S2E1 APRIL FOOLS (Video Games)


Well hello there. Welcome to the April Fool’s episode!! I called it At Your Fools (hee hee) cause tomorrow is April 1st and this year… well, let’s just say it’s not what we expected. So we changed things up and for this wacky day in this first episode of our brand and grand new season, I nerded out about the history of this British-born tradition, the Bad Dad segment is bursting with terrible, not even funny jokes, I even made you an extra strange biZaRrE ASMR sound to guess. It’s all in this episode of At Your Level, as always, I’m your host Ari Kelly and here’s the new intro Ben’s been working on...

Intro music (music starts off nice and then gets pretty bad)

(chuckles) Did I fool you?

Wahahahahahahha! Happy April Fools. 

And now, for the real intro. THIS is actually the video games episode. Let’s take it from the top.

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Are you excited for this episode? I know I am!

I’m always psyched about video games, but my producer (aka my mom) .. not so much!

Let’s just say we’ve had some disagreements about it.

Video Games have definitely been getting a lot of attention this year!!!

Well, I am super thrilled to introduce you to Minecraft’s very own Rebecca Gordius! I think you’ll really enjoy meeting her. I asked her questions I thought we’d all want to know! Have I mentioned how awesome she is?

How else can we play with this topic? 

Let’s get crackalackin’! I’m your host Ari Kelly and THIS is At Your Level.

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It’s a me, Ari-o.

That... was quite cringy! We had no room for Bad Dad, consider that my little tribute.

Ok, so let’s mash that start button.

Mason: Hi, my name’s Mason

Oliver: Hi, I’m Oliver.

Ari: Yes! Eli is here.

Eli: Hello.

Ben: Hello, my name is Ben

Ari: So let’s start with the questions, what are your top 3 favorite video games? Start with Oliver

Oliver: Minecraft, Minecraft, and Minecraft.

Ari: Ok Ben, you go now.

Ben Yay. Ok. Minecraft. Hmm, what else do I play? Yup, that’s all.

Ari: Ok, we have two people that only like Minecraft. 

Ben: Oh wait.. Among Us!

Ben Oliver and Ari all talking at once

Ari: Ok, yeah, Oliver.

Oliver: Ok, my second, ok, another, my second favorite game is Cookie Clicker.

Ari: Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that. Yeah, Ok.

Ari: Ah. Ben, do you have any to add? 

Ben: Yeah.. Among Us.

Ari: Oh yeah!

Oliver: Ok, that’s my third.

Ari: Ok, Mason…

Mason: Probably Minecraft and Call of Duty

Ari: Eli, you can go now..

Eli: So I have 3 games, so I play Splatoon, Minecraft, and.. I can’t think of anything else.

Ari: Well, 2 is better than none.

Oliver: Ok, so pick Cookie Clicker.

Ari: Yeah, Cookie cl..ke ke cka.. Is that hard to pronounce to anybody else?

Oliver + Ben together: Cookie Clicker? 

Ari: Say Cookie Clicker 10 times fast.

Oliver: Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker.. 

Ari: See, see, it’s difficult.

Ben: It’s not.

Ari: Yes it is. Ben, you do it.

Ben: Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker.

Mason: Do it.. Do it (chuckles) he’s going on Google Translate and he’s just gonna go Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker... Look, look, see, here we go…

Google Translate: Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker. Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker.Cookie Clicker, Cookie Clicker.

Ari: Ok, moving on. If you were only allowed to play one game for the rest of your life what would it be? I guess we’re starting with Eli.

Eli: I would to have to go with Splatoon, it’s actually one of my favorite games I’ve been playing for years. Splatoon has been a part of my childhood for like, half my life, so..

Ari: But is it Splatoon 2?

Eli: Yes! Splatoon 2, I forgot to mention that.

Ari: Wii U, the Wii U version is like a million times better, in my opinion.

Eli: I’d have to agree with that. 

Ari: Ah, Ben, you could go now.

