Bravo to @angryjedi for throwing up the Squad community over at Google+. That site is finally useful! *ducks Pete’s tomato toss*
Come by and join in:
pepperized is discussing. Toggle Comments
@feenwager Good question. We could do some sort of communal liveblog using a Page and the comments system… though I’m not sure if that updates live like the main page.
Anyone got any thoughts?
I approve with all the approval I have of the changes to the site. It’s kind of amazing what WordPress themes let you do.
Any thoughts of adding anything for E3 related zaniness this year?
Okay, I’m done pratting about with this site for today. Let me know what you think, and if you all like what you see I’ll draft some guidelines for how to post articles for those who are interested. Note: please continue to use the Squawkbox as you always have done, and don’t feel any obligation to contribute long-form articles! The facility is just there for those who are interested in it, which has been an idea we’ve had on the back burner for a long time.
eh, sod it, since I’ll be posting crap here it’s probably fairly obvious what I’m up to, so I’ll explain.
Some of us have long been considering how we can have some more “long-form” writing on this site (or a variant thereof) so I wanted to fiddle around with WordPress a bit and see how well we could integrate articles into the main Squawkbox feed and the site as a whole.
What I’m envisaging is this: the Squawkbox is our “main feed”, but not in the same way as something like, say, Kotaku or Joystiq. It’s our main freeform flow of discussion into which articles can be slotted in, much like the Last Story review I’ve posted there as a test.
When putting up an article, I was thinking that we’d just post a title, a simple extract/intro/lede and a picture to make it eye-catching and clear that it’s an article. The full thing can then be clicked through to, and those who wish to just see articles without other discussion will be able to use the new “Articles” menu and subdivisions that you may have noticed up on the top bar by now. Naturally we can open comments on articles too, to help keep relevant discussion organised and separate from freeform conversations.
While the current sticky posts serve a purpose, they take up too much space at the moment, so I’m thinking of adding a clear sidebar module that lists any current “missions” we’re undertaking and/or current episodes. When things are first posted, they’ll appear in the feed — after that, we’ll need to ensure said sidebar box is up to date. This will be easy enough to do.
So far as managing who gets to post what, creating an “article” rather than a simple Squawk post is a matter of categorising the post. Only “roster” members of a certain level are able to manage post categories etc, so that will help ensure things don’t get miscategorised or posted inappropriately.
Ideas and feedback welcome. Once we pin down a format for this, we can agree on style etc. and get some cool long-form opinion, review and cultural pieces flowing.
I’m going to be fiddling around with some ideas for this site over the next few days, so please excuse me if I bork anything in the process. And please ignore anything that may appear or disappear from the menu bar at the top of the page, the sidebar or the sticky posts on the front page.
I’ll let you know what I’m up to when I’m done fiddling around.
@angryjedi on a related note, can you believe the first Squadcast was FOUR YEARS AGO? How insane is that?
Housekeeping: Behold the new menu bar with easy access to old episodes (including, now, pre-Season Two missions), past mission threads (those that were properly stickied on here, anyway — we only started doing that relatively recently) and Squad Music Mixes.
Since a few of us are going to be playing Diablo III when it launches, I’ve opened a sticky thread at the top of the page so we can exchange Battle.net and character details and thoughts on the game.
I’ve also archived a couple of the previous stickies to keep things clean.
The SquadCast will return very shortly! It’s looking increasingly likely we’re going to do a lot more “mission” podcasts in the near future, as we have a whole heap of awesomeness queued up and ready to talk about. We’re recording the first of these next weekend (not this coming one) so you can expect something new to fill your lugholes with for several hours within a couple of weeks. Joy!
Discussion seems to have died down a little bit on the Mass Effect 3 thread, so I have archived it here to make room for Journey discussion, which you’ll see in the sticky posts above. In future, all mission threads will be archived on that page for easy access. Admins, be sure to Quick Edit any mission threads and add the “Mission Threads” category to them. Comments are still open, so feel free to keep discussing, bookmark the permalink for the Mass Effect 3 thread or subscribe to comments by email (tick the box when you post a new comment).
