Vidjagame Apocalypse 79 – Hell is Weird

VGA79_edited-1

Thanks to Saints Row IV’s just-revealed Gat Out of Hell DLC, we’ve got Lucifer’s infernal realm on the brain. so we’ve devoted this week’s Top 5 to some of the stranger ways everyone’s favorite Lake of Fire has been realized in games. Then there’s some talk about Sims 4, PAX announcements, recent… unpleasantness on the Internet, and your scariest experiences with horror games.

Question of the Week

Out of all the announcements and reveals to come from this year’s PAX, which has you the most excited?

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And hey, Chris put together another video based on our Top 5 about movie games from 1994! Do us a favor and watch it, why don’t you?

*NOTE* We’ve been getting some AMAZING donations lately but hardly anyone is attaching a name and the intended recipient of said donations. Please try to make note of which podcast the donation is going to so maybe we can get some new equipment and thank the right people for all their support.

Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne. Break song is Fuck Armageddon… This Is Hell by Bad Religion. Haunting and beautiful New Releases Theme by David B. Cooper.

Follow us on Twitter @VGApocalypse!

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listed roughly in order of release date

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54 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 79 – Hell is Weird

  1. QOTW

    Well the greatest piece of information that came from both PAX and E3 was about the re-release of Grim Fandango for the PC. As someone who loves Film Noir and Point and Click Adventures, this game blew me away back in the day. I can’t wait to experience it all again. I just wish they’d show us some screens already. The drip feed of info is killing me.

  2. Come on mikel, we all wan’t to hear what n word your talking about (my money’s on neolithic!)

  3. Between the new information on Mortal Kombat X and Double Fine’s plans to remaster classic titles, is there anything completely new and original coming out to be excited for? I’m sure there is but…

    …come oooooon, Grim Fandango…

  4. QOTW: Before you read this please que up some 90s techno and scream “Mortal Kombat!” Thanks and now that thats out of the way I am obviously going with the Pax footage of Mortal Kombat X. It looks like they are going to make me feel like a kid at a bowling alley who was getting his dad some cigarettes from a vending machine and by chance or fate, saw a guy pull off Johnny Cage’s uppercut fatality. Hope they bring back “Mortal Monday” for this games release.

  5. Shadows of the damned didn’t make the list??? For shame Mikel…

    Seriously though, that game’s version of hell is way more bizarre than say, the one in Darkness.

  6. On the comment Mikel made, “its kind of like Alan Moore writing an Archie storyline.” Have you guys seen “Afterlife with Archie.” Its a new series, that is really dark and is basically like Robert Kirkman writing a Archie storyline. Reggie runs over Jughead’s dog, Hot Dog and Sabrina the Teenage Witch performs necromancy on him. Hot Dog then proceeds to bite Jughead starting a Riverdale zombie apocalypse. This is a real comic series and it is awesome. There is also going to be a dark horror version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

  7. I also don’t finish listening before commenting..

    QotW: Dead Space made me scream loud enough that my wife heard me from the other end of the house.

  8. So theres a reason you guys have been going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about feminism lately?
    What was it, whats been happening?
    All i know is I do hate Anita Sarkeesian, shes the Rush Limbaugh of gaming, just replace liberals with men, stirs up shit and just feeds off it.

    1. Long story short, Mid August, Indie developer Zoe Quinn’s ex wrote a blog in which accuses Quin of cheating on him with several men, a few who supposedly had ties to the games industry. This unleashed a massive shitstorm in which a lot of people started accusing each other without having proof, and supposedly a lot of threads and videos were blocked or shut down in order to contain the scandal, but again, no real proof that any of that was actually done by Quin or the press, and could just as easily be done by assholes wanting to fuck with people.

      This caused the shitstorm to get even bigger, and stirred up the worst the internet has to offer in terms of assholes, causing a bunch of people to name call, harass, issue death threats and hack the accounts of people like Zoe Quinn, Phil Fish and Anita Sarkeesian. Thus rendering what little argument Quinn’s initial detractors had to be pointless, because once more, assholes on the internet took everything to dickish extremes.

