Escapist Podcast: 082: Microtransactions and Tomb Raider

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082: Microtransactions and Tomb Raider

This week, we discuss the comedian/tv show host Conan O'Brien and his attempt to Tomb Raider, Electronic Arts and their push for more microtransactions, and the pet hates we've developed with modern gaming.

Attention Podcat listeners! We're experimenting with live-action video in our podcasts, and want to know what you think! Watch a video-filled version of today's podcast here!

Watch Video

Emerghard! I can see faces!
Also, you don't have a table? And you wear pants?! I've been picturing this all wrong!

EDIT - Before anyone asks. This is how. With less pants.

image

OH MY GOD THERES VIDEO! MY MIND IS BLOWN, we can see all of your beauty

For anyone with eye allergies in general (especially with a bad reaction to cats), I recommend something called Opcon-A. It works for contact lens irritation, pet allergies, just about anything that turns your eyes red. It's available at drug stores/some grocery stores, and IT WORKS! At first, Opcon-A might burn your eyes a little, but it takes away any itching and will clear your eyes up to the point where they're so white they look bluish.

There's no reason to buy Visine ever again.

Also, I always imagined the Podcast took place around a table for some reason.

You people actually exist in physical form?! I just thought you were mysterious voices created by the internet.

Well, I usually use podcasts as a sort of radio while I'm doing other things so I find the video distracting, but good to see who's speaking. Sometimes I find distinguishing who's talking to be difficult.

Also, Picasso did do the painting of the Guernica bombing. Surrealism, I believe, although his styles and influences varied.

One thing that I noticed here during the discussion on microtransactions is that a lot of guys missed the primary point people are annoyed with them.

Most (reasonable) people aren't upset because microtransactions are somehow inherently bad. They're upset because they're being nickel and dimed after paying full price for the game already.

The reason this is a problem is that people have already paid for the game. There is absolutely no reason for publishing companies to be charging full price, then charging more for something that should be part of the game already.

Microtransactions are fine, and work great, in F2P games, but they should not be present in a $60+ game.

Edit: Well that's what I get for posting before I listened to it entirely.

Also, see the Jimquisition for why "they need to make money" should not be a valid excuse for anti-consumer practices.

Strange I never realized Susan was actually a talking anthropomorphic mic-stand XD
Still having the video is cool.
I like having a face to go with a voice, makes it easier to keep track of who's who and all that. For some reason I've always had trouble keeping Paul and Greg straight going by voice alone.

Thanks for the Podcat!

A suggestion about the video.

I understand with the size of the room this may not be possible, but I suggest you place the camera somewhere that will let you see everyone clearly. As it is those of you in the back (Susan and Paul), are hard to see.

If possible try and get a set up like LRR has on there podcasts these days.

Art history time.

Whoever said Picasso was cubist is right.

Impressionism puts emphasis on the flow of brush strokes (with Starry Night being one of the best examples of that) and how light and color interact, basically being embellished realism. It's sort of the same principle that games use, if you look at the characters in Uncharted they look really good, and feel like real people, but the closer you look the more cartoony they seem.

Cubism is post-impressionist abstraction that focuses on sort of taking apart shapes and putting them back together. It's inspired by older tribal art in how they represent things with simple exaggerated shapes, sort of like caricatures. The one about the bombing of Spain that someone brought up is a good example, showing people suffering with exaggerated injuries and expressions rather than burning buildings and things.

Impressionism

image

Cubism

image

They're both interpretations of realism but cubism is more symbolic and impressionism is more technical.

Funny you are talking about the relationship between reading skills an games, because I read today an about how Action games can help people who have dyslexia. It was a Italian research and they found that people who play Action games often gain an increase in reading speed without more read mistakes. The theory so far is that action require you to focus more, and that dyslexia is a issue with your attention. But this doesn't mean that people who suffer of Dyslexia have to play action games now, because they still don't know how Dyslexia itself works. It was also stated that there should be more research done in another country, because Italian language is kind of unique in the way that most words are written as they are spoken.

Piccaso spoilers!

