Hot off the presses, we have a hot new Squatchast for you! In this episode, Nick, Spencer, and Aaron discuss Nintendo’s recent move to monetize Let’s Play videos containing content from their games, and speculate on the impact this will have on the industry as a whole. It’s our fastest and most topical Squatchcast ever!
Do you think we’re overreacting, or does this new trend really spell doom for the Big Three? Let us know in the comments! And as usual, subscribe or give us a review on iTunes, and like or follow us on your favorite social network.
Have any of you ever built a computer? Our niche readership is, I assume, proficient enough to upgrade RAM and swap out optical drives — actions more basic than the Dell-buying general populace knows. A year-and-a-half ago I assembled an entire desktop out of disparate parts for the very first time. How rewarding it was! I imagined that it felt like restoring some rusted-out junkyard Z28 Camaro, which is what real men do.
And yet, I royally fucked my entire computer last week trying to clone my moving-parts hard drive to a swift solid state upgrade. Despite the wave of technical confidence I’ve been riding since birthing my PC child (sort of like Data from TNG, I suppose), a thin little drive crippled me. I have seen rock bottom, and it is unforgiving. But my dramatic tale must continue after the break.
In the mean time, let’s check-in with Doug and Spencer! — Aaron Thayer
The Silicon Sasquatch Podcast is back again! In this episode, Nick, Spencer, and Aaron discuss Bioshock Infinite: What they liked, what they didn’t, and where they expect the series to go in the future.
WARNING: NUMEROUS SPOILERS CONTAINED THEREIN. DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST UNLESS YOU’VE FINISHED THE GAME, OR DON’T CARE ABOUT SPOILERS.
Audio tracks for today’s podcast are selections from the Bioshock Infinite soundtrack: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “God Only Knows.”
Since it’s the Golden Week holiday in Japan, it’s allowed our two Japan-based correspondents — Doug and Tyler — to re-unite for a brief vacation. Your man in the Japanese countryside has come up to the bright lights for a week of wandering around the city, failing to get into tourist spots, running into friends and enjoying all the amenities of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. It’s been fun, and has led to some gaming stuff you’ll hear about in the next couple weeks. And it’s appropriate that what I’ve been playing is incredibly Japanese in design and execution, too.
As for the rest of the crew, Nick has learned a very hard lesson about bugs, Tyler is diving into a new-school nostalgia trip, and Spencer is enjoying a game or two of cards. And without further ado, onto the Backlog itself.
Book Review: Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Dropouts, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form0
Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is, like the title says, an account of how games are finally a medium for the masses and no longer the exclusive product of big corporations and strict publisher-developer business models. It’s a good thing that this is happening, and it’s great that author Anna Anthropy recognized that this movement needs more people to both document and champion it.
a short history of games and their makers,
a declaration of independence,
a personal narrative,
a sociopolitical discourse,
a how-to and resources guide for aspiring game-makers, and
a light introduction to noteworthy independent games.
It’s a lot of content to cover in a handful of chapters, and realistically, you could fill tens of thousands of pages worth of books just documenting the indie games movement. Anthropy wisely chooses to distribute her focus rather evenly on these topics throughout. The result is a book that feels brief but resonant.
Anthropy’s personal story of game creation is fascinating when she deigns to dive into it. Her despairing account of studying at Southern Methodist University’s Guildhall program is particularly compelling, especially since that program continues to be ranked among the best game development schools but is so clearly disinterested in empowering individuals.
But there’s also a lot that’s left out, such as the work she did in the years immediately after she moved to California. There’s a pretty satisfying account of her first steps into game making, but I’m sure she has even more valuable insight to share as she worked to refine her skills over the past few years.
I felt justified in choosing to pre-order BioShock Infinite instead of leaping aboard the new SimCity train — just after my purchase, the city simulator barreled, top-speed, into the wall of always-online DRM. BioShock turned out to be worth the wait, so I got to observe the misadventure of a release from a distance, with the occasional snark-ful comment.
But a couple weeks ago, one of my friends from the local LAN scene found he had an extra copy of SimCity, not the first time he’s come across swag that he missed while raffling at an event. He ran a twitter sweepstakes (#angryaboutcities), the entrant’s names were thrown into a random number generator, and my name popped up at the top of the list.
So here I am, writing about the latest “Sim”-game. And yeah, I guess I’m pretty angry.
Happy Saturday! The Squatchcast is back again, in time for your weekend (or whatever special day it might be)! In this episode, our regular panelists – Aaron, Nick, and Spencer – have a chat about the recent controversy regarding Microsoft’s ex-Creative Director Adam Orth, the next Xbox, and the implications of always-online DRM.
Here at Silicon Sasquatch, we’ve been wanting to do something a little different with the podcast format. Something a little less roundtable, a little more story-oriented. Now, finally, we have a prototype: Memory Card. In episode one, Spencer (yours truly) does a little soul-searching on the LAN party, and speaks to some folks at March’s Emerald City LAN to gain perspective.
It’s rough and pretty wordy – again, it’s our prototype – but we’re looking forward to exploring this format in the future. If you have feedback, suggestions for stories or interviews we should pursue, or have a story you’d like to pitch to us, we want to know! Please contact us at this email address, or on the show’s Twitter account. Let us know what you think, and what you want to hear!
Welcome to this week’s Backlog! I continue to spend my free time recovering from a long weekend out in West Texas and Big Bend National Park, which is where the above photo was taken. My mind’s still wandering in those desolate hills, so to speak.
There are no themes and no frills this time around — just some real talk from some real dudes.
Doug’s got free time aplenty these days, and as he’s quickly learned, there’s no better way to kill off a sizable chunk of your conscious existence than to fire up a game of Civ. And as Tyler assumes control of his new 3DS XL, he’s coming to grips with the uncomfortable truth that the Nintendo of his youth is not the Nintendo of 2013. — Nick Cummings
I’m tired of being a mass murderer.
There, I said it.
I just finished playing BioShock Infinite. I bet you are playing it, too. Or at some point this year you’ve played a first-person shooter. But at one quiet moment early in the game, after laying waste to yet another wave of bad guys, I found myself tiring of taking aim and pulling the trigger. How many bad guys have I offed in BioShock already? Which faction were those guys? And how many have I killed in all the other games I’ve played?