We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

Episode 9: Nintendo Pirate Radio

by Evan Burchfield - July 18, 2006, 10:00 pm PDT
Total comments: 27

Stan and Karl have taken over! Listen to them chatter about video game journalism and mispronounce the word "Oregon."

Download in AAC Format

Subscribe to AAC Feed

Download in MP3 Format

Subscribe to MP3 Feed

Subscribe via iTunes (Please rate and review, too!)

I don't know what all this pirate crap is about.

Staffer/Usurpers Karl and Stan, hijacking our Podcast-Plane and filling it with snakes (as it were), are the featured guests on today's completely Burchfield-lacking and Sklens-less Radio Free Nintendo. Though their idealistic sermons may reach the hearts of the naive congregation, I'm gonna go ahead and say that this is the worst thing to happen ever. But don't worry, I am completely not bitter about it.

Below you will find two versions of this Bastard Cast, the AAC one being particularly Bastardly. If you place the AAC version into your iTunes player, you may get some extra features like pictures and links. This is advertised every week for good reason.

You can also listen to it on
When King John and Henry Bolingbroke aren't busy completely mispronouncing the name of my state, they discuss (in true unrehearsed RFN style) video games' status as art, and the medium's journalistic efforts. It's a rather good listen, and you better get used to it: more staffers will soon be featured on Radio Free Nintendo's airwaves (cast-waves?).

If you have any questions, complaints, compliments, or criticisms please send them to our podcast email address:

Feel free to leave comments for these two newbies, they'd love to hear exactly what you think.

Talkback

SvevanEvan Burchfield, Staff AlumnusJuly 18, 2006

More power to the M. Night Shyamalan hating. Why does that guy get any cred? He's considered the "modern Hitchcock" by himself and no one else.

I disagree with the attitude that some videogames aren't art, or that the movie Armageddon isn't art. Karl says it early on: art is not a quality statement, but rather a definition. The major problem is that we don't want to believe that entertainment is art. We have incorrectly separated the two as a way of justifying our pleasure-leaning tastes. The person who uses the word "art" as a compliment is in fact embarrassed of his own taste; he wants to pretend that different criteria can be applied when he knows the movie sucked, but he liked it anyway.

The "I had fun" excuse is a relativist cop-out. The kind of person who says "I liked it, that's all there is to it" is the kind of person I don't see movies with.

DasmosJuly 18, 2006

Stan has an awesome voice.

PryopizmStan Ferguson, Staff AlumnusJuly 19, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Svevan
More power to the M. Night Shyamalan hating. Why does that guy get any cred? He's considered the "modern Hitchcock" by himself and no one else.

I disagree with the attitude that some videogames aren't art, or that the movie Armageddon isn't art. Karl says it early on: art is not a quality statement, but rather a definition. The major problem is that we don't want to believe that entertainment is art. We have incorrectly separated the two as a way of justifying our pleasure-leaning tastes. The person who uses the word "art" as a compliment is in fact embarrassed of his own taste; he wants to pretend that different criteria can be applied when he knows the movie sucked, but he liked it anyway.

The "I had fun" excuse is a relativist cop-out. The kind of person who says "I liked it, that's all there is to it" is the kind of person I don't see movies with.



I define true art very simply. It's lasted for over 100 years, and people still give a damn about it. I can only speculate in my lifetime what will be considered true art.

I'm sure the modernists would disagree, but I'm sure they have better things to do.

ShyGuyJuly 19, 2006

Video games are not art because Miyamoto doesn't think they're art. He knows more about video games than I do, so I defer to his judgement. (Hideo Kojima also does not think games are art)

Quote

Originally posted by: ShyGuy
(Hideo Kojima also does not think games are art)


No, he thinks they're movies. Or old-fashioned radio dramas.

PryopizmStan Ferguson, Staff AlumnusJuly 19, 2006

Bear in mind, I said I do not believe any game today is art. I do, however, believe they have the potential. In that case, they are an artform. Art is subjective, certainly, but, to me, time is the best teller of what is and what isn't art.

Stan, I think your definition works well for "classic". And I guess something has to be art before it can be a classic work.

