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Shut Up. We're Talking.
Host: Darren and Karen
Darren and Karen present this commentary podcast covering recent topics found within the MMORPG Blogging and Podcasting community.

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Shut Up. We're Talking #60
Tue, 30 Mar 2010 23:34:00 GMT [download/play]



  • Introductions
  • Listener Mail/What we're playing
  • Social Gaming
  • Star Wars
  • Blogs of the Week

  • Hosts:
  • Darren - Commonsensegamer.com
  • Karen - Journey's with Jaye
  • Brent - Virgin Worlds
  • John - Ancient Gaming Noob

  • Links
  • SUWT Blogs of the Week
  • What Core Gamers Should know
  • Farmville is a Game
  • Farmville – First Impressions
  • We'll Never Learn

  • Blogs of the Week:
  • Psychology of Games
  • Biobreak
  • Hardly Casual
  • Letrange's Eve Blog

  • Login to post a comment
    Previous Episodes
    Episode #77 - Duration: 2925 - Released: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 06:16:01 +0000
    Episode #76 - Duration: 7730 - Released: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:34:01 +0000
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    Episode #68 - Duration: 01:13:32 - Released: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 15:34:00 GMT
    Episode #67 - Duration: 01:12:09 - Released: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 14:24:00 GMT
    Episode #66 - Duration: 00:59:30 - Released: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 23:26:00 GMT
    Episode #65 - Duration: 01:23:43 - Released: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 16:03:00 GMT
    Episode #64 - Duration: - Released: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 15:51:00 GMT
    Episode #63 - Duration: 01:13:26 - Released: Sun, 16 May 2010 17:52:00 GMT
    Episode #62 - Duration: 01:12:04 - Released: Thu, 6 May 2010 23:28:00 GMT
    Episode #61 - Duration: 01:26:12 - Released: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 01:26:00 GMT
    Episode #60 - Duration: 01:57:27 - Released: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 23:34:00 GMT
    Episode #59 - Duration: 01:37:24 - Released: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 03:48:00 GMT
    Episode #58 - Duration: 01:21:01 - Released: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 18:45:00 GMT
    Episode #57 - Duration: 01:47:46 - Released: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 19:01:00 GMT
    Episode #56.5 - Duration: 00:02:21 - Released: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 12:26:00 GMT
    Episode #56 - Duration: 01:01:53 - Released: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 19:41:00 GMT
    Episode #55 - Duration: 01:16:27 - Released: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 02:31:00 GMT
    Episode #54 - Duration: 01:14:25 - Released: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 01:51:00 GMT
    Episode #53 - Duration: 01:31:47 - Released: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 04:12:00 GMT
    Episode #52.5 - Duration: 00:04:12 - Released: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 19:43:00 GMT
    Episode #52 - Duration: 01:04:24 - Released: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 16:35:00 GMT
    Episode #51 - Duration: 01:17:30 - Released: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 23:49:00 GMT
    Episode #50 - Duration: 01:35:33 - Released: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:15:00 GMT
    Episode #49 - Duration: 01:03:31 - Released: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 21:27:00 GMT
    Episode #48 - Duration: 01:13:44 - Released: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 15:25:00 GMT
    Episode #47 - Duration: 01:10:07 - Released: Sun, 10 May 2009 21:21:00 GMT
    Episode #46 - Duration: 01:27:11 - Released: Mon, 4 May 2009 02:05:00 GMT
    Episode #45 - Duration: 01:04:36 - Released: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 20:01:00 GMT
    Episode #44 - Duration: 00:56:47 - Released: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 16:15:00 GMT
    Episode #43.1 - Duration: 00:18:59 - Released: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 20:11:00 GMT
    Episode #43 - Duration: 00:59:34 - Released: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 01:24:00 GMT
    Episode #42 - Duration: 01:11:28 - Released: Sun, 8 Feb 2009 15:14:00 GMT
    Episode #41 - Duration: 01:06:59 - Released: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 01:55:00 GMT
    Episode #40.5 - Duration: 00:02:50 - Released: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 17:48:00 GMT
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    Episode #39 - Duration: 01:08:43 - Released: Mon, 15 Dec 2008 06:01:00 GMT
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    Episode #35 - Duration: 00:49:08 - Released: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 22:54:00 GMT
    Episode #34 - Duration: 01:08:50 - Released: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 19:38:00 GMT
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    Episode #31 - Duration: 01:05:03 - Released: Sun, 3 Aug 2008 20:13:00 GMT
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    Episode #29 - Duration: 00:28:31 - Released: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 13:48:00 GMT
    Episode #28 - Duration: 01:09:13 - Released: Sun, 15 Jun 2008 19:31:00 GMT
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    Episode #26 - Duration: 01:06:47 - Released: Mon, 19 May 2008 03:10:00 GMT
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    Episode #23 - Duration: 00:47:54 - Released: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 01:05:00 GMT
    Episode #22 - Duration: 01:12:16 - Released: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 04:54:00 GMT
    Episode #21 - Duration: 01:56:55 - Released: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 05:01:00 GMT
    Episode #20 - Duration: 00:49:01 - Released: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 04:08:00 GMT
    Episode #19 - Duration: 01:01:05 - Released: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 05:08:00 GMT
    Episode #18 - Duration: 01:08:01 - Released: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 02:35:00 GMT
    Episode #17 - Duration: 01:36:26 - Released: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 04:07:00 GMT
    Episode #16 - Duration: 01:06:39 - Released: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 15:58:00 GMT
    Episode #15 - Duration: 01:33:23 - Released: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 01:24:00 GMT
    Episode #14 - Duration: 01:24:15 - Released: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 07:47:00 GMT
    Episode #13 - Duration: 01:22:18 - Released: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 01:30:00 GMT
    Episode #12 - Duration: 01:17:38 - Released: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 16:55:00 GMT
    Episode #11 - Duration: 01:17:01 - Released: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 03:30:00 GMT
    Episode #10 - Duration: 01:00:37 - Released: Mon, 1 Oct 2007 03:33:00 GMT
    Episode #9 - Duration: 01:12:13 - Released: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 04:47:00 GMT
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    Episode #6 - Duration: 01:10:07 - Released: Mon, 6 Aug 2007 01:13:00 GMT
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    Episode #3 - Duration: 01:10:25 - Released: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 17:20:00 GMT
    Episode #2 - Duration: 01:09:48 - Released: Wed, 6 Jun 2007 05:20:00 GMT
    Episode #1 - Duration: 01:08:21 - Released: Mon, 28 May 2007 02:12:00 GMT

