Ego Check with The Id DM – Episode 11 – Dr. Janina Scarlet

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Dr. Janina Scarlet

I am joined this week by Dr. Janina Scarlet, and we talk about her upcoming book, Superhero Therapy – A Hero’s Journey Through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Dr. Scarlet shares her fascinating origin story and how her personal journey with negative emotions led her to pursue a career in psychology. She describes how she has used various elements of geek culture in her work as a therapist providing care to Veterans and other individuals struggling with shame, anxiety, fear, and anxiety. She educates people about the purpose of therapy, and elaborates on several skills listed in her book. Near the end of the conversation, she shares her personal experience as a refugee to the United States, and how recent political events have been challenging. We also talk a bit of hockey before closing down!

Enjoy the 11th episode of Ego Check with The Id DM! And please subscribe to the podcast at one of the links below:

You can also listen to the show right here:

 

Please consider leaving a review on iTunes and help spread the word about the show. New episodes are released the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The next episode will post on April 4th , 2017.

If you are interested in coming on the show for an interview, or would like to become a sponsor, contact me to make arrangements.

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Time Traveling with My Son

After many years of attempting to have a child, my wife and I welcomed our son, Hugo, into the world in January. We are hopefully exiting the new-parent haze that settles in after a newborn enters the home. He is getting into a bit of a routine, and the three of us are all sleeping a bit easier each night. It is wonderful that he is in our lives, and we are excited to watch him grow and experience the world.

An idea was proposed to us by a friend; she started to email her child with messages throughout the early years of her life. She plans to “give” the email account to her daughter when she’s a teenager, and that struck me as a fabulous idea! Given my awareness that life can be short, I figured it would be an useful record my son can refer to in the future if I’m not around to speak for myself.

I set up an email account for the little guy, and here’s the first message that will greet him in the year 2033 or so….

Continue reading

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Ego Check with The Id DM – Episode 10 – Dr. Peter Whalen & Dr. Tzachi Zach

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Peter Whalen, Senior Game Designer

This week’s MEGA Hearthstone episode celebrates the annoucement of the next expansion, Journey to Un’Goro. First, Peter Whalen, Senior Game Designer for Hearthstone, joins me to discuss his experiences working for Blizzard since 2015 and his role as Lead Designer for the Journey to Un’Goro expansion. He provides additional details about the Adapt and Quest mechanics, including strategy for how to effectively use the choices given to the player each time Adapt is offered. Dr. Whalen also discusses the realities of designing content for a passionate fanbase that has access to data analytics to attack Ranked play. He describes how the meta game in Hearthstone has sped up as a result of community resources, and what it means for players and the design team moving forward. Finally, he shares his thoughts on design concepts that have yet to clear the cutting room floor and specific cards that might shine during the upcoming Year of the Mammoth rotation.

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Dr. Tzachi Zach, Data Analyst

Then around the 30-minute mark, Dr. Tzachi Zach joins me to talk about the his role as Co-Owner and Data Analyst for Vicious Syndicate. He explains how the weekly Data Reaper Reports are created, and comments on how players and the Hearthstone designers can benefit from the analytics provided by Vicious Syndicate. He speaks about searching for the “truth” in data analysis, and how he is confident the Vicious Syndicate team is honing in on a reliable and valid estimate of how specific decks are performing in Ranked play. He offers a glimpse of the future for Vicious Syndicate, including how they might venture into data reports on the Wild format.

Enjoy the 10th episode of Ego Check with The Id DM! And please subscribe to the podcast at one of the links below:

You can also listen to the show right here:

Please consider leaving a review on iTunes and help spread the word about the show. New episodes are released the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The next episode will post on March 21st, 2017.

If you are interested in coming on the show for an interview, or would like to become a sponsor, contact me to make arrangements.

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Ego Check with The Id DM – Episode 9 – Shanna Germain

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Shanna Germain

My guest for Episode 9 of Ego Check with The Id DM is Shanna Germain, co-founder of Monte Cook Games, and an acclaimed writer and game designer. She covered many topics during our discussion, including her work as an activist and advocate in and out of the gaming industry. She speaks about her work with Monte Cook Games and how she balances the demands of writing novels and designing games. We spent an extended amount of time on the concept of grief in gaming, and this led into a discussion of politics and the recent statement by Monte Cook Games titled, Our Core Values. We conclude by talking about her roleplaying game for young children, No Thank You, Evil.

