Extra Credits: Mailbag #5

This week, we are reminded once again that Mailbags are a thing we do.

Show Notes:

Would you like James to come speak at your school or organization?

For info, contact us at: kate@extra-credits.net

Recent Comments:

  • Besides you're not really blindfolded, as the virtual enviroment gives you feedback (or won't if you hit the wrong key), so you have a chance to correct your inputs.

    Again, you have to consider other users. It's simple for many of us to 'correct our inputs' but not everyone will find things as natural. Now yes, the virtual environment gives feedback but it's feedback that, in most cases, will have a layer of abstraction between you and the actual input device. Being unable to then see the input device may create a potential problem for some users, leading to moments of disconnect from the experience, etc.

    Now, for many people it may well be a non-issue, but not everyone finds input devices and standard control schema for gaming as intuitive and natural as many of us do after decades of gaming. Thus why it seems to me that these issues for some users are going to be a potential hurdle when it comes to wide adoption of the tech, etc.

    So yeah, the Rift to me is a novelty for a specific demographic. I don't see it being the magical key to everyone suddenly adopting this tech, or revolutionising the way everyone experiences games like some people seem to be touting it as being. So whilst you may see these things as a non-issue, these small issues add up and create an experience that may not be as welcoming to some end-users as you might initially think.

  • I'm not entirely sure what the issue with the Medal of Honor sales were. They were all background checked and subject to relevant state and local regulation, right? Like regular sales?

    The comments about kids seems like a non-sequitur, as in many states parents can buy long guns for their kids (and do). Not to mention that if kids can't buy them, how would they sell to them? The comment about soldiers seemed like one too - civilian gun ownership is not military gun ownership. Hell, long guns (which are what I think was being sold) are mainly used for target shooting, hunting, and collecting rather than self-defense.

    I know Dan said he didn't want to make this about personal politics, but I don't see how it becomes an issue unless you involve personal politics.

    I think the problem wasn't really about selling guns to kids, it's about the image it promoted about video games, to some people anyway. People who hate games love to say things like they teach children to kill and use guns and such, so having a games website (which the anti-gaming people always maintain are aimed at kids regardless of whether or not they actually are) more or less promoting real guns gives them, as they see it, ammunition (pun not intended) to "prove" that games are trying to turn kids in to trained murderers. It could have turned in to a monumental media shit-storm.

    That makes more sense, though it's not the vibe I got from the video. Still, aren't the sort of people who think games cause violence generally okay with buying guns (ie. conservatives)? It seems weird to me that they'd object.

    Yeah, I agree that wasn't really the message that Dan seemed to put across about the whole incident, but from seeing how things were going down at the time, that's how it seemed to be playing out. That was the general reaction.

    And as for why people are okay with guns, but not guns + video games, I have no idea. It's just one of the many double standards of the hypocritical Western media and culture. Maybe it has something to do with the whole "guns don't kill people" rhetoric.

  • Okay, so EA is working with Sony to create a fund to help veterans, fine, way to make up for lost ground EA. Nice to see you actually doing some actual good for once, even if it's only after realizing you did something stupid and trying to make up for it. Yeah...

    Actually, EA do a number of good things, especially in terms of internal practices, etc. They do these without prompt, and not just because "we goofed, here's us making up for it." As do Microsoft from what I've heard from people. I find trying to paint them as wholly evil, or claiming they do "no actual good" is a pretty bold and I'd say incorrect statement. Often times it actually just feels like their marketing department are the ones with skewed ideas, rather than the core company itself.

    Well, it's still EA's fault for having a relatively poor PR department. Hard for me to believe they can do good without prompt when they do so many sketchy acts to market their games.

  • I think the problem wasn't really about selling guns to kids, it's about the image it promoted about video games, to some people anyway. People who hate games love to say things like they teach children to kill and use guns and such, so having a games website (which the anti-gaming people always maintain are aimed at kids regardless of whether or not they actually are) more or less promoting real guns gives them, as they see it, ammunition (pun not intended) to "prove" that games are trying to turn kids in to trained murderers. It could have turned in to a monumental media shit-storm.

    That makes more sense, though it's not the vibe I got from the video. Still, aren't the sort of people who think games cause violence generally okay with buying guns (ie. conservatives)? It seems weird to me that they'd object.

    Yeah, I agree that wasn't really the message that Dan seemed to put across about the whole incident, but from seeing how things were going down at the time, that's how it seemed to be playing out. That was the general reaction.

    And as for why people are okay with guns, but not guns + video games, I have no idea. It's just one of the many double standards of the hypocritical Western media and culture. Maybe it has something to do with the whole "guns don't kill people" rhetoric.

    Thing is, how does this jibe with Extra Credit's previous "don't let people censor you" attitude? I get that some people might get upset at gun stores advertising in a game, just like they might get upset over all sorts of things, but it didn't look like Dan was chiding them for caving - it looked like he was chiding them for doing it in the first place.

    I don't see how you get to that point without involving personal politics, specifically gun politics, which is what they were claiming they weren't getting into.


  • Gesture spellcasting was one of the worst ideas besides motion controls, and I'll happily never play that game again. It's bad enough when the game doesn't interpret a circle as a circle on the mouse - having to lean over and wave wildly while repeatedly having the game continue to fail to recognize commands isn't going to help anything.

    The Leap seems accurate enough to avoid this kind of waggling though. Gesture spellcasting is bad on the mouse precisely because the mouse is not made for drawing. There's a reason why professional artists have to use drawing pads to register their exact hand patterns.

    *looks at jewel case for his old copy of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone Game for PC*
    Yeah, I remember the PITA it was trying to get the motions of the spells in the game right with a mouse (ANY MOUSE) until I got a Logitech Marble Mouse.

    Though by that time I had already looked up the cheat codes and glitches for the game before shelving it indefinitely... -.-

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