Wednesday, July 06, 2011

New OverThinker episode debuts...

...over on The Other Blog. Enjoy!


TheDVDGrouch said...

Great new episode as a PS3 owner I can really relate to the whole Lama mode problem.

P.S commissioner Bunnyface made me smile.

Mike R said...

Let me steal a page from another critic I often enjoy watching and ask this question;

Without describing what he does or what he looks like, can you describe the Game Overthinker as a character?

I'm sure Bob is a nice and interesting enough person in real life, but the Game Overthinker character in these sketches is a lousy and uninteresting character. What about him is supposed to be make we want to empathize with him or care about him? As MST3K said in the Sidehackers episode, "Just because they sidehack doesn't mean we like them." Similarly, just because the Game Overthinker makes good commentaries on video games doesn't mean we like him _as a character_.

Bob, ask yourself this; What have you done to make your audience care about the Overthinker as a character? What makes him interesting? What is his growth? Hell, take a page from Cambell and tell me what his hero's journey is/was. The Overthinker went through this long long plot before but in what way did he change as a character? What did he learn? How did he grow? Because to me he was the exact same character he was at the end as he was at the beginning. Basic story telling says that's a bad thing.

Also, I'd bet that in terms of dialog and possibly screen time The Game Overthinker has had more minutes before the camera in just these arch episodes than Shia labeouf's character (had to google it) Sam Witwicky had in Transformers. But what has Bob done with all that time? Bob rightly criticizes those movies for having empty shells of characters, but in what way is the Overthinker Character _not_ an empty shell?

Bob take up this challenge: Tell me how you've developed the Game Overthinker character better than Michael Bay developed the Sam Witwicky character. Because truth be told, I think Michael Bay, as sucky as he is, developed his character more than you have or probably will develop yours.

But hey, I'd love to hear you prove me wrong so tell me how Bob has developed the Game Overthinker better than Michael Bay developed Sam Witwicky. If you can't do that, you need to seriously rethink putting the drama tag back in the slot.

motyr said...


I understand that it was supposed to be humourous, and I'm not sure how facetious you were being, but I think the "llama mode" problem is a false analogy. The fact is, the internet is an extremely popular and diverse tool. It can be used as a communication device, an information hub, or a gaming device, for example, and often serves more than immediate "purpose" at a time. I'm sure the vast majority of people who are into console gaming have an internet connection. In fact, I don't think I know a single person, including my grandfather, who doesn't have an internet connection.

I think it's reasonable for gaming companies to pour resources into developing online play (but I agree with you, never to the extent of detracting from the single player experience. That's wrong.)

If we take your example of llama-mode, you'd have to also consider that the world in which llama-mode exists is one that is growing increasingly llama-powered, and llamas are now so integrated into mainstream society that those that don't have llamas are seen as a very small minority.

Sorry to nit-pick, I agree with mostly everything else. I don't like the idea of the "cloud" in general, whether it be for computer applications, music-streaming, or gaming. Having digital copies of media, applications, or documents is as "intangible" a method of owning them as I'm comfortable with...

motyr said...

edit/extension to last post, as I hadn't completed the episode before posting that comment:

I completely agree with your argument regarding the reliability of electricity compared to the internet. Well said. My apologizes for splitting hairs/missing the point above.

MovieBob said...

@Mike R,

I'm afraid I don't have time to take up that challenge, as I'm rather busy holding meetings with Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer, managing the investment portfolio for my millions of dollars, writing thank-you notes to the City Fathers of Chicago for the generous tax breaks and civic-utilities access that were so invaluable on my last multi-million dollar project, making nice with my invaluable Pentagon film-office contacts, vaccuming my cavernous Los Angeles McMansion and all other things that make me a not-at-all-fundamentally-incompatible analogue to Michael Bay. ;)

Off the top of my head, however, it would appear from this installment that The OverThinker is a civic-minded fellow who is none the less oddly accepting of the unusual circumstances which seem to crop up in his world. Also, it would appear he has a somewhat limited understanding of the concept of seasonal attire.

Adam said...

Re: The Topic

I understand the cloud is coming, but I'm just not excited for it. You can make all the arguments about why it will be better for society as a whole and I won't be able to really disagree with most of it, but I just don't like the idea of the cloud for two main reasons.