But the argument over what is or isn't art is generally not fruitful. It very easily devolves into an argument of semantics. I think the question of whether something is good or not good is far more interesting than whether something is art or not art. It's still entirely subjective, but it can be argued with solid points and ultimately shed light on interesting facets of the work in question.

I agree with Professor Metts. "Art" vs. "Not Art" is a useless argument, since what is considered "art" and "not art" changes over time. Grafitti is a perfect example. When graf first became prevalent in 1970's New York City, it was considered criminal vandalism. Over the course of the last 30 years it has become mainstream, and therefore is now considered "art" to the point that graf artists have exhibitions in galleries. The very definition of "art" vs. "not art" changed in this case because public opinion itself changed.

I'd say there's "pop art", "high art", "good art", and "bad art", but never something that is "not art".

nemo_83July 19, 2006

I'm just going to rape a blog of mine from 1up just the other day; seems like a hot topic these days...I feel like I kind of come to a dead end though...

I've read some great blogs on the subject lately and it is brought up on the 1up podcast nearly every week so I thought I would visit the subject and what it means to me for games as products and art.

It is often pointed out that reviews on sites and in gaming magazines are more product reviews than analyses of story, character development, and generally meaning. Currently games journalism can't get past the surface or the subtext is just simply too often MIA.

The game industry is still young, it is still waging a metaphorical war every five years over technology. In other mediums, like movies, all you need is a camera. In music, all you need is a guitar. Albums don't blow up on the charts because they are using a new kind of guitar (it's about the song). With games every little detail about RAM, per pixel shading, and particle effects is mulled over by journalist, fans, and I assume developers (considering they are the ones who ultimately have to talk to the latest version of HAL). The instrument of game creation and playing is still being perfected. This is why it is still an issue today that physics work realistically, the AI has imperfections (you don't want mindless drones afraid of nothing coming at you all the time), the character's feet push off the ground, the character's eyes move, clipping happens as little as possible, and framerates don't drop below 30 frames per second. There are still issues of quality in games. These issues prevent gamers from generally having fun, and when the gamer can't get past something so simple as the camera, then it is pretty hopeless to even think about what the game has to say.

Does it mean that games will not be accepted as art and games journalism will be nothing more than product reviews until the hardware reaches a level where it is about the engine more than the potential of the box, until the tools for creation are at a point where games can be made by people in a point and click fashion (look at where Spore is going), and until the interface comes to a point where it is truly transparent?

I like to argue that the hardware is only an issue if the developer lets it become one. I can analyze the first Zelda and point out allusions to Christian and Norse mythologies just like the epic of Beowulf. These kinds of games exist even today, but the reviews are still product reviews. When I read about Ico, I want to read about the archetypes, the atmosphere, and the character interaction.

PryopizmStan Ferguson, Staff AlumnusJuly 19, 2006

I won't do this for PGC, but for anyone interested, I'm going to write a companion review on Mega Man Battle Network 6. I will treat it as an artistic expression rather than anything technical, and I will go over some story elements, atmosphere, and characterization.

Since anything produced from an artistic medium can be considered art, then I will treat this game accordingly and not as a cynical cash-in for a tired franchise.

ShyGuyJuly 19, 2006

Quote

Since anything produced from an artistic medium can be considered art, then I will treat this game accordingly and not as a cynical cash-in for a tired franchise.


That sounds like American Pie: Band Camp to me.. face-icon-small-wink.gif

nemo_83July 19, 2006

Art is like porn, I know it when I see it.

As I pointed out in my post there are games that can be talked about in a more analytical manner but you don't get that in the pages of magazines; instead they sell you the product because of the rarity of its technical quality compared to the garbage around it. X game earns a 9 because the characters animate fluidly or Y actor delivers talkie quality voice acting or the controls are the new pink. I think it is just evidence that most of the games that recieve average scores should be scored below 5. If a game just meets technical standards of organic AI or killer lighting effects and doesn't go the extra step to say something, then it shouldn't recieve higher than a 7; I don't care if it is a Wii game and plays better than any 360 game, if the game is just a game about game mechanics, if it has nothing interesting or new to say, then it isn't art and if it isn't art then in my book X game would never earn higher than a 7/10 from me. If I don't feel a game is up to literary standards of story telling, it can never be art. When reviewers give out tens, I usually complain, because the only games I would ever give a ten to are the likes of Super Mario Bros 3 or The Legend of Zelda LttP. There are certain games that just speak to people beyond just, are you having fun, is this not intolerable.

