aquason

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  1. Video Demonstration that Toaster Timers are completely random, along with another explanation of how toasters work: Do The Numbers On Toaster Dials Mean Minutes?
  2. Something True 2: Class Clowns

    I figured that the events were true, but I'm suspicious of 'artistic flourishes' for the sake of humour and good storytelling. Like the wikipedia article says that 'for reasons still unclear' when it comes to Thomas Chappel burning down the island. Something true claims that it was because Chappel was a merry prankster. My suspicion is that it's not true that these were all treated as lighthearted pranks. I mean, Harvard students kidnapped people. That's unbelievable as is, but add in a 'oh boys will be boys' response and it seems like an outlandish exaggeration.
  3. It's still totally a thing in Japan (as in, the O means 'Confirm' and the 'X' means cancel). As people have expressed online a common frustration at hitting circle and cancelling instead of confirming.
  4. What happened to Sean on Idle Thumbs?

    Oh so that's why Steve left the cast. I miss Steve a lot, and it might just be me, but I would trade him for Nick Breckon (sorry Nick!).
  5. I want to be supportive and I do love the non-game related discussions (Robot News, Really passionate discussions about recent media, crazy diversions into hypothetical worlds, Nick Breckon), Idle Thumbs has always been to me 'Games. Video Games. Videooo Gaammes.' I don't know, maybe the fact that every week you felt obligated to talk about new video games you've played (you've mentioned that in previous episodes) gave it a unique spark that meant you talked about cool games I had never even heard of before. Your description of Miasmata stood out to me as a particular noteworthy episode. Your recap of your Crusader's Kings stream was amazing because it focused and retold a coherent story from a 12+ hours long livestream, filling in details and building up the characters with the help of Jake's contributions.
  6. Chris, if you don't want to know what Senpais or the Difference Between Visual Novels and Dating Sims are, ignore this post. Also this is probably going to be really lame. Senpai is a Japanese word that means something along the lines of 'upperclassman'. It extends to outside of highschool, but it's a type of relationship between two people, an older person ('Senpai') and the younger person ('Kohai'). Japanese culture's pretty strict on formality, so in these types of relationships younger individuals are supposed to obey and respect their older individuals, while the older individuals are supposed to guide and help teach their juniors. Relating this to how it's portrayed in anime taking place in highschool, 'kohai' is a person one year younger/one grade below you, while 'senpai' is a person one year older/one grade above you. So why is this a meme? Well in Japanese, there's a lot of different ways to refer to a person depending on what type of honourific ('Mr. Jones' versus just 'Jones') you add to their name. In these types of stories, people either add '-senpai' to the the end of the person's name or simply refer to their upperclassman just as 'senpai'. It sounds bad in English to call your friend who is a year older than you 'Upperclassman', and it's difficult to explain all this efficiently in a translated story, so a lot of people became used to just leaving it untranslated (and leaving a translation note somewhere to explain it). In a lot of these highschool romance stories, there's a bunch of different characters who all are in love with the protagonist. Inevitably there's a girl that's one year younger than the guy protagonist, and thus calls that guy 'senpai'. The meme 'Notice me Senpai' or 'I hope Senpai notices me' is a meme because that story idea of a younger girl desperately wanting the upperclassman to notice her is so common and overplayed. Now onto Dating Sims and Visual Novels. Visual Novels are pretty simple really, they're a lot like Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Books (or 'Gamebooks', as 'Choose-Your-Own-Adventure' is still copyrighted), but with music, sound effects, and other things a digital medium can do. Some Visual Novels feature radically different branching paths, some feature many bad endings, and some are quite linear. Some of them even have no choices at all, which some people further distinguish as 'Kinetic Novels'. Some Visual Novels push more into adventure game territory, like the Ace Attorney series or 999, which includes heavy puzzle-solving, while others don't have much else besides clicking to advance the scene. While the stereotype is that all Visual Novels feature romance or sex, there are also plenty of games that aren't about that (including the aforementioned Ace Attorney series). 'Dating Sims' are a bit different/more specific, as though they are about romancing fictional characters, their defining aspect is that the relationship is discretely measured with systems (as part of the idea of a "Dating Sim") rather than narrative beats. In a hypothetical example, you give a girl flowers on Day 4 and you see that her love has increased by 5 points, and you go to the gym to increase your 'strength stat' to impress her. That's a Dating Sim. Some Visual Novels are Dating Sims, but not all Visual Novels (or even romance-based Visual Novels) are Dating Sims. Just to add a further wrinkle, Japan also categorizes certain games as "Bishojo games" (literally, 'pretty girl games', and because of English influence on the Japanese language, sometimes called "Gal Games"), which fits most people's idea of what a 'Dating Sim' is. Basically if it has pretty anime girls, then it fits, doesn't matter if it's mechanically an RPG, FPS, whatever. Conclusion: "Visual Novel" = Stories that are sort of like Video Games and sort of like books. "Dating Sim" = A systems-based game about romancing people. Hatoful Boyfriend is a parody romance visual novel, but not a dating sim.
  7. - Jake Rodkin, Unintentional Poet @ 1:05:19
  8. Idle Thumbs Streams