Secondly, all Squadcasts that have been published via this page may be found here. This includes the “Season 2″ episodes onwards. I’ll normally handle this, but if any admins are paying more attention than me, ensure that all SquadCast posts (not discussion thereof) have the “SquadCast Episodes” category applies.
Thirdly, past Squad Music Mixes (not the comments relating to them) may be found here. You know the drill with categories on this one, too. @unmanneddrone, I’ll make you an admin if you’re not already so you can do this yourself when you post — you have to do it via the Dashboard.
Links to all of the above can be found in the sidebar under “SquadCast Archives”.
I’ve also turned off nested comments for the moment ’cause I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but I find it an absolute nightmare to keep track of who said what when. Comment threads now act like a mini-squawkbox, with comments simply appearing in the order they were posted. You may wish to use the @name convention to make it clear who you’re replying to. Apologies if changing this setting borked any conversations.
Thank you for flying Squadron of Shame! Have a pleasant onward journey.
@angryjedi Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense…. I was starting to think I was crazy for not being able to see the “edit” button
Re: editing comments, it’s a WordPress permissions thing. At the user level you’re all at (barring administrators) you, for some reason, don’t have the facility to edit your own comments. At the next user level up, you all have the facility to edit everyone’s comments and posts — there’s nothing in between.
I’m not sure that’s desirable, but if we’re all grown-ups about it (which I know we are!) and people think it will be useful then I can promote everyone. Note: This change won’t apply to new users who come and post, only those listed on the Roster at the side.
Trimmed the sticky posts to minimise scrolling since we have a lot of ‘em right now. Just click the “More” button where appropriate to view the full post.
EDIT: Also opened comments on the Squad Mix post if you want to corral off your conjecturing about who chose what.
Just thinking ahead, should we start a spoilerific subdiscussion thread come Mass Effect 3? You know, to ease Pete’s pain?
Edit: Read a Giantbomb forum post warning people of massive ME3 spoilers going around. Might be time to avoid clicking links, going to youtube, and/or using the internet altogether.
@liklik Nice to see a familiar name. In the words of Ahhhhnold, “Stick ahhhround!”
Good to see so much more chatter around here. Maybe someday when I’m not in the middle of a life-altering move, I’ll hop in and chat, too. Here are some quickies.
Navigating a ’17 foot UHaul truck towing a car through a snowstorm. That’s an adventure I shant be returning to unless at gunpoint.
@allayous I was resisting the urge to clarify my position based on the rollicking conversation it started (which is really the only outcome I’m ever looking for), but enough people have expressed bewilderment that I think I’ll try to explain just a tad.
Indeed, the Squad is a place to talk about whatever games you’d like. Absolutely, 100%, not even an issue. However, what has happened a couple of times recently is that the discussion has spun so rapidly around a particular topic that anything else gets thrown clear, Dyson tornado-style.
I’ve watched over the past couple months as certain topics get posted (no lie, I’m one of the affected) and then immediately get steamrolled in the excitement about the latest flavor. It’s disappointing, and while I can’t say for sure, I feel it has something to do with the absence of some of our “centering” ranks as Chris put it.
Without getting too sappy crappy, this is a special place with special people, and you don’t find that often. I think we all get protective of what we’ve built here in our own way. That’s pretty much where I was coming from. Well, that and the fact that I don’t want to see any of you guys on next week’s To Catch A Predator.
That is all.
Very interesting discussion overall going on around here. And like @Bowlismo, I get both sides.
I understand where @Feenwager and @CMWhittington are coming from as most of our recent discussions have centered around more esoteric games. I would probably place myself in the more ”centralizing” category to work with @CMWhittington ‘s notion from earlier. I am currently working through Bayonetta and have Saints Row 3, Assassin’s Creed Revelations and Uncharted 3 ready to go. The last thing I thought I would enjoy was Christine Love or Katawa Shoujo but what the heck, turns out I do. If it weren’t for the crazy level of discussion that went on here, I would have never even considered them. I am thankful for the Squad presenting me with these experiences. Another classic example of that is Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden. The Squad gets wrapped up in these ”off-center” games and off we go. And yes, probably much more than many of the AAA titles that come out but I think there are other reasons for that.
