"Ep. 1,425: Where we dig up the dirt"
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Ep. 1,425: Where we dig up the dirt
-What's up, everyone?
It's Wednesday, February 12th, 2014.
Thank you for tuning into The 404 Show right here on CNET TV.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Richard Peterson.
Richard Peterson, I presume,
-filling in for Ariel NuÃ±ez.
-Correct as usual, Jeff
-You guys met before?
-I know like ten people named Jeff and sometimes I get their names--
-I hate those ten people.
-Ariel is literally putting up fires of his own today.
So, we wish him luck.
Today on the program, Dumb Starbucks mysteries, Steve Jobs' time capsules and your brain on audio books.
Plus, we have a very special interview with Meggan Scavio, the GM of GDC, that's the Game
Myself and Scott Stein sit down with her, have a nice long talk about why Flappy Bird is stupid.
That's what we talk about for 20 minutes.
So, we'll air that at the end of this program but for now, before the snow hits, do you believe it's gonna freaking happen again?
No, I can't.
Let's get to the first story of the day.
Mr. Justin Yu, what do you have for us?
Let's talk about a place that doesn't know about snow.
-I miss it so much.
Over the weekend, something kind of crazy happened in LA and the story is sort of unfolding right now.
So, we're gonna report on it as the news comes in.
We may get breaking news while we're recording this show.
-I got my Twitter pages up.
I got my breaking news feeds happening.
So, we'll update you as it goes.
-Do you really?
-I just have one article which you will see in a second when Richard puts it on the screen.
-Over the weekend, people were lining up about
three or four hours at a coffee shop.
And did you hear about this?
-I don't know if you have any friends in LA but I have a couple of friends that went to this themselves and they were lining up at a coffee shop that popped up in LA off right at the 101 Freeway called Dumb Starbucks, not regular Starbucks.
It was called Dumb Starbucks.
And this is the weird thing.
Look, check this out.
The Starbucks-- I'm sorry, Dumb Starbucks, it looked exactly like a
regular Starbucks coffee shop down to the logo, and then when you go inside you could see, you know, like that typical, like you know, sort of modernist design aesthetic.
Even the menu was exactly the same.
-The whole thing did seem like a Banksy art project and indeed it is sort of an art project.
This was a practical joke put on by our buddy Nathan Fielder.
-That's our buddy?
we like him.
-I really like him.
What is the deal man?
-So, the story is kind of breaking right now but from what we all know, this is basically a media stunt for Comedy Central.
This is a promotion for Nathan's new show.
Do you know what that show is called actually?
-Yeah, Nathan for You.
-Yeah, Nathan for You, that's right.
-We actually almost had him on our show.
-We had Ben Hoffman on.
Ben Hoffman Show got
Nathan, we picked the wrong guy.
Nathan Show got picked up again though.
-Because it's a good show.
I actually watched an episode of it yesterday.
-It's pretty god.
He did-- no, you know what's happening, this is freaking amazing because--
-The 404 is launching careers.
-We really are, you know, like Will Ferrell has us to thank, Lorde has us to thank.
-No, but all kidding aside, what really happened was like the first Nathan Fielder, Nathan for You joke,
-was that pig rescuing the
-And that turned out to be like this viral sensation.
-And obviously fake and they're doing it again for Dumb Starbucks.
So, this is kind of smart and it also ties into the premise of that show Nathan for You.
He basically just creates these ridiculous marketing tactics.
-For companies that are sort of struggling to compete with their-- with other companies.
-So, it's kind of an interesting concept but to do this, to market it, he came up with the idea for Dumb Starbucks.
this idea is not gonna be around for very long because who the hell is gonna pitch in for the monthly rent.
But to get around the legalities, right, that's always the first question.
Like how does the place called Dumb Starbucks even legal?
It seems like they're just copying everything that they're doing.
-I know why it's legal.
-It's legal because it's technically a work of parody art.
-And so they're operating under the fair use class of that legal trademark.
-Which is like the coolest loophole ever.
I mean, it's a loophole that's not new.
It's basically the same law
that Weird Al has been using for decades, right?
Like a surgeon comes to mind.
-But he's using that same clause for-- to create Dumb Starbucks and it's really, really specific too.
They get down to even those cheesy, jazz and sort of adult contemporary CDs that Starbucks plays and sells
-in their store.
So, check this out.
They have Dumb Nora Jones.
-This had cost a lot of money.
-Yeah, for sure.
-So, they're actually selling everything in here.
-Well, see, here's the thing, they're not
selling anything because courts, you know, when you file for one of these parody licenses, they're a little bit more sympathetic to companies and projects that aren't for commercial use.
So, for the people that lined up to get a coffee over the weekend and earlier this week, they were actually giving away coffee for free.
-Because then they would be considered a business.
-And that would negate all of the parody law loopholes that they are taking advantage of.
-And they, him and
congressmen or producers would find themselves in a really big legal battle with big bad Starbucks.
It's so dry too.
This whole joke is super dry.
-Even down to this Dumb Starbucks.
-It's a very forced joke.
If that's the thing and like it's so stupid and so dry.
But I'm sure when we see the episode,
-it will be hilarious because the show happens to be pretty funny.
Nathan produces great show.
It's also worth noting that during one of the press conferences that Nathan came out and gave
to the media over the weekend, he said that Brooklyn would be getting its own Dumb Starbucks pretty soon.
What neighborhood do you think a place like this could exist?
-I don't-- where it would just go over really well?
-I have no idea.
Crown Heights maybe.
-Something like that.
-So, that maybe coming but you know, just to update you on the story--
-Canarsie would be a great place for it, just spillage.
-It'd just be
-Unfortunately, the LA County Health Department shut it down yesterday for operating without a permit.
