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ragnar_mike

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marleyvfm

Loved the initial discussions but honestly I feel the actual final lists should go.

That might be the logical conclusion, I think. End of the Year Review where they just chat about stuff like a big fancy podcast, or similar to E3. More of the Specialtacular stuff and less of the debating. I could see that being far less taxing on them and allowing for far more content and each person can still show off what they loved that year. Lists are a holdover from it being a review site which honestly hasn't really been what the site is about for half a decade or more, really.

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ragnar_mike

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Edited By YapaPanda

Congrats to everyone on a great GOTY! I was sick most of this holiday season and the podcasts and specials kept me going. I enjoyed the new format and discussion!

Some highlights are:

  • Vinny getting choked up with Florence,
  • Vinny's intervention in Most Disappointing,
  • New Dan's measured approach to expressing his opinion,
  • Ben's ability to cite specific instances and experiences in games,
  • Jeff's step back to allow other voices to be heard and steer the conversation,
  • Abby's level up in presenting her arguments from last year,
  • and Jason and Jan voicing their opinions (I wish I there was more!)

Some constructive criticism (not meant to be an attack):

  • Some arguments, especially Brad's either were or presented as being in bad faith and not honest discourse,
  • Abby mentions she hasn't finished some games but I don't think she mentions how far she got into them (hours or plot wise) which made it hard to to put her opinion in context,
  • The audio format is sometimes hard to follow because the games being discussed or the state of the dialogue is recapped as often as in the past
  • I do miss some of the older, funnier categories despite the more streamlined process.

Thanks again!

100% Agree. Some fantastic progress made this year. I'm not sure how I feel about the new format, but overall the quality of discussions improved tremendously so something must be working, I guess!

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ragnar_mike

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ragnar_mike

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BonafideGinger

I cannot tolerate the way that Brad refuses to ever let a negative thing be said about RDR2. His stubborn ignorance of the flaws of that game is infuriating. I like Red Dead... but it isnt perfect and there are some very disappointing moments about it. That whole most disappointing argument was honestly the worst display of constructive rhetoric I've ever seen and Brad is the worst perpetrator of it. The whole voting segment was appalling. Vinny and Dan made the most sensible dialogue and I think Jan and Jason need to be in these conversations more because they also seem to make some of the best points. Brad's ability to engage in constructive dialogue wins most disappointing.

As I get older I end up appreciating Vinny and Jeff's voice here as the GB elders. Jeff made his argument for COD4 and while I pretty much could care less about that game, his opinions seemed to support it sneaking in there.

Jan and Abby have been a great addition to these discussions in a similar but unique vein to Austin, where they both introduce more joyful and less commonly thought of games for awards into the mix. Alex and Jason also do this through more esoteric and slightly more Japanese gamedev inspired choices that showcase a different mindset about what storytelling or play experiences in games can be. And while Dan and Ben are sometimes agents of chaos, they also encourage meaningful discussion about these choices rather than just assume the norm is correct.

I absolutely understand his love for the game, but man Brad learned some terrible lessons from earlier years and presumably the Gamespot days. Victory through attrition is such a discouraging way to go about discussing things we all love. I think Ryan was able to temper his staunchness with...well, being Ryan. Whether that was him being devil's advocate to counter dismissal of opionions or just keeping the flow of the debate moving to prevent vitriol, it was always more of a "Brad loves this game, lets hear him wax poetic about it and see where that leaves us" before and now it's more of a mood that he knows there's gonna be a fight and is willing to ignore anyone's opinions for the sake of winning the argument.

I don't blame him for picking up that habit, life is life, but it is a habit that should probably be addressed. Brad's wearing a lot of hats these days and while he generally does a fantastic job, you could tell he was struggling expressing his opinions and managing the overall discussion at the same time.

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ragnar_mike

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FarleysLundgren

Just wanted to say I’m glad Abby said what she wanted to say on GoW and its portrayal of women and that she didn’t back down from some of the dismissive responses she got.

And of course there are going to be some pathetic comments by sad individuals in here, not surprising.

I'm all for her perspective. I think the fact that pretty much nothing else besides the format of the discussions being talked about in this thread shows that anyone who watches UPF or has been around with GB for a while doesn't need to watch these to know how pretty much everyone besides Abby will have on their lists shows that their perspective are well worn. I would like to think that's why it's focused on Abby, but well...fairly apparent that's not true.

When Vinny says something along the lines of "Well to be fair Kratos kills everybody..." The crew laughs. And Abby basically says "Well I don't fucking care."