      Regardless of what you think of the people I mentioned above, they did not deserve the amount of shit, harassment and attacks sent their way. And the whole thing has also highlighted a ton of misogyny and tons of idiots saying nasty stuff all around. Which is what has caused everyone involved with the media to feel really pissed/uncomfortable.

    2. She’s not Rush Limbaugh of Feminism. That’d attribute waaayyyy too much credibility to Sark. She’s Jack Thompson with tits. And thus, according to liberal double standards, gets treated differently.

    3. Codystovall, have you ever actually watch Anita’s Tropes V Videogames video series or heard a Rush Limbaugh screed? I’ve done both and trust me when I say that you’re wrong.

      1. You mean those videos where she points out anything and everything she can and call it misogynist, almost like a certain man who goes through the news and points out anything and everything for an anti-liberal rant.

        Yeah, the medium of gaming is male skewed, but maybe theres a natural reason it is, maybe just more men on the
        idea/story/business/technical/consumer side,
        who knows, I just think that maybe NOT ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IS DESIGNED INTENTIONALLY WITH THE INTENT TO SUPPRESS WOMEN OR PUT THEM DOWN….so maybe you dont have to point out every single possible example you can find or construe to cause outcry.

  9. I THINK Cody Stovall is joking?

    Anyway, feminism is important to video games. Video games are the largest entertainment medium these days, and to accept that women need to occupy an antiquated, subjugated role in game-worlds because that is where they have been placed throughout the millennia, then we are failing to evolve as a civilization. Battling against women’s place in all aspects of video games–playing, developing, or otherwise–only does harm. To those that dislike these developments: what does anybody have to fear from inclusiveness? Are you afraid your mom will ruin your fun? Would you tell your sister you hate her because she thinks parts of your games are silly? Grow up and have a conversation.

    Anita has not hurt anybody, and psychos think it’s okay to respond to a YouTube video with actual violence? It’s frustrating, but we needed her hyper-criticism to get the conversation going. We need to see ALL the grotesqueries so we know where to apply ourselves and what to fix first.

    The LaserTime audience seems pretty darn modern and forward-thinking though, so I’m probably just preaching to the choir.

  10. I dunno. On the subject of social justice warriors, I think there are real issues that deserve to be railed against. But I’m genuinely tired of the outcry that seems to occur every time a game sexualizes any of it’s female characters these days. It feels like, for some reason, this is only an issue in video games.

    Like, one of the most popular shows on TV right now is Game of Thrones, and I never hear anybody complain about all the naked titties on that show. In fact, it seems to be considered one of the things people seem to like about the show.

    TV, movies, comics, fashion etc, this generally seems to be accepted, but in video games, when it happens there seems to be a distinct “this is degrading, and it shouldn’t exist” sentiment. In fact, I remember back when Dragon’s Crown was coming out, one of the regulars on Gamespot’s podcast literally had the opinion of “why does this even exist, we should be past this”. Which is an attitude I find really offensive coming from a person who job it is to review games.

    I can understand the “I find this offensive, I don’t like this” attitude to be fine, but when is becomes “this shouldn’t exist” it REALLY bothers me. I think everything has a right to exist. Everything has an audience. And the “I like sexy ladies in my games” is a pretty sizable one. And I realize that makes us a bunch of gross doofuses, but to say that it’s wrong for people to be making the thing we like is…well…I find THAT offensive.

    People like dumb shit. And people who like dumb shit should be able to make dumb shit for other people that like dumb shit.

    1. …Except a lot of people HAVE complained about the excessive nudity and portrayal of certain women or scenarios on that show, same thing in comics, or have you not noticed that this is the third time Chris has brought up the outrage that a variant cover of spider woman has caused?

      Criticism regarding the objectification of women has been happening in all media. Perhaps you feel it’s been louder within videogames because maybe that’s the main medium you read news about and pay more attention to, which is fine of course. But it’s false to claim that this doesn’t happen anywhere else.