In my mind, this occurs because most of us do not follow the release schedule of these games and play them on our time. Some games (Mass Effect 3 comes to mind soon… not for me though) will be exceptions and most of you will play it simultaneously and those it will lend itself to further discussion. Most of the time though, one of us will play it on release and the rest at varying points after. Thus, when someone posted their impressions, there isn’t as much feedback because no one is playing along at the same time. It is either recalling their previous playthrough from some months back or saying ”I will get to it soon”. This is my experience commonly with most games I play (Most recently Bayonetta and Chrono Trigger) and post here but that’s fine. I don’t always expect to start a crazy 2 page long thread with my posts. If that happens, cool, Otherwise, move on to next topic.
Games like Katawa Shoujo, Christine Love and Barkley increased discussion because they are generally short experience that either free or dirt cheap, hence more people are likely to play at the same time.
In short, I understand the issue but see it more as circumstance than anything else.
To @feenwager‘s point, I’ve also found the discussion here lately to be far outside of my interest level. I agree that the Squad is a uniquely mature place that’s perfect for discussions like these but the balance just seems to be off. @unmanneddrone made a great point that many posts get ignored while the obscure game discussions reign supreme. I’m sure that some kind of restructuring of the discussions (like what @bluesforbuddha has alluded to) would help out a lot.
I was playing Hero Academy yesterday and realized that while I was playing with a lot of Squaddies, only @angryjedi posts here regularly. The lack of “centering” voices from the others (@iscariot83, @bigdaddygamebot, @zegolf, @scribl, @ajguy) is really missed around here. I’m going to reach out to them.
Much love to my Squaddies.
I’m glad to see that things are coming together. The two questions the squad faces is “Is the squad’s mission statement still worth doing” and “Are we the people to do it?” It looks like both come back positive, which is very heartening.
@bowlisimo I’d recommend giving Digital a shot at least, it’s quite charming and not anime-themed at all. Plus anyone who dealt with older technology and/or the internet on any regular basis will find the setting wonderful.
the other one is definately anime themed, but has…… some… rather atypical twists that you might find quite thought provoking. Very much not your standard anime thing. Give it the benefit of the end of Chapter 1, (I finished in about an hour) and see what you think =) Perhaps it will change your mind. =)
Additionally I support the Christine Love set because as a totally free, very low overhead very short experience (you could probably play both in the same day, even people without computers could finish one or the other on a library computer (perhaps needing a flash drive for the the second one, but maybe not) This way we can start back on the track with strong squad participation since there’s a very low barrier to entry both in time and access requirements.
I haven’t posted here for a while either. I need to make sure that this site stays open as a Firefox tab or something. Though, I did pinch a nerve in my back a couple of weeks ago, and I was a bit loopy on painkillers for a while, so it’s perhaps for the best that I wasn’t posting here.
At any rate, I miss the old format quite a bit. This is the only podcast that adds any nuance and depth to the discussions, and I feel that was largely a byproduct of the original format. Since everyone was limited to a single game, discussions were forced to evolve based on depth rather than breadth. I like the new podcasts too, of course, but they seem a bit more unfocused. And, to be honest, I tend to wait a bit longer before listening to the podcasts than I would if it was a Squad mission for a game I had played. I remember being overjoyed when I discovered the Persona 3 podcast, because I had finished playing the game around the time it came out, and you all were engaging the game on a level that few do.
I still go back and listen to podcasts for games that I complete. I haven’t played Machinarium yet, but I own it, and I will listen to the Squadcast after I finish it. Ditto Okami. I’m not sure I would be too inclined to listen to a three year old discussion of DLC or Cheap-Fu, however.
