Thursday, February 10, 2011

Episode 47: "Farm Team"

update: as of 9/13/11 this video is at THIS LINK

The "Quest of The OverThinker" arc begins!

In all seriousness, I'm incredibly psyched at how well this one came out.


smile said...

I agree with your thoughts on Dead Space 2's juvenile advertising campaign and in fact, it turned me off from looking into the game.

And I agree with the problematic casual/hardcore dichotomy too...

Just when I think I couldn't disagree more too - what a great episode.

Arturo said...


For the record, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's the Underthinker.

Anonymous said...

Now this is a villain I can get behind...narratively speaking.

Broken Promise said...

go Overthinker, glad to have you back

Anonymous said...

I should probably add this:

I consider myself a casual gamer, but one as you described. For example, I'm playing through Transformers: War For Cybertron with Batman: Arkham Asylum just barely begun and a couple other games that I'm stuck on. I enjoy them, but I don't have time to really play them for hours on end thanks to other projects. So how do I officially classify?

Clayton said...

1. Yeah, Bullestorm looks friggin RIGHTEOUS. Between this and Duke Nukem Forever, I'm glad to see some FPS titles try to be ridiculously over-the-top and satirical instead of "serious". Plus the guy who voices Grayson is also the current voice of Wolverine (he was also Jack in Madworld and Spike in Cowboy Bebop). I'd also like to hear your thoughts about this stink over Bulletstorm that's again to a 2nd Mass Effect fiasco. That is if Daniel doesn't already get to it.

2. The Dead Space 2 ad campaign was STUPID. The game is fine, but EA really should have done something different to market the game

3. Interesting episode about the casual/hardcore divide. People still use the term "casual" as a slur and it REALLY STUPID. It was annoying three years ago and it's annoying now. Without a "casual" market Nintendo wouldn't be a juggernaut once more and we probably wouldn't have the music-rhythm genre (RIP Guitar Hero, btw). Farmville ain't my thing (and neither are some of the things I've heard about Zynga's business practices), but I made my peace with that sector of gaming a long time ago. I just wish the rest of my sub-culture would as well. There's nothing more pathetic than seeing a gamer being insecure over Nintendo being successful due to their expanded audience. You don't see people whining about Tetris being a "casual" game despite it being known by practically everyone on the planet.

Drunken Lemur said...

I'm just gonna leave this here and walk away slowly.

Adam5396 said...

I'm agreeing with Drunken Lemur. I'm not hating the games because they're casual. (I love stuff like Peggle for that reason) I hate Facebook games because they're made to make money and almost nothing more.
Does a casual game really need to fill my inbox and wall with Spam as well as nag me to do the same to friends every few minutes?

Ethan said...

I haven't commented before on this site, but I feel like I should now.

Look, a lot of people didn't like the shakeup in design because frankly, there wasn't a whole lot to the episodes besides the story. I can't speak for everyone, but I know I come here for an intelligent discussion about videogames and the culture behind it. I don't agree with everything, and there are some episodes that I flat out hate, but I enjoy the fact that they exist. With the last few episodes it was more focused on the "story" of this overthinker antithinker stuff and I didn't like it because I really wasn't getting anything real out of them. The antithinker is just what YOU view as the "enemy" or the "bad" things about the culture and I can't watch it. Where your older videos are mostly based on opinion, these "anti-sodes" as I call them just cheese my toast.

But enough about that.

With that said, I really like this episode because it DOES talk about issues in gaming AND manages to sneak in a little story. Substance is the key word here. You were advancing a plot, WHILE you were talking about something that I really found interesting.


Joe said...

Great episode, Bob. I saw my whole childhood pass before my eyes. (Or maybe it was last week, since I still seem to stumble across working Galaga cabinets from time to time.)

I think Runescape is close to being the casual version of DragonQuest, although maybe the casual version of WoW is more accurate. Still, there was a time at the library I worked at where the 8-10 year old boys would play it non-stop. Or maybe this Legends FB game that BioWare's using to promote Dragon Age is the ticket.

As an office worker who's been shackled to Mafia Wars for over a year and spent half of Christmas vacation playing Angry Birds on his Android, I obviously like casual games. I don't like their more inane elements creeping into AAA titles (I'm looking at you, otherwise-awesomeAssassin's Creed: Brotherhood!), however.

The Partisan said...

The direction and camera work (the panning especially) for this ep were really well done. Mad props for the editing on the "quick-draw" scene. You have every reason to feel proud.

Farewell, Strawman. We hardly knew ye.

ConanThe3rd said...

"Pretentious" is right, dood.

Look, is it too much to make your...lecture, let's call it that, the main focus of these and not "You vs DudeBro, the pretentious'ing"?

See also: Atop The Forth Wall, Spoony Experiment. When there's narrative elements in their reviews, it's largely at the end of their reviews (Except when it is really, really funny to have Bandit Keith send Spoony to the Blaghole for ragging on the awful Captain America movies) and the show stands up on their reviews.

Not Doctor Insnao sending yet another pissed off post-VII Final Fantasy protagonist to try and Kill Spoony or Linkara suddenly acquiring Cable's guns and a MMPR Power Morpher to fight an animated stack of Countdown comics.

I like your show, dood, please stop killing it with this story I could care less about.

Alphonso said...

Welcome back, Overthinker.

I would agree with Ethan; the people got so upset with the Antithinker episodes wasn't the change in format (although the abruptness of the change was very jarring). The reason was that those episodes seemed to substitute style for substance. If those episodes had been of this quality, I'm sure there would have been far fewer complaints.

