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The HotSpot - Episode 384

Brace yourself for an unexpected trip down memory lane...

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Oct. 23 2020

Cast: Jeff, Brad, Vinny, Alex

Posted by: Brad

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47 Comments

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TheMaxDaddy

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Aaaaaaah Jeff has a ps5!!!!

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TheMaxDaddy

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It's huge!!!

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SirPsychoSexy

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Edited By SirPsychoSexy

Really good conversation this episode. High School fucking sucks man. I, like Vinny, floated by and had a "fine" experience, but looking back it just seems like fucking hell.

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dvdwalker8

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That was my college experience too, Brad. I'd usually start a paper the night before, get up early the day it was due, write it, and print it off minutes before the class. I graduated so it worked out.

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X4N

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You getting that Earthrise Scorponok Vinny? Caught you say waiting for Scorponok.

I was close to getting that badboy and may still, he is so awesome, but I am overloaded on giant Decepticons and it just feels wrong to not have a bit of a balanced between Autobots and Decepticons. Also there are some really great Earthrise, Kingdoms, and Studio 86 releases coming in the next year I will want to buy and Ikea won't ship Detolfs... :(

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GoldGreg

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This is one of the best podcast episodes I’ve ever listened to. Thank all you guys for sharing that stuff towards the end.

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cocowawa

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Edited By cocowawa

ur best episode to date guys. For complex reasons, i experienced High School twice in two Continents and just like alex said i thought it was just the structure you go through. Alas i realized that much later than him.

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Phoenix654

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@dvdwalker8: I would often write up the essay the night before on my computer, do all my editing in Microsoft Word, then write the required rough draft later, sometimes in other classes.

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huser

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Edited By huser

I think an X-COM would work well for GI JOE. War of the Chosen kinda works well. Three ancillary villain groups like the Dreadnoks, Iron Grenadiers, and maybe the Crimson Guard, and three potential allies like the Oktober Guard, Arashikage, Slaughter's Marauders. The classes are pretty easy to adapt for both Cobra and GI JOE.

Heck, the covert missions even fit well since half of the episodes were about disguises and spy work.

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coldblood

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1:08:46

Exactly

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Stamp

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Brad is eyeing me..

No Caption Provided

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JayCowle

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Snake's itching to get in that box.

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inspectorfowler

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@coldblood: I dunno. I've always been kind of insulted when people imply or state that enjoying high school makes you sort of a dummy or one of the kids who succeeded by being at the top of the social pile.

I'll freely admit I lucked out in terms of circumstances but I was an orchestra geek with band and orchestra friends. I took a lot of the AP classes and some other advanced stuff and I spent every afternoon practicing violin for auditions for college. I certainly wasn't in the "popular" crowd but I also lucked out with a high school that didn't have vitriolic divisions between cliques.

Even as a pretty open nerd - and a music nerd at that - I had a really good high school. My friend group wasn't huge but we were tight. I had incredible luck with teachers and even the one that I didn't like much supported me.

It was formative because all the stuff I loved - music, advanced classes, nerd stuff - was what had made junior high school pure misery and I was terrified of high school. When I got there and - for reasons unknown - my AP classes had a lot of the jocks and other "cool" kids in them, everything changed. I didn't have to be in the high social circles to avoid misery. I think adult life in college would have started out a LOT rougher if my late teens and early adulthood had been so negative.

I wish other people could have the same experiences. It has always bummed me out that so many people have crappy, abusive or neglectful high school experiences. For the record, I hated pep rallies and didn't go to any parties that my direct friends weren't hosting ;)

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ChrisFlavin

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Really enjoyable episode. As someone who didn't go to school in the US its always weird hearing how true to life American teen high school movies are.

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psydyl

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Stockin' The Butt Tapes with Jeff Gerstmann and Friends

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Humanity

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Edited By Humanity

@inspectorfowler: I’ve had similar experiences. I went to a fairly overcrowded New York high school and generally had a decent to fun time mostly due to social interactions with my peers - the work was never fun. Outside of a dedicated tight group of 5 core friends I had a lot of friends in every class I had throughout the day. I wasn’t a “popular” kid but I got along with all the social circles. I had friends that were jocks, nerdy nerds, goths etc. I did all my homework and got by with decent grades and honestly could never understand the kids that would never do homework or half ass it constantly. This is probably because it was engrained in me from a young age that “thems are the rules” so it didn’t even enter my mind to not follow through. While I fully understand folks that dropped out I do think HS is in large part a prep for how much of life is like afterwards. Even today in my mid-30’s you still get very similar social bullshit in large offices with people that are ostensibly mature adults.

