GWJ Conference Call Episode 326

Conference Call

Nier, Sine Mora, Forza Horizon, Towns, Cook Serve Delicious, What We're Looking Forward to in 2013, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium and Cory hold it down with what they're looking forward to in 2013!

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.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.01.09 Sine Mora
00.07.05 Forza Horizon
00.13.24 Nier
00.18.00 Towns
00.21.17 Cook, Serve, Delicious
00.22.38 Dwarf Fortress and other world building games
00.27.23 Games we're looking forward to in 2013
00.55.49 Your emails!

Sine Mora
Nier
Cook, Serve, Delicious!
Forza Horizons

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Amity (Hy Bound's Horrorville Mix) - BigBot Audio Drop - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 27:44

One Last - BigBot Audio Drop - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 57:05

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Argh.. the mispronunciation hurts my brain!

Sine Mora is Latin for without delay:
scene-eh more-uh

Tanglebones wrote:

Argh.. the mispronunciation hurts my brain!

Sine Mora is Latin for without delay:
scene-eh more-uh

Thank you for the warning.

Cosine mora.

Minarchist wrote:

Cosine mora.

Going off on a tangent now. Stop being obtuse.

[insert acute trigonometry pun here]

They were just being acute with their pronunciation.

While we're on the subject of terminology, can somebody (Sean?) explain the etymology of "shmup" as a racist term? I've never heard it described as such and, given the prevalence of the word in and around the enthusiast community, I was surprised to hear those concerns about it.

Or maybe "alarmed" is the right word, as I use that word all the time and I really don't want to be culturally insensitive.

Minarchist wrote:

[insert acute trigonometry pun here]

Right..

OzymandiasAV wrote:

While we're on the subject of terminology, can somebody (Sean?) explain the etymology of "shmup" as a racist term? I've never heard it described as such and, given the prevalence of the word in and around the enthusiast community, I was surprised to hear those concerns about it.

Or maybe "alarmed" is the right word, as I use that word all the time and I really don't want to be culturally insensitive.

He was joking. OR WAS HE?!

My to-do list for this morning:

1. Remove hook from mouth.
2. MOAR COFFEE.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
...
00.13.24 NEAR

I don't think that's a game...

(Also, huzzah!)

Dwarf Fortress, foibles and all, is amazing. The chaps over at Roguelike Radio recently had an interview with Tarn Adams. Definitely worth a listen.

http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2012/1...

I had a version of Space Hulk for PC that came on a disc with several other games as a bonus with a video card. Unfortunately I couldn't ever get it to work.

Oi, so many things to respond to. Let's start with short stuff first.

On Sean Sands and not being able to "get" stuff like Saw or Hostel:

Neither can I! Which is one of the reasons I started this thread that has since become a collection of very interesting thoughts from other GWJers. I have a feeling I'll be trying to pontificate and garner discussion on the fascination of fear and terror, or at least get people to post interesting articles or videos such as Jayhawker, or to link to interesting movies such as FSeven.

On how awesome our community is (re: the last e-mail):

I honestly find our community to be one of the most open to different ideas in general. Normally people mean this in terms of politics and religion, but we have people into "less mainstream" ways of life. From polygamy to homosexuality to transgenderism and God knows what else that I'm not aware of, we have a community where these are just mere attributes about our friends. No one labels fellow members of the community and, as far as I'm aware at least, no one avoids anyone else because of these small little differences.

I've never known a community with such open acceptance (though I imagine it goes part in parcel with a community like The Gay Gamer).

This is nothing short of people coming together to donate money to help a fellow GWJer's desperate cause, or for helping find other members jobs, or what have you.

This community is an almost-too-good-to-be-true Utopia, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

On Nier

I feel like this is a "you mess with the bull, you get the horns" situation, as my instinct listening to all these comments is "I'm going to corner all of you at PAX East and give you a piece of my mind to choke on".

Not that violently, though. I just feel there is a very negative impression of the game being given. Then again, I was sold with the opening scene. The music, the presentation, and how they introduced you to combat all had me psyched up.

Plus, you didn't tell Sean about all the side quests to kill monsters and collect 10 [item name]. Y'know, typical MMO stuff.

