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The Geek Bravado Ramble

Author: Parallax Abstraction

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The Geek Bravado Ramble is an eclectic, relatively frequent, topical commentary and discussion podcast by Parallax Abstraction.

Touching on all kinds of topics from gaming to tech, news, politics, mental health, social issues and everything in between, expect unvarnished, sometimes unpopular but always informed and clickbait free opinions along with an open call for discussion.

Like what I had to say? Tell me why! Don't like it? Change my mind! Let's ramble together!

Join my Discord at http://discord.pxa.ca or hit me up on Twitter @PXAbstraction.
122 Episodes
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My lady friend and I had Formula 1: Drive to Survive come up in Netflix recommendations and as both of us like cars and I had a new 4K OLED TV to break in, we checked it out. Aside from being an audio-visual jaw dropper, it's overall a pretty well made documentary series that gave me a new perspective on Formula 1, especially the motivations of the teams who don't generally reside at the top and who don't have the most money. I'm not going to start watching Formula 1 on the regular or anything but I appreciate it a lot more now, even though there was probably a bit of inflated drama at times. I give my impressions of it and why I think it's worth checking out.
A rumour came out of left field today that Sony might be buying Take-Two Interactive Software, parent company of 2K Games and more importantly, Rockstar Games. At time of recording, the rumour had been said to be likely inaccurate but nonetheless, I thought it would be fun to talk about the potential of a world where Sony owns all the Take-Two properties but especially, Grand Theft Auto. Many are already hand wringing that this means all of their properties will forever be imprisoned in the PlayStation walled garden but I actually think this is a very different move in response to something Sony didn't see coming.
Valve recently pulled a disgusting game a out rape from Steam before release, after a large scale condemnation. The problem is, it had been listed for some time prior to this and has many people talking about their wildly inconsistent (and poorly stated) policy on curation. While I agree with their decision to pull this game, their policies (or lack thereof), could lead to some dangerous slippery slopes. I discuss what Valve not only needs to do to rectify this but also how their famously unique corporate culture may be a major contributor to this issue. The Hoeg Law video referenced in the episode: https://youtu.be/KVbFGrw5CkY
A scandal has rocked Canadian politics this week, involving a very large and powerful engineering company in the country, a bribery scandal and alleged political interference from the top echelons of our federal government. This is far from the first scandal involving this company and given trends so far, probably won't be the last. I talk about how while I understand the reasoning behind the government wanting to potentially give this company a pass the rest of us wouldn't get, I also think a company like this might only learn if it's allowed to fail, even if that comes with some pain.
Crackdown 3 finally released recently on the Xbox One, PC and on Xbox Game Pass. This new iteration was announced near the Xbox One launch and has had a very long and troubled development, with multiple developer changes and huge, repeated delays. Now that it's out, it's getting pretty mixed reviews. WereTiger and I have been playing a lot of it in co-op and despite some of its rough technical and design edges, we've been having a blast. I give a bunch of my impressions of the game and how I don't think it's worth it at full price but on a discount or especially with Game Pass, it's great, dumb fun.
Happy New Year! Another crazy year is in the books and as I like to do around this time, I wanted to talk about games from the past year that I really enjoyed and that I think you might as well. I used to do a top 10 list but couldn't this year as I didn't get to play everything that might have been a contender but nonetheless, I was able to play some incredible stuff that I wanted to share it with people so they could maybe discover something new. This list isn't ordered but everything on it is something I think is very special. I hope you enjoy and make sure to tell me what games you loved as well! Background music consists of selections from the Star Control: Origins original soundtrack.
Twitch is currently facing heavy backlash from a lot of their creators and viewers because they are running pre-roll ads for Ninja's New Year's Eve stream on other channels, including other partners. I talk about why I think this is a bad look and a short-sighted plan by a company becoming more and more out of touch with its creators but also how this may very well become more common in the future and why those of us not on Twitch, should be vigilant. The article about Justin Wong I reference during the episode: https://www.dexerto.com/entertainment/former-twitch-executive-explains-why-the-ninja-pre-roll-situation-will-keep-happening-267678
Today, I awoke to an unexpected new controversy involving the discovery that a partnered Mixer streamer is apparently, a convicted sexual predator, one that has served their time but is on a registry. Several other prominent Mixer streamers (including at least one partner) have been calling for Mixer to terminate the partnership and ban the streamer. The platform has been accused of sweeping the issue under the rug and some of those not calling for this person's immediate banning have come dangerously close to being accused of defending pedophiles. I talk about my perspective on this issue, as someone who has no interest in defending the accused but who also believes that this issue should be handled by proper channels, not out in public and that when a person has done their time, perhaps that should carry more weight than it does.
Twitch and some streamers on it are currently in the midst of a DMCA crackdown by the major record labels. Entire libraries of VODs and clips are being deleted in an attempt to prevent channels from being taken down and everyone's made about it. While they have a right to be, at the same time, everyone in this situation is also wrong in various ways. I go into detail about this and also why the talk about Twitch being shut down is utter nonsense. The Tom Scott video on copyright I reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jwo5qc78QU
If you're in the streaming space, you know about the controversy surrounding Alex Hutchison's tweets. In this purposefully late to the party take on the issue, I do take him and his statements to task but also explore the elements of his statements that whether we like it or not, are true.
In the unbridled nightmare that is the American presidency right now, a lot of people have been rightly blamed for contributing to Donald Trump's rise. However, one person in particular, I think has skirted under the radar and arguably, deserves more blame than most. In this unusual podcast, I discuss that and my reasons for it.
In an absolute mic drop worthy bombshell, Microsoft has announced their intention to buy ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda, Arkane, id Software, MachineGames and Tango Gameworks among others. They are also now owners of some of the world's biggest IPs like The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Wolfenstein, Dishonored and more. The Internet is buzzing about what this means for the future of these beloved series, especially on PlayStation systems. For as big as this deal is, I think the outcome is going to be very different than many gamers think. I go into detail about this and also why further consolidation is something that should concern us.
Twitch recently announced that they're going to be testing randomly placed mid-roll ads in the middle of people's streams. As expected, this has quickly formed two camps between those who thinks this is unfair and distuptive and others who think anyone saying that is entitled. As is often the case, I fall somewhere in the middle but I also go into my explanation of why I believe such moves are necessary and how what people think this industry makes is often not in keeping with the business realities.
A new Netflix series on the history of video games came out of nowhere and was a pleasant surprise for a number of different reasons. I offer up my impressions of High Score, from the perspective of someone who is big into the history of the medium. I was pleasantly surprised!
113: My 9/11 Story

