Matt Chat 133: Gothic Time

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It's Gothic time! Yes, finally, after countless requests, Matt Chat covers the 2001 German CRPG Gothic. Of course, this game launched a trilogy, and apparently Risen is keeping the lineage alive. Lots of fun stuff in this game, and some pioneering stuff like the ability to skin animals (you can even get their teeth and claws!), cook food (grilled chicken!), and much more. Plagued by one of the slowest starts in any CRPG, though, it hasn't attracted the attention that it really deserves. If you can get through the first 3-4 hours of it, you'll be hooked. Just don't blow all your ore at the swamp weed stand!

Download the mp4 here.

Comments

T.O. (not verified)
Just thought I'd say a few

Just thought I'd say a few quick things after readings some of the additional comments:

1.) My comments were meant as constructive criticism, and they are just that. Matt, obviously you are putting in all the effort and time to produce the videos, so please take the comments however you like. In the end, the videos are called "Matt Chat" and no one else's name is attached to it. Also, like the old adage says, "you can't please everyone". My point: I'd rather you continue your series than get discouraged by potshots on the internet.

2.) Your point on donations is true and really hit home when you mentioned NPR. I've been a loyal listener to that show for years and never donated. However, I'm currently a graduate student and cannot currently afford a donation, but look for my donation after this semester :)

3.) Please keep doing what you do, and ignore some of the anonymous vitriol you get from the net.

Matt Barton
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No worries, man. Just

No worries, man. Just remember me when you you've got a few dollars to spend on entertainment.

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Matt Barton
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By the way, here's the author

By the way, here's the author talking about getting paid--turns out it was Harlan Ellison!

FWIW, I think he's got a great point about AMATEURS like me reducing the value of the professional stuff. Of course, none of my amateur stuff will ever appear on anyone's radar, whereas even the most pathetic coverage imaginable on a commercial site will get millions more hits. However, the raw numbers of amateurs willing to do it for free--all we want is attention--makes up the difference.

I mean, the NERVE of an amateur even *asking* for donations offends some people. Imagine *demanding* it. Of course, if I did start charging outright for access to my show, we all know what would happen--the audience would drop down to half a dozen and whatever hopes I ever had of "making it big" would be gone with a click.

I'm not quite sure who the winner in this situation is. The consumer? Perhaps, tough they'll have to sift through a LOT of garbage to get to the good stuff, and a lot of the good stuff will be forever obscure. The publisher? Maybe, though I hear things are pretty bleak for them, too. I guess the only real winners in this situation are folks like Google, Reddit, and Netflix who can profit from holding up the firehose to the consumer (and who don't actually produce any content themselves).

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clok1966
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matt.. as the local netflix

matt.. as the local netflix fanboy I must correct one thing, netflix is producing its own stuff (we just havent seen it yet) :) all the bad press Netflix has gotten lately I feel the need ot mention it (but youa re correct, up till now.. but it will change).

its amazing the content we have.. think 20 years ago.. a LIBRARY is the only place for alot of info... now in less then 10 seconds you can have more info then you could ever use with a simple google search. I said it before, amazing times we live in.. in some wasy to amazing as we seem to take alot of it for granted. But with all good, comes some bad.. I think you guys have got a real bulletpoint with "do it for free".. while the guys who do stuff for free are most often not as good as paid content, there are some exceptions. And the wade throuhg is very correct. I'm a bit of a Web Comic junkie.. and in the last 5 years some truely epic ones have come and gone. Some art that would shame the paid comic artitsts work.. yet with lack of viewers they close up.. I look at this way: there are 100's of sci fi/fantasy books wrote.. of those 10 i would enjoy. Now there are 10,000 free ones.. and 9, 900 are bad.. much hihger percent.. but still 100 free ones I would enjoy.. The real trick is finding them.

I geuss in the end you work to get paid, you play for your own enjoyment.. and the rare lucky ones get to do both.. I know you dont even remotly support yourslef with any fo this.. but take heart.. you are doing something you enjoy (I think?) and getting some pocket change... you are way ahead of most of us right there...

Matt Barton
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I read a great book on this

I read a great book on this subject awhile back--The Long Tail. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the content glut.

His argument is that you need the chaff to get the good stuff, and social tagging and such will help us get to the good stuff. I'm skeptical, though, because in my experience it's the commercial stuff that rises to the top regardless of quality. The few exceptions are random and not necessarily the best. This, Chocolate Rain is famous, but as a kind of joke. Meanwhile, imagine all the truly talented folks that get a dozen views. Sickening.

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MazokuRanma
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Chaff

I think there are a couple points to made against his argument, though.

First, it's not just that there's a good deal of chaff mixed in with the wheat; there is also simply too much wheat. I have neither the time nor the money necessary to actually experience all of the good content, let alone to expend additional resources on the chaff. I don't actually spend any real time dealing with poor quality content, but I still don't get to experience anywhere near even a fraction of the content that is surely worth my time. Even if we managed to remove the chaff entirely, we still would have high quality content lost in the cracks.

Second, you have to remember that only half of the population could be considered above average regarding intelligence. By default, that leaves the other half as below average (I'm sure people more heavily invested in statistics than me won't like the way I've phrased this, but I'm trying to emphasize the broader picture here). Those two groups will not consider the same content to be worthwhile, and as such social tagging would only go so far in creating content that rises to the top. Spending some time scanning over the highest rated channels on YouTube should be enough to illustrate my point.

Either way, while it does sound like an interesting read, I'm already so far behind in my content consumption that I don't even know where I'd fit this book in. I imagine that you often find yourself in the same boat when friends or colleagues make content recommendations to you. I'm often interested in the content itself, but what do I then move down the list in its place? The majority of content on my list currently is already heavily influenced by the opinions of friends and colleagues as it is, so the choice isn't even usually between chaff and wheat but instead two portions of wheat.

I believe the wheat/chaff metaphor has been thoroughly beaten into submission at this point, so I'll end the post here. Just wanted to add some thoughts of my own to his argument.

Matt Barton
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Chris Anderson (the author of

Chris Anderson (the author of The Long Tail) actually talks about this in some detail. Instead of thinking about what EVERYBODY rates something, you zero in on what people similar to yourself rate something. It works sometimes with Amazon because, chances are, the same people who are interested in a particular game or book might have similar interests to you, so their opinion about a product is more likely similar as well.

You can really tell this on Amazon if you go beyond mainstream releases and start looking into niche products. Suddenly, the reviews get more nuanced and there seems to be a lot more knowledge behind them. OF course, there aren't as many reviews, since the niche is obviously smaller.

This is one area where YouTube ought to be slaughtering network TV, since a channel can cater to any niche, no matter how exclusive, whereas the networks have to cater to the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately, there's not always a great apparatus in place to help us find those niches and weed out the irrelevant reviews and such.

By the way, I just heard a show on NPR about how teachers should be evaluated. It's a bit of similar situation, since you don't want to use the same system to evaluate teachers in affluent neighborhoods with those in poverty-stricken neighborhoods with high immigrant populations.

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