Ben: I don’t actually know, maybe Minecraft. 

Oliver: My favorite would probably be Minecraft just because you can use mods.

Ari: That’s true!

Oliver: So basically, you could do any other game.

Eli: Mods. Yes!

Oliver: Although, I guess that’s true for most games.

Eli: But the comedy in Splatoon 2 is just..

Oliver: But you could still use mods to make Minecraft exactly like Splatoon… and you could use mods to make Splatoon exactly like Minecraft.

Mason: But it wouldn’t be exactly the same. 

Oliver: No, you could literally use mods to change the code and make it exactly like Splatoon.

Ben: But then, wouldn’t that just be Splatoon?

Mason: Yeah.

Eli: No!

Ari: Ah, and Mason, now you get to go now,

Mason: Yeah, mine’s Minecraft, cause there’s a bunch of mods and it’s like more than one game.

Ari: That’s true.

Ari: You guys listening know that you can play along, right? If you could live in a game, what game would you live in? Imagine yourself in that world and describe it.

Mason: I wanna go next.

Ari: Ok, everybody answer

Mason: I’d live in Mario Kart.

Ari: You’d live in Mario Kart? Then you could get coconut mauled all the time

Mason: But then you could drive a car.. And you could..

Ari: That’s true.. And you could get super secret things

Mason: Actually, I’d go on Rainbow Road specifically.

Ari: Oh I love Rainbow Road, it’s so fun. 

Ari & Eli talking at once

Ari: Oh Eli, you can talk.

Eli: What’s my favorite map?

Ari: Ah, if you could live in a game, what would it be?

Eli: Hmmm, I would have to say, Minecraft.

Oliver: I would want to live in a world called Lego Boost, and I would wanna live in it because in it you control a robot made of Legos that’s in the actual world, so I could do stuff in the actual world and I could have the robot play other games on my laptop for me. 

Ari: Wait, ah Eli, did you answer it, I don’t remember.

Eli: Yes I did. I said Miecraft.

Ari: Ok, Ben, you answered, right? Wait no you didn’t. Ben, go, now.

Ben: Earth.

Ari: Hmm?

Ben: I want to live in earth. 

Ari: That’s not a game.

Ben: Yeah it is.

Ben: I wanna search it up.

Ari: (giggles) Nooo

Oliver: No, just say that I wanna live in life

Ben: Yeah, live in life

Ari: No! Life is not a game.

Kids talking over each other.

Ari: (yelling) moving oooooon…

Ari: If you were part of a team making a video game what role would you want to have? For example a developer, an animator, a tester or a builder?

Ben: Tester

Ari: You would wanna be a tester?

Mason: I would wanna be a developer.

Eli: Yeah, developer.

Ari: So, we’ve got two developers, I would personally wanna be an animator, Ben you wanna be a tester. Oliver, what would you want to be?

Oliver: I would want to be a shareholder.

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You know how I always say I’m your host Ari Kelly and this is At Your Level? Yeah, I’m your host, but this is OUR show! It’s not just you that’s listening to me, I’m listening to you too, 

but not in a creepy way…  I just mean when you vote on a topic, we see it and when you write one in, we notice. We zig and we zag depending on what you say to us. 

For example, Chloe, who is an amazing performer, emailed me that she wants to be in an episode... oh and sooner please! So.. we moved the Sleep episode off to the side and are planning for an ‘On stage’ episode for her to be in. So if you want to be ‘on stage’ too, reach out. Also, if you want the sleep episode back in, vote for it - on AtYourLevelPod.com 

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Ari: My mic is workin..

Dom: Hey Ro, get close to the mic

Dom: Talk like this… get close to the mic

Ro: mic

Dom: microphone

Ro: microphone

Dom: Can I.. can I blow out your ear drums?

Dom: Hey Ari, can I blow out your ear drums?

Ro: (giggles)

Ari: We haven’t done this segment for a while, it’s the Virtual BeastRo… video games style. It’s this segment where we play a little game of ‘would you rather’ - this time Roland is joined by his brother Dominic.

