We Don’t Talk About Video Games Around Here

Have you ever made a political statement on Twitter?

It’s likely that if you did, you would immediately experience vitriol from holders of opposing view points. Ever make a religious, or worse still – anti-religious statement on <insert social media of your choice>? I’m willing to wager you experienced some sort of negativity in this scenario as well. In case you were wondering, there is indeed wisdom in that widely held idea that you don’t talk about politics or religion during social engagements. It seems that gaming as a topic is beginning to hold similar weight, in that you cannot have an opinion about something without immediately experiencing feedback – for better or worse.

Those of us who are part of the gaming sphere of social media, be it by blogging, streaming, vlogging or otherwise interacting with complete strangers via whatever-app-happens-to-be-the-flavor-of-the-month will be no strangers to this phenomenon. It was primarily amplified during the whole Gamer Gate scandal from a couple of years ago, but it persists from the dank, dark corners of official forums, to the bright white pages of Twitter. If you have an opinion it will be scrutinized, dissected and though sometimes objective conversations can be had with the denizens of the Internet, it’s likely to devolve into name calling and subtweeting. This is particularly true if you happen to shit on something that is generally loved – and that’s going to be the case no matter what form of media you might be criticizing — though I think people get more defensive over video games, and it’s a curious situation.

Admittedly, I’ve been shitting on Blizzard for a long time. Despite loving their original output, I haven’t cared too much for their more recent catalog additions. I also find them responsible for single-handedly ruining a great genre that I once loved, which tends to color my lenses a bit when it comes to them encroaching on other genres — ones I have loved even longer than MMOs. If you’ve been listening to my podcast lately, or have been a reader of my blog for a couple of years, you’ll probably recall some of my positive and negative commentary about Blizzard and its IPs. I stand behind my opinions and critiques – I have a distinct taste and it has little to nothing to do with trying to piss anyone else off, though putting your opinion out there tends to get these sorts of responses. What started off as a troll post quickly turned into something that I didn’t intend for it to, but my stubborn and opinionated self was unable to just let the further commentary go without making my own further commentary and soon the train had left the station. Here’s the post for posterity:

So clearly, I’m being a dick. Overwatch, which I have lovingly called “Overhype” for a while now, has been all the rage while in open beta. I played it back in Closed Alpha or Beta.. something. I didn’t find it entertaining, rewarding or even innovative. It’s been compared to TF2 and a bunch of other things already, so I don’t need to reiterate this stuff. I’ve explained my position on the game itself already in prior posts/episodes. My concern now, is similar to my concern when Heroes of the Storm was all the rage not that long ago. Thankfully I was right when I said:

“It was no secret that I had been anticipating this day as a MOBA enthusiast, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that this game is not going to dethrone either of the other “big ones,” but will probably be popular with people who haven’t touched other MOBAs. The main reason for this separation into “camps,” comes down to one word: Depth.” 

It’s true, HotS took a little sliver of what we could consider the MOBA market, and likely only persists because of people who play it and no other MOBA (LoL/DOTA2 quitters, or MOBA virgins). Unlike it’s new-genre predecessors (Hearthstone and WoW) it didn’t capitalize at the right time and wasn’t the whirlwind success I’m sure Blizzard was hoping for. You can’t always take existing ideas and dumb them down and then expect to become filthy rich; they hit their lotto numbers once already. Sounding bitter aside, Overwatch ends up being the same sort of situation, where an existing idea was “polished” and is now ready for public consumption, resulting in a hype train of ridiculous proportions that doesn’t feel warranted to this humble writer. No, I think Overhype is just that… and I think it will be forgotten soon enough. At least, I hope I’m right about this one just like I was right about HotS.

My concern isn’t that people are enjoying a new game in a sort-of new genre that is emerging (competitors such as Battleborn, Paladins and Paragon come to mind). My concern is that “perfect storm” effect that happened with World of Warcraft. Where a game that I (and I absolutely know I’m not alone) felt was inferior to many of its competitors yet Joe Public ate it up like it was the finest cut of meat. If Overwatch (or had HotS performed better) ends up being the next coming, and ends up being the model by which all new FPS or MOBA -like games are copied for the next ten years, then two of my favorite genres won’t see better iteration. It happened with WoW, and people who feel like I do had to suffer (yes Roger, SUFFER) through ten years of mediocre MMOs. I don’t want to see that again, and I think most reasonable people would agree that stagnation is what has caused the evolution of the MMO genre we have seen as of late.