So, it wasn't even Starbucks that made them stop.
-It was the LA County Health Department.
-Starbucks did say a little while ago that they are looking into it.
-They could have been the ones that called the cops.
-Yeah, oh, for sure.
-But regardless, Nathan, we bestow master troll status onto you.
That is some high level trolling.
-Yeah, we are like bestowing you.
We are knighting you on each
side of your head.
You are crowned King Jokester.
And stop it.
-Now, leave everyone else alone.
Very good, sir.
What else we got?
-That was a ridiculous story, right?
Does that even have anything to do with technology?
-It most certainly does.
It's like deconstructing the mean.
-It's you know, it's-- these things spread because of the internet.
-I'm also a really big fan and this is totally something that was developed on the internet, is just taking a concept
way too far.
-I really like that.
Like putting way too much thoughts or something like that.
-Like doing a podcast like The 404.
Just taking it, we're like-- we have been doing this joke for seven years almost, right?
-Yes, it's ridiculous.
I thought this is gonna be a one year project.
No, no, no, no.
This is the joke that won't end.
You know, let's talk about another TV show, Diggers.
This is on National Geographic.
I'd never heard of this show before reading about this article.
But have you guys watched Diggers?
It's a show on national Geographic about guys that literally go around with metal detectors
unearthing things like jewelry, gold, etcetera.
-A lot of these-- I freaking love it when Richard is here.
-Okay, next story.
-A lot of these, you know a lot of these shows are just like planted, right?
-Oh, for sure.
-Like every storage show you see.
-All that shit's planted.
-All the ponds.
-Planted, planted, planted.
-The whole thing is fake.
But I would imagine Diggers is the similar sort of thing,
-because if there was
so much cool crap underground, people-- I mean, like everyone would be doing this.
-Yeah and not just like 80-year-old like retirees.
-See now people on the beach.
-Which is what you would normally see from those metal detectors.
-Of course, of course.
-But regardless, they unearth something kind of cool but kind of not cool.
-Like it's all that you take this with the greatness as you will.
But let's start with a story, okay?
The story starts in 1983, 30 years ago.
Steve Jobs was presenting
at an international design conference in Aspen, Colorado back in 1983.
And after he sort of speculated on the future of the industry, he even sort of referenced a tablet, PC and things like that.
This was a long time ago, so--
-the timeline was already mapped up but after he was done giving the speech, the organizers of the conference decided to bury a time capsule and not a small time capsule either.
I feel like whenever people make one, they always just get like a
tiny box or something.
-It's always a rather small time capsule.
-It's like a shoebox.
This one, 13-foot long tube.
A really big time capsule and you know, organizers of the event had put all types of things into it and Steve Jobs decided to drop his own artifact in.
And so he unplugged the mouse that he was using with his Lisa computer, it's Apple Lisa.
-He unplugged the mouse which is what you see here.
This is what it looks like, that original three button mouse.
I'm sorry, one button mouse.
-He unplugged it from the back of his computer and dropped it into the time capsule.
-And it being Steve Jobs and he was you know, clearly the biggest name that had included something in that time capsule, it then was referenced as the Steve Jobs' time capsule, even though this was the only thing he put into it, right?
So, the original plan in 1983 was for them to open it up in the year 2000.
You know, once the new millennium came around,
we would be opening up this thing and finding out all that's inside there.
Although 30 years doesn't seem that much time.
Neither does, you know, 17.
-Seventeen years less of course.
-But anyway, for this reason, they couldn't find it because they apparently, there are some infrastructure issues going on.
-They built a Starbucks on top of it.
-Yeah, they were building-- that's actually what happened.
Maybe not Starbucks but some building cruise had apparently landscaped on top
of it and they-- someone didn't write it down.
You think that's the first rule of geocaching and burying a time capsule.
-Remember the coordinates.
-Let's get these corners on paper.
-But they didn't do that.
-So, after all the construction was done there like, well, crap.
I don't remember where it was.
I'm also pretty sure this is the plot summary to a Martin Lawrence movie about him finding a diamond.
I believe it's called Blue Streak.
Have you seen that movie?
-Oh, that's right.
It's in a police station.
It's in the ventilation duct.
-I'm actually 100 percent sure they ripped this story off into Blue Streak.
-That is right.
Chris Tucker is in it too, isn't he?
-Yeah, Chris Tucker is in it.
-Dave Chappelle is in it.
-Dave Chappelle is in it.
-So, that story is they get caught stealing jewelry.
-And they have to pretend they're cops.
-And they have to-- he buries it
-in a construction building.
-All these years later--
-That building ends up being a police station.
-Right and then they pretend they're cops.
-I haven't seen that in so long.
-It's so good.
-Where would you use it?
-So anyway, they couldn't do that.
So, 14 years after
the original date they were supposed to unearth it, Diggers from National Geographic, that crew approached the conference organizers,
-of that designed show.
And they're like, "We can help you out with this.
We have the technology."
-Our name is Diggers.
-This is what we do.
-Let us handle this.
And so they went around with their metal detectors and they found it.
-That's pretty cool.
-This is a while afterward.
The actual episode with the Steve Jobs' capsule airs on Tuesday, February 25th.
-So you can DVR--
you could program the DVR to record that.
But in the meantime, they've actually announced some of the things that were included in that original time capsule.
-You wanna hear about it?
-So, this is a shot of that one button mouse.
What makes the Lisa really unique for mice history, in case you're tracking the timeline,
-Shut up, Richard.
Is that the ball--
-Shut up, Richard.
-which is normally rubber inside of it.
-That tracking ball,
-is actually steel.
-Thick and very heavy mouse.
-That's the only interesting thing about that mouse.
What else did they find?
They found a video disk from MIT Labs Founder that contained the first 3D computer driven tour of Aspen, Colorado.
