The main image for this episode’s show notes contains the logo for Trek Profiles. If you’re a fan of Star Trek, or a fan of slice-of-life style interviews, then I’d say that you should check out John’s podcast
If you wish to support the Waffling Taylors, and the other shows in the network, you can over at Ko-fi.com/jayandjaymedia. However, supporting us is completely voluntary and not required at all.
Another way to support us is to shout out about us on social media or give us a rating on your podcatcher service of choice. The more people who listen to the show, the more shows we can do.
Before we even begin, it’s worth noting that John brings up some heavy things in this episode. It’s all preceded by warning klaxon
Squidge plays an example during the intro
and the topics he touches on (albeit lightly) are pretty dark - there’s talk of abuse and a suicide attempt. I promise you that what John has to say has a happy ending.
The warnings for John’s contents appear at 25:47. At this point, John talks about some of the folks who have been on his show who have been through some very troubling times, but where able to turn their lives around due to the friends that they made due to the shared experience of Star Trek.
check the chapters tab in your podcatcher, in case you want to skip straight by this section
Once 27:37 rolls around, these potentially worrisome topics have passed us by.
Please listen responsibly
This month we’re joined by John Krikorian of the Trek Profiles podcast. We don’t usually talk about Star Trek a huge amount on the show. In fact, writing up these show notes
a month ahead of release
I can see that we’ve only referenced three Star Trek titles on the site so far:
But after this episode, I’m expecting that number to escalate
who can say? We’ll have to wait and see, I guess
Anyway, John has a wonderful podcast that you should go listen to if you’re interested in the Star Trek franchise and it’s fan base.
We started our conversation with a minor tangent on fandom, and how you should like what you like. In John’s words:
I don’t understand this Star Trek vs Star Wars thing. The only thing that they have in common is that they both have Star in it… You can like both, you can like one, or you can like neither
and he has a great point there about fandom. I’ve always lived by a quote from Sherman T Potter (of MASH)
I don’t think I’ve dropped too many MASH quotes on the show
If you ain’t where you’re at, you’re no place
meaning: “if you’re not being true to yourself, then who are you being true to.” Go like the things that you like, and let that flag fly. No one is going to pick on you or treat you badly because of what you like, and if they do then they don’t deserve your time.
John then drops some wonderful knowledge about how “red shirts” aren’t the most likely to die on away missions in the original Star Trek
which, pretty much, debunks the most common myth about the original series.
The Trek Connection
We asked John about his podcast and whether there’s a “best” series. For him, his favourite
in his words, "there is no best"
is The Original Series, and mine is Star Trek: Voyager - or as I put it:
it’s Die Hard in space
even though the writers of Voyager never really took their own premise (being lost on the other side of the galaxy, with very limited resources) too seriously. As John points out, there’s a wonderful super-cut of every time they fired a photon torpedo, showing that they had a lot more than they announced in the first episode - and here it is:
then again, it’s a TV show so we shouldn’t really take it too seriously
John then told us the story of how he got into podcasting and it’s quite an interesting tale, to be sure. It includes moving from New York out west, attending conventions, the Star Trek: The Experience attraction, and sharing his experiences as someone who lived near the biggest conventions.
when discussing the guests that John has had on the show, he touches on some dark things
You’ll notice the warning klaxon which fire at 25:43. These are the warning sounds that we added in post-production, because John was about to touch on some potentially upsetting things. By 27:37, he has finished talking about the potentially upsetting points, and everything is back to normal
well, our version of normal that is
We then have a discussion about how the communities and media around us can help to make us take a moment and really think about the lives we lead, and how we might be affecting others around us. We’d be interested to know which games you’ve all played that have made you step back and reflect on what you’ve just witnessed. Some of John’s are:
John also brought up this article about the AI in Alien: Isolation, and how well engineered it is. There are two AI systems in the game: one which knows about the game state, and one which controls the Xenomorph. The Xenomorph AI isn’t told the entire picture by the game state AI.
I then bring up the fact that Alien: Isolation can capture your audio
as in, you the player, outside of the game
and places that into the game. Which is an amazing way to increase immersion.
If you see Mr. Munchy McMunchface, you’ve lost
And I admit that I had never finished the game.
is that a gamer confession? We should totally bring that segment back
John’s Recent Games
This is the lighter of the games that John has been playing as he’s been playing it with his son on his brand new.
If I’m completely honest, this game looks like a tonne of fun. And I think you’ll agree, based on the trailer
Detroit: Become Human
Which is something that John has been having trouble with, based on the fact that there’s no real save option, that there are many, many branching narrative points, and that some of the story points are rather challenging from an ethical point of view.
I’ve been wanting to play this for a long time, as it seems to ask a lot of questions about what it is to be human
in the same way that Philip K. Dick asked those questions in his writing
Squidge’s Recent Games
Squidge has been waiting for the release of a game since 2012 - that’s when it originally came out in Japan, and the Western release been held off until earlier this yea
2020, in case you’re reading these notes in the future
and that game is:
Phantasy Star Online 2
Anyone who has been listening to the pod for a while
or the folks who know us in real life
will know that both Squidge and I are HUGE fans of the PSO series.
Squidge and I had been playing this game with, soon to be guest, Z-Boi and the Cynical Developer
the night before recording this episode
we recorded this episode on August 15th
And we both agree that it’s a tonne of fun to play - except for when there are hackers in the game. The controls are stupidly simple, the design and look of the game is wonderful, and the sense of community
again, if the hackers aren’t playing
One thing that Squidge wanted to bring up was that he had received a USB Duke controller from Hyperkin
Before you are sent there, you can pick a number of video games to take with you
You can have an Internet connected game, if you wish
But you cannot tell anyone that you are stuck in the Thunder Plains or ask for help
We challenge all of our guests to come up with a short list of games that they would take with them, in order to keep themselves busy whilst waiting for help to arrive. And John was no exception, however we’d decided to rename it the Nimbus III games for one episode.
John’s chosen games are:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
John’s rule about “no fast travel” sounds interesting to me, especially since the world in the Elder Scrolls games is HUGE. It also reminds me of my one-in-one-out rules for buying games on my Switch.
Squidge and John then talk about of the interesting achievements that folks post on the Skyrim subreddit
warning: it’s reddit, so be careful
No dragon runs
No fast travel runs
No level-up runs
Talking about these wonderful challenges, reminded me about the Nuzlocke challenges that both Squidge and Ik take part in when playing Pokemon games
which Squidge kindly explains to us all. He also talks about taking a controller, turning it upside down
with the buttons facing the floor
and playing through a title like Sonic the Hedgehog. I brought up the E.T game, and bring up the video game crash…. again. We also bring up crunch in video game development, which was incredibly prescient
please, be kind and treat people nicely
One of the last things that I brought up in the episode is Wikipedia’s list of Star Trek games, which goes all the way back to 1971.