Friday, February 4, 2011

Armchair Thinkers podcast

Quick head's-up: The Armchair Thinkers podcast has yours truly as a guest for the most recent episode (Feb 3 2011) and we get pretty into depth on stuff like The AntiThinker, Other M, etc. Check it out HERE:


TheWon said...

I love how he calls out the people crying about the antithinker. It's your fault he will continue to be in the series. Good Job Bob! Let's get the pretendo fans out, and the real fans in.

Sara Pickell said...

I get that people are going way overboard, but as someone who's more in your corner and watches The Big Picture and Escape to the Movies every week, I'm still not going to watch any more over/anti-thinker episodes until you're back to something approximating your old format. It's not a threat or finger quotes promise or anything, I just really don't like this character or even especially the format change to being story driven.

The argument came up in the podcast that you are releasing content at a much higher rate... but for people like me I don't see how that would matter. Even if you did ten shows I didn't watch a week, that's far less endearing than one show a month that I DO watch.

I don't know, in this case I don't really like having to bring this all up and I haven't before now. Just sort of feels like that podcast was something of an echo-chamber.

Drake Sigar said...

What Sara said. I realize trying new things is necessary to prevent shows going stale. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Nostalgia Critic had a character called Melvin who was a complete disaster and never spoken of again, and I thought Anti-Thinker would join him in limbo. This isn’t a protest. I won’t watch any more Anti-Thinker episodes because I don’t find them funny, informative, or interesting. It’s just that simple.

Ian said...

Also what Sara said. There may be more content at a faster rate... but I'm not enjoying it very much. I got so much more out of a single Overthinker episode than I did the entire Antithinker shtick combined.

And as for the Antithinker himself... Do we really need a character that voices the complaints that you usually give in every other episode? Had your evil counterpart been more meaningful, I'm certain the audience would have appreciated him more. Look, I'll even come up with an example of how you can do that right now: instead of just repeating your usual complaints about hardcore gamers, instead he gives legitimate complaints about retro gaming, companies like Nintendo, etc. By doing this, you'd, ironically, get people thinking about both ends of the spectrum.

But that's not what we're getting. Instead, you're repeating the same jokes you made as the Overthinker. Literally. You had the Antithinker say 'I'm happy to play as a gun,' an obvious quote from your Worst Person episode. You also have him call classic characters like Link and Megaman 'gay,' which came straight from your episode on Kirby.

And, truthfully, I don't understand why. The Overthinker had a purpose: to get us thinking more about the medium and the industry. What is the Antithinker supposed to accomplish? Aside from being a satire? Until there is a reason, I don't think I can watch anymore episodes.

Clayton said...

I say go right ahead and keep with this. After some of the heftier that he's done for the past two or three years he needs a chance to unwind. Though now we'll be going BACK to the topical format I WOULD hope that people will now move on...but I have no faith in the human race.

Lovernios, o Raposo said...

Guys, you do know this is free, right? If you want him to do your bidding... well... pay him.

RockPlazaCentral said...

Q: What's the best movie ever made?
A: Scarface.
Q: Not including Scarface.
A: Scarface: The Director's Cut


As long as you did not buy more than one douchbag Tapout T-shirt, I personally support your whole Antithinker shtick.

Popcorn Dave said...

Soooo... people pointed out your videos were bad so you kept doing bad videos to spite them. What are you, six years old? I mean okay, some of the complainers were real entitled jerks but come on, that doesn't mean they didn't have a point.

Still, I didn't realise you did these for free so I guess we should just be glad you're still making them at all. *shrug*

The Karligarchy said...

Hey Bob, I saw this and thought you would find it funny if you havent already seen it.

Its a video for "Duty Calls" FPS satire I think there is a demo.

Also just so this doesnt stand out too much on your comments... The Antithinker blah blah blah I dont like it wah wah wah. No Im totally with you do what you want rah rah rah! I find the repetition on your comments for the past few months vastly more boring and disappointing than anything the Antithinker or subsequent characters/plot could ever be. These used to serve as great distractions from my work to geek out. Would like it back please. Wouldnt blame you if you didnt even read these anymore...

The Karligarchy said...

Apparently Duty Calls is a demo advertising campaign by EA/Epic for Bulletstorm from what I can gather. You can dl here if you are interested

FinnRA said...

I've already commented a time or two, but I'll throw in my two cents.

I was unsure about the antithinker in the beginning (but not very vocal about him) but now I think I'm beginning to see some meaning behind him (even though I don't know quite how to begin to explain it). I for one don't really want the antithinker gone, I sort of like him. One thing I would like was if he was a bit more sublime. I understand that he is supposed to be an extreme kind of person, but even the most extreme kinds of storylines have symbolism and meaning to them, that do not kick you in the face. For example in the LoZ video (good one, by the way) the way he just turns around and says (paraphrase) "I guess I can relate after all, [...] blah blah park." It was just too blatant and felt uncanny.

