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Episode 84

The Indoor Kids

Musicals, Commerce, Goats,…

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The Indoor Kids #84: Musicals, Commerce, Goats, and Depression- with DC Pierson!

Today we welcome podcast pal DC Pierson to talk about the latest video game news, odd things we used to do while playing video games, depression as a video game, and more! Plus we welcome Matthew Burnside with a review of Ni No Kuni and more!
Games discussed
Far Cry 3
The Walking Dead
Temple Run 2
Depression Quest
Halo
The Sims
Golden Axe
Warcraft 2
Ni No Kuni
Destiny
Books discussed
“Crap Kingdom” (www.crapkingdom.com)

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44 comments

  • More than two TV shows are headed by women? Maybe I misheard; I couldn’t hear the second show mentioned, but Suburgatory, the American version of The Killing, Girls, The New Girl; Mindy Project; those Whitney Cummings shows; The Middle; Bunheads; the Shonda Rhimes shows– Gray’s Anatomy et al. It’s not perfect but it’s better than two. Better if you include British shows– Sharon Horgan, say.

  • Destiny is a pickup game of the marathon series that originally made halo (that was a side story) love your and have an exulant week (cant wait for you next podcast)

  • Kyle S, can’t tell if you just choose to ignore the hunting portion because you feel it’s tedious and doesn’t add value to the game, or because you feel it’s wrong to hunt animals. Because, if you feel it’s fine to shoot virtual humans but find it unacceptable to shoot virtual animals, well, man… That’s messed up…

  • Regarding the comments about companies losing money because of ppl re-selling their games. And, what companies may do for the next consoles games to combat this ‘problem’!?

    It’s simple…
    Just make downloaded full-games cheaper… And, more-or-less, anyone buying an actual game (in box), that could potentially be ‘re-sold’, will be buying that almost as a premium. And, for F@#k sake make that premium be, that you get all of the DLC free. I mean all you get when you ‘unlock’ anything DLC-wise on a lot of games is a 100kb patch telling the game that thing it already has is now available to play.
    Anyway, E-books did the same thing, on prices, didn’t they?
    Since the company didn’t have to actually print a physical copy of it. And, it can’t really be ‘re-sold’ when it’s a downloaded version. They made it cheaper than the in-store printed on paper version.
    Second option, have each disc-game individually numbered and tied to whatever console’s account they register it with the first time it’s played. if they want to ‘unlock’ their game for playability on other consoles account’s then they must pay a 5-10 dollar fee. But, after this is done once then that ‘individually numbered’ game is unlocked permanently. And can be played by any account.

    But, there are always going to be ppl who would prefer a physical copy of any given media.

    I’ve got some cd’s/movies/games/books over on a shelf. If I want to listen/watch/play/read any of them. All I have to do is go get it and either open it or put it in. And as long as I take care of all of these they should last for quite some time. I don’t need to re-purchase any of them. If I wanted I could even sell them and make some of my money back. I like having that option available. And in the case of books. 1st edition/1st print of a book will almost always hold (and eventually increase) it’s value. Can’t say the same for a downloaded kindle version can you?

    If they do this, would we even still be able to play ‘imported’ games on our consoles? I mean if there’s some sort of verification system for individual game discs, wouldn’t they not want to allow that game to be played in a country where it wasn’t licenced for distribution. I’m guessing they’ll be doing away with US/JPN sharing a region for it’s games/blu-ray’s? Or at least making absolutely sure “Nobody” is able to play non-licenced games anywhere they’re not supposed to. If they want to, they’ll only be allowed to play whichever ones the companies choose we can. And, only after they’ve completely gutted the stories and censored any and everything they feel like might ‘offend’ someone who doesn’t understand other cultures.
    Is it just me, or did what I just typed make companies sound eerily similar to what countries like China do pertaining to internet censorship. (Any non-conformist ideas/ideals will be blocked.)

    Anyway, I hope they’ll think about things like that before trying to completely “limit” what we as consumers are able to do with our own money.

    Sorry if it seemed a little scatter-brained. Stupid brain and it’s daily need for sleep.

  • So, Depression Quest hit home a lot of similarities to my life and issues I am having now and had way back when. Really thought things were working out and who knows maybe I’m just talking about nothing but the game has definitely made me question about going back to therapy being a good idea. It’s so sad that a game has to make me feel like things aren’t quite right now.

