GWJ Conference Call Episode 594

Celeste, Assassin's Creed: Discovery Tour, Doom on Switch With Motion Controls, Beast Battle Simulator, Can Video Games Ever Be Large Cultural Events?, Your Emails and More!

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This week Shawn and Amanda are joined by Shareef Jackson to talk about whether games can ever have the same cultural impact as big movies like Black Panther.

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind.

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I think of the original Angry Birds and Candy Crush as gaming cultural moments in that they seemed to have large market penetration and “everybody” was playing them and talking about them.

The original Wii and it’s broad appeal seem to fit that category.

Also, Pokémon Go was huge, everyone was talking about it and playing it in public at all hours.

00:01:12 Celeste
00:08:54 Assassin's Creed Origins: Discovery Tour
00:15:48 Children of Morta
00:20:22 Beast Battle Simulator
00:24:25 Doom (on Switch)
00:28:25 Video Games as Cultural Events
00:50:52 Your Emails

Amazing discussion on games having cultural impact.

One thing I felt was missing was the success of games without narrative. We all have different views of how much or how little narrative we want in games. Many people want to deeper stories with more nuance and more depth. If you want more story in your games the cinema is one place to look for the possible mass market future of games. A different place to look, if you, like me, revel in pure gameplay, is massive sporting events, sports and non-digital games.

Pure gameplay is another way for games to reach a mass audience. Some of the biggest, most popular games in recent times have been Pokemon Go, Minecraft, Wii Sports and Rocket League non of those games (as far as I'm aware (I'm looking at you Pokemon Go)) have mature, multilayered stories yet they've come as close as any modern game to hitting the mainstream.

Re: The Instant Pot thread


PaladinTom wrote:

Re: The Instant Pot thread


Yes! I am massive fan of the crock pot cooking! Can't wait to delve into this forum treasure trove. Also, count me in for the recording of the inaugural 'Gamers with Instant Pots Crockpot Call'.

Just as a heads up, the Instant Pot Pressure Cook All link links to GWJ Plays Children of Morta.

Higgledy wrote:

Just as a heads up, the Instant Pot Pressure Cook All link links to GWJ Plays Children of Morta.

Fixed, thanks!

There should have been a warning about eating before listening to this podcast.

I'd recommend Infested Planet as a beginner RTS. The map is never very large. The player doesn't have to control a ton of units. There is good progression in the story-based campaign and through DLC they added a more open ended campaign. There is a variety of units for good mix of abilities.

I used to play a ton of RTSs, but lost interest when I got older. I loved Infested Planet when I played a couple years ago.

What was the music around the 50 minute mark before the emails?

Re: Instant Pot, you mentioned starting a new Potcast?

I liked how the topic was a discussion between Shareef and Amanda with a bit of moderation by Shaun.

Great discussion. I think games will always have a harder time being large cultural events for most of the reasons hit on. Length/cost/interactivity are all barriers. Hell, games are my first entertainment choice but sometimes I just want to veg out and games are often not conducive to that.

But I think one thing that needs to happen is that people who grew up gaming need to get into positions in mainstream media. When the editor of NYT Opinion is someone who grew up on Bioshock and Halo, and hopefully isn't a crypto-fascist quisling, then we will find gaming discussions go really mainstream.

PaladinTom wrote:

Re: The Instant Pot thread


It's funny that I'd never heard of Instant Pot before, then within a few days of listening to this CC this article shows up on the NJ news site:
104K Instant Pot multicookers sold by Walmart recalled over fire hazard

I've just posted a link to an Instant Pot story on a games website. The end times must be nigh.

Ego Man wrote:

Also, Pokémon Go was huge, everyone was talking about it and playing it in public at all hours.

This example is what made me wonder how we're defining cultural event vs. a popular phenomenon. For example, they both share the trait of widespread consumption and social discussion. To me, the biggest difference is that our shared attitudes and behaviors are affected in a positive or negative way by a cultural event.

By this criteria, the hot coffee scandal with GTA would qualify as a cultural event that changed the public view of video games. The launch of the app store and mobile gaming was a cultural event that changed the definition of being a gamer and made it a more inclusive definition. Pokemon Go could go either way. At the time, it felt like a cultural event because of the way it got people out of their homes and gaming together. Now, it feels like that wave has receded and it was more of a popular phenomenon.

In the middle of whatever the thing is, it seems easier to overestimate the impact and call it a cultural event. In retrospect, we tend to dismiss the effects of the thing because it's hard to directly connect the event and the effects.