I'm not sure whether I can agree with your definition of casual versus hardcore. As you pointed out in a previous episode, the difference between nerds and regular people is that nerds take hobbies that are ostensibly already fun and turn them into work. As long as nerds exist, hardcore gaming is going to exist in one way or another. To put it another way, just because there's a low barrier-to-entry for watching movies doesn't mean that all movies have become "casual." There's still quite a selection of movies that have all the qualities film buffs would care about.

Certainly, players can have either a casual or hardcore approach to gaming, but that doesn't preclude the casual or hardcore quality from being designed into games themselves. Personally, I would define games as casual or hardcore depending on their strategic depth, not how frequently or devotedly the player plays it. For example, someone might play chess intermittently, never studying chess theory or taking the game seriously, but the strategic depth is nevertheless present.

Scott Glasgow said...

Just a note from another intrepid editor, and I've only watched the first couple mins and am looking forward to the rest, just wanted to point something cool out.
I noticed that the triforce you added to your hand kinda didn't latch on. I'm not sure if you're using Final Cut Pro, but if you are, there's a great tool in Motion that lets you track an onscreen object, like your hand, and attach those movements to a generated object, like the triforce. It's a easy little compositing trick that makes all the difference, really brings up the production values.

Off to watch the rest now, great job so far, I like how you're managing to get your commentary in over an episodic arc.

Knightoftitania said...

Wow, i think i actually heard an Obscure-o-meter explode.

Over all a Nice episode, as subtle as a brick to the face on a few points, but that happens.

looking forward to the the next episode.

Neon304 said...

Wow, a casual vs hardcore episode. A topic I really can't stand, and for the most part I really agree with you. I've been considering putting together some videos about that for a while now, but not really sure how to go about doing all of that.

Scott Glasgow said...

Just finished it, and.... I LOVED IT!
and man, I was totally against the Antithinker turn, but the 4th wall commentary was just perfect.

Interesting note on the 'casual explosion,' some might say that FPS games like COD are actually casual themselves, with games lasting 5 - 10 mins each. People who are REALLY into them are the ones that rack up the hours, and the game is actually pretty balanced so the the casual player can enjoy them without being overrun by the 'hardcore' crowd.
With the growing 'free to play' market out there, we're seeing everything from RPG, to Racing, to FPS, to even Fighter games coming out. The biggest gap right now is in marketing, and interface. Facebook games are the most simplistic of interfaces, require no speed, and no commitment besides what you want to put in.

Once again Bob, great episode, good work, and I hope that you're having the time of your life making these guys. Cause if it's just to pander to us, there are other things more worthwhile to be doing.

Neon304 said...

What bugs me the most about the casual vs core thing is, nobody even seems to have a concrete definition for what the difference between the 2 are, ask 10 people you will likely get 10 completely different answers, some of which not only contradict each other, but contradict themselves at times. Last summer I created a system (its old its flawed, but I haven't quite figured out exactly what the best fixes are) that would classify all gamers, regardless of time spent playing games, what genre's they preferred, and even reflect their playstyles within different games. The result was a bit of a mess, but I still like it a lot better than just labeling someone as casual or hardcore.


Level: 1 2 3 or 4 (depending on how much time one would spend gaming in a set amount of time)

Type 1: A B C or D (reflects types of games preferred and to an extent why one plays games)

Type 2: A B C or D (prefered style of gameplay, reflects mindsets while playing various types of games)


Level 0 = non gamer. For whatever reason never plays games at all. Can not be classified on this system other than being a level 0 or non gamer.

Level 1 = gamer who plays games between 0 and 5 hours a week. I also like to call these jumpers. Explanation will be in the final note along with completed system. Only group of definitive casual gamers

Level 2 = gamer who plays between 3 and 14 hours of games on a normal week. Explanation on the overlap will come later. Leans more towards casual side, but in some cases could be considered core.

Level 3 = gamer who plays between 5 and 28 hours of games on a normal week. Leans more towards core, but could be considered casual in some cases. This group will put a certain level of priority on playing video games, yet it most likely won't be top priority.

Level 4 = gamer who plays between 7 and 40+ hours of games on a normal week. This is the only definative group of core gamers. Will put a high level of priority on video games, possibly even top.

Type 1

Type 1 covers what types of games one would prefer and why. Its also pretty general. Names pending. (also note, just because you play a game outside of your type doesn't mean you change types)

Thinkers: Thinkers like to think. Casual thinkers play a lot of puzzle games, Tetris, Minesweeper, Bejeweled, etc. Core thinkers like games like Zelda and Metroid, or strategy games like Starcraft. Thinkers could very well be split into a lot of sub categories, but to keep things simple, I'm lumping them together. Shooters are a possibility for some thinkers, but generally only when a lot of thinking is needed, like the use of stealth.

Relators: Relators play games that relate to their other life interests. Relators are probably the most likely to get tricked into buying bad movie games. A lot of sports game players fall into this category, and they are the one most likely to see the roster changes each year as a good enough reason to get something like the new Maddon.

Precisionists: Precisionists play games where precision is needed. Shooters, fighters, games that need a level of skill and reflexes. Casual precisionists will like games with lots of explosions. Core precisionists will likely like to play either against other players to prove their skill, or play single player games that call for a lot of skill. Precisionists don't necessarily have a lot of skill, they just like skill based games.

Generalists: Players who play video games for the sake of playing video games, who don't usually stick to a set few genres. A generalist most likely has a larger list of genres they like then they don't like, and may even play games belonging to genres they don't care as much about on occasion.

