Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Episode 92 is up!

Closing out 2010 and hinting a reboot in 2011. We're a franchise, we're allowed to reboot every 3 years, right? We also talk about WoW, Black Ops and our favorite Spike awards show, the Spike Video Game Awards Show!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Episode 88 is up!

A new D-Pad for the 360! Arkham City first screenshots, first impressions. Do all games fit in a genre?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Episode 87 is up!

It's there, grab it and have a listen.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Episode 85 is up!

It's up, forgot to post here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Episode 84 is up!

Friend of the podcast and host of his own podcast, The Reanimators' Ryan Duffin, joins us for some 3D talk, a little more Alan Wake, Mike's discovery of Red Dead Redemption and SP vs. Co-Op vs. MP: What's the most important gameplay option?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Episode 83 is up!

Stephan rejoins us just in time to hear from probably his biggest fan. We also discuss Natal-Wake, a little Alan Wake and the phases a gamer goes through as they grow up gaming.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Episode 82 is up!

Bryan Pearson joins the 10th Musers to discuss Open World Design in the "Alan Wake" of Red Dead Redemption's release and colossal metacritic reception. Plus, we comment on the 10th Muse Around the World answers to "Have you ever be scared enough while playing a game that it carried into real life?"

Monday, May 10, 2010

Episode 81 is up!

Fear in Games. With the much anticipated title Alan Wake just 9 days away, we talk fear in games from horror to suspense to psychological thriller.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Dog Goes ART ART!

Reposted from Mike's Blog over at http://zatransis.blogspot.com

Oh Ebert...

Ok, so I'm not going to actually talk about the Ebert thing. Not that he is a nobody but that whole stunt got him enough publicity and I don't want to get him anymore.

What I am going to talk about is art in general because my point of view is different than the average person because I am an artist. My point of view is far from better but being on the creation end of it skews my stance a bit.

Since I spend a lot of my time on DeviantArt I am constantly confronted with the statement "It's so bad it's not even art" usually in reference to inflation art or the millionth naked chick that day and Daily Deviations don't really defend DA that well in regards to validating it (as far as the people making the accusations are concerned). A lot of people that aren't involved in DA think it's a mine field of furry porn, gay fanart, and all-around amateur art. I work in the game industry (and dabble in others) and when you mention an artist that's on DA the noses in the room go skyward quicker than you can draw a fox named "Ted" fucking a wolf named "Laser Fang". But, like a lot of sites where people can freely submit their creations, there is a lot of good with the sea of bad. No matter how bad the art is, though, it's still art.

I subscribe to the school of "If it was created with the intent to communicate an idea" then it is art. I also don't support defining a distinction between high-art and low-art. Art is art and the value of it varies from person to person. Now that I've said that, what does "Created with the intent to communicate an idea" mean?

Art-types want to hurry to validate whatever they are defending as art by reading so far into something that it becomes about flexing their own intellect and perception and not about letting art stand for itself. When I say "communicate an idea" I mean anything from "this woman in silhouette represents the struggle of the female spirit" to "this hand is draw anatomically correct". I try to put myself in the shoes of the artist and imagine what would be going through my head while I draw, paint, shoot, sing, sculpt the piece. Even an artist who is drawing a plant for a science journal is thinking about every line they lay down. They are looking at their lighting, color, accuracy and trying to convey "plant" in it's totality. That's an art. Now, think about an 11 year-old girl struggling to draw her favorite cartoon character. It's most likely going to look like shit to most of us. What about to her? It's the best work of art she has created at that point in her life. She is proud of it and proud that it conveys what she loves about that character. You cannot discredit the statement she has made and still allow Picasso to stand. The desire to get ones point across, whatever it is, is so strong the only word that can describe that passion is "Art".

Because of this fundamental definition, even the shittiest inflation art is art. Filling Cartman full of water to the point of him swelling to the size of cement truck is still art. I think it's fucking stupid, but no matter how much I dislike it, it is still valid. You want to draw Cloud making out with Sephiroth? Uhhh, go ahead I guess. Be prepared to have a lot of people tell you it's retarded and breaks the fundamental basis for those characters... just don't let them tell you it's not art.

So, Ebert thinks games aren't art. Well, he's wrong. He might not like it being included in the art club but it is. Ke$ha is everything I hate about pop music, but it remains art (Wha? I know!). Anytime someone says something isn't art, no matter what it is, my inclination is to disagree. Once you say something isn't art it becomes a slippery slope that can discredit a million other things, some once considered the highest of art. Saying "that's not art" is like an 18 year-old kid that's really into GBH this year saying "that's not punk enough". It's a trite statement that is filled to the brim with a lack of understanding and a desire to separate, categorize, and dismiss to bolster and validate oneself.

So, the next time you hear a Papa Roach song, see a lionized Harry Potter fanart, or watch a new RomCom starring JLo, remember: they are just as valid as a NOFX song, a matte painting from Avatar, and that new foreign film about that weird shit that you don't understand but are going to pretend to in an effort to impress your PBR-suckling, hipster, pseudo-friends.

Seacrest out...


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Episode 80 is up!