      Of course, I don’t pay that much attention to the news of those other kinds of media, so I can’t really say whether the criticism and stance against objectification is as strong or not, I just know that it does exist.

  11. Anita is a liar and a con-woman, she does jack-shit for feminism in video games and is probably the worst person to represent them since she doesn’t even like games and all she does is cherry-pick “misogynistic” things in games without offering any solutions. Her latest “death threats” were false flags; she wrote a few weird creepy tweets and took a screenshot and suddenly all of her critics were invalidated. Zoe Quinn’s so-called harassment isn’t too dissimilar; she and many other members of the gaming industry/media were caught being corrupt as shit red-handed and ever since then the focus has largely moved on from “oh my god Zoe slept with some guys” to the actual issue at hand, which is corruption in the gaming industry. If anyone is still focused on Zoe’s infidelity it’s largely her supporters claiming that that’s all anyone cares about which is blatantly untrue. Her sleeping around was the match that started the fire, not the focal point of this whole affair and even then it was only ever an issue because of who she was sleeping with, not the fact that she was doing it.

    I haven’t listened to the episode yet but I really hope they take a fair and balanced look at this and not just go along with all these fucking people (journalists mostly, all affiliated with the same PR firm and mysteriously writing anti-gamer articles in tandem) in the industry who claim to be “compassionate” and “caring” and then call gamers as a whole things like “shit people” and terrorists for having opposing views (that is, before they block or ban them from speaking). The Laser Time crew is made up of people I’ve been listening to for years who are nice people and I doubt they want to shit all over us like everybody else seems to. Even Henry who is a self-described “social justice warrior” is way too nice and reasonable for that.

    Listen you can call me a bigot or a misogynist all you want, pretend that I just hate having women in the industry (I don’t) or that I don’t want more games with playable women in them (I do), but please for fucks sakes do a LITTLE research into this and realize that 1) there are shitheads on both sides of the debate clouding everything and 2) the narrative a ton of gaming websites are feeding you is absolute baloney and a lot of the sites have writers who are implicated in the alleged corruption the industry is facing, thereby making their words just a little unreliable. Thank you.

    1. The problem with your stance is that you seem to be hand-waving or dismissing the fact that a lot of people HAVE taken a very extreme way to voice their displeasure to people like Anita or Quinn. I am not saying that they are blameless or that they haven’t lied or pulled underhanded moves. But it’s kinda hard to know which is fabricated and which is true when you have hundreds, if not thousands of dickheads throwing insults and death threads to them.

      And I’m sorry, seeing what some idiots have issued death threats to in the past, (Modifying a gun’s fire rate in CoD, calling for the head of a Dragon Age writer, etc etc.) it’s not that big of a stretch to think that there were definitely people who made death threats or looked up at personal information of Anita to intimidate her.

      I agree with you that on both sides there has been foul play and general assholery, and I’m not at all a sympathizer of either Quinn or Anita either. But I also know the internet, and I have seen how ugly a lot of people can behave. And even if it’s true that they don’t represent the majority of us, their actions inevitably speak louder because they are so extreme, and thus undermine any serious effort to try and find out what really is going on and who’s truly corrupt and who isn’t. And they definitely exist, whether you want to recognize it or not.

      1. Because it _needs_ to be hand waved. Because the hand is the _entire f***ing size of the market economy_. There’s large enough market for everything, and each idea will sell according to the demand.

      2. Well, I do not condone death threats against Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn and would never encourage someone to make them or defend anyone who had. I dislike the two of them but threats against them or their family are unacceptable. On top of that, they achieve absolutely nothing and actually bolster their arguments. That being said, the people who are now bringing the industry to task with #GamerGate are not the same random people who would threaten to eat Anita’s family or whatever. Furthermore, legit criticism is made against people like Anita all the time and she uses the threats/attacks against her to draw game journalists and industry figures like Tim Schafer to her side and deflect the criticism. Zoe is doing it too. To be honest Anita is barely an issue in this whole enormous thing, she just sort of stumbled in during a massive controversy and made it even worse and jumbled.

