The Geek Bravado Ramble

Episode 12 (12/18/2018): The Future of Blizzard

An episode of The Geek Bravado Ramble

By Parallax Abstraction
The Geek Bravado Ramble is an eclectic, relatively short, frequently posted commentary and discussion podcast by Parallax Abstraction.

Touching on all kinds of topics from gaming to tech, news, politics, mental health, social issues and everything in between, expect unvarnished, sometimes unpopular but always informed and clickbait free opinions along with an open call for discussion.

Like what I had to say? Tell me why! Don't like it? Change my mind! Let's ramble together!

Join my Discord at discord.pxa.ca or hit me up on Twitter @PXAbstraction.
Available on 10 platforms
Episode 25 (Jan. 19, 2019) - My First PAX (Day 0 & 1)
In this very late night recording, I talk about my experience getting to PAX and my first day at the show, shilling hardcore to indie developers for theSHED. It's been an incredible couple of days, for reasons even I didn't expect and I go over why. More episodes to follow!
31:12
January 19, 2019
Episode 24 (Jan. 16, 2019) - Going to PAX South & My New Mindset
The day after I post this, I'm heading to PAX South, which will not only be my first PAX but my first gaming show in my new role as Developer Relations Envoy for theSHED. A very short time ago, this would have been a terrifying prospect for me. Now, it's something that I'm incredibly excited about and my normal anxieties are barely there. I talk about why this is and how much it's changed my outlook on things. There will hopefully be daily podcasts from the show, stay tuned! Episode referenced on going caffeine free: https://anchor.fm/geekbravado/episodes/Episode-4-09122018-Going-Caffeine-Free-for-ADHD-e2nr5p
28:29
January 16, 2019
Episode 19 (Jan. 1, 2019) - Games From 2018 You Should Try
Happy New Year! Another crazy year is in the books and as I like to do around this time, I wanted to talk about games from the past year that I really enjoyed and that I think you might as well. I used to do a top 10 list but couldn't this year as I didn't get to play everything that might have been a contender but nonetheless, I was able to play some incredible stuff that I wanted to share it with people so they could maybe discover something new. This list isn't ordered but everything on it is something I think is very special. I hope you enjoy and make sure to tell me what games you loved as well! Background music consists of selections from the Star Control: Origins original soundtrack.
35:10
January 15, 2019
Episode 23 (Jan. 11, 2019) - Bungie Splitting from Activision
In a surprise announcement on January 10, Bungie announced that they are ending mutually ending what was supposed to be a 10 year publishing partnership with Activision for the Destiny franchise. Many erroneously assume they Bungie was actually owned by Activision, when in fact they just had an exclusive publishing arrangement. They have announced that they will be self-publishing Destiny going foward, something their recent $100M investment from Chinese giant NetEase is sure to help with. I talk about what this could mean for the studio, the future of Destiny and also, why I think more than a bit of the Destiny situation can be laid at the hands of Bungie themselves. NOTE: I mistakenly said that it was Tencent that invested in Bungie. NetEase is a different company, not associated with Tencent, though still not pillars of integrity.
25:55
January 11, 2019
Episode 22 (Jan. 7, 2019) - The Star Control Legal Mess (Part 2)
I highly recommend listening to the prior episode on this first: https://anchor.fm/geekbravado/episodes/Episode-20-Jan-2---2019---The-Star-Control-Legal-Mess-e2s7mq Since I recorded my original episode on this issue, Paul Reiche & Fred Ford have finally come out with a list of what from Star Control II they believe Star Control: Origins is infringing on, in order to justify their having the game pulled from sale. Their claims are to put it mildly, dubious. As a passionate fan who has emotional investment in this matter resolving amicably and has tried to remain as neutral and objective as possible, it's getting harder and harder to have sympathy for Paul & Fred here. I go into this with a way that probably most demonstrates the "Bravado" that this show is titled after: Stardock forum thread showing Fred & Paul's claims, along with their refutation: https://forums.starcontrol.com/492870/at-long-last-reiche-and-ford-state-what-they-think-they-own A modified version of the claims chart, showing how nearly everything Paul & Fred claim is infringing, are things that Star Control II also infringes from StarFlight, a game from a decade prior: http://www.viridiangames.com/images/updatedchart.png Virtual Legality #11-2: Look, Feel, and the DMCA (Hoeg Law): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgmX2GHF88o Buy a Steam key for Star Control: Origins for 50% off (while supplies last): https://www.stardock.com/games/starcontrol/store#purchase
31:37
January 7, 2019
Episode 21 (Jan 4., 2019) - Ontario's New Distracted Driving Penalties
On January 1, 2019, Ontario introduced significantly harsher penalties for distracted driving. However, they for some reason decided that only "using your phone" and certain derivatives of that should qualify for these penalties, which similarly dangerous actions should not. As someone who does believe in getting tough on this issue, I question this double standard and also, ask the open question of whether increased penalties alone are really the solution to it.
