For this Podcast I was the assistant producer, Greg Lawrence was the lead producer and Michael Mariam was the line producer. Greg and I began the process of creating the podcast by conversing about the games we have played. When he suggested The Last of Us I was immediately intrigued, having loved the story after watching walkthroughs of the game some years ago. I decided to play the game myself for a few hours to refresh my memory and to better understand the game mechanics. Our meeting with Dr. Morgen steered us away from focusing on simply the plot of the game, and got us thinking about the relationships and analysis of the characters, which we decided would become the main goal of the podcast. Along with this, we set goals of relating the story of The Last of Us with that of the Covid-19 situation currently unfolding.
Because we weren’t able to meet in person, Greg and I recorded the podcast through a zoom call. We structured the podcast in a similar way as the first podcast I led about Minecraft: we had a scripted introduction and conclusion as a solid base to work from, but the middle was more our freehand discussions about our primary goals. We spoke extensively about Joel’s character and how he showed clear sociopathic signs. Similar to serial killer Gary Ridgway’s relationship with his wife, which I learned about in my Psych 111 class, Joel could only feel emotions for Ellie, and anyone else he could brutally murder without thinking twice. We mainly used the game’s ending to describe this effect, where Joel essentially dooms the world for his own selfish desires for holding onto Ellie. We also discussed Ellie’s good-heartedness and relative helplessness on her own, which causes her to retain her relationship with Joel throughout the game, even though Joel betrays her without her knowing. Lastly, we discussed how the current Pandemic, while clearly not as severe as the one in the world of The Last of Us, served as a cautionary tale if we don’t take future viruses seriously, that post-apocalyptic world could become our own.
Our podcast was created using multiple modes of english, including written for our scripted paragraphs, aural for our analytical discussions, and digital in which we utilized a video call to communicate across the country to create this podcast. We managed to summarize the important parts of our game efficiently and analyze the character’s actions for our audience. I also managed to collaborate with my partner to create an informative discussion on our game. The Last of Us podcast improved my rhetorical, critical thinking, and collaborative skills in a way that resulted in a strong outcome.