Episode 13: Is Rick really Ben 2.0?
Published: May 14, 2019
Ben asks whether it's fair to compare Rick Devens's idol- and immunity-strewn end-run in Edge of Extinction to Ben Driebergen's miraculous saved-by-an-idol streak in Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, and explores how the show needs to adjust to re-balance the importance of the social game.
Episode 9: How online mafia explains Survivor
Published: April 15, 2019
Ben looks at the implicit majority-vs-minority dynamics and the behavior of 'caught' mafia players in online mafia games, and finds parallels to the implosion of the Kama majority in Episode 9's chaotic live Tribal Council.
Episode 8: Evaluating a big move
Published: April 8, 2019
Ben sifts through the episode's plethora of gameplay, finds which contestants played well or poorly, then tackles the larger question of when it's ideal for a member of a large group to make a move against their allies, with historical precedents.
Episodes 5-7: Why the Edge of Exinction is rigged against Joe
Published: April 2, 2019
Analyzing the happenings of Episodes 5-7, Ben Martell questions the continued use of the two-to-three tribes expansion swap, argues that Joe's early dismissal to the Edge will actually work against his chances of returning, and picks his potential winner for the season.
Episode 4: Wardog in trouble
Published: March 18, 2019
Ben argues against the perception that Edge of Extinction is failing, highlighting four key points in which he feels the season is a success. Among them: It will be new and interesting to see how Wardog's strategic machinations will fare following the looming return from Extinction.
Episode 2: Cliffhanger edition
Published: March 2, 2019
Ben Martell asks if Edge of Extinction's Episode 2 cliffhanger was really a cliffhanger, if the women-and-idols narrative is perhaps a multi-season storytelling arc, and if the Wardog is actually playing the Warthog... and more.
Episode 1: Editing for Extinction
Published: February 24, 2019
After the premiere, Ben runs through the surprises of the first episode: From David Wright's solid debut as a returnee, to the Wardog's fulfilling his as-advertised restraint, to the underdog edits on Manu (and the relationship to Extinction), and the challenge beastliness on Kama.
Pre-season: The TDT EoE contestant draft
Published: February 17, 2019
As the new season nears the True Dork Times writers (Ben Martell, Dan Otsuki, Pat Ferrucci, Ryan Kaiser, and Jeff Pitman) gather to draft fantasy teams of three players. Whose prediction skills will drive their team to extinction? Whose prognostication will give them an edge and a victory?
Pre-season: Incentivising failure
Published: February 4, 2019
Ben weighs in on the Edge of Extinction central twist, and argues that, if played optimally, it creates an incentive for someone to deliberately be voted out early post-merge, return, then reap the jury rewards. Which really would reinvent how the game is played, since it's the opposite of the concept for the first 37 seasons.
By day, Ben Martell is a public commercial lawyer from New Zealand.
By night, he moonlights as a self-described Survivor 'expert'.
By day or night, find him on twitter at: @golden8284