Games Only Podcast 25 - Alan Wake replay, Epic Quest, Dead Island
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    This week!

    --Dr. Gumaer and Sunny try out the new Pinball FX2 table, Epic Quest!

    -- hp1703 takes a look at what thangs that go bump in the night...in Dead Island!

    -- Doc talks a little more about Kingdoms of Amalur. Disappointment?

    -- Sunny replays Alan Wake and the DLC in preparation for American Nightmare

    -- hp1703 gives us a progress report on his Dark Souls grinding

    -- Talk concerning a publisher-owned used-games store to recoup their losses

    -- Thoughts on a 6-month wait period on used games

    -- Are games not expensive enough? Sunny says yes...but is he crazy?

    -- Dr. Gumaer raises the question of publisher passes.

    -- Something embarassing at the end.

    http://traffic.libsyn.com/gamesonly/GOP25.mp3
  • Sunny, I think your perceived addiction to gaming has more to do with peer pressure then any real addiction. You've surrounded yourself with so many people that keep up to date will all the latest games and gaming news, that I get the impression you don't like being left out of it all. So you feel the need to buy and play games to keep "in" with your friends, rather then really wanting to do those things.

    I will say probably one of the most enjoyable episodes yet, craziness that blossomed out of the most innocent things.
  • I think gaming is as addicting as any other natural hobby. Just like painting or exercising can be addicting, gaming has it's place. It's a completely normal hobby with the same expectations that you'd expect with any other hobby; including the costs. If someone says you're addicted to gaming because you spend $60 on it, tell them to go fuck themselves because they spent $300 on their new Ipod which they listen to every day, or $40 for a pencil set and a sketchbook. All hobbies have costs. I like photography, I pay the costs. I buy the expensive shit for it, it's exactly the same for gaming.

    I think Doc has the right idea in how the industry is feeding our consumerism, not our addiction.

    I think gaming is too new of an industry to where it's as fully accepted as other hobbies. If you spend 7 hours watching TV on your day off, people don't care when you tell them. If you spend 7 hours gaming on your day off, people will say that you have a problem. Watching 3 movies can be 7 hours and nobody thinks watching 3 movies is a big deal. Gaming is a new industry. It has only been really big for about 20 years, and the older people who don't accept it as a fully excusable hobby yet. In 20 years, that'll be different after all them old cranky bastards have died off. My dad says I'm addicted to gaming because I play every night, and then he goes into the other room and watches Lifetime Movie Network.

    As for the OCD discussion, I can speak a bit to it. HP spoke well on how OCD can be debilitating and can cause one to not live a healthy lifestyle. If gaming is a way to minimize your stress and how give you a way to cope with the ordinary shit of live, why not do it? OCD is an anxiety disorder; whoever has it suffers more internal stress than what they can exhibit. People with OCD struggle, whether you can see it or not. There is probably a lot more going on in HP's cousin's head than we know, which is sad. Anxiety is harsh, especially when it interferes with living normally. We all deserve that right and it's sad when some can't do that as easily as everyone else.

    I understand HP's view of gaming as a form of escapism. I exercise a bit of escapism when I game, but I really don't have anything to escape from, it's just that gaming is a more pleasurable activity for me than watching TV. It's media. I prefer interactive media so I spend more time with my console. I do think gaming offers me a more interesting take on things than TV or other activities can; the crazy colors, unique enviromments, traveling, learning, and connecting and problem solving is a lot of fun.

    Completely disagree with Sunflower in that games aren't expensive enough. I think they're too expensive as it is. I'm one of the few who stick by my guns when I say "Games should cost based on how long they are." Everyone seems to say "it's not about the length, it's about the quality," but in my own way I say that quality is heavily dependent on the length. I've been playing Kingdoms of Amalur, the game is long as hell and there is a lot to do. That's worth my $60. A game like Star Wars TFU:2 or Dante's Inferno can be beat in 3 hours yet they also cost $60 at release. There is no way that those games can be comparable to a quality titles like Reckoning. There is a minimum set of requirements that games should have to be worth my $60, and length must be apart of that. I have never played a game with a short story that was worth my $60.

    I liked the show fellas. It has some nice commentary. I havent played any of the games you discussed other than Amalur. I agree with Doc that Amalur would make a great MMO. I wish there were more MMO options for the xbox, because I would eat a game like Amalur up. The quests are pretty bad and I also skip dialogue, but the experience they give you towards leveling makes them worth it, and the leveling is really great, as Doc suggested. I like the combat a lot. This game is what I wanted Fable and Dragon Age to be. If I had to choose between this game and either Dragon Age titles, I'd choose this one. The environments are a lot more fun here, the combat is better than both DA games. I love this game and would buy a sequel or even a new console to play further series of this game. Doc doesn't like it as much as I do, which is sad. I'd love to brag this game up some more.

