Arthur Gies from Polygon joins Kevin VanOrd, Tom Mc Shea, John Davison, and Carolyn Petit to chat about game violence and the proper spelling of "Fassbender."
GameSpot GamePlay Episode 2: Desensitized
We don't believe in exclusivity at GameSpot when it comes to podcasts. We celebrate our second episode--and Kevin's mom's birthday--by inviting Arthur Gies from Polygon to explain his position on Max Payne's descent into madness, and to read mean things written by mean people. Elsewhere, we properly pronounce "H.A.W.X." and lament the dearly departed Westwood Studios.
We're still waiting for iTunes approval. In the meanwhile, you can use this RSS feed to receive new episodes of GamePlay. We'll let you know when our iTunes feed is ready and working!
It would be nice if game spot actually posted a link for this on its main page. I hate having to Google this.
arthur "fact" check - according to wikipedia, square has a stake in rocksteady and wbie is the owner...
"The studio was acquired by Time Warner in February 2010. Square Enix Europe (formerly Eidos) has confirmed that it still retains a 25.1 percent stake in Rocksteady."
"I see Jeff Gerstmann outside the door."
That would have been a crazy thing to hear on a Gamespot podcast 6 months ago.
was lava lamp reference at the beginning to the hiroko 8-4 play podcast joke ?
but my money's on that I'm watching too many podcasts :)
@viru_ssj Nope! We've had a lava lamp for so long that it blends into the background. But sometimes it gets noticed and talked about.
Drive was really a movie that builds up suspence and then hits you with extreme violence all of a sudden, great movie.
Great show, I really like how the quizz parts were less the gist of it in that one, flowed nicer than the first one because of it.
Glad you guys talked about the violence issue in video games, I know ever since the shooter craze started violence has been a staple in video games, but it seems the industry is becoming based around the violence and it's actually really disturbing. Like you said with the E3 displays, it's like "look how many violent games we have", and there isn't much else. I've been a fan of Max Payne since the first one came out, and I didn't pick this one up because the level of violence I've seen in the videos really just creeped me out, and this avoidance is becoming a trend in my game selection. I know that's hypocritical because the other Max Payne's were in a way just as violent, but there's something about recent games that, as you said, seems like a fetishization of violence. It's fun to be a "badass" blowing away the baddies once in a while, I don't think it's very fun to watch people slowly be torn apart in grisly detail at the hands of the character your assuming direct control of. Isn't it vicariously sadistic to assume that's fun? And it's not even good guys versus monsters anymore, in a lot of cases it's a sociopathic main characters versus countless waves of normal humans simply on the other team. When did sociopaths become the prime choice for a game's protagonist?
Maybe as I grow older the violence is just becoming more morally offensive, or that the increasingly photorealistic quality of games makes it seem too real, but I'm slowly edging away from games due to their violence. It all seems less "James Bond" and more "Saw". It makes the game industry seem dystopian in a way, a media money machine sensationalizing repeated, simulated, dissensitizing acts of violence under the guise of fun. I know that's being paranoid and extreme, but either way I don't like it. Also I agree with the sentiment games can and should be more than just fun, and it seems the industry's idea of "fun" is quickly becoming the repetitive simulation of violence, which is far from my own idea of fun and that of many of the dedicated gamers I know. That's never been what gaming has been about, at least until the fickle COD era came rushing in. It's sad, but I'll be sticking to the latest HumbleIndieBundle and old games I missed out on for now
I'm anxiously waiting for that iTunes approval to check this out. I've had a void that has been left unfilled since the Hotspot was put on indefinite hold. It sounds like I'll have a few episodes to listen to once the podcast makes it onto iTunes.
Do we have an ETA on the iTunes feed Kevin? I listened to the Hotspot on my iPhone, and without the feed its damn near impossible to do the same with Gameplay.
Can someone please upload this somewhere else because its taking FOREVER to download for some reason...
@truckingpete I hated the movie the first time I saw it. Then I saw Source Code which actually made me want to watch PoP again. Jake Gyllenhal is a great actor :)
Fassbender is one of the great modern actors! Still game based movies are usually crap... Resident Evil, Prince of Persia, Hitman, Super Mario Bros (christ!!!), Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Doom, for me even Tomb Raider is crap. The only one I actually enjoyed was Silent Hill that captured the mood of the games. So I'm not keeping my hopes up for this, nor for Deus Ex... God of War should be really violent (Saw writers are on board)... Let's see...
