Games, Movies and More - See the Nominees for The Escapist Awards 2014

Games, Movies and More - See the Nominees for The Escapist Awards 2014

We honor the year's best with the The Escapist Awards Nominees for 2014, including Game of the Year, Best Movie, and Best Comic Book.

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These are weird lists. There's like one game that I find worthy of the Best of 2014 title then the game I know you guys are going to pick Cough**Hearthstone**Cough. I'm going to stay away from the site for a while.

Dr. Who in the running for best TV series of the year? ...I thought even Dr. Who fans would disagree with it. They just haven't been in synch this year for some reason.

The Flash came out of nowhere and that's not even a joke I'm trying to make. I thought it would be terrible in all the same areas the Arrow fell into but I'm absolutely loving it so far.

I can't stop watching Hannibal. It's something two grotesque to look away and yet too beautiful to look away. Hard to explain.

Legend of Korra? Puhleaze. Maybe if Korra wasn't in the story since all the other characters are far more interesting and actually develop as characters instead of just being Mr. Mopey all day long without learning from mistakes or being particularly competent as a bender despite having been trained all her life and being an established "master" in three of the styles. *sigh* What a disappointment.

Hmm, do all of the categories link to this same discussion board? I clicked her through the TV article.

Science breakthrough of the year:

Lockheed Martin: While I'm extremely excited about this project, they didn't really give us details on the breakthrough and we have no idea as to whether or not it actually exists. Good on them for revisiting this area but if I told you I had an amazing breakthrough in my shoe that I hope to develop over the next five years you'd probably want to see it. But I suppose Lockheed Martin has a reputation to maintain and announcing the project without an actual breakthrough would be pretty dumb.

As for the other things on the list, kick ass.

When looking at these nominees for best ________ of 2014, I'd say that science wins as a category hands down. So much cool scientific and technological achievements continue to be made. Makes me happy to work in a lab.

Personally, it's been a great year for games. I've had a great time going back to play some classics and nice indie stuff (The Banner Saga being a favorite. I'm looking forward to Christmas for some newer titles, but older games have never been more available thanks to sites like GOG.

Has anyone heard anything further from Cornell's study? I don't see anything past January. Are there any human trials at all or results from the additional animal studies? Looks like they also have a spinoff project where their proteins actually adhere to the killer cells themselves and let them take them to the lymphatic system to target lymph node trouble areas. Could be cool.

But I'm concerned that they just say "cancer". Usually the successful methods address one or two types. Not the vague "cancer" which is like saying someone cured colds.

ryukage_sama:
When looking at these nominees for best ________ of 2014, I'd say that science wins as a category hands down. So much cool scientific and technological achievements continue to be made. Makes me happy to work in a lab.

Personally, it's been a great year for games. I've had a great time going back to play some classics and nice indie stuff (The Banner Saga being a favorite. I'm looking forward to Christmas for some newer titles, but older games have never been more available thanks to sites like GOG.

Haha, you mean because it's been a pretty bad year for new games that it's been good for us Gamers to be able to go back and catch up on things we missed? Haha. That's sad but true.

Most of these nominees are pretty deserving with a couple of odd choices here and there, especially in movies and TV IMO:

I'll admit I haven't watched Dr. Who (I'm trying to get through the second season), but weren't people who are generally fans of the series disappointed with this season?

Also, Agents of Shield? Really?! One of the BEST shows of 2014? I do like it and I think it's come a long way, but my idea of best on TV is that it's a show you HAVE to watch. Agents of Shield isn't even close to that yet.

Legend of Korra is something I've never really gotten into. Lot's of people seem to think it's great though so I won't doubt its placement on the list.

Definitely happy to see Hannibal getting some recognition though. I was worried that it wouldn't make it since so few people watch it. It's definitely the best thing on TV right now.

Anyway, these are the shows I'd put on the list before Dr. Who and Shield:
Game of Thrones
Justified (probably the show's weakest season, but still quite good)
Louie (took a much more dramatic tone which actually worked quite nicely)
Rick and Morty (I guess this one's cutting it close for 2014)
True Detective
Fargo (despite is lackluster ending)
House of Cards
Heck, there's probably a lot more too that I just haven't had the time to watch.

If it weren't for the appearance of Hannibal on the list, I would have thought the people who chose the nominees had completely forgotten about the first half of the year as well as the genre of drama.

