Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EPISODE 77: "I'm Not A Gamer"

Now up on ScrewAttack, with a special message about The Future after the credits. FYI, I am aware of visual glitching during the scene with RetroThinker - not sure where that came from, also not 100% sure how/when it can be corrected as things are ever so slightly busy here as you'll soon understand:

Yup, this is happening. Hit the jump to learn more...


Okay, I just want to get one thing out of the way nice and clear RIGHT NOW: This has nothing to do with ratings, this has nothing to do with "bad blood" with employers, and this especially has nothing to do with fan complaints (or fan encouragement, really.) This was an in-house decision that has been, frankly, a long time in coming and made with the full enthusiasm and support of ScrewAttack.

Here's the long and short of it: The Game OverThinker, as it stands now, is the show I want it to be (conceptually, if not always in execution) and the show I think is a solid model for success long-term. However, being that it's a longform series (even without the sketches) it's just not BEST suited, in my opinion, for hosting on a site like the new/improved ScrewAttack which organizes it's new content in newfeed format - it strikes me that one could be watching THIS show on a busy day, and by the time their done some other stories or shows that might've also interested them might've already cycled by; and on the flip side I didn't necessarily love the idea that an episode I was putting weeks of work into might cycle by within less than a day on it's own. Finally, I had grown tired of not being able to do as many "topical" episodes because production took so long (again, because the episodes are set up to be so long, not because of the live-action material which is typically made in-advance) that news became old by the time I could go at it. So... I had to shake things up.

Incidentally, I came to this conclusion entirely on my own - no one from ScrewAttack has EVER tried to alter, censor or demand a change to the running of this series... which is precisely why I so desperately wanted to keep doing work for them even as it became clear that the "New" Game OverThinker just wasn't a good fit right now. I brought my concerns to ScrewAttack, along with a rough solution I'd worked out, and they agreed to it wholeheartedly.

So, here's where we are moving forward, in list form:

1.) The Game OverThinker's "slot" at ScrewAttack (and within the Advantage program) will be filled by a "spinoff" series that I'm hoping to call "TGO: OVERBYTES." This will be a shorter, more up-tempo show focuses exclusively on game culture commentary and, when possible, topical news. It will update more frequently than the "original" series but be very much of the same tone and tenor. I'm very excited about this, and so is the site.

2.) The original series will continue as it has save for one main change: The onscreen title will change from "The New Game OverThinker" to "The Adventures of The Game OverThinker." There will also be a more "consistent" theme to the subject-matter of the central commentary/"lecture" material - whereas "OverBytes" will be a show about topical/newsworthy subjects and "y'know what I think?"/"did you ever wonder?" thought pieces; the longer show will be about "evergreen" Big Issue topics: Industry politics, sexism, bigotry, existential questions, that sort of thing. Basically, "OverBytes" is where you'll get stuff like "why hasn't there been a new 'Bonk' game?," while "TGO" is where you'll get "We really need to talk about XBL harassment" plus the further adventures of our cast of similar-looking superpowered doofuses.

3.) Right now, it's looking pretty good that Blip will wind up being the new home of "TGO" at least in terms of hosting. The details of whether or not this or that show can or will be cross-posted aside the other will require some hammering out, but they will BOTH continue to be embeded, posted and promoted on this blog. So if you haven't made this your "regular" first-stop in checking for news about this show now is the time to start.

4.) Obviously, all of this is still very much in motion and fluid, so some or all details could change. Trying to work out a "branding" that covers multiple series hosted in multiple places means juggling not only my own concerns but the concerns of related parties, and sometimes this or that thing has to "give." As ever, I just want to 1.) make good content and 2.) make money doing it - I don't involve myself in intra-website, intra-company, "this site rules!," "this site sucks!" bullshit unless someone comes at ME or I see something truly, heinously unfair happening.

5.) That said, I have no issue with PRAISING websites and webmasters who do good, and I need to once more reinforce what absolute CHAMPS and good eggs ScrewAttack has been about this: They've backed the show from the start, encouraged and supported it's continuing evolution, and they're being INCREDIBLY gracious and helpful with this new transition. I honestly thought this would be a VERY tricky, difficult back-and-forth process... and instead it's been some of the smoothest "business" I've conducted on the web thus far. So, hat's off to those guys.

As ever, stay tuned to THIS blog for further updates.


Alexandre said...

That's some really great news! I'm very excited about a new show from you, especially if it turns out to be in the same format of your EscapĂ­st's shows. That division feels very natural to me, since the overthinking should be about more broader and deeper themes and subjects, but everybody likes to have some fun too, which I think was always more of Screwattack's deal, a site focused on the fun side of gaming, while the Escapist was a bit more thoughtful. That's just my humble opinion. So good luck on finding a new home for the Overthinker and I'm counting the days for overbytes!

Anonymous said...

I can see your reasoning around this decision and I completely agree. Not only the long-form style of the show, but also the TGO was getting bogged down with too many "current events" episodes that, to be perfectly honest, all had the same message when expanded to a full lecture-thingy. That being, "Guys, cut this shit out. You're making everyone else look bad." If possible, you could also think about expanding the new ScrewAttack show to feature more people than just yourself, if schedules allow. And speaking of schedules, how do you plan to FOUR shows total now that this is happening. I watch all of your shows and enjoy them all, but you might want to consider limiting yourself to three, no matter how hard it would be to reject one.

Kuomon said...

May I recommend posting trailer videos or something similar for The Adventures of The Game Overthinker just so the show doesn't fly under the radar. Otherwise, I'm really looking forward to the new show and hope you all the best.

Sabre said...

My concern with the current events show is that the topical episodes were some of the worst. Agree or disagree with the Mass Effect ending stuff, the episodes about them were rushed and poorly researched.

