GWJ Conference Call 862

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Amanda, Rich, Daryl, and Andrew have a not funny breakdown of comedy in games.

Games: Wildfrost (Switch), Shardpunk (PC), Wartales (Steam), Tails of Iron (PS5), Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (Card Game)

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.

Apologies for the hardware issues with one of the tracks.

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00:02:51 Wildfrost
00:09:33 Shardpunk
00:12:54 Wartales
00:24:05 Tails of Iron
00:33:15 Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (card game)
00:37:05 Comedy in Games
01:06:35 Thread of the Week

I. Loved. This. Topic.

Everyone said interesting and insightful stuff.

Supposedly analysing comedy kills it, but discussions like this make me want to write, watch, experience and eventually defeat comedy.

Well done.

Glad you enjoyed! We could have talked for a lot longer.

Analysis isn't funny itself, but its the only way to learn.

We didn't talk about this, but I think comedy is often seen as an innate talent that people have or don't have when the reality is it is a skill that can be taught and learned. Yeah, some people have good instincts for it, but literally anyone can learn the mechanics and improve their own abilities.

Totally! And some Twitter owners can be steeped in memes, aware of jokes and chronically unable to be funny in even a cringe way. Probably because all his jokes punch down. Like how many politicians in democratic countries make jokes in speeches along the lines of "I could have you all arrested/shot."

I was waiting for some mention of Bullfrog and their offshoots, but perhaps we're a few decades past that now.

Another thing, which you touched on and I would love to hear more about, is interactivity and comedy. In games you can be involved in making the joke. This is funnier when you have agency and are choosing when to do it, eg shouting people (or cheese) off mountains in Skyrim, rather than, say, when you're in a satirical RPG where your character snarkily comments about all the tropes in the quests and story, but you still have to do them anyway.

I also really agree with Amoebic's point about delivery and the Leslie Nielson 'straight delivery' style, with Hitman as an example. Often, to get the incongruity / funny out of the player's behaviour, it has to feel like everyone else is taking it super seriously. Goat Simulator has a different bar to clear, because you're expecting it to be about wacky hijinks.