GWJ Conference Call Episode 195

Conference Call

Singularity, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Elemental - War of Magic, Pinball, Questions With Shawn, Your Emails and more!

This week Allen, Julian and Sean Sands talk pinball, new games and buckle under the pressure of Shawn's hard hitting questions. 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

The Amethyst Caverns - Shatter the Official Video Game Soundtrack - http://sidhe.bandcamp.com/ - 0:27:24
Freon World - Shatter the Official Video Game Soundtrack - http://sidhe.bandcamp.com/ - 0:51:48

Comments

Amoebic wrote:

When the narrow views of the world at large consider my hobby to be the superficial domain of teenage boys and pasty basement-dwelling man-children, I take pride in saying that I'm contrary to that notion because I feel gaming, and identifying as a gamer, has potential to be so much more. I'm proud to represent a part of gaming culture that may challenge how gaming is currently viewed and how it may change in the future.

*Sniff* Between this and rabbit's explanation on the 'cast, my feelings for why I am proud to be a gamer are perfectly summed up. Also, that other gamers share these ideas makes me prouder still to be a part of this culture. I love you guys. Group hug everybody. C'mon, don't be shy. There you go.

Hollowheel wrote:

I think I have specific insight into what makes Diablo 2 interesting, because like others on these boards, I first found the game dull and repetitive -- but later came around.

I think a big problem with both Diablo 2 and WoW (and mmorpgs in general) is that they have very long ramp-up times. It's good game progression to have them start at "Spam basic attack 1 and occasionally attack 2" and ramp up to a more complex balancing of abilities and changing tactics, but I feel that they tend to take too long to get to the level where the gameplay is interesting.

Edxactly wrote:

1ST - I have to berate Rabbit for his pronunciation of Canobie. It is CAN NO BEE - not whatever bastardization he spewed forth. Was that a Berkshire accent?

Yes, Berkshire.

But hey, when I was STANDING OUTSIDE the loudspeaker said "Welcome to CA - na- bee Lake Park." Emphasis all on the first syllable, soft A.

I always said "cu NO bee" before this trip.

Kenobi?

Gravey wrote:
Amoebic wrote:

When the narrow views of the world at large consider my hobby to be the superficial domain of teenage boys and pasty basement-dwelling man-children, I take pride in saying that I'm contrary to that notion because I feel gaming, and identifying as a gamer, has potential to be so much more. I'm proud to represent a part of gaming culture that may challenge how gaming is currently viewed and how it may change in the future.

*Sniff* Between this and rabbit's explanation on the 'cast, my feelings for why I am proud to be a gamer are perfectly summed up. Also, that other gamers share these ideas makes me prouder still to be a part of this culture. I love you guys. Group hug everybody. C'mon, don't be shy. There you go.

So long as we're also proudly breaking the bad hygiene stereotype, I am also up for hugs.

wordsmythe wrote:

Kenobi?

Gravey wrote:
Amoebic wrote:

When the narrow views of the world at large consider my hobby to be the superficial domain of teenage boys and pasty basement-dwelling man-children, I take pride in saying that I'm contrary to that notion because I feel gaming, and identifying as a gamer, has potential to be so much more. I'm proud to represent a part of gaming culture that may challenge how gaming is currently viewed and how it may change in the future.

*Sniff* Between this and rabbit's explanation on the 'cast, my feelings for why I am proud to be a gamer are perfectly summed up. Also, that other gamers share these ideas makes me prouder still to be a part of this culture. I love you guys. Group hug everybody. C'mon, don't be shy. There you go.

So long as we're also proudly breaking the bad hygiene stereotype, I am also up for hugs.

Is this a full on bear hug, or are we doing the awkward handshake into a pseudo-hug slap on the back kind of thing?

lostlobster wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Kenobi?