        I’d like to note that insane (but thankfully usually toothless) death threats against entertainers or creators are about as rare as sprinkles in a donut shop, regardless of their gender. The creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion, for example, received death threats just for not making a good enough ending to the original series. These types of threats are also made against MEN in the industry on a regular basis but the media tends to have some severe double standards and irregular policies when it comes to how they handle the topic of harassment between genders. The same people whose stance is to believe everything people like Zoe/Anita say and defend them constantly with articles are also the same people who have, in the last few years, written damning articles about men in the industry accused of things like sexual harassment without the charges actually being confirmed, opening those men up to death threats of their own. It’s that kind of hypocrisy people are sick of.

        Oh and to GhostLittle you’d be correct that normally who Zoe sleeps with is nobodies business but that changes the second she sleeps with people in the industry (at which point the story moves away from her anyway, therefore continued discussion of or harassment of her can only be hurtful and unnecessary). I won’t accept articles on Kotaku as proof of Zoe being innocent either, Kotaku was never what I would call reputable to begin with and Stephen Totillo has been allowing multiple members of his staff to get away with a blatant lack of journalistic ethics for ages now which is also being brought to light. The common SJW tactic is to appeal to emotion over facts and since people aren’t robots it usually works, unfortunately this time the facts are a little too overwhelming to ignore. Consider MORE journalistic hypocrisy where Zoe’s claims she was being raided by a site filled with depressed male virgins (ironic given her game, Depression Quest) were immediately used as fuel for attack articles against the site in question which brought harassment against an entire community of suicidal individuals for the (potential, entirely unproven) misdeeds of a few. Forgive me if I don’t get super teary-eyed about someone like that getting a few “Burgers and Fries” comments sent her way.

    2. I don’t think you’re a misogynist. Like “hate,” “misogynist” is a strong word. I understand people’s frustration in being targeted in blanket statements that gamers are entitled, and insensitive, and default-cruel. The way to combat that is to not be a gamer. Be a person. Be a person, and observe the hurt being caused because of splinter groups clinging to an identity founded on consumption. Then you can think clearly on who is to blame for threats of true violence in response to a web-series.

      If you’re worried about Zoe Quinn poisoning the well of video game-writing, remember that you can craft your own opinions on games, removed from news websites or any potential corruption. Her relationships are her own business. It would be intrusive to assume you have a dog in that fight. According to the articles on Kotaku around this coming to light, there was zero cross-over between her and the coverage written by her ex.

      A person has to be a true psychotic to try to sleep with people to achieve success. It makes for good theorizing, but it’s unlikely any cronyism occurred.

      As for Anita, she has done no harm to anyone, and I know her videos can cause a knee-jerk reaction, but if you’re fighting against a woman that has earned the respect of Joss Whedon and William Gibson, you might be fighting on the wrong side.

      1. Or Joss Whedon is a shmuck who can be easily tricked by a false flag sob story.

        Oh, and Aristotle said that women are “more jealous, more querulous, more apt to scold and to strike” and “more void of shame or self-respect, more false of speech, more deceptive,”. So maybe that proves that YOU’RE fighting on the wrong side!

        I Appealed To a higher and further-reaching Authority than you appealed to, so I win!

  12. A lot more has happened in the last three weeks than just the Sarkeesian thing, I’m a little disappointed that’s all you zoned in on. Most of what I’ve seen from gamers has condemned those threats as disgusting, hell, most of them are pissed that it let the other side derail and twist the narrative into another misogyny debate when it’s been about cronyism and nepotism for weeks.

  13. Really, #GamerGate is the Tea Party of the Video Games community, a grassroots movement decrying the nepotism and corruption that’s now been made obvious in the video games industry. And like the Tea Party, it activated people who once had little political passion, or opinion, in to actions they’d never taken before. And like the Tea Party, the establishment media is going to blast them, because they don’t want to fix things, and don’t want to give up their seats in the ivory tower.