Neon304 said...

Type 2

Roleplayers: Pretty self explanitory, these players like to play roles, however you could argue that their are 2 types of roleplayers. Some prefer more linier storylines, while others would rather have a larger say so in how their character progresses. Roleplayer may also be caught filling in the blanks in games that have no story. Multiplayer preferenced roleplayers will be found playing games like MMOs or games with co-op, while Singleplayer preferenced roleplayers will be found playing out story and campaign modes of their games of choice.

Competitors: This group is filled with people who want to see how they stack up vs other players. A competitor is the type of player who hates blue shells in Mario Kart. It may seem like competitors would always prefer multiplayer, but that isn't the case, remember the old days of competing for high scores? Competitors may also attempt speed runs of games. Oddly enough this group may be one of the most divers in terms of casual vs core. Reason being, lot of level 1 jumpers might jump into a game just to see how they stack up, or to try and have a better first try than another jumper.

Chaosists: In some ways this group is opposite of the competitors, but not completely, as in multiplayer situations, they still usually play to win. These guys actually like blue shells in Mario Kart, and may even laugh if it causes a strange situation. Chaosists like the unexpected, and of course explosions. Chaosists might not always play by the rules (I don't mean cheat) and do things that might intentionally make them lose, like driving backwards in a racing game, or shooting their own guys.

Experiencers: Once again, the 4th group is a middle of the road group. Experiencers will use all of the above at one point or another. While they may favor a certain style more than others, they probably wont stick to that style for more than one playthrough of a game. Blue shells in Mario Kart are welcomed, but not loved, and usually turn into a reason to play harder. Also, just because a player uses more than one play style, doesn't mean they are an experiencer. If a player favors one style over the other 2, they are more than likely a member of that group. Experiencers may only apply one style to a given game, but that could also have to something to do with the game, and given multiple playthroughs, an experiencer will almost always experiment a little (more so than a roleplayer, but perhaps less than a chaosist).

Player Preference

This part isn't all that complicated, just needed to show where the lines were drawn. Just because you play singleplayer and multiplayer doesn't mean your neutral

Singleplayer Preference: If you prefer single player games, then you most likely go here. Even if you play multiplayer games on occasion, if you prefer singleplayer games, then you go here.

Multiplayer Preference: same as above only reversed.

Neutral: If you like both single player and multiplayer almost equally, then you go here.

Things to consider: When you play single player games, how do you prefer to play them? Taking turns with a friend may still be considered multiplayer to an extent. Also consider things like co-op play, if you generally lose interest in head to head games, but don't in singleplayer games, but maybe you do like co-op games, then you still may lean towards singleplayer preference. I believe that most people will fall into the neutral range, but don't just say your neutral, at least take a minute to think about wich types of games you have more fun with, I personally have a multiplayer preference, even though I enjoy a good singleplayer experience. I have a close friend who I would consider having a singleplayer preference, even though I've seen him play several multiplayer games, he usually seems to enjoy singleplayer more.

Twinmill said...

I feel like a dick, and a wrong one at that, for making that Bulletstorm comment a while ago.

This was a good episode :)

I agree with just about everything said, and had a couple laughs when the strawman popped up. I'm starting to think that that word was used in these comments a bit too much.

I will say that Zynga isn't exactly a chipper company filled with happy game making elves that stand more than 2 feet tall, but ActiBlizzard isn't any better, and as I'm typing this, I'm playing WoW in the background, so...

Neon304 said...

Once I get up enough motivation to make some videos and try to get this system out there (which seems like a matter of time, the idea pretty much pops up in my head any time I hear someone called hardcore or casual) I hope I can get enough feedback to actually fix this system (or make a better one) or inspire someone else to come up with something better, and hopefully one day we can get rid of the whole casual or hardcore thing (in gaming at least) all together. Still though, it feels like a long shot.

Regardless of how all of that turns out, keep up the great work Bob, love all of your shows.

PS: Sorry I had to split that up into parts,didn't realize how long it was.

vestibual said...

Damn, I was thinking the same thing a few months back about casual games, i was hoping you would dabble in the topic for a bit, if not i would have done it my self. The way I think of casual and hardcore gaming, is how much you think you want to play something, not what you play. For example two men are drinking, one is drinking whiskey the other is drinking shandy, who is the bigger drinker. There is no answer, it depends on how much each have drank. Whiskey is obviously the more 'hardcore' drink, but he could have drank a shot. Whilst the man who drank the shandy could have drank a gallon.

Well glad to get that out there, great episode btw bob.

Arkynomicon said...

Never considered casual gaming offensive in any way. It would be like raging on the more simple boardgames or Tetris because they are simple and short to the point.

The story thing doesn't bother me so far but could use more sincere emoting.

Ezenwa said...

A magic zapper that killed Strawman?

Are you serious? Because if you are, thanks for the Captain N reference. That said, good episode. I'm also glad you give props to other sites as well. Plugs are very fun.

That said, the line is blurring, as I have seen. I go to parties once or twice a month where we play PS3, Wii, and even DS games. Are they the typical crowd of gamers I'd see (the hardcore kind)? No, in fact they like games that would be considered casual. But, when you put a hardcore game in front of them, they're up to play it. In fact, they may even come up with some awesome dialogue about it.

I haven't been back there, only because the game choices have been rather limited (We can't keep play game show games).

But still, a great episode.

Oh, and Bob, I was wondering. Did you see the similarities between Farmville and Harvest Moon, and how, ironically, Farmville gets many players and Harvest Moon as a series still remains popular to this day, yet they may have the same premise?

