GWJ Conference Call Episode 336

Conference Call

Starcraft II: Heart of The Swarm, Tomb Raider Finished, SimCity Update, Ridiculous Fishing, Twitter Questions, A Reading by Graham Rowat, Your Emails and more!

Join Shawn, Elysium and Cory as they talk Heart of the Swarm and answer your burning Twitter questions and emails!

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
00.01.19 SC2: Heart of the Swarm
00.14.05 Ridiculous Fishing
00.17.23 SimCity Update
00.26.58 Tomb Raider Finished
00.28.25 The Leprechaun Trap; A reading by Graham Rowat
00.35.15 Twitter Questions
00.51.51 Your Emails

PAX East Schedule
Tomb Raider
SimCity
GWJ Plays Heart of The Swarm
Ridiculous Fishing
The Leprechaun Trap

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Waking Up - Dexter Britain -http://freemusicarchive.org/music/De... - 28:25

Coactive (Short Edit) - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 51:21

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Great show.

The only time I've actively noticed loosing time, outside great games, is gardening. I have a hard time getting myself out there but once I have a trowel, pruners or machete in my hand I seem to discover an endless series of jobs that need to be taken care of and will loose an afternoon or even a whole day.

I've been playing Max Payne (just once I'd like to see him, in a between mission lull, watching day time TV in his undies or nuking a chicken korma in his microwave) and there are plenty of difficult, borderline frustrating moments. Cleverly though, after dying, they return you to the game first with full health and then, on suffering further deaths, with more and more pill bottles. It's a clever way to aid progress without actually skipping the sequence (although I like that idea as well.)

Really liked the bit on being careful with language. It's something I still struggle with as well.

KSP is a great way to build and then blow up rockets. You might even make it to space!

Here is a great video demonstrating the game.

Bring on the SimCity hate. I love watching a good train wreck.

FreeSpace 2 gives you the option of skipping a mission after failing it five times in a row.

(And I wish more games included this feature.)

I sooo wish I was coming at PAX East, I'm willing to bet it'll be a blast.
And I'm not worried, Sunday at noon or no, it'll be packed.

Nice and concise show this week. The Graham segment, was a nice treat as always.

Glad to see a Vlambeer game getting some coverage. I don't think I've found a game of theirs I've disliked.

Tanglebones wrote:

Really liked the bit on being careful with language. It's something I still struggle with as well.

Same here :\

While I applaud you all for attempting to have more considerate word choices to be more "PC" I feel it detracts from the show.

People who have spent the time to listen to you all over the course of several podcasts should have the common sense to know that none of you are racist, homophobic, sexist, etc.

Words and phrases made in jest are just that.

Let your hair down. Lighten up.

BE YOURSELF.

Less worrying about what you think others are going to think of you...more Betty White please.

Censoring yourself is not the answer.

EvilShawnAndrich wrote:

BE YOURSELF.

They are being themselves, they're just trying to improve what those selves are.

Being true to yourself doesn't mean surrendering eternally to your bad habits, change is good

While I applaud you all for attempting to have more considerate word choices to be more "PC" I feel it detracts from the show.

We're not doing it to be quote-PC-quote. We're doing it because we have listeners that we care about asking us to be considerate and thoughtful. We're doing it because it costs us nothing to take some time and not hurt people. We're doing it because we think being conscious of the relevance and impact of words is important.

Which, to your point, is who we are. This is being ourselves.

Beckett wrote:

FreeSpace 2 gives you the option of skipping a mission after failing it five times in a row.

(And I wish more games included this feature.)

Oddly, Alone in the Dark (2008) had a feature where you could chapter skip like in a DVD. If a sequence was too hard or otherwise unenjoyable, you could just open up a menu and skip to the next bit.

And reviewers slagged it. Granted, they didn't seem to like the game in general, but I recall a number of them calling out the chapter skipping as yet another way the game had failed.

Nintendo's been experimenting with different means to help players through difficult sections: letting the computer take over playing; having the computer demonstrate but still requiring the player to execute; giving the player invulnerability power-ups when they struggle with a certain place; and so on. And reviewers and forum posters seem to have, again, reacted negatively to this.

The perception seems to be that the game is offending the player by offering to let them skip a part or that the ability to do so indicates a lack of quality or effort put toward balancing. It's like people want to be able to skip sequences but only sometimes, and please don't make the offer.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Nintendo's been experimenting with different means to help players through difficult sections: letting the computer take over playing; having the computer demonstrate but still requiring the player to execute; giving the player invulnerability power-ups when they struggle with a certain place; and so on. And reviewers and forum posters seem to have, again, reacted negatively to this.

