Forum Posts Following Followers
669 438 59

contentxcontext Blog

Bioshock Infinite: did Greatness of vision breed Cognitive Dissonance?

This Post is originally available on wearearcade.com and i'm sharing it here to gather opinion and for a little bit of archival purposes.

 

WARNING THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR BIOSHOCK INFINITE.

Now its important that I state up front that despite the possible negativity that may come across in my thoughts is in no means a reflection of how I feel about the overall quality Bioshock infinite, if anything Bioshock Infinite is a startling and stunning experience that is both the product of an astoundingly talented mind in the shame of the games director and writer Ken Levine but also of an incredibly talented team at irrational. Its also one of the early highlights of 2013 and this console generation.

Coin-Lutece.jpg

 

Bioshock infinite is a game that you owe it to yourself to play through at least once.

Its also important to note, that I played through the game twice. Firstly through on normal to experience the story before spoilers ruined the experience for me and secondly in the unlocked 1999 mode.

My experiences through the game differed greatly both times although I  was experiencing exactly the same content, but more importantly my thoughts on the game as a whole did not changes at all. If anything they strengthened.

The problem is that Bioshock Infinite lacks something very small that the original Bioshock does not. Simply, glue.

 

 

While every element of Bioshock Infinite is connected by narrative themes, design, both visual and game design, story and messages the game has clear separate boundaries. While this does not make the game a less then enjoyable experience there is a sense of disappointment once its all over. One that says a lot more about the issues with games as a narrative medium on the whole as well as an entertainment format.

 

Bioshock is one world that is made up of three distinctly related yet also totally separate parts. Story, World narrative and Gameplay; these parts cross over each other, stacked like folded edges of an old box sometimes blurred but still obvious when you look.

 

BioShock-Infinite-2-008.jpg

The overriding feeling you get from Infinite is that its a mix of shooting gallery and interactive digital play.

 On two separate occasions I heard stories from people that painted a negative sounding reflection of the game experience.

The first from a work friend who after a large amount of time with the game said I really like it but the combat, it just doest feel fun. Its like a meat grinder. Wave after wave of enemy just come at you constantly.

 

 

While the combat in Infinite is acceptable and on paper has interesting and forward thinking mechanics this sense of a lack of depth cant just be brushed aside.

On my own first playthrough I felt this too, that the combat more often then not becomes a chore and not another interesting element that you look forward to. That even though this is a good story in a vivid and stunning world that the combat in the needless grind that you do to see the next bit of the play.

The other comment that stood out to me was from my partner, she shared the feeling of the game being a bit of a chore sometimes when it comes to the combat but what really struck her was the disparity between the experience she was expecting and what she got.

 

While re-watching one of the trailers she just simply said. yes, this, this is what I was looking forward to and I got something else.

This is not a terrible issue, early demos and trailers are there to create a feel for the game were going to get. Yet I cant help but feel that developers, publishers and PR do not really look at the disparity between how a game is marketed and how its actually received or perceived during play.

Is it even important for them to have to stick to initial perceptions?

It is maybe time developers and publishers did stop and look at how the games they are promoting & creating are coming across. The issue with video games in general is that they are exclusive and nearly never inclusive. Irrational painted a picture of a deep and involving narrative about a beautiful and flawed world that appealed to a wide range of people. They sold an experience to as many people as they could because rightly so they want all those people to play that experience but then bore no though to people not enjoying the parts between.

 bioshock-infinite-january-1.jpg

 

My aforementioned partner is by no means new to games, FPS or the Bioshock series being somewhat of a fan of the first and even second title, but when I mentioned the issues she had with the game to another member of the games press they said more or less maybe its just because it was that they were not expecting the shooting in the game.

To an extent this is a logical reaction but it really shouldnt be. We as gamers and the games community on all sides are so used to the notion of people not being good at something and so it being their fault and not the games that we brush the issue off like it doesnt matter. When the very problem is preventing so many from experiencing the very games we are attempting to sell as immersive and artistic.

Going back to the issues of gameplay and this distinct division between gameplay and story. The sense of the game being an elaborate play is apt.