And to clarify, when it comes to New Game Plus, it starts roughly halfway through and is easy to complete without the distractions of side quests. Plus, you're more powerful so each fight takes you less time.

(I also imagine I could be Tannhauser'ed on this point since I've had this window open for hours now. Work is weird today).

On Violence

This is a complex topic, but at the very basic, I think people are avoiding an obvious aspect of story-telling. An interesting plot is typically driven by conflict. Very rarely are people entertained by people going about their daily lives, and even if it is there is bound to be some conflict you run into, be it against traffic or an unruly bowel movement.

Physical violence is a clear and easy form of conflict to use. It can be obvious, such as "that man is beating people up, we need to stop him", or the Red Letter Media example of the internal conflict between Luke and Vader in Return of the Jedi being represented in a lightsaber battle.

So if video games are going to have violence, it is merely because it makes an easy representation of a conflict or obstacle in a narrative setting. You don't need these elements, but if you want to tell a story you'll probably end up being able to represent conflict most easily through violence.

As for everything else, Jimquisition on The Escapist actually said all that needs to be said. I won't link to the video just in case, but he gave fair warning that he was going to show a politician's suicide as an illustration of how REAL violence is still disturbing to people. He gave fair warning and time stamps to follow so anyone could skip it. For various reasons I wish I had skipped it. I told myself I'd never watch a video of someone dying, but for the sake of his point I did.

I agree with his point. It doesn't matter how much violence you've seen in games or television or film. When you see it in real life, it is very different, and it is not a pleasant feeling.

The reason game violence, or any media violence, is okay is because it's not real. Simple. It's not real, it's fake, it's make believe. It's no more harmful than when children play games using sticks for weapons. I always get disconcerted when I see people talk about media violence as if it was actual violence, especially considering how coolly detached people get talking about REAL violence in overseas conflicts. Get your priorities straight world!

"But can't violent media have a real impact on peoples behavior?" the Strawman said. And I replied "probably no". I know it didn't for me, nor for anyone I know, and no study that has withstood scrutiny has made a compelling case for that conclusion.

Tanglebones wrote:

Argh.. the mispronunciation hurts my brain!

Sine Mora is Latin for without delay:
scene-eh more-uh

Thank you, Tanglebones, for adding this. I was just about to.

If anyone's interested, there's a Space Hulk card game adaptation too. I haven't played the original Space Hulk so I don't know how it compares to the real thing but I like it. It's much cheaper.

Thanks for reading and answering my question on the podcast, guys. And I think you're right (as are the commenters above) that, no matter how realistic violence may look in a game, it will never be the same as real-life violence, and that's a big part of what makes it ok.

However, while I think most gamers get that intuitively, another part of my question was, how do you explain that to the non-gamers in your life? When I murder a dude in Far Cry 3, my mind has abstracted the action into just a gameplay element, which can be rationalized as necessary to advance the character's story, to gain XP, etc. When a non-gamer sees the same thing, it's just murder (albeit virtual), plain and simple. Is there any way to bridge that gap?

When I've tried to explain my way of seeing things to non-gamers, I come off as sounding callous and cold-hearted. "Oh, well, that guy isn't real, so it doesn't matter [that I just jabbed a knife into his rib cage and punctured his heart]." See the conundrum?

ccesarano wrote:

So if video games are going to have violence, it is merely because it makes an easy representation of a conflict or obstacle in a narrative setting. You don't need these elements, but if you want to tell a story you'll probably end up being able to represent conflict most easily through violence.

I guess its "easiness" is one explanation. I'd also add, violence lends itself to very clear feedback to the player, that your actions are having the intended consequence (i.e. your shot hit the mark).

OK, I was gonna write in about the recent shootings, but was apprehensive about breaching the subject. Let me say the recent shootings were absolutely horrific and I was deeply affected by the tragedy (especially being a father of two young ones).

That being said, the way the media jumped on the shooter being a gamer drove me nuts. Specifically, I was watching a news story where they mentioned that he played Starcraft. Ok, fine, they showed about 15 seconds of footage of Starcraft - only to then replace it with footage of a Call of Duty style shooter for the remainder of the story. I found this ludicrous, and if not for the seriousness of the situation, my outrage would have been much greater.