I'm not 100% sure we discussed this in the Wii U thread, but I'm almost positive the "Skill Level" you input when creating either your Nintendo Network ID or Wii U Mii has some bearing on this feature on the Wii U.

Demyx and I died a metric ton on a few levels in New Super Mario Bros. U and we never had the Super Guide feature activate. We were playing on my account which is marked as "Experienced", or whatever the highest setting is for that profile field. This leads me to believe that they have something in their API which allows developers to query that profile setting in order to tweak how much assistance they're willing to provide. If I'm right, that's a really good step toward threading the needle between people who grew up on "Nintendo Hard" and people who are just starting out with the hobby.

The use of the words mentioned in the 'careful with language section' are often jarring to me. I'm not offended but they seem a bit strong, probably because they aren't commonly used in the UK. I do use other words (beginning with B and ending in -ugger and -astard) occasionally. To me they've lost all meaning and are just mildly amusing and deliberately over the top exclamations to express my frustration but they do have other connotations and occasionally I wonder if I should stop using them.

Haven't heard the reading yet, but going back to the original posting of The Leprechaun Trap reminded me that this was posted in the comments:

Poor Old Lu (RIP) wrote:

Imagination is the currency of childhood, and I strongly believe that it is a parent's responsibility to not devalue what can so easily be lost.

Just want to add my appreciation for the language bit.

I hate when the label "PC" is trotted out as some sort of j'accuse—when I've never seen it used as more than a lazy and defensive "Well why do I have to change?" It doesn't hurt the GWJCC crew to make this improvement, and it makes things better for everyone. Cookies all around.

I'd also like to thank the crew for their language choice effort. To be honest, I'd somewhat already accepted that sort of language as inevitable in an American gaming program of any sort. It's nice to see creators aiming for better.

Thank you.

Higgledy wrote:

The use of the words mentioned in the 'careful with language section' are often jarring to me. I'm not offended but they seem a bit strong, probably because they aren't commonly used in the UK. I do use other words (beginning with B and ending in -ugger and -astard) occasionally. To me they've lost all meaning and are just mildly amusing and deliberately over the top exclamations to express my frustration but they do have other connotations and occasionally I wonder if I should stop using them.

We've had the word 'bugger' in some of our advertisements over here. True story. In fact, it was the only word in one particular ad, and it was repeated... over and over.

I'm never quite sure how they got away with it.

GWJ is the one podcast I financially support year after year and this episode was a great reminder why.

The reading (and written piece) was great, as they all have been. My oldest is getting close to that age and it's been on my mind a lot lately. Honestly, the eyes may have been getting a little misty.

I'm a new listener and a new member to the community, and this was a great episode.
It contained all the great things that got me listening and signed up!
keep it up!

Yet another beautiful piece read by Graham!

Can't wait to meet up with everyone at PAX East this weekend, and looking forward to the various S&Ts and board game shenanigans.

I went back today and listened to Graham's reading once again. His awesome voice and the brilliant writing of the Leprechaun Trap were a magical combination which brought tears to my eyes. Some things to both dread and look forward to in the years to come.
I can't help but wonder how I would've handled the situation; would I have written back like all those other parents? Maybe. I don't know. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Also, on Tomb Raider, I'm glad you guys revisited it, and I'll be looking forward to the spoiler section. I haven't gotten yet, but it's now a question of "when", not "if".
And for SimCity, I haven't bought it, and I'm glad I didn't. I won't, and honestly, sometimes I too wish it would just disappear, never to be heard of again. Let's just put all this unpleasantness behind us, shall we?

Regarding embarrassing things you've done in game, I have two particularly embarrassing times from World of Warcraft.

The first was when I first started playing the game and finally got to Stormwind for the first time as a human. I was chatting with my friend who got me into it, commenting that the place was so huge and how the hell was I expected to remember where everything is. My friend said "Are you joking? Press M".

The other time of note was years later when my partner and I decided to create new Tauren characters over dinner one night and to name them after Serena and Venus Williams (who we love with every fiber of our being/s - them being Tauren was just a coincidence). Everything was fine and we were having a ball when I glanced at the guild chat and asked my partner who that Serenaw person was. I may have also asked in guild chat who Serenaw was.

While I blame it on the copious alcoholic beverages I had consumed (ie two), it took far too long for me to arrive at the realisation that it was me. And yes, I'm aware that the name Serenaw would have appeared right next to me asking who Serenaw was.