Ro: One second, he’s gotta stop laughing

Dom: Roland’s gotta stop laughing.. You’re making me laugh.

Ro: (laughing) No, do that again, do that again.

Ro: cause I laughed during it.

Ro: Na, I’m gonna say me - Hi, I’m Roland Hemwey

Dom: Hi, I’m Dominic Hemwey

Ari: Would you rather only be allowed to play for a 1/2 hr a day OR be forced to play all the time and only be allowed to take a break for a 1/2 hr.

Dom: I would say the, for 23 hr, 23 and a half because you can play anything you want, and also, the half an hour that you get a break, that doesn’t have to be for eating, you can eat food while you’re playing a game.

Ari: (flabbergasted) that is.. That’s 100% true!

Ro: You could just call your friends to go get you food.

Dom: And there’s also, there’s also games that keep you active, keep you moving, that way you still get exercise. 

Ro: Yeah, Ok, I would like to spend the entire day playing except for the 30 min, cause, I can eat whenever I want while I’m playing it, and I can play anything I want, so.. hahaha.. I can play Star Wars and then all of the sudden be playing like ‘name the states of South Carolina Wii’ (laughs)

Ro: I also have one - play on the best PC in the world, and just play it normally on the best PC in the world, and you have no hats, no accessories, and you can’t buy anything. Or play on your phone, normally, but have all the accessories, pets and stuff. 

Ari: This, I think is a good question, because, personally I actually play Among Us on my phone.

Dom: same here

Ro: yup

Ari: Because I don’t have $5 to spend on it.

Dom: Same

Ari: So I would play on my phone, cause not only am I used to it, but being a crew mate stinks, it’s just boring..

Ro: yeah

Ari: it’s uneventful.

Ro: I would also say on my phone because I play on my phone all the time, and well…

Ari: You’ve gotten used to it?

Ro: Yeah, I’ve gotten used to it and..

Ro: Imposter is fun and crewmate is terrible. You walk around doing tasks and it’s so boring.

Dom: I lean more to phone, but, uh, I’m also having trouble deciding, cause on a PC, you can download all these mods and stuff. 

Ro: You could mod it to be…

Ari: Ohhhh that’s true.. And you could, like, change the roles.

Dom: Yeah

Ari: yeah that’s true, oh yeah.

Dom: I’m kinda stuck in the middle

Ro: Well you could also do that on your phone

Dom: No you can’t. Ok, ready? This is my answer: I would say on the phone, because I always play on a phone, I don’t have 5 bucks to spend on a free game and crewmate is very boring, I would much rather play as imposter.

Ro: I’m gonna bite your head off, so you can’t play as either (hahaha).

Ari: Would you rather be able to play any & every game, but never get good

at any of them OR be able to play only one game but be crazy good at


Ro: I have my answer. Um, I would say, um, any game ever, but never be good at it, because I could do YouTube and earn money just by being funny. I don’t have to be good at the game to be funny and do like glitches and stuff. 

Ari: That’s true.

Ro: They didn’t say, you have to be.. you didn’t get good at glitches, you just said bad at the game. 

Ari: I agree with that, I would be a streamer at Bed Wars, but only be able to play Bed Wars, even though Minecraft…  no no no, well, I guess I kind of don’t agree with that, I think I would only play Minecraft because I could play Realm and Godbridge and Speedrun Minecraft and Dream and do lots of Bed Wars streams because normally BedWars and Minecraft get a lot of attention, so I would stream... stream, stream, stream, stream.

Ro: I only ever see Dream on Minecraft, so what if he did that?

Dom: So I would say..

To: (laughs)

Dom: ...what Roland said, I would say, play any game, cause, there is a YouTuber who is like, very popular, and who does that as his job, but he is crap at every game.

Ari: What’s the YouTuber?

Dom: LazarBeam

Ari: Oh yeah! We all love LazarBeam.

