Useless Drivel – ‘Tis the Season for Booty

Pirate ChristmasT’was the day after Christmas, and all through the ‘Net, not a podcast was playing, at least not yet!  The geeks and the gamers all had their new swag, so much great stuff they can’t help but brag.  From consoles and pirates and a bottle of rum, it’s time for your earholes to have lots of fun.  Your hosts Rob and Matt, probably tired and drunk, are here to chit-chat about pointless junk.  So, lend them your ears and stick around the joint; it’s a new Useless Drivel, the podcast without a point!

TOPICS DISCUSSED – SouthLAnd, Sons of Anarchy, PlayStation 4, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Need for Speed Rivals, Watch Dogs, Sony Pulse Elite, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Tearaway, N64, Hotline Miami, The Desolation of Smaug, Tauriel, Smaug, 47 Ronin, The World’s End, Century Club, Wizard Staff

Closing Song – Bilbo Baggins Punk Rock


Episode 94 – Video Games: Then and Now


If you’ve ever listened to an episode of this show, then you know the Monkeys here at To-Ag studio are a nostalgic bunch, especially when it comes to gaming.  Join us this week as we talk about our experiences in the gaming generation and our take on how games have evolved in the relatively small span of 30 years.  So, hire yourself a running coach, check out your fat-lympic ranking, and bow before King Joffrey as you prepare for a brand new episode of Monkey in the Cage!

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Episode 69 – Mundane vs. Powered

Mundane vs. Powered

When it comes to tabletop RPGs, the world the game is set in usually dictates the choices a Player has for their characters (We all like to break the rules – and game – sometimes).  Seeing as their are LITERALLY and endless supply of gaming worlds (thanks imagination!), that also means there should be endless options for characters, but we here at To-Ag studios are going to keep it simple.  Join us this week as we discuss two opposites on the heroic spectrum and weigh in on mundane and powered Player Characters and the worlds they wreak havoc in.  Put in your storytelling caps, suppress your inner munchkin, and get ready to face the music on a whole new episode of Monkey in the Cage!

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Episode 68 – Uncaged 7: Monkey After Next

Uncaged 7 Monkey After Next

Hey loyal listeners!  It’s the end of the month, so you know what that means -it’s time for another episode of MITC Uncaged.  That’s right!  We’re breaking out and going top(ic)less to close out the month of January.  Join us this week as we discuss whatever the hell we want and it get’s all kinds of mainstream up in here.  What awaits your ears, only the geek and gaming gods know!  So, turn up the fire, make that hot cocoa “Irish,” and get ready for a long winter’s discussion full of death, cause we’re going to set your ears on fire on a brand new episode of Monkey in the Cage!

Oh, and P.S. – We know who is directing Star Wars VII, but MITC from the past didn’t…

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Episode 38 – Metagaming: Player vs. Character Knowledge

Tabletop roleplaying games are all about stepping outside of yourself and wreaking havoc…er… having fun with your friends in fantastic and action packed ways.  But what happens when the geek by day / PC by night saddles up to the gaming table brimming with real-world knowledge and challenges the game, or worse, the other players?  Join us this week as we discuss the oft controversial and absolutely annoying facet of metagaming know as player vs. character knowledge. Butch up those acting skills,  leave the day job in the car, and just live in the (Player Character) moment as you enjoy a brand new* episode of Monkey in the Cage!

*Now with super-awesome better sound quality!  Yay for figuring out technology!

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Stewards of Geekdom

The stewards of Geekdom... Gondor

I’m Jared. The Intern. My introduction will probably help explain why I’m here, writing to you now.

About me: I’m a 20-something desk-jockey working in Corporate America, raised in the Midwest and trained in the nerdly arts. My most significant geek claim-to-fame was a speech I gave to my graduating class crediting our success to the diverse cast of characters who made up our youth: Mario, Link, 4 green heroes-in-half-shells, and Frodo Baggins. My latent carpal tunnel could pretty accurately be attributed to far too many long nights slinging 20-siders. I’ve been a geek for about as long as I’ve been stringing words together.

Probably most significantly, I’m the Monkey in the Cage Intern. I’ve been following the crew for a while now, and after a grueling interview process, I’ve been awarded this coveted slot. I used every ounce of guile and every drop of charm to earn the right to be a part of the crew. (I’m sure it had nothing to do with the number of applications [I’m 1 of 1] or my willingness to accept the “competitive” salary [approximately $0, including expenses].)

Actually, I can list quite a few reasons why the Monkeys SHOULDN’T have picked me. Despite countless hours committed to a “mis-spent” youth, I don’t have a broad Geek Resume. It’s true that I’ve rolled up enough unplayed reams of Dungeons and Dragons characters to make environmentalists everywhere cringe, and I’ve read more fantasy novels than I can even remember. But I fall short in many, many facets of geek-hood. I own a 360, but it’s been so long since I’ve truly played a video game that I wouldn’t even recognize one of the Assassin’s Creed brethren if he stabbed me in the back. I flipped my way through pack upon pack of 1995 Fleer Ultra X-men Cards, but if I’m being honest I’ve probably learned more about my favorite superheroes from Wikipedia than from poring over carefully inked panels. I know enough about The Walking Dead to tell you that Shane is a douche, but not enough to articulate why.

More simply put: I’ve got a lot of holes in my geek game.

Lucky for me, my shortcomings seemed to appeal to the more sadistic side of the MitC crew. We geeks, they asserted, form our own brotherhood. Despite our diverse interests, we’ve got to stay united. To best defend our passions that the outside world deems frivolous, we must not only accept the many varied facets of geekdom, we need to understand them. That’s why the Monkeys took me on–with the plan to give me a series of assignments to broaden my nerd horizons. Through a rigorous training program, they’ll forge me into a stalwart defender, a true Steward of Geekdom. Along the way, I’ll report back, most likely with unhelpful insights and worthless opinions. Hey, you get what you pay for.

Up first is an assignment from Matt. In light of his new game, I’ve been tasked with learning a little more about the genre of Steampunk. To begin my education, I’ve started listening to the audiobook version of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder.

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder

This is my first foray into alternate history fiction. Set in Victorian era Britain and filled with steam-powered gadgetry and adventure, I think I’m set well to learn a little more about the type of world where Matt’s game is taking place. (Side note: does anyone else find it ironic that I spend my mornings listening to a book whose setting involves using steam-power to maximize productivity while I’m wasting electricity plodding away on a treadmill? I digress…)

I’m just getting started, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:


Not Steampunk

To be fair, I said early on that my insights probably wouldn’t be all that helpful. Hopefully I’ll have something more valuable to say once I get a little farther in.

And maybe if I work hard enough and prove myself, the Monkeys will promote me from unpaid intern to unpaid full-time staff member. More work, same pay…that’s the dream.