Co-op Mood

Co-op Mood is a podcast about video games and why we play them. Every other week, co-hosts Sally Tamarkin and Shane Vaiskauskas talk about video games, exploring topics and themes as well as the stories they tell, the worlds they create, the characters who live in those worlds and the gameplay mechanics and story structures that make it all possible.

Sally Tamarkin

Shane Vaiskauskas

Sally is co-host of the Co-op Mood podcast on the One Shot Network, a former community organizer, and an avid collector of polyhedral dice sets. When she’s not (video or tabletop) gaming, she’s either trying to figure out the 5e build for each character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine or co-hosting the advice podcast, the Struggle Bus. Her favorite video games of all time are Def Jam: Fight for New York, Telltale’s The Walking Dead, and any game that centers queer or gender nonconforming characters. She lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Shane is co-host of the Co-op Mood podcast on the One Shot Network, author of the micro-RPG Wreckin’ is Racin’, and a very mediocre Overwatch player. When he isn’t playing or talking about video games, he hosts of the ENnie Award-losing podcast Total Party Thrill. A lifelong gamer, he now resides with his wife and game collection in New York, NY.

Co-op Mood 20: A Modern Ancient Epic

On this episode Shane and Sally talk about the announcement that Ubisoft is working on an open world Star Wars game and what the marriage of Ubi and a beloved franchise could look like. Then they dive into part one of their discussion on the action-adventure platformer, Raji: An Ancient Epic, the debut game from...

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Co-op Mood 19: Welcome to the Murder Sandbox (Hitman 2)

On this episode Shane and Sally talk about their New Year’s gaming resolutions, and how they plan (hope?) to play games in 2021. Then they jump into part two of their discussion of io Interactive’s Hitman 2. They discuss being on rails in an open world, lateral thinking (murder) puzzles, and the agony and the...

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Co-op Mood: Codename 18

On this episode Shane and Sally kick things off by talking about the clusterfuck that is CD Projekt’s release of Cyberpunk 2077. Then they dive into part one of their two-part conversation about io Interactive’s Hitman 2. They discuss the gameplay loop, level design, and the pleasure of snappy gunplay and Jason Bourne-ing your way...

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Co-op Mood 17: God Mode

On this episode Shane and Sally discussed a recent WaPo story about how video game developers are creatively approaching difficulty settings in their games and the exciting things that are possible when devs think intentionally about playability and accessibility. Then they dove deep into their final impressions of the horny roguelike dungeon-crawler Hades, including what...

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Co-op Mood 16: Hades, Thee Bisexual Thirst Trap

On this episode Shane and Sally talk “Project 007,” the upcoming James Bond video game by IO Interactive, the studio behind the Hitman games. Then they talk about about the gameplay and aesthetic of the horny roguelike dungeon-crawler, Hades. They also talk about games they’re playing right now, including League (season 11 patch), Breath of...

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Co-op Mood 15: There’s No Crying in Blaseball

On this episode Shane and Sally make an official correction about the upcoming Uncharted movie. Then they talk once again about the design/appearance of the PS5. Then Shane is joined by Jon (@gurglespasm), co-host of One Shot network’s System Mastery podcast, to talk about the weird and wonderful world of Blaseball, including its best lore, and advice for Blaseball...

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Co-op Mood Unlucky 13: Rise From Your Grave

On this episode, Shane and Sally discuss exactly why Tom Holland is the wrong hunk to play daddy next door Nathan Drake in the upcoming Uncharted movie, and who they’d cast instead. Then they talk about participating in One Shot Network’s Among Us stream and the zaniness that ensued. Finally, in tribute to Halloween week they, as two people...

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Co-op Mood 14: That’s How It Could’ve Happened…But How About This?

On this episode, Shane and Sally talk about the PS5’s absolutely massive dimensions and whether it’ll fit in a typical entertainment center (jury’s still out). Then they talk all about multiple endings in video games, what functions they serve, when they work, and when they kinda ruin your fun. And they talk about the games...

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Co-op Mood 12: The Most Influential Consoles of All Time You Won’t Believe What Happens Next

With all the talk and excitement about next gen consoles, Shane and Sally decided to take a stroll down memory lane and talk all about their own experiences with consoles over the years, from ColecoVision and Atari 7800 to Sega Game Gear and N64, all the way up to current gen consoles. They also talk...

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Co-op Mood 11: David Cage Remastered

Sally and Shane played the game that put David Cage’s name on the video game map: 2005’s Fahrenheit (or, as it was known in North America, Indigo Prophecy) and they’re here to talk all about it. They describe the game’s story and gameplay before diving into a discussion about the legacy of this very uneven game when it comes...

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