I just got to the branding/brainwashing part and it makes it more fun. I got a bit burned out just killing captains on side missions which was fun in and of itself. Then I noticed I had 15 hours of game play logged and only 15% of the story done and so I plowed through some story missions and it got fun again.
Dan must be a demon of power and debauchery summoned by Brad. All those stories Dan has are not him but rather events inspired by him by countless denizens of decadence and raucous partying invoking his evil countenance. Notice how Dan trolls Brad often. He is toying with him while trapped in his arcane cage of the Giant Bomb offices. Brad may be a wizard but his inexperienced and Dan will consume him.
Shoemaker -> shoes -> winged shoes -> Hermes -> god of magic and wizardry.
*Edit* Just watched the Avalon stream after posting this. Watch it and see that my theory is correct!!!
And with the all the vr technologies coming to a forefront the next step in human evolution is the shedding of physicality and becoming digital gods.
And the Dreamcast was the pinnacle of gaming. I'm convinced since they bought up a bunch of properties they are just waiting for Nintendo to finally die out and then bam! Dreamcast 2! It's the long con!