper rifles and sneaks around the perimeter of the map, taking shots and calling in mortar strikes with binoculars. In most cases, if you wander away from your squad and try to play COD-lonewolf, you get killed pretty quickly. And yeah, you read right. Vehicles. One and four man attack helicopters. One and four man tanks. Jeeps. Armored personnel carriers. Buildings will crumble as you take them apart with grenade launchers and tanks and chopper guns, eventually collapsing and removing cover, while killing the enemies inside and clearing line of sight. The maps are all at least four times as big as any COD map, making camping virtually impossible because there are so many different routes you can take from one point to another. It’s a pretty great accomplishment.

    Emily – If you’d like someone just bad enough to play Starcraft at around a beginner level, but experienced enough to explain the mechanics/strategy of the multiplayer game, I’d be super happy to do so for ya. If you do end up getting the game, the single player campaign will help teach you the basics and it’s a lot of fun. BTW, I swear you channeled Louis C.K. with that “That’s true. He’s got some fucked up…shit going on down there, you’re right.” line.

    Kumail – I’m glad by the end of the episode you had sort of come around from where you were on the Jordan episode. It kind of got me riled up hearing you scoff and go “Oh, yeah. Resource management!” without really knowing anything else about the game, but I understood where you were coming from just by listening to you on previous podcasts. You seem to enjoy the visceral experience. Running and gunning and feeling like the hero. Starcraft is a super cerebral twitch experience. It’s multi-level chess. Every action you take or don’t take has repercussions in other parts of the game and you’re constantly trying to manage them in order to win.

    By the by, I’m kind of curious as to what exactly it is that put you off COD. I always figured after seeing your bit about the Karachi level that it was that whole thing, which I can actually sort of understand from the perspective of someone who grew up in Karachi, and especially under today’s circumstances when we’re actively drone-bombing in Pakistan and other parts of the Middle East. That said, there are levels set in Europe and America in these games. Does that bother you? Do you get squicked out by movies like True Lies (fuckyoushutupit’sagoodmovie) that feature fictional middle eastern terrorists? Would you be as equally upset by a movie or game that features Russian terrorists? Or do you just not enjoy the idea of shooting other human beings and prefer shooting monsters/aliens/non-human creatures in all cases? Also, I hope you don’t take offense to this line of questioning. I’m not playing devil’s advocate or trying to invalidate your feelings. I’m just trying to understand. I think an episode about morality and/in games with the right guest could be very interesting.

    I also mentioned IGN a little bit up. If you’re not aware, the gaming website IGN produces a number of conversational podcasts out of their offices in San Francisco, hosted by the editors that are actually pretty similar to The Indoor Kids in a lot of ways.

    I’d be really excited to hear you on some of their shows, and especially excited to hear some of them on your show. If you have time, check out Podcast Beyond, GameScoop!, and Knockin’ Boots. I think a small group of the guys guesting on The Indoor Kids would be fairly do-able and REALLY enjoyable. Just make sure you get Greg Miller. Beers/alcohol while podcasting optional, but encouraged.

  23. Vincent S says:

    Not to patronise Kumail and Emily (you two are… umm… insults! kablam!) but I really like the guests on this podcast since it’s usually (all the time) entertainers who instinctively come up with witty and lively comments/come backs. I’d hate to think that they have to sacrifice their time in order to just get a game dev or an hardcore gamer and just not have fun while doing it. Hopefully there are more devs who have great communications skills apart from those listed above. I know it might be impossible but can you please get Richard Garriott on? I watched this interview he did on an Australian gaming show and he was fan-bloody-tastic and he has a crazy mansion too.

    It kind of helps that Kumail and Emily know the guests as friends since the podcast (atleast from my end) becomes conversational… hopefully this podcast isn’t too dependent on this in the future but fun times to be had by all, now. @[email protected] they can talk about anything since the title of the show is Indoor Kids… S&M’s usually done indoors right?

  24. Highonfailure says:

    One of the best episodes so far. I see Duncan Trussel beginning a cult leader pretty soon and I’d be there with him.

    Gamewise the Starcraft Expirence was gold.

    Im also a 2k fan. Is 2k12 worth the cash?