    Literally catch it right after it ends.
  9. There's a Mario Party 9 minigame called Pizza Me, Mario as a pun off of "Its-a me, Mario!"
  10. When I've heard discussion about Let's Plays on Podcasts (or as more mainstream examples, that time Jimmy Kimmel joked about why anyone would watch other people play games), it's always from an outsider perspective, which doesn't personally watch other people play games for fun. For example, on the podcast they joked about it, but there are legitimately people who re-upload entire episodes of television and put their face cam in the corner (or alternatively, the entire episode is in the corner), and then declare they are fair use because it falls under criticism. Not going to link to any specific examples, but it's a more direct and less 'sketchy' way for a kid to watch online episodes of something they may like, and in general, the audience for those types of videos are strictly for the episode, not the person. I've grown up on this stuff, and seen how trends have evolved and changed, so I just want to give my two cents. Reason #1: I watch people play games as a substitute for playing the game This is legitimately the first reason I got into Let's Plays. As a kid, you don't have money, you don't have all the consoles or all the games, and there are whatever personal restrictions your parents might enforce on you. I didn't and still don't have a PS3 or 360 for example. I had a SNES, but only had a few games for it, meaning that lots of well-known games have passed me by. By reading and watching Let's Plays, I could be in the conversation, and know what the game was about and how it played and such. So yeah, especially in some types of games where the narrative is a main draw (like RPGs, but also action-adventures), I watched long video walkthroughs, let's plays, whatever, to experience the game vicariously. And especially if they're single-player, linear things, then once you watch someone play it, the desire to play it myself is severely diminished. Just to give an example, recently I read a complete Let's Play of 999 (a branching path story, puzzle-solving, visual novel for the DS), that sequentially showed all endings and all alternate choices, and it was incredibly enjoyable. But I'm not going to buy 999 after I've already seen everything. Reason #2: I watch people play games for schadenfreude and empathic reasons As a trend, this probably what you think about when you think of giant youtubers like Pewdiepie or Gamegrumps, and such, but to me this calls back all the way to some of the first Let's Plays, of the Mario Romhacks like . Seeing a person get angry, or sad, or happy over the course of a game, the best equivalent I can think of from a more traditional media might be something like a television game show, where you cheer with a person if they win, or think 'oh my god' if they pick the obvious wrong answer. It's a difficult feeling, and personally I'm not a fan of the newer youtubers who deliberately exaggerate they're reactions, but that's a personal taste thing. Reason #3: I watch people play games because they add additional content to the base game The most classic example I can think of is an old Let's Play of Princess Maker 2, where the author deliberately added new characters, fake dialogue, re-characterized other characters, experimented with different types of story-telling (one update was in the style of 'Flower for Agernon' as the titular Princess lost a lot of Intelligence Points during that week,) visually edited screenshots, and made up a completely new ending by editing two endings together. That's an extreme example, but I could argue more relaxed examples of something like Chuggaconroy's Pokemon Let's Plays. He's a Let's Player that and adds in additional encyclopedic information (catch rates, local population, what role a character performs in an RPG, his opinion on how effective they are, etc). Just as a recent example, I watched a Let's Play of Muramasa that in 'Episode 0' gave an overview of the developer's prior history, giving some information on who the founders were, where they came from, how they met, etc. Reason #4: I watch people play games because they have entertaining commentary If you've ever heard of Rifftrax, then this a very similar motivation. The people running the thing, by themselves can bounce off of what's happening the game and use it as a platform to make a . Reason #5: I watch people play games because of unique story generation Procedurally generated games like Dwarf Fortress or Crusader Kings 2 are sort of examples of what I'm talking about here. Reading through as someone tells a story of something that happened in-game, complete with crazy plots and specific named characters is something difficult to get anywhere else. Tvtropes calls them After Action Reports. I watched the entire set of the Idle Thumbs Crusader Kings 2 stream (hours of uncut, unedited stream footage) because the events that happened in it were so entertaining to me. Of course, often Let's Play fulfill any mixture of these motivations, but these are just some that I can quickly point out.
  11. Listening to Chris read auto generated text things is amazing. Something about his delivery, where he reads it like a normal sentence and smoothly transitions into "organized by blood-sucking vampires" without breaking character once. It's so much better than reading. Also "these people died from taking pictures of people who died from taking photographs of the tour guide" paints an amazing picture of the catacombs.
  12. Were oblivious by Nick Breckon Tweet this tweet like a week ago Does she lean on your arm And I ain't in Chicago! I also miss Pepperidge Farm. :/ Congrats! Good to hear. Same re: others. Definitely the guy narrating strats Pan w/ sausage and peppers From inside the CNN Turk office: It then another historical setting. Nice is a totally weird/bonkers thing Determined to kill that device
  13. If Street Fighter was incomphrehensible to Nick, I'd love to see his reaction to something like Marvel.
  14. I sent this in as an email last week, but after this week's Pokemon Go talk, and last week's CS:GO talk, it's even more appropriate. I was reminded of a neogaf user's story they wrote about their childhood with Pokemon. http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1191332 His first two paragraphs are a very good summation at why the recent news about Valve, CS, and lottery lawsuits made me think of his story.
  15. Don't want to derail this conversation even further into Nintendo + GamerGate talk, but I feel like it's sorta important to link to what Nintendo's response was, because learning about it on the podcast first made we wonder what the heck happened to 'don't be controversial' Nintendo. While it doesn't apologize or excuse the poorly-chosen localization, but seeing Nintendo actively call GamerGate an "online hate campaign" gives me some hope. Specifically considering Nintendo's sensitive PR and hesitation to wade into anything that could be considered political, it makes me think it's a genuine fuck up.