Games + Leisure

Games + Leisure

For young Saudis, life is conducted online, on phones and on gaming platforms. Saudi Arabia is a young country. The fastest-growing segment of the population is under 30 years old. In this deeply conservative society, with its strict moral codes of behavior and gender segregation, many young Saudis turn to social media and technology to entertain and express themselves.

For women, especially, it's a social revolution.

Classic Sci-Fi Comic 'Eternaut' Fights The Power

Dec 3, 2015

What's science fiction supposed to look like? It's a question that absorbed Argentine writer Héctor Germán Oesterheld, author of the epic comic strip The Eternaut. In the late 1950s, when The Eternaut was serialized in a Buenos Aires newspaper, science fiction was dominated by images of spaceships and faraway planets — and by authors living thousands of miles away. Oesterheld challenged all that. "My stories ... try to express something ... in a way that is ours, that is Argentine," he wrote at one point. "Neither that of [Ray] Bradbury, nor of Arthur C.

Still several weeks out, the hype is already hitting enormous heights for the new Star Wars installment. The Force Awakens has sold more than $50 million in tickets — and the movie doesn't even open until Dec. 18.

We recorded the show in Des Moines this week, and on the way to the theater we we passed about 16 presidential candidates, and 40 journalists chasing them. To help us make sense of this madhouse we invited our friend Jake Tapper — host of CNN's The Lead, and one of the moderators of the second GOP debate — to the show.

We'll ask him to play a game called "You know, we still exist in nonelection years, too." Three questions about the state of Iowa, where every four years the political press descends like a plague of locusts in sport coats.

Neil deGrasse Tyson — once named the Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive by People magazine — is about to begin the second season of his National Geographic show Star Talk.

Since he's a famed expert on cosmology, we've decided to see what he knows about cosmetology — three questions about hair stylists and spa experts from around the world.

When comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick got the opportunity to reimagine Captain Marvel as a blond, blue-eyed fighter pilot named Carol, she made changes to the character that some fans didn't like.

Carol now wears a flight suit — not the sexy dominatrix outfit she used to wear back when she was Ms. Marvel. For that, DeConnick was accused of having a feminist agenda.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Before she hit it big with her first album, Pieces of You in 1995, Jewel was living out of her car. Her big break came at Inner Change, a struggling San Diego coffee shop where she played a weekly show. She's written a memoir called Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story.

We've invited Jewel to play a game called "We hope you sleep in a safe" — because when you're named Jewel, you have to watch out for jewel thieves.

After an absence of 17 years, Karin Kanzuki, the Goldilocks lookalike who became an unlikely hit in the long-running Street Fighter video game series in the late '90s, is returning to the game.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If summer is for Hollywood blockbusters, fall is when the video game industry brings out its big guns, and big swords and even gods.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: All actions have consequences...

The world's most famous plumber reached a milestone over the weekend as Nintendo's Super Mario Bros celebrated the 30th anniversary of its release Sunday.

The celebration came a day before the video game company named executive Tatsumi Kimishima as its new president.

For a kid, moving can be hard — even if it's just from one town to another. But when Michael W. Clune was a young boy, his family made a much more drastic move: from Ireland to the U.S.

It was rough. Clune had a hard time fitting in because of his Irish accent and Irish clothes. At school, there were cliques and bullies.

"Learning to deal with other people was a real challenge," Clune tells NPR's Arun Rath, "one that left me feeling isolated quite a bit."

Home was a refuge, for a while — until his parents started fighting. They divorced when he was 12.

Lighter Than Air: An End-Of-Summer Comics Collection

Sep 6, 2015

As summer winds up, everything seems to slow down. The last of the hot days seem to demand you take it easy before fall really kicks in. These three works — two collections of comics and one graphic novel — are perfect to pore over in a patch of muggy sunlight. They deliver adventure, heroism and romance, but nothing too taxing in the way of themes. Some have their problems, but tolerant readers will find that all offer ample rewards. And while the stories are absorbing, you won't lose the thread if you abandon them for an impromptu nap.

We recorded the show in Louisville, Ky., this week — where Edward Lee is the chef and owner of the restaurant 610 Magnolia. (He says he moved to Louisville from Brooklyn in search of bourbon.) Lee has appeared on Iron Chef America, Top Chef and Mind of a Chef, and he is the author of Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen.

Louisville is the capital of horse racing, so we've invited Lee to play a game called "It's just like horse racing, if you pretend they're tiny horses." Three questions about dog racing.

'Dragon Heart' Is Epic Fantasy With A Gothic Air

Sep 5, 2015

At first glance, Cecelia Holland's new novel Dragon Heart is a straight-down-the-middle work of fantasy. (The dragon depicted on the cover might just be the dead giveaway.) But there's another genre lurking beneath the book's mythic, majestic surface, one that's equally as intriguing and far less expected: The Gothic romance.

Ever heard of a tengu? How about a jorōgumo? You'll know them after you read Wayward, Image Comics' action-packed romp featuring Tokyo teenagers fighting the supernatural. It's been likened to a Japanese version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and its emphasis on epically battling the Big Bad (to use the Buffy term) is coupled with a determination to get its monsters right.

Songwriter Dwight Yoakam was raised in Ohio — a big disadvantage for a country singer. But he overcame that handicap to become a country star, with multiple platinum albums and hit songs over the past few decades.

And as a country singer, he has shared many stories of woe with his fans. So we invited him to play a game we're calling "You're the happiest man in the world" — three questions about Matthieu Ricard, a French-born Buddhist Monk who's reputed to be happier than all the rest of us.

If you thought that professional video game competitions would be the one sport immune to a doping scandal, you'd be wrong.

Starlee Kine is the creator and host of the Mystery Show podcast, which takes on — and solves — a mystery every week. (Not to be confused with last fall's hit podcast Serial, in which they explored a mystery without ever solving it.)

We invited Kine to play a game we're calling "What's up, Doc?" This last week marked the 75th anniversary of the debut of Bugs Bunny. We'll ask Kine three questions about the beloved cartoon character.

The story of hitchBOT — the robot that had visited Europe and New York City, but couldn't make it out of Philadelphia in one piece — may not be over. A Philadelphia tech group is offering to rebuild the robot and hoping to repair their city's reputation.

A kid-sized robot that's built around a plastic bucket and sports a friendly LED face, hitchBOT had been on a mission to travel from Massachusetts to San Francisco, relying on the kindness of humans it meets along the way.

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