  25. Highonfailure says:

    One of the best episodes so far. I see Duncan Trussel beginning a cult leader pretty soon and I’d be there with him.

  26. Kumail Nanjiani says:

    Thanks everyone again for listening guys! Glad you enjoyed it. Personally, this was one of my favorite episodes to tape. Duncan is such a smart and thoughtful guy that it was cool to hear his perspective on gaming, and on everything else under the sun.

    Rob O. Thanks for your suggestion. In picking guests, our effort has always been to get cool/interesting people who are passionate about gaming. Both of those things are very important to us, since that’s what makes the best conversation imo. Someone can be smart/cool, but not into gaming, or be really into gaming, but unable to articulate anything interesting about it. Those guests usually don’t make for an interesting podcast. They don’t have to know everything about gaming. They just have to be passionate about their little corner of it. We have been reticent to have industry people on because we do not want it to become a technical discussion of gaming. And I am also weary of having game developers on, because I don’t want it to become a PR thing where they just promote their stuff. That said, there are many awesome developers, such as David Jaffe, Cliffy B, or Tim Schafer that have done cool stuff, and also seem to have something interesting to say about the medium. I just don’t want it to become a place where people come to pitch their games. We also have a couple of episodes from G4 folks (Blair Butler & Steven Johnson) coming out soon, so hopefully that will answer your criticism of having too many comedians on. And we would LOVE to have Adam Sessler on. He is clearly a guy who is very knowledgeable and passionate about gaming. Hopefully that will happen soon. Again, we have mostly just had people on that we know, that we would love with talk about this stuff.

    I am sorry you thought that the conversation drifted too far from gaming for your liking. For me personally, I wanted to have two goals with this podcast: 1. To talk about the experiential and personal aspect of gaming and 2. to use gaming as a springboard to discuss other interesting topics. To me, the extended discussion of the way our culture treats sex was very pertinent to the topic, since it informs how video games treat sex, and to how we treat sex in gaming. And the impact of technology in our lives is obviously very relevant to the role of gaming in our lives. Ultimately, video games I think represent exactly what we would want our lives to be: structured, predictable & controllable. And the fact that technology is slowly allowing us to achieve those things in real life, to me, is very interesting.

    My opinion has always been that conversations naturally flow to the most interesting places. I may not be right, but I don’t try to steer stuff back if an interesting topic comes up. Emily, on the other hand, is much better about steering stuff back to gaming. If you listen, you’ll see she does that more than anyone else on the podcast. Hopefully its a good mix. She reigns it in when needed.

    Max G, Thanks for saying that! We have no plans to do that as yet, but as I said, we do go on tangents using video games as a spring board.

    cr1x. Unfortunately Ali had to move back to the East Coast to finish up her schooling. But we plan on doing field pieces with her real soon.

    Wow this got long. Apologies. You guys are all wonderful, and please, we love hearing from you, criticism and all!


  27. Anthony says:

    Awesome podcast, I knew Duncan played WOW but I didn’t know he played SC 2 as well. I guess he is a big blizzard fan, he just needs to get Diablo 3 when it comes out. I agree with him on it being kind hard to go back to playing a with a controller, once you get used to using a mouse and keyboard.

  28. Sawyer says:

    Is it bad that I always thought his name was Duncan T. Russell?

  29. Rob O. says:

    [email protected] No one said “big” wig, just people in general who have more to do with gaming. I certainly don’t want to sit through a lecture by a professor (I would, but only in a ‘live’ setting) or some person who is a MLG member — But if I wanted to hear vaguely fulfilling chit chat that was kind of about games, I’d probably settle for talking to people I already know.

    And I don’t know much about Sessler personally to call him out like that, he’s at least someone who has -probably- played an assortment of games. But the fact of it is, Kumail and Emily likely KNOW people (which is, of course, how and why they have had the guests that they’ve had so far) but the people that they know likely also know more people. I’m not pitching some hardcore gamer L33T podcast, just hoping for a bit more than a ‘sort of casual chit chat about gaming’.