My opinions of course, it just seems like some really odd choices. The movies nominees show an even more narrow spectrum, though, I'll admit, I'd have a hard time taking off Guardians, Lego Movie, and Snowpierecer as well. Big Hero 6 and Winter Soldier weren't anything special though IMO. I would have taken those off and two from these three: The Babadook and The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Whiplash.

None of the games for GOTY are undeserving IMO.

This list makes the year look pretty weak :(

Also

There's not too many years where you can say Magic: The Gathering is overflowing with awesome stuff -

??

Four comic book movies and a toy movie? That list tells a LOT more about the Escapist than it tells about those movies. Though it's not like I have better alternatives. Edge of Tomorrow?

Wow, pretty slim pickings for TV this year. All of the shows listed except maybe Hannibal are pretty bad in my opinion. Even Hannibal is kinda overrated, though at least it's sort of unique.

I love the write-up for Destiny. An underwhelming game whose sole talking point is that it still has players just a couple of months after release. I guess there really hasn't been a lot of competition in the shooter genre this year.

Also, what the fuck is the nonsense about fusion doing in the running for an award? Not only is it complete bullshit, even the people involved don't claim to have actually done anything. There's a whole bunch of actual scientific and technological breakthroughs, and then some idiots who are ignored by everyone actually involved in the relevant field claiming they might have something in another 5 years. I know this is supposed to be an entertainment magazine and not a meaningful scientific journal, but if you're going to announce awards for this sort of thing you could at least make some effort to take it seriously.

Kahani:
I love the write-up for Destiny. An underwhelming game whose sole talking point is that it still has players just a couple of months after release. I guess there really hasn't been a lot of competition in the shooter genre this year.

Here's the thing about Destiny. It has flawless mechanics and a rich universe with compelling enemies. The multiplayer is really fun as well. The underwhelming bit is the story mode. They sold us a half game and are currently selling us the rest in two quarters of DLC.

However, the story that's there is entertaining and the mechanics are solid enough to make the game itself fun. It's just difficult to get to the end so quickly and then not have anything to do but grind for not really any reason. But the getting there? Great game until that moment when people ask confusedly, "Did... did we just beat the game?"

Also, what the fuck is the nonsense about fusion doing in the running for an award? Not only is it complete bullshit,

You're probably thinking about cold fusion. A regular old Fusion Reactor is entirely theoretically possible. We even have working fusion power plants around the world and at least one appears to be reaching the break even point at which enough plasma will have been built up to make it worth while.

So the two main problems with fusion is containment (don't want anything that hot actually touching the outside) and producing the plasma (traditionally takes a really long time).

Supposedly, Lockheed Martin employees are going to combine the traditional fusion reaction technology (which already exists) with the laser plasma fuel generation technique that was discovered and successfully tested this year by the National Ignition Facility. They've also altered the traditional containment method to use magnets in a way that increase resistance as the plasma material gets closer to the walls.

So, in theory, if they have improved on containment and actually have a breakthrough in plasma generation then this is not, in fact, bullshit.

even the people involved don't claim to have actually done anything. There's a whole bunch of actual scientific and technological breakthroughs, and then some idiots who are ignored by everyone actually involved in the relevant field claiming they might have something in another 5 years. I know this is supposed to be an entertainment magazine and not a meaningful scientific journal, but if you're going to announce awards for this sort of thing you could at least make some effort to take it seriously.

Lockheed Martin? Ignored by everyone actually involved in the relevant field? Lockheed Martin is basically one of the few groups to actually do something like this. Their goal is to be able to install one of these in military planes to keep them in the air for years without refueling. It just so happens that them figuring this out would have worldwide benefits and really isn't all that useful as a weapon itself.

Are you thinking cold fusion here? That's my only assumption for why you think this is entirely impossible with fusion reactors already in existence and with this being backed by a legitimate company.

I just agree that it shouldn't be on the list because they haven't actually done anything yet. This is as silly as giving President Obama a Nobel Peace Prize before he actually does anything. For all they knew, he could have gone on to expand a hugely controversial drone program that plays judge jury and executioner with sniper precision but with bad eyesight and questionable Intel to conduct such a trial.

Parshooter:
These are weird lists. There's like one game that I find worthy of the Best of 2014 title then the game I know you guys are going to pick Cough**Hearthstone**Cough.