  • The Skate demo definitely got me to buy that game. I think the difference was that, with that game, you actually didn’t know what to expect, or you expected the same thing as Tony Hawk. It showed off the new mechanics, which ruled even in the limited space given. It was closer to the freemium model I guess, since you were essentially paying for a bigger map, with some optional challenges. I’m guessing the main difference is expectations. If someone expects a lot from a game, they are probably going to be disappointed by a fragment of that game.

  • Kumail, the whole point of Diplomacy was to try and screw everyone else out of territory! Noobs always lost. When you get screwed over, you team up with all the other nations and attack the guy who got you. (Repeat until someone screws up.)

  • I don’t understand why people are all up in arms about the micro transactions in Dead Space 3. The only micro transactions are to buy resources if you want to make weapons and upgrades for your gear. You can still play through the game and collect resources the normal way without spending a cent over the original $60. Its no different then the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer (which I know you two said you haven’t played but you definitely should cause its a lot of fun, kinda like horde but as an RPG) where you could pay real money for upgrade packs or you could play matches, earn credits and unlock them without spending any more money. It doesn’t detract from anyones experience and just lets lazy people or people with not enough time to play games to progress with real money if they want.

  • Actually this gives me an idea. A lot of podcasts have an F-A-Q section where you can give static answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Would you guys be open to launching an F-UCK-U section for frequent BS complaints left by spoiled internet commenters who clearly have zero idea of how much effort goes into to producing a weekly podcast of any quality that you give away FOR FREE?

    I’m thinking something like this:

    C: I find it tedious that I have to scrub through certain parts of the podcast that don’t resonate with me. Sure the podcast didn’t cost me a dime, but it’s just so tedious.
    A: Fuck you.

    C: You guys expressed opinions that I disagreed with, therefore your world view is completely imbalanced and you’re amoral idiots.
    A: Fuck you.

    C: You had a lively, entertaining discussion with your guest, but you let the conversation develop naturally instead of forcing stilted and contrived roadblocks into the process in order to drive the conversation back to a topic that I’m interested in.
    A: Fuck you.

    You get the idea.

  • I agree with Liam. If you don’t like the podcast, it’s not like there’s a shortage of podcasts on the internet. Find one without an explicit tag. Or, hey, make ya own. Then I can come to your comments section and complain about how it doesn’t have enough talk about {insert thing only I care about here} and too much talk about {insert thing I’m personally not interested in here}.

  • I HAVE A IDEA…. MAYBE TALK TO YOUR KID INSTEAD OF BEING A LAZY DOUCHE AND SHOVING PIDCAST OR TV IN FRONT OF HIM. THIS IS NOT A KIDS PODCAST IDK WHERE YOU GOT THAT IDEA. GIL UAS THE ONLY PG PODCAST AND EVEN THEN SOMETIMES IT GOES PG13. Not being able to hunt animals in a video game as if hunting is also somehow wrong? I know who will be the first to start during the zombie virus outbreak.

  • I have no interest in a dry, sensible podcast about video games. I’m sure there are lots of those. I like this one because I enjoy listening to Emily and Kumail. It could probably be on any subject and I’d still enjoy listening. In fact, when I started listening I hadn’t really played any games in years. Since then I’ve ended up getting an Xbox and buying stuff like Skyrim, Borderlands, Dishonored and other games they’ve enthused about. I don’t think I’d have felt that enthusiasm to be so infectious if they were always trying to censor themselves and stay on topic

  • I have to agree with LevelledUp’s comment. All of it. I’ve been a follower of the podcast since it first started airing but have become increasingly dissatisfied with it recently. All the sex talk is quite annoying and so far off-topic it’s ridiculous. There’s already has a sex podcast on this network and doesn’t need another one. If you enjoy listening to that then fine, I have no problem with that, but at the same time I don’t enjoy listening to it and find it tedious that I have to actively listen to see if I have to scrub forwards or not and can’t just passively listen while I’m doing something.

    I also feel that the podcast has become more social hour and less video game centric than when it started out. Also one of the other problems that I’ve been having with the podcast is that they seem to spend more time chatting about off-topic things than the actual topic the brought that person into talk about. There have been some good topics that could have been explored in-depth but were cut down to 25 minutes of discussion and then they spend the rest of the time talking about the latest movie that’s come out.

    Indoor Kids has been billed as a “video games podcast” but more and more it seems to have very little to do with video games.

  • There’s an achievement in Gears of War 3 related to maxing out all of the medals. So, using the “Battle Mistress” medal as an argument FOR a female lead is misleading. The fact that there’s an achievement and only 10% have gotten it seems like an argument against.