Duoae wrote:

So what's the unoffensive version of "man up"?

"Be brave". "Take responsibility". "Own up".

Duoae wrote:

At what point do we stop?

Seriously? We stop when the language we use doesn't trade on stereotypes, or make explicit or implicit value judgements on groups of people.

Duoae wrote:

Will the replacement just offend someone else?

Don't be absurd.

Duoae wrote:

I'm not saying you shouldn't be respectful of other people, but it goes both ways.

If one way is "be respectful of other people", what's the other way?

Higgledy wrote:

The use of the words mentioned in the 'careful with language section' are often jarring to me. I'm not offended but they seem a bit strong, probably because they aren't commonly used in the UK. I do use other words (beginning with B and ending in -ugger and -astard) occasionally. To me they've lost all meaning and are just mildly amusing and deliberately over the top exclamations to express my frustration but they do have other connotations and occasionally I wonder if I should stop using them.

I guess it's kind of difficult - even for me - because quite often the people using those words are not thinking of them in a gendered or sex-orientated manner when using them.

I'd quite like to hear/read how people (including the podcast members) are going to change this behaviour and what words and phrases they will use in their stead. I mean, you say those things because you feel something is true. So what's the unoffensive version of "man up"? Will the replacement just offend someone else?

At what point do we stop? Just an honest question.

I remember one time, (being English bear in mind) I managed to offend/anger Tboon because I made a comment about "southerners". Of course, I'm not from the US and the north/south divide and related history is completely different in the two countries... How can you account for all that difference? How can you take everyone into account? I'm not saying you shouldn't be respectful of other people, but it goes both ways.

[edit]

@ Certis - I think you were talking about Alone in the Dark with the skipping segments. IIRC.

Gravey wrote:
Duoae wrote:

So what's the unoffensive version of "man up"?

"Be brave". "Take responsibility". "Own up".

Maybe "man up" means something different where you are. To me, "man up" is equivalent to "stop complaining".

Duoae wrote:

At what point do we stop?

Seriously? We stop when the language we use doesn't trade on stereotypes, or make explicit or implicit value judgements on groups of people.

I'm not sure I agree that any of the words used in the segment were based on stereotypes. I never saw those stereotypes based off of anything in real life - which is what a stereotype is. The words used as examples were all "put downs". Where the language is controlling, not stereotypical. Being a female dog is not a stereotype. Being an arsehole (is that offensive? But other's aren't?) is nothing to do with stereotypes.

Duoae wrote:

Will the replacement just offend someone else?

Don't be absurd.

To be honest, the fact that you're just throwing back your indignation in my face is offensive to me. You're not engaging me on any meaningful level. It's not being absurd, this is asking from experience.

Duoae wrote:

I'm not saying you shouldn't be respectful of other people, but it goes both ways.

If one way is "be respectful of other people", what's the other way?

You're perhaps deliberately misconstruing me. "It goes both ways" is a simple English language phrase that states that it takes two to be involved in an exchange. One person can offend and the other can be offended. My example with Tboon was that I wasn't being offensive but that he took it as an offense because he associated similar things with abuse against people from the southern states of the US. Thus, it is on both sides that the offense can be caused/interpreted.

[edit] To clarify why Tboon was offended.

Duoae wrote:

Maybe "man up" means something different where you are. To me, "man up" is equivalent to "stop complaining".

That's a pretty common interpretation of it. It's also rooted in a gendered stereotype - it's implying that, by complaining, you're less of a man (or, alternatively, more of a woman). That's where the offensiveness is coming from.

See also: "b*tch." It's flung around as an insult and that usage, in isolation, has its own connotation and history, but the term itself is rooted in implications via gender.

If Gravey seems indignant, it's because there are countless alternatives to both, many of which are actually more communicative to what someone may be trying to convey. In all of these cases, I feel like it comes down to understanding the language you're using. Think before you speak/write/tweet.

Duoae wrote:
Duoae wrote:

At what point do we stop?

Seriously? We stop when the language we use doesn't trade on stereotypes, or make explicit or implicit value judgements on groups of people.

I'm not sure I agree that any of the words used in the segment were based on stereotypes. I never saw those stereotypes based off of anything in real life - which is what a stereotype is. The words used as examples were all "put downs". Where the language is controlling, not stereotypical. Being a female dog is not a stereotype. Being an arsehole (is that offensive? But other's aren't?) is nothing to do with stereotypes.

