Escapist Podcast - Movies and TV: 027: Sony Hack 2 - The Sequel

027: Sony Hack 2 - The Sequel

Like a gift from Santa - or maybe you prefer Momus, the god of mockery - we get to end the year with a spectacular controversy full of disagreement and yet that unites everyone behind the idea that something incredibly stupid just happened. I speak, of course, about the recent hack of Sony Pictures.

Mountains of private information, not to mention digital prints of certain films and a ton of intercompany email, were leaked. But the biggest story is that the hackers - the so-called Guardians of Peace - demanded that Sony cancel the release of the Seth Rogen/James Franco assasination-of-Kim Jong Un comedy The Interview, making some terroristic threats along the way. You all know what happened next (spoiler: Sony pulled the release after all the major theater chains opted not to show the film.)

And now everyone is talking about delicious industry gossip, geopolitical problems, and free speech. And so are we! In this week's podcast, Bob and Ross dig deep into all aspects of the Sony hack story as only they can: with Bob barely tolerating Ross' long-winded digressions. Enjoy, and of course, hack the planet!

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Very interesting Show.

i was wondering if the press/critics screening where canceled?. it seems they would have happened before the opening where cancelled.

As much as Steam is a monopoly in the digital distribution sector, it's origin and Uplay that engage in the shitty business practices way more often "it's okay to sell our product as long as it's over retail and it still has to use our shitty service"

Hoplon:
As much as Steam is a monopoly in the digital distribution sector, it's origin and Uplay that engage in the shitty business practices way more often "it's okay to sell our product as long as it's over retail and it still has to use our shitty service"

Not sure how "they are more then retail" when they are the same price on Steam, unless you live in anther area and I don't have access to that information.

Besides I consider "we can't give you a refund even if your laws say we have to" to be a pretty shitty business practice and from what I understand from around here that is something Steam does.

Sanunes:

Hoplon:
As much as Steam is a monopoly in the digital distribution sector, it's origin and Uplay that engage in the shitty business practices way more often "it's okay to sell our product as long as it's over retail and it still has to use our shitty service"

Not sure how "they are more then retail" when they are the same price on Steam, unless you live in anther area and I don't have access to that information.

Besides I consider "we can't give you a refund even if your laws say we have to" to be a pretty shitty business practice and from what I understand from around here that is something Steam does.

retail as in the stores, and the publisher sets the price on digital distribution Steam included. But i can buy them for less physically from say Game or Amazon.

no one will refund PC games if you play it and don't like it, even physical stores. Try doing it some time. if EA are so good about it how come they will only refund their own games? not anyone else they sell via origin?

Steam isn't perfect and you are correct the no refunds is shitty but i get the feeling it's not entirely out of choice.

Hoplon:

retail as in the stores, and the publisher sets the price on digital distribution Steam included. But i can buy them for less physically from say Game or Amazon.

no one will refund PC games if you play it and don't like it, even physical stores. Try doing it some time. if EA are so good about it how come they will only refund their own games? not anyone else they sell via origin?

Steam isn't perfect and you are correct the no refunds is shitty but i get the feeling it's not entirely out of choice.

Not trying to be too nit picky, but you are willing to give Steam the benefit of the doubt on returns internationally because there might not be a choice, but you blame Origin for not taking refunds on anything but EA games when they might have no choice in the matter either?

Sanunes:
Not trying to be too nit picky, but you are willing to give Steam the benefit of the doubt on returns internationally because there might not be a choice, but you blame Origin for not taking refunds on anything but EA games when they might have no choice in the matter either?

No, it's a fair point, It's more or less i know who is in charge at origin, EA, but not who has to agree to things at Steam since it's mostly third party publishers on Steam.

Now EA might have done that to encourage other publishers selling games on the platform to do the same. Seems bit too progressive for them though what with stuff like that dungeon keeper fiasco etc.

Hoplon:
No, it's a fair point, It's more or less i know who is in charge at origin, EA, but not who has to agree to things at Steam since it's mostly third party publishers on Steam.

Now EA might have done that to encourage other publishers selling games on the platform to do the same. Seems bit too progressive for them though what with stuff like that dungeon keeper fiasco etc.

The way I look at both companies is we don't really know how they operate, for all we know EA might have contracts with other companies that require them to give the money to the other publishers/developers right away and if that is the case they might not have the money to give a refund on non-EA products. Now it can always change, I know I am hoping for that change because I would like to see more companies being successful on the digital marketplace.

As far as Dungeon Keeper I do agree that it was horribly designed and treated people like a walking wallet, but two of the games I do play on my phone are also from EA and I don't get the same feeling from them (The Simpson's Tapped Out and Heroes of Dragon Age).

