GWJ Conference Call Episode Twelve

Conference Call

A Surprise Announcement!, The Microsoft Racing Wheel, The Final Word On Neverwinter 2, Zelda, Sexy Hot Online Chess, A Delicious Topic Buffet and more!

Rested and ready for action, we have a special announcement! Rob talks about the Microsoft gaming wheel, Julian looks to the future, Shawn challenges you all to start finishing your games and we all wax philosophical about why we play. Emails, the Thread of the Week and stick ball!

If anyone would like to submit some original music for the show, read on for a link to contact us! Also read on for show notes.

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. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

The Links
Neverwinter Nights 2
Zelda: Twilight Princess
Madden Wii
Red Hot Pawn
Boardgames Online

Thread of the Week: Why do you really play? (wordsmythe)

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Small Comfort" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:24:09
"Terra" - Chico Correa & Electronic Band - 0:48:18
"Impeller" - Ian Dorsch - 1:04:05

Comments

Stylez wrote:
Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Bunch of evil truths about Live

Yeah I was thinking of your trials throughout that podcast.

Regarding finishing games though: You have a terrible habit of picking up a plethora (cornucopia even) of games at any given time. I swear sometimes you've got more shrink-wrapped copies than our local EB

Hey hey hey, them's fighting words comparing me to EB Games in any way there pal. I do NOT buy the strategy guides or the Game Protection Plan (tm). I don't know if I'd call it a habit. I will agree that when a title comes out that I know I will want to play, I just buy it straight away rather than waiting until I'm ready to play it, at which time it may be cheaper. There is a flaw in my economic policy there. In the last few months, many of the games I was really looking forward to unfortunately all came out in the span of about 5 weeks. Since early December though, I haven't bought much and those things I got super cheap either used on off of eBay, mostly so I can participate in sessions with this group. All the good games of 2007 that are on my rader either have no announced date yet or are not coming for several months. I suspect most of my pile will have at least been started by then. Maybe...

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Lots of good stuff based on way more personal experience than Rabbit has.

I will admit that I had not dug into this deeply when we did the show. I don't disagree that people should get what they paid for, and that this is stupid and unacceptable, and I know if it was ME I'd be pissed. So I'm not trying to pee on anyone's cornflakes on that front.

I'm certainly not suggesting people should just suck it up and take one for the team. I'm just naturally wary when I faced with rants against the machine: this is not Sony sticking a rootkit on every CD, or Starforce borking everyones CD drives. What it is is a bad customer service problem, not an endemic "everyone's screwed and microsoft screwed us" problem.

The failrate is the big problem here, and I think Microsoft has taken some very positive steps to take care of their customer base. This issue, while phenomenally a pain in the ass and a horrible problem, doesn't strike me as a system killer. It would be my hope that this is the kind of thing that could be fixed with a dashboard update (how'd we end up not calling these things bugfixes or patches?) or something done when they issue you a new system.

Anyway, sorry if I sounded like an ass, and I'm completely happy to be wrong. And I'm truly sorry one of our crew has to go through this crap.

I tried doing something I haven't done before, playing this through the Squeezebox, and it crashes the sound output! It doesn't play your file, and it won't play any more music at all until I shut it off and restart it.

I see you're using a beta of LAME, 3.97b2. I don't know if there's any real difference, but 3.97 stable has been released... you might want to upgrade anyway.

This isn't likely your problem, but I thought you might like the heads-up that A) someone out here is having issues with the podcast, and B) LAME has an update.

I definitely plan to file a bug with Slim.

Don't worry Rabbit. We still love you. It is certainly not nearly as big an issue as all the 360s that are dying out there, but you should not have to jump through hoops for over a month to get your points back on your account.

I have a fragile ego and deep down, I just want to know you all like me and will be my friend. Sniff.

Totally agree Stylez.

If anyone ever draws-n-quarters Rabbit, I call dibs on one foot. I hear they are lucky, affecting the drop table RNG and increasing the opportunity of PHAT LEWT.

It's all good Rabbit. Like I said, I take the issue very seriously as I've been a victim of it myself and this total lack of respect for customers just grinds my gears to dust. I can draw the line between this and rootkits or StarForce (though in that case, it only affects some people not all) though, because it is imposing unfair and poorly implemented restrictions on content people paid for. Much like Sony did by replacing the CDs, Microsoft does have the option of correcting this and has since launch, but has not done so. I also do believe this affects a great percentage of people than you may think. Microsoft may have licensing restirctions with their partners that would prevent them from fixing this as we'd like, but they've been silent on the issue. I'm hoping to have my little "protest" site thingy done within the next few days and that will go into great detail about the problem and hopefully, I'll be able to find out some more information about it.

rabbit wrote:

I have a fragile ego and deep down, I just want to know you all like me and will be my friend. Sniff.

Totally agree Stylez.

I don't like you.

rabbit wrote:

This issue, while phenomenally a pain in the ass and a horrible problem, doesn't strike me as a system killer.

You'd be surprised how much of a system killer it becomes when it happens to you.

You go Parralax. I'll pimp the site for you. And my interest has now been piqued, and I'll pay more attention to it.

