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Critical-Casts Episode 3: Trigon








Feedback Questions

  • How did you like like the audio quality?
  • Did you like the balance of music to speaking?
  • How did the episode information flow? Did you need clearer transitions?
  • What about the density of the information? Was it too much too quickly? 
  • I withheld my opinions and comments on the audio clips from the episode. This way the clips speak for themselves. Did you appreciate the less biased presentation? Are you curious to know how I feel about some of clips I used?


B-Side Recording Schedule

If the below time and date doesn't work for you, you have many options to contribute to the B-Side show.You can use Skype and leave me a recorded comment; my account is KrazyKirbyKid. You can leave me a comment down below or on my facebook page. Just indicate that you would like for the comment to be used in the B-Side episode. Or you can email me via the form here.


Total time 20-30 hours. 

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Reader Comments (5)

The audio quality/flow/transitions/info density were all to my liking. Infact I thought at first that I may have to swallow this in pieces, but infact I couldn't put it down untill it was done. Reminded me a very facinating documentary that you just can't help watch. I am curious about your opinion's on the topics but I liked how the clips spoke for themselves and I was able to ground my own feelings and imagination in them before grinding them against yours. Grinding not being a bad/wierd thing at all, perhaps tied into the idea of loss of self not being a bad thing either.

The section and quotes on games like farmville that try and squeeze the masses like cattle into addictive behaviors to squeeze them for cash forced me to confront if my motives for making a game fell into the evil catagory or not. I think evil lies not in wanting to make money, money itself being neither good nor evil, but in the wanting to make money at the expense of other people. The only anology I could think of is blackmarket drugs or cigarettes. The consumer is harmed in a mild or not so mild way depending on how addicted the are and the quality of the product. The real eye opener came near the end of the podcast that allowed me to resolve this internal conflict peacfully.

When you talk about the loss of self in gaming doesn't have to be a negative. The light bulb came on for my internal struggle of how do I make money on video games without going to the darkside. The answer is provide something meaningful to your players, to justify the money/time spent on or in the game. As the podcast seemed to piont out there are many different meaningful things that can be gotten out of games through work.

Super Monkey ball 1 and 2 on gamecube are example of this. I recently replayed them both beggining to end several times. At first I each level made me work and think to remember or resolve the puzzles. They rechalleged my dexterity, but also my pshyche especially on the last few puzzles on extra advanced mode. How hard it is to move the stick in gentle precise corrections to take me through a delicated an dangerous puzzle when I feel stressed and scared. Eventually after handred of frustrating and painful tries the answer became clear and easy on the medium hard levels that the same calm feel and level problem solving state of mind that I got into carried me through much harder puzzles later on. Eventually after a handfull of times of making it through problemed levels my fear melted away and also my resistance to put in the mental effort to sit an time and space things to a much higher level.

Then I found the joy of playing it again and again once a night for about a week until I found I was starting to rival the speed run times. I realized I was getting something different from the game then at first. I wasn't solving the puzzle anymore/ since that is just held in memory. I was perfecting a formula. I was doing a monkey ball dance over and over again better and faster each day. It was a mediation. It was a kata. It it put my and a powerful state of mind and took me less than an hour.

People pay alot more money on mediation, martial arts, yoga type things that are not considered evil but good. Monkey ball isn't even the best of games and I was able to lose myself and find myself in it.

Perhaps giving player a meaningful experience in exchange for a little money isn't out of reach. Reaches toward symbios rather than being a parasite squeezing life and money of players, isn't overwhelmingly hard.

Then when I reached this conclusion in my mind and the podcast ended, I was amazed that thinking in TRIGON had resolved a internal conflict I didn't even know I had...


February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter@travisjayclark


Thanks Travis. Your detailed response is a whole story that I can step into and really see how the concepts in Ep.3 Trigon impacted you. I highly value feedback like this.

February 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterRichard Terrell (KirbyKid)

Nice podcast, but I have to take issue with your claim (at 41:20) that all possible non-gameplay elements of games are equivalent to the sort of external rewards that undermine intrinsic motivation. This is obviously untrue, and I'm surprised to see you making such a sloppy point.

The way you are presenting this, it sounds like you'd consider the experience of reading a book to be a series of rewards in the form of non-gameplay content on each page, shallowly motivating a reader to perform the action of reading and turning a page over and over again. In this example, if you think of turning a page as gameplay, the situation does trivialize this activity. But I would argue that it does not diminish the reader's sense of competence, autonomy, or relatedness, which happens on an entirely different level than that of page-turning. When I am reading a book (and to make this simpler let's say this is a non-fiction book) I am mastering the challenge of understanding the ideas presented by the author (competence) and exploring the possibilities of these ideas in my mind (autonomy) while feeling a connection to the author (relatedness) and in no way does the cheap dynamic of external rewards intrude onto this experience. In the same way that a writer might trivialize and ignore the interactive aspect of their reader's experience (perhaps appropriately) and have no appreciation of the how this aspect could be elaborated significantly in other media (like games), it seems to me that you are trivializing the non-interactive aspects of game experience as "external rewards" when in fact there is an entire world of craft to explore here. I am especially surprised, given that I know you enjoy creating in these other media as well as in games.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraxcho


I don't think that's the claim I made at all.

"Using things extrinsic to gameplay to incentivize players to play game is dangerous. According to psychologists such baiting is a perfect way to kill interest in gameplay and games."

1) Specifically offering non-gameplay elements to incentivize gameplay is dangerous. This is different from creating a poly-medial poly-textual work where disparate elements are intended to sit side by side in an affective, aesthetic, artistic, or meaningful juxtaposition.

2) My statement does not argue for or against the idea that other medium also convey meaningful ideas. It' makes no evaluative statement about other mediums or even combinations of other mediums. It's specifically talking about using anything other than gameplay/games to try to get people to play games. It doesn't matter if these things have meaning in and of themselves. If it's used as bait, then we probably have a problem on our hands.

3) If gameplay gets to the core meaning of an interactive game experience, then drawing an analogy to the mechanical act of turning the page of a book doesn't work. A better analogy would be reading the book and understanding the written messages is gameplay, yet this particular book offers money/candy on every page. Money/candy is something completely extrinsic to reading. So, creating this wacky book to help kids/people enjoy reading is a big mistake.

I hope that makes sense. I'm glad you were ready to call me out though. Better to be critical than inattentive.

February 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterRichard Terrell (KirbyKid)

Thanks for the clarification! I'm glad to hear that you weren't trying to make a silly point like that. :)

I totally agree with you, now that I understand what you are actually saying.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraxcho

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