In short, I hope you don't just rant about nostalgia or retro gamer stories posted on Kotaku. I also hope it doesn't become an Extra Credits/Jimquizition style battle for page views. Let's not have another like the first Big Picture episode where you basicly called all Halo players Nazis.

As for the topic itself. As I said in the original post, I don't think this is a case of gamer as dirty word, but instead, as one person put it "I'm not a reader, I'm a pirate!" *holds up treasure island.

If it is a dirty word, it's more a case of gamers being anti social fat slobs who are blind to the world around them, and it is a stereotype that exists mostly because of shows like NCIS, CSI, Law and Order, ect. that tend to have episodes where the eeevil gamer kills people because he played GTA, or lets a child die because they were to busy playing WoW.

Steven said...

over 1 in 23 US citizens have purchased a copy of COD MW3 in less than a year! with multi player households (children/fathers) what does this mean? GAMING IS NOT A SUBCULTURE!

Just because Nintendo's 3DS is only selling in Japan now that there casual gamer DS/Wii western audience has moved to phones and tablets does not mean that hardcore gamers (people who play game genres that Bob doesn't like) are perceived as the worst type of people.

I work in an office setting and 2/3's of the male workforce play 360/PS3 easily.

It's just like your "the big picture" episodes on the movie industry and how it takes a long time to evolve, here it's the same with the mainstream news media still stuck in the gamers are irresponsible unemployed grown-up kids rather than everyone.

Steven said...

Okay next time watch whole video before ranting :)

Unknown said...

Sounds fun. Will the new show be a sort of 'Big Picture' for gaming?

Incidentally, is there some sort of TGO email address or are the comment sections the only way to give you feedback?

Sabre said...

James McGhie- I think the comments section are it. There might be a twitter you can send messages to, but generally whatever method you use is kind of random. Sometimes he will ignore corrections and counter arguments posted dozens of times in various places. Sometimes he responds directly. If I had to guess, the comments in wherever the video is posted seems to be the best chance, but it's far from a guarantee.

"It's just like your "the big picture" episodes on the movie industry and how it takes a long time to evolve, here it's the same with the mainstream news media still stuck in the gamers are irresponsible unemployed grown-up kids rather than everyone."

That's one point I disagree with. The same way there is a difference between "person who watches films" and "film buff/movie geek", It's like how watching The Lion King doesn't make you a furry.

Misterprickly said...

I figured something was up when you started posting TGO on YouTube again.

I kept thinking "Is he leaving Screw-attack?"

Glad to see that TGO will still be around and can't wait to see what the new show will look like.

Manticore said...

I do think having a perspective about your hobbies is great. Just buying and playing games doesn't make you an indepth enthusiast and you need to have a more rounded approach.
Ala building a better gamer.
I also agree while clique categorization can be harsh I don't think it has to be. Calling someone a casual fan doesn't have to be an insult or judgement to ostracise just a characterization of how they approach or the slice of things they approach.
So overall I think the shitty behavior needs to change, but no shame is to be felt.

As for the format changes...are you sure you can handle ANOTHER show AND stay up to date on issues all by your lonesome? Are you going to get format that precipitates more discussion on your subjects overall? Uhm...I'm intrigued by your thing with some of the skits but I think you have a bit to go before its like a TV Show unless you mean like the daily show or Ellen or something like that. But that doesn't seem unusual in the web format.

I do appreciate that you at the least started from the position of empathy and mirroring the side you, kinda, disagreed with and even showed their general reaction and attitude and the frustration. Was it fair, mature, and rational. Hell no. But it wasn't psychotic, bratty (well too bratty), and grounded in some common irrational emotions that haven't just happened or only present in people we should disrespect.

I must say you need to work a bit on your robothinker. If not the outfit (it just doesn't scream robot to me) then the mannerisms. Body language can sell a lot and while he's mostly still something feels..too warm about his physical presence.

Patrick said...

I did always think TGO made more sense as a Blip show. Best of luck!

ScrewAttackSamus said...

I actually believe that the message Nintendo was trying to get across was that playing their games made you feel like more than just a shlub on the couch and that the people complaining about this were just too stupid to understand that.

But let's say that Nintendo WAS trying to distance itself from the term "gamer"...I couldn't blame them. The current image of "gamer" has been warped into that of mean-spirited, sexist, emotionally-stunted, socially retarded bigots with complete disregard for respect and authority, the kinds of people that humanity should RIGHTFULLY condemn. And that's BEFORE getting into the neanderthal demographic that G4 (which is thankfully tanking) and Spike TV attract. And we LET it happen. Instead of worrying about things that mattered like sexism and bigotry in gaming, trying to improve our image, and welcoming new people to the culture and medium what did we do? We instead decided that whining about Nintendo going "casual", Mass Effect 3's ending, The Old Republic, Facebook games, motion control being a hit, Sarkeesian actually trying to do a serious analysis of sexism in gaming, and new people that weren't "hardcore" was more important. Really? THESE were the hard-hitting issues that we needed to talk about and fight against? What the FUCK was wrong with us?

Ugh; "gamer" is a term that should be dissolved or one that needs to have less power attributed to it, like how people who watch film are just called "moviegoers". Gaming is becoming so prevalent now that it's basically a worthless label and one we need to discard.

Anyway, hope your new show does well and that TGO continues well.

Razmere said...

Great episode! Looking forward to the new stuff. Glad to hear we'll still have the old stuff.

Sabre said...

Aiddon- I feel that we went over this in the past, but whatever. Once more won't hurt, though I am getting a bit sick of repeating myself.

"Ugh; "gamer" is a term that should be dissolved or one that needs to have less power attributed to it, like how people who watch film are just called "moviegoers". Gaming is becoming so prevalent now that it's basically a worthless label and one we need to discard."

