GameSpot GamePlay Episode 15: A Series of Death Screams

Hired gun Heidi Kemps joins host Kevin VanOrd and the rest of the crew for discussions on the cost of DLC and the merits of Burger King chicken.

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 15: A Series of Death Screams

Host Kevin VanOrd welcomes ubiquitous freelancer Heidi Kemps into the fray. She and Carolyn Petit explore gender politics in gaming culture, Tom Mc Shea opines that not all chicken is delicious, and Peter Brown insists that if it's on the disc, it should be in the ****ing game.

Pardon his French. Also, that's not French.

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GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

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Discussion

113 comments
OleMarthin
OleMarthin

i don't mind on disk dlc as ling as the company is open about what the game you buy is. the most irritating thing to me is that the press and fans keep on calling it on-disk dlc. dlc stands for "downloadable content" if it's on the disk it's not downloadable. so call it something else.

 

to @TomMcShea comment about game price. games are actually a lot cheaper than they used to be 10-20 years ago. look back in time and see what 60$ got you, it got you a whole lot more that 60$ does today. it's called inflation, look it up:) add the increased production cost of modern games, the rise in salaries and living cost in general. all this has to be financed by game sales. lowering the cost of a game might increase sales but it's a big risk. once you lower the price, it's hard to increase it if the increase in sales are lower than what you needed to have a sustainable business.  

TheThoughtless1
TheThoughtless1

I would love to hear you all talk about any games that you hate, but you play anyways. (Ex: I play the NBA 2K games and they just frustrate me to no end, but I can't stop playing them.) 

guynamedbilly
guynamedbilly

I disagree with a lot of the social activism in the games journalist industry.  

 

Firstly, games are not real life.  What you do in a game is not necessarily an action that you'd perform in real life.  Just because you had a change of heart from GTA3 to GTA4 doesn't mean that everyone that doesn't think that way are bloodthirsty neanderthals.  Remember, this isn't blood, it's code...

 

As for the cosplay stuff, I've never enjoyed it and I certainly don't defend the actions of that guy who was harassing the booth workers, but when someone dresses in a risque game themed outfit, they are obviously wanting people to look at them.  Looking at someone that wants you to look at them is not wrong in any way at all.  Is this bizarro Gamespot?

lim_ak
lim_ak

 @TomMcShea I'm just going to have to disagree hugely on the subject of Cosplay. People do it for a whole host of reasons, one of the major ones is that people both men and women is because they like that character. And a lot of them spend a great deal of work, sometimes months getting a costume together so it's natural for them to want to show it off to folk. Equating them in the same category of booth babes who are hired to be there as essentially booth decoration is pretty different. While there is something to be said about female characters being overtly sexualised in much of our current media that should be where the discussion should be had not on somewhat skimpy cosplay outfits. I've come around on that last bit in recent times after thinking of doing some cosplay of my own and figuring out why people including myself actually want to do cosplay. 

WTA2k5
WTA2k5

I actually hated BioShock's story. It was very heavy-handed, kind of akin to a Spielberg movie. Andrew Ryan's final speech is especially overwrought; he literally shouts the game's main theme at the player over and over again, and goes on a long rant explaining every significant part of the story leading up to that point and how the player should feel about it. If that's considered one of the most dramatic, intellectual scenes in gaming, then the medium has a long way to go in terms of presenting truly mature, cerebral stories.

 

 

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

@TomMcShea tom, I have a idea for a game and I want your thoughts on this. I call it death pong, its just like classic pong but the ball is actually a rag doll, human corpse. the walls have spinning gears, razors and spikes. the more you play the more the limbs start to disintegrate making it harder to hit the body with the paddles. :D

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

I love violence!!!!  murdering people is sooo much fun!!!! :DDDDD in video games mind you.

hawkstone
hawkstone

I think that the entire concept of on-disc "DLC" is that is INHERENTLY offensive.   Of course it's more efficient if they're done with that content to not pay bandwidth fees (on either end), and it makes logical sense.  And even if they produced it during the main game development, it's quite possible it was using people whose part in the main game would otherwise be finished.  But:

 

Those facts are irrelevant.  It does NOT have to be objectively worse than the other option to be insulting to consumers.

