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Massively Affected

Massively Affected aims to answer the question, "Why Mass Effect?"On each episode, Josh Silverman (former host of Constantly Calibrating, and co-founder of Bear Punch Media) brings on a guest and asks them the not-so-simple question seen above. Every guest's answer is different, and every story leads to new discoveries.Tune in weekly for a Mass Effect retrospective experience!

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S1:E11 – Brown in Space ft. Kate Sánchez

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? This week I'm joined by Kate Sánchez, who you may know as the Editor-in-Chief of and Co-Founder of But Why Tho—you know, this here site you're visiting. Not just that, but this is the Season One finale of Massively Affected! On this week's episode, Kate and I discussed, among other topics, her journey to the Mass Effect _series and what made her avoid it for so long. We then dove into how _Mass Effect gave her her first moment of truly seeing herself in science fiction gaming, and what the experience was like finally getting to be "brown in space." We also dove into the ever-controversial _Mass Effect 3 _ending, with Kate's succinct take that the ending was always good, which is something I very much agree with. If you enjoyed my conversation with Kate Sánchez, make sure to give her a follow on Twitter. And there you have it, Season One is complete! I'm going to be doing a post-mortum episode explaining the future of Massively Affected next week, and if editing time allows I will have a bonus episode on the way as well. Thank you to everyone who has joined my guests and me over the last few months! It has been a blast. If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho.

46mins

13 Jul 2021

Rank #1

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S1:E10 – Culture Clash ft. Greg Haynes

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? This week I'm joined by Greg Haynes, who you may know as the Lead Games User Researcher and Captain for Developers Promoting Accessibility & Diversity (DPAD) for AbleGamers Charity. On this week's episode, Greg and I discussed, among other topics, xenophobia (space racism) in the universe of Mass Effect. Much has been said over the decade on the topic, but we took the vantage point of comparing the Citadel to our childhood home city of New York. We compared how New York, despite being known as a melting pot of cultures has since its inception been a place of cross-cultural strife. The Citadel is much the same, with new species of people coming and going and demanding equal and equitable treatment, while from the perspective of the government there is not enough for everyone. Laws and rules are assigned, but some powerful new groups—humans—find ways to skirt those laws. Speaking of humans, we also had a surprisingly long conversation about everyone's least favorite Virmire survivor, Ashley Williams. In a surprising turn of events, Greg and I discussed the things we loved about her character, even if we didn't like her directly, and explained a bit why we don't always sacrifice the notorious space racist. If you enjoyed my conversation with Greg Haynes, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter. Make sure you come back next week for the Season One finale, as I'll be joined by Kate Sánchez Editor-in-Chief of But Why Tho. If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho.

1hr

8 Jul 2021

Rank #2

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S1:E9 – Gaming the System ft. Eric Van Allen

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? This week I'm joined by Eric Van Allen, who you may know as a Senior News Reporter at Destructoid, and the co-host of NormandyFM. On this week's episode, Eric and I discussed, among other topics, how the average player sees so little of the _Mass Effect _story. During their playthroughs they follow a story through from start to finish, and maybe play it through a second time, all the while making the same or similar choices. This creates moments where they believe that there is little to no real agency and not much changes, but they're only seeing a small piece of that picture. We discussed how there's so much in _Mass Effect 3 _that can be altered and shifted, often by choices made an entire game or two earlier, that quite often the final game in the trilogy can become a daunting prospect to take on. If you enjoyed my conversation with Eric Van Allen, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter. Make sure you come back next week, as I'll be joined by Greg Haynes of AbleGamers. If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho.

52mins

1 Jul 2021

Rank #3

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S1:E8 – Pinnacle of Agency ft. Kenneth Shepard

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? This week I'm joined by Kenneth Shepard, who you may know as a Staff Writer for Fanbyte, and the co-host of NormandyFM. On this week's episode, Kenneth and I discussed agency in the Mass Effect universe, among many other topics. In exploring Commander Shepard's journey, players are often put in situations where they're guessing at what Shepard will say based on snippets of dialogue. These don't always relate to the exact circumstances of what will be said, leading to a bit of occasional cognitive dissonance between what players intended, versus what actually happened. In this episode we looked at how the ending to Mass Effect 3 gave the only true agency to Commander Shepard, as through no spoken dialogue Shepard was finally able to do exactly what the player wished. At least within the confines of the game's planned out story. If you enjoyed my conversation with Kenneth Shepard, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter. Make sure you come later this week, as I'll be joined by Eric Van Allen of NormandyFM. If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho.

47mins

29 Jun 2021

Rank #4

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S1:E7 – Companion's Journey ft. Kelsie Mhoon

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? This week I'm joined by Kelsie Mhoon, who you may know as a Narrative and Content Designer for Jam City, and on Death Carnival. On this week's episode, we talked about the most important part of the _Mass Effect _series: the companions. The journey we take with our companions defines our experience across the Milky Way and Andromeda, shaping not just who our Commander Shepard and Ryder become, but their actions across the universe. The missions may sometimes be memorable, but the moments we have had with Thane's debut entrance, Legion saving Shepard about the Reaper vessel, or Tali's first time seeing her homeworld are what set in stone the wonderous galaxy sandbox that we get to play in. The companions are what offer the replayability of BioWare's classic franchises, and offer players the building blocks to create their own narratives. If you enjoyed my conversation with Kelsie Mhoon, make sure to give her a follow on Twitter. Make sure you come back next week as I'll be chatting with both Kenneth Shepard and Eric Van Allen of NormandyFM. (There will be two episodes next week, to be clear.) If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho. As always, my thanks to Adam Leonhardt for his brilliant work making the Massively Affected logo, Julian Villarreal for his beautifully composed theme song for the show, and Mark B. Donica for helping me out by editing the back two-thirds of this season!

