Naked Gaming Christmas Special

Board games, Frozen the game, and Dr Chris Smith plays Surgeon Simulator!
23 December 2019
Presented by Chris Berrow, Leigh Milner
Production by Chris Berrow, Leigh Milner.


A model man gaming


Why did one Pokémon card sell for £150,000? Find out from “professional sports authenticator” Terry Melia, who decides how much collectible cards are worth. And why are board games still popular? Veronica Taylor is the voice of Ash from the cartoon series, she makes Chris's childhood dream come true. New releases include Jurassic World Evolution: Return To Jurassic Park and Frozen the mobile game. And Dr Chris Smith plays Surgeon Simulator! With Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner...

In this episode

A newspaper

02:14 - Christmas gaming news

Leigh Milner rounds up the latest gaming news for December

Christmas gaming news
Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Leigh Milner has the latest gaming news...

Leigh - Playstation has just announced it’s Dualshock 4 “Back Button” attachment!

Yes really, the accessory you didn’t know you needed.

According to the company “this new attachment elevates your gameplay by delivering more versatility and performance, while maintaining the comfort and feel of the wireless controller you’ve come to love.”

It’s coming out in a few weeks but how much does it cost? £30. So £15 a button.


In other Playstation News… the original Playstation One turned 25 years old recently… In a blog post, Jim Ryan, the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said "It's truly humbling to see fans who grew up on PlayStation... passing down their love of gaming to their children, who are now playing on PS4. On behalf of all of us at PlayStation – thank you for taking this journey with us. We can't wait to celebrate what comes next with you!"

Incidentally the PS5 is slated for a Christmas 2020 release.


And finally…

Fortnite has crossed over to the Dark Side… by collaborating with the Star Wars Universe.

Disney has teamed up with Epic Games to bring all kinds of exclusive content to the popular battle royale shooter, including an in-game screening of a scene from the latest film,The Rise of Skywalker.

It’s not clear at this stage... if the screaming children who watched the screening will be banned from the game or not. But they should be.

Haptic glove

03:48 - Virtual reality haptic gloves

The next level of Virtual Reality technology involves touch. Worried?

Virtual reality haptic gloves
Joe Marino, Haptx

Now if you’re a fan of video games, you might be excited about VR - or virtual reality - technology. At the moment you can buy VR goggles with screens and headphones that make you feel like you’re really inside the world of your favourite game. Phil Sansom from the Naked Scientists team has been trying out the next stage of VR, which introduces a sense of touch: these are gloves that make you feel like you’re actually touching the virtual objects you can see. They’ve been developed by a company called Haptx. Phil met product director Joe Marino at the Cambridge Consultants Innovation Day, where he was showcasing the new technology…

Joe - These are haptics gloves. They enable you to reach out and touch and interact with the virtual world like you do with the real world. They provide haptic feedback that makes the virtual objects feel like real objects. So VR that you can touch stuff. We have an array of effectively bubbles that we inflate pneumatically with air pressure that displaces the same amount your skin would displace when you go out and touch real world objects. So you squeeze something harder, we push more into your skin, you touch something lightly, we we use very slightly into your skin. Additionally, there is a force feedback component that we can prevent your hands as you're grasping something from passing all the way through a virtual object.

Phil - Can you show me on the actual gloves?

Joe - So the first thing like you to do is if you give me your right hand, we'd like to take a quick hand measurement to make that your virtual hand matches your physical hand in size. Perfect. Thank you. Put on these two liner gloves. Very hygienic. We're gonna put the gloves on you now slide your hand in.

Phil - Oh, they're more comfortable than I thought they'd be. 

Joe - We spent a lot of time and effort making them as comfortable as possible. 

Phil - It feels like two layers of normal, like woolen gloves; but on the back is this huge chunky bit of black plastic with tubes running out, going to these caps that you stuck on the end of my fingers and there's a bit around the wrist as well. Okay. All right. I'm ready to put the headset on me. I'm looking at what looks like a barn and a windmill and a field, but I'm way bigger than it and it's all done in cartoony graphics. What do I do?

Joe - This whole world is interactable. You can reach out and touch and grab and play with whatever you want. So the first thing that's going to happen is there gonna be some rain that's going to come out of that one of those clouds there in a second. If you put your Palm up under the rain, you'll feel the raindrops as they're coming down and hitting the palm of your hand.

Phil - That's creepy. Feels like little tiny blips.

Joe - So everything in this world is physically simulated and we're using those physical simulations to give you the tactile feedback that you're feeling. It's not more complicated. It takes a bit of extra knowledge to understand what is the right way to set things up. But people who can know how to develop games and game engines are pretty good at making this next step to make the environment haptically enabled. If you press that last button and then you want to grab that flyswatter probably and then you can swat the UFOs or they're going to steal everything from your farm.