I certainly prefer the video version, it's nice to see you all chatting. This however, is an atrocious angle.

praetor_alpha:
Piccaso spoilers!

Ok, that really made me laugh. :D

I've never heard of the goat version of songs until now, and I think I just about died laughing from the Whitney Houston one.

WHY CAN'T I STOP WATCHING IT?!

I really enjoyed the video version of the podcat too.

I liked this weeks podcast.

I may sound like an asshole, but I feel like I am listening to the Podcast again. Just in case I did not sound like an asshole enough. It is not because Paul is back.

No offense Paul.

Good job, you all.

Well I feel I don't like Micro-transactions because I worry where it's going to go if it goes unchecked, it would go into something like, War Z where you die, and have to sit around for an hour, or pay money. Where it makes it pushy, where it makes it difficult to play the game in general unless you paid money. There's also the Pay to Win system, where the issue would be players pay money for power. i.e weapons that you can't/or takes too long/difficult to get to. So it means players that shelled out money would win more often, so others had to.
But as is, Micro-transactions seem to be fine in EA, I just hate it cause I worry where it will go to.
...
Note to self, listen to more before posting. :c

At any rate, yay, podcasts!

ive thought up a simple funny solution to the camera angle problem. just do this

first video ive posted hope it works.

Alas, my net is too shitty to view a podcast-length video every week...

I cannot see susan I disagree of this,this should be susan time with friends THERE MUST BE MORE SUSAN.

Not to take angry twitter guy's side on the whole spoiler discussion but in a show like Walking Dead where character mortality is a big part of it knowing character X survives to point Y could take tension out of scenes.
But I'm really touchy about those things, because I can't stop my self from putting 2 and 2 together. I got chapter 3 of the Walking Dead game completely ruined for me because someone said something that "Wasn't a spoiler"

I agree with Justin, the knowledge that there is something that can be spoiled is in it's self a spoiler, because you're expecting something and you don't know what or when but you're always ready for it.

Someone spoiled the last Harry Potter book for me ("What, Rowling's increasingly lazy writing, didn't," harr, harr) by suggesting one of the main characters died. They didn't, but I spent my time reading the whole book mentally building up for that moment. The whole thing felt deflated afterwards.

The Escapist Staff:
082: Microtransactions and Tomb Raider

This week, we discuss the comedian/tv show host Conan O'Brien and his attempt to Tomb Raider, Electronic Arts and their push for more microtransactions, and the pet hates we've developed with modern gaming.

Attention Podcat listeners! We're experimenting with live-action video in our podcasts, and want to know what you think! Watch a video-filled version of today's podcast here!

Watch Video

video kills it, was better as audio because i could do other things and listen to it now i cant watch your podcast or i'll miss things :(

Oh my god, Susan, I haven't checked Twitter in a few days! Don't spoil your tweets for me! Jeez! Unfollow.

Phlakes:

Impressionism

image

Cubism

image

They're both interpretations of realism but cubism is more symbolic and impressionism is more technical.

And Susan mentioned Dali,

image

Which is surrealism.

And whoever mention the "bombing in spain" That is Guernica which is the second picture in the comment above.

Itdoesthatsometimes:
I liked this weeks podcast.

I may sound like an asshole, but I feel like I am listening to the Podcast again. Just in case I did not sound like an asshole enough. It is not because Paul is back.

No offense Paul.

Good job, you all.

Um...huh?

I would have to say that I did expect there to be a table, but also I thought you would be using a blue screen instead of a green screen (though on second thought blue is a more common color to be used in cloths then green).

on the type of games effect the propensity to learn language feels far too not only anecdotal, but also very empirical as there is also almost an automatic conclusion that people will tend to like one type of game more then all others, and slightly elitist/snobbish that "those whom do not like similar things(games) to me must be deficient in some way" though I do understand some of the claims it does make some leaps that I just can't get along with.

and just because a person loves math does not mean that they will like statistic driven games. because there are several circles of the math community at large that will say Statistics is not math it is a numerical science. this is based on the line of reasoning that science explains the world, math gives a basis to the science. And before you get going with "then why is Statistics taught as a math course in most schools" because when it comes down to it most of your sciences have some physical, or visual component to them, and statistics in, and of itself is purely theory. so it is more a half way between science, and math (a loner not fitting in with either), but it is put in with math because the lack of the physical component.