    Episode 60 Discussion Thread

    'Longest Show So Far' by Wilhelm2451
    Submitted on 2010-03-31 22:46:29 CST
    An epic show! It beat out the 2008 GDC summary show (episode 21) by a mere 32 seconds. GDC brings out the talkativeness.


    'A Game By Any Other Name . . . ' by Teviko
    Submitted on 2010-04-01 20:18:28 CST
    For starters, I am not on Facebook and have not played any of the games you discussed on the show, so my comments come without any direct experience. I thought the discussion of this genre brought up many valid topics: motivation of the developers, quality of game, social vs. non-social, etc.. However, one argument discussed revealed a trend I've seen recently in the gaming community that frankly I find absurd and believe may make the gaming community look like fools to the rest of the world. That trend is the redefinition of the term "game" and judging whether or not a certain computer program is a "game" or a "proper game".

    According to several definition sites word "game" has several definitions, including a competition, but the primary definition across the board was "an activity that provides amusement or a diversion". These Facebook activities certainly provide amusement and a diversion for those people who enjoy them, so yes, they are games. My seven-year-old daughter may come to me and ask to play a game. I'll ask what game she wants to play and she'll say "Barbies". If I then refused on the grounds that Barbies is not a "proper game", everyone in the room would look at me like I flipped my lid.