A sign displaying Pokemon characters.

07:52 - How much are Pokemon cards worth?

How can one Pokemon card be worth the same amount of money as a house?

How much are Pokemon cards worth?
Terry Melia, Professional Sports Authenticator

You might have heard this story recently: The world’s rarest Pokémon card sold at an auction in New York for around £150,000. Only 39 copies of the ultra- rare Pikachu card were ever released - as a prize in a drawing competition in Japan... and only 10 of them are known to be in circulation. This particular card is drawn by the original Pikachu artist Atsuko Nishida, and it sold for more than three times the previous record for this exact card. So why are trading cards worth so much money? Chris Berrow found out from “professional sports authenticator” Terry Melia, who decides how much collectible cards are worth and they valued this specific card...

Terry - Astute collectors nowadays understand the importance of getting their memorabilia and or cards graded. So they submit sometimes in bulk, sometimes in single cards, their items to PSA for grading. And there are different levels to that grading. The turnaround times, all of that sort of impacts the fee. But, for instance, they could turn in a card to get both, uh, a grade as well as authentication and that would be about a $20 turnaround. And what they do is, when the cards are submitted to us, obviously they go through a big screening process and we have professional graders - people that have been in this business for years that know what to look for when they're trying to identify a specific identifiers on the card. For instance, measurement's important: trading cards are generally two and a half inches wide by three and a half inches tall. The card stock that is used is also something we analyze - the thickness of the paper stock. In the case of upper deck trading cards, for instance, they have a hologram that's situated on the back of all of their cards. These are all things they need to look for. And then, of course, they start looking at the card for condition. You know, is it something that has dinged quarters, uh, corners? Is there discoloration because the card was left out in sunlight for too long? All of those things impact the final grade that's awarded to the card.

Chris - What's the top grade? Is it A1 or something like that?

Terry - Yeah, we actually use numbers. It's a one through 10 grading system. A one would be poor, and that obviously is your least desirable card in its condition. And then gem mint 10 is the top - a great card. Anything from mint nine to gem mint 10 commands pretty good bucks on the secondary market. And that's, again, if somebody wants to take the time to sell those cards, uh, whether it's through an auction house or whether it's online through eBay or even if it's just going down to the local hobby shops and seeing if they can make a deal with the dealer behind the counter.

Chris - And we heard about this Pikachu card that sold at auction for £150,000 pounds very recently. Is that one of the most valuable cards of recent times cause it seems like it be all estimates for similar cards that had previously been sold or is that kind of small fry compared to some of the others?

Terry - No, it's certainly not small fry. In fact, the highest price that was ever paid for a Pokemon card at auction all by itself. So that's an exception, but at the same time it shows that the industry itself is really picking up. But one of the things that impacts the, um, the value of that card on the secondary market value is its scarcity, and that particular pikachu illustrator card, that was a promo card that was given out to winners of a comic contest that was held in Japan back in 1997 or 98, and, I believe, there were 39 of those cards awarded. And today they're guesstimating that there's only about 10 of those that have surfaced and are still around. So that obviously makes it, you know, valuable in itself, but also just a collectible that people want. And in this industry, scarcity does impact price.

A sign displaying Pokemon characters.

12:05 - The voice of Ash Ketchum!

Veronica Taylor played Ash in the original series, broadcast in the UK and America.

The voice of Ash Ketchum!
Veronica Taylor, voice of Ash

Now to the voice of Pokemon in the UK… We grew up listening to the voice of Ash Ketchum in the original Pokemon series, who turns out to be Veronica Taylor! Chris Berrow caught up with her and asked first of all how she got the job of Ash…

Veronica - I watched it in the mornings. I watched it when it was on Saturdays. I went to work and worked on it and you know, it was just truly extraordinary.

Chri - And it wasn't just Ash that you played.

Veroinica - I played Ash's, mom and also May, um, a few Pokemon. And some other characters here and there. Um, a lot of times it was, you know, when you're in the booth they would just say, Oh can you do this? Could you do this one for may? I definitely auditioned for Ash's mom, I auditioned like main characters like that, but other ones like Gary's cheerleaders or you know, things like that, we would all just, you'd get just get thrown into that. Yeah.

Chris - And you played pokemon as well?

Veronica - Yeah, which is really quite a challenge in the inflection. I mean seriously you could watch pikaChu and just watch for the whole episode and be totally satisfied. She does such an amazing job. I played Diglett and Goldeen and Centrit. My daughter and I both played Centrit in the very beginning. They didn't want me to play anything other than Ash and then they were like, okay, you can play Ash's mom. And then after awhile they let me play other things, whereas everyone else got to play a couple of characters, you know, Brock was James and Misty was Jesse and you know, different things like that.

