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Colin's Last Stand: Fireside Chats

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Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 57: A Sit Down With David Jaffe

It's only in recent years that the gaming industry has become louder, more vocal, and more visible. But in quieter times, David Jaffe led the charge when it came to what we today term "being a personality." Jaffe is most famous for being the driving force behind Twisted Metal (pardon the pun), and was the director and creative visionary behind the original God of War, too. These days, however, Mr. Jaffe lives a quieter and more subdued life. We got together in his hometown of San Diego for a...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 56: Fireside Chats X Not So Common

I've admired Pat Contri from afar for about 18 months, now. Pat and I first started chatting around the time I started Colin's Last Stand, and while we've kept in touch via DM and text, we never had the pleasure of meeting in person. Well, until now. Pat is a fascinating guy, a prolific collector of retro games and memorabilia, a skilled podcaster, and the author of two amazing Nintendo books. We sat down in his San Diego home for a lengthy crossover between his podcast -- Not So Common --...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 55: The End of America (and Other Questions)

It was only a few months ago that I had US Navy Lieutenant Michael Autery on Fireside Chats. I liked our conversation about the Constitution so much that I invited him back to the show for a game of Five Questions, all surrounding American history and politics. Is American Exceptionalism real? How would he amend the Constitution if he could? America's greatest President was...? Is anything going right in America? And the big one: How will America ultimately end? We cover all of these...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 54: Is TV Dying?

When TV programming began reliably broadcasting in the 1940s, the world changed forever. The advent of radio decades earlier already made the world smaller, but with television, you didn't only listen. You watched, too. Fast forward some 70 years, though, and TV seems outright quaint, and the evidence of its decline is everywhere around us. Or is it? Today's guest -- Ethan Anderson -- works at an NBC affiliate in the Dakotas, and it turns out that, depending on your market, the kind of...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 53: Small Business Catharsis

Owning a small business is hard work. Really hard work, actually. Today's guest, Kyle Eastman, reinforces this notion with his story of determination and grit. Eastman owns a used games and sports equipment store in Oklahoma, but his journey in getting there is an interesting one. Telling that story requires us to ask a series of questions, though. Is college really that important? Should people leap into uncertain situations with equally uncertain outcomes? What's more important: Money or...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 52: Neither the Left nor the Right Will Do

In today's exceptionally hostile us-versus-them political environment, nuance often slips through the cracks. From immigration and economics to foreign policy and the social contract itself, everything is presented in a binary, and there simply isn't room for discussion or compromise. It's all black or white. One or zero. A or B. Reality, of course, is far more complicated. In today's conversation with Tiana Lowe -- political commentator and podcaster who first appeared on Fireside Chats...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 51: A Westerner in Japan

Japan is a country with a complicated history. Once closed off to the world for centuries, Japan was rapidly exposed to the west in the 19th century, went on a decades-long conquest in the early 20th century that helped plunge the planet into World War II, and then rebuilt from the ashes of conflict, creating one of the most successful societies in the modern era. Yet, even today, Japan remains rooted in homogeneity and tradition, which is why the perspective of an American living there is...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 50: A Conversation With Colin

Nearly a year ago, CLS changed directions: It became a brand, and not just a show, and that all began with Fireside Chats. Originally designed to be a short, weekly spoken op-ed about something random, Fireside Chats quickly morphed into the eclectic interview series it is today, and has since exposed dozens of interesting, unique, intelligent, and diverse voices to the world. To celebrate its 50th episode, though, it's time to turn the formula on its head, because today, Colin is the guest....


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 49: Understanding eSports

I've never been a fan of eSports. Or esports. Or Esports. Or however you want to type it. Yet, I also acknowledge that it's a gigantic blind spot in my gaming knowledge, and I want to do something to rectify that. So I figured, why not bring my old friend Leah Jackson by for a Fireside Chat? Leah and I worked at IGN together back in the day, and in 2014, she joined the ranks of Riot Games here in Santa Monica, the massive developer behind League of Legends. Leah's entire professional life...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 47: Blake Harris and the Politics of Entertainment

Blake Harris is a world-renown writer best known for Console Wars, the written authority on the Nintendo-SEGA drama of the early-to-mid '90s. You may have also seen Blake and his work on ESPN, IGN, MSNBC, BBC, CBS, NPR, and other acronym-obsessed news outlets. But for this episode of Fireside Chats, Blake came through SoCal to talk about, well, whatever! Our conversation veers in and out of games, entertainment, and the politics engulfing just about everything these days. I'm a pessimist....


