Escapist Podcast: 079: JJ Abrams (Again) And Game-Related Anger

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079: JJ Abrams (Again) And Game-Related Anger

This week on the podcast, we discuss our favorite kinds of candy, J.J. Abrams working with Valve, some suggestions on how to handle friends who get angry while playing games, and when its appropriate to take pictures of cosplayers. We also have an interesting challenge for our faithful listeners of the podcat - suggest new titles for us to use (because stuff like "Managing Editor" and "Video Editor" can be kinda boring)!

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Dear Greg,

I love Bit O' Honey, and will fight you.

21 minutes, and all coffee and candy.

Someone forgot to include Greg in the "cast this week" rundown.

Thus I conclude that Greg's title should now be "The Forgotten One".

thanks again, Podcasters!

New title for Susan, Editor in chief of cat related media

listening to you guys talk about candy or as we say in the UK sweets, is weird because I have no idea what you were talking about till you discussed smarties for 2 minutes

TheDrunkNinja:
Someone forgot to include Greg in the "cast this week" rundown.

We're going to blame that on Greg being gone so much the past month :P

bdcjacko:
21 minutes, and all coffee and candy.

Well, how else would you know it's the genuine thing?

Anyway, why'd you guys not think of 'coffee candy: The candy that's coffee!'

Also food. There's a lot of food in the first 17 minutes. A good sign of quality.

How is Justin not official Cheese Editor?

I thought the logical thing for the portal film is that it wouldn't follow Chell, maybe something about aperture before it died or something on the secrets of the world and it can have the tag line "Is the cake a lie?"

Baldry:
I thought the logical thing for the portal film is that it wouldn't follow Chell, maybe something about aperture before it died or something on the secrets of the world and it can have the tag line "Is the cake a lie?"

Same I would have thought it would be aperture being founded or it collapsing or something

DrRockor:

Baldry:
I thought the logical thing for the portal film is that it wouldn't follow Chell, maybe something about aperture before it died or something on the secrets of the world and it can have the tag line "Is the cake a lie?"

Same I would have thought it would be aperture being founded or it collapsing or something

Quick we need to send a letter to J.J. so he knows what to do and how to make us happy!

The most egregious example of product placement I've seen recently has to be Microsoft in NCIS LA.

Dear god its annoying, particularly when its advertising Surface RT - which would be completely freaking useless for the things they show it being used for.

They even have the guy using it pull out the stupid floppy keyboard out of his arse and put it down on a flat surface in order to be able to type - showing off one of its main flaws as a product as a freaking feature. ARG!

Tour guide of the Sword Coast? Boat Captain of the Sword Coast?

Baldur's Gate taxi driver?

Feline Philanthropist? Maybe with a house sigil of a three headed kitten, except one head is looking at an iphone....

Just throwing them out there....

Man, the cosplayers
I always feel awkward around cosplayers
I and feel double awkward around female cosplayers
And triple awkward around hot female cosplayers
And quadruple awkward around hot female cosplayers in revealing costumes

I try to avoid them as much as I can
Because in my head even if I look for one second I may start staring and looking like creepy perv and I'm really shy, and I kinda would like to have sex with her, and now she noticed me, and I'm still staring, and she now starts to stare back, and my parents never loved me, and now the other people noticed me staring at her, and now she feels uncomfortable, and I feel like horrible person, and I'M STILL STARING, LOOK AWAY, you're not a bad person, no, wait, stop, now it is obvious that you were staring all the time, look at her, no, you're staring again,-----, quick, drop on the ground and play dead, fake heart attack or something, no, stop, it will draw even more attention, just run, RUN, RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!
.
.
.
What? I HAVE ISSUES, OK? Deal with it >:/

Susan Arendt: Cat Wrangler
Greg Tito: Incognito Man
Justin Clouse: Ringmaster
Paul Goodman: Talkmeister

(15:30) Hey now, Salted licorice tastes amazing IF you grew up with it!

So is it the Podcat cat? or is it just the podcat?

Panorama:
So is it the Podcat cat? or is it just the podcat?

