Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Community Question: Regarding Your Speech…

with one comment

Since we don’t necessary have a podcast coming up and a really good question was asked, I figured I’d answer it here.  It comes from Andrew and it reads:

Hello again, whoever is hosting this time. This one goes to Fred, but, whoever you are, read anyway; Fred will listen to this.

First, I do admire more effort being put in research and actually playing the games covered on the show. That is always a welcome change. However, there is ONE teeny problem. I am very much against the “GAMES ARE SRS ART THAT WILL EDUCATE US AND ELEVATE HUMANITY TO A NEW LEVEL OF SUPERIOR EXISTENCE” crap. The very moment you start taking fun seriously, you lose your ability to enjoy it. Do you really want to go there, Fred? Do you want to kill the fun, and treat games like some boring obligatory chore for mature adults such as yourself? I will be blunt: the moment you forget how to have fun and enjoy things without ruminating on the serious socio-political implications of “the experience” immediately after, will be the moment I stop listening. I am surrounded with enough mature adults who forgot what fun is already.

With that out of the way, I will sadly not be able to contribute any articles to the site. I am very picky, and only play games that I really love, meaning my personal knowledge of games extends almost exclusively to titles I played. I will not be playing anything I do not like because I have to. I could join you on a potential Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, or Sly Cooper episode, I know everything you need (and don’t need) about those series….. es. There is nothing else I can help with. Other than sending you soundtracks if you ever need them.

Well….. bye?

P.S. Thinking your perspective on a game is a fact is not rare, most people are like that.

My response is below:

First of all, let me apologize for the manner in which I made my “triumphant” soapbox speech at the end of our The End is the Beginning episode.  I was ill and the small amount of alcohol went straight to my head and I went off.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t stand by what I said, but as you can clearly see conversation can devolve at a certain point.  I think games can serve multiple purposes: educate, entertain, and inform among others.  Personally I use games as an entertainment medium that I would later like to convert to informative, looking up information on games I enjoyed.  Do I think everyone needs to do that?  Absolutely not.  I’ve always been under the impression that you should play/enjoy/experience a game however you want to – either on the hardest difficulty and watching all cutscenes or muted with unlimited lives.  Its your game, the whole idea is to play it the way you want.  At the same time, I’m going to delve into the history, development, and impact of a game if I cover it on the site, so this can be a bit a gray area.  Perhaps you’ll find interest, perhaps not.

What I will not do is anything akin to Polygon or Waypoint where I dissect the real life historical context or as you appropriately put it “ruminating on the socio-political implications of the experience” as this is not my goal.  I don’t care what Super Mario Bros. 3 has to say about the Trump Administration.  Frankly I don’t care to discuss the Trump Administration.  I do care what popular culture in the world did with Super Mario Bros. 3 and how our countries reacted, but it ends there and I only delve into it for factual notaries and not interpretation.  This is Gaming History 101, not Gaming Philosophy 501, so no graduate level hemming and hawing and no interpretation of the meaning behind the Mushroom Kingdom.

I do wish to play games first and foremost for entertainment (“fun”) and then decide how I want to cover them. It’s kinda why the hiatus/non-scheduled nature of the episodes. I’m no longer sure that podcasting is the best medium for what I want to do all the time.  Sometimes other media are more appropriate, be it article, video, or even livestream.  Also we’ve covered a ton of topics and really dug into the facts of everything, now it’s time I wish to be a bit more reflective.  I think video games are a solid case study in the fact that rushing through a game is a bad idea.  It clouds judgments of reviews and makes it feel like work.  All I intend to do is play a game starting at a certain date, finish it or stop playing it when I feel done, figure out how to cover it, and move on.  The other half of that is discovery, which for me means projects like Version and ChronCD, so I intend to do those as well. When Jam and/or I – or anyone else in the community – have something to say/discuss, then a podcast may be the place for it.  The same is probably true of something like a game club, which dissects a game much deeper than a review/retrospective video or article.  This is why I would love to eventually get through some of these Sony heavy hitters you like so much and discuss them on a podcast, but I need to find the time to play through them.  I will, and at least one of the series will be completed in full in 2018, at which point I hope you’ll come on to talk about it with us.  In the meantime, it’s just “gaming” as usual.  Thanks for the letter and always keeping us on our toes, especially me (Fred).

If anyone else out there would like to send an e-mail, it’s or

Written by Fred Rojas

January 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Blog

One Response

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  1. I always felt Freds speech at the end came from a place of passion (and some alcohol). I personally loved and feel no apologise need to be made. Sometimes Fred and I will say things I don’t doubt the audience will disagree with whether that’s opinions, thoughts on games or maybe we just don’t cover content that well. At the core of it all Fred and myself aim to entertain. 2018 will be a fascinating year for GH101 Fred and I are gonna try new things and enjoy playing games and bring exciting new content to the site. I myself have plans for articles and podcasts.
    Thank you for your question Andrew its always great to hear from the community and Fred and myself are always happy to reply to questions and feedback.You guys rock.
    Games to me are fun primarily but much like watching films and books etc sometimes I can’t help myself but think too deeply into the things I’m playing, watching or reading. When I was at Uni I would have absurdly deep conversations with folk about films like Fantastic 4 (many of my friends were film study students). The film was bollocks but it was fun bollocks so we spent horrors debating about it. We went way too deep more than we should but I had a ton of fun doing it. I feel podcasting has been a sort of evolution of those days. Point I’m getting to is my aim is to have fun and hopefully entertain.


    January 8, 2018 at 2:21 pm

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