Let me first say that I am a fan of your podcast. With the amount of boring, no-personality, dorito dust covered slobs out there waxing intellectual about gaming, your cast is a breath of fresh air. It's fun and entertaining.

/gets off knees
/puts on gloves

However, a comment was made on Ep 12 by one of the hosts (sorry I don't know everyone's voice to name association). It went something like this:

"At this point, movies are movies, books are books, but video games are constantly changing and evolving."

I take exception to that statement in a very core and fundamental way. First of all, I am a geek. I had Pong (yes Pong, look it up kiddies), I had my first computer at age 12 (IBM 286 running DOS SHELL), I love gadgets, computers, games(MMO's mostly), consoles, you name it.

I am however a film and book lover as well.

While I will agree that video games evolve at an extremely fast rate, and these improvements are very apparent when they happen, I think saying that filmmaking and books are what they are and don't evolve is a pretty ignorant statement. Filmmaking is constantly evolving. People like Errol Morris, David Lynch, Gaspar Noé, Christopher Nolan, PT Anderson (some would disagree but Magnolia was astounding) are pushing the medium forward constantly. New technologies are evolving the process more than ever before (e.g. Robert Rodriguez and Sin City).

Also consider that video games are using the language of film more and more to help tell story and accentuate game play (hold down "A" and run in Gears of War"… tell me that's not a camera angle inspired by a hundred war movies). If games are evolving then they have the language of film to thank for it.

The current state of books I think is more difficult for me to quantify. I'm not that knowledgeable a reader especially lately with my film and video game addiction (and wife and job). So I can't argue if literature is evolving or who the hot new writers on the block are.

Sorry for the text wall"… but you really got me fired up with that statement. I do really enjoy the cast and look forward to every new episode (now weekly! Woot!)

Todd Zelin
Producer, Massively Online Gamer
www.mogarmy.net

I think its safe to say that how we interact with various media is currently evolving at different paces. I'm not sure the statement during the podcast is off.

We read books. Paper to digital, the basic way we interact is still gonna remain much the same.

We view and listen to movies. Movie techniques and practices may change, but for the most part we sit, watching and listening to them passively. Biggest evolutions maybe is an IMAX theater or Seeing Spongebob in 4D in 3D with forcefeedback chairs, windfans and mist-ers.

Maybe if we actually jack-into a movie at some point and 'experience it' via our own neurons, that remains as a huge evolutionary step in how we interact with them, but for now, the movie interface appears static.

Games are changing. From side or overhead 2d sprites to virtualized 3d spaces. From a scripted series of events to sandbox type environments. From single experiences to shared multiplayer ones. Most of all, the human interface of how we experience videogames is evolving at a faster clip than more established and traditional media. Whether we think back to the original joysticks, dual stick analog controllers, force feedback, Track IR headsets, motion sensing interfaces. I'm skipping a lot of steps and I mean them in no order, but I think there is a more measurable sense of evolution in how we interact with this form of entertainment.

Interaction is still interaction... you interact with the pieces on a chess board too...

The real reason we play these games, watch these movies, etc. are the emotions we get from them... you are more likely to play a game for that... then the uber graphics... just like the films you really remember are the ones that affect you on a deep emotional level...

Not 2d, 3d, motion tracking controllers, etc.

i argue that the video games evolve by affecting us on these levels... and they do this by using techniques that were created in film (mostly).

I think books are books, games are games, and movies are makeout opportunities.

While I will agree that video games evolve at an extremely fast rate

That's what I was getting at, yeah. It was kind of a one-off comment, so I didn't really feel a need to qualify it in the moment.

I think saying that filmmaking and books are what they are and don't evolve is a pretty ignorant statement. Filmmaking is constantly evolving. People like Errol Morris, David Lynch, Gaspar Noé, Christopher Nolan, PT Anderson (some would disagree but Magnolia was astounding) are pushing the medium forward constantly. New technologies are evolving the process more than ever before (e.g. Robert Rodriguez and Sin City).

I think assuming ignorance rather than expedience is slightly unfair, but I don't blame you.

You won't find any arguments from me (or any sane person) that any medium is subject to evolution. My point was that, as you mentioned, games move quickly and I find that to be one of the elements that draws me to them.

Sorry for the text wall"… but you really got me fired up with that statement. I do really enjoy the cast and look forward to every new episode (now weekly! Woot!)

I think it's great that you were fired up enough to reply, it's much appreciated! We've already got some good conversation out of it.

Plus that Certis dude is a total assmonkey, so don't listen to him anyway.

(Sorry, was just lying there on the floor like a shiny Krugerand. How could I not take the shot.)

I really appreciate you taking the time to log in and give us some feedback.

I'd toss my two cents in here: I think that technology (the net, computers, consoles, phones, high-def toasters, whatever) push ALL of these media forward. I just took a friends 300 page manuscript and turned it into a trade paperback, complete with fancy covers, notes, etc. for nine bucks at Lulu.com. I think she blew a vein when she got it in the mail. Best present I ever gave.

Related to games? Only in this: games press our perception of what's possible with media. This is good for everything.