    What I would like to see is the gaming community incorporate adjectives into the debate. That would result in a much more informative discussion. That is not a competitive game. That is not an engaging game. That is a simple game. That is a simulation game. That is a bad game. Those statements express what a person really means. An excellent example from your show was referring to the Facebook games as "Egg Timer Games".



    'Some standards' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2010-04-01 23:17:07 CST
    I certainly understand where you're coming from T, but we've got to have some standards here because I truly do believe that the things they are selling us in the "social gaming" space are not games, but the worse form of rat in a maze experiments.

    They want to put something out there that takes little effort but makes lots of money. I think even designers of these games are even saying that they must be "social" first, and games second. Hogwash. They haven't even defined what "social" means in this context (...beyond it "being on Facebook"...), and in the meantime, until they do figure it out, they shovel out crap that meets a bare minimum of standard of what a game actually is.

    I tried these things out, and I really encourage you do to so. Trust me...you'll be begging your daughter to play Barbie just to get some brain stimulation ;)



    'A definition is a definition' by DrQuags
    Submitted on 2010-04-04 20:43:59 CST
    I understand what you are trying to say, Darren, but the fact of the matter is that one definition of "game" is "an amusement or pastime". You can't arbitrarily change the definition of a word because of subjective dislike for something. I think Panda bears are pretty crap at being animals. They don't reproduce well, they require a very specific diet, they are slow moving and aren't very adaptable. That doesn't mean I get to say they aren't animals, though. That standard would be artificial.

    There is a disconnect here, too, in that you seem to think that your opinion of "good" or "bad" is absolute. However, there are millions of people who probably think Farmville is a great game, maybe even the best. Which of you is right, though? I would say everyone is right because opinions as to value or merit in this case are entirely subjective. You can't establish a standard for opinion. Any such standard would be meaningless.

    Don't get me wrong, I dislike Facebook games with a passion and I've never even bothered to play them. You can't argue that they amuse and pass time for people, however. Tastes are wide ranging. I for instance play the EVE Online skilling game you guys mentioned. Most of my time in EVE is spent planning skill programs and setting up queues. It is fun for me and involves planning and, yes, an egg timer aspect. There are many such arbitrary timer type mechanics in games.

    As for the "social" thing, that's just a label tagged on so you know that it is played through a social site, like Facebook. It's a term that has stuck for ease of use more than to signify how much, if any, socializing there is.

    Sorry if this seems a little ranty, but I have noticed a distinct tendency in internet culture for people to state opinion as fact. We all need to practice putting "I think" or "in my opinion" into our posts, comments and discussions. Otherwise we lower ourselves to the 360 vs. PS3 or Mac vs. PC fanboy arguments.



    '-' by Token
    Submitted on 2010-04-05 17:16:48 CST
    This was a really fun episode, good conversation. For the love of god though do something about Karen's sound. I've been asking for over a year now and nothing has been done about it. She is twice as loud as everyone else and her voice cuts through my eardrums with every syllable. I had to skip a lot of parts were she was talking.


    '..indeed DrQ' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2010-04-05 18:46:53 CST
    ...well, then by that definition, punching myself in the junk over and over again is also a game, cause hey, that can be amusing to some I guess...but still not very fun (...especially for me...lol).

    The definition of "game" also includes the words, challenging...so I think I'm not changing anything in terms of what it means. We all know what games are...I just don't think Farmville is or ever will be one. Agree to disagree here, cause I don't think Zeus himself can convince me that it is ;). Farmville is to gaming as Astrology is to Astronomy.

    My point is how far to we want to bring the bar down before we pull a Picard and say, "this far...no further.". Farmville, and Facebook as a platform, is my Picard Line.

