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Nerds Without Pants Episode 49: Who Watches the Watch Dogs?

Hack the planet!

It’s an episode of Nerds Without Pants 8 months in the making! Watch Dogs is the impetus for this very thoughtful discussion about our addiction to technology, the insidious way that we are expected to share everything about our lives, the intrusive NSA, and more. But first, Consumption Junction!

CONSUMPTION JUNCTION

2:20 Shovel Knight, Julian’s problem with retro-style indie games

20:30 Angelo watches an entire let’s play of Shadow Warrior

29:11 Patrick’s FIFA corner, Patrick’s comic book picks, Julian exposes fresh minds to comics, Patrick’s adventures in babysitting

55:10 Julian’s recent trips to Pinballz Arcade, that Hercules table, the weird feel of modern pinball

1:06:30-1:22:20 WARP ZONE (behind the scenes cutting room floor stuff that you might want to skip)

TOPIC: THE CHILLING WORLD OF WATCH DOGS

1:25:37 Angelo weighs in on raising kids in an environment full of tech.

1:33:05 Patrick talks about how uncomfortable things can be for kids that aren’t allowed to have devices.

1:39:00 Julian’s distrust of smart phones and social media.

1:54:00 The creepy Minority Report-style advertising that is popping up.

2:08:05 The future fate of people living online when they reach middle age

FEATURED MUSIC

John Williams- Imperial March

Daft Punk- Recognizer

Weird Al Yankovic- All About the Pentiums

Rockwell- Somebody’s Watching Me


 

Comments

Michael117

07/12/2014 at 01:38 AM

Julian was wondering if anybody was still making FPSs with sprite based enemies and it brought to mind a game I saw Jeff do a Quick Look of at Giant Bomb. It's called Rogue Shooter and I thought it looked pretty rad and silly. I still haven't played this but it's right up my alley and I remember Jeff having a good time with it. I don't think the game was finished at the time of this so I don't know how it's changed since then.

Quick Look - Rogue Shooter

I don't want to encourage Patrick to take more Ibuprofen PM or do it regularly during each episode, but in this particular show I thought it was funny listening and waiting to see when the medicine would start making him loopy, if at all. At some point during the main Watch Dogs discussion Patrick mentioned how he believes that things tend to even out. He described how he hopes that the beneficial uses of technology as well as the abuse of it can weave a harmony like the double-helix of deoxyribonucleic acid. That's the kind of poetry and beauty I expect from the Kijek brand and Patrick brought a hot teaser of it to this episode.

To be honest I don't think it had anything to do with the sleeping pills, it was just unadulterated Patrick. If I could complain about anything as a long time listener it would be that we don't get quite enough of Patrick's Poetry Corner. Bring the truth, Patrick. Straight from the synapses of your brain and out into the cosmos. That last bit should be the intro for Patrick's Poetry Corner segment.

The discussion over the main topic was really interesting. I'm plugged-in to social media, mainly twitter, and I'm on Pixlbit, Giant Bomb, twitch, and youtube every day reading or watching. For me that connection feels somewhat necessary socially since I don't get out of the house as much and don't have many friends in real life to talk about games and nerdy things with. It also feels very beneficial to me because I live in Colorado, and even though there's an indie development scene in certain cities here and several dev companies in this state, I feel quite disconnected from the game's industry. Being connected to twitter and to game sites helps me build context as to what the game industry actually is (clearly in an abstract way, and in broad swaths), what's new and interesting, what's sucking, and what is happening in the news or at least what the perspective of the events is from the people I'm reading. Being connected to everybody has had a 99.9% positive impact on me up to this point.

Privacy within that connectivity was more the focus of this episode though, and when it comes to privacy I'm more like Julian, so ditto to what he said. Facebook is really gross and I consider deleting my account there all the time since I don't actually update it or use it, but I haven't since there's some family on there I don't see often. At some point Facebook quickly became not only the asshole of the digital world but the online version of the Christmas dinner table. In your heart of hearts you don't want to be there and it's not terribly comfortable, in some ways it's even outright gross, but you can't bring yourself to get up and walk out.