Dom: He is the worst at Fortnite and he’s the worst at everything he plays.

I’m gonna end this segment with a would you rather for for YOU to complete - 

So Roland had this idea:

Ro: Play with all of your fiends, like all of the time, all of your friends were online, you could play with them whenever.

Ari: Or What? What other than THAT would you rather have?

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It’s time to nerd out.

Ever heard of a little something called, video games? Well if you haven’t, you're probably living under a rock. 

There’s not a heck of a lot more I enjoy more than playing, how about you? 

Why do you think that is? Why is nothing as much fun as playing video games?

So to make this episode, I actually had to make a deal with my mom. Together we will explore the topic of video games, she’ll be open about it, and in return I will nerd out about how they affect the brain. I mean, have you ever thought why you get so cranky when you have to stop?

Let’s start off with dopamine. It’s a chemical in our brain that some people call ‘‘the happy hormone’.

Dopamine is a messenger. It tells your brain when you're really excited! It’s like your brain’s connection to pleasure. But also, it plays a big part in your memory and motivation. You know what pleasure and memory are, but do you know what motivation is? Motivation is your drive to do something. Say you want to get this really cool new sword that does 10 more damage than your other one, you motivate yourself to “Grind” the game. You're so motivated to get that sword and you drive yourself to do it. Now, when my mom asked me to write this nerd out, I can’t say I was all that motivated to do it. 

What’s the difference between getting motivated to grind and let’s say write? 

… a reward! 

That reward is all about the dopamine too!!!!

So you know when you're doing something you love, or waiting for something awesome, you get really pumped up for it. But when it finally happens, you're excited for what? Like an hour or two, maybe a day or a week. Then you probably get bored when the excitement wears off.

Speaking of excitement! Next month I am getting a puppy, so think about it this way - I get that puppy, I’m super duper excited to train and do everything with her, but then I don’t feel like going on walks with her anymore. Obviously, that will never happen. I will always be happy to be with Nova. That's her name btw. I mean, you don’t get to have a new puppy every single day. But what about other stuff? 

What do you all get excited by? There's quite a bit of things that spike my dopamine level, like ice cream, video games or when a friend texts me that they can play.

But what’s so bad about liking these things? Nothing!! The problem starts when it gets out of hand and you start to crave it, and you can’t stop and you need it... and you can’t stop and you get cranky when you have to!

The difference between liking and wanting... and NEEDING is what this nerd out is about. 

You can like ice cream or video games or whatever, but what I’ve learned about dopamine, is that it takes the thing you enjoy and takes it to another level.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, this brain hijacking depends on just three things: 

1: Speed. how fast it reaches that pleasure part of your brain!

2: Intensity! like how extreme it is.

And last but not least 3: Reliability - if you come to expect it.

Imagine you get a scoop of your favorite flavor of ice cream, you’re really really excited for that! Then the next day you get another, you still get excited but not as much, then the day after that, meh. It’s not that exciting now, so you have to add let’s say caramel sauce, you’re back to being excited! And so every day you get less and less excited until you add something new, this continues to happen. Then when you finally run out, or someone stops you, you get mad, cranky, and have a lot of different emotions. This happens to a lot of us when we play video games, we keep on adding, or trying to find new games or unlock something, then when someone attempts to get our attention, we... snap at them. 

To nerd out about this topic, my mom and I read a lot of interesting articles. There was one that really helped me understand everything. It stuck in my mind. Then I had realized what the article was talking about was happening to me. I lost my control and got really mad. You can read this article too if you want,   It’s called ‘This is Your Child's Brain on Video Games’ and it’s written by Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. You can find a link in the show notes.

Well that’s all I got! Cya!

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As you know, I’m hoping you’ll reach out because you want to be a guest, but there’s other ways you can join in. We all have different talents - like maybe you’re an artist - well, you can create the cover art for an episode. Or maybe you’re a writer - you can write a poem or compose a song. Take a look at what the next episode topics are on AtYourLevelPod.com and pick one that inspires you. 