That exchange is basically why this is being brought up at all and its entirely based on perspective. Did Vinny mean to be dismissive in his persuit of a joke? Almost certainly not. Did it come off as that way? Yep. Certainly to Abby which is fair, since she gets dismissed much more than anyone on the crew. Did the laughing at a joke about Kratos murdering everyone in the game frustrate Abby to then dismiss what Vinny was talking about before he made the joke because she felt like she wasn't being taken seriously? Seems that way. Which is also a valid response. You can't sit in a room and have long talks about things that you have strong opinions on and not offend or disagree sometimes. I think they did a huge disservice by switching back to basic game discussion there. It leaves room for interpretation like we're seeing on this thread. Which I mean, whatever, internet gonna internet.

But you don't improve these kinds of interactions by running away from them or from hoisting either side up as a straw man. Vinny said a thing that was dismissive, probably without realizing as much, and Abby should have said so, and Vinny should have explained or apologized or any number of things and they all could have improved a bit and finished their thoughts about the nature of traditional stories and the role women have played in media and all that junk that GoW really struggles with. Instead they shyed away from it. Pretending this site isn't personality driven and is ultimatly about the people here doesn't help. More voices and more opinions being expressed is better. I had hoped Waypoint would become that, but its become an echochamber of likeminded individuals, which is fair. You hire people you like. It's just fairly obvious (in my mind at least) that everyone has very strong opinions and that without expressing them openly and without malice we come off as dismissive and antagonistic. Golden rule and all that.

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ragnar_mike

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TheManWithNoPlan

It's disappointing for sure how God of War fails in respect to female characters. It's so amazing in every other respect. While I still rate it my Goty I appreciate the points abby brought up.

True that. I think part of the problem is that it paired down the cast so much that you end up condensing a lot of roles into one character. There's a lot of lore and gods to play with in norse mythology, even if you just wanna go with the stuff people recognize from Marvel you have some fun female characters who are just like...regular old gods doing norse stuff. But when you condense the overprotective parent and wise old wizard and trickster and shit all into Freya, she becomes a bit of a mess plot-wise. The fact the game has such a huge baggage of boning minigames and choking motifs and just general...glorification of aggression, I guess...It's very easy to see how it could sour anyone's experience. I also super agree with Abby's opinion on Nier. A game can be both great and gross at the same time. I can't speak for her, but maybe she mistook Vinny's inquiries as challenging her opinions, which as others have said here, seems out of character, but hey, we aren't even to the category discussion yet. Shit's gonna get real on some of these, I think.

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ragnar_mike

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@malrock said:

Edited By malrock

Wow, a majority of the thoughts on God of War from the crew were shocking to me, I thought everyone enjoyed it way more lol

I feel like that happened the week after they first covered it. You can really fall into a Vinny collect-a-thon in that game and when some folks realized that half of the gametime was gonna be similar puzzles and missions they soured a bit. Which is fair, I think.

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ragnar_mike

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YapaPanda

I just wanted to say I enjoy the additional viewpoint Abby brings to the conversation. I don't know if it was a conscious effort or not but I could definitely feel the improvement in her ability to vocalize her opinion.

I noticed it quite a bit on the first video as well. I dunno if she's just been presenting a lot more or playing more or whatever, but her desciptions of the games she only played this year have really interested me in checking them out, where last year is was more just the same five phrases over and over. Which is a bummer when the discussion of god of war came up because I wanted to hear a more robust dialog about why that game has issues than what we got.

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ragnar_mike

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@csl316 said:

csl316

"I don't fucking care" isn't a great response to open a dialogue with someone questioning your opinion.

I wanted more discussion about it because I totally get the whole trope aspect of it, and generally agree. I think Freya is sort of being used as an analog to compare to how Kratos deals with Boy. I saw her as the parental figure first and being a woman second, but yeah the ending was...a misstep. If the dwarves were fraternal twins or something or there were just more characters that weren't like...bog witches and valkyries, that would be fine by me.

But I agree her response was...I dunno, disappointing I guess? Brad does the same things with his opinions sometimes, where he debates about games in a way that is super dismissive of other people's experiences. Inclusivity is important but not just as a token gesture and not just for statistics. If you wanna say "Hey norse mythology is from a time when woman were painted in a bad light, and maybe modernising some of these concepts for a game would be cool." Then I wholeheartedly agree with you.

This is of course a pretty third rail topic on the internet. And saying "Why can't we all just get along" ain't going to cut it. But saying you don't fucking care about someone else's perspective is just as counterproductive as saying its just a story and she should get over it. Both of those things are complicated issues and games both improve and show their shortcomings at these sorts of issues.

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ragnar_mike

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