Posted in episodes

Episode 29: Niche Communities

The homework for the episode:
Austin: Awesome Games Done Quick-sponsored Speedrun of Star Wars: Jedi Knight Academy by gamer CovertMuffin
Another AGDQ speedrun of your choice
Pete: Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (2014 novel)
Martha: Fursonas, 2016 documentary (available to watch for free here)

Gamers join together and use their powers for good, in friendly competition and the sharing of secrets to beat games fast and raise money for charity.

A man, isolated by disfigurement and attitude, runs a play-by-mail RPG out of his apartment, and imagines what his players are like in the real world.

A documentary digs into the sometimes-secretive furry community, giving members of that community the chance to speak for themselves.

Pete’s friend Austin Delmond joins us today to discuss Niche Communities and all the baggage (good and bad) they bring with them. Quick content warning on this one: we keep things pretty PG, but there is some discussion of sex and kink that happens in this ep!

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: Goths by the Mountain Goats
Martha: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
Austin: Stardew Valley

Martha waxes nostalgic about His Dark Materials and glories in the chance to revisit that world. Pete “Only Listens to the Mountain Goats,” and Martha gets to nerd out about Stardew Valley again when Austin admits to being just as addicted as she is. On to the episode proper!

We all belong to some kind of niche community: a group of people organized by a shared interest, to perhaps oversimplify it. Our topics of discussion in this episode range from what exactly defines a niche community, examining the good and the bad (spoiler alert: everything run by humans is fallible!), how the internet has aided in the formation and development of niche communities, and how our homeworks reflect (or don’t!) that sense of community. I think we’re pretty respectful, but please let us know if we stick our foot in it at any point. It’s the only way we’ll learn.

The articles cited in the episode:
Games Done Quick website
Interview with John Darnielle
A review of Fursonas by a furry community member with quotes from the filmmaker

We’re going a bit broader next episode with a discussion on Toxic Masculinity, which we’ll be following up with a part two in the coming weeks (more on that in the episode). For now, I can tell you that friend of the show Caitlin Hofert will be on with some good TED talks for all of us to experience.

The homework for April 11:

Martha: Devils Within by S.F. Henson (2018 YA novel)
Pete: The Sopranos, 1.01 (“Pilot”)
Caitlin: TED talks from Jackson Katz and Tony Porter

Find Pete on Twitter @piko3000, and find Martha on both Instagram AND Twitter @magicalmartha. Follow us online @DYDYHpodcast, e-mail us at show@homeworkpodcast.com, and find us on Facebook.

And remember, if you have questions, comments, or ideas for a show, give us a shoutout here or send us an e-mail to show@homeworkpodcast.com. We’d love to hear from you!