Escapist Podcast: 083: SimCity, Story-Based RPGs and Google Glass

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083: SimCity, Story-Based RPGs and Google Glass

This week, The Escapist crew discusses SimCity's launch day woes, the upcoming Google Glass device and the problems with privacy that may come with it. Also, we discuss how the definition of "literally" is being changed (much to Susan's chagrin), and the best way to play Story-Based RPGs.

From here on out, we're going to do our best to ensure each podcast also features video! But if you prefer the audio-only version of The Escapist Podcast, it's available for free from our RSS feed or our iTunes page!

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Just started watching but re: Susan's scar story - is wrong that I'm getting more sympathy pain in my teeth than forehead?

Thanks for the PodCat!

cynicalsaint1:
Just started watching but re: Susan's scar story - is wrong that I'm getting more sympathy pain in my teeth than forehead?

No, not wrong! I can't imagine how she managed to come out unscathed, but that must've really hurt.

In future, for the rest of us, could you please put a direct link to the Audio Only version please?
Not all of us are iTune loving users.

The Immigrant song cover was Trent Reznor/Atticus Finch with Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's on Vocals.

Migs:
In future, for the rest of us, could you please put a direct link to the Audio Only version please?
Not all of us are iTune loving users.

From what I understand from our IT guys, you can download the MP3 through the Podcat's RSS feed.

Hoplon:
The Immigrant song cover was Trent Reznor/Atticus Finch with Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's on Vocals.

I've heard that version before! It's pretty wicked.

Itunes version seems to be borked :(

"An error has occured while downloading 083: Simcity, ... An unknown error has occured (8006)"

So...the new SimCity does not have a single player mode where you can play offline? This confuses and angers me.

Also thank you Susan for introducing me to Plague Inc.

I can't download the iTunes version either.

WMDogma:

Hoplon:
The Immigrant song cover was Trent Reznor/Atticus Finch with Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's on Vocals.

I've heard that version before! It's pretty wicked.

It's something alright, I just want them to do the Dr Who theme like that.

WMDogma:
From what I understand from our IT guys, you can download the MP3 through the Podcat's RSS feed.

You can (usually). This week the RSS download is broken for me just like the iTunes apparently is for others.

bliebblob:
Itunes version seems to be borked :(

"An error has occured while downloading 083: Simcity, ... An unknown error has occured (8006)"

Chiming in with a "me too!" This same error ('083') occurs with a non-iTunes RSS/podcast reader (BeyondPod for Android).

If you're going to remove this feature, then please remove it from the list of RSS feeds at: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/rss/

bliebblob:
Itunes version seems to be borked :(

"An error has occured while downloading 083: Simcity, ... An unknown error has occured (8006)"

I get "Invalid episode media type" from my podcast app. Corrupt file, I reckon.

Much better positioning the camera this time around. Good job.

On the topic of the google glasses, you guys are completely over estimting the power of such a device and the scope of database it is searching to look up. It will probably work out to be nothing more than a fancy bar code reader, then someone will figure out how to get it to look up product info from logos and trademarks.

But for the ability for it to see someone's face and recognize them is is completely unrealistic with current technology. For example, the Kinetic. I am the only person programmed into my kinetic, so it has a database of one. I have to get its attention so it can recognize my face. For it to recognize my face, I have to stand 4 or 5 feet away, while facing it standing still for 10 seconds and then it tells me it doesn't recognize me and I realize the window is open. Then I have to close the window, and do it all over again before I give up and sign in the old fashioned way.

So now these Google Glasses, they will probably need the person to be standing still and looking straight ahead Bethesda NPC style, take a few seconds to map their face and then crunch through a picture database to not find a match. Even if it did, and lets assume for a second the it even found the right person (which would be astonishing) how would this picture be linked to any relevant information besides name? What, are the glasses then going to go to the google search engine and find 30 blog post that has the persons name appearing in them. And the you scroll down till you get to the white page search that shows the addresses of all the John Does, J. Does, Jonathan Does that live in Anytown USA? Of course this is assume there is a decent 4G or wireless service around.