Chris - So you're, the voice of "Diglett Digg", which O now remember.

Veronica - That's right. I played Diglett as a worm and I just found out it was a mole recently. So I feel like I need to go back and redo the whole thing.

Chris - In that first series that you were mentioning, I'd forgotten this, but Ash and pikachu split up for a while and I think that was it.

Veronica - That's right.

Chris - The time when you were on the way to actually having the baby, you know you are quite pregnant at that time. So obviously emotional scenes, probably emotional moment for you in life as well.

Veronica - Yeah, there's a lot lot going on there. Well, it's surprising in a cartoon for children that there was so much going on. There's so much about loss, there's so much about, I'm lost in terms of having to lose a favorite pikachu later on. Your friends come and go. Um, you have to, gosh, you lose a battle. How to, how to get back, how to have good sportsmanship, all of those things that you really get to dig into. And when you're dubbing, you don't have a lot of time to think about it. You don't see the script ahead of time. So you're really playing the moment. So it's a great acting exercise in terms of that. And so I feel like all of my training comes together to be able to be in the moment. And yeah, I think, um, being a mother and having to take care of your unseen baby and then your now crying baby. It does help you to understand about being a trainer and what it takes to put yourself aside and care for others and help others along towards their goals while you are trying to achieve yours. You know, there's a lot of big picture stuff in Pokemon.

Chris - And just finally on the voice itself, where did that actually come from?

Veronica - He just kind of came into here so he's kind of back of my throat and you know, he's got a lot of energy. Um, and with that it gave me a lot of room for his emotional journey so he could be way up high and then, you know, really endearing and come down. So he had a lot of space in there. So in terms of that, it was, it was a great voice to work with. Yeah. And it's a great party trick cause it sounds a lot different from my voice. And you can do this all day if you like. Hey Chris, thanks a lot. You're reallycool. Hey Chris, I choose you!

Olaff from Frozen

18:10 - Review: Frozen Free Fall

Alex Rhodes is our cold correspondent, reviewing the latest Frozen game for mobile.

Review: Frozen Free Fall
Alex Rhodes, Naked Gaming Podcast

Time now to look at new releases… and there’s a couple for you… let’s start with Frozen Free Fall, released in conjunction with the film Frozen 2. So is the latest free to play mobile release any good? You get a grid, match the gems and they pop with you getting points! Let’s hand it over to a man who’s as cold as ice, our resident snow man enthusiast and Olaff-ing stock: Alex Rhodes...

Hello there, Chris. Alex here. Now, when you told me that I can be playing a game that ties in with a beloved movie franchise that's very current right now and the all the rage and everyone's talking about it and actually thought, oh, I'm going to be playing with the Star Wars game. I'm not... I'm playing Frozen Free Fall. Uh, I think it came out recently with Frozen 2. It's a mobile game as well. So let's just give it a whirl. Shall we? I've got it installed on my phone here. I'm actually coming to you not from my normal... usually, you know, I'm in my bedroom... this time.... I'm actually at my girlfriend's parents' house for the sort of Christmas period. They're all downstairs. I just sort of snuck upstairs to play computer games by myself. So let's give it a go boot up. Here we are, from what I can tell you, Disney logo is loading up. It looks a bit like a kind of Bejeweled knockoff.

Ooh, here we go. Enter your age, it's embarrassing. 27. I feel like it should close itself down and be like, this isn't for you mate. Okay. I'm looking at a big sort of map. This is me. Loads of levels. Each sort of little nodule on the map represents a level. I think you can't miss this in the top left. Uh, in big letters is "sale"... like many a mobile game... I imagine this will makes all its money... It was free to install... so I imagine it makes all its money from micro transactions. So our target is 7,500 points. I've got 20 moves.

There we go. That was a pretty good one. If you like Bejewelled, you're probably going to like this cause it hits that kind of, you know, scratches that itch of lots of bright colors and sort of sparkly things. And uh, one of the characters I think from Frozen 2 is kind of staring at me with a dead eyed expression at the moment. At the top of my screen we've got free four. What's happening? Magical. I seem to have done it. It's, I've not pressed anything. It's just the target was 7,500. I got 40,000. Oh there's Olaf the little snowman guy again, popping in with a sort of dead expression. From what I can tell, nobody talks in this game. You think the whole advantage of being in the officially licensed game is that you have voice actors. This doesn't even sound like the Frozen music. It just like kind of knock off muzak. Okay. What's this? All right. Okay. This is all like a special gem. You combine it with any ice crystals to break all that. Okay. So yeah, this is something from Bejewelled that's time one of the special tiles. It's just doing it again. It's just like playing the game. I'm not impressed at anything and I'm getting thousands of points here. Target was 10,000 for this level. I've got 41,000 and I barely did anything...

