Super Gamer Ep. 54 – Dance, Dance, and Dance Some More!

Holy mackerel we’re back! What an episode. A parody song, a world record holder (many times over), and a weird, whispery Mark.

Our guest, Carrie Swidecki, is pretty amazing. She’s a huge promoter of exergaming, and can dance you into the ground. Don’t believe me? TUUUUUUNE IN!

Download link – Episode 54 (Carrie Swidecki)

Carrie Swidecki on Twitter

Carrie Swidecki’s website

Our Gaming Heritage

Winter in the Canadian prairies can get unbelievably cold — like, how and why did anyone ever live here cold?

I think about a time when people didn’t have heating, and cars, and electric blankets, and I wonder: How did they do it? How could anybody survive in January and February?

Beyond the burning chill, there’s the loneliness. At a time when there were fewer people in general and it took longer to get anywhere, winters must have been desolate.

Of course there were villages and settlements and the like, so people weren’t alone. But with exploration and the fur trade, some folks had to endure extreme periods of isolation.

How did they manage to press on? How did they pass the time? That’s how I’m shoehorning this post in here, because:

I went to Festival du Voyageur!

Festival is a yearly event in Winnipeg– where I’m from– that celebrates the fur trade in Manitoba, particularly from a French and Metis perspective. It’s set around 1815-1816.

I’ve lived in Manitoba all my life and somehow had never been, so on recent a trip to the big city, I made a point of checking it out.

Thankfully, a friend served as a guide and I got all the inside scoops.

There was dancing, history, booze, and general revelry (oh, and pea soup and tourtière). It was a blast! But we’ll stick to the gaming stuff:

First, a delightful young gentlemen showed us a couple old decks of playing cards. One had cards with lots of writing on them, the other was pretty similar to the decks you’d see today– with one exception.


If I remember right, the stories on the cards are morals.

There are no numbers on them! The DYG explained that many of the voyageurs were illiterate and couldn’t read written numbers; they could, however, count the symbols.

The cards with all the small print on them were for the fancy folk, who could read. Basically, if it wasn’t their turn, they could amuse themselves with a short story. I feel like that has to work against you if you’re gambling.

While wandering the karaoke tent, a man asked us each for a dollar. We obliged and he gave me a hammer. There was a wood block with nails sticking out of it. The man told me something in French, possibly about the hammer. Je ne comprends pas. My guide got him to explain it in English:

Hold the hammer head down on the table; in one fluid motion bring it up and down, and strike the nail. The first to drive their nail into the wood wins.



A winner was me! Apparently there’s a version of the game in which players take shots of Caribou (fortified wine) when they miss. That sounds dangerous. And great. And dangerous.

I will leave you with some random pictures from my Festival adventure. If you’ve never been, go! To quote the Doctor: Allons-y!

Nerd alert: One more thing. The Festival du Voyageur cheer is Hé Ho! One of the MCs for the night was teasing us anglophones in our pronunciation. You see, in French, it’s more like “‘Ay oh!” So he was ribbin’ us, because we English speakers tend to say it like the Ramones. And he said something in French, and I made out the word Beetlejuice.

He was trying to give an example of how to properly say it.

**** Nerd card revoked: But you’ve got the wrong song, mon ami. You’re thinking of “Dayo! Me say daaaaayo!” A common mistake. The song in Beetlejuice is “Shake, shake, shake, Senora. Shake your body line.”  —- edit: Dayo! is also in Beetlejuice. I forgot, and hang my head in shame.


Super Gamer Ep. 51 – Into The League

More Manitoba talent is showcased in this episode as Mark speaks to Megan Merasty and Jonathan Villaverde about Into the League — a mockumentary series about people looking to break into the pro gaming scene.

Plus Mark talks No Man’s Sky, Rocket League, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, and Firewatch.

Download link – Episode 51 (Megan Merasty and Jonathan Villaverde)

Into the League’s website –

Follow Megan Merasty on Twitter.

Follow Jonathan Villaverde on Twitter.

Super Gamer Ep. 50 – Manitoba-Made

It’s Farmer vs. Farmer in Crop Cycle: The Competitive Game of Farming. Creator Trevor Lehmann joins Mark to talk about his game, based on Manitoba’s agriculture industry.

Plus, Mark unravels Jonathan Blow’s plan to take over the world. Nice try, Blow.

Download link – Episode 50 (Trevor Lehmann)

Convergent Games’ website –

Follow Trevor Lehmann on Twitter.

Super Gamer Ep. 49 -Big Books from Britain

A new episode, finally! Mark speaks with Sam Dyer of Bitmap Books. There are some way cool books you can order from them, full of art from classic games and more. Plus, the return of a surely irritating segment!

Download link – Episode 49 (Sam Dyer)

Bitmap Books’ website –

Follow Bitmap Books on Twitter

Central Canada Comic Con 2015

Hey Super Gamers!

I said on the Media Nerds podcast last year that it was a bit emotional recording from our very own Manitoba Podcast Network booth during Central Canada Comic Con in Winnipeg.

This year, I didn’t podcast, but I did moderate two panels: Rika Muranaka and Rob Van Dam.

Holy cow how cool is that? Both were very kind.

I asked RVD how he’s kept his body in shape. He said you can’t deny genetics, but really stressed the importance of stretching.

I asked Rika probably too many questions. Wearing my Irish heritage on my sleeve as I do, I asked about the Gaelic in Metal Gear Solid’s The Best is Yet to Come. a) She doesn’t speak it, it was translated. b) Hideo Kojima wanted the song to be in a language he didn’t recognize.

I also saw Chris Harrelson, who’s played several walkers on The Walking Dead. He was yet another cool guy.

Attendance at the three panels I saw was unfortunately quite low, particularly on the Friday night, but I still had tons of fun.

I hope all at the con had a great time. Here’s some pictures I took:

The best one of the three!

The best one of the three!

Bounty hunters

They all crawled out of the sarlacc pit.


Comics at Comic Con?

Well, he is Canadian.

Well, he is Canadian.

Welcome to dying!

Welcome to dying!

There's a Doctor in that TARDIS!

There’s a Doctor in that TARDIS!

Intergalactic planetary!

Intergalactic planetary!

They ain't afraid of no ghost.

They ain’t afraid of no ghost.

Way cool game partly made at Peg Jam

Way cool game partly made at Peg Jam

Thanks for the autograph, Rika!

Thanks for the autograph, Rika!

My friend Shane Haywood is a great artist. And singer!

My friend Shane Haywood is a great artist. And singer!

Beep boop.

Beep boop.

How Marvelous.

How Marvelous.

I'm having horrible flashbacks of the Water Temple.

I’m having horrible flashbacks of the Water Temple.