Hopefully, I'm not missing the point.

Ezenwa said...

Oh, and no, the story stuff doesn't bug me, either. In fact, I'm hoping you consider cross-overs in the future.

Jeremie said...

about farmville.

I think there is a large différence between 'casual' game and 'nasty casual' game.

I suggest you watch Jonathan Blow's conference about it:

TheWon said...

Keep doing your thing Bob regardless of what anyone thinks. If you learned anything from Nintendo. No matter what you do you will never please everyone.

Arthie said...

Hey there Gameoverthinker. I was a "big fan" of your show back in the youtube days, remember those?

Yeah. The reason I enjoyed your show because it was the reflection of a consumer over many of gaming unspeakable taboos. It was interesting because it got gamers talking.

However, you changed the format of the show - and ever since that you became extremely defensive about this. I watched the Armchair thinkers podcast and I heard you talking about how much you enjoy shared continuity and all that jaz, name dropping Linkara and everthing.

And I can understand why, you made the "why" pretty clear: You wanted to step up.

However you are a inteligent person and even though I can admit you are having lots of fun doing so, I don't think you understand the power your old format had. It was serious, it got people speaking. Now? Now we got a cheesy and I'm sorry if I am being harsh but terrible and generic plot with no actors but you (And while you are ok, you aren't a professional actor and it shows) while the actual "Overthinking" is put aside. I just wanted to say: Thank you for your old episodes, but if I wanted to see a storyline I would watch one of the many internet shows like "Spade". See you around.

phulse said...

Way way way better than the previous four episodes. Waaaaaaay better. Yes, you finally get it. You gave us the intelligent discussion we come here for AND you managed to do the plot thing you want to do. And it WORKED. Yes. Keep doing it just like this and I think all of your reasonable fans will be cool with it. Glad you worked out the kinks.

I totally knew you were going to kill Strawman, btw.

As for the casual gaming thing, I think it's less about how they're played and more about the level of complexity. Most casual games are easy to understand. Easy enough that you can usually just look at it or tinker around with it for two seconds and figure out how it's played, regardless of how experienced you are with gaming. This makes them much more approachable by non-gamers. I don't agree with your belief that a casual gamer would jump on an RPG or FPS if they became readily available in Facebook. Certainly SOME would, but I think a good example of the casual gamer mindset can be demonstrated through the rhythm games fall and crash, if you'll bear with me.

When Guitar Hero came out, it was a big hit. Similarly, its sequels only got more and more popular, as did Rock Band. But after a while, its popularity dropped significantly and now the Guitar Hero brand has been discontinued and Harmonix had to go indie again. A lot of people blamed Activision for saturating the market. That was certainly a reason why the "hardcore" gamers dropped the brand, but that doesn't really explain why the casual gamers gave up too. Casual gamers aren't usually that discerning. Just look at Madden.

So what happened to the casual gamers? Well, it's easy to understand if, like me, you used to bring Guitar Hero and Rock Band to parties and such. When they first came out, everyone wanted to play, and it was a lot of fun. But the fact is, just about everyone sucked at them. Some sucked less than others, but they were still on a relatively level playing field, so no one cared. It was just fun. Then after a while, the people who owned and loved the games got good at them. Then when they brought the game to parties, they naturally showed off the skills they developed. The casual players became discouraged. If they were playing competitively, they knew they didn't have a chance to win, and if they were playing cooperatively, they felt like they were a burden on the better players. At that point, people suddenly didn't want to play anymore because they were "bad at it". That didn't matter before, but it matters now.

The reason casual gamers gave up on rhythm games is because it has a level of complexity that requires more than a few seconds to fully understand. The inherent fun in the games makes them approachable at first, but once they realize how hard it is, it becomes a balancing act. Does the fun of the experience overcome the feeling of failure? When they aren't the only one that sucks, they don't feel guilty. It's funny how they all suck. So who cares? But once they have someone to compare to who actually knows how to play, the fun isn't enough to warrant it.

A casual game has to be approachable to attract the casual gamers and then it has to be simple enough to keep them around. That's not to say games like Farmville don't have levels of complexity to them, but you don't need to understand them to get something out of them.

That said, I think what would happen if they brought an RPG into Facebook would be that some of them would find it cool-looking, try it out, get confused, then go back to playing Farmville.

I agree that there's no sense in hating on "casual" games. The people who play these games may find themselves attracted to the more complex "hardcore" games in time. They could become one of us. But I doubt that this "casual" take on games applies simply to the way they are played.

Ravenkeeper said...

awesome episode. liked the demise of Strawman XD

lozfoe444 said...

I don't hate casual games. In fact, I'd love it if my mom knew what a Metal Slime is. I'd be great if more people got into games.

I just hate FarmVille. That one game is evil.

Anthonee Jones said...

The voice at the end reminded me of Andross so all I thought was "where is starfox when you need him"?

awwnuts07 said...

+1 for the strawman bit at the end. Really funny.

I don't really care about the format of the show, all I ask is that it not be boring.

Twilight said...

I'll be honest right here, I could not stand to watch more than the first few minutes of it. I was already rolling my eyes at the opening credits and the recap intro, but I stuck by when you started talking about actual game related things because I thought maybe you'd focus on them the whole time.

But once you stopped berating Dead Space 2's ad campaign it was right back to the plot. I stopped the video when you basically announced that this was what we were going to get for the next 3 episodes, I could care less about the plot.

I think I said this before, but I'll say it again, I come to read this blog because it is (or at least used to be) insightful, and made me thing about things I wouldn't have otherwise thought about.

