A Podcast with Kelly and Ross and Nick #150 - Gamey

A Podcast with Ross and Nick

It's our anniversary spectacular wherein we do the same damn thing we do on every podcast!! That means getting EXTREME with X-Men: The Animated Series episodes #71-72 (s5 e9-10 on Netflix). And you know we've got screencaps!!

After Fantastic Four and Brian Austin Green musical interludes, Kelly Thompson, Ross Campbell, and Nick Marino do the unthinkable... talk about comics! Good Uncanny X-Force old and new, Hawkeye vs. Hypernaturals, and more.

Then we tackle a topic suggestion from Brandon Williams... are video games art? The debate quickly veers off course and turns into a discussion about the addictive qualities of gaming. Do video games hinder the productivity of creative people in a destructive way?

Next: Len Wein writes Wolverine and Rogue returns in X-Men: The Animated Series episodes #73-74 (s5 e11 & e13 on Netflix).

13 Responses to “A Podcast with Kelly and Ross and Nick #150 - Gamey”


  1. 1 Brandon!

    OMG that fucking Fantastic 4 song is terrifyingly bad, but kind of awesome.

    Hey I think it was good topic cuz that discussion was awesome! I guess I wasn't very clear cuz I was more so trying to ask what is the possibly of video games becoming more than what they are now. Sure a few games especially indie have crossed over into someone or team using video games as a forum of expression. I really love games that have a narrative, but I think for the most part they are more money making entertainment right now, but the possibilities are so great for video games. They encompass so many elements like music and color, form and then there's a level of interaction, just so many possibilities!

    I think anything that offers an escape from an unhappy life can be addictive... I guess it's just human nature or something?

    Anyways good talk guys it was a fun listen!

  2. 2 Smars

    i have NEVER frown so much in my life as i did during those egregious fantastic four segments.
    D:<
    egregious... i don't use that word normally. but nick, you've used it so much on the podcast that i like it now. :3
    sabertooth looked like beastman

    also... those russian dudes... you come across some of them that really do say "bro" them, and the indian guys at all the gas stations around my neighborhood. it's weird.
    i kinda' like the hawkeye series, cause it's not "superhero" super hero. and i haven't read a marvel series in well over 15 years.
    i'm not reading a lot of comics lately.

    OH YAH! i remember cliffhanger collapsing cause those guys were too busy playing videogames. joe mad even left comics for a looooong time to start a game company. which he recently left. i don't have a lot of time for video games. they are a time sink, and i find myself more interested in my own creations. but for people who aren't creators. they don't have a lot else to do. work their shitty jobs, eat their shitty food, watch some shitty tv take a dump, kiss your wife and kids, go to sleep wake up and do it all again. this for what 70 years if they're lucky? so some of them play video games to have something different and interactive in their lives then boring old reality.
    i say to them... PLAY ON! XD
    i feel the same way about social networks. i don't have time for them.
    i know a guy too who used to run with brian stelfreeze and dexter vines, but he could't put down the games and now they have stable carriers and last i heard of him he was working in some crappy cubicle somewhere.
    videogames are the perfect interactive experience.
    that's why people get so into them. they're great. but shit dude i clocked out when the ps2 launched. i've never owned a system since and only watched my friends play occasionally. i very rarely play minecraft or xcom enemy unknown when i have a little time late in the afternoon or at night which is rare or while i'm scanning pages and artwork.
    playing videogames is like sitting and watching a movie or the whole season of a tv series or something. there's nothing really wrong with it. it's weird hearing people talk about it like it's something alien and tragic. it's just another form of entertainment. the newest form. people get really really into a lot of things and can over do them. books (comics), tv, movies, games, food, exercising, sex, religion, drugs... the list goes on and on.

    i don't personally like the argument of if video games are art or not.
    it can be applied to everything by anyone because the human experience as a whole is about personal perspective and perception.
    people walk into french galleries and go
    "my kid could make this"
    comics, animation, food... tons of things get put in this basket, but it's just a silly needless debate. it is what it is for the people who create and enjoy those things.
    enjoy.

    you guys didn't come off as judgmental.
    you have valid concerns.
    but concerns from the artist/creators side of the fence versus the consumer/fan side of the fence.

    and i have been in the EXACT place kelly was in.
    which is kind of where I am now.
    and on that note... back to making comics.
    C:

    also.. to kelly, are you going to be the reader of the audiobook version of TGWWBK? :3

  3. 3 mark

    liked the vidya discussion. you can tell this isn't a typical games podcast because nobody launched into a soliloquy praising braid, shadow of the colossus, jenova chen, etc. to high heaven when 'games as art' was brought up.

  4. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Gello Apocalypse webcomics


  5. 4 nick marino

    @Brandon: I think it turned out to be a great topic. Definitely not where you (or I) intended the discussion to go, but still good.

