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Episode 59

The Indoor Kids

Why We Play, with Pete…

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The Indoor Kids #59: Why We Play, with Pete Holmes!

This week, Kumail and Emily welcome our good friend Pete Holmes to talk about what we’re thinking and feeling when we sit down to play a shooter versus a puzzle game versus a MMORPG, and why thinking about stuff like that matters. Plus we get real silly too.

**SPOILER ALERT** There is a Mass Effect spoiler at 41:07

Follow @peteholmez on Twitter and listen to You Made It Weird!

Watch our Nerdist Channel YouTube show! Just go to youtube.com/nerdist and hit subscribe, and look out for lots of fun with Kumail and Emily playing video games together!

Follow @indoorkids, @kumailn, and @thegynomite on Twitter! And email us at theindoorkidspodcast@gmail.com!

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38 comments

  • It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this excellent blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and
    adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to
    new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.

    Talk soon!

  • There’s a somewhat famous troll joke about swimming out into the ocean to the west in Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, that you’ll eventually find the Fiji Mermaid who gives you a lot of gold, just to get people to swim out that far for no reason..

  • On the topic of using video games to go on murder sprees, or otherwise be completely opposite of yourself, I found Skyrim to be PERFECT for this. Thank god there is no morality meter in that game, because in one minute I’ll be rescuing daughters and playing Hide-and-Seek with kids, and then in the next I’m sacrificing my companion to Boethiah and eating people. Bipolar? Maybe, but the game definitely gives you the freedom to do whatever you feel like in that instant.

  • —>Al on August 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm said:
    I don’t like this trend of Pete Holmes looking so skinny. I plan on seeing him next month and the heckle doesn’t work if it’s just Val Kilmer.

    hey someone has to fulfill the responsibility of “looking hot while looking like Val Kilmer” and Mr. Kilmer sure as heck is not doing it nowadays. :)

  • Also, nobody can ever complain about spoilers from this episode, I’m seriously impressed at the lengths they went – the description, the intro, and even right before – there’s a spoiler alert. They know their audience!

  • I noticed that when I am playing a game where you are given moralistic decisions I am hardly ever a jerk. I usually make the moral choice to a fault. But when I get to play a game like God of War and I get to do vicious things with Kratos (like sacrificing poor villagers) I completely love it. Weird huh?

  • So funny. I was actually reading about the Halo Easter Eggs today and went back with some of my friends and played 3 and ODST to find the monkey things again. Then when I downloaded this and listened to the podcast while I was cooking it put a smile on my face. Such a cool coincidence. ^_^

  • So awesome to hear you guys talking about exploring/breaking games. I love doing that, and love hearing what other people have found out, even though a lot of the time it’s so far off from what you should be doing.

    Also it’s nice to hear Pete doing all the weird shit I used to do as a kid…My girlfriend gets mad if i shoot the civilians in Max Payne…but it’s hilarious!

    Though I’ve grown up, and I now know a lot about how they make these games, to some degree that enhances these discoveries…They’ve gotten better at preventing/dealing with some “outside-the-box” thinking, but it’s still great finding a sequence break, or a part of the wall you can walk through, etc. It’s actually the only thing that made The Stanley Parable interesting for me.

  • When I was a kid, I played Rise of the Triad (In retrospect, I really shouldn’t have been allowed to, but whatever. Thanks neglectful parents!) but when you just had pistol/s, you could shoot an enemy anywhere on their body & it wouldn’t kill them, & they would fall to the ground & plead for mercy. & it was SO goddamn satisfying, I would have a room full of guys on their knees, all “I don’t wanna die” & then cap them one by one!
    So yeah, escapism was a big part of gaming for me.

  • Thanks for the podcast. I’ll add my two cents albeit it late. I play it to be the character. I have to agree with Mr. Holmes that playing as Batman is kinda of frustrating. I am not as good as him, and I hate when I get killed by a bunch of punks. Sometimes I do play to turn my brain off, and/or let off steam.

  • Patod – ditto that “feelin’ it!”

