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This Is What You Want, This Is What You Get

Games and Gaming, Gaming Culture

“Do you hate children, stav?” folks have been known to ask me, all quizzical-like, expecting me to demur, because come on, what kind of monster could hate children?

I tend to respond, as Mickey Rourke did, playing Charles Bukowski in the underappreciated 1987 movie Barfly, when asked about people in general: “I don’t hate children, I just feel better when they’re not around.”

But the truth is, at least in the limited time I have available for playing video games on my computer machine, that I actually do hate children and I wish they would just go away. With one small addendum: the children that raise my ire range in age, I suspect, from maybe 13 to, say, 33. So technically, I guess, they’re not children at all, except in one important way: like all humans with underdeveloped emotional intelligence, they can be complete assholes.

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Tacticool Edition (11.11.11)

Games and Gaming, News

As is apropos on this Veteran’s Day, we spend most of this week’s podcast discussing the latest in modern military shooters, starting with our review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I ramble for a bit about what I’d like to see in a modern military shooter game, and why the “vision video” concept for Rainbow Six – Patriots is very much not that, Call of Duty Elite is delayed and borked, Battlefield 3 loses first week traffic numbers to a Call of Duty game, Steam gets hacked, and we talk about how Ubisoft and EA will punish us for being good paying customers through DRM. Please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast – Episode 39 (11/11/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Who Are You People Edition (11.02.11)

Games and Gaming, News

After a long absence, we have returned! Work and life may interfere, but nothing will stop us from nattering inanely into your earholes about beer! And games! Always with games.

After reviewing what we’ve been doing while we’ve been away, we dive right into the news with descriptions of the new Portal 2 Puzzle Creator, Battlefield 3 sells 5 million units in the first week and simultaneously destroys my faith in humanity and sets EA up for massive disappointment when Modern Warfare 3 inevitably sells that much in a day, the most unexpected Halloween special DLC pack we’ve ever seen, Blizzard jumps the shark and steps in it, and more, in this week’s hopefully final return of the Levels Of Detail Podcast. Please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 38 (11/02/11)

Intro Music: Caravan Palace – Crash

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: We’re Horrible, Horrible People Edition (09.15.11)

Games and Gaming, News

And once again, we return to you belatedly and with sadness in our hearts. Real life stupidly keeps on intruding into our efforts to bring you our particular brand of meaningless babble, and so here we are. This week, we cover such late-breaking news as Ubisoft removing the DRM from From Dust, freeing us to wonder why you would want to buy the game in the first place, EA continues making up for lost time with their dickery, the PC is resurgent while Nintendo continues to watch the bottom fall out of their business models, and we promote two things worthwhile: One, a pre-release beta of Minecraft‘s 1.8 Adventure release (which, due to our timeliness, is already out officially), and a Kickstarter donation page for the NASA astronaut sim MMO game, which is still ongoing and can be found here. Please, go forth and donate to a worthy cause, and remember to Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 37 (09/15/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Easily Distracted Edition (08.04.11)

Games and Gaming, News, Retrospectives

We’re back from vacation this week, and as a consequence, we’re a little…loopy, and not just from our customary alcoholic beverages. Many tangents are had, odd routes followed, and a higher-than-average amount of movie references made, especially for an episode where so much actual news is imparted. Defense of the Ancients 2 will be revealed to the world at Gamescom in Cologne, the Humble Indie Bundle 3 is here, Australia makes serious steps towards an R18+ rating, and everyone decided to be stupid while we were gone, with Blizzard basically sticking a knife into the heart of their fanbase for Diablo 3, Ubisoft returning to always-on DRM for Driver: San Francisco and more, EA getting Dragon Age 2 pulled from Steam with their “me-first-gimmie-gimmie” approach to DLC, and Nintendo almost halves the price of the 3DS in an attempt to get people to buy their newest shiny toy. Please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 35 (08/04/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Tranquility Edition (07.18.11)

Games and Gaming, News, Retrospectives

We’re still a little tuckered out after last week’s rage-fueled barreling beast of a podcast, so this week, we decided that there wouldn’t be anything important announced. A fearful gaming industry obliged, and so we present to you a much more low-key, some would almost say sedate podcast. We do follow-up on the horrible, awful things that induced such anger last week (but in a much more calm and relaxed manner), Manhunt 2 goes not exactly into the West, but wherever awful exploitation games go, Planetside 2 becomes more interesting as a possible free-to-play game, EA buys Popcap Games, a cool bit of news about the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved re-release, we mock poorly written product announcements, and the crew behind The Escapist’s Extra Credits series decide to do something awesome with the enormous pile of money they suddenly find themselves sitting on. Thank you, and please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 34 (07/18/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: The Great E3 Wasteland Edition (06.15.11)

Games and Gaming, News

Well, E3 has come and gone, and has brought mostly a load of uncertainty and disappointment along with it. We find a few gems worth highlighting in the coverage, and cover some non-E3 related gaming news as well, including the announcement of a Blackwater tactical shooter (yes, the PMC), Lulzsec proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that their membership is almost entirely still in puberty, the prerequisite boycott for the debut of the next marquee shooter begins, and EA decides that they’d rather you not buy their games anymore. All this and more on this new episode of the Levels Of Detail Podcast! Please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 30 (06/15/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Barracuda Edition (06.03.11)

Games and Gaming, News

With E3 still a week away, and the PSN fiasco finally winding down, what news scraps are there left for poor amateur podcasters like us feed on? How about an announcement for a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game? Minecraft coming to Android and iOS? Kotaku showing some of that ol’ backbone that we used to love? And the announcement of Facebook: Modern Warfare (AKA Call of Duty Elite)? All of this and more on this week’s episode of the Levels Of Detail Podcast! Please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 29 (06/03/11)

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Are You Stupid, Or Do You Think We Are?

