STR CAST: The Podcast of Video Games for Adults
STR CAST is real gamers, nerds who have gamed their entire lives. Beings who exploded from American vaginas with dice in one hand, a tit in the other, and the glow of bits in their eyes. These are the men and women who close their eyes at dawn. This is STR CAST.

 Meet The Team

Samson Lancaster – Editor-in-Chief / Founder

Salvador Madrigal – Co-Founder / Executive Editor

Eddie Vargas – Creative Director / Editor

Brian Acebedo – Host / Writer

Caitlin McGuire – Host / Writer

Devin Steele – Host

Jack Acebedo – Animator / Writer

Bobby Perez – Writer

Carl Houtz – Writer

Zak Longo – Writer

Mariah Kenyon – Marketing Director

Heather Lancaster – Managing Editor

Yvette Gonzales – Executive Editor



Samson Lancaster

Editor-in-Chief / Founder

Handle:  MyrddinCROW

Specialties: Any and all PC games & some Console.

Primary: RTS

Secondary: MMO

Playstyle: Cyber Terrorist

My earliest memory of playing video games was on my NES and Sega Master System in the 80’s. My dad use to bring home a new SEGA game every other day. Games like Zelda(Gold Cartridge) and SpaceHarrier were some of my all time fav’s. My first computer in the 90’s was a TANDY 486SX, and my favorite game was an educational game called Animals, it was an interactive zoo with real life video of animals. I later graduated to a SONY Viao system and built my first PC in college. I have been in love with video games and computer’s as long as I can remember. I had a really rough childhood and the Final Fantasy series played a great deal in my therapudic getaways. FF7 in particular was one of my all time favorites, there was nothing like escaping to Cosmo Canyon, or the industrial city of Midgar. In 1999 I became addicted to my first MMO besides MUD’s known as Sony EverQuest and have played many MMO’s since then. I’ve been playing RTS’s since Warcraft II and currently StarCraft II is my all time favorite RTS.

A note on my play style, I consider myself a bit of a terrorist, and my friends would agree. In MMO PVP I like to gank as any assasin type class. In RTS I love harrasing and tricking players into fighting eachother – Cold War Styles.

I started Strength in Gaming because I wanted to share my gaming experiences with others. I didn’t want to make just another review or a traffic blog to make a few extra bucks. Gaming raised me in a way and it gave me strength when I needed it most. Video games taught me a lot, perhaps more than my parents ever could. I chose video games over gangs, drug addiction and other serious problems. The media tends to paint video games in a deterimental light and I intend change that! My goal is to help others find Strength in Gaming!

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Salvador Madrigal

Co-Founder / Executive Editor

Handle:  Slavezero

Specialties: RPG, mmorpg, fps, rts, puzzle, action

Primary: fps, action platformers

Secondary: RPG, mmorpg, rts

Play styles: Support

I have been playing video games since Atari and received a Nintendo when it first came out. Super Mario brothers were my first game with duck hunt and since then I’ve been gaming hard core. One of my first memories of video games is playing final fantasy on the nes since then I’ve always had a soft spot for RPG games. Zelda was my next obsession receiving this game as a birth day present sent me to the moon seeing that cartridge in gold just put me on cloud nine. As I got older I started getting into action games like castlevania on snes and mutant league football on genesis. My first venture into pc games was doom on my windows 3.x pc which I had to play in secret cause of the gore my parents didn’t approve of. I’ve owned every console out since the days of nes and fondly remember my friends coming over every day and taking turns playing though games. Recently I’ve taken to playing both pc and console games.

If you’re going to be playing with me rest assured I’m going to be playing support classes and ensuring your kept safe I’ve always played a heal or tank in mmorpg games, and if you’re playing fps games I’m right behind you with support skills to ensure you know where everyone is at.

My reason for being on Strength in Gaming is to share my gaming experiences and help give you a review of what I’ve been playing without pulling ne punches I’ll give it to you straight and also give you tips n tricks to help you get the best out of your games. So you will never see me give you a fan boy review or comments that will mislead you about if a game sucks or not I’ll give you the pros and cons and then give you my opinion at the end.