22 Jun 2021

Rank #5

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S1:E6 – Intergalactic Bromance ft. Justin Stanley

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? This week I'm joined by Justin Stanley, one of my oldest friends and my Bear Punch Media cofounder. On this week's episode, I talked to Justin about our mutual love of the Mass Effect _series and what drew him into the series originally. We took a long journey exploring the trilogy, while dipping into _Mass Effect Andromeda _and discussing what Justin considers the best loyalty mission in the series—a mission I also discussed at length with Scott White of RPG University recently. Seriously, if like me you've been looking for a bit more discussions of the lesser loved _Mass Effect, this is an episode you're sure to enjoy! We had a blast looking through the history of the series and also took our best guesses at where we're off to next, whether it's the Milky Way or Andromeda. If you enjoyed my conversation with Justin Stanley, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter and Twitch. Make sure you come back next week as I'll be chatting with the brilliant writer, Kelsie Mhoon.  If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho. As always, my thanks to Adam Leonhardt for his brilliant work making the Massively Affected logo, Julian Villarreal for his beautifully composed theme song for the show, and Mark B. Donica for helping me out by editing the back two-thirds of this season!

43mins

17 Jun 2021

Rank #6

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S1:E5 – Personal Fiction ft. Stephanie Bruneau

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? This week I'm joined by Stephanie Bruneau, a talented artist and streamer, and also the voice of Iris in Arcade Spirits. On this week's episode, I talked to Stephanie about her experience diving into the Mass Effect series, and what it was like being an "early" fan to the series. We talked about filling in the gaps in the story through fan fiction, and her own experiences writing a slow burn romance for everyone's favorite Turian, Garrus Vakarian—and this was BEFORE Mass Effect 2 made him a canonical love interest! Through personal legacies and our growing histories, we explored much of the galaxy this week and the characters that form the backbone of it. If you enjoyed my conversation with Stephanie Bruneau, make sure to give her a follow on Twitter, check out her art on Instagram, and follow her on Twitch. Make sure you come back next week as I'll be chatting with my Bear Punch Media co-founder, Justin Stanley. If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho. As always, my thanks to Adam Leonhardt for his brilliant work making the Massively Affected logo, Julian Villarreal for his beautifully composed theme song for the show, and Mark B. Donica for helping me out by editing the back two-thirds of this season!

38mins

8 Jun 2021

Rank #7

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S1:E4 – A Journey's Importance ft. Trevor Starkey

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? This week I'm joined by Trevor Starkey, founder of That Nerdy Site and host of That Nerdy Site Show, That D+ Show, and more. On the episode, Trevor discussed his origins in the Mass Effect _fandom, fueled by a crush on a certain super-spy actress. From their we talked about the experience of hopping in with _Mass Effect 2 from the perspective of a Shepard with memory issues, and talked about Mass Effect 3 and how the journey is what's important, not the end—or ending—itself. I also was able to slip in my love of Mass Effect Andromeda, though we did dive deep into my and Trevor's issues with the game, namely how much smaller the new galaxy felt! If you enjoyed my conversation with Trevor Starkey, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter: @TrevorJStarkey. Make sure you come back next week, as I'll be chatting with Stephanie Bruneau.  If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho.

42mins

26 May 2021

Rank #8

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S1:E3 – Binary Choices ft. Aiden Swank

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? On this week's show I'm joined by Aiden Swank, Senior Partnerships for ShotCall, tabletop enthusiast, and someone who is at least vaguely interested in the world of Mass Effect. Aiden has long been a friend of my podcasting endeavors, but is someone who I previously had not discussed the Mass Effect _series with. On this episode we discussed Aiden's legacy with the series, and explore the ideas of binary choices and what it's like to play a truly pragmatic Commander Shepard. There's also plenty of discussions regarding the viability of a _Mass Effect D&D campaign, and the series history alongside Dragon Age. If you enjoyed my conversation with Aiden Swank, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter: @LordCuddleBear. Make sure you come back next week, as I'll be chatting with Trevor Starkey, founder of That Nerdy Site.  If this is your first episode, make sure to check out the full backlog of episodes found on But Why Tho. The entire first season of Massively Affected will be featured right here on But Why Tho through July 13. Massively Affected can be found on all podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts & Spotify! For a full list, check out the Massively Affected page.

18 May 2021

Rank #9

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S1:E1 – First Experiences ft. Matt Storm

Welcome to Massively Affected, where I, Josh Silverman, bring on a guest and ask them the not-so-simple question: Why Mass Effect? For our first of two debut episodes of Massively Affected, I'm joined by Matt Storm, host of Reignite, "Fun" & Games Podcast, Screen Snark, and countless other podcast. Matt is a longstanding fan of Mass Effect who I had the good fortune of meeting at PAX East 2020 and subsequently bonding with over our love of a great many things, including the sub-genre of queer space romances. On today's show we dive into Matt's history with Mass Effect and how he was originally exposed to the series. We take a look at his show Reignite, and how the show's book club-esque style has offered him a new vantage on BioWare's beloved trilogy. And of course a whole lotta conversations about what BioWare did right, the missed opportunities, and oh so much more! If you enjoyed my conversation with Matt, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter: @dj_stormageddon Also, come on back and join me for episode two featuring my Constantly Calibrating co-founder, Sylvi Needham!

41mins

11 May 2021

Rank #10