    I enjoy the fact that K&E go off and talk about the social, psychological and even physical aspects of gaming but I think it would be 110% greater if maybe they had a guest here and there that maybe knew a bit more about those aforementioned areas to sort of tie in with the anectdotal stories. Sandra (of the ‘Sex Nerd Sandra’ Podcast) has had some stellar guests on who were far from douchey and quite down to earth, yet were individuals capable of yielding very meaningful contributions to the overall topic of the podcast.

    That’s really the long and short of it, and all I’ll say about my earlier post.

  30. Excom says:

    @RobO who said their guest has to be some big wig from the gaming community? What is wrong with having everyday people who are average or below average in knowledge or gameplay? Because when it comes down most of the listeners are average or below average gamers and they can understand. I don’t need some fake douche like Adam sessler in my podcast to ruin my day because he thinks he knows games.

  31. Ben Z says:

    Also, when I type while working, I apparently write “through” instead of “throw.”

  32. Max G. says:

    I have an idea for you guys. Have you thought of doing another podcast? I love listening to this podcast. It is very funny, entertaining, & informative. I love hearing you guys talk about stuff. I love it when you guys go off the rails and just talk about whatever. Like in this episode, you guys did that for a long time. Which was great because I love hearing what you guys have to say about things. I would definitely love to see another podcast from you guys where you talk about so many different topics & not just about video games. I would love to hear about your thoughts (especially Emily with her background) on life, sex, movies, TV, comedy, Human behavior, etc. I hope you take this into consideration.

  33. Ben Z says:

    I’m surprised you’ve never heard of cheesing. That’s been around for a very long time in a lot of games. I know when I think of it, I think of Madden when people go for it on 4th & 20, onside kick every time, always through the hail mary, etc.

  34. John Fisticuffs says:

    OMG Kumail’s segue into BJ orgasms (or lack thereof) and immediate regret made me lose my shit and attract the attention of the entire office.


  35. jordan says:

    Blaster Girl! Katie rocks.
    love the podcast, both of you guys are amazing. Also glad you got to talk starcraft a little, it is truely a great game and esport.

  36. cr1x says:

    Is Ali ever going to come back?
    What happened?

  37. Livius says:

    Downloading now.
    I going to relisten to all the episodes.
    Has there been one about under rated games.
    If not you can expect an e-mail with my story. :]

  38. Rob O. says:

    Starcraft<Mario. Please. Best game ever? Gross overstatement, but I guess that's why Duncan is a comedian. I lol'd when he admitted to only playing SC2 and WoW. It all made sense after that.

    I want to make some criticisms but I'm certain they'll be viewed the wrong way, but just because this is provided free of charge doesn't mean you can't work to improve on things. The only thing I'll say: Try to steer away from the comedians, and more towards people from the gaming industry, or people who generally have more interesting things to say about gaming. I know you've been trying, and you've had the occassional guest that fit that to a 'T' so keep it up.

    I get that having comedians as guests is a very popular theme in the Nerdist Industries series of podcasts, but if you're doing a gaming podcast, try to have the subject matter be more than just an aside as it sometimes seems in latest episodes. If I'm a dick for saying that, so be it.

    Otherwise, you casters should discuss the area of java/flash browser games; a game in particular I'd like to recommend is called "Falling Sand" []. I don't know why but I find that I spend a good chunk of time now and then just playing around in it. On the topic of Java games, consider Minecraft as well.

    On the topic of sex vs. violence: I just think it has to do with the general opinion of sex being an intimate and personal thing, and ultimately I think the majority of individuals want to keep it that way.

    I take back everything I said about Duncan and the podacst. He mentioned the Omega Point and all has been forgiven. But maybe still consider what I've said.

  39. Kaitis says:

    Good choice in guest, Duncan rocks.

  40. Vincent S says:

    Sweet! a new Indoor Kids! yay! Are there any new catchy one-liners? All I had in my puny brain is “wub wub wub wub” but we aren’t there anymore… Game it up! 😛

    Listening while trying to sleep– commence!

  41. MattG says:

    It’s a difficult decision, but I think The Indoor Kids has become my second favourite podcast from Nerdist Industries. The original Nerdist podcast being number one, of course. Loved the Stephen Hawking bit, even if it probably was offensive to some. You should get Vajonah on. And allow me to say (in a hopefully not too creepy way) – I hope to one day find my own Emily.

  42. Kevin says:

    <3 SC2