Bottom line, if you want to be a part of our creative process, reach out. I would love to hear from you!

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Ari: It’s bizarre ASMR time and here’s the time bizarre ASMR. Cause the name of the episode is always the hint and the last episode was about time.. Here it is:

Sound: S1E12: Time

(((This is Ari and if you’re reading this transcript, you might be hearing impared, so I don’t think you can guess the mystery sound, or at least I don’t know how you would. So how about a riddle instead? --

Which Egyptian God is terrible at video games? -- I put the answer at the very end of the transcript in the same triple parentheses )))

Ari: What did you guys think? Difficult? Maybe Not?

Madrona: Well, the time one is impossible, but.. 

Zea: Sounded like.. Something pou… like you’re pouring something into a glass bowl.

Madrona: Oooo, I know, I know.

Ari: What is it?

Madrona: I feel like it’s one of those.. sand timers.

Zea: Oh! But it wouldn't be with sand, it’d be with something, like, clunkier.

Audrey: Is it like, rice, pouring rice.

Zea: Oh yeah, rice!

Audrey: Rice.

Madrona: My answer is not rice!

Ari: What is it?

Madrona: I still think it’s a sand timer.

Ari: Alright, well, Madrona is correct. But yeah, those were good guesses. I mean, hourglass could technically have rice in it. So yeah, good guesses, good guesses. 

Ari: I just have to say, that after we recorded the time episode, Madrona and Audrey made the cover art with an hourglass on it, so that might have given it away a little bit. Were you guys able to guess it?

Ari: Anyways, Oliver knew it right away:

Oliver: sand in an hourglass 

Ari: He also had a few more answers including this one:

Oliver: Clips from different moments in time, separated by around a millisecond, and put together to make, and put together to make a recording.

Ari: Would you like to hear the ASMR for this episode? As you know, this is the video games episode, so keep that in mind as you listen to this:

ASMR S2E1: Video Games

Ari: You know what to do...

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The next episode is going to be ‘embarrassing parent’. Do you have one of those? 

I was psyched to meet Swara who clearly has embarrassing parents, but is looking for just the right bit to share. Swara, imperfect is just perfect! I also got some recordings from Lily - thanks! It’s great to meet you, and we’ll put you in for sure! And If any of you, yeah YOU!(slowly) want to share, I look forward to hearing from you! 

It can be a funny story, a habit that bugs you, heck, you can even get them to tell a bad joke - whatever it is, I hope you’ll join me in the embarrassing parent episode.

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Ari: Hello? 

Rebecca: Hi Ari, how are you? 

Ari: I'm good. How are you?

Ari: I’m really excited to introduce Rebecca to you. I really enjoyed meeting her.  

Rebecca: Um, so my name is Rebecca Gordius, I'm the Minecraft public relations manager. So I get to work with, um, YouTubers and streamers and I work with reporters and I handle a lot of our external communication, so like announcements and things like that. Um, and I also get to demo for us at events and..

Ari: Gasps

Rebecca: uh, yeah,

Ari: That sounds like a lot of fun.

Rebecca: It's a pretty fun job, not going to lie. 

Ari: So, um, the polar bear is currently useless in the game. Like..

Rebecca: (laughs), Yeah.

Ari: I know that's kind of harsh, but..

Rebecca: I mean, it's cute, does that count for anything? 

Ari: That's true, but like, why, why was it added? 

Rebecca: Yeah, I think, um, I'm pretty sure it's because our, um, so the guy who was kind of in charge of development for the game, you've probably heard of him, his name is Jens he's.. 

Ari: Oh, 

Rebecca: he's such a nice guy. 

Ari: I think his twitter or something name is like jeb.. underscore..

Rebecca: Yeah, cause he's Jens Bergensten so it's like J-E-B.. um, 

Ari: Ohhh..

