Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 8 – Video Games Are Already Grown Up

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Shout-Outs

I’d like to give a shout-out to OverClocked ReMix (OC ReMix), a community of musicians who are dedicated to “the appreciation, preservation, and interpretation of video game music.”

Check out their website for lots of great remixes of classic game tunes, many of which are available for free download. We used one of their tunes for the outtro to the last podcast, and this podcast uses another of their tracks at both the intro and outtro (and I’m toying with the idea of making it the music for Spam Spam Spam Humbug). If you like what you hear, consider backing them on Patreon as well.

Podcast Topic(s)

Video Games Don’t Need to Grow Up: Niche Gamer published an article a while ago attacking what they feel is the mistaken idea that video games are inherently immature:

One of the common themes of the so called ‘games criticism’ is the idea that video games as they are right now are simply immature power fantasies which exist purely to appeal to the lowest common denominator. The medium itself has the potential—there’s nothing in there that makes telling serious, intelligent stories through the games less viable than telling them through books or movies—but everyone but a few, under-appreciated visionaries prefer to focus on forgettable stories about heroes shooting villains. Things need to change if gaming is to be treated seriously.

Their take, then, is that while it could be possible to maintain this view if you only looked at a very narrow subset of games — Call of Duty and similar titles, for example — it’s profoundly untrue if you consider both a broader selection of modern games, and if you look back at the history of the industry:

5 Awesome Gifts Dungeons & Dragons Gave to Video Games: IGN, kind of as a companion piece to their coverage of Sword Coast Legends, published an article a few months ago that took a look at five ways in which Dungeons & Dragons, the pen-and-paper tabletop RPG system, exerted significant influence on video games. The five specific categories they call out are RPGs (which is kind of the obvious one), the concept of player choice in gameplay, console adventure games (think Atari 2600 era), Quake and Deus Ex (in that John Carmack and John Romero drew considerable inspiration for some of their games from their long-running D&D campaign), and MMORPGs (which is also kind of an obvious one).

Actually, going back through my bookmarks, I found a second article that speaks to this topic, and which again makes an Ultima — or, at least, Akalabeth — connection.

In Other News

Did a Mass Effect survey reveal horde mode, city building and game size?

Last Month I Took a Random Survey About Mass Effect 4. Here Is What I Found Out

Apparently, Portalarium has allowed the creation of official Shroud of the Avatar merchandise, through a company called Relics by Rild. Actually, I don’t know if it’s a company; I think Rild is one guy, a Shroud backer and a fairly influential member of the community.

As well, community member Duke Gréagóir has announced that he will be working on — what else? — a reference app for New Britannian Runic, which will include on-the-fly translation between English and Runic. Ideally, he’d even like to support the use of a smartphone’s camera as a means of scanning in images of text for translation. Currently, his plans are to develop the app for iOS first, and then port it to Android.

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Music

Ultima VI Gates of Creation by OC ReMix