19:49
January 4, 2019
Episode 20 (Jan 2., 2019) - The Star Control Legal Mess
Star Control II from the 90s if my favourite game of all-time and recently, Stardock Entertainment released a spiritual successor called Star Control: Origins, that is among my favourite games of 2018. Starting late in the game's development, the original creators of the Star Control series entered into a heated legal battle with Stardock, resulting in a lot of public mud slinging and most recently, Star Control: Origins being pulled from Steam and GOG due to DMCA complaints made with very suspiciuous timing. It's a very complicated issue with no clear indication of who is fully in the right. I discuss the mess from a hardcore fan's perspective and though I believe it appears Stardock is more in the right here, try to provide as balanced a perspective as I can and also appeal to both sides to try and figure this out, for the fan's sake. Though these are long, I highly recommend reading and watching the following if you want to be informed of just how complicated this dispute is: Stardock Q&A: https://www.stardock.com/games/starcontrol/article/487690/qa-regarding-star-control-and-paul-and-fred Virtual Legality Episode from Hoeg Law: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVJIgLnDbcQ Leonard French Video (Part 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it50gS5yYB4 Leonard French Video (Part 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yochP8F69LY
31:23
January 2, 2019
Episode 18 (Dec. 31, 2018) - Twitch's #Adgate
Twitch is currently facing heavy backlash from a lot of their creators and viewers because they are running pre-roll ads for Ninja's New Year's Eve stream on other channels, including other partners. I talk about why I think this is a bad look and a short-sighted plan by a company becoming more and more out of touch with its creators but also how this may very well become more common in the future and why those of us not on Twitch, should be vigilant. The article about Justin Wong I reference during the episode: https://www.dexerto.com/entertainment/former-twitch-executive-explains-why-the-ninja-pre-roll-situation-will-keep-happening-267678
23:34
December 31, 2018
Episode 17 (Dec. 29, 2018) - Streamer Vigilantes
Today, I awoke to an unexpected new controversy involving the discovery that a partnered Mixer streamer is apparently, a convicted sexual predator, one that has served their time but is on a registry. Several other prominent Mixer streamers (including at least one partner) have been calling for Mixer to terminate the partnership and ban the streamer. The platform has been accused of sweeping the issue under the rug and some of those not calling for this person's immediate banning have come dangerously close to being accused of defending pedophiles. I talk about my perspective on this issue, as someone who has no interest in defending the accused but who also believes that this issue should be handled by proper channels, not out in public and that when a person has done their time, perhaps that should carry more weight than it does.
