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The Geek Bravado Ramble
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The Geek Bravado Ramble

Author: Parallax Abstraction

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The Geek Bravado Ramble is an eclectic, relatively short, frequently posted 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.
91 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.
The Outer Worlds is the new RPG from Obsidian. A combination of Fallout and Firefly, many are calling it the proper single player RPG players have been needing for years and many are calling it a Game of the Year contender. As I recorded this, I was the majority of the way through the game and while it's not bad by any means, it doesn't take any risks or innovate in any of the ways it should have. I go into detail with these impressions.
Google's promised new revolution in cloud gaming, Stadia, launched to founder backers yesterday and releases widely to the public today. With a few exceptions, the launch seems to have been a mess at best and seems to indicate a product that was shipped when it was nowhere ready to. I discuss this, plus what problems Google thinks Stadia is actually solving and whether they needed solving to begin with.
Recently, a sequel to the cult classic Norse hack n' slash RUNE was released to mixed reception. The next day, its developer Human Head Studios announced they were closing their doors, despite taking an Epic exclusivity bribe for the game and it apparently selling better than they thought. This has left both players and their pseudo publisher wondering what kind of support the title will receive. The whole saga is very strange and I talk about that and why this kind of thing further erodes the already razor thin trust gamers have in the industry.
In what should come as a surprise to no one, Don Cherry said something controversial and ignorant. However, this time he did it in the era of cancel culture and something he previously would have gotten away with has now resulted in him being fired from the iconic Coach's Corner role he's held for several decades. While I think Don Cherry is often an ignorant blowhard who needs to keep his political nonsense of out of his hockey, I also think this reaction was overblown and more than a little hypocritical.
My ninth year in a row of doing the Extra Life 24 hour gaming marathon for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario has concluded. It was overall a great year but also came with its share of challenges and lessons learned. I go over all of those in this informal postmortem.I'm still raising money for my 2019 campaign until the end of the year so if you have a few bucks to spare to help sick kids and want a free PC game for your trouble, you can donate at http://extralife.pxa.ca. Thanks for your support!
The new private equity owners of the former Gawker group of web site have made some major changes to the user experience on their sites but more importantly, have laid off some writers and warned others to stay in their lanes and keep politics out of sites that aren't supposed to be for that. These writers are losing their minds but I think it's about time and will hopefully (but likely not) teach them a lesson they should have learned years ago. I talk about what this could mean for these sites and others that operate in a similar way.
Joker is not only an atypical superhero movie, it's not a superhero movie at all. Despite all the manufactured outrage about it, I think it's not only a brilliant movie but one of the most brilliant ones I've seen in a long time. Not everyone agrees though and the discussion has been fascinating. I keep things spoiler-free until a clearly marked segment near the end but if you've seen the film, I'd love to know what you think about it as a whole and particularly, the parts discussed in that segment.
It's the day where Canadians choose who will next lead our federal government. I've been very conflicted when it comes to who gets my vote for a number of years now but this election will probably be my toughest choice yet, even though thanks to our obsolete voting system, my choice is literally meaningless in the riding in which I live. I talk about this and why I think the biggest choice this election is which third-party will hold the balance of power in a near guaranteed minority government. Regardless, GO VOTE TODAY CANADA!My CBC Vote Compass results: https://votecompass.cbc.ca/canada/results/af10535c-93c6-4fab-ab8e-319e3fc4ba89Take the short Vote Compass quiz yourself if you're Canadian: https://votecompass.cbc.ca/canada/
Another minor panic about the future of the Mixer platform seems to be going through the community again and this was amplified by the surprise and rapid-fire announcements that both founders of the platform will be leaving Microsoft. I talk about not only why people shouldn't be worrying so much but also why the departure of the founders is probably a good thing.
Blizzard recently banned a competitive Chinese Hearthstone player and withheld substantial prize money because he spoke out in support of Hong Kong protesters during a live broadcast. The Internet has exploded in response to this, more so than I would have expected. I offer my take on the events and in particular, how this shows the incredibly hypocrisy of a company that espouses progressive values on one hand but sides with a dictatorship on the other, all in the interests of shareholders instead of principals.
Another Netflix series popped on my radar recently and it caught my interests in technology and charity because it was about Microsoft founder Bill Gates. It wasn't bad but not at all what I wanted. I give my impressions.
Late in the evening of September 18, photos surfaced of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a brownface costume at a social function. This has caused no end of outrage from the press, general public and his opponents in out ongoing federal election campaign. While I agree what he did was wrong, I also think it's ridiculous to hold something that someone did in the distant past against them today, especially when they've demonstrated that they've improved as a person. I detail that opinion.
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