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Eddie Vargas

  • Creative Director / Editor

Handle: Skullmonkey

Specialties: Realtime Strategy, RPG, FPS, Action, Platforming, Adventure

Most Anticipated Game: The Last of Us


You can say I first fell in love with video games when my dad bought me a Donkey Kong Games and Watch at a local flea market. That led to an Atari 4200, but I began loosing interest when my parents bought me PACMAN and looked nothing like the original. When the NES hit shelves, my parents bought me the NES entertainment package that was bundled with the Zapper, R.O.B, Duck Hunt and Gyromite. This is the exact year I became a gamer. Video games became my bobbie and topic of interest at school. I was an avid subscriber to Nintendo Power, Gamepro and EGM magazine. I remember hanging out at the news stand and reading the gaming magazines at the super market while my mom did her shopping.Today, I own a PC and various consoles. I like to dabble into different genres of gaming. I’ve been playing more action games as of late though. Games similar to Uncharted, Fallout, Farcry, and Mass Effect have my interest right now as they can be played in short intervals. I tend to stay away from MMO’s due to a lack of free time.

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Brian Acebedo

Host / Writer

Handle: Brianace

Specialties: Console games, especially bad ones

Primary: Action-adventure, Open-world games

Secondary: Shooters, Indie games

Looking forward to: GTA 5

I’ve been playing videogames since I was about 6 or 7. I started on the Magnavox Odyssey 2, one of history’s great also-ran consoles and perpetual runner-up to the Atari 2600. I got a Commodore 64 when I was about 9, and my life was forever changed. When NES and Sega Genesis came about, I moved back toward console gaming, a trend I’ve continued as I have gotten older. Sadly, using a Mac at home relegates me to the gaming ghetto of mostly indie or puzzle games, but I more than compensate with a huge PS3 library. I’m really looking forward to the imminent arrival of PS4 and Xbox One.

Veni, Vedi, Ludi. I came, I saw, I played.

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Caitlin McGuire

Host / Writer

Handle: pokemon_fan_catie

Specialties: RPG, MMORPG, Strategy

Primary: RPG, Pokemon

Secondary: MMO

Playstyle: Treasure Hunter

I’ve loved video games ever since I can remember, my dad used to sit me in his lap while he played the NES and PS1 and that’s how I learned to read. We used to play Final Fantasy VII and I would read all the quote bubbles out loud (I was even a good girl and replaced the curse words with nice words!) That’s definitely my favorite game of all time, not only because of the nostalgia but because it’s the best FF game hands down. I also fell in love with FFVIII and have a Lionheart tattoo to prove it! Childhood games include Legend of Zelda, Pandemonium, Super Mario Bros, Mortal Kombat, Donkey Kong, Kingdom Hearts, Tomb Raider, Beyond Good and Evil and of course Pokemon! More recent games include WoW, Diablo III, Devil May Cry, Skyrim, later FF installments, and of course, still Pokemon! I primarily play on the PS3 or the Nintendo 3DS these days, but I occasionally play on the PC or my Xbox 360, and I make it a routine to occasionally break out my NES, SNES or N64 and play some retro games.

My play style is definitely that of a treasure hunter and a completionist. I have to have all the cool items and god forbid I miss a treasure chest! In MMOs I primarily play as a stealth character, light and agile. There’s something about a good sneak kill that really makes me feel like a badass. And you know I’m a pro at picking locks in Skyrim!

I’m on Strength in Gaming because I simply love anything and everything games! My specialty and passion is Pokemon because it has been so prevalent throughout my entire childhood and it’s still going strong, and there are a lot of mysteries, secrets and nuiances to the games that people tend to miss! I’m here to bring you these hidden treasures, give you tips on gameplay, and show you just how complex and awesome these games are! Pokemon Fan Catie at your service!

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Devin Steele


Handle: @devin_steele

Specialties: Survival Horror, RPG, Platformer, FPS

Primary: Survival Horror, RPG

Secondary: FPS, Platformer

Playstyle: Grind….grind……grind…..OP!!!

