Escapist Podcast: 032: Zynga & Watchmen

032: Zynga & Watchmen

This week, we discuss Zynga and where the line gets drawn on being "inspired" by other games. We also talk about the recently announced Watchmen prequels.

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In defense of Alan Moore's crankiness, I don't think he denounced the Watchmen prequels out of mere defensiveness of his story (I mean, honestly, he took the characters out of old defunct DC heroes from the 40s--there's some gold to mine for "rip-offs" vs. "homages"). A couple of years he made some remarks to the effect that the current state of comics was trapped in this "dark and moody" tone, and that when people talk about those comics, they invariably invoke either Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns. And Moore basically said that he was disappointed with this, because he'd written Watchmen during "a bad mood [he] had in the 80s" and that somehow comics have become trapped in that bad mood for the past 30 years. So his recent statements in reaction to the prequels that DC is still reliant on "ideas [he] had 25 years ago" is spot on, because they really aren't innovating past Watchmen or The Dark Knight.

Which isn't surprising, because those two comics have been very good to the industry, and to DC in particular, and publishing abhors deviating from successful models unless it is for a different successful model. But it is disappointing, because we should be letting these writers do work that challenges the medium and threatens to remake it, much like Moore did. The same problem applies to videogames as well.

Well fishbiscuits, I finally send in a question and you end up running out of time for questions.

Well, time to look for more cute pictures...

This podcast left me with the mental image of Marcus Fenix in a runway fashion contest.....why?

I work at EB Games (Gamestop), and those Skylanders are like crack for kids. They get to my store, and disappear in 10 minutes.

This podcast left me with the mental image of Marcus Fenix in a runway fashion contest.....why?

imageYour comment left me with mental images of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things.

Susan makes a Bionic Commando joke and no one starts talking to her arm and saying something like "Russ! What did they do to you?" I'm just a tiny bit disappointed. I still haven't forgotten that plot twit. Er, twist.

PLEASE tell me I wasn't the only one thinking of Blazing Saddles during the pony-punching discussion. And as someone who used to live one field over from some horses, let me tell you that some of those hateful bastards deserve to be punched.

Ponies are a different phenotype than horses but you have to know what to look for to differentiate them easily. Non-enthusiasts often mistake an adult pony for a youngish horse, and there's also small horses which people inaccurately call ponies. Like the Sable Island Ponies Horses.

If anyone reviewing claims originality in having their kids help them review games, I'm hitting someone. My collection of magazines is a full continent away, but I'm almost sure that one of the reviewers for either Family Computing or Compute!'s Gazette used the same gimmick when reviewing children's games.

I'm used to the idea of a cast of characters who don't change while the world does, as I read Nero Wolfe novels. The main characters changed little while the world outside the brownstone went from the casual racism and economic desperation of the 1930s, to the homefront of the Second World War, and so on right to the cynicism of the Watergate era. Wikipedia calls it a floating timeline.

Darth Vader's seduction to the Dark Side COULD have been interesting. I doubt there's a Star Wars fan who snubs rewatching the original trilogy because they already know that Vader will redeem himself.

I can reread a good book even though I know the ending. It just requires a good writer.

A story of getting medical info on the Internet, from the Internet. (I vouch for the truthfulness of the patient who witnessed this, though. Of course, I'm on the Internet too.)

As they were leaving, the doctor turned to the trainee and said "I have another patient who says that testosterone levels are higher in single men than married men - he reads stuff on the Internet - " (Here she shot me a funny look that left me mildly nonplused.) "and now that he's divorced, he's expecting a change. There's actually some data to back this up. The thing is, single men tend to be younger than married men, so their higher level most likely comes from that."

I used the break in the conversation to say "Ah, the wonders of mistaking correlation for causation." My doctor stopped mid-stride, turned back, and looked straight at me.

The look reminded me of what I'd expect of an immigrant, living in a country where no one speaks their mother tongue, who just heard words in their original language.

All she said to me was "Yes, that's exactly it."

I bowed slightly. She bid me a good day and left.

On the whole prequel thing. If people have seen the two seasons of spartacus, the end of the prequel season was hilarious, because a) It has a sudden spoiler for the original season that would really make you sad if you had not seen it first, and b) It has a really lame "now let us never speak of ANY of this again!" to try and explain why none of the content is addressed in season 1.

I would be interested if you guys can think of any specific prequels that not only fit in neatly with the original content but actually add to the enjoyment of it. Or are most/all prequels doomed to the star wars prequels fate where it seems so incongruous. Sometimes I feel that the best that a prequel can aspire to is similar to the spartacus sequel that I mentioned which is a good story in its own right but adds nothing to the first season.

I don't know why, but this podcast was boring. I mean you guys mentioned star trek, star wars, food, you know all the normal talking points. It was just slow and not up to par. Though I feel like kind of a chode if I don't give some sort of constructive criticism or what I would have liked to hear, but I can't think of anything.

Hmmmmm, i remember a few weeks ago someone mentioned how they played D&D with a bad improvisor. I sort of want to hear more of it or like stories of why it was so bad. That might be entertaining.

Doing a descendants story of Watchmen, kind feels like you would end up with Kick-ass. :P

I was playing MGS: HD while playing this podcast in the background so that song playing at the break made things very confusing for me. "Where's this music coming from? OMG shit's getting real!"


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