    Also, I had another thought on this podcast last night, as I was sitting at my Wii, replaying Super Mario Bros. Wii for the umpteenth time…

    You guys talked about the ‘turning off your brain’ principle, and there is definitely something to that. I would add a corrolary to that, though – certain games allow my brain to essentially time travel. I know no other way to capture that feeling of when I was ten moreso than that feeling of first exploring a new Mario or Zelda game. It doesn’t really work as well on replays, but that first time you pop in a new disk? And when you poke around to find all the important blocks, or hidden gems? Seriously, I feel my adult troubles melt away, and I have the quick dart flash of childhood once again. It’s pretty amazing.

  • For people like Pete Holmes, who enjoy being the one who knocks (in video games), try Space Marines. It’s a fairly well balanced shooter where you restore health by charging enemies.

  • I normally listen to Indoor Kids the first thing on Monday morning at my day job.

    Today I was too busy at work to listen to this podcast this morning. When I did have time I had to listen to Joan Rivers on the Nerdist.

    Don’t hate me guys for waiting. I am looking forward to the treat of listening to this tomorrow.

    Be safe. Be happy. I hope Scotland treated you well.

    Love,

    Joshua

  • I always listen to this while playing games without dialogue or multiplayer games. Time goes by way too quick. A few rounds of Altitude or one good round of BF3 and it’s over already. Indoor Kids and Todd Glass are the only podcasts that I get all giggly when I see a new episodes up and I must listen to them the same day. All others get saved and I try to get to them before the week ends (or weekends. oh i get it! never thought about that. Weekends are the end of the WEEK. I wish that was a bad joke. 26 years…”Weekend”.)

  • Great show – it’s fun how it comes through just how much you three enjoy spending time in each others’ company.

    Regarding the impulse to go on rampages in games… I am sure I’m not the first person to say this, but I am reminded of a bit from the book Brave New World. People in the book get “VPS” treatments – Violent Passion Surrogate treatments. Their life is so inherently mellow and so lacking in strife or genuinely adrenaline-producing experiences that there is literally a regularly mandated medical treatment that induces those feelings for the well-being of the people in that fictional world.

    When I am playing Call of Duty: MW3 and just mowing down person after person in one of the easy single player levels (Interstate is my favorite – there’s an underpass that just lets you funnel in bad guy after bad guy for headshots), I see that as my VPS treatment. I live a pretty boring life. I have a dull job. I have a husband, dog and friends I love, but not too much exciting goes on. CoD:MW3 is for me today what Street Fighter 2 was 20 years ago… with a number of other game iterations in between. It’s a way to get riled, and angry, and aggressive and take out frustrations without there being any consequences whatsoever. It is exactly the same as the Brave New World VPS.

  • Great episode, I really think you were on to something with the freedom in life/freedom in games principle. I have a lot of friends working monotonous jobs, at factories or supermarkets, LOVING to break out of their shell in an open world RPG or sandbox game, full of side quests and multiple ways to approach each objective.

    I work in a creative environment, and for one enjoy games with a simple objective or linear structure. I DEFINITELY don’t want to control the entire life of another character, like in The Sims, and if I do, I mostly just enjoy discovering the outskirts and structure of the game (like Pete), since what I enjoy in those cases is the creativity BEHIND the game, not my own in playing it.

    It’s basic psychology I guess, but it’s interesting how video games is the only realistic medium were one can live out ANY contrast to your real world life, whether it be creating your own civilization in a rts-game OR just guiding a bandicoot through a 6 feet wide dirt road until you get to the bad guy, kill him and earn a shitload of apples (ok, i haven’t played Crash in a while, but i do remember mindlessly collecting apples for some reason. Is that what bandicoots eat? I digress.)

    It’s a blank sheet vs. a “color by numbers”-book, and for me, the blank sheet is reality and the “color by numbers”-book is therapy.

  • Every week there is a comment ” I havent listend yet” its honestly turning into YouTube first comments. Nerdist community feels like its starting to fill up with kids or redditors that always want people to know. “Look at me. I’m here”. I would like to look at comments and have comments amd feedback for the shows but nope. Just filled with “FIRST.” ANYWAY awsome show love Pete he keeps it weird. Not as much as james gun but yah.

  • Okay, after 5 months of Mass Effect 3 being out, I don’t think you need spoiler alert. I’m assuming of course that people listening are avid gamers and really know about games that came out months ago.

    Love this podcast.