It's just the Podcat.

LadyRhian:
Susan Arendt: Cat Wrangler

I came here just to suggest 'Chief Kitten Wrangler'... I think we possibly typecast (typecat?) our great leader a little. But at least it's in a nice way.

DrRockor:
listening to you guys talk about candy or as we say in the UK sweets, is weird because I have no idea what you were talking about till you discussed smarties for 2 minutes

FYI: I'm pretty sure they're not talking about what you think they're talking about. You know Refreshers? The fizzy chalky tablet things? Smarties in America are pretty much like that.

A few interesting ideas about TWD thing

Susan Arendt:

Panorama:
So is it the Podcat cat? or is it just the podcat?

It's just the Podcat.

I just read that again, im glad you got that as it was vague at best, but the new logo is awesome!

Ophiuchus:

DrRockor:
listening to you guys talk about candy or as we say in the UK sweets, is weird because I have no idea what you were talking about till you discussed smarties for 2 minutes

FYI: I'm pretty sure they're not talking about what you think they're talking about. You know Refreshers? The fizzy chalky tablet things? Smarties in America are pretty much like that.

really? Ok, I don't know what they were talking about for the whole thing then

Yeah the reason why I saved that guy in Walking Dead is because I know that if I was around during the zombie apocalypse I would soooooo be that guy. I feel like that's what a lot of zombie fans forget about the apocalypse is that in the apocalypse you will either die when the majority of the population dies or you'll be completely useless in the post apocalyptic world and then die.

Also about the gamer anger thing. The reason why I do not play Call of Duty games any more (aside from them just being bad games) is that I would get so angry when playing the games it was almost unhealthy. I broke two controllers by throwing them at the ground in rage and I would just scream expletives when playing. Because of that I always try to keep my cool playing games now and for the most part I've succeeded but yeah it can get pretty crazy.

Okay, I agree that if you were to(From what I have heard this is what it sounds like anyway. Never played the game at all.) play Dark Souls without it being hard, that it would "go against the game's spirit", and what not. I think It could be somewhat comparable to playing Journey (a game I have played) only you had the other person's gamer tag above their head, and you could talk to them. It wouldn't really be the same.

That all said, I do have one question about Dark Souls.

Are there any other reasons to play Dark Souls that are worth it if the game wasn't on "hard mode"?

I mean the way I hear people talking about it, it sounds like if the game wasn't hard nobody would bother to be playing it, and that doesn't sound right to me. Because I have heard about some other good things in the game/games.

Without ever playing them or even seening a lets play, I do know that the game looks pretty cool, and a bit unique from other similar games. I also have heard about some neat characters, boss creatures, and interesting locations. I also hear the story is pretty good too.

So, are all/any of these or other things I didn't mention good enough to make the game worth playing if I don't want to play for the difficulty? Or should I just continue to all but ignore the games?

I know that if I were to play the game on "easy mode" that it wouldn't be the same, but since it is an option and you don't have to play on easy. Isn't it better to have the option be there for people who want it, instead of just having the options be "play it this way, or don't play it"?

Anyway, great Podcat today! Sorry for the long post.
As for a title. Since this is the Podcat, does anyone want the title of

May you have a good day, and a better weekend!

@Susan Arendt: Know that there is at least one other person out there who shares your opinion on the Arrested Development TV show. I sat down to watch the first 3 or 4 episodes recently, because I know it's such a highly lauded show. And while I admit I laughed heartily through the episodes, it was the weird experience where I laughed, but I never felt good about it. It was just as you indicated-- a bunch of horrible people having terrible misfortune, usually brought on by their own horrible-ness.

Also, pertaining to the recent spate of Microsoft product placements in media, the second half of season 6 of Burn Notice prominently featured lingering shots on MS tablets and phones. Burn Notice has rarely been subtle about their product placements, though (other hilarious plugs include MGD 64 "lite" beer, DirecTV Sunday Ticket, and Hyundai).

I want the return of Tank Ninja!

Captcha Wisdom Teeth, I guess that can work.