  • Hey, Emily, it’s always really great hen your clinical/therapy background comes to bear on your gaming discussions! If you found Depression Quest interesting, there’s been another game, “Actual Sunlight,” making the rounds of the gaming press that reportedly deals with similar subject matter in a thoughtful way. It looks a little more more traditionally “gamey.”

    http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/depression-suicide-and-a-final-choice-that-isnt-what-you-think-the-power-of

  • Emily’s story of changing music in the Sims reminded me of NHL2k5. I am a huge Blues fan and former season ticket holder. In NHL2k5 they allowed you to use your own music and you could even program it so it would come on at certain times. Therefore, I changed all of the home music (i.e. warm ups, after goal was scored, etc) to match what was actually played during the real games. I felt like a huge dork, but man was it awesome to play with that stuff in the game.

  • BioWare’s handling of the marketing-female-characters dilemma was fairly deft. After years of complaints from fans that the only Shepard that showed up in marketing materials was the male version, they released alternate trailers for ME3 with a female Shepard and included reversible cover art for the game so you could have whoever you wanted on the front of the box.

    As with Ken Levine’s handling of the BioShock Infinite cover backlash, I think it’s cool that they found a way to do what they had to do to sell a game that needed to sell a lot of copies without alienating their hardcore fans. I’ve never played Gears, so I don’t know what more could’ve been done, but it’s also seemed like a fairly bro-centric series from the start, so I’m not sure anything needed to be done anyway.

    I think Kotaku just kinda stinks. I find that Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and Destructoid do much better work without constantly trying to stir up controversy. Articles like the one on Gears do more harm than good because they make issues worth talking about easy to caricature and dismiss.

  • Also, I agree that cutting out all the scatology and sexual references would make it a lot less fun. I’m sure there must be family-orientated video game podcasts you could listen to instead

    ALSO also, the talk about female game characters and Ni No Kuni made me think about how most of Studio Ghibli’s films have a female protagonist. But Ni No Kuni has a male protagonist – I wonder if that’s another example of the designers worrying about how a character’s gender will affect sales?

  • About the lack of female characters being a business decision- it sucks, but also probably true. In the case of the Mass Effect games, I think Bioware said players chose the Solider over ever other class combined, and 80% chose a BroShep. You can see why the developers chose to streamline away a lot of the RPG stuff and focus most of their efforts on the shooty part of the gameplay. They’re making blockbuster games, and blockbusters have to appeal to as large a buying audience as possible.

    On the online pass thing, I’m kind of split. Places like Gamestop, who sell a used game for five dollars less than a new game, are obviously eating away a good chunk of revenue for games makers, and this is a way to claw some of it back. My problem is with publishers who start shoehorning in online components into titles that don’t need it at all, or who include always-online DRM for PC titles that are already locked into an account.

    Regarding Jason’s comments, he’s using a tried and true tactic: throw a bunch of examples of other unfair (but also unrelated) things happening in the world and demand that pay attention to them instead of the original topic. The article I’m gonna quote from is about MRA types, but it’s basically applicable to everything kind of privileged-guy-on-the-internet situation:

    http://botherer.org/2013/02/15/male-rights-advocates-and-their-attempt-to-silence-discussion/

    So when they encounter an article describing a negative treatment or depiction of women, they adopt the agenda-driven irrational response: because you have written this you don’t care about men’s issues. Not because they believe that, but rather because it proves the fastest route to diverting attention away from, and derailing discussion of, sexism or misogyny. The real goal, of course, is to prevent the discussion of such matters.

    However, I think were there even to be some truth behind the claims, it would more likely be coincidental to these people’s goals, rather than a confirmation of them. The clear aim is the derailment of any discussion of women and gaming, rather than a pragmatic approach to encouraging the contemporaneous discussion of men and gaming. Merely discussion the issues relevant to women is received as an affront to their so-called cause, which is of course so utterly illogical as to all-too-easily demonstrate their genuine motivations. It’s the protection of a very beneficial privilege, one that’s immediately threatened when the male dominance of gaming is challenged.