23:12
December 29, 2018
Special Episode: My Content Plans for 2019
This is the audio version of a YouTube vlog that can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOuJ9j2dvbM. I talk a about the year that was and what my content plans are for 2019, including Mixer, YouTube, this podcast and some other things. This is a bit long but that's because there's a lot to talk about. Check below for time indexes so that you can skip topics that don't interest you and please let me know your feedback. 0:00 - Introduction 1:48 - Personal Year In Review 4:55 - Content Plan Overview 6:54 - Mixer and Why I'm Staying There (Link Below) 11:17 - New Podcast (Link Below) 13:14 - Mixer Changes & New Indie Show with theSHED 19:01 - YouTube Changes 29:02 - New Content Creator Technical Community 32:04 - Conclusion My podcast episode on eliminating caffeine: https://anchor.fm/geekbravado/episodes/Episode-4-09122018-Going-Caffeine-Free-for-ADHD-e2nr5p Follow me on Mixer at https://mixer.com/PXAbstraction for multiple variety streams a week. Check out theSHED Team: https://theshedteam.com Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/PXAbstraction Join my Discord: http://discord.pxa.ca Check out Overtone: http://overtone.pxa.ca
35:06
December 27, 2018
Episode 16 (Dec. 24, 2018): The Next AAA Game Industry Crash
A few major AAA game releases have failed pretty hard this year. As a result, many commentators and forum posters are hand-wringing about this being a sign of another impending video game crash, something we haven't seen since the 80s but which is regularly prophecised. This is nonsense in my opinion and one need only look at the rest of the AAA industry in 2018 to see why. I go into detail about this and why these failures can in some ways, be a good thing.
26:45
December 24, 2018
Episode 15 (Dec. 21, 2018): Facebook vs. Google
Facebook has had a near non-stop wave of scandals in 2018 and a growing number of poeple are telling people to quit the site. At the same time, a lot of these discussions inevitably turn to people going "Well you use Google and they're just as bad!" As someone who uses Google daily and quit Facebook in 2010, I disagree with this. I go into detail about why and also why despite my claims that Google isn't the same, also understand that they are no saint of a company either.
26:20
December 21, 2018
Episode 14 (Dec. 20, 2018): Canada's Oil Crisis
The Canadian oil industry is in a crisis right now, due to plummeting crude prices, problems transporting their product to market and some major battles going on between different levels of government. Now our federal leaders have announced a taxpayer funded bailout package for this once exceptionally profitable and exploitative industry, under the guise of protecting jobs. I talk about this crisis, where I think it's roots truly are and what I think would be a better use of that taxpayer money to help those most affected by it.
25:45
December 20, 2018
Episode 13 (12/19/2018): The Dying(?) Games Press
For a number of years now, we've kept hearing people say that the traditional gaming press web sites are dying, both because of the rise of YouTube and streaming and because their business model now largely seems to be based around attacking their audience. However, almost all of these places are still hanging on and there hasn't been much activity to indicate they're going anywhere soon. I talk about that and if things really are that dire.
22:11
December 19, 2018
Episode 12 (12/18/2018): The Future of Blizzard
Blizzard has made a number of recent business moves that have upset their user base. Their "Apple of Gaming" sheen is starting to tarnish and many see the influence of their previously arms-length overloards at Activision seeming in and turning this beloved studio into just another player-hostile AAA factory. I talk about some of the recent controversies, why these concerns about Activision might be valid and what it could mean for the future of Blizzard.
25:28
December 18, 2018
Episode 11 (12/17/2018): The Politics of Patreon
This past week, Patreon banned controversial YouTuber Sargon of Akkad from their platform, seemingly without explanation. This has caused a huge backlash from their user base and it's hurting many creators with no dog in the fight, as many people pull all their pledges to avoid supporting the company over what they see as political bias. I talk about this and how it's continuing to affect my apprehension about getting a Patreon account, all which being no fan of Sargon.
21:00
December 17, 2018
Episode 10 (12/15/2018): YouTube Rewind & Advertising
The latest YouTube Rewind is the second-most downvoted video in the platform's history, on its way to being the most. I heard an interesting vlog on the subject and about the state of YouTube's constant attempt to pander to advertisers, at the expense of creators. I comment on that and also on YouTube's continuing issue of promoting what's already popular and what they can maybe do about both.
23:15
December 15, 2018
Episode 9 (12/14/2018): Naming and Shaming Drunk Drivers
The Toronto Police Service recently started publicly posted names of people who were charged with (but not convicted of) impaired driving and Ottawa is considering doing the same. I have some real issues with this from a justice perspective and I talk about why.
