Plot of Thrones: Stumbling At The Finish

I didn’t watch Game of Thrones until the eighth season. I’m watching this final season because my girlfriend is semi-invested in the finale and wanted a companion to watch with. “But why would you spoil yourself?” C’mon son. The internet has spoiled me on every major event and most characters, so I know all the big plot points and characters already.

I know about all the weddings. Red Wedding, Purple Wedding, White Wedding (hey little sister). I know what happens when Oberyn and The Mountain face off. I know Tyrion drinks and knows things. I know Jon Snow doesn’t know anything.

So I’m not coming into this final season completely blind. And after watching the penultimate episode and witnessing the fan aftermath on the internet, I have some thought about this season both from a writing perspective and from a perspective of observing fans of the show for seven seasons without watching the show.

(Spoilers for everything Game of Thrones up until the episode that aired yesterday will follow, along with minor spoilers for some other shows.)

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PAX East 2019: Sunday Round-Up

And now here’s my round-up for Sunday! I was unfortunately unable to get a ticket to the floor on Saturday, however I did get to go to the What’s Good Games Podcast meetup which was absolutely amazing. The women from the podcast are as genuine in person as they are on the podcast, and the community is welcoming and very friendly.

But enough about how awesome What’s Good Games is. Let’s talk about PAX East and video games!

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RE: New Zealand Terrorism

Please note I wrote most of this on Friday when everything was fresh. I took the weekend to take a breath before posting, but I still stand by all of it.

50 Muslim people are dead in Christchurch, New Zealand. A white supremacist terrorist walked into two mosques and used guns to kill innocent people.

He livestreamed the attack, using a camera mounted on his head so it looked like a first-person shooter.

He said “sub to PewdiePie” on his livestream before killing people.

He mentions video games and uses internet memes in his mainfesto.

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that at some point there will be a video games and violence narrative in relation to this terrorist attack.

So because I’m upset and angry and feeling helpless and useless, I’m going to do what I can and write about the internet culture that has produced radicalized white supremacists like the Christchurch terrorist(s).

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Some Podcast Recommendations!

The latest episode of the Make Me A Gamer podcast was delayed and won’t be coming out today. No problems with editing or anything like that this time – I was just really, really tired, and my brain was not functioning in a capacity conducive to audio editing. So the podcast will be delayed by a day, but should be out tomorrow!

In place of myself and Harvey Z’s wonderful podcast, here are a few other podcasts I listen to that amuse me and make me happy. A lot of these were the inspiration for my own podcast, so here’s me giving some suggestions for you to fill your time until the next episode of Make Me A Gamer comes out!

Make Me A Gamer – Okay, am I cheating putting my own podcast first? Sure, but just in case you got this far and somehow DIDN’T know – I host a weekly podcast with my friend HarveyZ where we talk about video games and all sorts of other random stuff that comes to mind! There may not be a new episode today, but there’s twenty-five old episodes plus some extra content just waiting for you to give them a listen!

The Dollop – A comedic American history podcast hosted by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. Dave tells a story from American history that Gareth knows nothing about. They’re often very funny and very enlightening from a historical perspective. The first podcast I ever listened to.

Waypoint Radio – Waypoint is a division of Vice that focuses on a more nuanced side of gaming, taking into account politics, culture, and emotions as well as if a game is fun to play. Their podcast is very entertaining and they talk about a wide variety of topics, not just limited to video games.

What’s Good Games – The three ladies behind this gaming podcast are amazing and relentlessly positive. They sum up weekly news in the gaming industry and talk about games they’ve played and were a huge inspiration for me to start Make Me a Gamer. I highly recommend listening to them as they (and their community) are wonderful people.

What a Time to Be Alive – This podcast is three comedians counting down five of the weirdest, funniest stories that happened in general news this week. They’re hilarious and often having me laughing out loud at work as I listen to their antics. I’ve never not been in a good mood after listening to them.

Sneak Attack! – A D&D podcast done by five regular ol’ friends and the other big inspiration for Make Me A Gamer. This link takes you to their new Volume 2, but they have the completed first campaign Volume 1 available as well. Even if you don’t know D&D, everyone on this podcast is hilarious and entertaining, and the overall story leads to some great moments.

372 Pages We’ll Never Get Back – If you want a little homework to do with your podcast listening, this is the podcast for you. Conor Lastowka and Mike Nelson from Rifftrax find a really, really bad book and each week they go through a section of it and take it apart with hilarious results. It started with Ready Player One but has moved on to some really, really awful tales, but it’s worth it if you can enjoy making fun of awful writing.

Humans Who Make Games – I just started listening to this, but this is a great series done by Adam Conover where he interviews game developers about the ins and outs of video game development. Fun and informative, just like Adam Ruins Everything!

Let’s Talk About SRPGs!

There are a lot of different types of RPGs when it comes to video games. You have your JRPGs, your WRPGs, your CRPGs, your ARPGs and your SRPGs, which can also be TRPGs. And these are just genres: this doesn’t take into account the favorite “with RPG elements” moniker that can be tacked onto any genre. (It’s a racing game with RPG elements! What does that even MEAN?!)

Today I’m going to talk about the SRPG (or TRPG) which is probably not only my favorite RPG genre, but my favorite game genre as well. Mostly because I’ve recently been playing two very good games related to the genre and want to talk about them and why these games make me happy!

This may be the first part in a multi-article series about each kind of RPG – I’m not sure yet. I definitely love all genres of RPG so it wouldn’t be hard for me to wrangle up opinions on all of them. But I make no concrete promises.

Anyway, let’s get started and learn about SRPGs!

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Anthem’s GaaS Effect

Anthem has had a lot of news, stories, and hype/antihype leading up to its release. It finally came out last Friday, but also came out the Friday before that, and there were beta demos for two more weekends before that. Of course, you had to have a VIP preorder to play the first beta weekend, and you had to have some sort of VIP preorder to play it last weekend, and some VIPs could only play for 10 hours total while others could play as much as they want.

On top of that, each version of this game (all in a month’s time frame) was a different build. The beta, of course, was a build from several months before people actually played it. The VIP access build from a week ago was closer to the final version, but was missing a key “day one” patch that was scheduled to be released this past Friday on the “official” day one but ended up being put out earlier in the week after enough VIPs complained about their Anthem experience.

Are you having trouble following all this? You’re not alone. This convoluted process in the lead up to Anthem’s “official” release has left nearly a month-long stream of varying impressions from reviewers, streamers, and regular joes. It’s been hard to keep track of who’s played on what patch and what the actual current condition of the game is. And since there have been a lot of complaints – from loading times to bugged quests to confusion on how to play – knowing the state of Anthem can be it’s own puzzle, especially if you are a person who didn’t pre-order and was waiting for actual, final game version impressions before jumping in.

This is a problem for Anthem, but also a problem for the industry as a whole as Games as a Service becomes more popular.

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