Wednesday, September 16, 2009

EXP Podcast #43: Tact and Dead Celebrities

How we depict figures from our cultural history and actual history is our entertainment media is fascinating. We tend to overly praise and ridicule these individuals, particularly celebrities. Deciding which depiction of a cultural figure is too offensive or disrespectful is no easy task. The appearance is Kurt Cobain as a playable character in Guitar Hero 5 runs this border. Giving more options to players is great, but is allowing a deceased celebrity, particularly one who died in a tragic way, to sing ABBA too much?

This week, Scott and I discuss this Cobain fiasco and the philosophy behind open access to potentially disrespectful material, and we don't stop there. Our topics include duck hats, Johnny Cash, mash-up culture, and Frederick Douglas. As always, we love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Some discussion starters:

- Is there an inherent benefit in giving players the option to play as dead celebrities?
- Would your opinion on Guitar Hero 5 be different if it were Jimmy Hendrix?
- How much "influence" should we give players over historical figures in their games?

To listen to the podcast:

- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show notes:

- Run time: 28 min 32 sec
- "Kurt Cobain to Appear in Guitar Hero 5" by Gus Mastrapa via Wired
- Music provided by Brad Sucks

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