18:28
December 14, 2018
Episode 8 (12/13/2018): The Snip
Just a warning up front that this episode deals with some medical things and while not graphic or anything, if you're squeamish about that stuff, you might want to avoid it. I got a vasectomy this week. I don't have any kids, have never really wanted them and this week, decided to make sure I can't have any, biologically at least. I wanted to talk about what made me reach this decision in the unusual context of being a nearly 40 year old, single male and why I think it was the right one for me.
32:08
December 13, 2018
Episode 7 (12/12/2018): The Epic Games Store's Shaky Start
NOTE: Make sure to listen to the end as some more information came to light since the initial recording and there's an addendum that talks about it. Mere days ago, I talked about the launch of the new Epic Games Store and how it could finally be the competition needed to put some heat on Steam's defacto monopoly in PC digital games distribution. Well, the launch hasn't gone so well and many PC gamers are already turning their backs on this burgeoning platform. I talk about the reasons for this, the ones I agree with, the ones I don't and how Epic could maybe turn this around.
26:52
December 12, 2018
Episode 6 (11/12/2018): The Game Awards Analysis with InfiniKnight (Part 2 - Announcements)
I decided to take this experiment a bit further and do a collaboration episode with my good buddy InfiniKnight. We chat about The Game Awards and what we thought of the awards themselves, as well as the flurry of announcements that came out and give our quick impressions. Even though our impressions were relatively quick, there was so much to talk about that I had to split this into two episodes and they're both pretty lengthy. The normal, shorter format will resume after these two episodes.
45:10
December 11, 2018
Episode 5 (10/12/2018): The Game Awards Analysis with InfiniKnight (Part 1 - Awards)
I decided to take this experiment a bit further and do a collaboration episode with my good buddy InfiniKnight. We chat about The Game Awards and what we thought of the awards themselves, as well as the flurry of announcements that came out and give our quick impressions. Even though our impressions were relatively quick, there was so much to talk about that I had to split this into two episodes and they're both pretty lengthy. The normal, shorter format will resume after these two episodes.
1:06:36
December 11, 2018
Episode 4 (09/12/2018): Going Caffeine Free for ADHD
Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with ADHD and have been managing depression and anxiety for most of my life. In attempting to treat the ADHD, I was running into some major roadblocks. However, after talking with a friend, I discovered that caffeine, also known as the lifeblood of IT, could have been playing a major role. I talk about my experience giving up caffeine and the major difference it seems to be making in my journey to normalize this disorder. The written blog post I reference on my ADHD diagnosis: https://geekbravado.com/2018/06/15/so-i-found-out-some-interesting-brain-stuff-this-week/
22:15
December 9, 2018
Episode 3 (12/07/2018): Thoughts On Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider came out only a short time ago but has already been deeply discounted multiple times and seems to be somewhat of a flop. As a far of the previous two "new" Tomb Raider games, I was also pretty disappointed by it and in this episode, I talk about why. WARNING: Minor spoilers.
27:37
December 7, 2018
Episode 2 (12/06/2018): Battlefield V's Revisionist History
The War Stories campaign in the latest Battlefield game has been shown to be taking some creative liberties with the historical record, seemingly in order to push a modern progressive ideaology. I talk about this revelation, why I think it matters in the context of the campaign specifically and why I won't be streaming the campaign any more. SidAlpha video I reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrec_bj21gk SidAlpha's source video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAlAITCBprI
18:26
December 6, 2018
Episode 1 (12/05/2018): The Epic Games Store
Epic Games surprised everyone by announcing that they're getting into the digital distribution game, with a new service that will give away free games throughout 2019 and offers a much better revenue split with game developers than the industry standard. I talk about how this new competition to Steam's defacto monopoly could be a good thing but why we should also be vigilant of Epic's intentions.
13:40
December 5, 2018
Episode 0 (12/4/2018): What is this?
Welcome to the Geek Bravado Ramble! What the heck, PX is making yet more content and didn't even really talk about it beforehand? Weird, right? This is the pilot for a new experimental podcast idea I'm trying out. The audio's rough and the presentation's totally off the cuff but let's see if this works. Listen to hear what I'm trying to do here.
25:59
December 5, 2018
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