Episode Archive

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Every Game in This City is a podcast about playing well together. In Season 1, ten game designers, researchers, and curators met up in Malaysia to try and play every escape room in Kuala Lumpur. In Season 2, four familiar voices and four new friends gathered in China to try and watch every game at the Dota 2 International Championships in Shanghai. Along the way we explore each city, meet new people, and record daily discussions about our experience playing together!

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December 5, 2021 It’s Day 5 and PSG.LGD finally face off against their TI8 rivals, OG (formerly Monkey Business), in one of the most anticipated matches of the International Dota 2 Championships in Shanghai. Luckily, esports researcher and MIT professor T. L. Taylor joins us to discuss our experiences both inside the stadium during an intense match full of cheers and jeers and then outside during an equally intense session of bartering for blind boxes, swag bags, and secret shop spoils. From one of the most memorable matches of the tournament to tournament memorabilia, in this episode T. L. helps us make sense of the monkey business.

T. L. Taylor, Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming, Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming, The International Day 5, PSG.LGD vs. OG, World Cyber Games (WCG), Professional Gaming League (PGL), 云玩家 yún wánjiā (cloud player), Nick Taylor, Dreamhack, Demoscene, Sleep No More, Pauline Hanson quote, 旗袍 qípáo, Anti Defamation League, "Free to Play? Hate, Harassment, and Positive Social Experiences in Online Games", Dotakins Blind Boxes, Squishy Keychain Blind Bags, Shanghai Media Group (SGM), Imba TV, We Love Fine/For Fans By Fans/Good Smile, Dota Buff, Sabina “Lawliepop” Hemmi, AnyKey, Morgan Romine, Electronic Sports League (ESL)

November 6, 2021 In this episode, we put the art back into ARTS on Day 4 of the International Dota 2 Championship. First Yang Jing will tour UnArt Center, a media art gallery that doubles as an esports venue, then Peter will exhibit AutoSave: Redoubt, a Counter-Strike map reconstructing the scene where Japanese and the English first encountered one another in the Battle of Hong Kong during World War Two. But is Dota an ARTS or an art?

UNArt Center, "Inside the White Cube" by Brian O'Doherty, "Non-Place" by Marc Augé, "L'1%, C'est Moi" by Andrea Fraser, International Klein Blue, Cadbury Purple, Art Games, True Blue, Mario Clouds, Cory Arcangel Art Forum Cover, Additive and Subtractive Color Space, Howe Art Museum, Serious Games Exhibit, "Serious Games" by Haroun Farouki, "The Production of Space" by Henri Lefebvre, "Making Games in a Fucked Up World" by Paolo Pedercini, 功能游戏 Gōngnéng yóuxì (functional games), 严肃游戏 Yánsù yóuxì (serious games), 游戏化 Yóuxì huà (gamification), Chinese Translation of "Reality is Broken" by Jane McGonigal, Honor of Kings, English Translation of "Journey to the West" by Arthur Yu, Jing Ke, A ke in Honor of Kings, Li Bai, Li Bai in Honor of Kings, Zhuang Zhou, Zhuang Zhou in Honor of Kings, "How Alipay Users Planted 100M Trees in China", "Autosave: Redoubt" by Andrew Luk, Alexis Mailles, and Peter Nelson, "Empathy Machine" by Chris Milk, "Disability Theory" by Tobin Siebers, Social vs. Medical Model of Disability, The Beginner's Guide, "The Enclosure of the Valve Source Engine" by Peter Nelson, "Finite Media" by Sean Cubitt

October 23, 2021 It’s Day 3 of the International Dota Championships in Shanghai and the whole cast is back in one room to talk about how we’ve been playing Dota. From the Mercedes Benz Arena and the Super Brand Mall to laptops in our apartment and the night cafe across the street, everyone has their own way of playing. And after catching up with the cast, we’ll interview Murielle "Kips" Huisman, a Dota 2 analyst and the former coach of TNC Predator, Vega Squadron, and Complexity Gaming.