My point is there are so many point at which this breaks down look up people, it wouldn't work anytime soon. And even if the technology was there, anyone who has worked in database management can tell you that you will not find that kind of information just by looking at a face in real time. Plus you will probably need some sort of input devise to narrow search fields and cull down any information it does find to the useful parts. You can tell when someone is taking pictures or video of you with a phone, so you will be able to tell someone is eye-googling you with these glasses when they are typing away at your wrist keyboard. You literally won't have anything to worry about from this until the global corporation starts making us go in for bi-annual face scans and record updating.

To everyone having problems nabbing the mp3 from iTunes or our RSS feed, I've got our techie guys taking a look into it now to see what the issue is. Thank you for your patience!

RE: The technical issues on SimCity

Really its a question of whats being done where. How much of the game is being run on the servers? How much information do you have to send back and forth? Ideally (in my mind) you'd want the game to be running mostly client side and minimize the amount of information you have to send back and forth for the game to function properly. For example the city is running client side and the only information you need to send back are some basic stats about your city that are important in how neighboring cities interact.

However if they're running the game mostly off the server then well, you have to send all that data back to the client and every running city is going to be a much bigger drain on that servers resources since the server is now not only responsible for sending data back and forth between clients, but also the city itself.

So it could definitely be a software issue as much as it is a hardware issue. It really just comes down to how they designed the game. Personally I think they'd have to be crazy to take the latter approach - it would however give them more direct control over things, make the game harder to pirate, etc. So who knows?

The more information you're required to send the faster the pipes are going to get clogged, and the more of the game that's running on the server the fewer pipes they're going to have.

With my history in Technical Editing, I understand Susan's anger with the new revision of "literally"; however dictionaries are supposed to record how a word is used in society, not prescribe how the word should be used. Since a large portion of English speakers use "literally" as an emphatic adverb or intensifier, then dictionaries have a responsibility to record that meaning.

This is more a benefit to English second-language speakers. Imagine a Korean man, studying English, visits New York City and while walking on the street hears, "With all these restrictions on zoning, this city is literally killing homeowners." Having the amended version of literally listed in the dictionary adds needed clarity for second-language speakers (and for all speakers), and reduces the anxiety that Korean man was about to have.

On a more theoretical level, the incorrect usage of "literally" is actually not incorrect. According to some philosophies in Linguistics there is no universal authority stating that a word and its meaning is intrinsically connected (Sign and Signifier for those who are familiar with Structuralism/Deconstructuralism). A language is constructed by society, through the interaction of individuals; thus words and their meanings are decided by society. If enough people decide that literally means "to indicate that some metaphorical or hyperbolical expression is to be take in the strongest admissible sense" (Oxford English Dictionary), then the meaning of this word has changed. And this phenomenon, called Semantic Shift, occurs an incalculable number of times within any language.

My personal favorite is the word "awful", which once meant "Worthy of profound respect" or "Sublimely majestic", but now means "terrible, dreadful, [or] appalling" (Oxford English Dictionary).

One thing I just can't stop myself from saying about the Google Glasses debate:

All of you guys arguing about how it violates privacy are operating from a flawed premise. You're operating on the assumption that those glasses can identify people by face alone and find personal information, AND that it is not possible to take a picture of someone with your smart phone, use that to identify them, then find the exact same information using the phone's browser.

You should be able to see the flaw in that argument. You're assuming two contradictory facts are true. If the glasses could identify someone on sight, that same person could be identified through the use of a smart phone's camera.

Ergo, your argument collapses.

You definitely raise valid points, and we should all be very concerned about our privacy in the modern era, but the glasses are not going to be what causes those violations of privacy. Having personal information on the internet, and the internet being accessible anywhere, is what causes it. The only solution is to ensure that every piece of information that you give to anyone you don't personally know and trust is something you would not be upset if the entire world knew.

caravan29:

With my history in Technical Editing, I understand Susan's anger with the new revision of "literally"; however dictionaries are supposed to record how a word is used in society, not prescribe how the word should be used. Since a large portion of English speakers use "literally" as an emphatic adverb or intensifier, then dictionaries have a responsibility to record that meaning.

This is more a benefit to English second-language speakers. Imagine a Korean man, studying English, visits New York City and while walking on the street hears, "With all these restrictions on zoning, this city is literally killing homeowners." Having the amended version of literally listed in the dictionary adds needed clarity for second-language speakers (and for all speakers), and reduces the anxiety that Korean man was about to have.