As I said before the games more combat orientated elements feel like they should work. In fact on small doses the combat is somewhat easier to get to grips with then it was in Bioshock. So where are the issues in this area?

Firstly and most obviously is the Serious Sam aspect to the common enemy, more often then not there is little tactical action to be had. Yes the game throws different types of enemies at you each with different weaknesses or attack powers but ultimately they all come more or less directly at you all guns or powers blazing. Victory and loss never feels interesting and more often then not cheap.

When you fall its not because you made a mistake or got outsmarted but more often then not you just couldnt move into cover fast enough as everyone stood or ran at you and shot over and over again.

There are moments that do impress combat wise, small snatches of the game where the combat is interesting but these are few and far between. Moments you would expect to be so are not as fun as one would at first hope.

 bioshock-infinite-2013s-most-anticipated

 

The Handymen, while having a couple of interesting behaviors are some of the most infuriating enemy encounters in the game. Being as mindless as the smaller enemies you face for the most part. Leaping and sliding at you often times in near unavoidable attack animations. Being somehow faster and more damaging then any other enemy yet also near impervious to damage even on lower levels of challenge. Their only real mix up being to use the electrocute the skylines (another feature somewhat scaled back since the original trailers) every time you spend too long on them.

This would make for a fun experience because by enlarge the times you get to mix the skylines into your combat is quite fun; that is if it were not for the excessive speed the beasts show. Even once you manage to escape an area where fighting one head on would be a disaster and land in a temporary safe area, are you faced with one landing next to you, causing often impossible to avoid splash damage. What could be an interesting mix up to the combat turns into run shoot twice, run.

This would be all well and good, but theres no feeling of skill, a lack of accomplishment. On harder modes like 1999 I personally fought one for two hours before a fortunate in game glitch caused the handymans animation cycle to stall allowing me to dangle from a skyline and unload every weapon I had into him, three times.

The most disappointing encounter though was Lady Comstock, or what may or may not be a spectral ghost like take on her. These encounters were a chore that involved essentially infinitely spawning basic enemies that constantly got in your way while you battled a less then interesting boss character.

Yes people have rightly complained about the ending boss encounter to the original Bioshock but instead of thinking of a better solution to boss encounters irrational simplified it even more and made us fight it three times.

The tedium reaches a peak during the final moments though placing you in charge of protecting a vulnerable thing that you have manage while dealing with wave after wave of mindless enemies And heavy airships. For a game that we were promised we wouldnt have to worry about protecting out partner during the game proper. That this wasnt another escort mission to be presented with one at the very end of the game as its substitution for a boss encounter is ironic and even insulting.

Yes even this encounter sounds good on paper, the songbird character you though was going to be a threat actually becomes a weapon for you to use in battle. You get to command this powerful man/bird/cyborg/thing to attack those who would do you harm but the use of even this feature becomes underwhelming with its mapping to the x (or in ps3 square) button. Often the use of this commend isnt picked up, or is badly timed with Elizabeth offering important items like health or weapon ammo.

 bioshock-infinite-screenshot-6.jpg

 

So in tense moments where you are taking damage, your airship and ward are taking damage and youre attempting to shoot another airship out of the sky you are instead interrupted with a longer then youd realise animation that takes up enough time for you to get shot down or the airship to also get shot down.

Probably the biggest disappointment comes from the boys of silence. An enemy type that if implemented as originally planned would have really reinvented the way you played the game. As it is they are relegated to a small section at the end of the game, now behaving like explosive takes on the original games cameras. The first encounter with one is actually unavoidable, leaving you as to wondering what you have done wrong. Couple this with the now inconsequential design to the character and you are left feeling like these distinct creatures were left in the game because, well itd be a shame to waste them right?

They are an element that once again, serves a use, yet still feel like wasted potential. Another part of the game we could have been miss-sold on.

 

 Bioshock-Infinite-Screens-210910-1.jpg

So we should step away from the combat of the game and look instead to the other factors. Like I said before Infinite feels like a really interesting play, set in a stunningly well put together world that you are rewarded with for enduring the combat.