Not if I have anything to say about it.

After looking at that list I thought to myself, "What a terrible year for games" but then I remembered that Wolfenstein, The Wolf Among Us and South Park came out this year too.

Lightknight:
You're probably thinking about cold fusion.

No, I'm thinking about the total bullshit Lockheed Martin have spouted.

We even have working fusion power plants around the world

No we don't. If you don't actually know anything about the subject, you should probably avoid trying to correct those who actually do. We have plenty of experiments working on fusion, but we don't have anything even approaching an actual power plant.

and at least one appears to be reaching the break even point

No, none are even close. ITER will hopefully be the first tokamak to manage it, but won't even be trying until 2020 at the earliest. NIF had hoped to be past break even already, but has repeatedly failed to actually achieve ignition and no-one is entirely sure why. With a bit of luck they'll be able to secure enough funding to eventually manage it, but they're well passed their original mandate already.

at which enough plasma will have been built up to make it worth while.

It's absolutely nothing to do with "building up enough plasma".

So the two main problems with fusion is containment (don't want anything that hot actually touching the outside) and producing the plasma (traditionally takes a really long time).

No, there is one very simple problem with fusion - it takes more energy to produce than it gives out, and changing that means achieving higher pressure and/or temperature (generally magnetic confinement aims for higher temperatures while intertial confinement gets higher pressures; the problem with NIF is that they can't get to pressures as high as was predicted by theory). And plasma certainly doesn't take a long time to produce; the entire reaction in inertial confinement takes nanoseconds at the longest.

So, in theory, if they have improved on containment and actually have a breakthrough in plasma generation then this is not, in fact, bullshit.

Which is why I didn't say anything about fusion being bullshit, I said Lockheed Martin's claims about it are bullshit.

Lockheed Martin? Ignored by everyone actually involved in the relevant field?

Yes. Since you appear to be a bit confused, Lockheed Martin is a military contractor that mainly makes weapons and vehicles. The people involved in the relevant field are primarily plasma and particle physicists (incidentally, I am a particle physicist). Lockheed Martin's claims got plenty of hype in the non-scientific press, but have been almost entirely ignored by everyone who is actually working on real fusion projects. Those who haven't ignored it have said that it is, in fact, bullshit.

Their goal is to be able to install one of these in military planes to keep them in the air for years without refueling.

Because announcing what you'd like to be able to do is exactly the same as having a valid scientific idea about how to do it. People have been saying they'd like to do this since at least WW2. A producer of military equipment announcing that they'd still like to do it, and by the way does anyone fancy giving them some money, is just a transparently obvious cash grab.

That's my only assumption for why you think this is entirely impossible with fusion reactors already in existence and with this being backed by a legitimate company.

My only assumption for why you keep repeating this nonsense is that you haven't actually read anything I've posted and don't actually know anything about fusion yourself. Once again, I have said nothing whatsoever about fusion not being possible, it is Lockheed Martin's claims that are bullshit, not fusion in general.

EDIT: It occurs to me that the post below may seem confrontational. Please understand that I'm aware that what I have here is an opportunity to speak with a particle physicist about an area I do not have any specialty in and I appreciate that. So please don't think of any of my responses as mere rebuffs so much as posing questions in response.

Kahani:
No we don't. If you don't actually know anything about the subject, you should probably avoid trying to correct those who actually do. We have plenty of experiments working on fusion, but we don't have anything even approaching an actual power plant.

Yes, you are correct. I completely mispoke when I said "power plant" and meant to say reactor. I mentally use the terms interchangeably and that clearly caught me here. So let me start by absolutely conceding that point.

Since I thought you were thinking about cold fusion my only intention was to explain that we have achieved fusion and have produced energy from them. I did not think or intend to mean that we have actual plants in place that are powering homes. Sorry.

and at least one appears to be reaching the break even point

No, none are even close. ITER will hopefully be the first tokamak to manage it, but won't even be trying until 2020 at the earliest. NIF had hoped to be past break even already, but has repeatedly failed to actually achieve ignition and no-one is entirely sure why. With a bit of luck they'll be able to secure enough funding to eventually manage it, but they're well passed their original mandate already.

Wait, I thought the Torus experiment had achieved near break-even results. Like 16 MW compared to the 24 MW they put in using magnetic confinement?

