“Whatever fortune brings, don’t be afraid of doing things.”
Jeff Yeager and Justin Brooks started the Appalachian Gaming Professors podcast in August 2017 with the intention of discussing game narratives in conjunction with other forms of popular entertainment, including prose (both high literary and pulp) and film. Our goal each month is to take a relevant theme that extends across multiple mediums in order to put these texts into conversation with one another. We currently exist in an era where gaming narratives have grown increasingly important to creating a compelling experience; therefore, we intend to discuss these narratives using the same critical lexicon that literary scholars employ in discussing literature and film. In turn, we seek to create a dialogue about games that extends beyond judgments on their fun factor.
Jeff Yeager brings to the table a scholarly interest in American literature and film. Jeff is working on his Ph.D at West Virginia University where he is currently A.B.D. His dissertation surveys the impact of the move toward professionalizing medicine in 19th Century American fiction on the literary modes that adapted that theme, including gothic literature, literary realism, literary naturalism, and satire. Beyond his dissertation project, Jeff has taught multiple courses, including American literature to 1865, the American West as Popular Culture, American Horror as Popular Culture, British literature to 1800, Technical Writing, and Composition & Rhetoric. After playing the 2013 game The Last of Us for the first time, Jeff grew a critical interest in discussing games as literature. His upcoming essay “‘The Things You Put Into Your Head are there Forever:’ The Influence of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road on the Playstation Game The Last of Us” is currently awaiting publication in an upcoming book of essays called Carrying the Fire: The Road and the Post-Apocalyptic Tradition, a book published by the Cormac McCarthy Society.
Justin Brooks has always been an avid underachiever. From an early age, Justin found the wonders of escaping into gaming worlds and literary landscapes to be one of his greatest joys. He is the primary technical engineer and website editor of AGP. His professions have been varied, but his current one is akin to that of a professional cat wrangler; managing offices and seeing everything is running smoothly. He finds discussing lofty ideas to be comforting and stimulating. He also loves dry humor. If you ask, “Justin, what is your favorite game?” You’ll be met with a long diatribe on what could be considered his top 5-10 with respects to each of their strengths and how favorite is a concept of superficiality.
Appalachian Gaming Professors is recorded on a Saturday and is released by that Tuesday in the apartment of Jeff Yeager. The two friends often have a great time together, and enjoy recording every week.