 

Let's say you buy a Fluttershy pony toy (for your daughter).  You get it home, open the packaging, and inside you find a locked box with a combination code on it.  A few days later, you hear the announcement: for a few extra dollars, Hasbro will sell you the combination to your locked box and you can get Fluttershy's pet, Angel Bunny.  Sure, one of you saves shipping cost, and it's not like they were going to give you that content for free, and they make so many toys it doesn't divert any notable resources from their modeling and creation of the Fluttershy pony that you knew you were buying. 

 

Independent of these logical facts, they've created a product and "given" it to you when you purchased something else, but not quite: they literally locked it away and held it hostage until you give them a dollar figure.

 

In other words, the action itself is what is offensive, even if you can prove that the alternatives make more sense.

rallykupojr
rallykupojr

I know I said the last episode was my favorite one so far, but I think I like this one even better because they used my idea for the DLC comparisons. :D I thought the examples were great and most of them had me stumped (except for Trains because that's shenanigans). I love being able to contribute, and love the 'cast every week!

mehrdad19872010
mehrdad19872010

@TomMcShea at E3, you said that the last of us did a pretty good job of not glorifying violence and in fact you became upset because of it. Now it seems like you have a different opinion. I was just wondering, do you think Naughty Dog are just making the player feel like a bad ass by showing the player character do all this horrible stuff to people or are they trying to say something about the nature of humanity in the face of an apocalypse, or something similar?

mehrdad19872010
mehrdad19872010

I think in The Last of Us since it has the setting of a post apocalyptic world which inherently has the rule of jungle within it, the violence is justified. It seems like they want to explore the deterioration of humanity in such circumstances. I just hope they can deliver that message properly. 

picho86
picho86

About on disc DLCs. The reason it angers people so much is that it is like a slap in the face. Not only they're selling you only a part of a game for full price, they also tell us "We could give you all the content we made for the game, but we won't".

picho86
picho86

Booth babes are mostly models who don't give flying puck about the games they're representing. Also the fact they use hot, barely dressed women to sell the game, shows that they're treated as a piece of meat. It is not about celebrating anything.

I think that using sex to sell games is degrading for both women and gamers.

DeusAlex
DeusAlex

 liked the Transformers FOC, but when you charge for customization skins for characters already in the game, instead of being able to earn them just by leveling up, is such a rip off. I bought the game when it came out. It's good, but when you have to spend more money, just for skins for multiplayer, that's when I decided to sell it after a month and buy Borderlands2, where skins and heads are in the game already and just have to unlock them for you to use. Also, got the season pass. No regrets and totally worth it.

bicelis
bicelis

A joke is a joke. It's doesn't matter what it's about. Maybe it was a wrong place to make that joke but that's all - it just wasn't funny or annoying that it's out of place. By punishing Steffano, etc. you make an assumption and accusation towards him that he ACTUALLY THINKS what he said. And so you call Steffano a person who's in favor of statutory rape. Now YOU have to apologize to him. 

But people enjoy being offended so much these days, that they seriously affect companies that say or do something which they don't like. And that is why apologizing publicly has become so important - simply to not lose customers. 

Dreizel
Dreizel

Gosh this talk about sexism is so untastefull. Guys offend other guys too is not only to girls. It is most of a way to show their furstrantion with the game itself than any other thing, it doesn't have that much of a deeper meaning. You wanna be treated as equal, don't turn yourself into a victim. Girls always talk about how they want to have the same rights as man do, well i say fuck you for those who say that,. At the present moment they have much more rights than any man. As for those job specif descrimination, there is discrimination for certain jobs for man as well, and i don't see people talking about it. 

Keithy211
Keithy211

Sorry for being a little off-topic but what game is that girl from on the main page that you click on to go to this page?

picho86
picho86

 @guynamedbilly Booth babes don't want people to look at them, they want the money. If I were to guess, I'd bet that most if not all of them think that all of the visitors are drooling, pathetic nerdy boys. 

All that doesn't change the fact that no one has the right to harass. A skimpy outfit isn't an invitation. It doesn't matter why she's wearing whatever she's wearing. You don't talk to people like that. Especially people you don't know.

jayd02
jayd02

 @WTA2k5 It wasn't the greatest plot twist ever but for a video game I believe it is.  When you compare it to games up to that point and games that were released around it I would say that it was great.  The speech might have been over done but for it built up tension and it really pushed me to finish the game.  it also gave the replay of the game much better because I noticed those subtle words.  I think what makes it good is the fact that it is so simple.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

 @mehrdad19872010  It's difficult for me to speak about The Last of Us because I know nothing beyond the E3 trailer, but it does seem as if it's exploring how people would react when society crumbles. It'll be interesting to see if they can pull it off, or if the flashy camera angles and bloodshed end up glorifying the violence.

gufberg
gufberg

 @mehrdad19872010  @TomMcShea Even though im not McShea i feel like chipping in here. I completely agree with McShea's general point that violence should have a point (and MoH + CoD are pathetic pro-american war glorifying games) But as you say mehrdad the violence in Naughty Dog seems justified by the setting. It is a testament to 'survival of the fittest' in desperate situations. Likewise i would argue that Manhunt utilizes violence in a good manner too - its entire point is to be sickening and to challenge us with the concepts of serial murder. My point is that a violent game doesnt have to contain an implied moralism of: death is bad to be smart and justify itself. 

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

 @picho86 Would you rather that they just postpone the release of the DLC they have ready and make you download it? Or just not make it at all? The content is produced to be sold for additional money. We're never going to get it included with the cost of the game.

picho86
picho86

 @Dreizel You just don't have any idea what your'e talking about. Do you really have an idea what women have to put up with? The harassment they face on a daily basis? How would you like if your boss grabbed your ass? You can't tell anyone because that will get you fired and labeled a snitch. 

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

 @Dreizel You sound like part of the problem. Woman don;t have to earn the right to be treated as equals. Being respectful to woman is just common sense. how would you feel if  i knocked on your mother's door and called her a fat, useless, disgusting pile of trash. a complete stranger just insulted your mother for no reason.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

 @Keithy211 That's the girl from The Last of Us. If you're curious, Caro and I had no idea, either.

OleMarthin
OleMarthin

 @picho86  @guynamedbilly booth babes are payed to look good and attract people to the booth they are promoting. that said, there is a big difference in giving someone attention and harassing/ making people feel uncomfortable. all people should be treated with respect. 

guynamedbilly
guynamedbilly

 @picho86 I agree with everything you said.  I was talking about cosplayers, not "booth babes."

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

 @carolynmichelle  @picho86 I think one of the biggest issues for me is that, although games have become much more expensive than last generation when you factor in all the DLC, neither the quantity nor the quality has increased. We're getting less for more because publishers can't figure out how to make a profit with their huge budgets. It's a poor business model that ultimately hurts both the consumer (because we're out more money) and the game (because everyone having different content segments the multiplayer base)

picho86
picho86

 @carolynmichelle I am against DLCs as they are right now in general. Capcom is taking it one step further with taking away resources away from the game in order to squeeze a bit more money out of their customers, and then they have the nerve to rub it in their faces. The thing is that DLCs are made not for the benefit of their customers. It is very clearly a tool for nickeling and diming.

Dreizel
Dreizel

@carolynmichelle

I have no problem with content being made after the game is released with the purpose of adding content that the devs thought it would be good after the game is finished. As long as it is panned after the game is released i have no problem with that.

 

I do have a problem when they even haven't started a game and are already planning DLC. Why not include that already on the game, it is because of the money, but if that is so why not being HONEST about the price they want for the full game already, and launching the FULL game at that price, and let us decide if the game is worth the price they are asking. Even worse than this is doing the game and then gather together to decide which parts of the game could they remove and then sell it to us separate which i have no doubts many do.

 

I don't  want to buy half a game, nor should i have to pay extra for content that should be in the game in the first place, and i can can think a few games that have done this. Hell there is even one game that charged you to see the ending of the game, what the hell is up with that?

 

An example of good DLC is for example the Shivering Isles for the game Oblivion, but DLC is getting, as day passes by, more and more distante from being this great expansion experience to a game or used for good purposes, they take every little thing they can grab in the game put it apart and make you pay extra for these little things.

 

Dreizel
Dreizel

@picho86

You can and you should tell, since that behavior is not adequated and that person should be reported, but you make it sound like the world is filled by those kinds of persons, maybe in the past it has been, but right know it is almost like a fairy tail that you heard of, at least it is like this in my country, woman and man don't descriminated each other, and no man will make phisical abuse and the woman are more than capable to speak foror defend themselves they don't need a shiny knight to come to their rescue, man that defend that woman should be treated as an equal and then do that shiny knight thing are being hipocrytes because their are basicly showing(saying) that woman need man to defend them and that is OFFENSIVE.

And about verbal everyone jokes around with everyone, it doesn't mean anything, even guys joke around with other guys, at least in my country, it is funny that this apparently in some other places is only one sided, if a guy says verbal things to a woman it is like the end of the world but the other way around is not a big deal, that is not really being equally fair.

 

Dreizel
Dreizel

 @FreedomPrime See, but you are being one sided, it is common sense to treat EVERYONE with respect, not only woman, and that is what is offensive about it, you making it sound like woman are fragile beings that man need to defend when they are not, they are more than capable to defend themselves.

By what you say, it is only wrong calling woman fat,useless,etc but if it were to a said to a guy than it is ok, because he can take it. Is that right? NO! Man defending woman about this subjects and restricting it to woman, are themeselves saying that woman aren't as capable to defend themselves as man when this is WRONG, woman don't need a Shinny Knight for this.

I never said they should earn the right to be treated as an equal, that is the DEFAULT BEHAVIOR, but when people act like they need to be defended they are saying that they are not capable themeselves.

picho86
picho86

 @TomMcShea  @carolynmichelle Everything they do is to try to find ways to get some kind of return on their huge investments. For some reason they do not question the dogma that games need huge budgets. When you invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a game, you have to get creative if you want to turn it into a profit. That is the only reason DLCs exist.

The gaming industry is strange in many ways. It is the only industry in which all the big companies try to appeal to all the demographics they can with as few products as they can. It is the only industry that creates it's own tools(game engines) again and again. 

Dreizel
Dreizel

 @carolynmichelle I never mention any of the DLC's you mentioned are good as i haven't tried any of them. But i assure you that Shivering Isles was the real deal, it was pratically another game and didn't affect any of the original games plot, it had a plot own not related to the original game's plots.

And Bioware, i'm not even gonna dignify to make any comment other than they are a perferfect example of one of the practices i mention above, at least with one of their franchises, can't really speak about the others because i haven't played them.

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

 @Dreizel "I have no problem with content being made after the game is released with the purpose of adding content that the devs thought it would be good after the game is finished. As long as it is panned after the game is released i have no problem with that." I guarantee you that Bethesda was planning Dawnguard and Hearthfire during the development of Skyrim. And that Bioware plans out much of the DLC for their RPGs before those games are released. So these DLC packs should have been included in the game, then?

 

This all strikes me as a silly psychological game. We can ask developers to pull the wool over our eyes and make it less obvious that DLC was in planning and/or development during the development of the game, but it's not going to change the way things actually work, just the way it's presented to us.

picho86
picho86

 @Dreizel The only thing is that my country isn't very different than other western countries. A woman complaining in the US won't get a better result.

Dreizel
Dreizel

 @picho86 I see where you are coming from with your comments now that i understand how things are in your country.

It is a shame that many people think like that there, a human shouldn't make another human suffer just because she is female, nor should she be seen as a trouble maker for defending herself, the one who hurted her is the one who is a trouble maker.

I understand you now.

 

picho86
picho86

 @Dreizel Of course that's illegal, but if she complains to the police, everyone will hate her at work. She'll never be promoted.

picho86
picho86

 @Dreizel My country isn't worse than the average western country in that respect. The problem is people in general. People in my country, like almost everywhere, are split between people who don't think there is a problem, to those who think that women are always lying or overreacting in their complaints, to people who think it is ok to harass, and people like me who are very much opposed to any kind of harassment. You could see it very well at the former president's trial.

 

I don't understand about what people are supposed to decide? The laws exist, the problem is that a lot of people don't agree with them. They think that complementing a woman about her a$$ is fine. When a woman complains about that, they think that she's making a fuss, and they make her life hell for making trouble.