-That's pretty neat.
-That's kind of cool.
I think that was on YouTube before they found the--
-They put like-- did they-- I'm seeing a photo of like a 6-pack of something.
-So, they also found a 6-pack of beer, Ballantine
-Because in the future, no one will be getting drunk.
I'm surprised that those things didn't explode under water.
-That is kind of crazy.
Anyway, they also found a script for an episode of NBC's Hill Street Blues, that TV Show.
-1983 Sears Roebuck catalog, two Rubick's Cubes, a Kodak Instamatic camera, a rotary telephone and a VHS tape of the design conference that they put all the stuff into.
-So, basically the worst time capsule ever.
-Yeah, it's basically props for the next
Wes Anderson movie.
-Oh, nice, nice.
That's a good joke.
Two Rubick's Cubes?
-Yeah, come on.
-What are they doing in-- there were cooler stuff in 1983 besides Rubick's Cubes.
-Way, way cooler stuff.
-They had video games in 1983.
-You're supposed to put things in there that you're proud of, that you think the future generations will respect history for.
I thought they had cellphones in 1983, like the first cellphones were developed then.
-I don't know, man.
-They could have at least put something in there.
This is just trash.
I'm pretty sure they just emptied one of the
trash bins in one of these tubes.
-And dump it into the time capsule.
-Stupid, nevertheless a cool idea.
-But like most things, like most safe crackings, like most things,
-kind of a letdown.
I remember last year we covered that story about the 100-year-old time capsule that was found in Norway.
-Yeah and that suck.
-It actually have the words don't open for 100 years.
-Yeah, it's just like paper.
-And ended up being paper and a drawing.
-It's like-- yeah, it's like, oh, cool.
-It's like a child's drawing.
-Look, it didn't take much to be excited 100 years ago I guess.
-I don't know.
It was just a piece of paper and someone spit on it.
-Hundred year old spit, man, that's kinda neat.
What else do we got before we get to our little interview here?
-So, the last story of the day is kind of interesting.
I like this.
I read about it on Fast Company and you know Podcast obviously like ours and eBooks are too popular forms of media.
-That have sort or gain attraction, although neither of them are particularly new.
-Everyone's got a Podcast, man.
-Everyone loves Podcast.
you know, and surprisingly under publicized section of that publishing community or audio books, and surprisingly, or I guess unsurprisingly, audio books are also gaining in popularity with the last few years.
That's sort of parallels the popularity of the smart phone right?
-Now, everybody has audio book player in their pocket.
-And so, a lot of authors are actually using the Netflix model where they're developing audio books-- I'm sorry, they're writing novels specifically for the audio book medium
and they're recording them, sort of in an old school radio format, although have different voices and they'll have music and things like that, sort of playing in the background to engage your senses.
-So, it's almost like theater of the mind.
-Coming back to fruition.
Yeah, I like that how you know, most technologies sort of buries other technologies behind it.
-This is sort of the first medium that is enhancing.
-That's causing a rediscovery.
-Yeah, which I think is pretty cool.
so, Fast Company is sort of taking the contrarian root and questioning whether or not, you know, this-- whether or not audio books affect comprehension compared to just reading it on paper, right?
And whether or not this audio surge is affecting the way we understand and digest than what we read in the book.
-Isn't that just a basic like comprehension sort of issue where-- it's a cognitive issue where, you know, I forget where I learned about this, maybe it was
college like the basic ways human understanding, the basic ways the brain can absorb knowledge and information, right?
So, like some people are way better with visual stimulation.
-Right, like special learnings.
-And they understand like, oh, I will get this if I see it.
-Some people hear that it's that audio sort of resonance that really works for their cognitive understanding.
-And then some people are readers.
-And they need to have-- so, is this sort of like deconstructing those, I guess,
three pillars of comprehension or is it trying to say something bigger?
-It's sort of doing both but it also sort of oversimplifies it and they take it down just a very notion that audio books may not be as comprehensible because of the fact that your eyes are free to do other things.
That and where multitasking cultures and so the article goes into that and how, you know, people don't listen to music, just alone anymore like they would with record players in the past.
-Now, they're on their computers and listen to music at the same time.
-So, maybe they're not
ingesting it as much.
-Same thing with audio books.
When you're listening to it on the subway, your eyes are sort of freed, there's no tactility there, right?
-Like you don't have to flip a page or you can't underline a passage of the book like you would.
-So, I don't know.
I don't listen to audio books myself, do you?
-I've done it a few times.
The only-- I would never listen to an audio book like on a commute the way I listen to podcasts.
I would listen to it on a long road trip, which I've done.
to Steve Colbert's first book.
-But because Steve Colbert himself was reading it, it was this, it was this performance.
-It was the same way, yeah, the last one I listened to was in a Facebook and it was the same thing she may read it her own.
-Okay, and it was her reading it?
So, they have a unique understanding of the content.
-And they are performing.
-It's like listening to a comedy CD or something like that.
-So, I think, you know, there's something unique about having the author do the reading.
-When someone else does it,
maybe it doesn't have the same sort of you know, impact.
-I also think it depends on what genre of novel you choose to read audio book that makes a big difference.
Like for me for example, I have a really hard time keeping track of a huge list of characters, like say in Game of Thrones.
-Like I tried reading Game of Thrones and it was just way too much going back and I needed a glossary of characters.
-You just gave up on it?
It was a great book but I just forgot who other characters were and I have to go back and be like, wait, who is this person again?
-And I think
in that case, listening to the distinguishable voices on an audio book would actually help me know which characters were talking.
-As oppose to reading it on paper.
-But nevertheless, it's sort of questioning, yeah, this article is talking about how the immediate solution to this problem of multitasking is to just have more sounds in your ear.