I realize that I’m likely not the target audience for a gaming podcast, though. I don’t really care about what’s new in the industry. In fact, I usually skip the introductory stuff on the Squadcasts, and I also skip the Hot Shit segment for the most part. If I don’t have a new This American Life or Radiolab I will sometimes listen to the entire podcast, but I am mostly interested in the middle segments.
I’m just saying, missions kinda used to be the whole point of the Squadron of Shame, not to mention the thing that set us apart. Almost every gaming podcast does “topics” for its shows (not saying ours aren’t uniquely good), but I’d like to think of us as one of the pioneers of the whole “Oprah Winfrey Book Club for Underrated Games” thing.
As for selections, I’ve still got that pile of old squad targets that actually hasn’t gotten much smaller. I could also look back into the old massive catalog of untouched Steam games. Steam/GOG might be one of the best sources: a multitude of great stuff that will probably run on all our computers, and it’s not like you’re gonna spend THAT much money.
I’m with @feenwager and @zegolf in that I really dig the new format (disclaimer: I also loved the old format). Chin-stroking still occurs, each squadcast has the propensity to usher walls of text unto the Squawk, so there’s still that level of discussion. In terms of squad missions, if not a podcast, then why not via the Squawk? It might take a post or two to nut out a particular format, but there’s no reason it can’t be done.
I dunno, I wasn’t around for the old 1UP board days, but wasn’t that the way things worked back then? Targeting titles and writing walls of text? It’s nice to have an audio round-table, but the groundwork for the ‘casts of old must have been hectic and sometimes painful to achieve. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to fight family duties and time differences, because I’d love to waffle on via a microphone on particular games, but settling for our asymmetric notation on the Squawk offset by a snappy and lofty Season 2 Squadcast is perfect at this point in time.
It does go back to our venerable Squadleader @RocGaude saying something akin to “these things take a lot of work to put together, and at some point, you’ve got to ask yourself ‘is it worth it?’”. From this position, I feel so lucky we get more frequent Squadcasts. And let’s be honest, we’re a varied lot around here, and as much as we all consider ourselves renaissance fellows of gaming, many recommendations fall on disinterested OR busy ears. Time, life, interests etc., getting a consensus for a mission is half the battle, let alone the follow-on in order to get a recording happening.
But hell, as @feenwager said, why not get a mission going and, if need be, put together a Mission Squadcast of your own. I’d listen.
@feenwager I guess having 10 years on me really does make a big difference. Even there though, there’s still probably a lot of great content out there that most us just simply passed over in our time.
I don’t know about the rest of you but #1 certainly does not apply to me. Most of that stuff you guys did missions on was games that I hadn’t played until we started missions on them. I thought that was the purpose: to seek out good and sort of underrated games that we, and other people, hadn’t gotten around to yet.
I still plan to go back and play stuff like GK and Deus Ex for the first time and then listen to their correstonding Squadcasts.
*hate mail sent <3* (but seriously feen, we luv ya no hard feelings =D)
Which I suppose would be fine, I can see some of those arguments, but I don't think I see them for The Squad. That was(?) literally the squad's mission statement "These are the games that we know are good, and haven't gotten around to playing yet, This is our Pile of Shame. Our mission, is to play these under appreciated gems and discuss them so that you who are busy, you who are uninterested, you who have no capability to play it yourself, can listen to it and gain a certain element of the culture without having to slog through a 90 hour JRPG, or a weird, uncomfortable disease ridden experience. It isn’t easy, and we will take our goddamn time with it, but this is what we do, who we are. We are… the Squadron of Shame."
Like, those are two good points, but they're two good points exactly against what the squad was literally created to do. If people don't want to do that anymore that's a different story, lives change, people change. However, if so we are a totally different beast from what we were.
I mean Pete posted a history of the squad barely a week ago at his blog, the comic sort of expouses us exactly *being* the guys who do exactly that.