    Speaking of Dragon Age, I tried playing Origins last week and it had the same effect on me that Mass Effect had on Sunflower. Some games just lose it with me and I know I'll never go back to replay, despite how great a game it was.

    Nice show fellas. Keep up the intelligent discussions. They're in-depth and serious. I like them a lot.
  • This was a really great episode. I mean it.

    I really enjoyed the discussion section at the end about gaming culture topics. Thank you for continuing to share your opinions and personal stories with us about your gaming experiences. Well done all around, gentlemen :)

    EDIT: Your singing is also awesome. :D Made my morning
  • Addiction is a word with a lot of negative connotations, and tends to be thrown around in less appropriate ways when the pleasure in question is not something understood by others. I've had people who watch 3-4 hours of TV a night tell me that my 3-4 hours of gaming a night is an addiction, while their TV watching is just normal.

    I believe a true addiction is something you crave to the detriment to all other parts of your life. True gaming addicts are those rare people who play MMORPGs to the exclusion of all real life contact, miss work or time with family or friends to play games, and use money that should be used for important things like rent or food to pay for games. Unless gaming is having a negative impact on your life then it's simply a hobby or a pasttime, not an addiction.
  • I thought a bit about HP's comment about sports games and paying $120 or so to be able to play every game, etc. I would totally get in on that. Every year I want to jump in and play the EA titles like Madden, NHL, Tiger Woods, and recently the NBA Jam game, but the way they cost and since they lose their value so quickly, I don't ever feel like buying them. The last Madden game I bought was '08.

    It would take a lot of work the company to evolve to that point. Maybe we'll see something like this in 10 years. I think for now, considering how many people buy Madden every year and how many Euros buy Fifa, I doubt EA is interested in changing their policies much. This years change with the EA sports pass is just an attempt at getting more people invested in their product beyond their usual audience.

    It would still be nice to dream about, though.
  • I agree with Doc and hp, that Sunny's description of his addiction to gaming sounds more like a hobby that he's passionate about, and I'd say that description probably fits with all of us on here. That's not to say gaming can't be addictive and harmful when done to extremes, but hey - everything in moderation, right? Taking a day off work to game isn't addiction if you've planned it out and booked the time in advance, that's no worse than booking time off to go skiing or go to the theatre. Pulling a sickie and lying to your colleagues about why you're not in work is a different story...

    I think OC hit the nail on the head with the description of what addiction actually means. Here's the AUDIT questionnaire for alcoholism, it has a couple of parallels to what we're talking about:

    1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
    Never
    Monthly or less
    2 to 4 times a month
    2 or 3 times a week
    4 or more times a week

    2. How many alcohol units do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?
    None
    1 or 2½
    3 or 4
    5 or 6
    7 to 9
    10 or more

    3. How often do you have seven or more units on one occasion?
    Never
    Less than monthly
    Monthly
    Weekly
    Daily or almost daily

    4. How often during the last year have you found that you were unable to stop drinking once you had started?
    Never
    Less than monthly
    Monthly
    Weekly
    Daily or almost daily

    5. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?
    Never
    Less than monthly
    Monthly
    Weekly
    Daily or almost daily

    6. How often during the last year have you needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?
    Never
    Less than monthly
    Monthly
    Weekly
    Daily or almost daily

    7. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
    Never
    Less than monthly
    Monthly
    Weekly
    Daily or almost daily

    8. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?
    Never
    Less than monthly
    Monthly
    Weekly
    Daily or almost daily

    9. Have you or someone else been injured as the result of your drinking?
    Never
    Yes, but not in the last year
    Yes, during the last year

    10. Has a relative, friend, or a doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down?
    Never
    Yes, but not in the last year
    Yes, during the last year

    I guess from some of the reported conversations that other people have had, you could say that friends/family may have suggested to us in the past that we should cut down on gaming, and it sounds to me as if Sunny has feelings of guilt about his gaming, sooooooooo....I dunno. Maybe we are all addicts, maybe we're in denial and this is just a circle of facilitators, helping each other justify their addiction?

    I doubt it though. Remember, time wasted doing something you love is never wasted time.

    Re: the $100 dollar game idea, that sounds utterly crazy to me. On this point I have a perverse kind of faith in the accountants and bean-counters of the publishers. As pointed out during the addiction discussion, this is an industry that is finely honed to squeeze as many pounds and dollars out of our pockets as it can. The investment/income model has been designed and re-designed by guys in sharp suits with MBAs and abacuses and I'm not going to attempt to tell them that they should be doing it differently.