But then the ironic part of that is that it also degrades our ability to pay attention to two things at the same time.
-Sure, sure, sure.
-So, either way, we're screwed.
-I think there's no silver lining here.
-But it-- that doesn't stop it from being super popular.
-I mean, you've gotten sponsored by audible.com
-plenty of times when we've had to read that little pre-roll skit and--
-It is popular.
-But like, you know, it's-- I don't know.
-We're also gonna have-- well, you may have a longer commute than me but for people that have to spend 45 minutes in their car, say in LA traffic,
-it could be a really easy way to digest a book.
-For me, I think it's all about that.
It's about like, you know, multitasking and saving time doing things.
Like, I don't wanna,
you know, have 45 minutes in a car, like you just said, and not get anything accomplished.
-And not be productive.
So, I understand in that regard.
I mean, you know, it's kind of up to you.
For me, I enjoy reading because I like examining like the words and like if I don't know what a word means, I like sort of going back and trying to figure it out and that sort of thing, so.
-But at the same time, I don't personally believe that I don't absorb everything when I hear something.
-You know what's weird when I was young?
I used to really like listening to audio books of comics,
-which you would think would completely--
-Because there were like sound effects, right, or something?
-Yeah, there were sound effects like I remember listening to Knight Fall.
-The Batman comic.
-And I read that whole series on the actual, in the actual comic book but then I listened to it as well and it was really engaging.
-It's like some of the best radio I ever heard.
-But I don't know, that seems like it's taking out this huge part of reading comic books that's super important,
-which is obviously
-The art, yeah.
-So, that's kind of funny that a medium like that even exist.
-It doesn't seem like it would be a replacement.
-Maybe a, I don't know,
All right, very good.
Time for an interview.
We are going to go to interview I did with Scott Stein where we sat down with Meggan Scavio.
She is the General Manager of the Game Developers' Conference that starts March 17th out in San Francisco.
We're gonna toss to that,
we'll come back and say goodbye.
Enjoy the interview.
Welcome to a special segment of The 404 Show.
I'm joined by two fantastic people today.
On my left, to my immediate left, it's Scott Stein.
You all know Scott Stein.
And Meggan Scavio.
-General Manager for GDC.
You're here today.
-The Game Developers' Conference.
-Thank you so much for being here.
-You realize this is your third appearance on the show.
-It is, but it's the first time I don't have to wear the headsets.
-So, are you feeling good about this?
You're completely naturally here.
Like my hair, yeah, it's like flowing.
-You're looking fantastic.
-Everyone's looking great.
We're all excited for GDC, which is the Game Developers' Conference, coming up starting March 17th out in really warm, nice weather San Francisco.
It may rain.
-It might rain.
-We're inside anyway.
-But you need that, right?
It's been-- there's like a drought.
-There was a drought in California.
I'm sure it's still a drought but it's been raining for like the last five days.
-Oh, so they're fine now.
-I was all worried.
-we could use a little more rain.
-We have plenty to spare, so we'll figure out
-There might be a stiff breeze in San Francisco.
-Stiff Breeze, right and all the buses and trains are closed down.
-You'll need a jacket.
-Bring a jacket if you're coming to GDC.
-Maybe a sweater.
-It's hoodie weather always.
-I'm so envious of the weather out there.
Why did I choose to come back to New York?
-You did the right thing.
This has been an exceptionally brood of your love.
-It's been a bad year out there.
-Yeah, it's been bad.
-It's been bad.
So, let's talk about GDC.
Our listeners are familiar with the conference.
Perhaps, if someone isn't, I wanna first break down what exactly
GDC is for people who maybe don't know.
We've talked about it before but we have new listeners and stuff like that.
-So, how would you sort of incapsulate what GDC is?
-Well, GDC, I think we're in our 27th or 28th year at this point.
-So, that's been around for a really long time.
It is the one time of the year where really the entire game industry gets together and talks about how to make better games.
-So, there's about 23,000 members at this point, all
developers and we have sessions that talk about programming and game design and art and we have an exhibit floor where you can see like these tools to make better games, but it really is just a really big community.
The way I kind of, you know, perceive it, unfortunately I've never been able to go.
I know and that's probably like, you know, darts in your heart.
-But I just-- I wanna go--
-I worry more for you because you're missing out.
Oh, I know I'm missing out and it wakes me up in the middle of the night in a cold
sweat because I'm like, God, I will need to be at GDC because I have to go to E3 every year and E3 I've, you know, come to hate.
And I know that GDC is really where the true sort of, you know, the people who have the respect for the art and respect for how much effort goes into the creation of these pieces of interactive entertainment really come together and it's sort of like this think tank,
-where it's the people that matter, there's none of the sort of, you know, riffraff
that goes on at E3.
It's very focused.
-It's not about promoting our product.
-It's about sharing ideas.
-A lot of people, I mean, you'll see people sitting on the floor in the corners and they've got their laptops at.
You know, they're showing each other their next game
-or their next game mechanic or something that's going into something and getting advice from other developers.
It's really just this sharing and inspirational week.
-It's all about the scene, man, right?
And the gaming scene is like this is the wood stock for--
-Well, these people are
in our studio all year--
-making their game like this.
-Basically, we're doing that.
-Just trying to do it like monkeys.
-And this is one of the year where they get together and get to talk about it.
-I also think we're in time now where, you know, from where we cover it at CNET about the tech side of things or you're looking at the game development side, it's a crazy fracture landscape.
I mean, there was a time going E3 and I remember you're looking at the consoles and most of the consoles and PC
and then maybe you'd have a handle game system.
Now, there's a million ways to play games, consoles.
There's got the indie scene.
You've got PC games.
You've got mobile games.
You've got things like Oculus Rift.