    ...and seriously, if you never played this, how can you even come close to having an opinion on it or criticize my conclusion at all? You've got to at least try Farmville and anything with the word "wars" in it. Com back, and tell me you still think a line was crossed




    'Karen's sound' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2010-04-05 18:48:17 CST
    ...I'll see what I can do Tokenh....but I post process and hard limit the whole show, as well as filter everything. No idea why Karen's voice is coming in louder. No promises ;)


    'I don't need to play Farmville to have a valid opinion' by DrQuags
    Submitted on 2010-04-05 23:35:50 CST
    I'm not trying to troll you here, I promise, but I think you aren't seeing that this is all merely your opinion. You don't get to unilaterally change the definition of a word. The word game has a history that has established it as meaning something people do to pass the time. I recognize the junk punching remark as hyperbole. I don't doubt, though, that there is a game in this world that involves junk being repeatedly punched. Not a game I would enjoy personally, but I'm sure it's out there.

    My point is that Farmville and its ilk have a structure, rules and operating procedures, as games often do. These games do at some level involve an amount of strategy and planning. The fact that you can only do a certain amount of things in a given time period before you have to wait for the "egg timer" to turn over is what causes this strategy to exist. Many games, as I said, have this mechanic. Turn based strategy games are essentially the same, although, the duration of the timer is a turn versus a day. The mechanics Farmville and Mafia Wars have are very similar to those other games.

    Now, the fact you find them dull or pointless is fine. You are entitled to feel that way and I agree with you. The mechanics are clunky in my opiniont and often clearly designed to try to get people to force over some cash. That doesn't change the fundamental fact that these things fill out all the requirements to be labeled with the English word "game". No matter how many people you get to sign the petition, I promise you the rest of the world will carry on with their "Facebook games" quite happily.



    'I don't need to play Farmville to have a valid opinion' by DrQuags
    Submitted on 2010-04-06 00:01:04 CST
    I'm not trying to troll you here, I promise, but I think you aren't seeing that this is all merely your opinion. You don't get to unilaterally change the definition of a word. The word game has a history that has established it as meaning something people do to pass the time. I recognize the junk punching remark as hyperbole. I don't doubt, though, that there is a game in this world that involves junk being repeatedly punched. Not a game I would enjoy personally, but I'm sure it's out there.

    My point is that Farmville and its ilk have a structure, rules and operating procedures, as games often do. These games do at some level involve an amount of strategy and planning. The fact that you can only do a certain amount of things in a given time period before you have to wait for the "egg timer" to turn over is what causes this strategy to exist. Many games, as I said, have this mechanic. Turn based strategy games are essentially the same, although, the duration of the timer is a turn versus a day. The mechanics Farmville and Mafia Wars have are very similar to those other games.

    Now, the fact you find them dull or pointless is fine. You are entitled to feel that way and I agree with you. The mechanics are clunky in my opiniont and often clearly designed to try to get people to force over some cash. That doesn't change the fundamental fact that these things fill out all the requirements to be labeled with the English word "game". No matter how many people you get to sign the petition, I promise you the rest of the world will carry on with their "Facebook games" quite happily.



    'Sorry!' by Jaye
    Submitted on 2010-04-06 01:36:12 CST
    I'll try to tone it down!

    Seriously, I have my mic volume set low, and I keep asking before each show if I sound ok. Sorry if I'm still too loud.



    'I know' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2010-04-06 10:47:28 CST
    ...you're not trying to troll. Understood

    I'm changing the definition of gaming at all and I'm really not in the mood for pointing at definitions and saying "see...you're wron, cause the dictionary says so". Let's get beyond that, and think outside of what Webster tells us...shall we ;)

    There are plenty of cases out there were definitions are one thing...the spirit of what they are is another. Facebook...Farmville...are not designed, to meat the spirit of what gaming is. They follow more in the spirit of what scientists do to make lab rats do shit over...and over...and over. These are the most dishonest applications calling themselves games and wrapping themselves up in an undefined concept that is "social".

