Have a spare 30 minutes? Of course you do — it's the weekend! Unless you're working, in which case. I'M SO SORRY. If you're not, what better way to spend a small chunk of your not-busy time listening to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and an incorporeal Will Wright converse about the science of games. But it's not just about the maths-heavy stuff, as you'll find out.
It's a bit of the shame we only get the voice of Wright — he's not present in the studio — so most of the dialogue occurs between deGrasse Tyson, co-host Eugene Mirman and games writer Jeff Ryan. The conversation moves around, from talk of whether processing power remains a barrier to gaming experiences to the potentially cool mechanics that dedicated physics engines can provide.
There's a particular focus on the moral implications of games, particularly violence, but it's an interesting listen nonetheless. deGrasse even brings up the fact Mario features "mild violence" and its disarming abstract presentation, though I doubt the heroic plumber has ever inspired kids to jump on the heads of their height-deprived peers.