My earliest gaming memory is Sonic the Hedgehog for ye olde Sega Genesis. I grew up in the 90’s and saw the resurgence of the console, and as such have been primarily a console gamer ever since. My Sega saw many years of good playtime until I graduated to PS1 and began exploring other platformer favorites such as Crash Bandicoot and pseudo RPG’s like Mega Man Legends. I began almost immediately noticing the unique beauty video game soundtracks had, and how much music (my first passion) influenced and enhanced the overall experience.

It wasn’t long before I grew complacent with straightforward games, and received the gift of Silent Hill at a young age (which explains a lot). I fell in love with the series and played the first three at least 5-10 times each during my teenage years. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to the glory that is FFVIII and found a home with the Final Fantasy series as a whole. My teenage years were not pleasant to say the least, and I found great solace in spending tens of hours in the different worlds of Final Fantasy.

Retuning to the topic of great video game music, Akira Yamaoka and Nobuo Uematsu are my favorite composers (definitely of video games, potentially for any medium) of all time. Given both of their names, you may also accurately assume that they began my fascination/obsession with Japan.

In any event, while seeking solace I also learned a great deal about the person I wanted to grow up to be. One example, a current moral that I hold is that one should always help a fellow person (or animal) if it is within their power to do so. Where did I get that idea? In the guidebook (for the youngsters, we used to get those in video game cases) for FFIX every character was summed up with a defining quote, and the protagonist Zidane’s quote was, “You don’t need a reason to help people.” This belief was recapitulated numerous times during FFIX and it has always stuck with me. The same can be said for many of my morals and personality traits.

Present day, I own a plethora of consoles from the retro to the modern gaming era and everywhere in between as well as a computer for those pesky Steam exclusive titles. My current favorite developer is Bioware. I can’t help but love their unique mix of RPG, action, and even sometimes horror, laced together with long narratives and exceptional music. Long live the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series’! I have multiple gaming tattoos, including Sonic the Hedgehog, and enjoy long evenings of gaming with my wife and/or solo.

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Jack Acebedo

Animator / Writer

Handle: RaptorJack

YouTube Channel: RaptorJack8 (SUBSCREEBE!)

Specialties: Console and Computer Games

Primary: Role-Playing Games, Loot Shooters

Secondary: Indie Games, Third Person Shooters

Looking forward to: Borderlands 3

Playstyle: Tank

I can’t remember when I started to play video games. I remember my first console was the PS1 which I didn’t play much. When my family bought the PS2 I fell in love with it, and even deeper with the PS3. I remembered playing Rock Band with my Dad (the video game guru Brian “Bubba” Acebedo) and brother. I love games like The Walking Dead, Destiny (Exo Warlock), and I’m also excited for Tales From the Borderlands (on console). Being a huge child at heart I also like the Skylanders games as well as Disney Infinity (still waiting for 2.0 to arrive). I play Borderlands 2 with my brother as the psycho. To you I say I HAVE THE SHINIEST MEAT BICYCLE!!!!

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Bobby Perez


Handle: Deadski

Specialties: Mostly consoles and some Pc

Primary: RPG, Platform-adventure

Secondary: FPS, Fighters

Playstyle: I’m in my own world

I started off as a kid playing Sega Genesis. I never got the chance to play more than a few minutes of all the classic games at friends’ houses because I never owned them. What I did have was Mortal Kombat. I only had Sonic Spinball. It was sad, I know. However I played a lot of Doom and Doom II to make up for it. Later I got a N64 so I finally got the chance to get all those Nintendo classics I missed out on with a 64-bit bonus. But of course, I got Mortal Kombat 4 and Doom 64… I admit I didn’t know what I was doing although I did play a lot of GoldenEye to make up for that. It wasn’t until I got a Playstation with FFVII and MGS that I caught on. Since then I’ve stuck mostly to consoles and a few Pc games including a handful of Xbox games, PS2 and modest PS3 collection.When you get a chance to play a game with me you’ll often notice I’m in my own world. You’re usually safe, mostly. But this guy right here likes to get the job done with the least amount of bullshit. So better be able to hold your own.