The return of Stephan.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How Video Games are Art

“One obvious difference between Art and Games is that you can win a Game. It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome. Santiago might cite a immersive Game without points or rules, but I would say then it ceases to be a Game and becomes a representation of a story, a novel, a play, dance, a film. Those are things you cannot win; you can only experience them.” – Roger Ebert Video Games can never be Art

Roger Ebert is correct. Games are not Art. Roger succinctly defines a Game as containing “rules, points, objectives and an outcome”. They are competitive matches and exist purely for sport. They are entertainment and at times may approach Art as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Walter Payton and other amazing athletes have demonstrated over the years. Some of their acts and the near perfection they achieve can be viewed as “Artistic”, they contain grace, power, evoke emotion, but they do not possess the carnal awe and wonderment Art does for taken out of the competitive context they lose their sense of perfection and feel void of emotion.

“A Game is a structured activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from Art, which is more concerned with the expression of ideas.” – Wikipedia

By Wikipedia’s definition, for a Video Game to approach Art it must be more concerned with the expression of ideas than a structured activity undertaken for enjoyment. This is the failing of Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and many Video Games comprised of a simple series of rules and score. But what of the Video Games that keep no score and have more ideas than rules?

ThatGamecompany’s Flower expresses the value of balance between society and nature. Throughout the experience, the player is not challenged to win, but to comprehend the relationship. The visual narrative that unfolds from city to rural is "an interactive poem exploring the tension between urban and nature". Flower is not a Game, but it is a Video Game.

Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 contains the level “No Russian”, the player must take on the role of a Secret Agent embedded in a terrorist organization. Inside of a Russian airport the player witnesses and can participate in the terrorist act of mowing down defenseless civilians with automatic rifles. The level is trivial in difficulty; the player is not challenged to win, but to think about the moral ambiguity of the scene and possibly their actions. “No Russian” is not a Game, but it is a Video Game.

Quantic Dream’s “Heavy Rain” is an interactive cinematic experience, it is a movie, it is a Game, it is a challenge to the player’s morality. Skill with a controller can determine an outcome to one situation, a structured activity; morality the outcome of the next, an expression of ideas. It is this seamless integration of Game and Art that truly defines Video Games and presents us with one of the first titles that can truly be considered Art. Previously the connection between Game and Art in Video Games has been limited to the Art being trapped behind a series of Game challenges. Overcome the challenges, be rewarded with the cinematic Art. Heavy Rain allows the player to interpret and shape the Art based on their dexterity and moral principles. Each and every outcome is handcrafted Art, the player stitches together a plot tailored to their existence. Much like Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Heavy Rain uses meticulous craftsmanship to capture emotion and instills that in the player. And like every viewer of Seurat, every player leaves with a different understanding based on their own interpretation, judgment and being.

By Roger’s definition, Games are not Art and Video Games are not Games. Much like some films are not Art, some Video Games are just Games, but few through

“the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions” – Wikipedia

Challenge the player as human beings to question themselves, their values, the meaning of everything around them and to find beauty in the arrangement of audio and video assets. I have found that beauty, I have experienced Art in Video Games.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Episode 79 is up!

Oh Roger, why do you have to hate on games? Minus Stephan, Mike and Patrick are forced to pick up the slack with some in-depth analysis of IW, FFXIII and Video Games as Art, or not Art as Roger would say it.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Monday, for sure.

We've had a series of unfortunate events and we are committed to Monday. Unless, of course, we don't. But we will!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We're Not Dead!

We will finally be recording this Thursday!

Stay Tuned!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Episode 78 is up!

What's your favorite gameplay system? That and a long discussion about FFXIII on this episode of the 10th Muse.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Episode 77 is up!

RIP Infinity Ward...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Episode 76 is up!

Why we game? And why Heavy Rain is so awesome.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Episode 75 is up!

Lots of Heavy Rain and Mass Effect in the forecast.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Episode 74 is up!

News, Thoughts, Gameplay and Hardware costs too much. Software costs too much. So which is it?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hands-on: D&D on the Microsoft Surface


And we're recording tonight.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Episode 73 is up!

Today on the 10th Muse Padcast we talk about the iPod... wait... on the iCast we talk about the iPad, yes! Games, News, Thoughts and more in episode 73.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Episode 72 is up!

The Muse returns! New setup, new location, same show. In today's episode, we get everyone caught up on what we've been playing and discuss this quarter's crazy release schedule.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

10th Muse Favorites!

Hey gang!

I am going to get this going since we don't know when the next episode with be up. I'm going to call it "10th Muse Favorites" until we can figure out a much more lame name for it. We will post up links to some of our personal favorite episodes.

Back on October 14, 2008 (ep. 41) we had the privilege of having Erik Yeo on. Here is the tag from that episode:

"This week Patrick, Mike, and Stephan set out to command and conquer with Erik Yeo, game designer here at Slipgate Ironworks. They guys hash it out on topics like DRM, trilogies, mergers, and Obama in our games. The roundtable circles around the topic of game genres and their evolution as technologies change. Is it the chicken or the egg when it comes to genre/technology mutual influence? They hit Erik with those pesky Muse questions and reveal what games they are digging on these days. So, check out this new episode of 10th Muse Podcast... It's a bucket o'topics fit for a king!"

My favorite thing about this episode is how Erik classes up the joint. I always found him to be a smart dude and he has a great list of credentials: http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,1937/

So, I chose this one so people can become reacquainted with Erik and his thoughts on the industry.

Check out the episode here
or Download it direct from iTunes.