1. I prefer autonomy. I just don't like the idea of all my entertainment/personal files being maintained by someone else out of my physical reach. Granted it will be a long time before we get to anything resembling that, but the thought still doesn't sit right with me.

2. As you said the internet needs to be as widespread and reliable as electricity for this idea to work which I agree with. But I still have horror visions of America being rendered inert by an EMP attack or something where our entire culture goes down due to some outside force and we have nary a hard book around to hold us over. Granted this is sort of "chicken little" concern but I still wonder about it.

Re: Video

I'm guessing you're a fan of That Guy With The Glasses? I recognize the effort to jazz up your commentary with some more fun narrative-like things which is cool, but something about it is just falling flat with me. I think the problem is that at TGWTG all the characters they play are basically exaggerated parodies of they're real selves. It's hammy overacting sure, but it gets the job done. I think you need a few more real people in these to diversify the talent personality base rather than try to play every character yourself. Just my two cents.

Otherwise fun video.

The Grey Man said...

I'm not sure what the point of your belabored sarcasm was in your response to Mike R. Are we to hold you to a lower standard of characterization than we hold Michael Bay? I mean, your reply would make sense if the special effects of the video had been chastized, but it was the depth of the lone character of your web series. I mean, I don't follow the GO series enough to worry about it, but I can understand the stance that if you've only got ONE character then you should at least do a good job of creating said character, regardless of how many big name directors you know and whore-filled mansion parties you attend.

Phantos said...

...Mr. Bunny didn't really do it for me. I think because you spoiled the surprise in your other blog. I can appreciate the out-of-left-field abstract humour, but it has to come out of left field first. I think you also hinted toward it in an earlier episode. That whole scene also outstayed its welcome by a depressing length of time, fyi.

Also, while I get at this point that none of my bitching and moaning will make you stop this storyline self-immolation, would it be too much to ask to separate the two in each episode?

Like, say, have the story-stuff in the second half, and devote the first half to the current events point you're trying to make?

(I can tolerate having both in one episode, I just don't like having to keep skipping ahead and hoping I get to the parts I want)

Chris Cesarano said...

This will be the first Game Overthinker episode I closed for the fact that, well, I'm not a happy "customer".

I read your FAQ, and I understand what you're saying by needing to change the show to stand out. If I were you, however, I'd have come up with multiple ideas and run them through "test audiences" first to see overall reaction, both from old fans and folks that had never seen the show. In the end, you are just taking two styles of video, and are doing them horribly.

Sure, there are videos like ExtraCredits out there, but there are also videos like the Red Letter Media reviews. That hasn't forced you to change Escape to the Movies, and I sincerely hope you don't. The point to these videos was that your thoughts were interesting and even created discussion. That's where the entertainment value came from Game Overthinker. Technically Yahtzee Croshaw is more in the business of gaming than you are, but I've typically had a tendency to enjoy Game Overthinker more. Meanwhile, Jimquisition is by a professional games journalist, and most of everyone's reaction to that is "Shut the fuck up Jim".

So The Game Overthinker as it was didn't really need to change. What matters in shows like that is what you're talking about, and because you're not a professional you were able to view the games industry from a different yet still informed perspective than Extra Credits could. I liked that!

Yet in order to try and change it up, you're now throwing in these cheap little skits to try and be entertaining, and yet all they do is interrupt what I'm really there for. It's like watching Fight Club, and halfway through Edward Norton and Brad Pitt start singing like it's a High School fucking Musical. Or ordering a cheese steak (philly style) and after taking fix bites the chef pulls it from my hands, tosses me a salad and says "Now have some of this". Fuck you! I don't want your salad! Even if you feel like you needed to set yourself apart from the other cheese steak joints, you don't do it by making me eat something I didn't ask for!

And even then, you're tossing some pretty shitty salad. Now instead of competing decently with acts like Extra Credits and Zero Punctuation, and doing a pretty good job of it at that, we're met with an attempt to compete with the various comedic short films on YouTube. Which, honestly, you can't compete, be it in terms of special effects or in terms of humor. It's just not working. Hell, even a lower budget series like Living in 8-Bits is doing it better.

I don't want to be one of those people that hates whatever comes out of your mouth, but you've literally destroyed what brought me to your show in the first place. And this isn't because I don't like change. It's that you took something good, but now it has been injected with something totally shitty.

Here's to hoping you don't fuck up Escape to the Movies now.