Should you feel bad for buying and enjoying Overwatch? Absolutely not. You have your opinions, and you should stick to them. Should you attack this argument with tooth and nail? Sure, if you feel so inclined, there’s the comments section below; I don’t really moderate them. But there’s a valid argument here, despite the fact that it’s difficult to articulate the way I’d like. Do I think that the games industry would benefit from more original ideas rather than polished iterations? Yes. Do I hate you for buying something that isn’t anything but? No, but I’d also like for you to think a little, rather than just jumping on the next hype train. We’re throwing our money at things just because a company name is attached to them, and not offering any sort of critique. Everything has its flaws, including this argument. Nonetheless, both still exist, and will persist despite my pointing them out. My opinion isn’t any better than yours, but it’s my feeling that an expressed opinion is better than a silenced one.

Couch Podtatoes Episode 66: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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This week’s show marks the last Digital Frontier of the year, as Doone informed us that along with being super busy with real life stuff and his expanded family, he knew that he’ll be even more busy with the holidays coming. We’ll probably be busier too, so don’t be surprised if we take a week or two off when the holidays arrive.

The topic at hand for this show was the good, the bad and the ugly surrounding the gaming community, but as is usual during a Digital Frontier segment, we talk about all sorts of media and social constructs. Overall I’d say we agree that the gaming community could be better, but that it’s not as bad as it could be either. There’s still hope for improvement. We were a little more free form this time around, and did the whole show without notes, so hopefully it still sounds up to par with our usual efforts. Also, don’t mind the static sounds coming from the background occasionally, apparently the storm of the century was going on at Eri’s house while we were recording so you can pick that up a certain points in the show. With that said, we hope you enjoy, and as always feel free to leave commentary where appropriate.

 

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Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 66: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (runtime: 1:06:03)

What are we playing? (starts at 0:45)
Discussion: Gaming Communities (starts at 17:21)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter: @mevsmyselfandi

Eri
Blog: Healing the Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Doone
Blog: XP Chronicles
Twitter: @doone_buggy

Music Credits:
“Bit Rush” by Riot Games
“Hate Times 8” by Psychostick (from the album Space Vampires vs Zombie Dinosaurs in 3D)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

You can also find the show in video format at The Gaming And Entertainment Network YouTube page, or stream it right here:

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

Couch Podtatoes Episode 43: CSM and the Hidden Politics of MMOs

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So as I mentioned, this week’s show should have technically been last week’s show but I went on a trip to visit family I hadn’t seen in a very long time, so I didn’t feel too bad on missing out on a show. However, Eri rounded up Doone to talk about EvE’s CSM which wrapped up in recent months. They recorded over the weekend, but as the resident editor/poster, I didn’t get my hands on their recordings until I got back from my vacation. At that point it was late enough that I decided to just release this episode today. We’ll be getting back on schedule this week.

I’m not big on EvE; don’t know much about it, but I do respect all of the craziness that it has spawned. Eri and Doone go into details of the CSM and many political aspects of other MMOs as well.

 

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Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 43: CSM and the Hidden Politics of MMOs (runtime: 47:19)

What are we playing? (starts at 1:45)
Discussion: EvE’s CSM (starts at 9:54)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter: @mevsmyselfandi

Eri
Blog: Healing the Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Guest Contact information:

Doone
Blog: XP Chronicles
Twitter: @doone_buggy

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Genesee Avenue” by GosT (from the album Behemoth)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

Couch Podtatoes Episode 33: Part Two, Politics

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This is part two of our previous week’s discussion, this time we answer similar questions about gaming when looking through a political lens. The first ten minutes or so devolves into us just talking politics, so you can skip that if you wish, but if you are unfamiliar with political leanings outside of your own country, it might be insightful. Overall this show is basically a repeat of the last, while swapping topics, but that isn’t to say it wasn’t an interesting discussion! Roger and Jaedia helped us fill out the discussion once again. Take a listen and enjoy!

 

Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 33: Part Two, Politics (runtime: 44:06)

Discussion: Political Debate (starts at 0:00)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

J3w3l
Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Guest Contact information:

Jaedia
Blog: Dragons and Whimsy
Twitter: @jaedia

Roger
Blog: Contains Moderate Peril
Twitter: @moderateperil

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming