Team ICO - The "Games As Art" Episode

Episode 2 October 19, 2018 01:11:10
Team ICO - The "Games As Art" Episode
Fanthropological
Team ICO - The "Games As Art" Episode

Oct 19 2018 | 01:11:10

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Show Notes

What happens when you find yourself in a beautiful world as a silent protagonist and a non-verbal story? You _might_ end up getting into a "games as art" discussion with a special guest Nick! We're talking about fans of the works of Team ICO (i.e. ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian)! Fortunately, we have [Nick Suttner](https://twitter.com/nsuttner), author of [the Boss Fight Books book on the subject](https://bossfightbooks.com/products/shadow-of-the-colossus-by-nick-suttner) to help us out! ## Episode Outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** > Team Ico was a Japanese video game development studio led by game designer Fumito Ueda. It was part of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio's Product Development Department #1, and had developed the games _Ico_ and _Shadow of the Colossus_, both for the PlayStation 2. The team was also initially responsible for _The Last Guardian_ before Ueda's departure in 2011 and the formation of a new company taking over development in 2014. Their games are usually characterized by minimalist storytelling and gameplay, an atmospheric use of bloom and high dynamic range rendering (HDR) lighting, and use of fictional languages. Their products are frequently cited as examples of video games as an art form. > > — [Wikipedia - Team Ico](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Ico) **Search Data:** Based on worldwide search data, it looks like [the biggest peaks of interest in the games has already passed](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=%2Fm%2F05zht0,%2Fm%2F0h53djf,%2Fm%2F06404g0). _Shadow of the Colossus_ is by far the most popular of the games and has had spikes in interest around October 2005 (its release date) and again in February 2018 (remake of the original). Interest in _The Last Guardian_ similarly spikes around its release date: December 2016. The top ten countries, by search volume, are as follows for the different games: - _Shadow of the Colossus_: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Argentina, El Salvador, Canada, Uruguay, Mexico, Spain (United States is 11th) - _The Last Guardian_: Chile, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Norway, Puerto Rico, Portugal, United States, New Zealand ### Famous Last Words: [Last Episode](http://fanthropological.com/shrek) **G:** Were fans thrilled to have the game featured in Adam Sandler's _Rain over me_? **T:** What are the odds of any of the Team Ico characters showing up in the new Smash? **Z:** Is there a fan-made concept album where each track represents one of the Colossi you fight in the game? **Alicia:** Do you like games? ### Main Discussion **Topics covered in this episode:** TBD ### Spotlight: [Nomad Colossus (Youtube)](https://www.youtube.com/user/Nomad0168/featured) > _Shadow of the Colossus_ first came out in 2005. Since then, millions of people have played the beloved PS2 game, driven by its lonesome charm, moved by its mysterious ending. But one man never stopped playing, as a result, he's found stuff that the game's creators never intended anyone to see. > > The player in question is Michael Lambert, and he's been excavating Shadow of the Colossus for the last four years on his Nomad Colossus YouTube channel. He's used glitches, external software exploits, and excursions into the bowels of SOTC's game code to extensively map the hidden places, unused ideas and unheard music tucked away in the game's hidden corners. With the hours he's spent inside the game, it's entirely possible that Lambert—along with the secret hunters Dark0ssX, Pikol, WWWArea who mentored him—might know Shadow of the Colossus better than lead creator Fumito Ueda and the other men and women who created it. > — [Kotaku - Meet the Hacker Who's Spent Six Years Inside Shadow Of The Colossus](https://kotaku.com/meet-the-hacker-whos-spent-four-years-inside-shadow-of-1685039483) ### Famous Last Words Our chance (and yours, if you're watching on [twitch.tv/thenickscast](https://twitch.tv/thenickscast)) to have some (in)famous last words about next week's topic before we've done any prep work! Next week, we'll be talking about the fans and fandom of _Halo_! **T:** How much of the fandom is non-competitive or curative? **G:** Did the Halo series draw any inspiration from Starship Troopers? **Z:** Is the Halo franchise set up to keep going even though there are no new games on the horizon? Do fans move on after a certain age? **Nick:** What's up with that talking plant? [// Interiewed creative direector, shooter controls on console, highwire, VR]: # [// "What if we had the same david and goliath feeling, but with rocker launchers"]: # ## Where can you find us? Pretty much everything we do is `something/thenickscast`, but in specific... - If you're looking for this podcast (Fanthropological), you can find it at [Fanthropological.com](https://fanthropological.com) or on different podcatchers including [Spotify](https://open.spotify.com/show/2IVp8MBIUyCqlKyZn79iHn), [Apple Podcasts](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fanthropological/id1163621210?mt=2), [Google Podcasts](https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRzLnBvZGlhbnQuY28vZmFudGhyb3BvbG9naWNhbC9yc3MueG1s) and many others! - You can join us for the live recording of the podcasts and participate (or catch us when we're playing some games) at [twitch.tv/thenickscast](https://twitch.tv/thenickscast) - Keep up-to-date with our latest goings-on on [Facebook](https://facebook.com/thenickscast), [Twitter](https://twitter.com/thenickscast), or [Instagram](https://instagram.com/thenickscast), all `@thenickscast` - We also occasionally create extra content about fandom including convention coverage and interviews on [YouTube.com/thenickscast](https://youtube.com/thenickscast) - We have some fine merchandise available at [shop.thenickscast.com](https://shop.thenickscast.com) (and we'd love your support!) - If all else fails, you can email us: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) ## What is "Fanthropological"? Every week, Fanthropological delivers over an hour of fandom-related "fanalysis" covering a different fandom every week and giving you hard data, history, special guests, and, of course, speculation! We cover topics spanning the gamut of anime, manga, comics, video games, comics, movies, books, television, and, in general, geek culture. ## Credits - _Ending_: [ReMix: Shadow of the Colossus "Trico Flies"](https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02832) by [Kevin Penkin](https://ocremix.org/artist/11490/kevin-penkin) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29...) - All other music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green!