You've got all sorts of bizarre new types of interactional games and also a real life quazy, you know, the types of, you know, immersive augmented games.
So, it's all out there and E3 is like you hit the product and you can't show in that product what's really happening everywhere.
-And it's so much about that.
We're always talking about the debates, I mean everything from Halo down to Flappy Bird and also from between in.
You wanna know what people are thinking and I feel that's the role with GDC now is to--
-It's the pulse of the industry for sure.
-drive across the board discussions on how people are thinking about games.
-We cover every aspect of gaming.
We cover a-- We cover mobile.
We cover console.
-Everything is talked about at GDC.
It really is the entire industry
in one week.
But you're right, it's-- really, really kind of fragmented.
Everybody-- Nobody really knows what the future holds.
-So, another good thing about coming to GDC is that you sort of realize that you're not in it alone.
-Everyone kind of feels that way.
-Well, there's this-- I would imagine like you said when people are sort of isolated in their, you know, development houses sort of, you know, pecking away.
This is this--
-This is, you know, the sort of coming out party where it's like
we can be a community and we can be together--
-and we can share and, you know, as like digital as all, you know, as these people sort of treat their lives day in and day out to have a face-to-face with people is super important--
-and you know, good stuff comes from that.
-And it's not just talking about game mechanics.
It's talking about how we make better games that are-- that helps society,
-or that, you know,
we have this whole advocacy track--
-where we talk about issues and games, you know,
-misogyny and games.
-There's a whole session that's dedicated through taking some recent games and criticizing them--
-and saying there's some homophobia there, there's some misogyny there.
-It's really looking at how we, as an industry, can improve our cultural image.
-It's so responsible of us.
-The developers are very mature.
-They really want to do the best.
-They wanna do well for their community.
-Which is really awesome to hear.
You never really hear that from other media very often.
-You heard it in film, but I don't think it's made good on in the same way.
I think-- You know, I think, you know, you have more of an opportunity for continuing interaction of people in games.
-It seems like a beneficial--
-consequence in that regard where it's like a proactive in the game.
It's a correlationship.
-There's a film where you just, you know, you may have that.
You're gonna put that film and it's done.
-And then who knows what that del maker is thinking.
-The developers can iterate and they can change and the next game is gonna be different and better.
There's DLC and--
-Gavin was talking about last night.
-Well-- And did you feel now have things changed over the course of 28 years like the role of the developer, do you think it's now more like an altered?
Do you think that there's more power in this like individual or I do feel like it's kind of kept in equilibrium over time?
-Yeah, it's a good question.
I think that-- I think it's kind of stay the same that the power structure is generally financial and not as creative, I don't think.
I mean, we have a lot of-- our adviser work for the GDC is field with some people that have been making games for 20 years.
Mark Cerny for one and things haven't changed that much creatively for them, but it's really all about that horrible re-monetization.
Well, that's what I wonder.
I mean that's--
I was thinking that because you now-- feel like there's a point now.
So, I guess that's always been there, these games start on a smaller scale, you know, way back.
But now, obviously, with mobile games and you're seeing people, you know, developed, you know, you have like, you know, Jonathan Blow or Zach Ager, people who are like, you know, are becoming this like individual, you know, developer identities and I feel like, you know, you had studios and I feel like there's a lot more individuals out there and then maybe that's the way it's always been.
-Tell me about the--
-I don't know.
And not to mention the PC and the games that everybody has been talking about recently.
-Again, you have that like, you know, one or two iconic people that are sort of behind these things.
-Now you're right.
I see-- I see that a bit when I'm-- every year we do the series called Classic Game Postmortems, so I have this list of games that I've collected from a bunch of people,
-what was your favorite game like what-- what was the first game you finished, what got you into this.
-This year, we're doing Zork--
-Oh, that's fantastic.
-There gonna be standing room only in that one.
I get tweets everyday about Shenmue.
-People are-- Oh, my goodness.
That's going to-- People will lose their minds over that.
-But you know not those-- those people who made those games aren't necessarily that well known.
-But they're super iconic in these important games.
-So, you're right, the name of the individual, but the teams are smaller on those games too.
-That's true and I can't tell whether it's the fact that the game landscape is changed or whether it's the medium of the internet and social media that's made us more aware of it.
I don't know what it is, but--
-Social media has changed a lot.
-I think social media has afforded the opportunity for these people to become quasi-celebrities.
-Yeah, you follow them and you take--
-Don't forget, you know, in other cultures, in other countries, you know, the person I think of right away is someone like pseudo 51 who's just this rock star who walks around with freakin' sunglasses on--
-and people stopping in the street and they're like need a photo or autograph or something like that.
-Then you have felfies--
-who's the opposite of that in a way.
-who's this like recluses sort of--
-But people who would normally know who felfies is--
-I would think know who felfies is.
-And that's from social media.
And the film and the exposure and stuff like that.
So, I think that is a shifting sort of trend that's making its way to the U.S. in that regard for sure.
-Well, a good example Adam Orth.
Are you guys familiar with his story?
-The guy who worked the Microsoft and--
-said, "If you don't have an internet connection, then you don't deserve to play the--
-Something along these lines--
-Something along those lines was kind of bone head tweet.
-Well, he got, you know, a lot of trouble for that.
-And he's doing a talk at GDC about that experience,
-That's very cool.
-which should be really interesting, but that would not happen if it weren't for social media no one would know who Adam was.
-I mean I think a lot of people credit that tweet with sort of like the domino effect of what happened leading up to the launch of Xbox One.
So, is that like being streamed anyway 'cause now I really wanna watch them?
-I don't know if it will-- [unk] live stream--
-Can we just take video for me personally?
We have I think called GDC vault where we record-- video record every session--
-and put it up on our vault afterwards.