 

While the combat has a contextual reason for being there both with regards to the story and the world narrative, it doesnt feel connected. The strongest moments you experience in Bioshock Infinite take place during its opening moments. From the second you read the quite on screen at the start to the questions already swilling in your head as you climb the lighthouse, ascend into the physical heavens and land on Columbia you are taken for a stunning visual ride. The world is glorious and striking to behold, your early steps out into the streets and shops of the city really help to paint a picture of a world brighter and darker then any other. All the way through until the narratively important raffle scene the game is a ride that just works as a coherent whole. Even after making your first; in your mind important; choice of many important choices and you face the local police force the game feels coherent and strong.

 

 BioShock-Infinite-VGA-Preview-Handyman.j

Its the moments immediately after the first battle where the game splits almost instantly into three distinct parts.

 

The worlds narrative backdrop of social and political strife is always there but feels more and more weak over time. The vox populi and their struggles go from interesting narrative, to ok subplot to eventually basic mindless bad guys to kill.

 

Yes theres an initially strong narrative reason for the characters to exist, but the second you step into alternate realities twice over the potential depth to the world and its peoples struggles are gone.

 

The world narrative affects the game visually and physically but without really having a deep bearing on the story.

The choices you are promised, or at least teased with at the start of the game and ultimately in early trailers for the game turn out to be devoid of gravitas. You choose a or b and later you still get some equipment.

What we get in reality is a series of well visualised scenes that we get to shoot people in or watch the story from. The story marches on regardless, and while the scenes, story and world narrative have moments of great strength they remain un realised potential.

 Bioshock_Infinite_feature_screen2.jpg

 

Now this leads to the ultimate question with regards to the story we are partaking in, do we really have any bearing on that? We know that through the game we have had no effect at all on the world narrative so haw about the somewhat smaller story narrative.

 

Well the impact we have here is even less then that which we have on the rest of the world. Instead of being a powerhouse of storytelling in the gaming medium Bioshock Infinite is an interactive play. We can jump, move around and look at different scenes from different angles but the story rolls on regardless.

 

.

 

This is true of other games but here the critical and player reaction initially seems to paint the game as one that really spoke on behalf of the medium as a tool for storytelling. When really its using old tools in a very traditional way.

For real examples of the medium as a tool for the potential for storytelling you need to look at games like Journey and Papa & Yo. Both tell a story, but in a way thats distinctly impossible in any other art form or medium.

While Papo & Yo is flawed in its conventional gaming elements its points of narrative invention and subtext are astoundingly important for the medium. There are moments that require you to impact them in order for them to in turn impact on you.

 

Journey is distinctively different from Papo, almost totally devoid of traditional storytelling but managing to through carefully paced and though out gameplay moments convey a story to you that is at all times the same and individual from those of other players.

 

 Draw-first-bioshock-infinite.jpg

While Infinite tells a stunning and thoughtful sci-fi adventure romp, its still something that could potentially be told in any other format.

 

The problem isnt that Bioshock Infinite is a bad game, it's quite the opposite it's a fun whole that makes you want to come back for more. 1999 mode is a worthy challenge that actually makes you take more time over the combat and turns most of the combat into something close to a tactical experience. Bar a few Handymen and Ghosts.

 bioshock-infinite-elizabeths.jpg

 

I actually had more fun on my second time through, collecting all the hidden items, spotting like secrets and easter eggs, taking each moment as its own. You could view this as a consequence of finally freeing myself of the story. Having seen it in its entirety the game was no longer something in the way of the story but instead a fun and simplistic draw. I could come up with good tactics to use against my endless attackers.

In the end 1999 mode my second time through was both more enjoyable and much easier to take on. It was more fun.

The problem is that this simple revelation could be speaking volumes about the game as a whole and in turn how we still view games based on hype, production and topic.

The mass public shooting through the eyes of the Uwe Boll

So tonight I finally sat down and watched Rampage by Uwe Boll.

Yes that Uwe Boll.

anyway I wanted to write something on the film and chose to use a movie review website to do so. But sadly my writing went a little long and ive been unable to post in there. I choose instead to post it here. With Mr.Bolls previous connection to terrible Game to Film adaptations and the issues of gun violence and game violence all being fresh in the public eye of late I felt it would be an appropreate place to post this. Forgive me if i go on a bit or ramble a little. This is all just as I thought it.