Listen to the segment again. Certis clearly explains how the language trades on stereotypes. No one calls another person a "bitch" to equate them to a female dog. It's a sexist put-down. To return to "man up", it means "act like a man", which trades on expectations of masculine behaviour, and implicitly devalues how women are expected to act. But again, Certis describes that all on the podcast.

Duoae wrote:
Duoae wrote:

I'm not saying you shouldn't be respectful of other people, but it goes both ways.

If one way is "be respectful of other people", what's the other way?

You're perhaps deliberately misconstruing me. "It goes both ways" is a simple English language phrase that states that it takes two to be involved in an exchange. One person can offend and the other can be offended. My example with Tboon was that I wasn't being offensive but that he took it as an offense because he associated similar things with abuse against people from the southern states of the US. Thus, it is on both sides that the offense can be caused/interpreted.

[edit] To clarify why Tboon was offended.

The thing is, though, if someone takes offense at something you say, then what you said was offensive. I believe you that you didn't mean to offend, just like the GWJCC crew never meant to either, but in both cases an innocent choice of language is unfortunately offensive. Now that doesn't go both ways: you either learn from it and move on, or not and continue to offend. No one chooses to be offended, but we as speakers (or writers) can choose how we say things.

Hey, guys? We made a decision to change our language because it'll make us feel better. If you think we're stupid for that, I totally get it. You do what you do, and no disrespect.

I don't speak for the others, but I grew up in an environment that actively wanted to put people down, based on anything that makes people different. And when I moved away from that environment, I swore I'd do whatever I could to be more tolerant, accepting and, ultimately, happy. That's why I'm on board with being more mindful of what I say, in public and in private.

Language is important to me, if for no other reason than the fact that it's how I make a living. If you think we're being too cautious, I think you'll find that we really won't be. If you think it's okay to call something "gay" or say, for example, that we're being "pussies," that's your thing. We're no longer okay with language that's based on the perceived wrongness in other people, based on who they are, and it's super easy for us to fix.

If you stop listening or reading because of this, I'm sorry to see you go. This is important to us, though, and I think it will make what we do better.

/endrant

Demiurge wrote:

Language is important to me, if for no other reason than the fact that it's how I make a living. If you think we're being too cautious, I think you'll find that we really won't be. If you think it's okay to call something "gay" or say, for example, that we're being "pussies," that's your thing. We're no longer okay with language that's based on the perceived wrongness in other people, based on who they are, and it's super easy for us to fix.
/endrant

I applaud you guys for doing it. It's not easy.

Gravey wrote:

The thing is, though, if someone takes offense at something you say, then what you said was offensive. I believe you that you didn't mean to offend, just like the GWJCC crew never meant to either, but in both cases an innocent choice of language is unfortunately offensive. Now that doesn't go both ways: you either learn from it and move on, or not and continue to offend. No one chooses to be offended, but we as speakers (or writers) can choose how we say things.

I think that if you think that someone getting offended at a local saying half a world away is my fault then there's no middle ground we can talk about here. I guess I'll continue to be offensive to you and anyone else who, on the other side of the fence, believes that everything that is said is sacrosanct in your own experience instead of realising that there are different experiences and different reasons for people being offended at even the same things. Of course, that puts you in the same camp as those people who would take offense at being unable to use their slurs like "gay".

In the same way that you cannot make everyone happy all of the time in your decisions, you cannot account for everyone else's experiences.

How do you go from this:

Duoae wrote:
Demiurge wrote:

We're no longer okay with language that's based on the perceived wrongness in other people, based on who they are, and it's super easy for us to fix.
/endrant

I applaud you guys for doing it. It's not easy.

To this:

Duoae wrote:
Gravey wrote:

Now that doesn't go both ways: you either learn from it and move on, or not and continue to offend. No one chooses to be offended, but we as speakers (or writers) can choose how we say things.

I think that if you think that someone getting offended at a local saying half a world away is my fault then there's no middle ground we can talk about here.

(Edited down to avoid a wall of text.) Of course there's middle ground! It lies in what Certis said, what you applauded Demiurge for saying, and then criticized me for saying: that we think about what we say, and if what we said had negative implications (even if we were ignorant of them), we reflect on that and aim to improve.

Duoae wrote:

Of course, that puts you in the same camp as those people who would take offense at being unable to use their slurs like "gay".

This is the polar opposite of what I'm saying: people like that are taking offense that they can't say whatever they want regardless of its impact (intended or otherwise) on other people. That's a totally different class of offense, and not in any way related to the topic.

I'm saddened, but not shocked, that a pledge to be more mindful of how words can cause pain is causing controversy.