That is a useless goal. The sound will change, but whatever new word is used either won't take off, or it will be used the same way as gamer is now. 2 examples include 'nigger' and 'retard', both of which were politically correct when they were invented, but have changed to be offence due to common use.

"Instead of worrying about things that mattered like sexism and bigotry in gaming, trying to improve our image, and welcoming new people to the culture and medium what did we do? We instead decided that whining about Nintendo going "casual", Mass Effect 3's ending, The Old Republic, Facebook games, motion control being a hit, Sarkeesian actually trying to do a serious analysis of sexism in gaming, and new people that weren't "hardcore" was more important. Really? THESE were the hard-hitting issues that we needed to talk about and fight against? What the FUCK was wrong with us?"

For one, there are people, myself included, who strongly disagree with Sarkeesian, and because she's prominent, could do alot of damage to games and gamer culture. There are 2 anti Sarkeesian videos I usually link to, but one has been taken down unfortunately (along with a great one on the Mass Effect ending) so just the one video.

As to your wider point about focusing on issues that you decided don't matter. To some, and evidently most, stuff like bigotry is not an issue that can be fixed within gamer culture because it's not games related. You don't get racist views or discriminatory behaviour from playing games. It's something outside of gaming, and with no means of shutting them up outside of muting them or ignoring there comments, it's not an issue worth hand wringing over because there is nothing we can do. Particularly since 90% of the time it's teenagers with no concept of what they are saying anyway.

If it's not that, it's issues like sexism where the accusations almost instantly go from "You have a point in this particular case" to crazy branding of all games and gamers with a broad brush that even basic knowledge of gaming proves to be false.

Finally, who says those are important issues? The only thing I heard about the Old Republic was some eye rolling over corrupt blogs calling the game a hit when it was bankrupting EA. Was barely a story. Same with the Modern Warfare toilet painting thing.

The Mass Effect 3 ending was a big deal to those who put £120 plus and dozens if not hundreds of hours into a thing, for them to make the big finale the most lazy and cynical phoned in hack job imaginable. Some bloggers getting twisty faced about some issue or other and giving out pat advice without actually doing anything about the issue themselves? Not really something worth bothering with.

Anonymous said...

@Aiddon, re: "mean-spirited, sexist, emotionally-stunted, socially retarded bigots with complete disregard for respect and authority"

As I pointed out in the last comment thread on this topic, "Gamer" has ALWAYS been a negative stereotype, and it always will be. It's just shifted from "Fat, socially retarded basement slob that lives with his parents" to "Socially retarded, loud, obnoxious asshole". This is nothing new, and pearl-clutching over it is silly. As others have pointed out, it is almost guaranteed that Nintendo is marketing in the form of "I'm not (doing mundane activity X), I'm (doing fantastic activity Y with my imagination adding on to X)".


I pretty frequently disagree with you on topics covered in your more recent videos (since things got real story-heavy, really), but it'll be nice to see how the new format works out. Topics and arguments take on different shapes when the format they're discussed in changes, and I look forward to seeing the new direction you take things in.

Jerry "Bhaalspawn" Peet said...

Well that's good. Reading the comments on Screwattack before watching the video, I thought for a moment you were dropping the storylines altogether.

And my reaction to that was Vader's "NOOOOOOO" from Revenge of the Sith.

I wish you the best of luck, Bob. Not only have your shows been excellent from start to finish, but you've quickly become one of my main inspirations when I write the scripts for my own web show. In fact, I downloaded The Big Picture playlist from youtube and put it on my MP3 player to listen to while I'm at work.

I hope to see both OverBytes and TAOTGO pretty soon. Best of luck, Bob. And don't overwork yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Bob... though Ill be honest.. never followed you through Screwattack... always went here for the show.

Which leads to the next question... will you be announcing eps of the new show on here?


Evilkinggumby said...

Ha. Good episode, though for whatever reason i got some WEIRD video glitches in it where you and retro thinker flashed in and out or seemed to be out of sync from the rest of the scene.. I know you were having issues with encoding with the prior episode.. guess the software is still a little fuct?

Whereas I love the idea of having TGO shift to a different site that better fits the style, I am iffy on what will be left at Screwattack. I know you want to keep a presence there as it is a source of fans and income, but my big fear is spreading yourself too thin between TGO, TBP and Escape to the movies. I don't want to see you burn yourself out trying this, nor do I want to se your work compromised to where everyone criticizes the show and stops watching. So I am worried, but hopefuly.

I've never been too worried about the label of being a gamer. Once I was long out of high school and through a bit of college, I came to the understanding of just how pointless and inert the idea of cliques, labels, and the need to feel accepted within a group really were. When I talk to my friends, also 30 somethings, none of them could give 2 chitz about being labeled a "gamer" or not. I guess with age, for us, came the notion we have more to our identity than a hobby or singular interest.

Makes me wonder if most older/adult gamers are like this and don't really care about the tag, whereas younger gamers still trying to figure themselves and the world out, clutch to this kind of stuff so they feel accepted.

ScrewAttackSamus said...

question, Anon 8:20: Did you skip my first paragraph? I clearly state that Nintendo was just marketing this as "our worlds suck you in." The second paragraph was a hypothetical.


biomechanical923 said...

I think your argument has some kind of logical flaw in it. But first, I want to set up a few definitions.

1. There exists a group of gamers who are relatively new to gaming, or that feel marginalized by "gaming culture". This is a group of gamers that Bob is trying to welcome into gaming, while contending that the "hardcore" gamers are resisting. These gamers include women, gays, "casuals" who are just poking their head into the world of gaming to look around, and other "non-traditional" gamers. For simplicity, I'll call this group "New Gamers".

2. There exists another group of gamers who are increasing in ranks. These gamers are loud, trolling, obnoxious, offensive, racist, homophobic, etc. They're the guys who call people "niggers" and "faggots" on XBOX Live. They're the guys who tell women "TITS OR GTFO". They're the guys who call you "scrub" if they win, and call you "tryhard fat virgin" if they lose to you. For convenience, I'll pay tribute to Bob and call these people "Anti-Thinkers".