 

 

Uwe Boll, for people like me simply bringing up the name of the often derived and detested director can bring a wave of expectations.

These are deeply seeded in the consciousness of all those whom have heard of the man, widely know for having a predication towards acquiring the rights to games and crafting less then stellar films from them. Normally upsetting both those who care about the original game and those hoping to see a good movie; instead coming away with a bad taste in their mouths having wasted money and a couple of hours on something less than entertaining.

Thats not to say that Uwe hasnt been capable of showing some potential in his past work; his directional take on the Postal series of games is actually quietly respected for attempting a more satirical edge. The film was still quite poor, but it showed both an effort on Bolls part to try something more suited to his directorial style and a growth in hit skills as a director in general.

Rampage is the point in which the director that was always hidden away in Boll finally shows his face. The problem is knowing if this was intentional or just entirely by accident.

After the terrible events of both the shooting of over 50 people in a Colorado movie theatre and the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year the whole issue of mass public shootings and their effects is on everyones minds. Its effecting possible changes to American politics and questions with regards to what causes young men and women to commit such crimes is at the forefront.

Video games or more correctly violent video games are a hotbed of discussion. Real people are feeling affected by gun laws, the loss of life and questioning the effects of violent imagery now more then ever.

So coming back to Rampage is now more of a delicate choice. Doubly so when we take into account the man directing and writing this film is so deeply connected to video games.

As such the question is an important one. Why has Owe Boll directed a film with such a difficult subject matter? What is he attempting to say, of anything? Most importantly does he say it well enough to be seen saying anything at all?

The film itself is a low budget dissection of a young mans life during a two day period. Starting at the end of the rampage in question we see him quietly burning a bag of items, unknown at this point, and see him reflecting on whats just happened.

 

rampage-02.png

Very quickly the film snaps back two days and we are presented with a quiet, if intense man working out in his bedroom. The film quietly shows him at home with his parents and presents us with our first startling image. Normality.

What is a very naturalistic scene plays out between parents and son and everyone heads off to work.

We see a very normal day play out with only little hints at potentially questionable mental problems in our lead. Arguments arise in coffee shops and work, but these feel entirely normal, something we could see and likely have seen in any other shop at some time or another.

The day plays out and everything is still very normal. Obviously we know its not and we look, we look very closely to see what it is that tips this seemingly normal young man over the edge.

Intercut with all the daytime scenes are flashes of the events to come more and more precursors to violence. In another directors hands this could be used well to make us question the reality of the protagonists state of mind. Better still though they could just not be used at all.

But they are and we are forced constantly to be reminded of the monstrous acts to come, tricked into wondering why.

Brendan Fletcher is striking in the role; just natural enough to feel believable jet unbalanced enough to give us hints of the monster inside. Yet this directorial choice takes away from that subtlety.

The night we watch as he quietly gets his tools ready and plans for the day ahead. We are presented with something clear, a planned event, something thats clearly been on his mind for a while and can be seen as a statement on the creation of a killer. That its not one thing suddenly flicking a switch but instead more often then not a clearly thought out choice.

What follows next is about forty minuets of a man in homemade armour killing innocent people. This is both where Uwes directing style and the films low budget really help sell the startling nature of what takes place.

 

Rampage.jpg

Whats really interesting and eventually disappointing is how quickly the following massacre scenes go from challenging to shallow.

The opening event is involves a van full of explosives being remotely driven into the local police station. An event that is supposed to come across and both well thought out, cunning and tactical is soured by the use of a remote detonator containing an LED display featuring the words game over.

This almost immediately dispels all of the potential in the serious nature of the films subject matter. Almost.

On reflection though this feels almost like a knowing nod to all those who questioned Uwe Bolls previous directorial works. A statement saying this is the point where I give you the middle finger and show you what I can really do.

What follows next is a prolonged space of time where a man walks slowly down a shopping street and shoots people with apparently no cause at all. In this moment Uwe pulls a surprising trump card out; he shows his real directorial potential.

