Weekend Confirmed Episode 52

By Garnett Lee, Mar 18, 2011 11:00am PDT

Weekend Confirmed celebrates our one year anniversary in style with your help, great games, and special guest James Stevenson, senior community manager for Insomniac Games. He joins the two Jeffs and Garnett for a massive show that wastes no time getting started in Whatcha' Been Playin? with games like Dragon Age 2, Homefront, Ghost of Sparta, and Tera to name a few. The Warning this week comes entirely from listener submitted questions and topics and it fuels some spirited discussions. And the news in the Front Page covers info on the impact of the Tohoku earthquake on the video game industry, February NPD sales figures, a couple of game announcements, and more.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 52: 03/18/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameCenter application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 52 directly.

Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 1: Start: 00:00:00 End: 00:32:55

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 2: Start: 00:33:40 End: 01:04:54

  • The Warning: Start: 01:06:00 End: 01:41:58

  • Featured Music "Disconnected" by Living Illusion: 01:41:58 End: 01:45:10

  • Front Page news: Start: 01:45:10 End: 02:25:18

Living Illusion is an independent rock band hailing from Edmonton Alberta Canada (also the home of BioWare). The song "Disconnected - (Kenton Thomas Splice)" is a remixed track off their new album "Suffering". Both versions of the song and the full album are now available on iTunes. For more from Living Illusion check out their official site, myspace, youtube, or facebook page.

Jeff can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

Remember to join the Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page and add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

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Comments

  • Hey guys,

    There were a couple of points in the shows where videogame critics were compared to film critics and I wanted to weigh in a bit on this issue because it is one I have been thinking about for some time.

    Very few self respecting film critics would rate the big dumb blockbuster movie highly because they choose to demand something more from their entertainment than lowest common deonominator entertainment. Similarly, no self respecting food critic would rate McDonalds high just because it feeds the primal urge for fat and sugar. Instead, these critics strive to challenge their readers to cultivate a more sophisticated taste because they believe there is something far more worthy beyond instant gratification.

    Comparatively, the big dumb blockbuster videogame is almost always handled with a kid gloves. The most recent examples being Bulletstorm and Homefront. As much as I generally love Jeff (Totally Rad show is awesome, btw), it really grates me to hear him talk about Bulletstorm because he repeatedly will say things like "It's self aware!" or "It's meta!, as if a dumb game being aware that it is dumb some how makes it smart. (Actually, it just means the designers knew they were relying on dumb humor and didn't respect their audience enough to not be lazy and try to develop smarter humor instead).

    I was even more embarrassed to hear all the violin music being played for Homefront due to the fact that bad reviews may effect its sales. Come on guys. Homefront is huge budget military first person shooter. If it can't hang with the top games in this incredibly over saturated market, then maybe it should fail. Maybe if that happens enough then publishers will free developers to a different, more original style of game that doesn't try to ape Call of Duty. Maybe some of these types of games fail more often, more spot light can be placed on some of the wonderful, smaller more original titles that are smart and deserve that attention far more than someone that can just buy it with a huge marketing blitz.

    This is ultimately the reason why those film critics write scathing reviews of stuff like Transformers 2. Not because the special effects suck or because it might not be a decent if forgetable 2 hour pop-corn flick. But because they take a long view of their industry and they know there is so much smarter, better stuff that deserves that attention more than something that just has a lot of marketing money behind it. And they want to help their readers develop a more sophisticated critical eye so they they can appreciate the difference too.

    Why can't we have that in the game industry? Why, on the whole to game critics have to be so closely in bed with giant publishers that they feel sorry for them when one of their games don't sell well? Do you ever see Ebert writing an apology when a Jerry Bruckheimer film bombs?

    In other mediums the critics attempt to be taste makers and trend setters. But it feels like in the gaming media, writers are far too comfortable being passive conduits of big budget hype and popular bandwagons.

    Don't be afraid to demand more from your entertainment and to try to challenge your audience to demand more too.

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