Rebecca: Yeah, so his son is named Bjorn, which means bear in Swedish. And so when his son was born, he kind of like snuck a little bit of his personal life into the game and he added bears, isn’t that cute?

Ari: That is adorable. That's a very good story. 

Rebecca: So some things there are like really good reasons for them. And then some, it's just kind of like, well, that's what we wanted to do, you know? 

Ari: So, um, kind of the same, but do you know, why creepers are afraid of cats? 

Rebecca: Yeah. So we don't have, we don't have like an official answer, but on the team, we do talk about this a little bit and we speculate. And so my guess is that because cats also hiss, they both hiss I think that creepers are probably scared of cats, like exploding near them, kind of beating them to the punch. Um, so I think they're just scared because they think that cats might be like miniature fast versions of themselves. 

Ari: I can see that actually.

Rebecca: Yeah. 

Ari: When is the claves and cliff update coming out. Do you have a specific release date? 

Rebecca: Yeah, so we haven't, we haven't publicly said yet. I think the best we said is like this year, but, um, I will say you'll probably have a lot to do this summer (laughs). 

Ari: Wink, wink. Winkidy wink wink. 

Rebecca: Yes, exactly. 

Ari: Alright, I’m definitely looking forward to that now.

Ari: Will there ever be a new dimension? 

Rebecca: Ooh, that's a good question. (takes deep breath) I mean, I can't commit to anything of course. Um, but I, I would say probably, yeah, I mean like the end and the nether are both so, they're so unique, and they're so cool, and they bring such like  really new stuff to the game, whereas the overworld, you're kind of limited by nature, you know? So yeah, I would say, yeah, probably.

Ari: Very last question. 

Rebecca: Okay. 

Ari: Have you ever raged quit? 

Rebecca: (laughs) Of course! Yeah. I mean, not as bad as some of my friends, I have one coworker who - he works on, uh, he works on Halo. Um, he actually got so angry that he threw his controller at the wall and he broke it, which is really lame.

Ari: Oh my God.

Rebecca: But yeah, I have, haven't we all rage quit?

Ari: That's true.

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We almost made you a ‘Riddle Me This segment’ but… 

Like I said, we zig and we zag, and instead, we turned the video games ‘Riddle Me This’ into an activity. On April 27, this video games episode will become a part of the Kids Listen Activity podcast. So if you haven’t checked out this awesome podcast, you should!

Also, if you sent in riddles, thank you! and if you haven’t, please do - we’ll make you a new ‘Riddle Me This’ soon enough. Oh and there was also an almost Among Us segment, so we put a little bit of that after the outro.

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Ari: We are so grateful to be a part of an amazing community of creatives.

If you’re looking for more podcasts to listen to, our friends at Kids Listen work hard to make wonderful shows for us kids. I’m going to recommend a few. 

The Past and the Curious makes history interesting… and sometimes funny. Mick is an amazing storyteller, but what he’s telling actually happened… in the past, are you curious? 

A completely different style of a stories podcast is April Eight. April, that’s her name (you’ll never guess when she was born) tells her sweet stories with song. 

We also want to welcome a new member to our podcast family, her name is Madison and she is making a podcast with her dad called ‘All things Madison’

Madison: Thanks for the welcome to Kids Listen, I really appreciate it. Thanks.

Ari: You can find these podcasts and more on the KidsListen app or website.


Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I also hope you’ll become a part of the next one. Either way, I’d like to thank you! I’m so glad you could join me! 

A special thank you to Eli, Mason, Ben and Oliver for being my guests. 

I’d also like to thank Roland and Dominic for that fun BeastRo. 

A HUGE thank you to Rebecca Gordius, I really enjoyed meeting you! Thank you for everything!

Thank you Ben for sprucing up the intro and adding new sound bits, they sound amazing!!

And on that note here comes the outro, I’m your host Ari Kelly and At Your Level is a production of Art & Light Society

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(((The answer to the riddle is Anubis …pronounced ‘a-noob-is’)))