To be honest I listen to the podcast whilst doing other things so the video didn't add much. It was nice to see who was talking and the crazy hand talk, I would suggest finding a better camera angle, or setting the camera higher so we're looking down but seeing everyone clearer.

Micro-transactions so long as they stay as (reasonable) impatience tax I'm fine with them.

Also Javik should not have been DLC.

You're complaining about Conen's "Clueless Gamer" segments? Really? Grow some skin Tito.

It's the same as when I make fun fans of [insert your local sports-ball variant here].

First he's ad-libbing and so the comedy is going to be the first thing that comes to mind. And I find the funny thing about these segments is that he is going for the obvious jokes. This comes from the fact that he is completely clueless (Like the title).

Coming up with better jokes would involve some actual writing. But I really doubt that is going to happen especially because most of the humour comes from Conan's quite reasonable bafflement at the situations that games put you in.

I also think he may be hamming up his cluelessness. He actually seems to be playing a stereotypical "non-gamer". Yes the obvious "you're a nerd so you don't get laid" jokes are kinda cheap but you've got to admit that earnestly describing the plot and setting of Halo does make you sound like a bit of a basement dwelling loon.

If you can't take a gentle ribbing about nerd stereotypes then... don't watch?...

WalrusPowers:
Alas, my net is too shitty to view a podcast-length video every week...

The Lugz:
video kills it, was better as audio because i could do other things and listen to it now i cant watch your podcast or i'll miss things :(

No worries! We're still going to have an audio-only version available, either hosted on our site or through our regular podcast gallery on iTunes, so you'll still be able to get your weekly podcat fix!

We're also going to see what we can do about adjusting the size/quality of our videos as well, so it still looks good but it's not a huge bandwidth hog for those with slower internet connections.

Susan Arendt:

Itdoesthatsometimes:
I liked this weeks podcast.

I may sound like an asshole, but I feel like I am listening to the Podcast again. Just in case I did not sound like an asshole enough. It is not because Paul is back.

No offense Paul.

Good job, you all.

Um...huh?

I'm also rather confused here...

I enjoyed the video, so thumbs up from me. Highlights were definitly seeing hand gestures from everyone (Paul especially) and Greg's "4th wall breaking" look at the camera (technically that wall is already broken, but anyway).
One request; a little animation of a cat playing guitar for the intro/outro music. Can't help imagining a feline with an oversized guitar just shredding away...

I would be interested to hear thoughts on the numerous DLCs for games like Fallout; they came out after the initial release, adding areas not vital to the game but fleshing out side content (not including the one that extends FO3 ending). Susan; are you opposed on principle to the little extra gear you get with one of the FO:New Vegas DLCs that start you off with some extra armour and weapons? Is it treated differently in your eyes because it's singleplayer vs a multiplayer thing?

EDIT: My personal take on spoilers: everyone is assumed alive until proven/shown dead. Slight exceptions, but in general that's how I work around them. Saying a character is alive in a series isn't taboo, but even that can get murky if a character "dies"/disappears then makes a miraculous return...

It took me a little time to get into your podcast, meanwhile I#m generally looking forward to it week for week.
I'm really glad, that you're trying new things with the video version, allthough I think that still needs some work, especially when it comes to the angle of the camera.
Kind of feel bad for Susan for not beeing visible at all.
BUT, it really adds something to the Experience, when you're able to see some body language going on.
Great job!

Oh, and one more thing: I'm quite sure, that "in medias res" is Latin, not French.
Therefore there is no right way to pronounce it, since Latin is a dead language and all.
But if you care to argue about it:
My vote would be on a bad Italian Accent ;)

Love it but just one thing: the camera positioning isn't the best for seeing everyone's faces and expressions (especially Susan). Find a better configuration and you're gold. Look forward to seeing more! :)

I have heard time and time again it is lava hot in that room. Where is the lava?

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