I worry about it being in bad taste to be irritated about such a trivial detail in the midst of such a loss of young life, and if it is in bad taste I apologize in advance. Like I said, I hesitated to even mention it, but the email this week about violence brought it to my mind again. I just wanted to throw my two cents in about that.

On the subject of violence in gaming, I will start from the well that an only CoD gamer is often not a good one. Every time someone talks to me about violent games I bring up the culture of violence in Japan. They have films and games that make Saw. Hostel, or CoD look like Sparkle Ponies. Yet, they have extremely lower levels of violence and killing in their country per capita. It is culture and not media.

Minarchist wrote:
Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
...
00.13.24 NEAR

I don't think that's a game...

(Also, huzzah!)

just trying to keep y'all on yer toes... I swear I'm awake when I write these.

So what are you all looking forward to in 2013? Looking at my top 10 for this year, most of the games were not on my radar this time last year. At this point, I'm not greatly anticipating anything specific. I do look forward to Bioshock Infinite, and I'm glad Cory brought up Injustice: Gods Among Us. I've heard good things about the latest Mortal Kombat game, but the theme has always tuned me off. The Space Hulk game sounds promising. I'm surprised no one mentioned GTA V, but I'm not really looking forward to it either.

Aristophan wrote:

So what are you all looking forward to in 2013? Looking at my top 10 for this year, most of the games were not on my radar this time last year. At this point, I'm not greatly anticipating anything specific. I do look forward to Bioshock Infinite, and I'm glad Cory brought up Injustice: Gods Among Us. I've heard good things about the latest Mortal Kombat game, but the theme has always tuned me off. The Space Hulk game sounds promising. I'm surprised no one mentioned GTA V, but I'm not really looking forward to it either.

Shifting to something more positive, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Bioshock Infinite and, now, Pokemon X/Y.

But I keep forgetting what games are coming out when, which might be a good thing this year so I can work on my pile.

JediK809 wrote:

When I murder a dude in Far Cry 3, my mind has abstracted the action into just a gameplay element, which can be rationalized as necessary to advance the character's story, to gain XP, etc. When a non-gamer sees the same thing, it's just murder (albeit virtual), plain and simple. Is there any way to bridge that gap?

When I've tried to explain my way of seeing things to non-gamers, I come off as sounding callous and cold-hearted. "Oh, well, that guy isn't real, so it doesn't matter [that I just jabbed a knife into his rib cage and punctured his heart]." See the conundrum?

He was going to murder your character if you didn't, ta da!

Wow. My first-ever on-air email and I both make Corey sigh (and I'm pretty sure hang his head in shame) and completely misinterpret Elysium's (sorry, I'm typing this a couple hours after listening so I may be attributing to the wrong Shawn/Sean). Which kind of messes up my follow up. Oops.

But, no, I don't actually love/miss either of the kids. The love is entirely with my real-world son. So, let's change the question up a little bit. Let's say a game actually made you fall in love. Like really "this is me falling in love with this character, romantically or otherwise, and it's an organic, natural choice, etc, etc"...would that actually improve the game in anyway? Would you want to play it if you had a true brotherly love with your squadmates in X-Com? If you really fell in love with the girl in Shadow of the Colossus? If people have issues with Nanako in Persona 4, or the kids in Heavy Rain... my god. If you actually fell in love with those characters? I don't know if I'd actually be capable of playing them.

Anyway, thanks for reading it, thanks for answering, so on, and so forth.

shmup: Just say "shoot'em up" and type shmup or shmup or shoot'em up, trying to pronounce it is just silly. (and I think calling it a racist term was just a joke).

Sine Mora:

developers: Grasshopper Manufacture did help, the main ones are Hungarian (this is also the language all the characters speak). They also have a new collaboration apparently.

story: all you have to do is f*cking read some text, how hard is that? Although I should note that some important parts of the setting will be in the manual (accessed from the in-game menu).

bullet hell (is just a sub-genre): Is Sine Mora one? no it isn't, at least on Normal and Hard, and I know that link won't contradict me cause I removed Sine Mora from the list myself.