CericJuly 19, 2006

Is he talking to himself. Is there a person in his head. Where is the other person he's responding to in the first part?

He didn't like FF:CC Where's my Pitch fork.
THere just taking the Atlus approach to games. "I really want this title" Release with no warning then pull. argg....

mantidorJuly 19, 2006

Video games are infant art, so far what I see as artistic expresion has been more accidental than actually the purpose of their creators, I consider Majora's Mask or the Wind Waker art, but the intention behind the team wasn't to create art, thats for sure. Theres going to take some time but new game developers feel like they trully can express themselves artisticly, not only with the usual elements like music and animation, but through gameplay as well.

Regarding scores, I stopped looking at them a long time ago, the games I like have a big range of scores across many reviewing sites from abysmal to superb, and the same goes for the games I despise, so an extensive review describing the gameplay and its elements is really important for me to decide to buy a game or not, even if the final number isn't a good one.

ShyGuyJuly 19, 2006

Second Hand Lions was a good movie, I don't care what you say!

Quote

Originally posted by: nemo_83
Art is like porn, I know it when I see it.

As I pointed out in my post there are games that can be talked about in a more analytical manner but you don't get that in the pages of magazines; instead they sell you the product because of the rarity of its technical quality compared to the garbage around it. X game earns a 9 because the characters animate fluidly or Y actor delivers talkie quality voice acting or the controls are the new pink. I think it is just evidence that most of the games that recieve average scores should be scored below 5. If a game just meets technical standards of organic AI or killer lighting effects and doesn't go the extra step to say something, then it shouldn't recieve higher than a 7; I don't care if it is a Wii game and plays better than any 360 game, if the game is just a game about game mechanics, if it has nothing interesting or new to say, then it isn't art and if it isn't art then in my book X game would never earn higher than a 7/10 from me. If I don't feel a game is up to literary standards of story telling, it can never be art. When reviewers give out tens, I usually complain, because the only games I would ever give a ten to are the likes of Super Mario Bros 3 or The Legend of Zelda LttP. There are certain games that just speak to people beyond just, are you having fun, is this not intolerable.


I consider this entire post to be art. And porn.

nemo_83July 20, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Ceric
Is he talking to himself. Is there a person in his head. Where is the other person he's responding to in the first part?q]

are you talking to me? my first post was ripped from a blog of mine from the other day, didn't i already say that? my second post was after i finished listening to the podcast and read the posts.



"I consider this entire post to be art. And porn."

it happens

Ron%20Jeremy%20Super%20Mario4-717393.jpg

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusJuly 20, 2006

I don't see why that New game journalism and Old game journalism couldn't simply be one and the same. Invariably a game review is an expression of how the reviewer felt about the game and how they express that is up to them.

When a read a review, beyond the information value of the content, I also look at the reviewer. A reviewer with credability is worth 10 IGNs or gamespots. This is what I find at PGC. They merge both new and old and produce reviews that have no fear or favor.

10s are not handed out lightly and are always justified within the framework of who the audience is. Poor games are slammed with humourous effect. Every game that I have brought and compared back to the reviews have been spot on, even if two or three reviews have different scores. Of course all that did was highlight the weakness of scores, but if one only uses scores as dipsticks then your set.

Keep walking that fine line.

One last thing. Where are these barstardy images I am supose to be seeing. I can't seem to get them to work.

wanderingJuly 21, 2006

Quote

I disagree with the attitude that some videogames aren't art, or that the movie Armageddon isn't art. Karl says it early on: art is not a quality statement, but rather a definition. The major problem is that we don't want to believe that entertainment is art. We have incorrectly separated the two as a way of justifying our pleasure-leaning tastes. The person who uses the word "art" as a compliment is in fact embarrassed of his own taste; he wants to pretend that different criteria can be applied when he knows the movie sucked, but he liked it anyway.