Well that was long-winded. *whew*

Bob's logically fallacy is in assuming that "New Gamers" and "Anti-Thinkers" are mutually exclusive groups.

In reality, its possible to be in one group, neither, or both.

The "old stereotype" of gamers is that you were socially inept, and either fat, scrawny, or ugly.

The "new stereotype" of gamers is that you are all these things, plus being agressive, racist, homophobic, etc.

I don't believe that "old gamers" suddenly started becoming more "Anti-Thinker"-ish. I believe that these "Anti" sentiments flooded into gaming at the same time as the influx of all the other new players.

My theory is this:
"Gaming Culture" is not getting worse in response to the influx of "Non-Gamers".
"Gaming Culture" is getting worse because of the influx of some "Non-Gamers"

Erisianus said...

This has everything to do with fan bickering.

Andrew Eisen said...

I made a parody video of these “I’m Not a Gamer” commercials using Grand Theft Auto:

If, for some reason, you’re curious as to my thoughts on the campaign as a whole, you can find them here:

BoobooMama said...

That's great news, Bob!! :D I can't wait to watch your new show!

Anonymous said...

>Andrew Eisen
>Visiting IGN Forums
>Blogging on IGN
>Going to IGN at all
>The home of the paid-off 10/10 review

Holy shit you fail so goddamn hard.
Does your brain hurt when you pull it out of your ass and try to think for yourself?

Mads said...

I thought linking this would be relevant.

Basically, we need to crack the whip. We need to ask for this kind of 0-tolerance in all our online games.

It sounds extreme, but honestly, this kind of bs needs to stop, and we're at a point where we can stop it.

Redd the Sock said...

So, a big picture like show solely for video games? I can get behind that.

As for the larger issue of the piece, I think some sense of understanding of how we got to this point is really necessary. We didn't go from innocent children with Mario games to cussing 50 times a minute playing COD overnight. What did we do wrong? What could we have done differently? Have we never spoke out against X-brats, or tried to make strong female characters?

You wonder why the trolls run things, and well, what did you expect? Ignoring this behavior back from the early days of Doom multiplayer didn't make it go away. They took over and became the dominant market. Anyone that tried to get people to behave was accused of being Orwell's thought police. This is bad enough for our image, but then they became the spokespeople when violence, sexism, or other issues come up just by being the loudest voices, or the only ones to show up as we were afraid to be shouted down ourselves. Somehow we can't win by letting others in to offset things as now we're the bad guys for not bending over backwards to make things easy and accepting.

As such I don't have an answer. We want people in, but a lot are only in because it's a place free to be an asshat while others see a place not tailor made for them and want to avoid it. Hearing the same complaints about things like comics, anime, and other hobbies, I think it's practically human nature, as such it's a long fight to change things.

Scnd said...

So Bob,

Why not go to another gaming site like Escapist -- which you already have two shows on (in case you've forgotten) -- or Penny Arcade?

Are these !moves made to remove yourself from politics?

I just wonder, like... Why Blip?

Joe said...


I don't believe that "old gamers" suddenly started becoming more "Anti-Thinker"-ish. I believe that these "Anti" sentiments flooded into gaming at the same time as the influx of all the other new players.

Interestingly, back in the waning days of the Bush era, Bob made a GOT video on this very idea. (And anyone who thinks Bob is vitriolic now should watch some of those old videos. He's a lot calmer these days.)

FWIW, I actually think the "Anti-thinker" types were already there, but the appearance of the "New Gamers" made them defensive and reactionary. The first time a New Gamer showed up and said, "Hey, this Halo game's fun, but why do you guys have to be such misogynist, homophobic assholes?", a bunch of defensive Anti-thinkers said, "We're not! It's all in good fun!" A few more aggressive types went "Hey, this is our club house where we relax. We like it messy. Don't bring your Lysol and mop in here!" And a handful went straight on into "Hey, who invited you? GTFO!"

"Gaming Culture" is not getting worse in response to the influx of "Non-Gamers".

Yeah, so I think I must disagree. Gaming Culture was already full of dipshits. But having to share the clubhouse with other people has made their dipshittedness painfully evident to the world because they decided to be defensive instead of welcoming.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

I think is a good thing for the show. People who have had a fit over the storylines can have their show, people who like the storylines can have their show, and the rest of us can both. :D

I play videos games from Spider Solitaire to Portal 2. I don't care which if either allows me the vaunted "gamer" tag because I don't really care. I'm just looking to be entertained.

Specter Von Baren said...

UGH.... you people disgust me. I've noticed that many of Bob's episodes focus on making gamers (Yes, I WILL use that term) feel bad and believe that there's something wrong with them. And you guys are buying into it every single time. You're deliberately looking over all the good groups of people in gaming that don't give a crap about things like your gender (And in fact, might even be joyful at the fact) and that talk with each other about games and share experiences and all of those things. I go to a college that has game design classes and the people I've met have been very open with talking about games in a friendly manner.

And yes, I WILL call myself a gamer, it's a term for someone that has gaming as their main form of recreation, just as how so many other people will give themselves similar labels for what they like to do.

I am more than free to admit that there are bad representatives of gamers out there but that doesn't mean you should paint everyone with that statement and thus say the entire culture should feel bad about it like it's everyone's fault. There isn't a problem with gamers, there's a problem with humanity and it's been around forever so I don't see the point in trying to make it out that one sub group of people should somehow be able to rise above a problem that's been around for thousands of years while the rest get a free pass simply because they've been around longer.

Unknown said...