Great podcast, guys. (Aside from Arthur being nearly inaudible at a few points). Love the discussions and the length. Really glad that Gamespot has a podcast again (along with the homages to The Hotspot).
Is this player screwing up just for me, or are other people having problems? Every now and again it will just stop playing and go right back to the start again. This happened to me last week as well
So is there a format you guys are following, judging from the first I thought it was a quiz type podcast.
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The problem with the increased violence in games lately is that it seems like it's become accepted among developers that super slow-mo, blood jet, dismemberment/gore-fest moments are legitimate "rewards" in combat in games now.
That's not a reward to anyone who has any empathy and isn't completely desensitized to violence. And isn't realistic either... in addition to being disruptive to actual gameplay with all the slowing down and speeding up. So basically, it's just F'ed up for all kinds of reasons.
@goldenocean Max Payne 3 nailed it , throughout the course of the game it becomes more and more of a legitimate reward ,its a satisfying to way of letting you know of a job well done ( mostly due to the euphoria engine and how great it is)
"throughout the course of the game it becomes more and more of a legitimate reward"
Desensitization in progress, right there.
I have zero desire to ever bring myself to the point where crap like that is actually satisfying. The brain is quite plastic, it becomes tailored to what you use it for and expose it to... and I'm not about to marinate my brain in sadistic violence where you're supposed to be taking pleasure from gore/mutilation or torture.
When I played Modern Warfare's "No Russian" level, I instantly turned my gun on the other "actual" terrorists and hosed them down once I saw them shooting up civilians... and was pretty pissed off with Activision that they didn't actually let me kill them to defend the crowds - it should have been an option. When they forced a level restart instead, I hosed the terrorists down a few more times, then skipped the level. What's with this need in the industry to try and shove being a sadistic bad guy down player's throats? It's like the developers are so desensitized themselves that they don't even consider the possibility that this might be a bad thing.
Well at least we know they will never have a worse guest on the show than Gies. The guy's been a blight on the games journalism profession ever since he managed to hitch his wagon to the massive outpouring of goodwill and money that was meant to go to the people who lost their jobs in the 1up apocalypse, not him.
@Feanor5503 Great, you don't agree with him. But a 'blight'? And basically accusing him of stealing other peoples money? I can't even tell you how wrong both these statements sound to me.
Haven't listened to it yet, but I have to say, if it weren't for Kevin's twitter link, I would have no idea how to get to this podcast. I can't see a "features" or the old "culture" tab anywhere. Maybe it's because you need the space right now for Comic-con. If not, GameSpot should (and that has been a long-time problem) archive their stuff in a more accessible fashion.
@BenderUnit22 Yeah guys, this is definitely an issue, it's hard to find stuff on this huge site, and the fact that we now have a new shiny great podcast is not helping. We are aware of this and will look for some quick fixes to make podcasts and shows in general more visible. Like Kevin said our big focus right now is to rebuild the site literally from scratch. The way we cover content and your expectation from the site has changed in the past few years. We are working on building something that should be in line with the times and much easier to navigate through. Until then expect some small updates here and there to fix issues like the one we have here with podcasts being hard to find.
yeah not to be whiny but the old website layout was way better than the new one it was really easy to find stuff i wonder why they decided to change it there was nothing wrong with the old one
@stealthyninja81 I am not sure yet where the current redesign is, but the entire site is being re-coded. Part of the problem has been that we've always taken old tech and nailed new stuff to it for a very long time. I am not a programmer, but I do know that we're building from ground up. We're losing the "bandaid" approach and rebuilding--something that should have happened years ago. In the meanwhile, I am using the tools I've got to hopefully bring you new cool things.
@BenderUnit22 This site has truly been a mess for over a year now. In-source programming/design and keep all servers updated please!!!
Having a guest with you reminds me of Giant Bomb, which a good thing. I don't know if it is possible, but it would be nice if that was something constant.
@AndCarlsen We have high hopes for more guests in the future. There are a number of people around the industry I would love to join us. I really appreciated Arthur's perspective, and know getting diverse viewpoints will only make us stronger.