 

 

Dreizel
Dreizel

 @picho86 I hope this doesn't offend you, but i would hate to live in a country like that. Why doesn't the people do anything against these practices?

Is the majoritie of your countries people not against these horrible practices as you are?  It is a democracy as you say so the majoritie of people should be able to decide against that.. Sorry to be asking you this personal questions but you got me interested in that subject,

picho86
picho86

 @Dreizel I was talking mainly about the US which is in this regard pretty much like my own country. There are places much worse.

 

I'm still pretty sure that your'e just not aware of the real truth. Even if your country is some sort of a happy la la land, many countries aren't. There are places where women are mutilated at an early age so they won't enjoy sex. In general the world is a much darker place than you seem to think.

 

If your country has a working legal system, the accused has a right to defend himself. That defense includes smearing the victim. The more money the accused has, the more smearing he can do. Our last president(a ceremonial role here), who is a convicted rapist now (that can give you a clue into which country I am from), went on a smearing campaign against the victims. That is his legal right. Sure he's a horrible man, but in a democracy, a man has the right to defend himself.

The way I see it, the victims are lucky they were born here. A rape victim in one of our neighboring countries gets murdered because she disgraced her family.

 

The world isn't a nice place, especially for women.

 

Dreizel
Dreizel

 @picho86 What kind of place do you live in? That is horrible.  In here people don't respect companies who's boss has a reputation of harassing people, not the other way around, no one will reject people based on if they got harassed and made the right thing in reporting those people, people in here get hired based mainly on their skills.

 

Are you saying that if a girls gets raped and reports it is much worse to the girl in there? (Is that what your saying? I didn't quite got it) In my view by not reporting you are only making it worse, those scums are allowed to remain free and do the same again and they will find more victims, and as they know they can get away with it they will continuing doing it.

 

Your getting with each comment into even more serious subjects, that are in another category of gravity of subject than descrimination and woman rights that i mention in my original post.

 

Verbal is one thing phisical is another completly.

 

picho86
picho86

 @Dreizel You are so naive. Women who complain about sexual harassment are labeled as trouble makers. They will get treated horribly after that. No one will want to hire them. That is only with verbal harassment or something minor. Rape is much worse. If she complains. the trial will tear her life apart.

 

The reason I only talk about women in this regard is that it is extremely rare that a man will be harassed in this manner. Men don't have to deal with these problems.

 

You want to talk about women's rights? what in your opinion is the percentage of women in high position all over the world? In the US for example. How many female CEOs are there in comparison to men? how about the average salary for the same position? How about the treatment of women who have to go on maternity leave? Sure it's illegal to fire them, but it's pretty difficult to prove it when they plan it well. I can give you specific cases.   

Dreizel
Dreizel

@picho86

That is assault, and it should be reported. In here as i said woman can defend themeselves against harassment, of course if it is 15 people she won't but that is the same for guys, if 15 guys show up to beat a guy up there is little he can do, and this also happens, what i found odd is that you people only defend people against these things when they are woman what makes it seem like your saying that a guy can handle it but a girl can't..

 

And if it happens in the work place she should report, she can't be fired, there are laws to prevent that, the only one who'll get punishment is the one who harassed her, and sexual harassment isn't exclusive on woman's it also happens to guys you know but apparently it isn't as important to people as the other way around wich further makes it seem that woman are less capable than man when they are not, you understand what i am trying to say??

 

In anyway i never talked about phisycal sexual harassment in my original post, i talked about discrimination and womans rigths, and i only went into this subject because you asked me about it your comment

 

picho86
picho86

 @Dreizel I don't know what country you're from but it sounds a pretty amazing place.

People don't change with the times. People were a-holes and they'll continue to be a-holes. The fact that you don't see a problem, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Just google some surveys about sexual harrasment. I'm pretty sure you'll find that the world is quite different than you think.

Speaking out against sexual harrasment isn't being a knight in shining armor. It is just being a good person who understands how the world works. A woman can speak for herself when she's being grab a-d by a weak nerdy boy. How about when it happens at work? Or when that weak nerdy boy, has 15 friends near him? 

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

 @picho86  @TomMcShea  @Keithy211 early in the podcast they were discussing about the comment that the starcraft player said. he talked about abusing a underage girl......the girl in the last of us is a underage girl.