In the end I really like the fundament of your videos, I think storyline segments can be done well, and I think you can do them well, but honestly I don't think you're quite there yet. Practice makes perfect! I'm not sure if this qualifies as constructive criticism, but hell, I'm sure you've seen worse comments.

curtdogg said...


So if we go to a restaurant, and the waiter brings us a plate of dog shit for no charge, we're supposed to accept it and eat it up?

RockPlazaCentral said...


Your analogy is wrong.

This is Bob's blog. It's not his job serve wine at $100 a bottle, shit for free, or anything else.

David said...

I love the part where he says he is only doing these videos for the people who get mad about the anti thinker. He is now a self admitted troll. I had considered the idea that Bob was nothing but a troll before, but never wanted to believe it. Now that he is just admitting it I don't see the point of watching. Glad I listened to the armchair thinkers.

roderickii said...

LOl, that bob he sure knows how to keep his fans comin back. Basically I'm sayin I heard the podcast and after 20 min I heard everything I wanted to hear. So after making the huge mistake of not alerting the fans as to why this anti thinker character and story just came out of nowhere is the result of why there's so much flaming and fan rage going on. Is it justified? I say somewhat, clarification from the author shows how much he cares about the fans. However like I stated before people are making way to big of a deal out of this, for those of you who haven't heard the Feb 3rd podcast the anti thinker will be gone by the 50th ep that in just 3 more episodes. (if I included all the right ones) Surely you can hold out for three more, though I'm sure most of the people who say they arent watchin anymore will at least skim over the vid for the over thinkers mention. But its cool vent your anger, I just recommend people to lighten up a little on the character cause as I said before it ain't permanent.

I'm not much of a fan myself cause hes an exaggerated concept of jocks and mediocre acting but thats what bob was goin for. A character to piss us off (it's working obiously) so the original overthinker we know and love will be more appreciated when he returns.

I understood what Bob meant by play around show but I think that's a little exaggerated. For playing around, 97% of your vids had a message or a rant you wanted us to look at and find some gray area on each discussion. I would consider this just a temporary experiment, but I digress.

Keep doing what you do Bob cause the way I see it, it's working, just torture the fans TOO much.

Paul said...

Bob, your suggestion that you were trying for a "Big Reveal" on the 50th episode makes sense of a lot of things. I suspected things were a bit rushed, but given that you're going for such a huge plot-line in 8 episodes, of course it's going to be rushed.

More importantly, though, the podcast made it clear what the game overthinker is about from your perspective. IE: It's your own blog about your opinions on gaming.

Here's the thing, though: This needs explicitly stating. You're an established journalist. You do exactly this kind of thing and get paid for it. It's not implicitly obvious that this is something you do for yourself, rather than something you're actually creating for other people, with the intent of monetarising on it once its developed.

The Armchair blog point on "entitlement" suggests a similar point - people were mistaking something private for something public. Of course, consider the flip-side of this. Would such comments about your more professional work be legitimate?

There is a plausible argument to suggest that it would be. Now, I don't want to defend the way that people like Dave have reacted. That's not the point. He reacted and others reacted in the way they did because they saw something in your videos that, whether intentional or not, offended them. If this was something you created for the Escapist, its viewing audience could be upset that the revenue it generates for site were used for something that they perceived to be actively aggressive against them.

I think it's fine for you to keep going your own way on this. People should take this as a sign that what you're creating is just a blog. You've not got your Journalist Hat on when you're creating these. You're just tinkering. And if that's what you're happy to let this be, then let the moaning and whining cease, for it serves no constructive purpose.

Ezenwa said...

So we're clear, though, who actually did finish hearing all of the interview? I did. Pretty interesting.

The whole "entitlement" thing, and then when they found the comments laughable made me wonder how much of this they have been through. But, at least we can take solace in knowing that this is going somewhere come episode 50. Be patient, all. Perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye.

Francis said...

Im glad to see the normal videos will come back. I dont mind you experimenting and trying new things; after all, not experimenting means you could get bored with all this and stop the overthinker videos altogether! These story videos might just be much more fun to make or something, or make a nice change from the (relatively) more serious things you do for the Escapist. But so far I've enjoyed your "regular" videos much, much more than these "story" videos, so im pretty glad theyre coming back. It seems fresh to see videos that talk about videogames seriously and eloquently. Your series and Extra Credits are the two only series I know of which talk about videogames in this way.

Pat said...

You mention the Channel Awesome guys as people who also implement the whole story-driven thing. You even say that their competence in doing it and their popularity deterred you from trying it out for yourself as long as you did.

That being said, here's something you should learn from them.

The big reason it works when they do it is because their inclusion of plot doesn't interfere with the core show.

People watch your show because of your deep insight into gaming. I understand you wanting to try something different and to give it a framing device. That's fine. But with the Anti-Thinker, you completely changed the show. People who watch your show were no longer getting what they wanted.

If you were to do this all over again, I would recommend that the Anti-Thinker be somebody that throws in his own comments as the strawman he is intended to be, while you continue to do the same thing you always do. That way people warm up to him (in a manner of speaking), they get used to the show with a framing device, and then it doesn't feel out of place when the Anti-Thinker takes over for an episode or two. It also helps you establish the character and gives you a chance to get his voice down (which I don't think you've quite figured out yet).