Gravey wrote:
Amoebic wrote:

When the narrow views of the world at large consider my hobby to be the superficial domain of teenage boys and pasty basement-dwelling man-children, I take pride in saying that I'm contrary to that notion because I feel gaming, and identifying as a gamer, has potential to be so much more. I'm proud to represent a part of gaming culture that may challenge how gaming is currently viewed and how it may change in the future.

*Sniff* Between this and rabbit's explanation on the 'cast, my feelings for why I am proud to be a gamer are perfectly summed up. Also, that other gamers share these ideas makes me prouder still to be a part of this culture. I love you guys. Group hug everybody. C'mon, don't be shy. There you go.

So long as we're also proudly breaking the bad hygiene stereotype, I am also up for hugs.

Is this a full on bear hug, or are we doing the awkward handshake into a pseudo-hug slap on the back kind of thing?

Full on bear hug.

IMAGE(http://imgur.com/hdwur.jpg)

(Not pictured: rabbit)

The entire culture of persecuting games and gaming strikes me as very strange. I may be misinterpreting my surroundings somewhat, but I've never felt any large stigma or persecution around gaming. Of course, I do like in Asia, and I like to think that we in the continent have had an active and healthy gaming culture stretching back thousands of years.

When Westerners talk about the gaming culture in Asia, there's this notion that it's this recent thing or that it's based on LAN shops and similar such things. That aspect of gaming is writ very large, yes, but the phenomenon isn't new. Before there were LAN shops, there were go parlors and before those, mahjong parlors as well. All of those are concurrent, of course, the young these days are more apt to go into a LAN shop than a go parlor.

My gaming isn't part of who I am, since I hold myself to be more elemental than what I choose to do with my life, but it is a significant part of my life, and I consider it an accomplishment and a skill that I can benefit from and parlay into other parts - like financial gains or work skills.

My ability to put together computers and link them into functional networks is a direct offshoot of my need to create PCs and networks to play Starcraft so long ago, and that gets me a lot of respect wherever I go. I can't imagine that a date would look at computer literacy and competency as anything other than a positive, and if I had a date that did so, she can leave whenever she wants. I don't need that kind of prejudice and stupidity polluting my family line.

It, quite frankly, puzzles me how people can look at gaming as a negative, especially as a culture and as a people. I do not believe that this is universal in the Western hemipshere. After all, the Russians take their chess very seriously, and skill at chess is regarded very highly. Is this a legacy of the American Protestant work ethic and culture?

Edit: As a direct answer to the question of "Am I proud to be a gamer?" I have to answer, "No, since gaming is something everybody should be doing anyway." I am proud to be passing decent at chess, relatively okay at Scrabble, and competent at Civilization (Emperor diff level). I am proud to have done well in the Asia Starcraft servers and I'm proud to have participated in gaming tournaments before (and winning some).

We have a real problem in the US with denigrating and detesting all things intellectual. It is only recently that geek has become chic but its not because of brain power. Its all about making the clumsily and awkwardly fashioned, fashionable. Its still not ok to be a geek but you can look like one. You can make fun of a real geek's look while looking just like them provided the label name on your attire is of sufficient stature.

Of Jon's we need less -Benet Ramsey and more Carmack.

Gravey wrote:
lostlobster wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Kenobi?

Gravey wrote:
Amoebic wrote:

When the narrow views of the world at large consider my hobby to be the superficial domain of teenage boys and pasty basement-dwelling man-children, I take pride in saying that I'm contrary to that notion because I feel gaming, and identifying as a gamer, has potential to be so much more. I'm proud to represent a part of gaming culture that may challenge how gaming is currently viewed and how it may change in the future.

*Sniff* Between this and rabbit's explanation on the 'cast, my feelings for why I am proud to be a gamer are perfectly summed up. Also, that other gamers share these ideas makes me prouder still to be a part of this culture. I love you guys. Group hug everybody. C'mon, don't be shy. There you go.

So long as we're also proudly breaking the bad hygiene stereotype, I am also up for hugs.

