Saturday, May 1, 2010

Listening To: Channel Massive #129

Podcast: Channel Massive #129 – Dowels of the Doomspeaker
Hosts: Mark & Noah
Release date: 28 April 2010
Length: 55:19

And then there were two. Since the last time I did podcast reviews last August Jason has left the podcast. In this episode Mark and Noah sounded a bit more subdued than usual without Jason or their many guest hosts wandering onto the podcast. I think they were suffering from lack of material due to a slow news week.

I don’t think their hearts were really into the story about how using a Wii Fit turned a woman into a nymphomaniac. I think the story about the death of a HALO MMO at the hands of MicroSoft was a reach since the game murder occurred in 2008. The story about the Eve player using bamboo to multi-box within the rules of the EULA got a bit more of a charge out of the hosts, but not much more.

Or perhaps the hosts just were more enthused about the first and last of the show’s news stories. The pair led off the news segment with the short-lived offer wall Turbine placed in Dungeons & Dragons Online. I missed seeing that myself, but maybe because the wall was only up for 24 hours. The story really needed Jason to come along and say, “Epic fail, Turbine, epic fail!”

Of course, Noah and Mark had to come up with a story that actually made me think. That story was about the bi-partisan commission that President Obama created to address the gaping federal government budget deficit wanting to create a game to encourage people to come up with ideas to solve the problem. They could not understand what the commission was thinking. The government creating America’s Army as a recruiting tool they could understand. But to solve the budget deficit? Who is going to play that game. Aren’t all the players who game with spreadsheets already playing Eve Online?

Damn you Mark & Noah for that story! Now I’m going to have to write a blog post this weekend to get what I’m thinking out of my system. But the short version is that the commission wants the game for the same reason the Army developed America’s Army: as a recruiting tool. Any proposal that comes out of the committee (and with 14 out of 18 votes required to produce a report, the committee may not even issue a report) will need some popular backing to get the Congress critters to accept them. So if people have played the game and maybe understand the issues, then maybe they would support the commission. Of course, that would mean developing the game in such a way that the players would come to the conclusions the commission wants. Higher taxes anyone?

I’ve listened to a few episodes of Channel Massive since Jason left and I’ve heard Mark & Noah do better, so the problem isn’t Jason’s absence. I think they just had an off show. But even listening to an off show from this pair was an enjoyable experience and doesn’t make me regret subscribing to this podcast.

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