A playstation controller

Review: Return To Jurassic Park DLC
Leigh Milner & Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast

Some downloadable content has been released for Jurassic World Evolution, a game where you manage a theme park filled with dinosaurs. And it’s the downloadable content we’ve all been waiting for: Return To Jurassic Park...

Leigh Milner - It's like Sims meets Roller Coaster Tycoon. Yeah, but you've got to build a Jurassic park. Keep the dinosaurs alive. So it's just like the actual film.

Chris Berrow - And can we get a rating out of 10 for Jurassic World Evolution?

Leigh - It has to be ten-osaurus for me!


24:04 - Retro Revival: Developing board games

How easy is it to come up with a new board game?

Retro Revival: Developing board games
Caezar Al-Jassar, Alley Cat Games

Board games are always popular at family get-togethers. But why? And how do you come up with something new to rival the classics. Caezar Al-Jassar is from Alleycat Games based in Cambridge. They design unusual board games including Dice Hospital… Chris Berrow asked him when did it all begin?

Caezar - I was a postdoc at the laboratory of molecular biology in Cambridge. And in the last six months of that postdoc, I started developing a science-themed game with my wife. It was called Lab Wars. So we started working on it, and we play-tested it. We did all the art and stuff; we put it on Kickstarter. And that did really, really well, because it got featured on a whole plethora of science-based news channels. And the biggest one was Nature News. Since then we've made about, I don't know, 10, 11 Kickstarters.

Chris - So how do you try and make a popular game that people will enjoy?

Caezar - Our philosophy is we try to make thematic games. They're not just abstract things where you're moving pieces around: you actually feel engrossed in the theme. So, for instance, with Dice Hospital it's actually our most popular title. You literally feel like you're managing a hospital by manipulating the dice because the dice are the patient's health levels. So, so you're literally moving pieces, uh, which is like a doctor. You move them into a room and that manipulates the dice. There's also Dice Hospital Community Care. So it's the expansion that did really, really well. I think that had like almost 3,000 backers or something. Um, and right now we have another Kickstarter which is like a polynesian seafaring game, designed by some famous German designers and that's on Kickstarter right now. So yeah, we're always busy doing things.

Surgeon operating

26:58 - Review: Surgeon Simulator

Can Dr Chris Smith successfully complete Surgeon Simulator? (No)

Review: Surgeon Simulator
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists

Dr Chris Smith is of course the driving force behind the Naked Scientists. Leigh Milner and Chris Berrow decided to set him a challenge: to get hold of a copy of Surgeon Simulator, and give it a go... 

Chris - Oh, we're in theatre. Oh, there is a patient on the table in front of me... and it is Donald Trump. I'm operating on Donald Trump! "Do a heart transplant on Donald Trump!" Okay, so next to the bed with Donald Trump on it is a transplanted organ chest; so let's see what they've got in there for us... and open that latch. In this box there are two hearts: I can have a stone one, or a gold one, I can transplant into Donald.

Okay, I've just given myself a needle stick injury, there was a syringe and a needle next to the bed and I accidentally touched it and I've injected myself with whatever was in it and my hand is shrunk to minuscule proportions, which is quite interesting, right? There is something that looks... it's like a martial arts weapon like a rotary saw, or there's a laser cutter. Oh, let's try the martial arts thing. That looks fun! Let's pick that up and.... Oh my goodness, this thing I've got hold of and it's whirling around like a strimmer and it's got about five blades that are going round incredibly fast. Um, ah, ah, it's chopping its way through the bed!

Um, I go and try and remove some ribs are now lacerating parts of the ribcage. Ah, ah, it's doing a huge amount of damage. Um, Oh my goodness. I've dropped it and it's gone inside the patient and... let me try the laser cutter and the other one's gone. Chris, this is so hard. How did you gove me this? It's impossible. I can't control this. Ah, okay.

I've got laser cutter now. It's, it's a bit like a weapon you'd get I think in, in Star Trek. It looks like a lightsaber actually what it is. Okay. It's cutting ribs. So I've cut two ribs and let's cut that one. But the patient is losing huge amounts of blood. Now. My, ah, ah, the medical bill is 14... ohdear the patients died. Oh yeah.

It says that the cost of using the laser was $528,000 and the other saw that I dropped on the floor cost $106,000. That sounds like a bargain room and board though. $199.

Total amount due for a dead patient. $634,888 would you like to try again? No button to call your lawyer.... interestingly!


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