Is this a full on bear hug, or are we doing the awkward handshake into a pseudo-hug slap on the back kind of thing?

Full on bear hug.

IMAGE(http://imgur.com/hdwur.jpg)

(Not pictured: rabbit)

I wants to be the piglet. Full on cuddly hugs for all!
It's okay guys, I'm hygienic, and have a rather obsessive, if healthful, habit of repetitive hand-washing.

Almost forgot:

There are "hardcore" games on the Wii. Arguably, the console has the more hardcore of the hardcore games. Of the three consoles, only the Wii has multiple examples of Roguelikes.

It's not true that there isn't anything to play on the Wii for traditional gamers. However, they tend to be less... ...let's say "polished," efforts. Less consumerist fluff, more honest-to-goodness gaming.

On gaming pride, I'm kind of with Sean Sands on this one (I should set up a macro for those last 9 words. It would make agreeing with him even easier than it already is for me). Gaming is my hobby. I'm no more proud to be a gamer than I am to be a frustrated musician (I play the banjo, harmonica and jaw harp, none of them particularly well) a frustrated novelist (I've been working on the same novel for ten years now and I'm only about 60% of the way done) or frustrated sculpter (I make and paint my own 29mm and 54mm scale miniatures, but I don't get to do that very much these days).

I tend not to be prideful of other self-identifiers either-- I don't see the point in being "proud" of ethnic qualities, which is good because people who's great-grandparents emigrated from Germany and are proud of their ethnicity tend to make people nervous.

I reserve my indulgence in deadly sins for things that leave a positive impact on the world around me. I'm proud of the stuff I do at work. I'm proud of my kids. I'm proud of the fact that I'll put my money where my mouth is when it comes to things I really care about.

This isn't to say I won't "preach the gospel of gaming," as Rabbit might say. But that's not pride, that's a hobbyists' enthusiasm.

I believe that gaming is a positive influence on people, communities, and the world. Gaming brings people together, and gets them working together on a common goal. It fosters sportsmanship, competition, and camaraderie.

LarryC wrote:

I believe that gaming is a positive influence on people, communities, and the world. Gaming brings people together, and gets them working together on a common goal. It fosters sportsmanship, competition, and camaraderie.

I think music, literature, film and sports do this about ten thousand times better. I'm not proud that I enjoy all of these other activities. They are just part of being human. Enjoying a good game, whether it is physical, board, or video, is just about being human.

Jayhawker wrote:
LarryC wrote:

I believe that gaming is a positive influence on people, communities, and the world. Gaming brings people together, and gets them working together on a common goal. It fosters sportsmanship, competition, and camaraderie.

I think music, literature, film and sports do this about ten thousand times better. I'm not proud that I enjoy all of these other activities. They are just part of being human. Enjoying a good game, whether it is physical, board, or video, is just about being human.

Music creates sportsmanship ten thousand times better than video games? Really?

PyromanFO wrote:

Music creates sportsmanship ten thousand times better than video games? Really?

I might have disagreed, until I watched how being part of the Wind and Jazz Ensembles had a dramatic effect on my daughter in regards to teamwork and competition. She has to practice on her own, help others in her band, and compete for a higher seat. Her bands compete all over, where she meets other kids from different communities. It has been a spectacular success in providing my daughter everything I was hoping sports would.

And I wish video games fostered sportsmanship at a level that actually meant anything. But she plays a fair amount of video games, and I don't see it having much of a an effect on her sportsmanship, at all.

In fact, you don't have to look hard to find a regrettable LACK of sportsmanship in video games. Just get into a public match of literally anything on Xbox Live. That doesn't mean there's anything inherent in video games that means they CAN'T teach sportsmanship, but it's clear to me that we're not there yet.

Jayhawker wrote:
LarryC wrote:

I believe that gaming is a positive influence on people, communities, and the world. Gaming brings people together, and gets them working together on a common goal. It fosters sportsmanship, competition, and camaraderie.