In all honesty "gamer" as a tag of self identity or subcultural identity is no more or less relevant than "movie buff" or "audiophile". It's a shorthand of the fact that this is a primary hobby, which is an atypical form of consumption for these media. The average person in the general culture may play video games, but that isn't the same as gaming being a passtime that you spend several hours a day, on average, between directly playing them and consuming other media related to them.

I'm kinda curious with the format change whether ultimately the main TGO series will become even more sporadic than it already is, as the perennial deep analysis topics have already been fairly well covered by the show by now. I look forward to the new show either way.

Sabre said...

Specter Von Baren- Ironically you are painting everyone with the same broad generalisation. Some of the comments in this post, and alot in the previous one, are critical of the idea.

I am thinking of making a video in response, but I don't know if anyone would care.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that Bob and his fans are late 20s nostalgic Nintendo gamers. They hate anything not Nintendo, and will use any excuse to take a swipe at anyone who enjoys Halo or Call of Duty. If you need proof, look at the first Big Picture episode. A total embarrassment where he makes the claim that Halo, and by extension anyone who enjoys it, is a racist, a fascist or both (ie. a Nazi).

Charles Scarlatta IV said...

Glad to hear things are working for you. I will keep an eye on the blog for the show. Question will the new show be shown here or will I have to go to screwattack to see it. I rarely go to screwattack to actually watch Overthinker I just use the blog to watch them? Also about the glitch you mentioned it was kinda strange might have been a problem with the editing program your using for the green screen having a problem with those clips parts.

Specter Von Baren said...

Sabre- I'm sorry.

I know that not everyone was agreeing with Bob but I was mad at the time and so I didn't type up my comment in a way that showed that.

I wouldn't mind seeing more of what you think of this, even if just by making another comment here.

Redd the Sock said...

@sabre, now you're the one painting the broad brush. Last I checked, Bob liked Bioshock, a game which is not nintendo, relatively modern, and a FPS. He just doesn't see the appeal of something that is largely military porn, even with a sci fi setting, partially because the bad behavior he claims Nintendo is running from is so associated with that genre. It's not that there's any genre full of saints, but if there's someone spewing racist, sexist or homophobic slurs enough to get the gaming media's attention, money's on it being a COD death match, not a heated Smash bros game or lengthy WoW quest.

I mean, feel free to post a rebuttal video (these series have to start somewhere). I'd like to see it. Just be careful not to be too over defensive as it does more to validate the other side by making it look like they hit a nerve and you don't want to admit it.

Anonymous said...

@Redd the Sock:
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournament match where the participants get into an actual fistfight over the game. You'll have to excuse the cheesey sound effects over it, it's nearly impossible to find a version that hasn't been modified similarly.
WoW raid leader getting pretty aggressive over a "lengthy WoW quest".
People getting homophobic and sexist over EVE online killboards.
Trolling and getting cluster F-bombed in Gran Turismo 5 and a football game

I mean, yeah, I guess it's cathartic to blame all of gaming's woes on CoD and XBox Live. It's absolutely wrong, but nothing will ever convince you people. The only, and I mean THE ONLY, reason you don't see more of this on Nintendo systems is because Nintendo systems don't have proper online architecture. People have been talking shit to each other over video games since the days of LAN parties, the only difference in recent times is the sheer prevalence of gaming as something John Q. Public does. Gaming is obnoxious because people are obnoxious, and as more people have gotten into gaming, more of that obnoxiousness has come across with them.

Sabre said...

Specter Von Baren- No need to apologise. I will do the video then.

Redd- You're right, I shouldn't have said that. Though I'd argue CoD and Halo are great games, and important ones up there with the other great FPS games like Goldeneye and Doom.

While I do think Xbox has more of the kind of anti social bigot types, as Anon pointed out, it's not exclusive to Xbox. I believe the only reason the Wii and PS3 have a reputation for having a nice community is because communication is difficult, if not impossible on those systems. To insult someone on PS3, you have to buy an expensive headset, and jump through hoops getting one that is compatible or setting it up right. The Xbox comes with one, and it's just plug in and go.

biomechanical923 said...


Alright, I agree to disagree, because I just don't see it your way.

Anonymous said...

you know what I think really isn't helping with the image of gamers? These damn GameFly commercials.

Really, thanks a lot GameFly. I'm sure you and your image of people thrashing a store because they can't stand the idea of getting $9 for a game they've finished playing (and apparently can't just use ebay or something) has set us back quite a few years in regards to portraying us as mature, responsible adults.

Anonymous said...

I kinda know what you mean.
The Gamefly commercials are meant to make fun of getting ripped off by GameStop's trade-in policy, but they failed, and ended up making consumers look like spoiled babies throwing tantrums instead.

Redd the Sock said...


I have nothing against shooters myself (heck most of yesterday was spent on the Doom 3 BFG edition). I have an appreciation for Halo, but never found it to be worth the price of a 360 of my own. I doubt Bob hates the games either so much as the culture around it.

I think a lot it comes down to policing. Blizzard is far more liberal than XBL for banning inappropriate bahaviour, and Nintendo, while draconian, in retrospect of the modern concern with harassment, you can understand why they gave complete control to the player to approve who they play with, and terminate anyone you find is being an ass. Asshats are naturally going to go where they won't be punished.

Limited to he greater internet fuckwad theory and it is bad but tolerable, but unfortunately when called out some have defended reprehensible behaviour as part of the gaming culture, and that's where the greater damnation we face lies: not that it happens, but that people claim that racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs are just a natural part of competitive gaming. It's hard enough to convince non gamers that a few rounds of Doom or COD won't cause me to shoot up a mall, but people that fight for the right to be assholes, and even I start questioning if games are breeding little sociopaths.

We'll see if the new Halo 4 policy sticks and what effect it has.

Dustin Crump said...

While I would agree with most of this, I can't really say we're at the turning point where playing video games is no longer a subculture thing. I will say it's true that the majority of people play games...

...but the general tone of mass culture is that people who prefer games to other forms of entertainment or look to games as anything other than the occasional distraction are some sort of race of subhuman man-children. There is still a need to have something like a culture that dedicates itself to not only the hobby of gaming, but the advancement of it as a legitimate form of expression alongside film, written literature, and music. I don't think that everyone who plays games has to be a card-carrying member of that club, and I still think that the term "casual gaming" does signify something different than the games that we tend to think of as such (but the use of 'casual' as a slur needs to stop. seriously, cut it out. It's different, not better or worse.) All the same, the outside culture sees it as "us" and "them," so it would be naive to think that just because everyone plays farmville or mafia wars they somehow equate that with anything remotely similar to playing Xcom or Harvest Moon. Likewise, even through there are certainly elements within our ranks that are basically total assholes and make everyone look bad, it's not like the news isn't going to stop going "It's teh violent video gaems!" every time some kid with a copy of some 10 year old obscure shooter goes on a rampage. Video games are still seen as a timewaster for kids, and we're seen as kids for liking them. Even though most of the world plays games of some kind, that's the perception and until that changes, there's still going to be a need for some sort of "gamer" designation whether it's self-applied or not. Furthermore, I think trying to equate Angry Birds with anything like Bioshock or Mario or whatever (and once again, I'm saying that this is a perfectly fair thing to say,) to try and make the point, "Hey, maybe these things are similar!" would have about the same effect as saying that nationalizing healthcare is really only about as socialist as saying the government should supply police or firefighters to someone who was told to be afraid of nationalized healthcare. The brain will just spit it out because it doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news, Now you can' take the show nobody wants to watch to a site nobody hardly visits.

You can't return to Youtube, your page is a massacre of blocked and flagged comments, all good will you had there is gone and you know this.

Your new show wouldn't last there so you ran off to blip to salvage this burning wreck of a show before the last bit of interest dies off.

This all could of being avoided if you just listened to those who criticise you instead of the gullible low standard viewers who encouraged you to what wrecked your most popular show.

Sir Reginald Lee IV said...

Dear Bob,
In answer to this, your latest GO episode, I would like to refer you to this episode of Extra Credits, which seems to address your concerns about the term "Gamer" quite succinctly:

MichaelPalin said...

Hope you the best in the future, GO!

Anonymous said...

Great news bob. also you're looking thinner, is that an actual thing or have I just not been paying attention?

In anycase, congratulations, I've been watching since the beginning and love this series and your work with the Escapist. Don't overwork yourself though man, 2 weekly shows seems like a big load already, plus this one, and now another, it seems so daunting.

Smashmatt202 said...

Surprised to see the Game Overthinker recover so quickly from that beatdown...

I've never seen Glee, though I've seen ads for it way-back-when. Fuck iCarly, though.

That NES controller-styled Game Boy Advance SP (now THAT'S too clunky) is so BOSS!

It's interesting watching the GO and Ivan's initial reactions... They're pretty much the opposite of what Bob originally had to say on the matter... Maybe that's the point.

As far as the ads go, eh, I don't give a crap either way. I'm still a gamer and I don't care what the fuck people call themselves. I'm also a Brony, and some people in the Brony community treat THAT like a dirty word. If this is what it'll take to bring newcomers in, I say fine, so long as Nintendo keeps making good games.

Again, is the opening credits an original tune or is it from something, can someone answer that for me please?

Bakcground music over Bob's commentary... Not sure if that quite works, I find it rather distracting, honestly. I mean, it made sense for the gender-swapped Zelda thing in the last video but here, I could do without it.

Like I said, "gamers" and "Bronies" have a lot in common, because their labels have a LOT of negative connotations behind them, although with Bronies it's more to do with an obviously biased press coverage and people who automatically jump to conclusions and can't get past the idea that people can unironically like a show that features multi-colored ponies. With Gamers, on the other hand, they sort of brought this on themselves... And most of them, or what depressingly SEEMS like most of them, don't feel the need to change their so-called "image". And that's sad.

You know, it's times like these that I think that this period we're in is both the best AND the worst that gaming has ever gotten. It's the best for what's being made and the potential, but it's worse for how we present ourselves and dumbass corporation tactics used to ruin most of that aformentioned potential.

And Bob goes on about how better games were, and for all the complaining otherwise, I honestly agree whole-heartedly with him. Like Bob said, while the gaming community or games themselves were never perfect, they were never this mean-spirited. I WANT to do something, but for everyone one "good" gamer there seems to be five "bad" gamers who shout me down with horrible, hate-filed bile, calling me Autistic (which I am, sort of) without even knowing what that fucking word means!

lol, Nostalgia Critic reference. Speaking of which, I haven't fully watched To Boldly Flee yet, and also, Demo Reel is not that fucking bad!

WHOA, what happened there, the screen kept flashing for whatever reason...

WHOA, it happened again! It looks like he's fidgeting around... Seriously, Bob, HIRE AN EDITOR!

So yeah, pretty much what I said, fuck labels, everyone can play games, just like everyone can watch movies or read books. Well said.

I like that announcement segment... It felt so real, so genuine... So, Game Overthinker's moving elsewhere? Will it be blip? Lots of online shows seem to be going there a lot.

This new show... Oh my God it DOES sound like what Doug Walker did! But not really. So basically, it's the same show but without the character associated with it? Sounds promising. Also, just how many shows are you going to have. You already have you Escapist Shows, plus that American Bob series on YouTube, think you can handle all this?

Unknown said...


Tishr said...

Humans are inherently clannish and we always search desperately for a niche and a way to file all the "others" those who are not like us in other niche's so we don't have to deal with them. Gamers for all your consternation are doing nothing that no other cultural group does everyday on every corner. For worse as it maybe it's in our genes and the make up of our brains to do so and as a group gets larger it's harder to throw off that impulse due to the group's self reinforcement dynamic.

Sabre said...

"with Bronies it's more to do with an obviously biased press coverage and people who automatically jump to conclusions and can't get past the idea that people can unironically like a show that features multi-colored ponies."

Erm, no. Not even close. I'm an animation fan, I knew of MLP before most. I have a bit of a history with bronies. People, at least me and ones I talk to, don't hate bronies because they like a kids show. The reason alot of people hate bronies is because of their appalling, obnoxious behaviour. Speaking only in MLP quotes, making every thing or conversation about MLP, slamming anything that is not MLP, throwing insults at those who don't worship the show (Saying it's "above average" isn't good enough for them), talking about how they really want to have sex with a cartoon horse, and generally being unlikeable and an embarrassment to themselves and the people around them.

And remember, I am someone who is familiar with anime, cartoons, games, furries, and boardgames and I occasionally dip my toe into comics and toys. When those groups look at you and go "That sub culture is out of control" you should really take a good look at what is going on there.

Giuseppe said...

Yeah, let's look at what's happening.

a. Nintendo, the feminists and the iPhone turning video games into inoffensive politically correct consumer products

b. Steam, Origin, iStore, GoG, PSN, XBOX Live and WiiStore making games inherently worthless by making them intangible.

c. Publishers losing a fuckload of money on the old console model while free to play is the emerging cash cow.

It has the machinations of a video game crash that will most likely see this industry turn into what comic books became in the 50s or animation in the 60s.

We're entering dark times. Our golden age, which started with the release of the Atari 2600, is close to being over and will soon be replaced with the stagnant and the inoffensive.

Look at the game reviews man. Halo 4 is set to be GOTY for 2012 and that's been completely homogenized and gentrified. Edgier titles like Dishonored are offending - Japanese titles are becoming irrelevant.

BTW, one publisher that's seen an INCREASE in their profits this year was Capcom. Fucking Capcom, man. It's happening.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Sabre

I can't say I sympathize with what you say about Bronies, because I've never seen Bronies act like that. Even when I have seen it happen (if I ever have, I can't recall), it happens almost as often as topics jumping to other topics. Someone posting a picture or a video about ponies, I've seen that happen. I've also seen people post pictures and videos from The Simpsons or Family Guy, and I don't see anyone complaining about them being obnoxious or appalling.

And besides, if THAT'S what you consider "appalling" then you must live a sad existence. Obnoxious is one thing, but appalling? Seriously? Maybe you should go around and see what ACTUAL appalling and obnoxious people exist on the Internet do.

Also, don't get the wrong idea, I know the Bronies can be crazy and out-of-control, Hell a forum I was just on had a bit of a tiff with each other because of an upcoming episode, it was pretty insane... But I've seen Bronies do some incredibly nice thing, nicer than any other "Fandom" I've seen. So don't try to shove that "Bronies are the worst fandom" crap down my throat when I know you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Sabre said...

There is a difference between posting a picture or video of a show you like, a derailing every thread/conversation.

It should also be noted that, out of the 2 of us, I'm the one who isn't a fan of the show, and I'm the one who is calm, collected, and open to alternative ideas. You don't seem to see the irony of being a fan of a show about tolerance and friendship, flipping out and screaming at someone over something minor. It wouldn't surprise me if your outburst was because I said the show was above average.

In a way, your fit of rage has kind of proved my point for me. I have encountered bronies both online and in RL. If only they took lessons from the show they watch there might not be this problem.

biomechanical923 said...

I'm gonna have to side with Sabre on this point. Smashmatt is acting like a sad, angry, little man.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Sabre

I'm sorry, but I seem to be pretty calm myself. I don't like how you're accusing me of not being "calm, collected, and open to alternative ideas". Like, I said what I meant, I don't see topics derailed by ponies often, or Hell, at all. I'm not overreacting or being defensive, I'm being honest here.

Also, being a fan, I find the idea of "love & tolerance" bullshit, as it was only ever used to shut up trolls, or rather, used by idiot Bronies who don't even know what those works mean and proceed to do the OPPOSITE of what those mean. So for a second, let's just pretend those words don't exist, okay?

I also LOVE how you interpreted what I said as an "outburst" and a "fit of rage", when all I did was respond to what you said; like in your mind, that's the ONLY reaction a Brony can have when someone says something negative about their community. I am not at ALL opposed to the idea of having alternate lines of thinking, that's just stupid, and I'm CERTAINLY not saying Bronies don't have problems, but you're treating me like I'm some sort of animal, like you've already won this debate, which YOU started, BTW, and you're acting all superior about it. Not. Cool.

But, no doubt you'll twist my words again and misinterpret what I say to make it seem like I'm acting immature or angry when really I'm trying to be reasonable with you, because hey, I'm a Brony, and if I defend my fandom in the slightest, that must could as a strike against me. Sorry if I'm putting words in your mouth, but that's just how it's coming across in all honesty. I'm not mad, I'm just a little annoyed by how you're acting.

Sabre said...

Ok, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. But in the future, when you resort to direct confrontation of the person rather than the idea, and when you start using swear words, it's easy to read that in a confrontational, angry tone. Just something to keep in mind for the future.

First, I brought up the MLP thing because part of your post was that Bronies and Gamers have a bad rep, but bronies were the victim of bad press, but gamers did it to themselves. Bronies definitely did it to themselves, if anything, it's gamers who are victims of bad press, due to corrupt news sites fishing for page views, and TV and other mainstream media being disproving and out to make games look bad for taking their viewers away.

As for the trolls, I agree there, kind of. My experience with bronies is that of the 4chan "like it cos it's a meme" types. Very elitist and selective of who has the right stuff to join their little group. The meme is on the wane, and as such the RL bronies I knew no longer go around in MLP shirts carrying there Rainbow Dash bag, and whatever other MLP branded tat they happen to have. It's not a meme any more. I guess that in a few months, some other big meme will come along, and MLP will become as obscure as "I believe you have my stapler".