-So, people can watch it there.
-All right, very good.
-The GameSpot does do a bunch of live streaming too.
-That is correct and, you know, the GameSpot is gonna have a bunch of coverage.
We, as well, will be covering GDC--
-Not you personally.
Sad to say remotely, but I know we--
-I'm still working on Scott.
We're gonna get Scott--
-Oh, I mean we got to figure something out.
-I need to go do it.
I'm embarrassed this whole time [unk] you're listening when you said you never gone.
We have two people-- This is like what are we doing.
We have two people who have never been hosting the show--
-It's not by choice.
-No, it's not by choice.
It's always been conspiring about like limited travel schedules and not--
-you know, where I'm working covering it.
I've not had the opportunity to be working an outlet where I'm exclusively about games.
-And but that's no excuse like I still go out.
-So what's not excuse?
-There's no excuse like I should just go out there.
-I never went to San Francisco.
-You will be spoiled.
You will always let go.
-I just came my way and just go.
-I wanna go-- I mean the rant is something that I've fantasized about it.
-Oh, what's your favorite part about rant?
-Yeah, let's talk about that.
What I love about the rant is that it is rant that it's a stream of consciousness, that it's a-- it's-- you know, before I wrote about this stuff, you know, I came from a theater background and creative arts and so-- and things where it's like you know I like the bubbling pit of the creativity.
And in games, it's obviously out there, but the way I interact with it I don't get to dive into that too much.
And so when you see that, I get excited 'cause I like-- I like the weird, I like working things open and E3 is the exact opposite of that work.
They're putting everything in a capsule and sound yet.
-Everyone's got that--
-holding their hand in a rant.
-You just a developer on stage with the microphone going off--
-and telling you what they really think.
-You don't get that very often.
-That unfiltered sort of experience.
That happens at GDC everywhere just walking down the hall-- the people.
That is a whole-- the whole event is a rant.
-The whole event is a rant.
-That's what I feel in my head walking around like, you know, it's like there's an internal ranted E3, just never speak it.
-You're sort of like feeling it and then, you know, like you said everything gets bubble up when you have a meeting, you're very cordially.
You said like, "Okay, let's see this." You have feelings about it.
You wanna talk about it, insult anybody, go out.
They're not gonna talk to you about it and so, you know, that's the state of where I think we're all thinking
a lot of times by games and I wanna be there.
You know, I think that's such a great opportunity to be there and let that out.
-It's special that the show is still out of point where it can get away with that.
I think it's like what we're trying to say and that's pretty awesome.
I think that's mostly in part of the rise of the indies,
-so indies don't have people marketing, PR people who are restraining them from speaking their mind.
-Right, which is pretty sick.
-Well, do you think like in your perspective just, you know, so I hear you are
in charge of this, you know, massively important part of gaming.
From your perspective, is there anything now that you think is having the greatest influence on gaming?
I mean maybe not, but just, you know, do you feel like there's a new influence--
-that strange on you?
-Nothing really strange to do it.
It's just really a matter of where people are playing games and how they're playing games.
-Why do you gonna put your-- How are you putting your game out there is the big question and no one really wants to talk about how they're gonna make money doing that.
But you know because it's an art form, yes.
But if you wanna do your art for a living, you have to get paid for it.
-I think that's the one thing that every medium that claims to have an independent subculture struggles with,
-you know, and I kinda wanted to get into that because, you know, at GDC there is the IGF, the Internet--
-Independent Games Festival.
-Independent Games Festival and awards that comes along with that as well.
-Two different award ceremonies, back to back.
That's why it's-- I explained that.
-One is indie games--
-The independent games festival, indie games and those are submitted games and we have juries that review them and it's narrowed down.
Choice Awards have traditionally been the sort of the triple A titles.
-And those are open nomination by the game community of Gamasutra.
And then we have a bunch of-- We have an independent group about 2000 who choose winners.
Those lines are blurring, so where it used to be, you know, triple A, triple A, triple A.
-It's now-- You've got Gone Home and The Stanley Parable in the same category as Tomb Raider and the Last of Us.
-So, lines are crossing.
-Well, do you feel like in that sense, is there sort of like a bit of like sun dance effect going on right now of games 'cause you feel like you now-- you see that this indie game awards winners are becoming major titles that have,
you know, gone on the consoles that have become real-- real properties, you know.
-Is there that sense that like-- Is there more pressure for the developers to get to that level or is there more attention or focus where people wanna soup it up and say like, "Let's go out there and sign these deals and get these games," and is this still like a little more of like a fan loose landscape?
-I like it.
This is sort of independent music scene which I am very familiar with.
-When you're in indie, you wanna kind of stay indie.
That's the spirit, right?
You don't wanna sell out.
-You don't wanna sell out.
-So, that still exists.
But it's-- But there's always the Green Day, right?
There's always the former indie that hit it good-- hit big.
-And that's still going to happen, but I still see.
-Likely to use the Green Day--
-It was real.
-It was real.
-It really happened.
-I remember that.
-I was there for that and I love Green Day and goddamn it.
They're-- Don't sell out [unk]
Oh my God.
I was just getting into them when that happened--
-with triple [unk] and that's a whole another show for another time.
We're get into that.
-Well-- and then like in terms of indie, you know, and I think that's true like keeping the independent spirit going is the whole key.
I think about like film festivals or everything else.
-You look at indie films start to fall into a pattern, but then I think--
-what's happened is that the more interesting innovative films are the ones that win out in the end because they're the ones that, you know, are still aggressive and break the trend.
-It's not everybody wants to go in there and say, "Oh, I want the one that was just like last year." Everybody is going-- It looks like
I've never been on those indie awards, you know, indie festival.
I've never been into this or anything.
-I've only heard about it on the internet.
-You can watch it on Gamespot.com.
-No, but-- Yeah.
-You've heard of that, right?
-But certainly like indie films.
-You know, you'll see, you know, like Beasts of the Southern Wild,
-things that are like Computer Chess, things that are like--
-again, you're like, this didn't exist before.
I don't want the one that's like the kids at the same theme park.
-It's like every other year, so yeah.
-The good stuff is always gonna rise to the top.
Because that's just organically the way things happen.
However, the fact that-- and I said this the last time when we're talking about indie versus sort of like the big budget games, the second-- the publishers of the world get hooked on this and believe in it when you have Gone Home and The Stanley Parable and, you know, Kentucky Route Zero and all these games that do so well for so little money, so little of an investment that it's like, wooh, we can make money hand over fist by such a small investment and that sort of
compromises the landscape and it's tough--
-Well, this is happening already--
-in Microsoft and Sony.
-They're also making like rants with all of the indies.
And that's been happening for years.
-But I think now--
-And mobile-- the mobile gaming scene is all, you know, we talked about like iteration where you see like some places are just trying to churn out factories of creating some more stuff and then used to have a lot of bubbling in inventiveness that wins out.
-I mean, the good games are always come out in the end, I think.
-Come out ahead.
-We can sleep well at night knowing that, right?
-Just I'll go Play Trees.
-We actually have a three stack.
That game-- Well, that was an example of tube like my 5-year-old--
-I love how excited Meggan--
-I love it.
-Speaking like high scores on that instantly and got the game and I think that's a really cool quality of that among many other things about that game.
-But I think that's so good.
-I have to play it and I'll get for my iPad, because that--
-and I don't want to
miss out on that experience.
I want before-- Remind me, we definitely have to talk about Animal Crossing before we go.
-But before that,
-I'll get them and it's a--
-It's a sickness.
-It's a sickness.
-It isn't a problem.
-Did you take your pills?
Did you take your pills?
Animal Crossing is phenomenal.
-It's been years.
-I tweeted this morning how I forgot my 3DS.
I don't have my 3DS.
I can't street pass with everybody.
-Oh my goodness.
It's just a letdown.
-I really want--
-I really wanna encourage Nintendo to develop like-- I don't wanna go to deals.
You pattern that game, but like at the same time I sort of do it like I want not small things, but big-- like I would love to see a whole new world added on to Animal Crossing.
-Someone suggested because we have the postmortem at GDC that Nintendo do special announcement at GDC where they have new island.
Like something big.
Obviously not micro.
That's a beauty of that game, but you know micro items.
-But something new like a second level of the town, like some other--
-They die for a second level of the town.
So, clearly-- No, no, no.
This is great.
-I'm still amazed.
-It's been seeing people breakdown over this game.
It's amazing to make--
-Do you know like for all the time when Flappy Bird like-- and I've seen a lot of thing pieces on that.
-I want like a million thing pieces on Animal Crossing, not just about how good it is, but why?
-Christian Nutt from Gamasutra wrote a couple of things about his obsession with Animal Crossing and why it's so good.
He's super thoughtful and smart, so you should check that out.
It's-- I should.
I want like books on it.
-But you understand why.
-But you understand why though, right?
-Well, there's lots of reasons.
-Yes or no?
Yes or no?
-But like look, everyone-
-I do and yet it's amazing how it works.
-everyone has the platform that Flappy Bird is on in their pocket.
-And you know, how many millions of people downloaded the game.
-I mean why people rhyme up one verse as the other.
-In terms of why, you know-- Look, I'm with you guys like I'm right there with you guys.
Flappy Birds are weird because nobody really knows how it got to number one.
-Which I think is the most fascinated thing about it.
That was half of the mystery.
-As I said yesterday, I think the game
is pretty terrible.
I don't think it's good.
-I think there were three-- Yeah.
-But it's the phenomenon of like, "Oh my God, earth-- Planet Earth became obsessed with the game overnight--
-like cause it had been out for almost a year--
-before anyone really gave the time of the day and it's-- it was like this overnight sort of a honeymoon and it's over and all the events that happened after the fact and--
-Very strange story.
-The move-- Someone bought the movie rights.
I'm sure already.
-The beginning and end, they were like true face that covers.
Like the beginning and end were about like the process--
-why we shut down and why was it on top.
And then the middle we're all like why am I so interested in playing Flappy Bird like, you know, and that was like the analysis of like the game and something like that.
-We have like an obsessive sort of journalist culture that--
-you know, everyone sort of wants to do this maybe long form sort of writing on what's popular and--
-And it's become very internal monologue.
-And we're so content-- obsessive content crazy that it seems
That if you weren't writing about Flappy Bird, you weren't doing your job.
-I think some people thought guilty about liking it,
-because it was so simple and kind of hard and not--
-what that well done necessarily.
-And the controls are off, right?
And that it was a visual [unk] on other games.
-So, I think people felt--
-It was a perfect story.
-It's a perfect story.
-And then he made it even better by pulling it and then going--
-And is now see a marketing--
-That was incredible ending.
Genius like what--
-you know, it's amazing.
Either way is--
-That's why it started to gaining a deep appreciation for what was going on.
-It was an addictive discussion.
-Well, the findings like people think like, "Oh, he gave up all this money." No, he didn't.
You don't think the 50 million people who-- who has still have it on their phones are still playing it obsessively?
Surely, he is still cashing checks everyday.
I don't feel bad for the guy.
-He made a lot of money.
-He made a lot of money.
-You know, going back to Animal Crossing, it was like--
-See, this was-- we just encapsulated--
-This is what happened-- This is what happened--
-It just also amazed me 'cause I remember way back, I was working for like a game company long time ago and like-- and somebody was-- there were game developers there and this is the game cube era and they were all talking about Animal Crossing, the first one, and they were like, "Animal Crossing, you've got to check this game now." And they all couldn't stop talking about it.
It was at Sony online entertainment.
It's like a lot of great-- great developers were there and thee were something in it that captures a magical.
What's interesting is that that was before-- They were looking at it, I think in terms of online games in towns and it was like an online game without being in online game.
But what's amazing is the staying power that now a decade later-- a decade plus later and even on a different platform, it still works.
-There's something-- I don't understand.
It's amazing how that has still held through--
-and not tapered off.
-This is my-- Sorry.
This is my first Animal Crossing.
-And for me,
it's a lot of the community aspects, you know, sitting there with a friend in the beginning and looking at our towns and going visiting each other's houses--
-and getting on the train and it was just-- the characters are so cute.
-Yeah, they're freakin' adorable.
-And you know, I'm a little obsess with collecting all of the things that a game has to offer, so--
-We miss the silly, old turnip farmer with [unk]
-I didn't see the turnips.
-I never got into the turnips.
I made all my money from-- from bugs.
-Yeah, I'm a big bug foxhole--
I would just fish everyday.
-You're so crazy.
You sound crazy.
-All I do is fish.
It's just I go sit, I fish.
-It's very peaceful.
-[unk] wild life.
-I got a lot-- I bought Animal Crossing.
I got really, really far and I left it on the plane.
-Oh, that's right.
This is your harsh story.
-And so I bought it again and started over.
-And that's where I am now.
-That's-- You remind me like my wife and this is--
-That's worth an article right there.
-this is like the great example of game.
My wife who does not play games much.
She mostly despises how much I play games.
And once in a while pick at it.
We're so addicted to the DS Animal Crossing as the wild world.
-Now, we're all [unk] that, anyway.
But she played that like not-- you can't play to completion, but like she paid off all of her mortgages.
She paid on top-- She has max all that out.
She kept doing other things and collecting stuff and max out all the money that she had or something like that, and she just-- she has kept playing.
And she even started game really critical like I would show her like Animal Crossing on the next generation on the Wii and she was like, "This is not the one I wanted, you know." [unk].
She is very specific to that one.
-That she played hundreds of hours.
-It doesn't stop.
-You can keep doing things.
-You can keep doing-- changing the town, building--
-But it's interesting you brought that up that she was only obsessed with the porvo version and I think I know why and I think I know why I had to cut myself off
before I knew it.
It's like there's something amazing about.
These were like-- It's like the drug addict and said like, "I know what road I'm going down.
I better cut myself off now before the things spiral out of control."
-It's the fact that it's just the world in your pocket and there's something so--
-personally comforting knowing that you can just go to it whenever you want and like I don't even-- open.
-It's always off.
-But you know, you just open the screen and it's there.
-That's why I fill out the Vita 2.
-We were talking earlier.
I care my 3DS and my Vita with me everywhere I go.
These are persistent games, you know, like there's always something for you.
-There's always some crazy person walking around in town any hour the night.
-He's gonna chat with you.
-There's always something weird going on you.
You never know whether you're gonna see something.
-And I don't know how the character designed on this.
Got so compelling words, cupid, just weird enough.
-I'll just have to come to the talk at GDC.
-So, leading it to this, there's a gigantic Animal Crossing--
-I begged-- I begged the Nintendo for that talk.
-I reached out every single person I know with Nintendo and I said, "This could one thing."
-This must happen.
-One thing, give me Animal Crossing.
-It's a great example too like we're talking about Nintendo with new ideas and it's so worth it to-- for them to keep pursuing new ideas as frequently as possible because maybe they wanna fully bake these ideas and not spam out too much stuff, but I feel like every time they do like a Pikmin or an Animal Crossing, it works.
-The Legend of Zelda.
-The one that's amazing.
-Yeah, it was great for sure.
-And then like those new properties, which aren't that frequent like an Animal Crossing.
Those like they're great.
And you just want them o bake up new characters and ideas like that.
-Just keep going.
All right, well, we have to make sure we check out the postmortem at GDC for Animal Crossing.
-I know Scott will be watching that very carefully as well as I will be doing so myself.
GDC starts March 17th in San Francisco so make sure you're heading over to CNET, you're heading over to GameSpot, which has been-- which is gonna be doing a lot of the streaming.
-So that will be a lot of fun.
Make sure you check
-I'll stream the awards as well.
Are they doing both awards?
-Yeah, they live stream both awards.
So, that's the Game Developers Choice Awards and the 16th Annual Independent Game Festival Awards as well.
Very cool stuff.
Thank you so much for being here.
-This was a pleasure.
Thank you to Scott Stein.
There's a lot more 404 coming your way, so stay tune.
All right, there you have it.
Thank you very much to Meggan Scavio for coming out once again.
That's your third time on the show, man.
That's the trilogy right there.
-So, thanks to her.
Please reach out to the program, firstname.lastname@example.org is our email.
We didn't get any emails today, but we have a few in Q that will get to hopefully this week just a quick programming note.
They're calling for snow and ice again tomorrow, so I'd say we're 50-50 for tomorrow.
If we're not here, we'll do a rerun.
If we are here,
well then you don't have to worry about it.
Follow us @the404 on Twitter for the very latest and we'll keep you guys updated on what exactly the hell it is we're doing with our lives and our show.
That will do it for us today.
Follow us again on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and all that good stuff.
Is that it, man?
-I think so.
Thank you so much for watching.
We'll be back here hopefully tomorrow, if not definitely Friday.
Until then, I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Richard Peterson.
-Thank you Richard for being here today.
You're scholar and we love you for it.
More 404 coming your way this week.
We'll see you soon.
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