The International 2019 - Day 3, Snapfire Announcement, The Graveyard, Cooking Mama, Viscous Nasal Goo, Music Man, Ya Got Trouble, Lǐ Jiāchéng 李嘉誠, Yú Mǐnhóng 俞敏洪, Wáng Sīcōng 王思聪, Super Brand Mall, fóxì 佛系, Brian Eno, I'm Set Free, Cypress Hill, Boom Biddy Bye Bye (Fugees Remix), Continuous Monument: An Architectural Model for Total Urbanization, The Metagame by Local #12, KnifeTower.com, PSG.LGD vs VG, Murielle "Kips" Huisman

October 8, 2021 In our last episode Shang Lun was about to narrate his long night at The Late Game, a Dota 2 talk show where he got to interview the cast and crew of the International Dota 2 Championships in Shanghai. So this time we’ll tune in and hear about his adventures with shout casters, camera operators, Chinese translators, TV producers, and a certain buffoonish dad who seems to hate pizza rolls!

Dota 2, The International, Day 2, Late Game, Day 2, Shang Lun on the Late Game, The Dumpling Show, Jake "SirActionSlacks" Kanner, Totino's Pizza Rolls, Underlords, Auto Chess, Artifact, Trent “TrentPax” MacKenzie, Myron Partman, Murielle "Kips" Huisman, 身体健康 (shēn tǐ jiàn kānɡ)

September 26, 2021 24 Histories, 4 Arts, 1 Dota. In this episode we meet our final cast member, Felania Mengfei Liu, who takes us on a tour of Chinese Game Studies, including a deep dive into the etymology of gaming and gambling, sport and esport in China. Then Stephanie, Patrick, and Will tell us about the long history of Dota, from Aeon of Strife to DotA: Allstars and beyond. Finally, the cast recounts a series of adventures around the stadium on Day 2 of the International Dota 2 Championships in Shanghai!

Dota 2, International 2019 - Day 2, DiGRA, jūn zǐ (君子), 24 Histories, 4 Arts, dǔbó 赌博 (gambling), yóuxì 游戏 (gaming), yùndòng 嬉动 (sport), diànzǐjìngjì 电子竞技 (esports/electronic competition), CAGE questionnaire, SARS, Lanjisu Fire, Eric Harris' Doom WADs, Clinton Presidential Radio Address on Doom, Clements Highschool Counter-Strike Map, Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE), wán wù sàng zhì 玩物丧志 (“play saps the will”), Video Game: Cohabitant by Yang Jing, liù bó 六博, Tsinghua University, Lang Lang (the Dendi of Piano), Battle Taxonomy of Players, Staredit, Warcraft III Map Editor, Dota 2 Short Film Festival, Source Filmmaker, Postmodernism, "Xièxiè Shanghai", 996 Work Hour System, The Dumpling Show

September 10, 2021 From our local police station to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we finally watch our first match together at the International Dota 2 Championships...and it's a doozy! After unpacking the hour-long contest between Vici Gaming and TNC Predator, Alex, Shang Lun, Peter, and Yang Jing teach us a little about what they learned on Day 1 before before we take a deep dive into the Dota 2 ecosystem with our first special guest: CEO of Chaos Esports Club, Greg Laird!

Dota 2, International 2019 - Day 1, Jay Chou, King of the Gargonites, Aeon of Strife, Tides of Blood, DotA Allstars, iceiceice, LGD vs Virtus Pro - Game 2 at TI9, Vici Gaming vs TNC Predator - Game 1 at TI9, Dota 2 Heroes, Dota 2 Items, Navi vs Ehome - Grand Finals Game 2 at TI1, Alliance TI9 Interview, wikihow.com/Skank, Greg Laird, Chaos Esports, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rainbow Six Siege, Player Unknown's Battle Grounds, Starcraft II, Archon TI5 Interview, Beyond the Summit, Hearthstone, Idra HuK Rivalry, IG, owned by Wang Sicong, BurNIng, Arteezy

August 27, 2021 The battle begins! In the first full episode of Every Game in This City Season 2, the team gathers at the top of a penthouse in Huangpu, Shanghai the day before the International Dota 2 Championships in 2019 to talk about our Dota pasts, Dota predictions, and the case of the missing tickets! In the interlude Will, Stephanie, and Patrick try to explain the ins and outs of Dota 2 (with sound effects!) before the group reveals the thorny reality of actually getting tickets for a Dota tournament.

Every Game in This City Season 1, Dota 2, The International 2011, The International 2012, Metagaming, FIFA, Sims, Dota Allstars, Dota by Basshunter, Hamachi?, Warcraft III, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo II, League of Legends, Honor of Kings, StarCraft, The International 2013, Yerkes-Dodson Curve, Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Source, Age of Empires, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, The International 2014, Artifact, Dota Auto Chess, Tao Bao, Xian Yu, Dota Underlords, Town of Salem

August 27, 2021 We're back! In Season 2 of Every Game in This City eight game designers, researchers, journalists, and curators meet up in Shanghai to try and watch every game in the 2019 International Dota 2 Championships. In this short introduction, Stephanie, Patrick, and Will try to connect the dots between escape rooms and esports: What are we doing? What aren't we doing? And what do we hope to learn as we jump into a new game in a new city with a new cast?

December 30, 2019 Season 1 of Every Game in This City is over...but that doesn't mean Kuala Lumpur is the last city where we'll try and play every game! In this short conclusion, Stephanie, Patrick, and Doug look back one last time before setting the stage for Season 2 where eight game makers, curators, and researchers are meeting up in Shanghai for a week to try and watch every game at the International Dota 2 Championships!

Far Cry 2, Dota 2

December 19, 2019 Sixteen months after leaving Malaysia, the team reunites to reminisce, reflect, and record one final episode of Every Game in This City! Beaming in from Australia, Sri Lanka, The United States, and Malaysia, we takes turns updating one another on new projects and new play experiences that occurred over the past year. Laura E. Hall leads the discussion as we remember our favorite moments, some lessons learned, a few things we missed, and start to think about what we want to do next! Is there another game in another city we’ve set our sights on for the new year?

Meridian Adventure Co., The Wandmaker’s House, Play Reactive, Earthrise One, God of Gamblers, Time Run London, Ghost Pattern, Wayward Strand, Sleep No More, A Midnight Visit, Palace Games, The Edison Room, Hauntu, The Yawhg, The Quiet Year, Saw, The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Nun, Super Conductor, Odyssey Works, Dota 2

November 19, 2019 It’s the beginning of the end and we’re back to our regularly scheduled program after our surprise escape pod experience last episode! This time, Stephanie Boluk does a double take and finally gets a chance to debrief with the team and reflect a little bit on everything that has happened over the course of 7 days and 50 escape rooms (including new experiences we just had at the original Breakout in Avenue K and back at Lost in KL.) In our final interlude, Patrick, Amani, and Chad get tangled up in Mr. Oswald’s Greatest Show, a creepy marionette masterpiece where the players become the puppets and half the team tries out Exit: The Abandoned Cabin in a midnight escaping session. As the Kuala Lumpur trip comes to an end, we’re all starting to feel the Escape Room Effect.

YNAB,Overcooked, Pandemic Legacy, The Octopad, Lost in KL, Mission Q, Codefactory, Dark Souls, Mr. Oswald’s Greatest Show, Breakout, Avenue K, Exit: The Abandoned Cabin, Hidden My Game by Mom, Metal Gear Solid, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Kingdom Hearts, Frog Fractions, Potato Sack, Sportsfriends, Gone Home, Bioshock

November 5, 2019 Boo! Instead of sitting down to tape a new episode, this week the recording studio is haunted by the ghosts of escape rooms past! Shang Lun and Patrick trick and treat the team to a series of sweet and spooky surprises based on our experiences of playing over 50 escape rooms together. From crunching on rock candy in Unlucky Mummy to sneaking peanut M&M’s in Classroom Murder to drinking Dutch Lady chocolate milk in Annabelle, the team will have to come together one last time escape Every Game in This City. Trapped within an escape room about escape rooms inside a podcast about escape rooms—will we ever find our way out of this mise-en-escape?

