Conference Call

GWJ Conference Call Episode 156

Risen, New L4D Map, Scribblenauts, Chris Remo From Idle Thumbs Talks Mass Effect ... BITCH!, Tons of Your Emails and more!

This week we play catch up on all of your awesome emails and voicemails! We also announce the next live show coming this Saturday at 8PM EST. Keep an eye on the GWJ front page for Ustream details as we get closer to the show. If you want to submit a question or comment call in to our voicemail line at (612) 284-4563.

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. You can also submit a question or comment call in to our voicemail line at (612) 284-4563!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Pheonix Strike Audio E-mail - 0:36:56
"Washaway" (Ian Dorsch) - - 1:00:33



wordsmythe wrote:

But the end result from outside that debuff rule is different than it was before the debuff was applied. It's a separate process, as you note, but the processes interact to form a different overall dynamic.

Words too long. Thog not understand.

LarryC wrote:


If the wind was perfectly the same and the entire cockpit were lined with ulta-high definition graphical displays that respond perfectly to every maneuver, how would you be able to tell the difference?

I'm not sure that that extension to the analogy helps. You are saying that making the hero weaker and making the enemies stronger have the same result mathematically speaking and in terms of difficulty. You are right in that assertion. I'm saying that, beyond the maths, a story that has a gradually weakening hero is a different thing from a story that has a strong hero facing tougher and tougher enemies.

I think we both have a point and I'll leave it at that.

You mean that story-wise a story that's different from another story will be different experiences. Yeah, I got that part. Not sure that there's a wide market for a product that makes you feel more and more powerless and swamped with despair, though.

wordsmythe wrote:

I'm going to try and take this a step further. I know I'm likely to say that, while I don't really enjoy games that appeal to a sense of personal power, I understand that some do appreciate slaughtering defenseless members of the lower class due to deep moral failings. (See how I sidestepped that unproductive tangent?) It's fairly easy to say that people enjoy feelings of personal power and conquest for any number of pop-psychology reasons, but if we zoom out a bit, I think there's some fertile ground in looking at either why people don't feel powerful enough in reality or why our culture in general has seems to tacitly endorse such desires for personal power. Have individuals historically had--or do they otherwise generally deserve to feel--more control over their daily lives? Or does our culture tend to overly worship individual prowess?

I read somewhere once that our love of auto racing is borne from a secret desire to be destroyed by the machines we use to destroy the environment. Anyway, doesn't making bigger-picture ethical arguments about the value of a game just move the discussion from one arena (subjective response) to another (ethics)? Opinions still demand cogency, and while putting forward theories about why people like a game might approach, or at least appear as, objectivity, they aren't less vulnerable arguments than well-formed opinions. Erm, like this back-and-forth right now.

That said, I don't necessarily disagree with you. I think they're all valuable ways of discussing games. One of the big problems with many game reviewers is their need to present their reviews as objective considerations (it has a number after all), and totally deny what it really is, and what it only can be, their own individual response. So in that respect, I think there's plenty of room for (well-argued) personal opinion. Maybe "fun" is a word that's subjective to the point of uselessness, but that doesn't write off all subjective labels.