    • So me saying I have not experienced privilege is trying to derail conversation? Talk it up if you think war games should be made geared towards woman. So Sticking up for gay people and mentioning how they actually have laws being made against them in North Carolina is derailing discussion too? I mean anyone can try to cut and paste some theory which really doesn’t apply but at least you feel better. Again what was rascist about resident evil 5 which featured a black female protagonist and was made by a multicultural team. If you go to any third world area the people live in poverty, maybe look at what I’m saying socioeconomic is the real problem. There is no issue with not having a female lead in a war game as that isn’t the demo buying the game. Also how about you just wait a month and buy tomb raider? How on earth is Tomb raider not mentioned? The biggest game the first half of this year yet no mention of the female lead. So again get over that war games in general are going to cater to their audience. Tomb raider has been very successful so why do females also need to lead in gears of war when they already have a role in the game in battle and lead other franchises like the upcoming beyond two souls with Ellen page.

      To emily there are many more than 2 shows on tv with female leads. Have you seen the view or the talk? how about CBS monday night where 2 broke girls and mike and molly both show. Both feature mainly female casts and their biggest stars are female. The bias was really clear none more on the 2 female show comment.

      Again enjoy tomb raider, bayonetta 2, beyond two souls, and resident evil revelations all out this year while asking why can’t women be the lead in games?

  • One of my favorite psychological games is Zero Escape: Virtues Last Rewards for the 3DS. Everyone should play it, I actually got a 3DS just for this game. It’s the sequel to 999 for the DS, but you don’t actually need to play it to get the story. No spoilers but it is really the story that makes it great. REALLY REALLY GREAT, you should play it Emily.

  • I’m aware what I’m about to say will be not liked at all by many here, but bear with me.

    The topic of video games makes this a perfect type of podcast for parents to listen to with their kids. For example while driving them to school or somewhere else. But there’s all this graphic sexual talk in almost every podcast that is off topic, usually not funny and adds nothing. The only point it serves is to unnecessarily drive away some who would find your podcast more functional otherwise. If you could pull yourself back into the PG realm, you have a much greater chance of this becoming more widely popular.

    I love Kumail and Emily, as a couple and individually, so don’t take this too harshly. Just legit trying to help here with another perspective.

  • I haven’t listened to this episode yet, but I as I was listening to the ep from a few weeks ago with Devin Faraci where you spoke briefly about the 2011 Supreme Court ruling on video games, I thought of back when Adam Sessler was talking about that case on Feedback, which made me hope that you guys will get Adam back on the podcast!! I think I’d love to hear from him again, partly because of the new consoles talk and whatnot and largely because I haven’t heard from him in a while!

  • Maybe you need to listen closer, Jason. No one in the room took the article writer’s side on the Gears thing. Additionally, Beyonce can sing about whatever she wants and Indoor Kids can talk about whatever they want and no one’s forcing you to listen to any of it. Not every song or discussion topic is going to cater to your tastes and interests. I really hope you appreciate the privileged position you’re in to be so dismissive of racial and gender issues that others have no choice but to take very seriously.

    • Again in 2013 I tend to disagree with the white male priveledge angle or that I am in some privileged class. Women graduate college at a higher rate and then why are Asian people so successful at higher rates than most other groups. At no time in my life have I gotten something because I was white. I have had 8 or 9 bosses and at the fortune 25 company all were women. 1 out of the 8 or 9 was a male, anecdotal sure but so is generalizing all white men are privileged. There are many poor white children who do not have the family support of a highly educated black, Indian, Asian family who cares about education. They are not privileged and the notion that white male is privileged today is antiquated. There is plenty of racism as I mentioned and looking into games specifically looking at the angle of why is this white male save the savages type dea is a dead end. Maybe Emily can focus on why her home state banning gay marraige? Why is it ok for all voters, NC has a large black catholic population that hate gays and fight in no uncertain terms against gay right, to be so bigoted today but instead we focus on videogames that don’t even portray racism and are made by multicultural teams? Again there are people today who think gays shouldnt marry or are sick instead. Why can games like mass effect not be called out as positive examples even though they feature a white male character. They are great examples of being inclusive. Also something simple like a facial editor would solve all this immediately but there were no solutikns presented just stoking flames. Resident evil 5 had a black female main character as well but let’s not mention that bc it doesn’t fit into the narrative of racism. I think this show especially was too focused on white male is bad, completely generalizing when socioeconomic is the real issue, and providing commentary on worthless articles when the ps4 news is incoming just a waste of time. Just a lot of annoying opinions lwhich conflict like no issue with the modern warfare airport level but god forbid anybody hurt a jungle cat. The focus of this show was really off and I hope for an immediate change in tone because I felt today was very divisive where if you are in this so called priveledged class we don’t want you. Again call out North Carolina for banning gay marraige or how Pakistan feels about white American men. It is not only white me hate Muslims or blacks end of story. There are offenders on both sides. If the goal was everyone feeling inclusive that goal was not accomplished today.