You can defend your fandom all you like, but if it's not in responce to an attack, it does enforce the stereotype. Like Final Fantasy and Nintendo fanboys will leap into defence mode the second anyone has the gall to like Halo, or to think that Mario Kart is a bit long in the tooth.

Part of my history with bronies involves saying MLP is an above average cartoon that made waves due the long period of crap that preceded it. (Hilltop Hospital was pretty good though, and I feel Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is underrated) That isn't good enough for bronies, who demand that it must be the bestest best program ever in the bestest best best. In one memorable case, someone tried to say that the animation quality and detail was superior to Akira and Spirited Away. They might have preferred how MLP looks, but they wouldn't accept MLP looks the way it does, and was made in flash, because it was made on the cheap. Attacking people because they believe this
looks richer and more detailed than this

And that, in my experience, has been most of what bronies do. Quick to angry and attack someone who is/was on their side because they are not 110% devoted to the cause.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Sabre

It's hard to know whether I'm acting angry or confrontational. I don't want to come of like that at all, and you're free to think about the show and it's fandom, I can't really expect everyone to have the same kinds of experiences. It's just that, from what I've seen, the Bronies do more good then bad, and what bad they DO do seem pretty inconsequential compared to what other fandoms do. Like, I've never seen a Brony "hate" on someone for being different, or say anything racist or misogynist, just as an example. I've seen Bronies be helpful and understanding, and while I HAVE seen some Bronies get on the case of, say, furries, or get a little pissy about someone's opinion, they seem really petty compared to the more genuine problems of other fandoms.

It really just feels like people just assume the worst about us because of what we like. And of course, there are people who are smarter than that, but to me personally, it just feels like they're trying to find reasons to hate us, picking the worst parts and sticking it to the "Brony" label. And I feel like, even if we DID let this happen, we're also doing something about it internally. We talk to each other, try to be good examples on other forums, message boards and blogs, and keep reminding ourselves just what we're fans of, because acting like a tool when you're a fan of My Little Pony, it's just... beyond ridiculous.

But I guess even then, we can't control ALL of our actions, and if people already have a per-concived notion about us, trying to explain ourselves will seem like a moot point, I suppose. But at least we're trying, I think...

Smashmatt202 said...

Oh, and I also don't want to oversell Friendship is Magic either, while it's certainly good, I don't want to say it looks amazing or anything like that. The animation is definitely on the higher end of good, but that doesn't mean it's the best out there. I think some of us are a bit blinded by the fact that, since it's Flash animation, and most people just use Flash as a means to animate a show cheaply, and the show looks really smooth and vibrate for a Flash-animated cartoon. That does NOT mean it's superior to you're example, not at all, and anyone who argues otherwise, yeah, they're acting pretty stupid.

In a way, yeah, it's almost like gamers an their immediate "jump to defend the medium" mode, like they get picked on a lot, so any negative criticism can be seen as a sign of weakness. I feel like Bronies are slowly moving out of that phase, but again, what do I know. It's hard to understand what an outsider might think sometimes...

Antonio Black said...

Well Bob I have to admit (rather informally) that this is awesome. I'm a little concerned that adding yet another show to your already sizable chunk of videos and columns (especially the ones from The Escapist) will definitely make life a busy pain in the ass.
I enjoy your content and I'd like to see more of it, but I don't want you to burn yourself out doing all these videos week after week. As long as its your job and you're passionate about it I guess that's good but don't go overboard (no pun intended).

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you're working the shows out, it has been getting kinda schizophrenic as of late, hope the new format works!

As for the topic at hand, I'm right there with you. I don't really associate myself with the "hardcore" gamers as they call themselves because of the highly elitist and exclusionary attitudes they take. I stick to Nintendo products because, well alright it's mostly because it's where I get my new Zeldas and Metroids and Pokemons, but more importantly to the discussion it's because they are so much more inviting to other people than the other companies. I don't have to worry about being called a noob or a fag or having a 10-year-old talk about things he'd do to my mother that he has no comprehension about. It's so much more pure of heart, there's almost no anger at all in the community (unless you start talking about Zelda continuity, then all that goes out the window). I can meet new people and get to know them through this common link without them feeling their gaming "skills" are inadequate. We're just people with common interests getting to know each other.

So in that regard, I have no qualms about saying this:

I am not a gamer.
I am a bounty hunter fighting for justice.
I am an unorthodox plumber out to rescue the princess.
I am a master trainer, out to be the very best, like no one ever was.
I am the hero chosen to save the land from evil.
But most importantly, I am a human being, with my own complex personality, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, with my own personal problems I must deal with but also with my own accomplishments I can be proud of, with friends and family that I care deeply about, and I have my own aspirations in life. And I happen to play videogames.

Anonymous said...

Oh hey, you ripped off the entire point of this episode from an episode Extra Credits did a fucking year ago, only made it fucking horrible.

Who still watches this show and how do you live with yourselves? Why are we refusing to punish this hack for turning this show into complete unredeemable shit?

How does he think he can get away with comparing game culture to a social movement? Seriously, I got annoyed when gays compared their struggles to the shit african amercans had to go through, I'm pissed the fuck off when you compare it to people playing video games.

Sabre said...

Well, here's my video response to this video. Most of it is stuff mentioned here in some form or other. Feedback, even bad stuff, always welcome.
Forgive my mumbley voice, was sick at the time.

Anonymous said...

Goog job, Bob. And congrats on the new show and move to Blip.

Extra Credits may have covered this, but they tend to make some pretty glaring omissions in their analyses. Enough that I don't watch them regularly. But I watch Bob religiously. My preciousss.

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