Re: Cosplayer question.
Due to falalbility of our memory, we should be able to take video of everything we see (think - cameras in the eyes) therefore in my opinion it is completely fine for anyone to take photos of anything they can SEE.
going around posting that, currently, is illegal (you need the persons written permission to post his picture on the internet), but to remmeber what you saw it is perfectly ok. Noone complains that there are security camers all around, but as soon as somone has a camera with him its a scandal of people being filmed.

When you started talking about licorice I emidiately thought you had to try Swedish salt licorice, and then I heard you got some from Paradox, instant wish-gratification. Sweet (Well... salty)

Susan Arendt: Crowd Control Manager
Greg Tito: Conjurer of Dice Accidents
Justin Clouse: Button Mashing Mastermind
Paul Goodman: Rouge Emperor

I must say that I'm a little surprised by the Crew's stance on difficulty and Dark Souls.. but it's a very pleasant type of surprise. Not that I necessarily think it will convince those who just don't seem to get the argument, but it's still nice none the less.

The cosplay picture taking thing is.. tough. If you are posing for pictures, I think it's a little disingenious to say that the pictures can only be taken from a certain angle (unless you've specifically posed in such a way/location that taking pictures from certain angles would require doing something noteworthy). I'm not really sure how to feel about the candid shots though. It's definitely creepy if they're just random shots of your butt while you're walking around the show floor but, as said in the Cat, if you're at a show in costume there then I can't help but agree that it's likely part of the appeal is getting looked at and having your picture taken. I dunno.

Imp Emissary:
Okay, I agree that if you were to(From what I have heard this is what it sounds like anyway. Never played the game at all.) play Dark Souls without it being hard, that it would "go against the game's spirit", and what not. I think It could be somewhat comparable to playing Journey (a game I have played) only you had the other person's gamer tag above their head, and you could talk to them. It wouldn't really be the same.

That all said, I do have one question about Dark Souls.

Are there any other reasons to play Dark Souls that are worth it if the game wasn't on "hard mode"?

I mean the way I hear people talking about it, it sounds like if the game wasn't hard nobody would bother to be playing it, and that doesn't sound right to me. Because I have heard about some other good things in the game/games.

Without ever playing them or even seening a lets play, I do know that the game looks pretty cool, and a bit unique from other similar games. I also have heard about some neat characters, boss creatures, and interesting locations. I also hear the story is pretty good too.

So, are all/any of these or other things I didn't mention good enough to make the game worth playing if I don't want to play for the difficulty? Or should I just continue to all but ignore the games?

I know that if I were to play the game on "easy mode" that it wouldn't be the same, but since it is an option and you don't have to play on easy. Isn't it better to have the option be there for people who want it, instead of just having the options be "play it this way, or don't play it"?

The thing about Dark Souls isn't just that it's hard, it's that the challenge of the game is an integral part of the feedback loop for the entire experience. You're not a lagendary hero. You're just one of numerous unknown undead who's basically "lucky" enough to get put on the quest instead of spending enternity going mad in a dungeon cell. The entire world is basically on the far side of the edge of ruin and your own chance of success is basically nil unless you manage to save your own butt and piece together what you can of the strange world you've been thrown into. Take away the challenge, and that all falls apart. It's no longer a struggle with near certain death awaiting you. Piecing together an understanding of the world is much less of a reward. The strange world is no longer a dark and scaru place. Etc. In essence, by lowering the difficulty you are effectively changing the entire experience of Souls from what the developers intended into a poor facsimile of numerous games that already exist on the market.

It's also important to note that adding extra modes, given that they would require more time and effort than just tweaking numbers, would take extra development time and money, already in short supply for a development house like From. Oh, andAdding difficulty modes also totally ignores the fact that there are already numerous organic systems in place within the existing Souls games to that can be used to make the experience an easier (or harder) one if that's what you desire. The issue is that this takes a little bit of study and experience and, from my experience, most of the people who have issue with the difficulty in Souls haven't actually played the game. They're just running off of the fact that they've heard the game is really hard and that the box tells them outright to "prepare to die."

