DoctorFaust

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DoctorFaust

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If you don't like it, don't watch it. Just move on and don't engage with the parts of the site you don't like or don't agree with. It's that easy, and you won't have to waste your time on unsolicited complaints that the staff will never respond to.

Whoops, sorry. That wasn't for the OP; that was for everyone who comes into these complaint threads to complain about the complaining without appreciating the irony of it all.

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DoctorFaust

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I think the problem is that this post is vague enough for people to provide examples of why they (dis)agree without being entirely wrong. The OP doesn't even say the Jeffs are being too negative about games or anything in particular; just that there is more bitterness and anger than expected.

The most recent Bombcast was a little more ranty than usual, though. And Danny, who has been recently acting as the foil to this attitude, wasn't on the last one. But without knowing the specifics of what bothered the OP (who should feel free to expand on this), there's not really a direction for this conversation other than what everyone else has already steered it towards.

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DoctorFaust

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PSA: I screwed up royally by not checking my email and missing the invite to purchase a PS5 back in November. (They only give you 24 hours' notice or less.) But yesterday I got another invitation and was able to purchase a console pretty easily this morning. I don't know if new people are still able to sign up, but maybe check your email if you were already registered for this. It might be based on whenever they receive a new shipment, and it's apparently still ongoing.

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DoctorFaust

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This doesn't really need a name, does it? Off the top of my head, and keeping with the bomb theme, you could probably do worse than something like the "Demo/Listen Crew". Or just "Demolition Crew" if that wordplay was a bad stretch or too cute by half or whatever. Because you're demoing games. And demolishing backlogs.

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DoctorFaust

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#5  Edited By DoctorFaust

I feel the worst thing about this series has nothing to do with the content and everything to do with how the GB community reacted. It's like the guidelines about not being shitty towards each other have gone out the window. Don't get me wrong; the majority of people are fine, but there is some real hot garbage between the "I hate it more because you like it" and the "I like it more because you hate it" crews. But the insulting and alienating comments to the people (like the OP here) who are just trying to get it or who want to be in on the joke with the rest of the community are really what I'm surprised to see left standing.

Like, just think about how foreign and esoteric the concept of a "bit" or the whole "work/shoot" dynamic is by itself. It's already one of the more obtuse forms of humor and entertainment. Give each other a break, please.

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DoctorFaust

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Maybe I'm misreading it, but the dig seems to be 'the game is emotional because it dredges up feelings that people have from past real-life events outside of the game' rather than 'the game is emotional because of events that happen to characters inside the game,' which it seems like most people, even those who loved it, agree with.

I think that's the entire point, though. This is what it means for something to be evocative or resonate with an audience. It's why the characters are somewhat vague archetypes rather than having really specific and detailed backstories. The question is whether intentionally designing a game to do this in this manner is predatory or lazy or whatever, and I have to disagree in this case.

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DoctorFaust

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@strathy said:

All the people discussing the game as some profoundly effecting thing seemed to be driven by a past episode of personal loss that the Spiritfarer had dredged up, rather than anything that materially occurs within the game itself.

I guess my thesis statement here is that Spiritfarer is effective the same way that showing arachnophobes pictures of spiders is effective, only we are all susceptible to the grief of losing loved ones. I think the actual narrative it spins self-indulgent and lazy, but gets away with it because it strikes at a place where so many people are so open for manipulation.

I mostly agree with this first statement, but the last paragraph really seems like jumping to conclusions. Spiritfarer engaged players through two primary avenues. Considering the absolute shitshow of a year that 2020 was, Spiritfarer was hands-down one of the best meditative, relaxing, forget-about-your-worries experiences of the year, and people resonated with that completely apart from the narrative. What you called shallow gameplay was a lifeline of escapism for many people who were going stir-crazy or other kinds of crazy. But... I'll admit that also made the emotional narrative gut punches that much more effective for some of the players. Still, this whole premise approaches (but maybe doesn't cross) the "I don't like it = It's bad" logical fallacy.

I'm going to pick on your analogy, because exposure therapy is a real treatment used for phobias. "Showing arachnophobes pictures of spiders" could be perceived as dismissive, since it's not like this is done in a pornographic manner and is more akin to the arachnophobia sliders developers put into Grounded. "Manipulation" as a concept often has a negative connotation that brings up predatory images, but manipulation in and of itself is not negative or harmful. Socializing your child not to be a little shit is a form of manipulation. Therapy to address unwanted or problematic behaviors and thoughts is a form of manipulation. It's essentially intentional manipulation with consent.

Spiritfarer never marketed itself as anything other than a relaxing sim where you take care of animal people and then have to say goodbye to them. I think the fact virtually everyone who talked about the emotional resonance of this game mentioned it in terms of helping them practice saying goodbye to someone in the near future or revisiting how they said goodbye to someone in the past says everything we need to know about any predatory intentions behind this. Of course, that wasn't the case for every player (as people in this thread mention), but I think a "predatory" version of Spiritfarer would have people actively campaigning against its insincerity rather than just bouncing off of it because they themselves needed a different approach to addressing such sensitive issues.

Digging up a corpse and shoving it in your face versus lovingly going through a scrapbook of memories are both ways to remember someone, but I would say this roleplaying with animal archetypes is closer to the latter than the former. Really, I think it falls somewhere near the middle of all this, because it's a relatively neutral approach, and I'm always going to champion the degree of difficulty required to effectively create a game around this subject matter.

TL;DR: That's just, like, your opinion, man. But you don't have to ascribe any intentionality behind it.

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DoctorFaust

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@efesell said:

Listen I could only accept a shitty DK movie if I’m being honest.

Seth better roll right into the DK rap.

Surprise! It's a musical! With the DK Rap as the main recurring theme!

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DoctorFaust

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#9  Edited By DoctorFaust

Right. Let's not pretend this is new or that it only happens in video games, even though it's upsetting that the practice is so common we've become desensitized to it. This is in the same vein as the "No, I don't want to subscribe to your awesome products because I'm a weak baby loser" negging options that show up these days.

I'm of the belief any concerns about engagement should be restricted to the game itself. If you have to try to pull players back in from outside of the game, chances are you already lost them. But if your goal is to be a sleazy freemium game developer and catch the one "whale" out of every thousand emails sent, then this is the disgusting but logical strategy for doing so. To be fair, Far Cry 6 does this even if you're playing the game regularly: the villain's message just changes from "Where you at, beeotch?" to "Grr! I'll get you next time, rebel!"

But I've found the in-game reflections of player engagement to be infinitely more... well, engaging. Your Animal Crossing town turns to shit if you don't maintain it. This isn't a new or unique mechanic, even if you replace it with outposts getting recaptured or sections of the galaxy falling under Reaper control. On the other hand, having Psycho Mantis read your memory card or The End die from old age was a vastly more creative way to break the fourth wall, but now I'm praising Kojima so I need to stop typing.

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DoctorFaust

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Put Smash 64 in the Expansion Pack, then put Online in Smash 64. You cowards.

That is quite literally the only thing that would even remotely approach a selling point for me. Especially because this is a cost added to an already existing service, anything less than free just seems like a raw deal here.