I was kinda under the impression that the topical podcasts were filler between people completing whatever the current mission was. I could probably handle it if we decided we were totally casting missions aside, but I won’t lie, I would not be happy by any stretch. What we do, or did here, was as far as I could tell totally unique on the internet, which is *very hard to do*, and also worthwhile. Garnet still talks about the Squadron of Shame still being out there. I’d like to believe that is true.
I’m all for just missions man.
Honestly I don’t see how you are going to manage the sort of deep analysis of multiple titles if you’re going to do multiple items, I mean, podcasts are already around the 3 hour mark. Additionally since it’s unlikely that people are going to be able to ‘synch’ their experiences with multiple items in the pot, which means the cast will be more dictorial again.
I dunno if it’s me being OLDE MAN or something, but a squad that doesn’t do missions seems weird. Besides, even if the whole squad can’t fly on every mission I’m sure there’s plenty of people to rotate in or out depending on specialty.
I dunno I worry about the squadcasts boiling down to basically each person states things and no one else can comment or discuss because the focus is too broad.
That being said I don’t see why we couldn’t give it a try, especially if that’s the only way we’re going to have a closer focus sometimes. I just see a lot of advantages to the old format. It would be sad if things like the Persona 3 and Pathalogic podcasts never happened again.
@beige Well, as far as I can tell, you’ve received a critical rating on Metacritic now, so it means we’ll get a Mark Whiting sequel! With tacked-on multiplayer.
@bowlisimo anytime, pleased to entertain =D
@rocgaude I’d have probably had more, but you weren’t in the last show, sorry my brain is entirely associative
@angryjedi I’d support a Trackmania if it means a mission though damned if I know anything about it and am crap at piloting things in general. I think The Void might also be a promising excursion since it has so much of those things the squad likes to dig into, (bizzare game mechanic, atmosphere, etc)
I’d also say that missions are pretty key, there’s lots of podcasts that do topic chinstroking but the squad’s missions are pretty close to unique. Also: I crave the telegraph dispatch.
I don’t mind if it takes a long time between misions (one every two months?) but a mission and vote-board would be good
@unmanned drone Oh right, I totally forgot about that, Pete also has a storied gaming history from which he can tell tales from before funcoland… wasn’t…. C64 era even!
Archetype Unlocked: Deckard Cain
Ahhhhahahahahahaha, Shingro pretty much nailed you guys. That made me laugh, thanks.
@Feenwager Just briefly, I’d say your attitude falls the closest to my own, although it’s more on a line somewhere between you and Mark, but more towards you. To use Mark’s food analogy, if he’s a food snob, then you’re a comfort food guy. You know what you like and you prefer it. Meat & potatoes. That isn’t to say you won’t try something outside of your comfort zone, but there’s a very small amount of bullshit and/or nonsense you’re willing to put up with for the sake of something novel. You aren’t a slave to game completion. If you don’t enjoy it, stop playing it.
I usually let Mark indulge in his self-flagellant Casu Marzu in peace, but every once in a while his intrepid nature stumbles onto something absolutely worth it, to me at least (Scratches, Amnesia, etc).
@shingro Indeed we did. I wanted to include the great @RocGaude, but he’s been off-the-air for public consumption and I do miss his broadcaster cadence.
However, yes, squad high five!
@RedSwirl Interesting that they’d say Far Cry 2 is the closest living relative to STALKER on console (or a lighter experience on PC). I love both of them. Funnily enough, I got more out of the admittedly more empty FC2 than I did out of Bioshock! Probably had something to do with me devouring Wilbur Smith novels as a younger fellow and revelling in the decayed, inscrutable romance of a post-colonial Africa. I gotta be honest with you, it’ll be interesting to see how you go tackling something like Crysis 2 then STALKER…I mean, as a player, you’re almost polar opposites in terms of ability and durability – even when playing Crysis on Delta difficulty!
We’ll have to keep arguing for a Squad mission on STALKER, though. Folks wouldn’t even need to complete it, just wander about in the Zone and soak up its rich, dark, dreary atmosphere.
