Com-cast Ep. 21: Let's See the Big Picture

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Many Wars in One, ‘The Second World War,’ by Antony Beevor

Let's See the Big Picture

• Do traditional Steam gamers have a real use for BPM?
• Will BPM significantly alter Valve's focus in the long run?
• If BPM is the final version of the Steambox OS, does it have enough software-wise to separate it from the pack?
• Will the Steambox have other services like Netflix, ESPN, etc? Or will it be gaming only?
• What demographic is the Steambox/BPM aiming for?

Solifluktion's picture

Finally another ComCast.

On the topic of Call of Duty (or WW2 games in general) in Germany, they mostly cut out all the swastikas and replace them with Iron Crosses. They also eliminate words like Hitler, Wehrmacht, SS and block us from changing the audio from german to english. And "Nazis" is always replaced with "Germans" which is okay although as a German I'd rather shoot "Nazis".

It would be nice if a publisher would finally grow a pair and try to release a game in its original state since games have been recognized as art and are therefore allowed to contain forbidden symbols.

Whiplash's picture

@Solifluktion

I've always known that Germany censors any references to Nazism, Adolf Hitler, the SS and anything of the like, but I never knew what exactly they replaced them with. It's really interesting to hear what exactly is changed in the German versions of WWII games.

Solifluktion's picture

@Whiplash

Try this out. Additionally there are some cuts to keep the violence lower (especially in World at War).

michaelkirschner's picture

OK so you guys talked about Call of Duty and all the awesome things that they could do or rather should do with the series but unfortunately will never do because it's too risky. There will never be a Korean or epic World War II Call of Duty as long as there can be more Modern Warfares and Back Ops every year with Michael Bay style prepubescent crowd pleasers. So now I think the topic you should talk about on the next Com-Cast should be "Why is Call of Duty king of shooters?" and how can it be toppled from its throne?" It doesn't seem to be as simple as "well of Call of Duty won't make a Korean war or WWII game then someone else will" because when someone else does make a non Call of Duty FPS no one ever seems to play it 

darthskeletor's picture

@michaelkirschner

Network externality. That's it. A critical mass simply attracts more weight to itself, and not only are people powerless to resist because of the "my friends already have it", competitors are powerless to compete because people will always choose the safe option because of a similar reason.

In terms of Valve's big picture, I think that the Steambox absolutely has room to decrease in price and become more specced out. I believe that what was shown at CES was not only a boring prototype, but also a boring prototype of a computer I think they already make. With standardization and mass production, the price WILL go down.

KaptainKrunk's picture

OK. So here's my thoughts on the whole "We don't want Michael Bay Call of Duty games" situation. It seems like most people are in agreement with this. Yet, how can we complain when we are partly to blame for it being this way. Year after year we all go out and buy the new Call of Duty and help Activision break new records. Think about how Activision sees this. They think "Oh. Based on sales, fans love this ridiculous over the top bull shit. Let's give them even more next time." The only way to stop this trend is to stop buying the new game....

but we won't do that...

So, I hate to say it, but things probably won't be changing anytime soon.

disgruntledavians's picture

A couple of things, because I haven't been on in forever. Firstly, it is very interesting to see what censorship in Germany is like. Like Whiplash, that's something that always has intrigued me.

Secondly, in regards to the Big Picture mode, I think it is far more for casual gamers. I personally love PC gaming, and on my 32" monitor on my desk, I feel like I'm already getting a fairly big picture. That being said, I would love to see how Valve might implement a mouse and keyboard coop system by having two proprietary sets of controls tie together and register with the Steambox separately.

In regards to CoD, KaptainKrunk and darthskeletor are both right. Network externality does loop ever increasing numbers of people into the same thing for convenience and bandwagoning reasons. But, most of this is driven by casual gamers who pick up another CoD by virtue of the fact that it's the biggest thing, or by little kids who are a bundle of energy after racing through the campaign and saving the world and generally more excitable with cheap tricks.

Taking that in mind, I think that this podcast caters to a very niche crowd: those of us who are hardcore gamers, and also value intelligent thought, discussion, and innovation in the gaming industry. And that's why although we, being the people who have commented, feel that the status quo is woefully inadequate, are fairly united in this line of thinking, there are far more of us out there who don't.

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