To be honest I thought writing something about video games would be fun because I have a lot to say. I didn’t really think about all the opportunities that can come from this. I have a chance to be heard and to listen. To share something personal that I have passion for with other like-minded people. Strength in Gaming is right where I want to be.

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Carl Houtz


Handle: Talkshowhost

Specialties: PvP Multiplayer, PC gaming

Primary: RTS, MMO/RPGS, FPS, Puzzle

Secondary: Handhelds, single player only games

Playstyle: Tactician

My passion for multiplayer gaming really went into overdrive with the 4 player couch co-op games on Nintendo 64. Spending entire nights awake playing Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye, and so many others began a lifelong obsession with PvP. But the credit for first ever game played goes to Duck Hunt / Super Mario Brothers along with probably 85% or more of gamers around my age.

My first LAN multiplayer experience ever was in about 1999 where a friend had 2 computers in a basement office and two more in their upstairs living room. And the game we played 2v2 all night that night was Starcraft. Being able to play Starcraft online against other players I thought would mean that the game would just exists forever as long as people wanted to play it. This pretty much turned out to be true and at the time I’m writing this (2015) you can still play the original Starcraft online if you want to. Player vs player modes represent an infinite amount of replayability for a game which I find to be fascinating.

Most recently I have been playing Destiny, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, WoW, Firefall and Eve Online. Some good indie games I’ve played recently are Transistor and Apotheon. Some games I played for handheld recently and thought were highly overrated are Bravely Default and Shin Megami Tensei IV. I’m also waiting eagerly for the release of Persona 5. When I’m not working or gaming I am writing about games, making videos about games, sometimes streaming games, and sometimes podcasting about games. 😀

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Zak Longo


Handle: zplane

Specialties: Headshots, Act/Adv, FPS, RPG, Survival, Platformers, Puzzles

Primary: Machete, Silenced Pistol, Bow, AR .556, Explosives, Cuban necktie

Secondary: Tactical knife, tactical 12 gauge, .357 Mag Revolver, “Heat seeking. Shoulder fired. It’s fucking disposable.”

Playstyle: Play it on hard. Completionist. Stealth and close combat.

I am a long-time console gamer that grew up in the late 80s. The first console game I ever played was Pitfall on Atari. I played the shit out of that fucking annoying game. No way to know the amount of hours I wasted on it, but it was a lot. Missile Command was my bread and butter. Loved that game. Killed high scores, and annoyed all of my cousins, because I made them my bitches. Atari games flooded the market at that time, so through trading and playing with friends and family, I played a shit ton of them. ET was another odd favorite. Don’t ask me why. It was an infamous pile.

I took the obvious progression, as consoles go. Atari, NES, SNES (I know I played more than Super Metroid on this console, but that is all I can remember, because I was obsessed), SEGA (Flashback was my oddity favorite), N64 (obviously lots of awesome games, and Golden Fucking Eye), PS1 (Always thought it was janky), PS2 (holy shit, so many good games, a bar setter), XBOX (Halo, and sports games with friends mostly), XBOX360, and PS3. I skipped game cube and wii. Never had the motivation to get in on those.

Most hours spent overall would be N64, mostly because of my age at the time. NES and SEGA Gen are right up there though. So many hours lost, but with so much enjoyment.

Longest time spent in a game would be Fallout 3 on XBOX360. If you have played the game as a completionist, then went back around to change your reputation and do it all again, you know how fucking long that shit can take. FML. Many days worth of hours. But I loved it.

Most franchise sequels played would go to, sigh, Call of Duty. Been playing those since PS2. A friend actually bought me Ghosts in 2013 and I exchanged it for Gran Turismo 6, because I just can’t do the multiplayer anymore, and generally the campaigns have been assnuggets since Big Red.

These days, when I am not managing a family of 4, I find precious time to burn down whatever PS3 games I can get my hands on, especially now that they will be dropping in price. I’ll wait till spring 2014 to get the next gen consoles, because that’s what smart old guys do.

Aside from all that, I spend most of my days posing as a javascript developer, I grew up on a quaint slab of dirtbagia in central Jersey, and it’s likely I am as old as your dad (Maybe I am your dad? It’s possible. The band days. You know. I forgot to call?).

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