@feenwager hmmm… hard to say, my place in gaming communities is usually as the outlier who shows up with something absolutely bizarre that sounds suspiciously like a game that’d be in a Barkley gas pump rant. “Wh- is that a bio engineered girl with a drum in her hair singing computer programing code to a magical supertechnology tower which converts emotions into energy?” and I nod enthusiastically without a trace of shame. When beige mentioned “that one witch touching game?” I quoted the name to the air. (Doki doki mahou shinpan if you’re curious) So rather then a guy you can kinda base opinions off of I’m the guy who you usually throw out of polls =P
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a wide and varied history of gaming, but the above tends to overshadow the other things in people’s minds, dunno why!
(fortunately I’m pretty self aware. I tend to restrain myself so I’m not (very) obnoxious. )
REGARDLESS I shall take your challenge sir! Letsee….
Chris ‘RacGaude” Whittington: When I think of him I think of his comic recommendations, He reminds me of a friend of mine who would recommend I read the strangest stuff that I can’t imagine how it got published, but never fails to be anything but interesting. He’s the only guy who came to the D&D table in high school who had a girlfriend.
I think of him as playing lead guitar in a band with shoulder length hair, dunno why.
Archetype: The ‘cool’ nerd
Pete “Angryjedi” Davison: Since hearing he liked the happy Japanese music I’ve been thinking of him as the secret otaku of group. He’s the guy I’d trust most often with a game recommendation barely beating out beige because even if he still has a functioning shame gland I believe our interests and preferences grow from a common root. It takes a very specific type of brain to process the pure sugar in denpa-kei music into serotonin. (If you’re not sure if you have this capability try these links in order http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQfJ0e0WPFQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-duN9pRYD0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSomurbbQHs If you opened 1 you don’t have it, 2 and you have the potential, 3 WELCOME BROTHER)
Naturally as a British person on an audio based program he operates on the scrabble Triple Word Score. If I had my druthers I’d spam the board exchanging youtube links with him. (kiinda have, sorry, at least I didn’t embed the last few!) Since he did the mission intros I can’t help but imagine him in an aviator’s cap standing near a WWII biplane.
Archetype: Kindred spirit, Aviator
Mark ‘Beige’ Whiting: The professor, or perhaps the mad scientist. Reminds me of every professor I ever had who was really really really into their field of study, the guys who you’d ask “So hey, what is a scab exactly?” and twenty minutes later you’d have been told every goddamn thing about the creation, existence and properties of scabs while he was getting one under the microscope. For this reason, you ask them a question every day after class because they make it really interesting. I occasionally expect him to just scream “WE HAVE TO GO DEEPER” at random times in the podcast. Wild eyed and full of vigor he would tunnel through the stone crust of a shitty game without pause to find the next clue to The Unified Gaming Theory.
I could imagine equally at home in an overstuffed red armchair surrounded by books with glasses and a distinguished goatee, or Garth from that scene in Waynes world when he starts smashing the robotic hand with a hammer, he gets very excited about thoughts, highly awesome. Probably second most favored goto in general and primary for horror or thought provoking stuff. If I ever play a game that does something very unusual or provokes strong feelings I’d bring it up to him first. I look forwards to chewing the fat with him about The Void (once we both get around to playing it)
Archetype: The Professor (or maybe Masterpiece Theater), Aesthetic monk, crazed dwarven brainminer
Jeff ‘feenwager’: This may be just because of the recent podcasts or that his awesome flaying of Fable 3 remains forefront in my mind, but he reminds me most of my friend who is becoming somewhat disillusioned with gaming, not that he hates it or anything, but he’s fully willing to call something bullshit the very instant it crosses the line for him. This makes his recommendations probably the safest, since if it has the capability to piss you off, he will call it on it. Since I enjoy crashing headlong into the brush without checking for snakes I tend to come to his recommendations last, but I pay attention to his criticism, and do my own research since what is a ‘deal breaker’ is different for us all. Occasionally frustrates me with negativity, but hey, gaming isn’t all roses and song.
