For decades, the independent toymaker has been eclipsed by corporate toy marketers funding defense-department-sized ad budgets across print, radio, TV, and the internet.
Our chat with thoroughly modern indie toymaker Bobby Vala gives us hope that this hopelessly stacked landscape is shifting, as savvy small operators find ways to harness the power of story to hook and retain players, and engage fans directly through the leveling effects of social media as a direct, two-way communications channel.
Surely this is happy news for players everywhere, from the smallest child to young-at-heart “kidults.”
Recorded over zoom.
Check out Valaverse to see what Bobby’s up to these days.
Mais episódios de "Working Over Time"
”Around The Forge” - (Part 1) Blacksmith Folklore & Legends
50:52In today’s episode, which is Part I of II, we examine blacksmithing from the perspectives of the legends and folklore forged from the same fires as the revolutionary iron tools that so fundamentally shaped human experience. What better way to dive into this topic than with our guest, Mark Norman, whose own podcast, The Folklore Podcast, has enjoyed over 1.25 million downloads to date, fueled by compelling content and, of course, a stellar host. With that, let’s gather around the forge.
”Witches to Riches” - Working Right Now in Salem‘s Halloween Industry
30:48Halloween *bonus* Working Right Now episode, with returning guest, Isabella Connor, 17th-19thc New England historian and writer. Isabella loves Salem, and Halloween. Just not together. Tune in to find out why.
”The Politics of Art” - Ancient Greco-Roman Sculptors
1:04:20What do you think of when you hear the phrase “public art?" What is it? Who is it for? What is its purpose, anyway? In this episode we explore these questions, and more, through the lens of ancient Greco-Roman sculpture with archaeologist and educator Laura Aitken-Burt. Spoiler alert: the place and influence of state-sanctioned art strikes us as one of those “universals” of human society, past and present.
“Game of Popes” - The Renaissance Roots of the Modern Architect
1:26:25For much of human history, finding shelter was something everyone did on their own, to survive. But with increasing labor specialization in complex societies, the act of designing and building structures evolved into a distinct blend of art and science, becoming the discipline we know today as architecture. But when did this job, as such, become a thing? Today’s guest, Viviano Villarreal-Bueron, has a ripping good take on that, replete with drama, intrigue, and bruised egos aplenty. So - hard hats on - we’re headed to the eternal magnificence of Renaissance Rome.
”Since Sliced Bread” - The Ancient Business of Bread Making
1:10:58Classical historian and baker-in-residence, Dr Owen Rees, walks Karen through the ancient past and present pleasures of breadmaking.
”Upward Mobility” - Dr. Sian Proctor Wins Her Space Race At Last
3:06We’re in the throes of a new space race, and it’s a whole new ballgame from the 1960s Cold War version, when the world’s superpowers duked it out to see who could be the first to send a man into space. Fast-forward to today, and we’re in the wild west of a “space tourism” race. The SpaceX Inspiration4 mission, slated to lift off TODAY, September 15, 2021, promises to up the ante by launching the first all-civilian mission to orbit the earth, with the express goal of broadening access to space. And this one hits close to home, since Karen had the pleasure and privilege of hosting its Mission Pilot, Dr Sian Proctor, on the podcast last year. To hear more about Sian’s personal journey to the stars, and the broader context of how women and people of color have fared in the evolution of space travel from the 1960s to the present, tune in to Working Over Time, episode 7. “They Promised Her The Moon:” The Hidden Women of the Space Race.
”Knights in Tarnished Armor?” - Enduring Myth, Brutal Reality
1:29:56In this episode, Karen is joined by Sam Wilson and Jem Duducu to take a look at the job specs and role of a medieval knight. Listen in as they compare the enduring myth of knights and the chivalric code to the brutal reality.
”Working Right Now” - The Modern Toymaker
44:22For decades, the independent toymaker has been eclipsed by corporate toy marketers funding defense-department-sized ad budgets across print, radio, TV, and the internet. Our chat with thoroughly modern indie toymaker Bobby Vala gives us hope that this hopelessly stacked landscape is shifting, as savvy small operators find ways to harness the power of story to hook and retain players, and engage fans directly through the leveling effects of social media as a direct, two-way communications channel. Surely this is happy news for players everywhere, from the smallest child to young-at-heart “kidults.” Recorded over zoom. Check out Valaverse to see what Bobby’s up to these days.
”Breakroom 2” - Nigel‘s Egyptian Adventure
1:10:03The gang’s all here, back in the Breakroom! This time, we’re chatting with production partner and Past Preserver Head Nigel Hetherington about what it’s like to do archaeology in Egypt, and to start a heritage media business. Join us for another behind-the-scenes look at how Aidan, Raz, and Karen create the podcast, and learn what’s involved in being an expert presenter on unscripted, factual television. Grab a hot cup of something, and we'll meet you there.
"'Mad' Men and the Art of Persuasion" - Adverti$ing in the 1920s
1:21:22Have you ever seen an ad - on TV, in a magazine, or online - that was so clever it made you laugh out loud? Or just hit so close to home it took you by surprise? What about an ad that was so unbelievably “off” that you couldn’t believe anyone ever thought it was a good idea, much less got it greenlit and broadcast into the great collective consciousness? (that Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad, anyone….?). If you’ve ever wondered where this peculiarly capitalist form of communication came from, wondered why certain marketing campaigns “work” while others crash and burn, or just been curious about the complex psychology behind getting people to open their wallets… well, this is the episode for you. Popular historian and old friend Jem Duducu brings us to the inner sanctum of New York City’s 1920s “Ad Men,” and traces their legacy straight on through to today’s consumer economy, predicated on universal social media channels that paradoxically target individual communications more precisely than ever before. So, grab your fedora and follow me onto the swinging streets of New York City in the Jazz Age, to learn how we got here, and, as always, to think about where we might be headed in the future.