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How does such a small franchise maintain a strong fanbase almost thirty* years later? And just what is it about fuzzy pickles and odometers that reel people into the games in the first place? ## Episode Outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** > The Mother series ... consists of three role-playing video games: the 1989 Mother for the Famicom, the 1994 Mother 2, known as EarthBound outside of Japan, for the Super NES, and the 2006 Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance. Written by Shigesato Itoi and published by Nintendo, and featuring game mechanics modeled on the Dragon Quest series, the Mother series is known for its sense of humor, originality, and parody. The player uses weapons and psychic powers to fight hostile, everyday objects, aliens and brainwashed people. Signature elements of the series include the lighthearted plots, the battle sequences with psychedelic backgrounds, and the "rolling HP meter": as player health ticks down like an odometer (damage doesn't instantly subtract HP), players can outrun the meter to heal before dying. While the franchise is popular in Japan, in the United States, it is best associated with the cult following behind EarthBound. > — [Wikipedia - EarthBound](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_(video_game_series)) **Names** Sometimes fandoms have a definitive name (e.g. "Whovians") other fandoms... struggle. Here are some of the names that [the community has come up with](https://earthboundcentral.com/2012/03/what-are-earthbound-fans/): - Starmen - Motherheads - Momma's Boys - Mother Lovers - EarthBounders - Boundies - Eagleandians **Search Data:** In a surprise twist, unlike most of the fandoms that we have covered on the show, [EarthBound fandom has been almost constant](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F01282w,%2Fm%2F01s7_9) (it's only decreased a little bit since 2004). The most notable spike in interest occured in October 2008, which likely coincides with the release of the unofficial English fan translation ...

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“Critical Role is an American web series in which a group of professional voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons. The show started streaming in March 2015, partway through the cast's first campaign” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Role](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Role) \ \ Fandom Facts * Holy **crap** Critical Role is popular: is is the most popular it has ever been (aside from March 2019), but also, its popularity coincides with a [massive increase in popularity in Dungeons and Dragons](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fg%2F11clghjr0y,%2Fm%2F026q9,%2Fm%2F04dzk1_) (but _not _Pathfinder) * There is a site entirely devoted to [stats about the critical role game](https://www.critrolestats.com): d20 rolls, puns, lore, you name it! * “After the split from Geek and Sundry, the cast announced a fundraiser for an animation of the popular Whitebriar arc. The campaign asked for $750,000 but reached $1 million within an hour, ending with a record-breaking $11.3 million in donations.” ### First Impressions **T:** I honestly had very little impression of what CR actually was. My only exposure was through following ItsGinnyDi on Twitter and seeing various Jester-related cosplay (I actually forgot that the show’s premise was voice-actors playing Dungeons and Dragons)! I might have seen some humourous animatics with Jester too… but when G said that the episodes are like three hours long and unedited, I was skeptical. **Z:** I think I first heard about this from G, and I thought it sounded kind of like The Adventure Zone. And that was kind of it. Not because I don’t find D&D interesting, but instead because I felt like I’d heard The Adventure Zone and I was good on the recorded tabletop RPG playing front. Aside from that, though, it seemed to me like it was kind of like the Game Grumps ...

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