No, there is one very simple problem with fusion - it takes more energy to produce than it gives out, and changing that means achieving higher pressure and/or temperature (generally magnetic confinement aims for higher temperatures while intertial confinement gets higher pressures; the problem with NIF is that they can't get to pressures as high as was predicted by theory).

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/giant-leap-for-nuclear-fusion-as-scientists-get-more-energy-out-than-fuel-put-in/

I thought this year saw this claim fail?

And plasma certainly doesn't take a long time to produce; the entire reaction in inertial confinement takes nanoseconds at the longest.

150 picoseconds if the internet is to be trusted.

Which is why I didn't say anything about fusion being bullshit, I said Lockheed Martin's claims about it are bullshit.

Yes, as you can see, my initial confusion was thinking you were claiming fusion itself to be crap. I've had this discussion with about ten people in person and every single one of them brings up the Saint and talks about how impossible it is... But if you think Lockheed Martin themselves are spouting crap, then perhaps you know something about them

Lockheed Martin? Ignored by everyone actually involved in the relevant field?

Yes. Since you appear to be a bit confused, Lockheed Martin is a military contractor that mainly makes weapons and vehicles. The people involved in the relevant field are primarily plasma and particle physicists (incidentally, I am a particle physicist). Lockheed Martin's claims got plenty of hype in the non-scientific press, but have been almost entirely ignored by everyone who is actually working on real fusion projects. Those who haven't ignored it have said that it is, in fact, bullshit.

Skepticism is not the same thing as calling shenanigans. Of course Lockheed's claims are likely going to fail to pan out. You'd a fool not to assume everyone is going to fail at this point until someone doesn't or someone gets really really close with clear room for improvement.

If they have figured out containment, then they figured out the biggest hurdle.

Because announcing what you'd like to be able to do is exactly the same as having a valid scientific idea about how to do it. People have been saying they'd like to do this since at least WW2. A producer of military equipment announcing that they'd still like to do it, and by the way does anyone fancy giving them some money, is just a transparently obvious cash grab.

They'd already been working on it for four years previous. It is both possible that they were running out of cash or that they actually found something and want to ramp up the work.

You are right that they haven't actually proven anything yet. This is why my first post in this thread (post 2) was complaining about them being put on the list for that reason. But that doesn't make them lying, it just means it's time for them to put up or shut up. Test within a year, prototype within five. We'll see how the test goes.

Once again, I have said nothing whatsoever about fusion not being possible, it is Lockheed Martin's claims that are bullshit, not fusion in general.

Such is the nature in conversing in what is essentially email format. You could not stop me after my first sentence to correct my assumption that you were calling fusion crap.

I'm seeing a distinct lack of Bayonetta 2... pretty much everywhere. How this isn't even in consideration for GOTY or even Action Title of the Year is beyond me since it is literally one of the best games I played all year, if not the best. It's even one of the best sequels I played, making up for the shortcomings of the previous game's story by filling in gaps of that story while having a somewhat solid story of its own. Not mad but just kind of perplexed at this strange oversight.

Lightknight:
EDIT: It occurs to me that the post below may seem confrontational. Please understand that I'm aware that what I have here is an opportunity to speak with a particle physicist about an area I do not have any specialty in and I appreciate that. So please don't think of any of my responses as mere rebuffs so much as posing questions in response.

Yes, you are correct. I completely mispoke when I said "power plant" and meant to say reactor. I mentally use the terms interchangeably and that clearly caught me here. So let me start by absolutely conceding that point.

Since I thought you were thinking about cold fusion my only intention was to explain that we have achieved fusion and have produced energy from them. I did not think or intend to mean that we have actual plants in place that are powering homes. Sorry.

No worries, I can entirely understand the frustration talking to cold fusion nuts can cause.

Wait, I thought the Torus experiment had achieved near break-even results. Like 16 MW compared to the 24 MW they put in using magnetic confinement?

Torus? Do you mean JET (Joint European Torus)? That is the most successful fusion experiment so far, but that 65% output ratio was achieved nearly 20 years ago now, and the facility will never be capable of actually reaching break-even. It's mainly used as a tool to understand the physics going on, not to try to actually produce as much energy as possible. The plan is for the knowledge gained at JET to allow ITER to actually produce energy once it's up and running, but as I mentioned before that's not going to be until at least the end of the decade.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/giant-leap-for-nuclear-fusion-as-scientists-get-more-energy-out-than-fuel-put-in/

I thought this year saw this claim fail?