I don't necessarily disagree with what you're saying....but let's take that to it's extreme. Is a Hershey bar art? And if not, what's the difference between a Hershey bar and the movie Armageddon?

ShyGuyJuly 21, 2006

Chocolatey deliciousness?

Art is subjective, but I think there are such things as general consensus that provide loose standards.

Kinda like "smart" or "pretty." Both are subjective definitions, but there is a general consensus that Stephen Hawking is smart and Natalie Portman is pretty.

SvevanEvan Burchfield, Staff AlumnusJuly 21, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: wandering
Is a Hershey bar art?


Why not? Art is human aesthetic expression. Many foods are created by chefs as artistic creations and appreciated as such - the functional aspect of food does not negate this. Some foods are meant to be sustenance and that only (gruel), but for the most part we flavor and spice, adding extraneous ingredients to make food palatable. This is artistic expression; it affects our human senses.

Allow me to make some correlations:

We hunger for food; in a more abstract way we hunger for traditional, less functional art such as film or painting. There is a spiritual, human dimension to this hunger that shrivels when left unfed. Like our hunger for food, it must be educated or we will have bad taste.

We have tastes in food and in "art," and we foolishly say that both are "subjective." If someone's favorite flavor was dog feces, would we not assume they were missing out on something more refined? We wouldn't chalk it up to relativism. So too, if someone's favorite film was Runaway Jury, or Hannibal, or Patch Adams, I would expect the person to be a newcomer to film, or ignorant of what makes a movie great. Ad infinitum with Kinkade paintings and pop music and novels by Danielle Steele.

Quote

Originally posted by: ShyGuy
Art is subjective


Only to the point that my perceptions of it will differ from yours. When it comes to the actual definition of art, or the quality of an artwork, I must disagree. There has to be an objective truth about quality and beauty that can be unearthed, otherwise we would never argue about art or disagree. There would be no criticism or scholarship, nor history texts or education. We would sit in our little bubbles of "truth" that encircled us and never care what another person thought, not because their thoughts contradicted our opinions, but because they could co-exist with our opinions while being in direct opposition to them. Perhaps I'm bull-headed, but I don't want to live in a world where everything and nothing is true at the same time.

Quote

Originally posted by: ShyGuy
Kinda like "smart" or "pretty." Both are subjective definitions, but there is a general consensus that Stephen Hawking is smart and Natalie Portman is pretty.


If we were voting on art democratically, the best film of 2004 was Shrek 2, and the best album of 2005 was Mariah Carey's "Emancipation of Mimi." The real art of this consensus defined society would be television, not film.

The defense against this thought is that those with education define the "consensus," but then we don't have a consensus but an Academy. This is the very contradiction I am railing against: art is not defined by the educated, or by any person. It is what it is. We can no more change the truth of art than we can the status of a person as a human, or the earth as a planet. These things are merely classified by humans, but the truth exists whether we do or not. Contrariwise, the humanistic society assumes that all truth is defined by us ourselves, which only leads to the nonsensical post-modernism of thoughts like "reality exists only in my head" and "if I leave this room it ceases to exist until I come back." No. If a tree falls in the forest and the entire earth is bereft of conscious life, it will still fall.

wanderingJuly 21, 2006

Quote

We have tastes in food and in "art," and we foolishly say that both are "subjective." If someone's favorite flavor was dog feces, would we not assume they were missing out on something more refined?

I respectfully disagree. Instead of using dog feces, let's take a food that tastes exactly like dog feces instead - vegemite. I'm sure someone, somewhere, thinks vegemite is, objectively, the most delicious food on earth. But there's nothing objective about the food someone likes. What we like to eat depends on what we grew up on, and what flavors, over the course of years, we've gotten used to, etc.

It's the same way with film. Your criticisms of the Lord of the Rings trilogy aren't objectively wrong. They are based on what you've come to like and dislike after watching many films, what you personally find important and not important. They're based on your own unique experiences in life.

To say this another way, some men (most men, in our society) are attracted to women with larger breasts. But some men don't find the blobs of fat used to feed babies sexually attractive at all, and are instead more interested in women's feet. And some men are attracted to other men. Are any of them objectively right?

