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In view of our topic, this episode of the Moving Pixels podcast is expansive.  In other words, this is quite a long episode. 

Nick Dinicola, Mattie Brice, and I found quite a lot to discuss about the open world genre this week.  It is a genre that has become widespread across the medium over the past decade (thanks in no part to a little game called Grand Theft Auto III).  Worlds of all kinds have been built for players to explore, telling stories in genres as diverse as crime, the western, fantasy, science fiction, and even schoolhouse drama.

We talk a little about what the genre means to this last decade in gaming and what kinds of worlds most compel players to explore them.

This week Nick Dinicola and I are joined by our fellow blogger Mattie Brice to discuss, in part, the games of the year.

However, with PopMatters posting a forthcoming list of the best games of the year, we discuss more specifically that list, our writers’ tastes here at PopMatters, and also what Game of the Year might mean in general to gaming.

Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Saints Row: The Third, Uncharted 3.  That’s a whole lot of 3s.

While focused especially on the “trilogies” being concluded in 2011, this episode Rick, Nick, and I discuss the year in gaming on the whole, while considering whether or not the glut of sequels at year’s end is a blessing or a curse.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a game that closed out the usual doldrums of summer gaming.  We actually recorded this episode just a week or two after the release of the game, but due to a number of scheduling conflicts, the episode just slipped for some reason into this, the closing moments of the holiday game season.

Nevertheless, the release of this new Deus Ex is one of the more memorable gaming moments of the year, so while you may be crawling through Skyrim or reuniting with Drake or Ezio Auditore, take a break and return with us just a couple of months to consider the success or failure of a prequel to one of the most admired games of ten years ago.

Due to some technical difficulties on my end, Jorge Albor quite graciously (and quite last minute) filled in as host for this episode.  This is probably for the best, as he probably did a better job at moderating this conversation than I ever could have.  (For those unfamiliar with Jorge, you really should check out he and Scott Juster’s weekly gaming podcast at ExperiencePoints.net—it’s well worth your time.).

So, this week features a host of new voices alongside Jorge, some of whom identify as gamers and some of whom do not, as the Moving Pixels podcast attempts to explore the concept of the so-called “girlfriend on a couch game.”  As a phrase coined by journalists to describe a particular kind of game, the “girlfriend on a couch game” seems like one in need of some discussion.  We decided, though, not to discuss “girlfriend on a couch games” but instead to see if we could find out what kind of spectators these supposed games are geared for by talking to some “girlfriends on couches” themselves.

//Blogs

The Best and Worst Films of Spring 2015

// Short Ends and Leader

"January through April is a time typically made up of award season leftovers, pre-summer spectacle, and more than a few throwaways. Here are PopMatters' choices for the best and worst of the last four months.

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