    You also have a great point about the video game medium being almost completely commercial at this point. It's interesting because nearly all artistic mediums that I can think of have had their potential deeply explored for the sake of "true art" since their inceptions... except for video games. I've only played a small handful of video games that were created independently simply for the sake of being art. Kind of odd, really.

    @Smars: EGREGIOUS!! Great word. I love unusual words that sound ugly.

    Hey, I'm not saying that it's unrealistic to have characters say "bro"!!! But I think the way Fraction and Aja did it -- so constantly and without any counterpoint -- they ended up generalizing and dehumanizing all of the Russian characters in the issue. That also goes along with the word balloon that said "Spanish sounding stuff" and the gambling den full of dirty, seedy, ethnic characters. I just think the overall result was kinda ignorant. Not the worst thing ever, mind you, but it didn't work for me.

    "Dexter Vines" is such a good name. Good inker too. But that name... is it a pen name?? It's too good to be true!

    And I want there to be an audiobook version of TGWWBK so BADDDD!!!!!!!! I tried to talk Kelly into it back when she was putting together her Kickstarter campaign. It would just require so much work!!

    @Mark: I have never heard of any of those video games!!

  6. 5 ross

    i farted

  7. 6 nick marino

    wow. way to contribute.

  8. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Free eBooks by Nick Marino


  9. 7 ross

    i'm not sure i have much to say, i pretty much agree with all you guys. :) i feel like we only scratched the surface of the video game conversation, though, maybe we could revisit it several podcasts from now.

    Nick, i'm with you that if somebody intends it to be art then it's art and what Smars was saying with his "my kid could make this"/abstract art analogy (well said!), but i think there's something extra interesting about video games as art because of the achievement thing, like games being achievement-/objective-based. like does that mean Checkers is art? i don't know, i guess i don't care at the end of the day whether the answer is yes or no, it's seriously not something i'm that concerned with and i don't have any inferiority complex about whether something i personally do is art or not, but it's still a super interesting topic.

    @Mark: haha, yeah, Braid. i've never played it but i almost want to side with video games as NOT ART just because Jonathan Blow seems so pretentious about his silly adventure/puzzle game where you have to rescue a princess. i've never played it but apparently he intended it to be a critique on game design trends, i'm curious how well it holds up as that.

    i was thinking more about art vs. entertainment and art vs. fun, like one thing is a video game, versus other mediums, almost HAS to be is fun, otherwise you don't want to interact with it or experience the piece. but sometimes there are movies or paintings that aren't fun or entertaining in the traditional sense or they don't make you feel good and aren't intended to make you feel good either, sometimes a movie or painting is intended to be ugly and difficult to experience, but video games seem more limited in that regard, at least so far. i'm not very well-played, i haven't played a lot, so maybe there are games out there designed to be not fun or not entertaining to play yet people still want to play it. i mean i've played plenty of games that aren't fun at all and are boring but somehow i don't think the designers intended them that way, heh.

    all that's not to say what is art and what isn't, just observations i thought were kinda interesting.

  10. 8 nick marino

    @Ross: Way I see it, the experience of striving to complete a game's objective and experiencing the artistic qualities of a video game aren't necessarily the same thing.

    A checker board can be art, but the experience of playing checkers isn't art.

    Video games incorporate moving image, music, acting, and digital illustration and/or character design. To me, that's where the art comes in, not in the experience of playing the video game and striving to achieve its goals.

  11. 9 Brandon

    I agree with Nick.

    There is a cool documentary on Netflix called Indie Game The Movie you guys should check out, it doesn't really ask if video games are art but it brushes up against the topic. I think some of the struggles shown in the film have parallels to making comics its pretty good.

  12. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Wet Moon comics


  13. 10 nick marino

    @Brandon: I've been meaning to watch Indie Game!! So when I woke up early today and saw your comment, I decided to watch it.

    It's an interesting film.... the filmmakers do an excellent job of emphasizing the tension that the developers feel. I dug that. It was also kinda long for me, but my attention span is notoriously short so yeah there's that.

    I have a lot of feelings about other aspects of the film but I also just watched it so I kinda wanna let those feelings simmer before I put them out there.

  14. 11 Brandon

    Awesome! Yeah it was a bit too long for me too, but it felt relevant to the conversation.

    I have mixed feelings about the movie and the people in it, but it was really cool to see that indie side of game development and hear their opinions of the medium.

    They have an upper hand on comics because there are more eyes and open wallets on video games these day or at least it seems that way to me...

  15. 12 nick marino

    I would definitely play Fez if it was on the PS3!! In fact, I hope it gets on there this year.

    I feel like video games are a far more lucrative medium than comics, but then what isn't nowadays? Comics barely make any $$$!!!

  16. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    VACANT webcomics


  17. 13 Brandon

    @Nick (sorry I forgot the @ last time) yeah Fez looks cool and I don't think there is much of an objective, that guy should revive Megaman!

    Kinda sad that Im devoting so much of my life to a medium that isn't very sustainable... :( sigh comics... why can't I quit you.

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