    1. …The fact that you defend or support the Tea Party at all destroys any credibility you could have had, at least in my eyes. They are extremists, plain and simple, and seeing your plethora of comments and how narrow sighted they are, I don’t think it’s far fetched to see you’re taking a very extremist stance on this particular subject.

      1. The tea party is extremist in that their politics are further to the right then the main republican party, but they haven’t killed anyone despite that the word “extremist” heavily implies they have killed people. Try to be rehetorically honest guys. It’s hard to do but when both sides do it we get political discourse at higher level.

        1. Extremist is by definition someone that views things in extremes, with little to middle ground. And that definitely applies to the way of thinking behind many in the tea party.

      1. Nope, but it’s a good litmus test to pointing out bigoted reactionary media-types who’ll chronically misrepresent the issues and those discussing them.

        Congratulations, your strip came out blue!

  14. I’m surprised the guys use the term “dudebro.” With all the terms that they feel they have to change to N-word, or F-word, or R-word, why do they feel saying dudebro is fine? It’s clearly disparaging, and none of them are in the group that they’re spouting distaste for.

      1. Which disparaging terms are fine with you? If you have a bad experience with someone, like Chris refers to frequently with jocks and dudebros, does it make it okay to call them names? Which groups aren’t allowed to be viewed as people? Why get so uptight about some groups, and not all of them? Now that “nerds” are on top, and have no natural predators, calling someone a dudebro is clearly hate speech, since they’re now the minority. Protecting everyone seems to be Laser Time’s MO, they should be aware of their own prejudices, too.

        1. I heard the best description of this whole thing today:

          It’s reached the point where gamers on the internet behave exactly the way jocks do in high school.

          They basically found a place where they weren’t the outsiders anymore, and then instantly turned into everything they used to hate.

          1. Sadly, that’s part of human behavior. It’s the same reason why children who grew up with abusive parents often grow up to become abusive parents themselves.

        2. Dude, first of all, you’re comparing an insult aimed at a style of behavior, with insults regarding stuff people were born with and had no say in the matter. Or in the case of sexual orientation, something that’s private and shouldn’t really affect anyone.

          “Dudebro” is, if anything, an insult comparable to stuff like “redneck” or saying “hipster” in a derogatory way. People aren’t born with that, it’s a set of tastes and behaviors that makes them fall into a certain category, and ANYONE can become one, regardless of gender age or race. So again, the fact that you compare the caliber of one term with those above is ridiculous.

          Furthermore… Chris only used the term “dudebro” once in the entire podcast, and it was in a segment that was clearly meant to be a joke. So, seriously, you’re going to bust the “man you’re treating minorities like shit” over one single throwaway joke? Lighten up man.

          The rate that kind of mentality is going, soon no one is going to make fun of ANYONE for any reason, and where’s the fucking joy in that?

          1. I think dudebro is actually an accurate thing to call someone, but that’s not usually a good way to judge how you want to disparage people. I’ve heard Chris and some of the other guys say it a few times over the past few weeks, and I feel in Chris’ case there’s a lot of malice when he says it. I’m not offended by the term, but it feels to me like it’s getting used more offensively, and saying it’s a joke won’t cover using other terms. I agree that not making fun of people sucks, but you really have to cover all targets if you’re going to worry so much about covering others, or else loosen up and accept that the fact that people are different is funny, and groups of people tend to have similarities, and are still people who deserve some respect, even if they seem unusual and funny to your group.

  15. Official tier list!
    God tier: Michael Grimm
    Raccoon tier: Raccoon
    Gay tier: Henry Gilbert
    Shit tier: everyone else
    Not All Men tier: Chris Antista

  16. Is this comment section debate going to spill over into next weeks episode Mikel? I’m not saying you can’t talk about the issue, in fact I found it interesting this week but for varieties sake.

    It’s like when Chris ranted about gay rights coming up non-stop, I’m not against it but I’m getting bored and I’d wish those on both sides would calm down more and be rational.

  17. QOTW:
     
    The iPhone 6. 
     