On a more theoretical level, the incorrect usage of "literally" is actually not incorrect. According to some philosophies in Linguistics there is no universal authority stating that a word and its meaning is intrinsically connected (Sign and Signifier for those who are familiar with Structuralism/Deconstructuralism). A language is constructed by society, through the interaction of individuals; thus words and their meanings are decided by society. If enough people decide that literally means "to indicate that some metaphorical or hyperbolical expression is to be take in the strongest admissible sense" (Oxford English Dictionary), then the meaning of this word has changed. And this phenomenon, called Semantic Shift, occurs an incalculable number of times within any language.

My personal favorite is the word "awful", which once meant "Worthy of profound respect" or "Sublimely majestic", but now means "terrible, dreadful, [or] appalling" (Oxford English Dictionary).

Well said. Read this podcat people. The usage of words adapt and change based on the meaning people want to communicate.

Hey guys! The RSS feed and iTunes should be all fixed for this. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Delmar Wynn:
Hey guys! The RSS feed and iTunes should be all fixed for this. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Nope. RSS feed is still giving me an empty download at the moment.

Could just be a cache thing I guess... Will try again in a few hours.

I have a really bad feeling that I don't actually know the correct definition of literally, so I'm sorry for getting it wrong for many years. Relating to that, I spelt tomorrow wrong for about 16 years. I spelt it tommorow until last year when I saw it on my predictive text. I then processed to yell at everyone I knew for not telling me I spelt it wrong for my whole life. I'm dyslexic, I will spell something wrong til I'm told otherwise.

Relating to the name thing, I really hate being called my full name. My full first name is Phillip and I get the urge to punch someone when they call me that. My name is Phil, stop calling me Phillip.

Oh and susan, how do you feel about Susanne, where they make the A a long A.

Tust wanted to say the last time I tried to view the video and audio podcast it stoped working 2/3s in, but this time I got to see and hear the whole thing!

:D Well done on that and the show!

Well, does anyone remember back in 2006 when "funner" became a word?

That is what pissed me off.

Also, as far as what happened to Rene Russo.... She played Thor's Mom/Oden's Wife in Thor.

I somehow dont think the facial recognition on the google glasses would be that absolute that they would be easily able to access all your information including your address and credit card details just with a glance, the amount of hacking that would be required to do that kind of thing to a point where you could would outweigh the benefits and probably require something of a higher processing power than a phone, the chances are also that the glasses would all be registered to a user, in the case that all accounts are monitored if you have someone sitting outside a preschool it would probably be noticed since google has rights to your personal information, personal information being construed as videos taken by the user in question, and say the glasses double as a phone if phone companies sold them you would need a certain amount of information to purchase on a plan

I sent in that question about food because I figured you guys would want to talk about it anyway, so why not make it in the form of a question rather than a tangent? Funnily enough, Paul was the only one to squeeze in an answer which made me laugh.

In relation to chips and such on your body holding information, one of the coolest ideas I read in a Harry Harrison novel (called something like Space Virus) was that everyone had their medical details (ID, allergies, blood type) tattooed in ultraviolet ink on their chest and medical personnel could then use a UV light to read it.

Unfortunately English is infamous for establishing something but people just ignoring it. Prime example is when people say "Can I?" when in proper English they should say "May I?" I'm sure there is a list of things that are abused within the English language but that was one that always stood out to me.

EDIT: Plague from Space, not Space Virus. My bad.

Well, iTunes Podcasts are broken and don't allow playback, so video I'm not watching (for the most part) it is!

Huh.. Susan, I thought you world talk with your hands more. Also, I'm a little concerned with your world ending viruses starting in Canada... I'm watching you!

Wow, wasn't expecting a video podcast. This is great! :D

Strange Journey doesn't take place in space... But damn, if there were a Shin Megami Tensei in space? Oh that would be so awesome.

As far as I'm concerned, there are no privacy issues with Glass. If you can be seen with eyes (due to being in public) then you have (or should not) no expectation of privacy. Unless you want to start policing where people are allowed to look with their eyes, there are no problems.

Can there please be an audio-only version On somewhere Other than itunes (I don't use itunes and never will).

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