    This is not just my opinion...trust me...plenty of others have come to the same conclusion as I have, and most are smarter than I will ever be on these matters.

    ...and yes. In order to have a valid opinion about Farmville, you really need to play Farmville. I highly encourage you to do so ;)



    'It all goes back to context' by Teviko
    Submitted on 2010-04-06 13:33:19 CST
    Which brings me back to the point I made before, Darren. Your argument is in the context of the current generation of computer games. If you were to say something like, "compared to computer games today, Farmville is not a game," I would find not fault in you saying that all day and I might even agree with you. Even when you say "Farmville [is] not designed, to meat the spirit of what gaming is" I might agree because the word "gaming" has come to mean a certain thing specifically related to today's computer games and those who play them. But to simply say that something is not a game -- period -- because it is not challenging or too simplistic or doesn't require a certain amount of interaction by the user (how much interaction do many games of chance have) just doesn't make sense to me, whether you say it or those who are smarter than you say it. To someone who only plays checkers and cards, an open-ended world where you can choose from a multitude of activities and doesn't really ever end may not seem like much of a game. But this community would be up in arms if someone ever said WoW or LOTR or Eve wasn't a game.

    Finally, while it helps to experience something to form an opinion of it, it's not necessary to define it. I've never flown on a Shuttle, but I think I'm safe in saying that it is indeed a vehicle.

    All that being said, I love the show and I think the talk is very stimulating. Keep it up.



    'Clarification' by DrQuags
    Submitted on 2010-04-06 14:49:21 CST
    I should point out that while I haven't played Farmville or Mafia Wars, I have seen both of them played by a coworker. Having seen it, I know it isn't for me. I wouldn't recommend it for my gaming friends. It is unlikely to meet the needs of a more "core" gamer. It does, however, meet the needs of people who don't want to play twitch games or are outside of the gaming "core". I think it is harmful to gaming, though, to create an Ivory Tower mentality about games. Sure, not a lot of people who play only Farmville are going to migrate over to Darkfall, but it at least gives them a point of reference. The "why would I sit at a computer/console for hours on end clicking a mouse/controller?" becomes "I guess I can see why someone would do that".

    I'm more of a lumper than a splitter when it comes to games, I guess. If people are enjoying Farmville, more power to them. I don't think they are stupid or gullible (at least not all of them). They just have a different requirement for the games they play. As a gamer I'm quite sensitive to people making value judgements like this, precisely because I have had to deal with people telling me I shouldn't play video games because they are somehow childish.

    If you don't like the games other people play, fine. Don't recommend them, but be careful to recognize why other people's opinions might differ from yours and why your opinion doesn't trump theirs (except for yourself).

    Where I think we do agree is that it would be better if the companies putting these games together would actually spend some time to add a bit of quality and diversity to them. I actually think that they are going to eventually hurt themselves financially by merely reskinning the same mechanic with different artwork. That doesn't mean they aren't games, though. Finally, I do think that if someone were to come up with a game that ran through Facebook, but met the needs of more serious gamers, it will be an unmitigated failure. I didn't buy my PS3 and build a gaming computer to go onto a web application to play crappy looking games and the Facebook crowd don't want overly complicated games that would satisfy someone like me.



    'final thoughts...maybe ;)' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2010-04-06 19:04:54 CST
    @Tev: True...you can say that of the shuttle, but you'll never really get how fast it goes unless you get in one ;). Thanks for the comments....really...you are influencing my thoughts on this. More on show 61.

    @DrQ...yes...and I guess this whole "Farmville isn't a game" is more of a quality thing than anything else. It's like really watered down beer...you know, like the type Brent drinks. Yeah, it's beer...but good gawd!!! Really? lol

    /ducks incoming shoe from brent

    Thanks for the comments....really...you are influencing my thoughts on this. More on show 61. Karen wants to talk more about the subject...apparently.



    '...and oops' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2010-04-06 19:29:19 CST
    ...cut and paste error. Repeating myself.