I think it'll be interesting to see how all this connectivity and the lack of privacy affects politics and culture in the next couple decades. Soon we are going to get to a point where people who run for offices will be tech babies, perhaps even gamers to some degree. The culture shift that started last-gen where being a nerd is rad and sexy became super mainstream and is still getting bigger, but how mainstream I wonder? I can only hope that we get to point where we can have a weird president who played Minecraft, Journey, or Civilization V as a kid. In the future we are going to have to get used to every body having dirt on every one else, things will have to get socially more liberal in that sense. Even the most uptight people on all sides of the fence still have to let loose or do stupid things to blow off steam, and odds are that stuff ends up on youtube in this era.

It's going to be much harder to be a cookie-cutter rich old man stuffy baby boomer president in the near future. Maybe this lack of privacy and nearly constant connectivity could ultimately lead to some better degree of transparency and honesty in the political world. Right now people on all sides seem so scared and desperate to stay still in a rapidly changing culture. People try so hard to appear perfect, they get fashioned by our political machines into idols and wannabe godheads, and less a person.

Imagine a presidential debate a couple decades from now where every candidate has videos on youtube of them doing something really dumb and nobody can hide from it or try to hold up some false sense of superiority, piety, or wholesomeness over the others. You're all running for office, you're all educated and went to good schools, but you're all kinda dumb in your own ways, none of you are saints, it's fine if you believe in God, it's fine if you don't, I probably won't agree with most of you on a variety of issues, and that's okay, let's just hear your ideas and see where we go from there.

I'd love this upcoming tech baby generation to be less tolerant of that polarized, billionaire funded, strictly branded, dog & pony nonsense. Just find videos of all the politicians scratching their foreskins, picking the thongs out of their butts, and farting on their cats. Do something to break the tension and bring everyone back down to Earth.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

07/18/2014 at 11:54 PM

I dunno, man. Being on twitter has not only soured me to being in the video game industry, but from calling myself a gamer at all. I'm glad I have a job where I can't be on twitter all day anymore, because the outrage of the day gets so incredibly tiresome. From the jaded games writers to the armchair feminists to the too cool for school indie devs...I just find it exhausting and a little embarrassing.

daftman

07/15/2014 at 07:48 PM

Long distance relationships suck. My wife and I did long distance back when we were dating and then engaged. It's terrible, though thank God for skype. But if the relationship survives the distance, then you really have something special. Best of luck, Julian!

Sherlock Hound! We had a VHS with a couple episodes when I was a kid. Loved that show. There still isn't a good way to buy the series in the US Frown

When I first saw the tagline, "Who watches the watch dogs?," I wondered if the episode would be about the ESRB and similar organizations, though maybe you've already talked about that. Can't remember. Anyway, good show!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

07/15/2014 at 11:45 PM

We haven't, but Angelo has an episode in mind for the ESRB, so look forward to it soon!

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

07/18/2014 at 03:04 PM

Wow, grade-A stuff guys.

Julian, you touched on something interesting in the episode, and I'm glad you brought it up-- people being glued to their phones when we're all here to watch a movie. In my case, I HATE IT when I'm trying to watch a movie with my wife and, like clockwork, she pulls out that damned phone and gets on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or starts responding to texts from people who are not joining us for the movie. Mind you, it's a movie neither one of us has seen before, but she doesn't seem to worry about missing key moments in a movie.

I mean, sure, she'll eventually get back to the movie, but I feel like I'm missing that apect of mutual enjoyment you get when you see something for the first time with another person.

It doesn't always bother me. But I know it definitely infuriates me when when we're watching an particularly awesome Marvel movie and, yep...she's on Instagram for 7 minutes when something awesome is being done or said that I'd like to "share" with her by way of the both of us being tuned into the movie.

It's not because she's bored or uninterested. She enjoys watching Marvel movies too. She just loves her social media.  And don't get me wrong, I like them too. But not enough to do it at the expense watching a movie on date night.

Anyway, great show...really enjoyed it.  Looking forward to the next episode.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

07/18/2014 at 10:17 PM

And let me guess, there are some moments where you have to pause or back up or (my personal least favorite thing) explain what just happened which causes you to miss what's currently happening. Am I right?

transmet2033

07/18/2014 at 10:52 PM

Yes, yes you are.  Happens to me all the time.  And of course, when I just want to check the time on my phone, I get jumped all over for looking in the direction of my phone.

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

07/21/2014 at 11:05 AM

That's EXACTLY what happens Julian. Bullseye.

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