26 – Envisioning Our Best Selves in Mass Effect with Professional Trekkie Swapna Krishna

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Swapna Krishna

Swapna Krishna joins the show this week to chat space, Star Trek, and Mass Effect! Can YOU nonchalantly say that LeVar Burton has been a steadfast friend to you? This week’s guest can, and we’re still recovering. But before we get to that, Jamie and Spencer kick things off by diving into two 10-hour visual novel-esque games that couldn’t be more different in their content and execution: Kitfox Games’ Boyfriend Dungeon and Modern Storyteller’s The Forgotten City! Join us as we date weapons and sink our teeth into some queer subtext, and work to escape a time loop while evading avenging angels, respectively. Is humanity truly capable of taking responsibility for each other? Is a polyam queer utopia possible? Join us as we discuss all this and more!

Quick content note: Since we recorded this episode, Boyfriend Dungeon discourse has emerged around the role of content warnings in games. Our discussion didn’t touch on the more challenging and/or possibly triggering aspects of the game, so if our episode inspires you to check it out, we just encourage you to do your own research before playing to make sure it’s the right choice for you!

Then, we’re joined by the incredibly delightful Swapna Krishna (she/her), a journalist who writes for outlets including SyFy Wire, The Verge, Engadget, and StarTrek.com at the intersection of technology, space, and pop culture. She’s also the co-editor of Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices, an anthology of inclusive retellings from the vast lore surrounding King Arthur, Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. AND she’s the co-host of the geek pop-news podcast Desi Geek Girls! We had so much fun with Swapna, covering everything from pandemic parenting, to gaming while anxious, to looking to the stars, gushing about Sir Patrick Stewart, and so much more. Join us to find out why Mass Effect (and other space stories) work so well at helping us see our best selves and get outside of our own heads.

Learn more about Swapna on her website, and check out Sword Stone Table while you’re at it!

Side Quest

“In response to the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate coalition on March 19, 2020. The coalition tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.”

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