The camera immediately cuts to a shot of the killer, full screen, in mask. His victims are not seen killed and he becomes faceless. Theres no chance to glamorise the actions of a madman, to create an idol for people to replicate. Instead a massage is shoved right into our faces.

Reason has no baring here because this could be anyone and we all could have a thousand reasons. This could be a double edged sword though, allowing someone to choose to visualise themselves in the role of this killer.

Still the real question is whether or not this shot is deliberate statement or accident created by a director both saving money and looking for a camera angle that looks cool?

Is this showing Uwe Boll has directorial merit or is he just attempting to shock? Sadly as the film progresses we veer into schlocky territory. Humour quietly starts seeping into the events taking place, more likely than not with a level of deliberate deliverance.

One scene in a bingo hall in particular is appears to be played only for laughs. Eventually by the script end were presented with a simplistic crime flick. Killer instead using the events to cover his own robbery of the local bank and frame it on his politically active friend.

We go from startling and striking filmmaking to simplistic if relatively capable crime thriller. In this moment whatever message Uwe wanted to say is lost.

That is until films end where a final scene unfolds. Killer in camera we have a statement to the world, that he sees himself as an aid to the people on the earth. Doing a service for all the people of the earth by cutting down the numbers of people alive. Extending the planets recourses via human culling essentially.

In this the question is raised again, is or was Uwe Boll attempting to say something at all and does he even know himself?

In the few interviews Boll did for the film he showed little reference to the issues of violence in American culture or games. Maybe he really did have no message at all, no questions to ask or maybe he just wanted to leave it up to those who view his film to decide.

While Rampage is not a masterwork it is likely Uwe Bolls best work and its a film that does ask questions of us. Its portrayal of horrendous events are not pleasant to watch and are certainly not traditionally entertaining but this is a film that should be seen. Its important to remember that not all films should be entertaining to be worth our time and that even a mediocre director might be able to move us, for better or worse.

Why game emulation is not a bad thing....

I realise that this is likely to go down like a lead balloon but I'm going to roll on down this path anyway.

So first up, I do not condone theft of any kind, if you want something in life you should earn it to some extent or you should make it yourself. I think thats only fair and while I realise this may put someone as talentless and with as interesting a history as me on quite shaky ground, I stand by this as an ideal.

Now its true that downloading something thats not yours is stealing, without a doubt, game and console emulation has always been a sticky area. A legal muddy zone has always existed around the notion of emulation with regards to games and while downloading something you dont own is wrong unless given away free its not often something you hear stories on.

Not often is it that a gamer is held up in court over charges related to downloading copies of a game.

There seems to be this split notion of what us gamers think. One camp only sees it as outright wrong and would look upon people emulating with distain.

Theres the other camp that see the downloading of games as entirely justified and will be willing to do it wholesale.

You never hear from the middle ground that might see a means to an end with a good reasonable level of choice, but Nope, its one extreme or the other.

Now in the past I have taken part in downloading and emulation of games and consoles, something that might be seen as illegal. I didnt do this because I felt entitled or to play the latest releases for free. Even if I had wanted to I wouldnt have had a pc good enough for that.

I also didnt do it because I wanted to play games I didnt have a console for as over the years I more or less had everything I could have wanted. Some games, like sonic the hedgehog for mega drive, I got suckered into paying for 5 times over on different consoles.

So why did I do it?

Its important to see now that I now dont see it as a good thing I downloaded games I had access to, or games I didnt have for the systems I did. I also want to say I dont want to say here that downloading games is the right thing to do.

I think that an issue with this topic is, people see the one idea in a lumped topic.

Emulation is the same a piracy, is the same as stealing and downloading games.

Im saying here that its probably a good thing we emulate and probably should encourage it.

But

Only of games consoles.

To help explain where Im going with this rambling mess I want to tell you about my girlfriend. She works in retail, a high street specialist that mostly deals in games and consoles. Where I also work part time.