Bob! Target and k mart are both owned by Wesfarmers, they are Australia's biggest retailer chain. You might want to look them up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesfarmers

While I know you are well intentioned, you have reached an level of casual ineptitude that makes listening this podcast further uninteresting.

The comments about the developers of 'Hatred' are absurd -- particularly from people working around game-journalism who should know that developers of controversial games can still be talented people and that making a game with a reasonable level of visual consistency and quality and tone and creativity is not something that just happens.

Some people want to play games in which they can be the "hero", defeating virtual monsters, because in their real life they are powerless. Others want to play simulators of spaceships, because they are never going to be able to go into space. People play dating sims and crime-action games and war-action games, because they allow them to play out fantasy situations that they don't really want to have in real life. 'Hatred' seems like it's about letting people play out a fantasy of killing. And... so? What's the problem?

Would you say that people who watch 'Natural Born Killers' are looking to become serial killers? Would you say that the people who made that film were serial killers? Of course not. The film shows a great deal of cruel and wanton violence, even from the "good guy" characters -- but we understand that someone can enjoy the film without wanting, in any way whatsoever, to act violently.

Games, books, films... these things portray events that are not real events. A game about killing innocent people isn't the same as killing innocent people. And different people would have different reasons for playing such a game. Some people who are anti-social might be attracted to 'Hatred', much like the 9-11 terrorists were attracted to flight simulators; but we don't blame the flight simulators for terrorism and there is no reason to blame a game for the actions of people who play it.

If you are not able to separate fantasy from reality -- if you cannot, as a minimal baseline, start with the premise that "anything" is fit material for a film, book, video game or the like, then you shouldn't be in a position of providing critical commentary on any of those things.

When I play a game like Skyrim, I don't steal. Because I simply don't want to. The game includes "crime simulation" as well as "murder simulation" -- permitting and even glorifying assassination or mere random killing of people and wild animals. Lots and lots of people play the game that way. But I don't hear you complaining about that.

If you want to be professionals, you need to go beyond your "This game/film makes me feel all icky!" whining and examine your emotions, your point of view, your background and determine if this material is even something you're in a position to clearly evaluate. And if you want to talk about it, you need to address what about the material is affecting you and why. Why would you think killing peasants in Skyrim is fine, but killing people in Hatred is not.

We _all_ object to being killed in real life. No one is advocating having "haters" walking up and down the streets killing people. But you seem to be conflating "a game" with "reality", and speaking like your objections to the game are as obvious and reasonable as objections to actually being shot.

Look, here's a game for you to consider: Any number of players may play. On your turn, roll a 6-sided die. For the results 1-5, nothing happens. If you roll a 6, you wipe out all life in the universe and the game ends.

Would you play that game? Why not? Because it's silly? Not challenging? What about the detail that it involves killing not just billions of humans, but potentially vast numbers of aliens on distant worlds? Hmm? You see, I don't get the impression that your objection to 'Hatred' is anything other than mindless, convenient posturing. Perhaps it isn't; but you're not giving any impression of thoughtfulness. Because you seem to object more to the idea of someone "really hating people" than of someone "playing a game in which fictional people get killed". And it's just a game, it's not going to make anyone really hate anyone or really kill anyone, any more than my stupid dice-throwing game will end all life in the universe.

The same ineptitude holds for your opinions on Sony and 'The Interview'. You (yes, collectively; both of you) are free to just mindlessly ramble in your podcast, but you seem to be talking about these subjects as if you never gave them any serious thought at all. I know you're not really journalists, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to bother to find out anything about computer security, but you are speaking like fools.

Your dismissive comments about the government of the DPRK are inexcusable. They are a real country in the real world and have numerous effects upon real people outside their borders. They are not laughable or inept. They have maintained hereditary power and kept their borders intact for decades despite extreme economic sanctions. They have developed nuclear weapons -- and while they might not have the ability to launch missiles to hit every square inch of the US, they could choose to kill quite a few people if they wanted to. And you think a film mocking their leader would somehow unravel all of that?

You seem to think that people are so malleable that a game like Hatred will turn them into killers. And a entire society is so fragile that a comedic film in a foreign language will overthrow their government.

It's been kinda nice listening to your little rants about Transformers, because listening to people speak with passion about subjects they are familiar with is always fascinating. But you speak too much of late with inflated authority about things you just don't know anything about, and that's just repugnant and tiresome.

Good luck with your show.

Regarding Hatred... are you bitter Bob ? I can't quite tell. But at least you have a principled position, I can respect that.

I would also note that one of the issue with Target isn't simply the fact it was taken down, but that the reason it was taken down is asinine on a level rarely seen before.

 

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