    Just kidding. I was really excited to hear about Saints Row IV coming to PS4 (something I did not know about until hearing it on the podcast, actually). I skipped the game when it first came out, and I’ve considered going back to it many times on the last-gen systems. I’m also kind of excited for the next-gen remaster of Sleeping Dogs, which I already played through on PS3, but it’s a great game that warrants replaying.

  18. what is pax? no really i haven’t been keeping up with game news lately so I’ll say team ninja partnering to develop a Senran Kagura game and the release year for persona 5.

  19. I really appreciate that you all are willing to take a stand on things like sexism in the gaming community. It’s part of the reason I’ve enjoyed listening to y’all over the years. The personal is political and to put on blinders to these things or get defensive makes you complicit with the propagation of oppressive and harmful ideologies.
    My undergrad degree was in gender studies so all too often I find myself having to avoid the video game press because they either are hopelessly ignorant or silent on issues like this. Obviously I could write a small essay on this issue and the things brought up in the episode but the comments section of an article seems hardly the place to attempt to start a grounded and nuanced dialogue on gender representations in interactive media (as some of the ludicrous comments above prove). So instead I just wanted to chime in and say that the fact that y’all not only are willing to take a stand but are also generally pretty well informed on these things (and aware of your privilege to boot) is why I have and will continue to support the VGA and LT network.
    Thanks!

  20. It would be nice if you guys could be this open about issues more often. It’s been awkward in the past when you’ve been more talking around things and not acknowledging others’ points of view. that said I really appreciated your approach here, you were respectful but you didn’t just devolve into doom and gloom for a whole segment of the show. this is one of my fave episodes in a while.

    1. Absolutely. Even though I don’t agree with some people in this comment section, it’s getting people talking, and at least introducing people to new viewpoints they may not have heard before.

  21. I don’t know if you guys ever actually watched Anita Sarkeesian’s videos, but her point isn’t exactly just that there’s some weird posing of female corpses, but that seeing this kind of thing will turn you into a misogynist. Which is actually a lot like Jack Thompson, the guy who says that violent content in video games will turn you into a psycho, and don’t we think he’s a psycho for thinking video games can meld your brain to think things depicted in them are okay for us to do? Hey guys, maybe actually check your facts before you start confidently saying incorrect shit as authorities (which you are, like it or not).

    Take that away, and what exactly is her point? That she finds those things distasteful? Is this really what’s causing a huge fuss? A hissy fit about how people don’t like some fictional shit? Who the fuck cares?! We have virtual holocausts happening on an hourly basis and our huge issue here is that some female corpses look suggestive to your eye? I’m really tired of all these people instead of actually looking at the merits of what Anita is saying, run to support her so a few over-sinsitive morons won’t call them sexist. Yes the backlash against her is crude and stupid, much like the backlash against everything else that has ever garnered one. This is the internet remember? People will say anything just to be as offensive as possible, that doesn’t point towards mainstream misogyny. By the way, Mikel saying that basically by disagreeing with Anita you’ve associated yourself with misogynists? Are you fucking for real!? You’re really going to bust out some guilt-by-association bullshit here and basically absolve yourself from actually scrutinizing Anita’s work by implying that anyone who disagrees with her is a sexist? Are you hearing yourself?!

    And don’t get me started on this whole “I’m disgusted with gamers” bit. What a fucking surprise, more games journalists are casting all of gamers as evil sacks of shit. And hey, maybe if you meant to address a few particularly loud assholes instead of casting a bullshit blanket over all of gaming, uh, how about fucking do that. Say what you mean instead of this fucking decrying the fall of gaming. I have been huge fans of you guys for years and I’m really disappointed that you fell into the same bullshit “woe to this generation” crap that every game journalism outlet has lately.

    Also, feminism? Does not need to exist. We have a term for people who want men and women to be equal, it’s called “gender egalitarians”. Shit, this is really simple when you actually take an hour or two and learn about the subject you’re planning on talking about.

    *Huff-huff*
    FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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