The Unlucky Mummy, Classroom Murder, Annabelle, Colossal Cave Adventure, Zork, Octopad

October 22, 2019 What if we decided to escape differently? What if we escaped without talking, without touching, or without even seeing the room? Instead of hitting the wall at Codefactory in Sunway Putra, what if we tried to scale it? This week Chad Toprak chats about game development and community building in Malaysia with our final guest, LeeYing Foo, a game artist and UX designer at Kaigan Games as well as the co-organizer of WiGout Malaysia, a hangout space for women and underrepresented folks in KL. After that we head to Codefactory at Sunway Putra before Goldie, Stephanie, Patrick, and Doug break down Classroom Murder, the high school mystery room that inspired us to start designing our own quirky constraints, traitor mechanics, and teen drama! Then the team takes turns playing the same escape room but each time with different voluntary rules: an escape room where no one could speak (except Doug, who was taking notes) and an escape room where no one could touch anything (except LeeYing, who was blindfolded)!

Kaigan Games, Simulacra , Simulacra Pipe Dreams, Sarah is Missing, No Straight Roads by Metronomik, WarPods by Weyrdworks, Long Road Ahead by Cellar Vault Games,Re:Legend by Magnus Games Studio, Rhythm Doctor by 7th Beat Games, Eximus by Ammobox Studios, Politiko by Centaur Games, Politiko Mobile by Night Morning, KDU University, Sunway Putra Mall, Code Factory, Metagaming by Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux

October 7, 2019 Locked in a bathroom, trapped in a museum, handcuffed together, and wearing clown makeup, after five full days of escaping, the team finally hits a wall at the Fifthroom in MyTOWN. Patrick LeMieux tries to hold it together while introducing our second special guest, Clarissa Lee, a research fellow at Sunway University, who had the dubious pleasure of joining us for her first (and our 30th) escape room. During the interlude, we listen in on Doug and Patrick’s personal audio diaries recorded in a food court immediately after each of their teams had escaped yet another Egyptian-themed room, the Unlucky Mummy. Then we laugh, we cry, we try and read fingerprints off dirty bandages, while slowly losing a sense of what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what escape rooms even are.

Clarissa Lee, Sunway University, Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, MyTOWN, Fifthroom, Unlucky Mummy, The Judge, HAHA Circus, Subway Terror, Portal

September 23, 2019 With the whole cast assembled, Goldie Bartlett introduces our first special guest, Teddy Dief, who helped develop Hyper Light Drifter, co-founded Glitch City, and hosts his own podcast on the Idle Thumbs Network, Playscape LA. Teddy joins the team at Nu Sentral to explore the cinematic worlds and role-playing systems of the escape rooms at Breakout Nu. Then Stephanie, Jey, Shang Lun, and Doug peel off to get sweet and salty about the blend of story and puzzle in "Materia Medica," a Chinese medicine-themed escape room. Clearly feeling the effects of four full days of escaping, this episode culminates in a feverish jam session where we brainstorm dozens of escape room ideas.

Heart Machine, Hyper Light Drifter, Glitch City, Disasterpeace, Samurai Gunn, Breakout Nu, Materia Medica, Perpetual, The Secret of Hocus, Dreadnought, The War for Rembrandt, The Witness, Moira, Portal, Art Heist, Small Time Criminals

Every Game in This City

In Every Game in This City Season 2 eight game designers, researchers, journalists, and curators meet up in Shanghai to try and watch every match of the International Dota 2 Championships in 2019.