    A lot of noise is made about the increasing cost of game production (HD this, multiple studio that) and comparisons then made to games that cost the same amount to buy 10-15 years ago, but the market for games is growing all the time so more copies are getting sold to balance out the lack of increase in price (a slight decrease if you take into account that some Nintendo cartridges cost $70-100 back in the 90s). One thing that struck me about a $100 game (and I'm by no means saying that will never happen) is that it kills off the impulse buy and people would only buy games they are genuinely excited for. Meaning that to rope in the more casual gamer who doesn't pour over threads in internet forums in advance of a game coming out, you'd have to spend waaaay more on marketing to make your $100 game seem a worthwhile purchase. And what does that do to the company's bottom line?
  • First, I love your new sig Egg. Elbow is so good.

    Second, alright - so we've pretty much established it's not a huge addiction for me - but would your lives be better off without games?
  • Sunflower said:
    but would your lives be better off without games?

    Nope. If I never discovered video games I would merely fill that time with something else. Probably something like comics which can be just as expensive, and most of the time nowhere near as enjoyable. It's not like I would suddenly use that time to exercise or socialise, because if I really wanted to do that I would already do it more often then I do.
  • Sunflower said:
    but would your lives be better off without games?


    No. I'm not a very social person to begin with. Happy with my own company. Without games, I'd be even more of a loner. The extent of my daily socializing is with people at work and you guys in chat. Take away games and I'd be at home watching TV. The fact that games exist isn't what is keeping me from going out. That's just not for me.

    Because of games, I fly across the country once a year to spend a week in a huge city with friends. Totally out of my norm. So thanks games! :)

    As for the $100 games, I don't agree. I personally wouldn't regularly spend $100 for a single game. First if I think of all the game series I love, I came upon them by accident or from a rental. If I had to pay $100 to try Alan Wake, Dragon Age or even Viva Pinata, I never would of given those games a chance. I don't think I'm alone. So for the increase in profit you'd make from that $40 difference is lost in those sales of people who won't pay $100.

    If games were $100, you are also making the pirate situation even worse if you assume all other things (no single registration key) stay the same. More people not paying the initial $100 means more people buying used.

    I really think games should cost less and you solve both issues facing the gaming industry today. More people will buy your game at the initial $30 (for example). As a result, the resell value will be less as well, $15 at launch. You prevent people from wanting to trade in their games because the cost is so low and then people don't save enough from buying 2nd hand that its worth not buying the game at retail.

    I see this as the reason you don't see huge movie chains selling used DVDs. Sure there are some, but nothing like Gamestop. Who is going to trade the new Twilight they bought last week for $5?

    I'm always baffled about how the industry is concerned about used sales but doesn't do anything to cut the prices. I guess no one wants to be the first to jump because as long as you don't change, people are willing to keep paying the $60.


  • My life would be better without games. Before I had my Xbox I was more social, ran 3-4 miles every day, had more friends many of whom were girls, and I was willing to try more new things. Now, if I don't have plans on a Saturday night, I just stay home and game. Before, if I had no plans, I would call people or do something enriching to occupy my time.

    Now, when I hit a stretch of nothing to play, I try hard to find non-game related activities so I can grow out of this hobby more. I'm not entirely happy as a gamer. I would much rather be out doing other things or being with real people.
  • My life would not be better without games. Games don't just give me the interactive experience I crave and can't get out of other entertainment, but mutliplayer games have introduced me to a whole wide variety of friends who I have enjoyed chatting with and socializing with. Heck, without games I wouldn't have met my boyfriend!
  • I'm definitely not addicted to video games, but I have done some of the things you talked about in the podcast like...calling in sick when I really wasn't so I could play a game. Also, I avoided certain social situations by pretending I was busy with other things so I could play a game, or sometimes just outright saying, "hey, I'll be playing this game so you won't be hearing much from me for a few days, just letting you know." :p Yeah, I've done it, and I'm not proud but whatever. But would my life be BETTER without games? I doubt that because I would just find other ways to waste my time and probably be something else considered "nonconstructive" like watching movies or surfing the internet for LOL cats or something.

    I guess when I think of video game addiction, I think of those stories I hear out of asia where someone has sat at a computer day and night, not even leaving their chair so they can eat, peeing into bottles and tnen dying of malnutrition.
  • Continue this in the correct thread.


    image Originally Posted by Epke image
    Nope, they will open their cheeks and say; "bugger me, please" :p

    Sunflower, your constant mentioning of "your addiction" sounds more and more like an excuse to justify your hobby.



    Isn't that what addiction is all about?
    IMHO a reall addict doesn't acknowledges that he/she/it has a problem, and will go to any lenghts to satisfy his/her/its addiction, you still seem to function normally.
    or are you claiming that you are like a functional alcoholic?
  • I guess I'm not an addict. But functioning alcoholic sounds kind of apt. I know it's a problem and I know my life would be better without, but I still do it. Maybe more like a fat kid with Twinkies on the table.

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