It is great on the Vita (my copy is anyway), obviously the bullets will be even smaller.

the cutscenes gave you trouble? can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

Was going to comment on the pronunciation of "Sine Mora", but I see everyone already pointed it out!

I don't see what you people have against Sim games, I love Sim games! I played Sim City, Sim City 2000, Sim Farm, Sim Ant, Sim Golf, Sim Theme World (better know as Theme Park) & Sim Tower. I would've played more of them had my father allowed the purchases! There's a certain appeal to building and managing, but when it comes as convoluted as you describe in Towns, Shawn... Egad, that's just work and no longer fun to me. But giving me city building any day! I also have fond memories of Pharaoh and the Caesar games. The former let me build pyramids, and to a fan of Ancient Egypt, that was just super cool.

About the games we're looking forward to... I must not be paying attention, because I didn't know half the games you mentioned! The only game I'd been looking forward to was Heart of the Swarm (which I've already preordered, I'll just play the single player campaign, like I always do). I'd heard about Last of Us, but don't know enough about it, so I'm adopting a "wait and see" attitude. This is probably a good thing, considering how big my backlog is, I guess. I'm really going to try and make an effort to reduce my backlog before I make any other purchases.

The discussion regarding violence on video games was extremely interesting, albeit a difficult one. I, too, have wondered about this, why is it that it's alright. I guess the "it's not real" argument is completely valid, but it still feels somewhat unsatisfactory to me, as if there's still something there I can't exactly put my finger on. It's really annoying, however, when the media starts crying "it's violent video games" when this kind of horrible, terrible thing happens. I just feel like they're not addressing the true problems behind it (and that's an entire other discussion of its own).

About that last e-mail, oh goodness, did I relate with the caller! As a nearly 30 "gamer chick", I've had similar experiences in the past, and it really does get annoying and disheartening. I thought the advice that was given to come and be a part of this community was spot on. I haven't been here very long, but people here are extraordinary human beings, kind, polite, well-mannered and welcoming. This is going to sound extremely corny, but they're just a super bunch (and I'm not going to start naming names, otherwise I'm going to forget someone, there are just so many), and Goodjers here really make you feel at home.

Tanglebones wrote:

Argh.. the mispronunciation hurts my brain!

Sine Mora is Latin for without delay:
scene-eh more-uh

That's exactly what I thought when I listened to the pod cast last night haha,

Is anyone looking forward to the alleged HD "remake" of Final Fantasy X for PS3+Vita, since I've just bought a Vita and FFX is my favourite FF game followed by 8 then 7, I'm really looking forward to going through the story again in nice graphics, and it would be a quality game for handheld.

Eleima wrote:

About that last e-mail, oh goodness, did I relate with the caller! As a nearly 30 "gamer chick", I've had similar experiences in the past, and it really does get annoying and disheartening. I thought the advice that was given to come and be a part of this community was spot on. I haven't been here very long, but people here are extraordinary human beings, kind, polite, well-mannered and welcoming. This is going to sound extremely corny, but they're just a super bunch (and I'm not going to start naming names, otherwise I'm going to forget someone, there are just so many), and Goodjers here really make you feel at home.

Its a real shame that things like sexism, racism and other "isms" are still a big part of the gaming community and the world as a whole, but we can only hope that it will become a thing of the past in the near future, and I also hope that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony all take abuse on their online platforms seriously and ban those abusive people.

Tanglebones wrote:

Argh.. the mispronunciation hurts my brain!

Sine Mora is Latin for without delay:
scene-eh more-uh

Nice icon - hadn't noticed it before.

TheFatBaron wrote:

Wow. My first-ever on-air email and I both make Corey sigh (and I'm pretty sure hang his head in shame)

Making me sigh unlocks an achievement. Congrats!

RolandofGilead wrote:

story: all you have to do is f*cking read some text, how hard is that?

Thanks for not being a dick.

the cutscenes gave you trouble? can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

Whoops. Nevermind.

My point on Sine Mora's cut scenes was that they disrupt the action of the game. Did they bother me? No. But I dig Arcade mode more because all I really want to do is shoot stuff.

Also, thanks to everyone for the pronunciation notes. Extra special thanks to Tanglebones' 8th grade Latin teacher.