Gaiden #5 - Highway Game: Review of American Truck Simulator by Topher Florence

### Insert Credit Gaiden #5 - Highway Game: A Review of American Truck Simulator by Topher Florence

[Topher Florence](https://bsky.app/profile/topherflorence.bsky.social) meditates on [American Truck Simulator](https://www.mobygames.com/game/76958/american-truck-simulator/), confronting the friction between realistic advertisments and product placement, a Greatest Hits version of America, and the emotional palette of driving around in someone’s life’s work. By Topher Florence, with intro by Alex Jaffe. Edited by Esper Quinn, original music by Kurt Feldman.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/p7Jam6j.png][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/p7Jam6j.png[/IMG][/URL]

**A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - [American Truck Simulator](https://www.mobygames.com/game/76958/american-truck-simulator/)
  • - [Euro Truck Simulator](https://www.mobygames.com/group/10495/euro-truck-simulator-series/)
  • - [Six Flags](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Flags)
  • - [Mad](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_(magazine))
  • - [Grand Theft Auto series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/167/grand-theft-auto-series/)
  • - [OutRun](https://www.mobygames.com/game/16/outrun/)
  • - [The Crew series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/11773/the-crew-series/)
  • - [Fuel](https://www.mobygames.com/game/41124/fuel/)
  • - [Grand Canyon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon)
  • - [Space Needle](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Needle)
  • - [Microsoft Flight Simulator](https://www.mobygames.com/game/149407/microsoft-flight-simulator/)
  • - [Harvest Moon series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/566/harvest-moon-story-of-seasons-series/)
  • - [Agatha Christie's Poirot](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie%27s_Poirot)
  • - [Waffle House](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waffle_House)
  • - [Dwarf Fortress](https://www.mobygames.com/game/196112/dwarf-fortress/)
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    {“sticky”:true}

    Loved it! I could listen to Topher read the dictionary and enjoy it!

    I'm just at the end of my lunch break and I have to say this whole episode lowered my heart rate significantly. I had a very stressful morning and will now continue my day much more relaxed. Thanks for that!

    I personally only played euro truck simulator and that for only a relatively short time but it definitely was a very meditative experience. I think space games are also very suitable for this. I spent way too much time on [X3](https://www.mobygames.com/game/36883/x3-terran-conflict/) and [X4](https://www.mobygames.com/game/117975/x4-foundations/). While definitely different they scratch a similar itch for me. [Elite Dangerous](https://www.mobygames.com/game/81239/elite-dangerous/) is also great when it comes to vibes like this but it always felt a little too hollow and grindy to me. All looks and little substance.

    I'm still on the lookout for a new chill "driving around and hanging out" game for me to experience. Maybe I should just finally buy that Forza Horizon 5 during the next sale.

    Also the part about the game Fuel reminded me of Jacob Geller's excellent video essay about [games that don't fake space](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q85l1Fenc5w) (including a significant part about fuel!).

    Great episode, had a really nice experience listening to it while driving home from work at midnight. All the streets were empty. I arrived home exactly as it ended.

    This was a great format (single person espousing the value of a particular thing), and great presentation. More of these in the future is welcomed!

    Fully agree that Topher could read Shampoo copy and it would still make great scotch-sipping entertainment. American and Euro Truck Sim transport me so completely to another place like few other VR sims can. While there is obviously a draw when playing the game pancake, a headset , steering wheel and pedals really get me there, and the constant gear shifting and turn signaling and mirror checking and gas stopping and late-night-side-of-the-highway-snoozes suck me in deeper than spreading my wings in MSFS 2020 can with all it‘s satellite-accurate topographical data and 1:1 earth representation. A meditative experience that has driven me to start working on a fold-away cockpit to hop into whenever the virtual roads are a calling and my fledgling trucking empires need some guidance. It doesn’t hurt that I can also play some GT or Outrun when the whim strikes.


    @“malidextrious”#p144167 You are living the dream. This rules.

    video version is up!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uaf_T7tZ5KM

    topher actually filmed some in-game driving, so I was overjoyed to set his review to video. If you have 20 minutes and need to enter a chill trance, i really recommend this one!

    Yeah man this episode reminded me of one of my all time favourite video game experiences.

    Y’all remember Need for Speed Hot Pursuit for Xbox 360? It had an endless driving mode, with no objectives. And it let you listen to your own custom soundtracks while playing. Just night time desert driving for hours. Real chill times.

    One of my favourite things to do is to blast ambient music while driving at night so this episode was catnip. Loved it!!

    listening to this episode while making a very slow cup of pour-over coffee was transcendental – big ups to this one

    @“tokucowboy”#p144696 same! i was doing heavy cleaning with pauses for coffee and hidration. Didn't felt the toll at all.

    Thank you Topher your voice is the best btw

    {“sticky”:false}

    Really nice episode, made me very curious to experience this game. Even if i'm not really someone that enjoys driving.