He seems to be looking for something else, something to really come out and grip that switch and he hasn’t found it for the last few months. When he inevitably does come onto the squadcast with stars in his eyes about a game, everyone will take note. Most likely to have the rain follow him wherever he goes. I imagine him in a trench coat in the rain in San Diego looking across the lights of the city at night, a wisp of smoke trails into the night sky as he leans against a lamppost looking out across the city… the city of angels.
Archetype: Noir Protagonist
Chris ‘Papapishu’ Person
The funniest guy in the room, often hilarious but at the same time the most disastrous to conversation. No matter what, if he thinks about something funny, he *will* get it in there. The number of derailed trains of thoughts he’s caused with his jokes, japes and impressions are uncountable over the squad’s history. Great fun, but occasionally he makes you want to pull your hair out if you were waiting on someone’s opinion and it becomes a casualty
Since he’s revealed himself to practice Brazilian jujitsu I can only imagine him looking like Eddy Gordo crossed with bruce lee wearing a hat from the godfather (since he lives in brooklyn or the bronx or someplace like that) I apologize to everyone.
Archetype: The fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
Is that everyone? I feel like I’m forgetting someone
@feenwager Good question! I dunno, I guess it’s easier to figure out what folks’ positions and preferences are with Season 2. Your fine self, and without blowing too much haemorrhoid-inducing smoke up your date, provides a great balance, since the suppositions with the Squad can get pretty lofty at times. Much to your credit, too, as the @feenwager position is rarely, if ever, an unjustified stance.
@angryjedi is certainly the quirk-master, plus having a slightly different gaming background provides a nice left-of-centre perspective. His appreciation for the more kitschy and flamboyant of titles, particularly of Japanese extraction, allows me to appreciate them without having to really go there myself. That’s one peculiarity…I might live here, but my tolerance for Japanese pop-culture/gaming culture (outside of a certain few genres) deified in the West remains laced in a holding pattern of low-participatory, spiralling ambivalence. Hence to have a proxy detective on the case such as Our Man In The UK allows one to peer through windows with feet up.
@beige is certainly the testbed we can throw the scabberous and the pestilent onto, primarily more from the console perspective. Obviously a man who considers the medium of more artistic merit than most, and also justifies stance with aplomb. I don’t know who has a higher tolerance for “nonsense”, him or @angryjedi, but he’s another plexiglass riot-shield I can peer through and appreciate via, but not have to engage with what’s on the other side. Gawd, starting to sound like I’m doing Gaming Literacy 101 via Correspondence.
In any case, personally, I find my tastes relatively at odds with most of the Squad, but not exclusively so, but that Squad Bond remains that I love reading and listening to everyone else’s digital adventures and discoveries. So, to answer your second and third question…
I listen to @feenwager for balance when there’s an exalting of particularly airy concepts. Also, when it comes to “mainstream” games, you couldn’t find a more rigorous set of hoops a game must jump through. Quality control.
I listen to @angryjedi because he’s an endearing Brit and we self-deprecating antipodeans have nothing better to do than feel inferior to Mother England. No, I value his ability to always throw in “You know, (insert game of discussion) reminds me of (insert other game, game mechanic, game of yore, something to do with Phoenix Wright etc.)” and being able to effortlessly pluck interesting tidbits from his gaming repertoire. Always adds colour.
I listen to @beige because he’s always got a lot to say! Brings an appreciation of film and literature into the medium of games discussion and for that, the discussion is all the more richer. I flip-flop back and forth on the games as art business, but it’s nice to have a bastion for the notion on the Squadcast.
As far as the Squadcast goes, I dunno…keep rollin’, I’ll keep listening! Old format or new.
Alex, you mentioned Beige as the snob of the group (in a good way) and it reminded me of something I kept meaning to ask:
What do you guys get from each Squad member? Whose opinions do you look for on what games/issues?
And how do you think we can incorporate that into the squadcast?