Seeing you trying to overplay the whole Overthinker-Antithinker thing does not make me want to continue watching. If this is truly what you're going to keep doing for the next few episodes, don't expect any views from me until I see EPISODE 51 emblazoned at the top of the page.

Display Name said...

This is becoming rather Linkara-ish.

And yes, that is a very good thing.

Kyle said...

Right on man.

Really liked the mix of the old and the new. Hey, whatever keeps you interested. :)

Oh and your gaming schedule matches mine. Red Dead Redemption keeps sucking me in for HOURS past when I meant to go to bed.

Nick said...

Speaking only for myself, I don't hate FarmVille because it's a casual game. I hate it because it's a BAD casual game. Even as a harmless time-waster, it's just a dumbed-down Harvest Moon/that-berry-growing-sidequest-in-Pokémon-Gen-III hybrid.

And no, I don't need to have played it to know this, not with all the gameplay videos on YouTube, and watching my classmates play it when they're supposed to be working on projects. I'd rather eat broken glass than get a Facebook account.

John said...

While I can see where you're coming from with the general idea of "hating casual gaming for not taking it seriously enough", I don't think that's quite it in most cases.

There is a difference between casual gaming, and casual *games*.

Casual gaming is just that. Playing games casually, rather than as a hobby. Something you do from time to time. There's nothing wrong with this.

Then there are Casual Games, such as Farmville and a million other facebook games. While it is true that a lot of casual gamers play Casual Games, one does not have to play Casual Games to be a casual gamer. And the main beef "hardcore" gamers have with Casual Games is not the casual gamers that play them, but the Casual Games themselves. What they hate is the kind of game, and the kind of game-producing mindset, that substitutes substance for gimmick in a cynical ploy to grab people who don't really care enough about games to know what a good game can be like in comparison.

To continue with your photography analogy, it's like companies marketing cheap, poor-quality cameras such that nearly everyone can be a "photographer", participating in what is objectively a poor-quality photography experience (if such a term were in common usage). And the people that really care passionately about photography lament that even the big-name camera manufacturers are starting to make more and more of these throwaway, poor-quality cameras because they sell more and have a higher profit margin.

It is the same with gamers. They hate that, more and more, the overall average gaming experience quality is decreasing because it's being subsumed by cheap, throwaway games that are Not Good Games, but sell by the boatload.

And what they *really* hate is that the mindset behind Casual Games is slowly taking over the industry. When the only thing, or nearly the only thing, anyone produces are Casual Games, there will be no good games left.

Axle said...

Bob. The Lampshading. You're killing me.

Pretty good episode, I'd say.

Hernan said...

I think the problems are not the changes of the show, the problem is that you are not a good actor.

Great episode anyway!

Ryan Keys said...

'Pretentious Mini Movie'
I laughed my ass off at that.

I agree wholeheartedly with the casual/hardcore thing too, as well as the juvenile advertisement methods for Dead Space 2.

That ending Straw-man bit however. That was the biggest dick move I've ever seen on a net show.

Yes I might be one of those people who doesn't want to see a storyline in your show, and I got into it for the way that it started out. But I also understand why you're taking it in this direction, and respect your decision, and your right to do whatever you want creatively in YOUR show, ergo I haven't protested.

To me however, that was like you were telling anyone who doesn't like the new direction to fuck off and die. It validates the flack you get for introducing this new aspect to the show, making them even more inclined to give off shit for it, and makes those of us who've kept quiet feel like dicks for having a differing opinion to yours.

I love this show, and it's more because you raise good talking points and are so passionate more than my agreeing with your opinions, and my dissatisfaction with your new direction not withstanding, I enjoyed the satire from the Anti-Thinker and I still get what I watch for in the first place with this new direction, but that shit was uncalled for.

Remember Rule 14. Don't feed the trolls.

Smashmatt202 said...

You're proud of this episode? Might as well check it out then...

So you've been trapped in the woods for over a month? You look pretty good for someone who's been living off the land for that long. Especially your clothes. Also convenient that you have access to the Internet where you are. Really.

Nice of you to drop the Bulletstorm thing, to show people you're not entirely biased.

I didn't like that Dead Space 2 commercial, because I love my mom and respect her opinion. I like how you pointed out how juvenile the commercials were, though. EA is doing more damage to the industry than Jack Thompson or any else ever did.

OMG, WHEN DID U GET THAT AWSUME TRIFORC TATTOO?! [/sarcasm] Okay, I'm sorry, I don't know what kind of technology you have at your disposal, but that was a pretty sloppy effect.

So wait, the Antithinker's going to come to you? That's convenient, too!

Smashmatt202 said...

...Oh wait, so this whole story arc was just an overly-elaborate build-up to you're 50th episode? Well, maybe if it was you're 100th episode, I'd buy that, but come on, how are you going to top something like this? ...Maybe with an episode that actually focuses on you're overthinking and not badly written, overdone story arcs.

I'm sorry, minor side note, do you even know about Like, everyone's talked about it in the comments of these videos, so, do you know that there are dozens of other amateur reviewers doing this same shtick over there? And that people would get tired of it? That's kind of why your videos were such a breath of fresh air, because it was different than that stuff... Or maybe it wasn't, and we were just kidding ourselves...

Anyway, back to the video.

Training yourself physically? I HIGHLY doubt that. :/

YAY! Princess Tomato! I remember seeing fanart of that on deviantART, then in a recent issue of Nintendo Power! Or maybe it wasn't so recent...