The other day one of our co-workers had a young relative come in store and sit in our staff room a while as he needed babysitting for a while. This boy was of single digit age and was getting quietly bored. In a moment of kindness my lovely girlfriend offered this small boy her gameboy advance and copy of pokemon yellow.

Hed never heard of Pokemon Yellow before and didnt know how to use the gameboy advance.

Ill let that sink in a moment..

Yes were all old now.

Anyway the point this leads to is, we all love a darling that is ageing much faster then most. Games we may have played five years ago are already becoming forgotten or unknown by new generations who otherwise would have loved them ten years ago. Games of 20 years or older are becoming less and less prevalent in their original working condition and many collectors are holding tighter and tighter holds on their collections. One day there will be a world where there are no more working pokemon yellow cartages or even working gameboy advances.

Now console emulation, official emulation is a good thing, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all have examples of older games available for download to some extent or another. And services like steam offer options for classics on pc.

But all of these options are still limited in scope and flawed in design. Be that poor pricing, flawed emulation or DRM limitations.

Now as Ive said several times, Im not calling for everyone to go out and download games today. But emulation libraries or archives for all video and computer games should be an option supported by the major companies. Our personal history and heritage should be preserved and in a way that allows all older games to be experienced by the public whenever possible.

Also PC users should freely and openly be able to download emulators for any console they like. Not games, but consoles.

I own a dreamcast and games on disk, I shouldnt be made to feel bad to desire the ability to still play those games if my dreamcast breaks down beyond repair and I cant replace it. After all I do still own the game.

I think emulation has the potential to be an honestly vital thing for the games industry and we should spend less time huffing at those who partake in it and find more ways to use it for the good of games history as a whole.

And now I shall return back to my hole in the ground.

ever get the feeling the worlds hanging you out to dry?

Just came back from the cashpoint to find i have not been paid my ESA allowance for this past two weeks. I have no money. I mean zero pounds.

It could be that I've just not had it come in yet, but i suspect that its more likely that I've got nothing at all. That my payments have been suspended and I've not been informed.

ever get the feeling the worlds hanging you out to dry?

I dont mind not eating for a couple of days, but this has come at the worst possible time and while there was always the possibility of it happening, I've not been informed that it is going to, or has happened. Or even why or how.

It could be a later payment, which is always possible, It could be my payments have been suspended for the moment because I cant obtain a new medical certificate from my doctor (they wont allow me to have a new one so the dwp (department for work and pensions) have to arrange for an assessment themselves, one i cant get to because I've no money to get there. *pulls hair out*

If my money or claim has been stopped totally I'll need to claim for something else. But until i know why or what is going on i cant change my claim. Also I have to have the minimal money i was going to get today (£130.00 for 2 weeks) because I have more or less nothing to eat, nothing to feed my two cats on, no money to give my daughter for maintenance payments, and no way to pay installments on my rent and tax arrears , arrears i have because it took 3 months to get an original claim sorted for benefits of any kind after i was hurt and left work.

Hopefully whats happening is just a simple suspension of payments, which would at least allow me to obtain my medication still and give me council tax benefit and housing benefit until i know whats going on and have things sorted.

At the very least I now have to look at what I still own and bare in mind what I can sell to survive for the next few days.

I want to add I hate this world right now. lol.




update : so an update over all thats gone on.

I went to the job center office in town, was directed to the phones, made to wait twice for forty minuets, found out eventually that my payments from ESA have been suspended. Not too big of a deal on its own, not great, but ok.

But that it was suspended on the 11th and they chose not to inform me. Yes i was told this could potentially happen at some point. But to not inform me is way out of line. Instead of having a couple of days to prepare and sign up for a different benefit or work something out, I'm on the back foot and without cash for two weeks.

Ive got to make a claim for jobseekers (my best option for a resolution really), first thing tomorrow by calling up and hope that its backdated at least a week.
Worse still I cant even claim for a crisis loan. If i do it'll likely be turned down.

What sort of organisation punishes you for getting hurt and being unable to do a wider range of work by giving you less and then takes what little they do give away and also says "sure you have nothing and so dont qualify for something" !!!

If they were still giving me money they would give it to me any time i ask with little worry , but when i need it most they give nothing at all.
It boggles the mind.