  • I haven’t played far cry but I have seen a lot of it and played through resident evil 5. There is real racism out there still but I have some issues with what seems like finding racism or writing articles of the like for page views. I am almost 30 and have grown up without slaves, with mostly women bosses, and a black president. The most powerful entertainers in Hollywood are not white males, has anyone ever heard of Ellen, Oprah, Tyler perry or Jlo? Would they be more successful if they were white men? Unlikely..There are people like the west barrow baptist church who are real rascists. Calling out gears of war for not having a female lead and using weekly podcast time to discuss this again is losing me. I think girls play those games but in what numbers? What percentage of those players are doing so with boyfriends, mostly males etc? Wendy Williams and beyonce dont cater to me (despite song 3 being called cater 2 u) and should I get upset bc of that? Is it ok for beyonce to say during the Super Bowl this is a proud day for African American women? That to me is very divisive… Why can’t beyonce sing songs I want to listen to rather than singing specifically to single ladies? Why is it ok for the repeated use of the N word by rappers or Tyler perry using black stereotypes to profit. It’s just a boring topic which to me seems like there is a lot of white hate/white is evil. I’m not going to listen if this is so anti white male going forward

  • The interviewer for the link in the first comment is a royal douche, and I have a lot of trouble grasping how those kinds of people go through their lives without immense difficulty.

    Far Cry 3, as a fan of Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3+, for me was amazing. The main story itself was not to my particular tastes and dealt with antagonists that would be cruel unnecessarily, but once you get to a certain part of the story (after unlocking the second island), there’s not much need to continue with the rest. It is very highly replayable, and you can take your time and snipe or dash in for a quick run-and-gun if you prefer. I could very easily have a 200-hour game save on a single character much like I did for Fallout 3/Vegas and Oblivion/Skyrim.

    The hunting element isn’t what I would really consider hunting per se, but mostly just fighting another enemy that always gives a predictable drop item. You more or less interact with the animal (same interfacing keypresses) in the same way that you search a body for dropped items, except the harvesting animation is just different. Plus there is a kind of recipe you can make from gathered plants (a little like Oblivion/Skyrim) that repels animals, so if you need to fight a strong animal you can just use that recipe and they’ll never strike you. You would need to hunt in order to be able to carry more ammo/weapons/etc. I’m not certain the game could be completed easily without hunting, because you would be constantly running out of ammo — but the hunting aspect genuinely seems necessary instead of just being a charming sidequest option.

    At no point did I ever detect anything within the vicinity of racism in the story. If there was any, it was against the white character (you) for being a pawn of the tribals people, even nicknamed Snow White as a silly cartoon nickname for you — not at all that the white guy was the savior, because nobody treated him like one. Every time you liberated a camp, you were instantly sidelined and other people would claim the victory even though you did all the work. I did not at all get the impression that the playable character was the hero, but that it was just a rite of passage for him personally, to discover himself. Zero racism whatsoever. The conflict is between people of certain personalities, and had absolutely nothing to do with race, and there is no suggestion that people of a certain race had a stereotypical default personality. I am completely baffled by the accusation of racism.

  • The female protagonist thing reminds me of the idea of having a black James Bond, or the meta-commentary of Donald Glover in Girls. I’d much rather have new IPs with non-white male lead characters than what would feel like tokenism.

    This year there’s Remember Me and Tomb Raider, earlier this gen we had Mirror’s Edge, Bayonetta and Heavenly Sword. It’s not like the industry is trying to be dicks, it just genuinely doesn’t seem to sell.

    Also, female-led shows on TV: Parks and Recreation, Grey’s Anatomy, New Girl, that Julianna Marguilles show, Covert Affairs, Girls, Shameless, Homeland, 2 Broke Girls, Gossip Girl; it goes on, but welp I guess that’s still less than half the shows on TV.

  • I found this spoilerific interview with Far Cry 3’s writer incredibly illuminating: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/12/19/far-cry-3s-jeffrey-yohalem-on-racism-torture-and-satire/

    I concluded after reading it that I’m never going to play this game. Way too much fuckery going on under the hood for my tastes. Kudos to the writer for being more clever than many gave him credit for, but I’m not going to subject myself to his experiment. If you want me to be a lab rat you have to pay me, not the other way around.

    Also: hunting animals? No care ever. Ignored it completely in Red Dead, would likely ignore it in this game as well.