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 46: The World Traveler

For many, traveling the world is a luxury, but for Jacob Spellman, it's a passion he's willing to sacrifice and work for. From Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, to Australia and India, to Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and beyond, Jacob hasn't only seen many of the world's sights. He's actually lived for a time in many of these cultures, and has a lot of stories to tell. Before he makes his next trip to Spain and elsewhere in Western Europe, Jacob swung by Santa Monica to regale us with tales of his...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 45: A Conversation With Bunty King

Annand Virk -- better known online as Bunty King -- is a Canadian social commentator, and a bit of a lightning rod online. But in reality, Bunty is an extremely friendly, personable man with a great energy and a fantastic spirit. So Bunty came to Santa Monica to have a Fireside Chat all about who he is, what he does, and the state of Canada, the US, and the world in general. Oh, and we talk about video games, too.


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 44: Growing Up Iraqi

Many of us can only imagine what it's like growing up in a warzone, but Mason Mallak didn't have the luxury of imagining it. He lived it. Born in 1995, Mason was only eight when the United States invaded his country of Iraq. Ten years later, in 2013, he moved to the US, and is on the verge of becoming an American citizen. But it was a harrowing and difficult experience getting from Point A to Point B. This is Mason's story about coming of age in a war-torn country, and what it's like living...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 43: The Life of an Indie Game Dev

Jools Watsham has been a game developer for two and a half decades. He cut his teeth at Acclaim before co-founding popular Nintendo-centric indie studio Renegade Kid in 2007. These days, Jools operates Atooi, a tiny operation that makes games for Switch. During E3, I invited him to take the short drive to Santa Monica to sit down with me, so we can chat about his life. How did he get into gaming? How did he land his first gig in the industry? And what has it been like operating two different...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 42: The Small Town Mayor

Allow me to introduce you to Ben Smith. Ben is a small business owner, a father, a husband... and the mayor of a small, western Pennsylvania city called Butler, just north of Pittsburgh. I invited Mayor Smith onto Fireside Chats to talk about what it's like to be the mayor of Anytown, USA, and to discuss what problems his community faces, and what he's doing to remedy those issues. We talk a great deal about why he decided to run, what it was like running both the primary and general...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 41: A Naval Officer's Constitutional Love

Lieutenant Michael Autery is a US Naval officer, the host of the UNALIENABLE Podcast, and a man with a passion for all things liberty. In his military role, he's charged with defending and upholding the American Constitution at all costs, something that intrigued him so much that he became obsessive about the document, the men who wrote it, and the rights it bestows upon all Americans. I invited Lt. Autery to Santa Monica for a Fireside Chat not only on Constitutional adoration and a respect...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 40: The Divisive 'Solo'

Late last year, my brother Dagan Moriarty -- Lead Animator and Designer at Sesame Workshop (for which he and his team recently won an Emmy!), and co-host of the retro/nostalgia podcast CLS: KnockBack -- sat down with me for a discussion about the Star Wars film The Last Jedi. To follow that up, Dagan and I went to see the new Star Wars movie Solo while we were recording Wave III of KnockBack in Philadelphia, and sat down to record a Fireside Chat chronicling our thoughts. Don't worry: We...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 39: Living With Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome (also known as Tourette's Syndrome, or simply Tourette's) is a neuropsychiatric disorder that many have reduced to a caricature of a person screaming loudly and shouting curse words. But Tourette's is much more than that, a disorder that affects 1 in 100 school-age children, an ailment that shares heavy overlap with ADHD and OCD, and something that can alter one's ability to learn, find acceptance, and succeed in life. So I invited Anthony Flarida to have a Fireside Chat...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 38: The Plight of Postmodernism

Professor Greg Jackson holds a PhD in history, teaches at Utah Valley University, and hosts the podcast History That Doesn't Suck. I invited Jackson to Santa Monica to discuss modern academia, and what it's like teaching in a contemporary collegiate environment that, from the outside, seems to be burning to the ground. And so we focus our talk around the scourge of postmodernism. We also discuss history as a pursuit, a passion, and a profession. Why is history taught so poorly, and what can...


Colin's Last Stand Fireside Chats, Episode 37: Defending the Star Wars Prequels

Alex Schmitz likes the Star Wars Prequels. In fact, he kinda loves 'em. As a one-time film student who now works in the movie industry, Schmitz is especially well-equipped to defend what he views as underrated and underappreciated gems in the ever-growing Star Wars universe. So I invited him onto Fireside Chats to do just that. And believe it or not, he makes a pretty convincing case...