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thebluefunk

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Vinny’s Ira Glass impression is a gift every time.

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tr0n

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Edited By tr0n

All this school hate is bewildering.

I didn't particularly enjoy it, but I met my best friends there and we were constantly doing crazy stuff together while still paying attention, learning and graduating.

You learn to be persistent, you learn to finish what you start even if it's a subject that doesn't' interest you or is hard to comprehend. This matures you as a person, develops your think process, logic and critical thinking, work ethics and makes you better prepared for the future.

University was just a blast afterwards. Lots of student parties and subjects that actually interest me (computer science, programming etc.). Would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Some of the best years of my young life.

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zoofame

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Edited By zoofame

@humanity: @inspectorfowler: My high school experience was a lot like yours. Trying to reconcile the differences, all I can think of is the parent/child relationship. It sounds like Jeff's school bent over backwards to accommodate him only to have it thrown back in their face with kneejerk contrarianism at every step. Without getting the parents involved I don't know what more they could have done. I got all my trouble-making done in 3rd grade (hard social adjustment from moving schools a bunch) but my parents stepped in and set me straight. By the time you reach high school it's up to you to figure out what you want to get out of your education. Treating class like it's a job you're working for The Man seems extremely immature. But like Vinny said there are all kind of other social factors happening at the same time, the learning is tertiary.

College in particular is when I started to challenge a lot of the political opinions I had grown up with. More than anything I think it's important for young adults to get out of their bubble and get exposed to life in a new place with people who have had vastly different experiences.

The thing is, people can change and grow and a lot of us do with new experience. Some people make dumb decisions as kids that stay with them for too long. Popular media tries to stereotype people into these dumb cliques when real kids' social dynamics are much more complicated. I would never judge someone based on how they were in school.

It was really sad to hear Jeff and Alex still carry that grudge in stereotyping people who did fine in school as the obnoxiously naive and chipper coworker.

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kazzerscout

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This show brought back many fond memories of renting PS1 games from the local video store. If only I knew that copy of Legend of Dragoon would be worth over £100 in the UK now.

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casty

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Edited By casty

Damn Alex, your story about ISS made me mad for you. I didn't quite have the same experience but mine was a little similar with un-diagnosed depression/anxiety and the school not knowing what to do.

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cikame

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@tr0n: My school experience nearly killed me.
It was full of intense pressure, bullying, i felt simultaneously invisible and the biggest target, i tried to kill myself three times, i'm 31 now and still carry the emotional and physical scars today.
My teacher would always say "enjoy school while you can, you'll miss it when you grow up", i've grown up, i'm not living a great life now but it's infinitely better than that fucking meat grinder.
I'm upset thinking about the person i could have been if i could have left school 3 years before the end.

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Bezerker85

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First Vinny gets a new GI Joe game and now there's that new Transformers X-Com game. Its like he found that magic paw from the Simpsons.

(The frogurt is also cursed)

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SuperJoe

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I was a GATE student in elementary school like Jeff, but nearly flunked out of middle school getting Ds and Fs because of low self-esteem. What got my confidence back on track was renting Adventures of Lolo for the NES and beating it in a day. It's not the hardest puzzle game but I clearly remember feeling a deep sense of accomplishment because at the time it was the most mentally taxing thing I had ever done, much harder than anything I had done in middle school. It sounds corny but literally part of my brain was re-awakened.

So shout out to HAL Laboratory and Top Video, which is now a veterinary clinic.

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rokettopanchi

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I'm one of those people that say they had a great time in high school if you asked. But I had a solid group of close friends and ton of tertiary buds that were all gd hilarious, so going to school was just making each other laugh all day. It also worked out that I had a half day junior and senior year. So it was mostly stress free. Go in and hang out, leave at 12:30 and hit up Wendy's for a large number 2 with a frosty, then go home and take a nap or play video games. The worst part was being on the swim team in the winter, so I'd have to go back at like 4 and miss Toonami. Fun fact, I once sat my parents down solemnly and told them I wanted to quit swimming so I could be home in time to watch G Gundam. They taped it for me.

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butterstick1

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Always kind of thought I shared Alex's humor and pessimism, and now I learn that we had somewhat similar middle/high school experiences. High School can be a fucked up ass place for some kids. I did have a lot of friends and a overall memorable social experience, but the school part of it broke me. Mostly because I didn't really care about anything, but I went to an elite (but free) specialized high school and the punishments for not doing well were extremely severe. Got my GED eventually.

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thesquarepear

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Senior years of school sucked a lot for me and even if it might have traumatized me a little, I'm kind of glad I did it.