I think music, literature, film and sports do this about ten thousand times better. I'm not proud that I enjoy all of these other activities. They are just part of being human. Enjoying a good game, whether it is physical, board, or video, is just about being human.

I think that gaming can do these things. I just don't think that it does in any sort of meaningful way, yet.

Jayhawker wrote:
LarryC wrote:

I believe that gaming is a positive influence on people, communities, and the world. Gaming brings people together, and gets them working together on a common goal. It fosters sportsmanship, competition, and camaraderie.

I think music, literature, film and sports do this about ten thousand times better. I'm not proud that I enjoy all of these other activities. They are just part of being human. Enjoying a good game, whether it is physical, board, or video, is just about being human.

I am not proud that I enjoy listening to piano pieces. I am proud that I can play Bach Etudes for my friends and you're probably proud that your daughter can participate in musical competitions.

I think that one of the problems of gaming in American culture (and to a certain extent, Japanese culture) is that it's seen as a negative and is thus driven underground. Gamers like Mr. Andrich are driven in shame from talking about it, even as other people talk freely about Sunday's touch football.

He wouldn't be caught dead coming out from a LAN shop, and he doesn't see the point of it.

Most Westerners assume that LAN shops work in Asia because people don't have the money to buy good computers. This is not so. Koreans are wealthy, but LAN shops work there. In fact, I have personal experience with gaming in a LAN shop, and playing in one absolutely doesn't mean that you don't have a rig that can play the games, or that you don't have a home network that can play the games.

LAN shop gaming is about the social experience. You can drink at home, but you go out with friends to drink. Gaming in a LAN shop is directly parallel to that. Face to face competition is very different from online competition.

I am proud of my skill in Counterstrike and Starcraft the same way that I'm proud of my (admittedly plebian) skill at chess. In fact, I'm prouder of my skill in Counterstrike, because I'm comparatively better at it.

fangblackbone wrote:

Deus X has been copied and improved upon and wholly surpassed many many times.

You say that but you don't mention even a single game.
In terms of gameplay I think it still stands alone except for maybe SS2 and in terms of interactive narrative I think ME1/2 are the only games that come close.

LarryC wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
LarryC wrote:

I believe that gaming is a positive influence on people, communities, and the world. Gaming brings people together, and gets them working together on a common goal. It fosters sportsmanship, competition, and camaraderie.

I think music, literature, film and sports do this about ten thousand times better. I'm not proud that I enjoy all of these other activities. They are just part of being human. Enjoying a good game, whether it is physical, board, or video, is just about being human.

I am not proud that I enjoy listening to piano pieces. I am proud that I can play Bach Etudes for my friends and you're probably proud that your daughter can participate in musical competitions.

I am proud of my skill in Counterstrike and Starcraft the same way that I'm proud of my (admittedly plebian) skill at chess. In fact, I'm prouder of my skill in Counterstrike, because I'm comparatively better at it.

So you are agreeing with me?

Jayhawker:

It really depends on what you're saying. In the context of the question, I have two comments:

1. I don't think it's okay to be ashamed of being a gamer and it points to some fundamentally flawed social cues in the society that casts gaming as negative for various reasons.

2. I think that having skill in games and participating in gaming society is a legitimate thing to be proud of, just as one might be proud of being in a band or writing literature on whatever level.

The two times I have tried Diablo 2 (ten years ago and two years ago), I got bored within a couple of hours. However, when playing Titan Quest, Sacred 2 and Torchlight, I played the hell out of those games, and even finished Titan Quest. I just think those games are built better and are more fun. I am still interested in Diablo 3 though.

I love being a gamer, I love talking about games, I love reading about games, and obviously I love playing them. Some of my family members (parents, wife) shake their heads at my fascination with video games. They probably dismiss it on some level at a childish distraction, which is a shame. Luckily, being 32, I am part of this new generation that was raised during the rise of Nintendo, so games are just normal to most of us. It won't be long before we have a president with an Xbox gamertag.