Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Experience Points Podcast #2 - Aspirational and Inspirational Gaming

It's the second episode of the Experience Points Podcast! Thanks to everyone that sent in their comments and suggestions on last week's show. We love hearing all your thoughts and feedback, and are continually looking to improve our work.

This week, we talk about a survey conducted by Guitar Center saying that a huge number of people that buy Guitar Hero are subsequently inspired to learn how to play a real guitar. We discuss the effect games have on our personal interests and explore games' abilities to inspire non-gaming action.

As far as listening to the podcast goes, here are your current options:

-For those of you who like to use iTunes to organize your podcasts, you can now find us listed in the iTunes music store! Search for "experience points" or just click here.

-For those of you who like to rage against the machine and use an iTunes alternative, here is the feed.

-You can listen to the show in your browser by left-clicking the post title or you can download the show in mp3 format by right clicking on the title and selecting "Save Link As"

-The podcast will also show up in our site feed, so you can use your RSS reader to listen in.

As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject, so feel free to leave a comment or send us an email!

Show notes:

- Run time: 24m 12s

- The Gamasutra article

- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. You may want to consider giving your podcast an image on iTunes [example].

    I look forward to listening to it!

  2. With one glance at the title of your podcast, PaRappa the Rapper was the first thing to come to my head. Alas, no mention of the hands down most inspirational game ever created. A game that inspires people to learn karate, become responsible, licensed drivers, become thriving entrepreneurs/businessmen, learn how to cook, master their bowels, and be a mother fuckin superstar at the end of your adventures.

    Or maybe, as Jorge was saying, you just want to live the video game itself:

    I would agree that sports games are most likely the largest source of inspiration for kids. I also regret the decision I made to not play football (largely because of the douchebags on the team, and not wanted to injure myself for tennis season) because there is always that chance in which it could have significantly changed my life. Now, as an avid sports fan, the games allow me to be a star in every league, since I guarantee I could not have as much fun playing hockey as I do playing NHL '94. I can't complain, though, schooling people in video games brings me a different, but arguably better feeling than winning sporting events.

    I will end with saying that those Guitar Center numbers are almost definitely BS, but nonetheless, it is an "up yours" to all of the naysayers that misinterpret the influence of video games.

  3. I was just playing games while I listened to the podcast, and it was really weird cause I kept forgetting it was a podcast and not skype, and I wanted to talk back to you guys. Anyways, I just have to say that in terms of games making you want to go out and do normal things, there are two words: Harvest Moon.

  4. PS: I just got this on my TED podcast, I don't know if you've seen it, but might start a new topic for you.

  5. @Matthew

    Still working on the artwork thing...It's showing up on the iTunes store, but not in iTunes once it's downloaded. Probably something wrong with the meta data...Blast my laughable computing knowledge!


    For that video, you win the Internet. Game over, man, game over.


    Thanks for the "Skype conversation" complement: that's pretty much how we're trying to package it. Great point on Harvest Moon as well.

    As far as the TED talk goes, I have watched it, and I do intend to comment on it (hopefully with Jorge in a podcast). I don't want to go too deep into my feelings on it, but suffice to say that I disagree strongly with much of the material in that talk, and I find the presentation as a whole extremely damaging and belittling to video games and the people who play them.

  6. Late comment is late once again.

    While certainly nothing productive, a recent example that ties into what was discussed in this Podcast is Fallout 3 and its recreation (if you will) of Washington DC.

    The type of gamer I am means I explore absolutely everywhere in my games and as I do it in Fallout, I found myself actually learning where places were. I didn't realise this was happening though until I played another game that features Washington, that game being Race Driver: GRID which has a few fictional (I believe anyway) tracks running through the city. When I saw the Washington Monument and White House - things I ignored earlier in the year when I was playing the game - as I was racing, I couldn't help but slow down and try and have a look at everything. When I started realising that everything was pretty much in the same place as Fallout 3, it suddenly dawned on me that I was actually learning the layout of Washington DC and where things are.

    For games to be able to do that, even if the player didn't even realise it was happening, is an amazing thing and something I dare say wouldn't happen from watching a movie or reading a book. Those forms of entertainment might use our imagination just like gaming does, but I think the immersion we have with our games further adds to the imprint of these locations, subjects or topics into our minds which then in turn leads to some of the stuff you guys mentioned in the Podcast.

    Another example could be Liberty City from GTA IV; it might not be an inch by inch recreation of the place, but the general perception that we learn while playing the game would most likely help us out if we found ourselves in NYC after playing the game. Being Aussie though, that's a theory I can't test easily.

    Anyway great Podcast as usual and sorry for the late reply.