Wait, you're supposed to hate them because they're "casual games"? Oh FUCK no not this again! PLEASE don't go there, please! You've hit us over the head with this issue enough times, just stop it now!

I thought we were supposed to hate it because it eats up so much of your time without really giving anything in return... Kind of like Animal Crossing, actually...

Oh wait, is THIS the "beloved GameOverthinker character" that's going to get killed? ...I hate you so much right now, MovieBob.

Way to remind us of your Metroid: Other M video, and the "Straw Man has a point" trope on TV Tropes.

Also, why's his voice like Chippy, the caffine-addicted Chipmunk? ...If I'm getting his name right...

"You're just kissing up because no one liked your evil twin story." lol, okay that was really funny, because IT'S TRUE!

You know what, I'm actually starting to like Straw Man, funny little guy.

I also like how you pointed out how people who take something seriously are greatly annoyed with people who don't take it seriously. Because I'm one of those people, unfortunately.

lol, I like the image of Waluigi when he said "That's dickish, and you know it." Perfect image for a phrase like that!

Oh yeah, DKCR is so freaking hard, man. It doesn't help that an error keeps occurring whenever I play it now! Probably from overdoes of playing the same stage over and over again.

Now THIS is more like it! "Where's the line on this?" THAT'S the sort of thing I came here to see, descriptive, overthinking stuff, gray vs. gray instead of black vs. white, thinking outside the box. That's what it's all about.

Well, gee, that's NOT how your fans reacted. Like, at all. Really lame of you to take the one thing you COULD refute out of your fans arguments, instead of what they were actually upset by. Then over simplifying it.


Okay, not to sound like an annoying fanboy, but I hope Straw Man gets revived. I'm making him a fan favorite! Yeah, that's right, you heard me! Just you wait...

And where'd you get that zapper? Was that with you the whole time you were there? Why didn't you use it against the Antithinker then? Geez.

And who's this now? I'm... actually intrigued... I think I might actually watch the remaining story arc just to find out who that guy is!

Ultima Black Mage said...

Yay! Straw mans dead! If only a similar solution could be done to the real life straw men.

Seriously another great episode. While I'm not fond of the Antithinker I'd hate to see him go. He represents the group of gamers I hate who troll Xbox Live and adds a new funny but irritating view of games. If only he could stay but be like a once in a while video here.

As for the casual gamer, most "Hardcore" gamers are casual players. They only play roughly 2-3 hours a day because of work or school. Also why aren't devoted gamers ever mentioned around the net? I'm a devoted gamer. I've been playing games for the majority of my life and I play anywhere between 4-18 hours in a day on average and play all types of games on any system. I'm not devoted because of the time I spend but the fact I play any type of game on any system.

Ever notice those gamers who usually call themselves "Hardcore are usually those gamers who play mainly shooters? It seems funny because most of them have only gotten into gaming during the late 90's. I honestly think PC gamers are the true Hardcore gamers since PC games have been the most difficult games made since the NES era and have the worst control system ever devised.

The whole casual gaming genre is a stupid one because Tetris, a game that's been around since gamings infancy is concidered a casual game now but back in the day it wasn't. All supposed casual games are mainly puzzle games and simulations. They only got the title "Casual" in recent years because it was bringing in non gamers to gaming who may give it up shortly after. It's a fear label from "Hardcore" gamers when there mums decided Tetris looked like fun. Sure not all mums can be as cool as mine and actually play games like Final Fantasy and back in the day Super Mario Bros. but it shocked the modern generation when it happened and developers went "Damn who'd have thought the elderly and mums would like games?"(Nintendo back in the 90's... just guessing).

Regardless great episode and look forward to the battle of the Game Thinkers and finding out who this mysterious observer from space is.

cyxceven said...

Don't ever stop, Bob.

This puts Linkara's haphazard, incoherent plot dumps to shame.

trevorg said...

never commented on any of your videos before here or on the escapist, but i really like them i think your story is interesting to say the least and can see why you are doing it, but unfortunately i have to agree with some of the other negative comments what i really look for when i watch these videos are critical thinking of video games and video game genres and an introspection into the gaming sub culture, and i miss the straight out way you use to do the videos, but i think that since this is your web show, and i respect, and value, your opinion that it would be unfair for me or anyone else for that matter to dismiss your entire show based on a story arc that hasn't even reached completion yet. that said keep doing the videos bob and ill keep watching them, so far so good

imsmart said...

Geez, even the magic gun this time. You must love AT4W. I guess I'm not one to judge, since the only time I ever appreciated the overarching narrative in an internet video opinion series was Kung Tai Ted, which was a pretty strange thing from the get-go.

Calum said...

Why is it that, with so many bad guys from so many movies being in so many satellites in Earth's orbit, none of them have ever crashed into each other?

On the whole though, a good episode, I did most enjoy a good spot of overthinking. I guess it is true that I'm biased against these kind of things after all, but I will still proclaim the awesomeness of Harvest Moon to those who play Farmville, even if it is missing the point of your article. Albeit I have to wonder what the state of Facebook will be once they develop a Facebook style Grand Theft Auto. You know it's coming.

If I had to say that one thing bothered me though, really, it would be these references to what you do during your spare time "...or I would if I weren't trapped in a haunted totally-not-Minnesotan forest, hey? Hey? Wink wink nudge nudge." To me, it makes it seem like you're not quite taking this story arc seriously. That may well be the point, but it just strikes me as a little off-putting when I hear it. Just my opinion there.

A good video, my good man, and I'm looking forward to the next Overthinker episode in which there is more questing to be done by various person(s).

Alcibiades said...