Instead, you introduce a character out of the blue, he takes over the show, he does non-reviews of old games and even if he is occasionally funny, the show is temporarily devoid of anything that people watch it for.

I think this Quest of the Overthinker thing you're starting is closer to that way of thinking. You'll continue to discuss the same things you normally would, but with sprinklings of plot here and there. This is much closer to what the Channel Awesome guys do.

In the future, try easing into this sort of thing. I look forward to seeing the Quest storyline.

smile said...

Bob, you brought up a good point in that podcast. No one gives a fuck what people on the Internet say... and that includes your long tiresome tirade on Kevin Smith.

Let's just get back to talking about video games, it cures the cancer.

Ezenwa said...


Would you be Pat the NES Punk?

Sorry, not to seem like a goof, but I find it very interesting the names that pop up here, and the amount of crossovers that are done by vids these days.

That said, Pat, you do raise a very good point. The core show isn't interrupted. Also, they are very subtle with it.

But, you have to give Bob credit for attempting it. Still waiting to see how it plays out.

phulse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...


Nah, I'm a different Pat.

I do give him credit for trying, but I hope he understands that it's not in his best interest to ignore all of his negative criticism. I understand that he's trying something new, but part of trying something new is figuring out what works and what doesn't. I doubt that he ENJOYS getting negative criticism. I just hope he learns not to let the plot completely hijack the show in the future. Especially for 3 or 4 episodes. Even if the Antithinker were funny, I still would have missed the normal Overthinker stuff.

Smashmatt202 said...

Reading too much into a character who's supposed to be a joke? Dude, you're the Game OVERTHINKER, right? The whole point of your stuff is to OVERTHINK, right? But now all of a sudden, you're telling us to turn our brains off just for this one character? Geez...

I will say this, though, it WAS very naive of you to think this was going to be a funny idea.

Also, I wasn't really expecting you to step up your game or anything. I was expecting more thought-provoking stuff. You know, the stuff that got us into your videos to begin with. Live action appearances are fine when necessary, but it's not like, if you were to make an appearance in the episode, that will make it better. It's all about context and subject matter.

...But, I guess since you're not really getting paid to do this, I guess you CAN pretty much do whatever you want without worrying about the consequences, and I can respect that. You know, just doing your own thing. Sure fans like me will bitch, but if you genuinely like what you're doing, I suppose I shouldn't demand too much from you... After all, who am I to tell you what to do.

Smashmatt202 said...

I think the reason why I'm upset is that I like you're stuff, and I try to defend your stuff when I can, because you have more than enough nay-sayers out there, but when you pull something like this, it gets really hard to come up with a reason for it. After all, you said yourself that the reason why you created the Game Overthinker persona is to have people thinking more about video games and their relationship to the broader pop culture and beyond. THIS... I don't even know what this is. It's a silly story that seems to have nothing to do with anything, other than an unoriginal storyline and LOUSY special effects (sorry). It got better when the Quest part came, because then you actually went back to what made you stand out to begin with. But then you went a little overboard with the straw man, and really, I felt like you missed the point of why fans were upset. It's not so much that you're doing something different, it's that what you're doing is almost the polar opposite of what you're original intention of the Game Overthinker was!

I feel bad, though, getting all angry about what you're doing, so please continue with this storyline... But don't ever do it again. Just a simple request, you can do it again if you want, but really, I probably won't watch it.

Smashmatt202 said...

Oh, oh, OH! HO-LY CRAP! You thought of your story and character things AFTER ThatGuyWithTheGlasses became popular! Well, silly me, here I thought you were ripping them off!

Smashmatt202 said...

I feel even worse now, for accusing him of ripping off TGWTG content My thought was that not only was he ripping off TGWTG, but his effects are SHIT compared to what they have! But now I'm hearing he had these ideas in his head all along and he wanted to do it, but now, after everyone else is doing it, it's just... Man...

Tough luck, Bob.

Smashmatt202 said...

Well, The Antithinker sucks, he's obnoxious and annoying, but I guess that's the point... I hated him because I thought he was just a representation of everything you hate about modern day gamers. But now, after hearing this, I know he was just the end result of something you thought of, and believe me, I have TONS of ideas floating around in my head, so yeah, more power to you for your characters!

I still don't like the Antithinker, though, he comes off as really, REALLY annoying, which I GET is the point of him, but that still doesn't change the fact that he makes me want to stop watching the show. Not that he "ruined my life" or anything like that, I just don't care for him. Not to mention, you already admitted that you are obnoxiously smart, so creating a foil is only going to make people think you created him just to make yourself look smarter.

...And I guess that reflexes badly on me for being a fan of you. I think that's what REALLY what it all comes down to with your fans. They want you to do certain things because they don't want to look bad for liking you.

But, I admit that's stupid, selfish, and wrong, so, sorry.