Enjoy the ninth episode of Ego Check with The Id DM! And please subscribe to the podcast at one of the links below:

You can also listen to the show right here:

Please consider leaving a review on iTunes and help spread the word about the show. New episodes are released the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The next episode will post on March 7th, 2017.

If you are interested in coming on the show for an interview, or would like to become a sponsor, contact me to make arrangements.

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Ego Check with The Id DM – Episode 8 – Allison Rossi

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Allison Rossi

My guest for Episode 8 of Ego Check with The Id DM is Allison Rossi, Dungeon Master for Adventurer’s League and Social Media Manager for a Competitive Overwatch League. She discusses her entrance into tabletop roleplaying games several years ago and her experiences playing Dungeons & Dragons as a new player. She offers suggestions for helping new players feel comfortable playing D&D, and speaks about the trials of being a young woman running games for organized play. During the second half of the interview, she talks about her involvement in competitive Overwatch and provides useful strategies for find more success in that game. You can watch her play games on Twitch as well.

Enjoy the eighth episode of Ego Check with The Id DM! And please subscribe to the podcast at one of the links below:

You can also listen to the show right here:

Please consider leaving a review on iTunes and help spread the word about the show. New episodes are released the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The next episode will post on February 21st, 2017.

If you are interested in coming on the show for an interview, or would like to become a sponsor, contact me to make arrangements.

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Ego Check with The Id DM – Episode 7 – Hawke Robinson

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Hawke Robinson

My guest for Episode 7 of Ego Check with The Id DM is Hawke Robinson, founder of the RPG Research Project. Hawke discusses his early history in gaming, which dates back to the 1970s, and talks about choosing a career in recreation therapy, which allows him to use role-playing games in therapeutic settings. He details his work with the RPG Trailer, a mobile gaming unit that he drives to facilities to bring the gaming experience to those who would otherwise not be able to participate in RPGs. We discuss the challenges of collecting useful data on role-playing games, and explore opportunities for advancing knowlege and practice into the future.

Enjoy the seventh episode of Ego Check with The Id DM! And please subscribe to the podcast at one of the links below:

You can also listen to the show right here:

Please consider leaving a review on iTunes and help spread the word about the show. New episodes are released the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The next episode will post on February 7th, 2017.

If you are interested in coming on the show for an interview, or would like to become a sponsor, contact me to make arrangements.

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Ego Check with The Id DM – Episode 6 – Susan J. Morris

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Susan J. Morris

My guest for Episode 6 of Ego Check with The Id DM is Susan J. Morris, a fantasy author and editor that is best known for her work editing Forgotten Realms novels for Wizards of the Coast and novels for Monte Cook Games. She has published multiple books herself and designed Dungeons & Dragons for Kids. She also wrote a writing advice column for Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog. In the interview, she spoke about how she started running roleplaying games and transferred that experience into her professional life. She speaks about growing up as a homebrewer of campaign worlds rather than relying on published content. She speaks about her experiences working with Wizards of the Coast and Monte Cook Games, and the unique challenges of working with new content in the Forgotten Realms. She details her work as an editor, and offers advice for those interested in publishing their work.

Near the end of our talk, Susan shared some words that I want to highlight below. She spoke about the challenge of being a writer because it is a task that does not often result in positive feedback. I think her words are vital for all of us involved in producing creative content:

If you’re not writing for yourself, you’re going to be very disappointed long-term. I think you need to write things you love and that you enjoy — and then you can share them with other people, but the enjoyment should come from the writing and from doing it for yourself. Everything else should be kind of secondary or you’re very dependent on other people’s opinions for your happiness and fulfillment, which I think is never a good way to go. Writing as it is has very few moments in which you get reinforcement.

Create the content you want to consume! Personally, some of the most fun I’ve had as a writer have been spending time on articles that do not get much attention. I mean, who else is going to write over 4,000 words to determine the best track list for a hypothetical 12-track Use Your Illusion album by Guns N’ Roses?

Well, this guy too!

Enjoy the sixth episode of Ego Check with The Id DM! And please subscribe to the podcast at one of the links below:

You can also listen to the show right here:

Please consider leaving a review on iTunes and help spread the word about the show. New episodes are released the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The next episode will post on January 16th, 2017.

If you are interested in coming on the show for an interview, or would like to become a sponsor, contact me to make arrangements.

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