Features, Games and Gaming

This is the story of three cynical, greedy gaming cashgrabs. It is a story of bad design decisions, terrible PR and expectation management, treating customers with contempt, and ample lashings of just plain stupidity. In it, we learn what not to do, how not to do it, and we lose faith in at least one company that really ought to know better.

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Thinking With Alcohol Edition (04.23.11)

Games and Gaming, News

So, you might have heard about this game that came out this week, Portal 2. We wish we could blame all of our tardiness on that, but really, it was the foul invasion of Real Life into our little bacchanalian world of beer and gaming that caused the delay. However, we have Podcast for you regardless!

This week, we bemoan the prevalence of idiots on the Internet, both regarding the “backlash” against Portal 2 and the wild storm of rumors surrounding a supposed Wii 2 E3 debut, celebrate clever ways of defeating piracy, discuss the limited information about Prey 2, and promote PC Gamer’s debut of a 90 minute time-limited demo for Minecraft (which you can download here). Please, share and enjoy, and let us know what you think at LODpodcast@LevelsOfDetail.com.

LOD Podcast Episode 25 (04/23/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Feels Like the First Time Edition (03.23.11)

Games and Gaming, News, Retrospectives

Hey, remember us? After finally escaping from the bottoms of our respective schedules, Ben and I have returned with a brand new episode of the Levels Of Detail Podcast! We talk at length about Valve, Portal 2 and the awesome things that happen inside that Pacific Northwest house of wonders, maybe rag on NPD, Ubisoft and game reviewers a fair bit, but really, you can think of this episode as making up for lost time. More rants! More bashing! More love! More gushing! More beer nerdery! More time than we’re supposed to take! All of that and more awaits you in the second triumphant return of the Levels Of Detail Podcast! Please, share and enjoy, and talk back at us at LODpodcast@LevelsOfDetail.com.

LOD Podcast Episode 22 (03/23/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Intensive Studies Edition (03.10.11)

Games and Gaming, News

We have returned! And by we, I mean me. I have returned. But we bring news with us! We lead off with a bit of indie game news, more updates in the ongoing battle of Sony v. Everyone on the Internet, we try to talk about video game films without blowing a gasket, Microsoft promises that Games for Windows Live will stop sucking soon, Nintendo’s plans to stop piracy are revealed, EA makes more tangible steps towards PC gaming, and the British worry that the 3DS will melt their eyes and empty their wallets. Please, share and enjoy, and talk back at us at LODpodcast@LevelsOfDetail.com.

LOD Podcast Episode 21 (03/10/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Defenders of the English Language Edition (02.25.11)

Games and Gaming, News

In this episode of the Levels Of Detail Podcast, we start off all positive and stuff for a change. Bulletstorm gets a positive review from the one of us who has played it, Microsoft officially announces their intention to release a PC SDK for the Kinect, a beloved game franchise returns from the dead, and Double Fine gets a chance to resurrect our childhood. All this feel-good can’t last, of course. Vietnam gives gamers a bedtime, Bethesda resurrects one of Acclaim’s worst advertising ideas, the Nintendo 3DS lineup turns out to be rather threadbare, Blockbuster goes up for sale, and we discuss the balance between Facebook games and real games. Please, share and enjoy, and shout back at us at LODpodcast@LevelsOfDetail.com.

LOD Podcast Episode 18 (02/25/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Sinus Congestion Edition (02.21.11)

Games and Gaming, News

Today’s delayed podcast is brought to you by the inside of Ben’s sinuses. Poor Ben is now unconscious, having cracked open a couple of diphenhydramine tablets and rubbed the contents into his nasal passages. Hopefully, he can actually breathe now, or at least not suffocate in his own fluids as he sleeps.

Tonight’s podcast brings us news that there will be a Medal of Honor sequel after all, in case you thought EA would just abdicate the Call of Duty market to Activision, Telltale Games has now successfully licensed all films past, present and future, someone hit the “Launch” button on Bioshock 2 DLC a little early, the piracy wars continue and we wonder when the Navy SEALs will put a stop to the jackasses in the PS3 hacking community. Plus, we discuss difficulty in gaming and whether or not there’s really a crisis of oversimplification. Please, share and enjoy, and say rude things about our humble little podcast at LODpodcast@LevelsOfDetail.com.

LOD Podcast Episode 17 (02/21/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Deep Seated Issues Edition (02.17.11)

Games and Gaming, News

I apologize for the late hour of this posting, ladies and gentlemen, my reasons are many, varied, and do not exculpate me from the late status of the podcast. Anyway! Yesterday’s podcast features the debut of the Sony Xperia Play, aka the Playstation Phone, and other Sony-related news, a game you probably forgot was even in development is now in development no longer while another game might be coming back from the dead, we actually agree with Michael Pachter for a change, and then I rant extensively about Apple, the film industry, and why games should focus on being games, not movies. Please, share and enjoy. If you feel the need to berate me for my tardiness, please do so at LODpodcast@LevelsOfDetail.com.

LOD Podcast Episode 16 (02/17/11)