Good to see the show get back on track, though I hope we don't need another 5 mins of set up before getting to the meat of next episode.

Your thought on casual vs. hardcore are spot on as usual, but I was surprised that you didn't address one of the most prevalent critiques of farmville, namely, that it's a poor design that's mostly just a social skinner box. I guess WoW gets a pass for the same thing because it's more hardcore, but as far as I can tell most of the motivation for Farmville's chores comes from an OCD tidiness coupled with a hope of not being seen as untidy by your friends. Seems more like a compulsion than fun to me.

Anonymous said...

My reaction to the dead space commercials was thus: "What is this? 1994? Is Mortal Kombat II coming out?"

I mean seriously, video games to upset your mom? that's so 2 decades ago. And you're right: the fact that it's M rated means it's not for kids, but winking at people who are old enough to remember the "fatality" debacle. Like me. and I'm 26.


twinsaneincarnation said...

At least you know when to laugh at yourself, as straw-man was a personified way to do so in this episode!

RockPlazaCentral said...

In my opinion, Bob has every right to do a show with a narrative. The reason is not only because this is his own blog. He does two videos of exposition on the escapist. He's an independent filmmaker who is a fan of movies, games and comic books (and likely other media). Bob has a story in him and he wants to share it. Go for it, Bob!

Bob, I've only been following your shows since the "Heavens for Metroid" video. I just listened to your first Overthinker episode last week. I thought it was funny when you used the Antithinker voice in that video. Perhaps people who have been watching you for a while and now bitching about your recent episodes could be reminded how long the Antithinker has been around.

captainbleezy_420 said...

Another great episode Bob, I'm really interested to see where this is going, and I laughed pretty hard at how you pulled off the foreshadow. Also, I'd like to say again, your using oldschool game music in your videos makes me nostalgia soooo hard, keep up the good work! :D

Smashmatt202 said...

He guys, check it out, a Straw Man FaceBook page!!/pages/Straw-Man/192996827384898

I couldn't find a picture of the Straw Man seen in these videos, so a friend of mine made the stupid-looking Straw Man profile picture.

Anonymous said...

Awexome episode!

By the way, a lot of the objections to the like of Farmville have nothing to do with "casual" xenophobia. For example, here's John Blow's take:

AkewsticRockR said...

Here's the real reason why many of us are against storylines in video series' like this: its a hypocritical thing to do, and often times its executed far worse than anything we'd even see on the disney channel.

Maybe it's not as much hypocritical in your case because I can't recall you bitching about the plot of video games as much as guys like Spoony, Linkara, and Nostalgia Critic do, but this is the crux of the matter: if you're a critic, storylines do NOT belong in your reviews. Every single time someone from TGWTG attempts a storyline it is godawfully executed and acted, and it shows that they have no business being a critic.

You can't spend your time dumping on other people's work, then turn out something of even shittier proportion and expect people to still respect you. Doing that kind of thing saps your credibility.

It's also extremely self-indulgent. Most of the people who have made their name as critics or whatever go on to do storylines because they somehow fancy themselves as filmmakers. They're not.

They didn't make their name by making films. Sure they have an audience now, but they're cheating them. They made their name by bitching about other people's stuff. To manipulate that same audience into watching horrendously acted, horribly edited garbage is to take advantage of them.

You think Roger Ebert would ever end one of his reviews with a reference to his evil twin and how he's taking over writing his articles?

No. Because it's retarded to do that. Yet it seems every popular internet video reviewer feels the need to do this at one point or another and acts as though they're breaking new ground in their series by doing so.

And the funnier thing yet is that they can't even see their own hypocrisy in doing that, or they refuse to because they're ego has become so big.

Popcorn Dave said...

I completely agree with AkewsticRockR. For the most part, critics should stay critics, because people come to critics specifically to AVOID bad acting, cheesy storylines, Movie Maker special effects and all that guff. I know TGO wasn't strictly a review show but it still had a certain something that was lacking in other online shows (brains, I guess), and the Antithinker was getting in the way of that.

Still, this episode was a big improvement over the straight-up Antithinker episodes. This kind of thing CAN work if the commentry is still good (as RedLetterMedia shows) and there was at least some good Overthinkin' in here. I don't agree with everything - there are way bigger problems with Farmville than the fact it's casual - but it's a big step up from the last few.

Feffy said...

damn you, overthinker, that episode rocks. i never posted before on your blog, and, like everyone else, i was disappointed by the new format, but i'm glad to see you're back and the new format turn out to be really good. keep it up, mate :)

Mike Ralls said...

I'm not a fan of the Underthinker. I find him tiresome, uninteresting, and worst of all boring. I don't find any depth to the character or to the storyline.

Now, we've all read Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" and it's a cliche, but it fricken work's for a reason; it touches something primordial in the human spirit. So let me ask something; what is the hero's journey for either the Overthinker or the Underthinker in this arch?

Because it all just seems rather pointless.

Smashmatt202 said...

Mike, are you referring to the Antithinker, the Overthinker's opposite, or the Underthinker, another contributor to ScrewAttack?

Brett said...

Super cheesy, incredibly corny, but I liked it. Bravo, Over-thinker!

If you're going to create something corny, might as well go the whole way.

Mike Ralls said...

I meant Antithinker. My bad. Brain slip.

Basically I just don't see anything about either Antithinker or Overthinker _as characters_ that make them interesting and worthy of a storyline. I'm sure the real Bob is nice enough guy and filled with pathos and depth but the Overthinker, the character Bob is now playing is . . . nothing really. There is no _there_ there. Bob is playing a character who has no character and I think that's why many people don't care about the storyline. You have to care about the characters before you care about what happens to them.