It definitely humbled me to the experience of not fitting in and trained me in powering through some difficult situations. On the other hand I should probably have been more proactive for outside advice at the time. My country isn't so strict about everyone going 12 years to school like the US seems to and that's probably a good thing.

I'm with Jeff and Alex on reunions though. It might not be THE worst but I don't feel like I have anything to say to those people other than their kids are just as ugly as they are :)

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one50nine

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Edited By one50nine

This ep is really comforting having a bad time being shortly out of a bad time with school. Thanks GB crew.

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threeOCT

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I graduated HS (class 2000) with largely no issues, but I kinda danced between being among the 'nerds' and the bullied and some of the popular kids. I don't think I rounded up any strong relationships with kids in high school, though. I'm glad I got through it, but I definitely can't say it was an amazing experience.

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Moda

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such a feel good episode

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drdust

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Great episode !

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lkpower

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I had a good laugh the way Jeff said, "Godammit, ya beat 'em"

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ThatRoss

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Amazing episode, thanks to the crew for sharing their thoughts and traumas. Also "The Butt Tapes" LOL!

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youeightit

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The problem with GI Joe games is that they always focus on combat, but the combat in the show was always sort of an afterthought because it "had" to be there.I feel like a good GI Joe game would probably be along the lines of an immersive sim, something character focused that has combat, but you could also evade combat scenarios by playing differently.

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DrFat32

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Brad!

The eyes at the start.

Don't do that you are scarring me.

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Zero_

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Is this sort of view on school a predominantly American thing? I feel I hear so much about it, but anecdotally speaking, here (in Australia) I loved school, had great friends, great relationships with teachers, did pretty well in school and look back on it quite fondly.

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madmatt213

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Redbox got out of the game rentals by the end of last year 2019. That and local libraries are how I have been playing most of the big console games in the past several years. It's also why I haven't played any new console games since late 2019.

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Redgamer4

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Hearing Jeff and Alex talk about their high school experience is pretty cool. I had a very very similar experience and I graduated HS in 2012 lol. Giantbomb was actually something that helped me a lot in HS. Makes me think that even tho we went to school and different sides of the country and like 30 years apart we could have been part of the same group of friends if we were in the same school.

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oneangryzeus

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Man, I love this show.

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Doszero

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I, too, had an English teacher in high school named Mrs. Smith. Probably not as awful as Alex's and Jeff's Smiths, but still not great!

Oddly enough, I too write a significant amount for a living.

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BittenHand19

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Long Island is like that one friend who will do anything for you, but also has very inappropriate jokes in good company so you're always a little embarrassed by him. Staten Island is his shitty older brother he learned all the inappropriate jokes from and wouldn't do shit for you.

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Alkutraz

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Man I am really digging the candid chat this show facilitates.

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jasperkazai

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Edited By jasperkazai

Easily the best HotSpot since they stopped doing the industry retrospectives after the first month or so of the pandemic. What a fascinating episode.

I didn't have a particularly bad time in high school, but it's not something I would ever want to go through again. I had friends, but I have literally not spoken to a single one of them since HS graduation. So I guess we weren't that good of friends, at least in their eyes, if I don't even warrant a check-in or anything. And that was... 11 years ago, now. Their talk about reunions reminded me that last year should've been my first reunion. But I got no notification or anything about it whatsoever. Not that I ever would have gone to it... but I wanted the petty satisfaction of knowing I wasn't going.

The story about the bad English teachers reminded me of my senior year English teacher. I actually thought he was a decent teacher for the most part, but there was one fucked up thing he would constantly say to us. Like, at least once a week, he'd tell us that most of us were going to end up "pumping gas" after graduation, but since pumping gas wasn't really a thing anymore, he'd amend it to say flipping burgers at McDonald's. Basically, saying that most of us wouldn't amount to much of anything in our lives. And there wasn't a hint of humor or anything when he said this - he was deadly serious. And like I said, it he would say this routinely. Totally fucked up. But, other than that, he was a fine teacher.

I liked how Vinny was saying he didn't want the GI Joe hero select to work like Battlefront, and then 20 seconds later Alex was like "what if it worked like Battlefront?"

"Can I rent a Funko Pop? And then return it to them, soiled?" made me laugh my ass off.

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KnifeySpoony

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Very late to commenting and likely no one will see it now, but big kudos to Jeff and especially Alex for pulling through. Particularly Alex dealing with some real shitty people during one of the most confusing and awful feelings.

Thanks for bringing this show back, glad you all talk candidly with each other.