How are you supposed to get yourself back on your feet when something goes wrong when the system shafts you so much.

The more crazy thing is I got my free prescriptions still. So I'm still under the ESA I'm just not allowed the money.

On the plus side, got my prescriptions for this month.

Just hope this is all sorted by my birthday on the 7th. or its been one big turn around year on year.



that robin smith games thing episode 4 emotions

That robin smith games thing episode 4 : emotions

A games ability, if any, to induce an emotional
response from those of us playing and those around us.

featuring interviews with Paul Rooney, Brendan Sinclair, Fran Shergold, Sophia Tong each sharing their thoughts on games and how they can or cannot create emotional reactions in people.

And Dan "mr.pointyhead" Maher Shares his love for Nintendo and most important gaming revelations.


rss: http://tinyurl.com/c4dztun

direct file: http://tinyurl.com/bp5ytfb

itunes: http://tinyurl.com/cm4q6ut

and dont forget to take a trip to the that robin smith games thing discussion group to talk about the episode , specials and any topics discussed in the series : https://www.facebook.com/groups/305103749581152/

That Robin smith games thing episode 3

That Robin Smith Games Thing Episode 3 : Time is available now

How gaming has changed through the years and what
possible future it may have.

Guests : Joe Calvo, Lark Anderson, Matthew Erazo, Sophia Tong, Wallace Fajardo & Akhil Malhotra

direct feed is here : http://allyourgamearebelongtous.jellycast.com/podcast/feed/81

and you itunes fans : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/digifox-presents-that-robin/id531386277

gamespot, community and a state of affairs

Gamespot uk are currently running a survey asking us about the website and gamespot at large. There's one section asking for comments about our thoughts on gamespot and its features. I thought i'd share what I added. On their off chance that someone who cares might read it here.

And to see what the general consensus is with other users here. no matter what the region.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

While the website has some community based features and staff they seem to have been neglected to some extent. For example the Fuse based features plus the original gamespot user page format and blogs, mixed with an overly full forum number and structure couple that with with highly out dated union feature. Unions are a still readily used feature but on the whole they are broken or in need of cross website unity.

Fuse also seems a mis-step. being in conflict with the original member pages. a real merging would be a great step forward, feature both features from the fuse pages and original pages and there's a chance things could work. Ive always wanted to be more involved in the forums and community but its feels so neglected and confused.

Also video uploads are out of date. limits on time. quality.

At this point in the games community at large is changing the way games are looked at and talked about. Leading a shift in the way gamespot and other websites do what they do. But, the very community that's driving these changes are given less ability to be involved in them.

Less focus on user soapbox's, video based content and spotlights leave much of the community feeling out in the cold. this should be the main focus of change for gamespot across all regions

That robin smith games thing ep 2 entertainment

The role of games as entertainment, how
people play and games compared to other entertainment mediums

This episode features guest spots from

Matthew Erazo,

Donna Nicholson,

Peter (nearly busts a blood vessel) Willington,

Lark (gamespots own) Anderson,

Dan "mr pointyhead" Maher

and Jake Del Toro,

talking about whether they feel games are a viable form of entertainment, if they have cultural value and if they have to be fun.

Direct feed : http://allyourgamearebelongtous.jellycast.com/podcast/feed/81

Itunes : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/digifox-presents-that-robin/id531386277

UPDATE : just created is the official facebook group created for anyone wanting to discuss the show or the topics discussed in any episodes. All contributors have joined or been invited to be guests. So theres a chance they might be interested in talking about their views and opinions. feel free to join.

http://tinyurl.com/d8h9ycz


listen while you wait for e3

Ok here finally is the first episode of that robin smith games thing .


That Robin Smith Games Thing episode 1 : exposure

How people are introduced to games,
how games are sold to us and how that shapes us at an early age.

With talking head interviews from Brendan Sinclair, Paul Rooney, Peter Willington, Sophia Tong and Wallace Fajardo.



direct feed here : http://allyourgamearebelongtous.jellycast.com/podcast/feed/81

itunes users here : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/digifox-presents-that-robin/id531386277