There was a great point made in 90 minute review of Phantom Menace where it asked people to describe Qui Gon jinn or Padme without describing what they looked like or what their job was. People couldn't do it. They could easily do it with the original trilogy characters but not with the empty vessels who moved the plot around in Phantom Menace.

So anyone want to describe the Overthinker without describing what he does or what he looks like?

You can actually do that with the Anti-thinker ("Oh, he's a douche bag") but he's such a dislikable character (and not in the good "I love to hate Lex Luther / the Joker" way) for most people that they don't care about him either.

Bob really needs to ask himself, why should my audience care about these two characters?

Sutter said...

You know I was worried about the new format, but this is working out really well.

D'Artagnan Rossfeld said...

Smashmatt202 said...

OMG, that is SO freaking funny, because it basically points out all the flaws of this storyline and makes fun of it for all its worth!

Shane said...

Another good episode but I'm perplexed as to why you give so much of a shit about the fan's reaction to the Anti-Thinker. I thought they were funny and insightful in their own way, and in the end they were pushing the general premise of the idea, right - to talk about gaming. Right? It seemed like you were just doing your own thing with the AntiThinker the same way you were just doing your own thing by making this fucking show. Thats why I'm here to tune in and watch, Bob! I don't think you need to construct your complaints into a strawman on your show and then kill it. That just seems a little petty. And again, who gives a shit?

Anyway, I do absolutely adore the line, "I'm a strawman! I feel strongly about everything!"

Kendai said...

While you make good points about the hate of casual games, Farmville is NOT just an innocent casual game. It's deliberately designed to get people hooked by constantly patting them on the back with some achievement. Then player are encouraged to send spam to all their friends, dragging them in, with the intent of getting as many people as possible as ingrained as possible, so that they can snag the people willing to shell out real money so they can farm faster.

Sean Aaron said...

Great episode. I don't comment enough, but I think you're doing a great job. At first I wasn't that keen on the Anti-thinker concept as the first episode did feel a bit jarring with the whole "story" thing, but having just watched the Mega Man and Zelda episodes I think you pulled it off pretty well - hell I even Laughed Out Loud a few times.

Looking forward to the next instalment!

NeoRanger said...

Thank goodness, I thought I was the only one having a problem with the definitions of "casual" and "hardcore".

Since this console generation started, the big gaming media out there just turned these into labels that the entire community just adopted and they really make no sense. I am and always have been a casual gamer, in that gaming is my hobby, but I could rarely spend more than a few hours on games and couldn't afford more than a title over the course of two months.

But I follow the industry and I'm sceptical about what game's are worth my time or not and occasionally freak out at the crap that comes out every other nanosecond. Which makes me "hardcore", right?

But then again, ever since the last console generation I thought the "hardcore" audience was the same XLive, FPS, ftat-boy douchbag audience that's by all means a 'casual' audience that likes things that look 'hardcore'.

Honestly, I've been referring to myself as a 'dedicated gamer', or better yet just 'gamer'. Gaming is one of my hobbies (the biggest one, probably), I follow the industry as a whole, but I can only afford to play casually for practical reasons. In the meantime, I maintain 'casual' and 'hardcore' as 'audiences' rather than 'gamers' and as marketing labels.

Yes, they're still all labels, but I can at least make sense out of mine.

On another note, while I loathe the Facebook games, not in principal but in practice (i.e. I just don't enjoy playing them at all), I don't get the ire they've earned from gamers. Simplified and ridiculously accessible they may be, but these are still your Sims or Sim Cities or whatever.

The punchline here is that I'm positive there is a simplified JRPG in Facebook, made by Square Enix no less.

Wil said...

Hi, I've been watching your videos for a long time and I just want to say that I really like the new direction your series is taking and I look forward to seeing the new characters and seeing how the conflict with the Anti-Thinker turns out.

Chris646 said...

You know, I can understand the perspective. I consider myself a 'hardcore gamer' even though I only play video games about 1-2 hours a day at most. The rest is spent indirectly researching them. The only reason that I dislike 'casual gaming' is because of the trend of follow the leader. FarmVille was a big hit, so yo usee a lot of games like it. Mafia Wars? copied multiple times, even by square-enix. I think the line between casual and hardcore lies in story difficulty, and the world. Farmville, from what I can tell, has no story, is very easy, and lies in one farm. Plants vs. Zombies has a sort of story, has a nice difficulty curve, but it remains in the same area. One house. You see what I'm kinda getting at?

Mavrickindigo said...

So you're going the "Atop the Fourth Wall" direction now of blatantly making your fans look like petty "strawmen" and completely ignoring them all while adding some stupid super-villain arch-nemesis.

Maybe I was wise to stop watching you before.

Chavs said...

I think is more about the player, and less about the games when we talk about “hardcore”. You can play almost any game in these days and it would have a “casual” difficulty (yes… that includes devil may cry 4 and super Mario Bros. wii), this is when the hardcore gamers clear the easy difficulty and then try the hardcore difficulties or collect every single item in the game. Being hardcore doesn’t mean to play 20 hours a day, but play the game trying to overcome the hardest challenges even if its just 1 hour a day.
It would be interesting to analyze how the difficulty of videogames has been decreasing and how it is related to the younger generations of people.

Antonio Black said...

"Worst episode ever."
Are you kidding me, that was pretty damn good.
And hey, a little footage and dialog about Donkey Kong Country Returns was enough to make me stick around.

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