It depends exactly how you look at it, but in any meaningful sense, no. More energy was produced from fusion than was directly transferred to the fuel itself. But even if you ignore all the inefficiencies in the electricity and lasers, the fuel is not floating freely in the air; it's contained inside a capsule which the lasers essentially vaporise, and it's the energy emitted from that which ultimately hits the actual fuel. If you selected a small volume of fusing plasma inside a tokamak, you could easily find that that particular volume was putting out more energy than it was receiving. But since it's not possible for that volume to exist in isolation, it makes no sense to ignore all the energy required to heat up the whole thing. That's pretty much exactly the same situation as here. Even if you assume you could have 100% efficient power generation and transfer, some stages of the process are inherently lossy. With a tokamak, you have to heat a large volume of plasma, so you can never ignore the energy needed to do that and assume you'll eliminate that loss in the future somehow. In inertial confinement, as implemented at NIF at least, you have to put energy into the hohlraum, only some of which is ultimately transferred to the fuel. Even if the efficiency of that process is improved, it can never be 100%, so you can't just ignore it and assume it's something that can be fixed later.

That's not to say it wasn't an important step in terms of the physics, but it's a very long way from getting more energy out than went in. Far enough away that it was shortly after that result was announced that the program to develop an actual working power plant based on NIF was cancelled. NIF has done better than we've managed before, but not as well as was expected and ultimately just not well enough.

Skepticism is not the same thing as calling shenanigans.

Not always, sure. But science is all about evidence, and Lockheed Martin simply haven't presented any. Going to the public and the media with grand claims and requests for money, rather than going through scientific channels with actual evidence, is always a big red flag. See the first link from my previous post:

"I'm surprised that a company like this would release something that doesn't have much context," said Steven Cowley, a professor in plasma physics at the Imperial College London, director of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, and a leading expert in magnetic fusion energy.

"Normally, if someone says they're doing well in fusion, they would quote some data, 'We got a temperature of x and a confinement of y,'" he said, referring to how long a reactor can hold the heat of a reaction before it escapes. "There's no such information."

Note that Culham is where JET is located; this guy is the head of the most successful fusion project in the world so far. Maybe it's not obvious to non-scientists, but phrases like "I'm surprised to this released" and "Normally, you would quote some dara" are about the most vicious calls of bullshit you will ever see published as official statements. It's like MPs (in the UK parliament) calling each other "honourable gentlemen". They're not being nice to each other, that's just the worst thing they're allowed to say. It might not look as bad as Kenyan MPs actually punching each other, but the sentiment is often the same. Professor Cowley's remarks may not look like he's calling shenanigans on the face of it, but he couldn't have insulted them much more if he'd made a bunch of "your mum" jokes and then pissed through their letterbox.

Thanks for the responses, I appreciate the education.

Do you think that Lockheed Martin's desire to use these in military vehicles may increase the need for them to remain mum on specifics like that?

As for JET (Torus was the only part I could remember, I've always been better with numbers than with names), 65% 20 years ago should leave significant meat on the bones for future endeavors. I mean, surely we've had a lot of advancements since then and even with that original ignition source wouldn't advances in containment provide a significant benefit to output? Or am I missing something more fundamental about how it works?

It seems like Lockheed Martin's real draw here is just their containment method. We seem to have made a lot of real progress in ignition methods from acoustics to lasers. Even fast ignition wasn't finished until less than a decade ago and it promises significant power savings.

I mean, better technologies have come out and significant information has been gained. We appear to be on the last stretch of the race with a bunch of people combining various components and hopefully one or more should work.

Lockheed can hopefully, if nothing else, provide invaluable research with their failure if that's what they come to.

I really don't understand Snowpiercer. I watched it, twice, and I can't really seem to get what I'm supposed to get out of it. Ignoring that the setup was just silly because you really have to just go with it or it'll kill the movie, I'm fairly certain the end of that movie has everyone but 2 people dead.

There's a lot of really interesting and cool moments, but there's also a lot of really stupid crap that just makes no sense, even in the context of the world they've built themselves.

 

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