Quote

No. If a tree falls in the forest and the entire earth is bereft of conscious life, it will still fall.

Erm...yes, but no, but what about...Schrödinger's cat...quantum mechanics...and all of that? Could someone who understands that stuff please explain it?

ShyGuyJuly 22, 2006

What follows is my most boring post on PGC ever

Hey now Oregonian, it sounds like you're trying to paint me as some sort of Existentialist. A post on the meaning of art does not a belief system make.

I (like I suspect you) believe there are absolutes and truths in this world, but I think where we differ is that I view "art" as an abstract label that is abritrary. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet."

In regards to my comments on general consensus, All I'm saying is that it's merely a time-saving tool for a society.
For example, I can come to PGC and say "Miyamoto rocks" and not have to write a 1000 word essay explaing why Miyamoto rocks and the definition of the verb rocks. The general consensus of the society of PGC can simply accept my statement and reply, "Heck yeah Miyamoto rocks!"

Like it or not, human communication relies heavily on assumption. If it didn't my posts would be a whole lot longer. face-icon-small-wink.gif

SvevanEvan Burchfield, Staff AlumnusJuly 22, 2006

Wandering, I think your point is valid that all of us have different perceptions. There's no way to ever come to agreement about what is absolutely good or bad - this is due to human fallibility, not subjectivity.

You state that my perceptions of Lord of the Rings or food are based on what I find important and valuable, and anyone with a different value system may come to different conclusions. I completely agree. However, one of these value systems must be correct, in the same way that a moral structure that allows murder and rape is diametrically opposed to one that disallows them. Both cannot be true because they are opposites, and the effects of accepting one over the other are far reaching. The effect of preferring one artwork to another is not so dramatic, but the fabric is the same: beauty and morality are both ideas that cannot be seen, touched, or 100% agreed upon.

I am not capable of telling you the best movie ever made, but I do feel like I am capable of pointing you in the direction of several excellent films. When I encounter art, I do not assume that my perceptions of it are correct just because I have my own personal values and life-events; rather I try to wade through my biases and presuppositions, using them to reach something as close to the truth as possible (this is tied very much to the idea of a moral or ethical framework, because out of this is where our ideas of art and beauty derive). So although I bring my subjectivity to the table, I have to know when to take or leave it. Certain movies play to our subjectivity (movies about growing old, for instance About Schmidt, are better appreciated by old people) while others are meant to be universal (poetic films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Night and Fog, A Man Escaped, Amadeus, etc). I can never achieve true objectivity, but I can strive for it. This is the journey of the art-critic; in truth, it is the journey of every man. For perfection cannot be achieved, but if we do not attempt it in whatever we do, we forfeit our reason for living. I am personally insulted by the idea of aesthetic subjectivity because it assumes that an entire field of thought and idea is defined and qualified by the person using it. No wonder our culture has no respect for artists! We would never say the same thing about architecture or medicine, because the miseducation of the people in these fields would reap the deaths of many. By removing Art History from Primary and Secondary education, our culture has artistically atrophied. No one is capable of criticising art due to lack of knowledge, and now we quibble about whether it should be criticised or not. (On this note, I'm going to see Lady in the Water soon.)

Shy: I would never want to paint you as anything. Our beliefs on art do affect our thinking and value systems, or vice-versa. Your point is well-made if not agreed on.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusJuly 24, 2006

I really don't agree with this notion that written communication will be superseded by podcasts, etc. Paper may be replaced by pixels, but people are always going to want to read, and more importantly, skim. Skimming an audio file is a pain in the butt. You are at the mercy of whoever's talking, you can't intuitively jump a couple paragraphs ahead when it starts to get slow. Plus, a person who may be a fast-paced quick witted writer, may be slow, stuttering, and horrible with their delivery.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusJuly 24, 2006

LOL, you called Navis in MMBN6 a reference to OoT. Navi = short for Navigation. It wasn't really much of a fairy name, just an indication of her function in the game. The same term is rather common in Japanese games, comics, etc.

PryopizmStan Ferguson, Staff AlumnusJuly 24, 2006

That was all Karl. If you listen closely you can hear me say, "navigator."

Share + Bookmark





Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement