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PixlTalk Episode 42: Elder Holiday Rush of Duty

Maybe November release schedules, Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Skyrim aren't the same as life, the universe, and everything, but they're pretty close, right?

Episode 42 welcomes rookie PixlTalkers Jesse Miller and Mike Wall to the group as they join Jason Ross and Joaquim Mira. This week's episode has three main topics, the first involving the holiday onslaught of game after game after game. In particular, the group really feels like Ubisoft just didn't time their release dates well. Afterward, conversation moves to Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer, as well as the game's rivalry with Battlefield 3. The podcast concludes with some discussion of Skyrim, its dragons, and its glitches. Click through to listen to the podcast!

And if you have any questions or topics that you would like the PixlTalk crew to address, email us at




11/18/2011 at 03:28 PM

This is my first time listening to Pixltalk guys, I enjoyed it! I tried hard at the introduction to study each of your four voices so I would know who was talking at different times so I'd be able to chime in accurately after the fact, but I'm going to need some more time to memorize. So if I ever say things in generality like, "I agreed when you guys said..." please forgive me, it's not out of ignorance or poorly honed observational skills. I'll memorize everybody's voices before too long lol.

I've always tended to have, in the least, a mildly rational brain and so the intensity of the BF3 vs. MW3 fanboy debates (among others) never pull me in. I'm very passionate about playing my games as escapism, as well as learning to design them, but I usually keep it to myself, keep it in a context, or don't let it turn to fanboyism. Gaming shouldn't be about taking "sides". Fanboys seem to make an effort to show superiority, popularity, and dominance, which behaviorally all feel very high-school in nature and maturity. With the way that fanboys and vocal minorities affect our culture and industry, it makes me feel like they're treating this art like it's a system of high-school clicks fighting for their say, popularity, dominance, etc. Sometimes it seems like a survival of the fittest, the loudest, or a game of king of the hill, all of which feel common in a high-school setting.

This is an art form and due to that fact it will naturally develop a grand variety of connoisseurs, all of which should be free to diversify, feel empowered, and entertained without the need to resort to oft unnecessary irrational debates. We don't all need to play the same games, appreciate the same games, we don't all need to share the same experiences, or coalesce in some way. I read Halo novels and people who read Twilight don't berate me for it. I enjoy realist paintings and people who love abstract paintings don't berate me. The industry and culture needs to explode and expand like any general art form does. We focus too much on brand names and profits right now. Profits are great, I hope to make a profit off this art one day, but at its core this still an art and people should have respect for that. Da Vinci isn't a respected artist because of his name, he's famous for his works and merit. Not every idea he had was great, not every work he made is something I enjoy observing, but when I appreciate something of his it's because it's great not because it's a Da Vinci.

I love to study games, tear them apart, figure out what's fun, what's not, and how they could be improved, but I don't waste time comparing one brand name to another. I don't really even relate much with fanboys who loves the games I do lol. If I'm in a place where a fanboy conversation (frenzy) is on-going I usually slink outside the group and analyze them like animals in their natural habitat, from the outside looking in. That's pretty condescending but I can't help it, I feel so out of place in a situation like that. Fanboys don't see pros, cons, systems, and design. To fanboys a game is either, "Fucking rad." or it, "Fucking sucks." and often those beautifully articulated conclusions have little to do with a games' merit, design choices, achievements, failures, or simply honest comparison and contrast. Simply being a noob, a beast, a hardcore gamer, or a casual gamer isn't good enough because our industry and gaming community is so much more complex, various, and deserving of expansion than those terms would attempt to deny us. Those terms and restrictions in an of themselves seem like they were created by folk who have little business dictating to us what the industry and culture is, or should be. They are a vocal minority and I'm not bothered by the fact they exist, I'm just bothered by the fact that they seem to be the ones people listen to the most. Drama is much more entertaining than reason lol.

Healthy competition is necessary in this industry. Rational debate is much more effective than rants, and generally I prefer thinking as opposed to reacting. I don't believe the majority of the media and culture engage in a great deal of thought, rational debate, or encourage healthy competition. I forgot where I was or where I heard the comment but I overheard somebody one time saying that companies actually study some fanboy threads on forums, and that the ranting and arguing helps keep things competitive, creates hype, and can encourage companies to put out stronger products. I think that's a bad excuse for bad behavior. There was a lot of hype and console warring going on at the beginning of this cycle, and the consoles didn't prosper from it. The launches for 360 and PS3 were messes with the 360 RRoD, the PS3 price tag, lack of good games, and many other things. I don't buy the argument that fanboys benefit us in any way.

If I was designing a console or a game, the last place I would look for advice, encouragement, constructive criticism, or inspiration would be on a forum full of warring fanboys. I couldn't give less of a shit about them, even the ones who are on "my side" lol. I'd rather trust my teammates, my knowledge, experience, and analysis.

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

11/18/2011 at 04:31 PM

^This is why I love our readers.

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

11/18/2011 at 06:35 PM

I am going to have to second that. Thank you Michael for that well thought out response, and I think you highlighted something that we eluded to but failed to really hit on the head. Gaming is an art form that appeals to an audience far more substantial and unique than what is often depicted on internet forms.

Anyways Mike really glad to hear from you and please feel free to email with us with and questions or talking points that you would like us to discuss in the future.

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