StriderShinryu:
I must say that I'm a little surprised by the Crew's stance on difficulty and Dark Souls.. but it's a very pleasant type of surprise. Not that I necessarily think it will convince those who just don't seem to get the argument, but it's still nice none the less.

The cosplay picture taking thing is.. tough. If you are posing for pictures, I think it's a little disingenious to say that the pictures can only be taken from a certain angle (unless you've specifically posed in such a way/location that taking pictures from certain angles would require doing something noteworthy). I'm not really sure how to feel about the candid shots though. It's definitely creepy if they're just random shots of your butt while you're walking around the show floor but, as said in the Cat, if you're at a show in costume there then I can't help but agree that it's likely part of the appeal is getting looked at and having your picture taken. I dunno.

However, you didn't really answer my question. I understand that Dark Soul's "difficulty" comes from the challenge of its game design. Again I have not played the game, so I can't really comment on HOW you could change the game to lower the challenge in a way that doesn't "wrecking the game". That said, I find it hard to believe that it CAN'T be done at all. How hard it would be to do, or how much time & money it would take is another thing though.

In truth, I think the concern about the process of adding modes into Dark Souls in terms of money & time, and how that could in the end affect the game overall is very important. Now, whether or not doing so WILL negatively affect the game is another argument. One that I think should be brought to someone who worked/is working on Dark Souls.

However, none of that was what my question was about. Lets put it in a hypothetical situation. The next Dark Souls game comes out and has an easy mode, or better yet the old Dark Souls game is re-released and it now has an easy mode. There is still a "hard" mode that preserves the challenge, but lets just focus on the easy mode. I understand that the whole game is made around the challenge, but the other aspects can be appreciated by themselves(or they should be at least).

My question, for anyone who has played the game, is about the game mechanics(combat and otherwise), the visuals(cool boss monsters, interesting levels to explore, ect.), the story, the dialogue, the characters, and anything that isn't about the challenge.
For just those aspects of the game, in your opinion as someone who has played it, do those things make the game worth getting, and playing even if the challenge is lowered(LOWERED, not removed)?

(One thing to add. I am not asking if YOU, a person who played/plays Dark Souls for the challenge would play the game if it didn't have the same challenge, but if someone who dosen't play games for challenge would find this game worth playing if it didn't have the same amount of challenge.)

I understand that I am asking you to judge the game using a set a values that you may not use yourself to "rate" the game, but the reason I have to ask is I haven't played the game. So, I would like to know, for someone who doesn't have challenge as a top priority, is the game worth playing if you don't play it for the challenge?

Again, sorry for the long post.
May you have a very nice day!

I have experience being the "bag bitch". (the term we actually used was "tail manager", quite a bit more dignified if you ask me~)

It's a fun thing to do when you don't cosplay but your friends do, you feel like part of the group and join in the fun and stuff.

As for the picture aspect, it really is a permission thing. It's the fact that the guys sneaking shots from behind aren't being polite enough to ask for pictures, that's how I'd break it down.

Asking for pictures can even be fun, people don't have to always be afraid of the interaction, you can even ask something in-character. I remember this one time, there was a Rachel Alucard cosplayer (she's a character with princess-like mannerisms who is arrogant and stuff) so I asked her "may I take your picture my lady" and the cosplayer smiled almost surprised by the way I approached her but instantly answered "you may" in a snooty tone perfectly befitting her character. That kinda stuff is part of the fun of cons and cosplay and stuff. You don't have to be like some autistic creep and go about it like "hey...can I take a picture of your ass?", you can add some fun into it, make the cosplayer enjoy posing for you rather than feel obligated to do so to avoid being jerk.

Susan can be "Fox in Socks editor"

Seeing as I live in Denmark (also know as one of the few countries that sees licorice as a treat not a threat) your reactions to licorice are absolutely hilarious. I do not know why it is but apparently something went horribly right in northern Europe that made us enjoy the stuff. Especially the salty kind. The stronger the better.

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