113: My 9/11 Story

2020-09-1235:32

On this somber 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, many have been sharing their stories of where they were on that day. I wasn't going to originally but I was in a weird headspace today that ended up in me going for a drive and decided to record my story, which was kind of unique or at least so I think. Never forget.
3D Realms and their indie partners held the online Realms Deep 2020 event his weekend, dedicated to what turned out to be a tsunami of what I call "modern retro" titles that they have coming in the next year. As someone who grew up with games in the 80s and 90s, I'm super excited to see not only all these new yet old games coming but also how this niche genre has managed to spawn a super passionate and successful cottage industry. It's also provided some personal inspiration I didn't expect. Day 1 VoD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezNLM8P8rN4 Day 2 VoD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJIso-RKtFU
There's been a fair amount of hype around this new "live service" Avengers game. I was sort of in the middle of the hype and after playing a couple of hours of the open beta on PC, my hype has gone way down to "buy on deep sale" territory. I talk about why this game is not hitting for me.
In my hiatus from streaming, I've been working on my backlog and just got a chance to finish Final Fantasy VII Remake on the PS4. While this ramble review is a while after the release of the game, I think I bring some interesting and largely unique perspectives to the review due to having never finished the original back in the day. This game was quite an emotional ride and I go into detail about why.
In a massive upset to the mobile game industry status quo, Epic Games has filed anti-trust lawsuits against Apple and Google after having Fortnite pulled from their app stores for trying to do their own in-app purchases, bypassing the 30% cut those companies take. This is going to be a monumental fight that could set wide-reaching industry precedent. And I wish that it was possible for everyone involved to lose. In this spicier episode, I go into why the last people to benefit from any outcome of this lawsuit are consumers. The now three Hoeg Law videos I mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb1E6-okFxQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y04zz5g1_08 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qVsZXajXuQ
Carrion is a game I've been looking forward to for a while. Billed as a "reverse horror" game, you play as the monster, which is something we've surprisingly seen very little of. I give my impressions of it, as well as some things I'd like to see in a potential sequel if one gets made. Buy a Carrion Steam key from one of these retailers and help support my content and Extra Life: Humble Store: https://www.humblebundle.com/store/carrion?partner=pxabstraction Fanatical: https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/carrion?ref=pxabstraction
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