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  • Writer's pictureCraig Norris

Video Game Communities: Nikita Riseley Talks PAX, BackPocket fandom and Creative Game Challenges

Episode 51 - With host Craig Norris, guest Nikita Riseley and joined by Taylor Lidstone.

First Broadcast on Edge Radio, Friday 20 October 2023.


Do you love video games? Do you love challenges? Do you love breaking the rules? Then you’ll love this episode of our podcast, where we talk to Nikita Riseley, who attended the PAX convention and saw some of the amazing games and gadgets on display and participating in the BackPocket ‘pocketeers’ community. We also dive into the weird and wonderful world of video game challenges, where players impose their own rules and restrictions on how they play their favorite games. From the deadly Nuzlocke Challenge in Pokémon to the creepy horror-themed islands in Animal Crossing, we explore how these challenges can make games more fun, more difficult, or more terrifying. Plus, we discuss how humans behave differently when they work with robots and how the John Wick movies are inspired by video game logic. Don’t miss this episode of our podcast, where we celebrate the creativity and craziness of video game culture!


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Transcript

This is an AI-generated transcript of the audio and it may contain errors. We may update or correct this transcript in the future. Please contact us if you have any questions about the information in this transcript. The audio is the official record of this episode.


Craig Norris

All right, welcome to the media mothership here on Edge Radio. 99.3 FM, we're broadcasting out of these studios here in Nicolina, Hobart TAS as always. We're a show that explores. How media can shape our understanding of the world? Around us. We're streaming across edgeradio.org dot AU YouTube and Twitch, and you can find us by just searching for media mothership. You can reach out to us during the show if you'd like by dropping us a message on the chat at YouTube or Twitch. Or samsing us directly into the studio. On 0488811707 I'm your host doctor Craig Norris today. It's a pleasure to be joined by. I guess you're the right honourable. Nikita Risley, do you feel you did honours?

Nikita Riseley

I didn't do honours, no.

Speaker 3

If you study.

Craig Norris

You complete it.

Nikita Riseley

No, I haven't actually. It's taken a bit of a while, but I've had a bit of a break away from UTAS and everything like that. So it's good to. Yeah, have a bit of a. Yeah. Had a bit of a break over like COVID as well. Like that was a bit of a.

Speaker 5

Face the university.

Craig Norris

Of life. A wise choice, yeah. Well, I bought you in. The key to to do some deep diving into video game culture, media and in particular. The magic, which was the PAX experience over in Melbourne recently. Yeah. So we'll we'll dig into some of that. I'll also touch a little bit on some some news and information. So all that and more coming up on media mothership.

Speaker 1

Troubled by the multiple narratives ever question the possibility of a stable meaning 1A deconstruct it all. Edge Radio doesn't just offer you media, we offer you media mothership. Media mothership designed to expose you to the simulacra of today for one hour of playful irony. What are you waiting for? Hop on the medium mothership.

Craig Norris

So I just quickly wanted to go over one or two unusual bits of news that I've encountered trolling through the Internet on media and popular culture. One interesting piece was from Gizmondo and it was headlined. Humans are more likely to slack off. When working with robots, a study is found. So this is a finding which has raised safety concerns for workplaces that engage in danger. And repetitive tasks, particularly if there's only kind of robots observation going on that people will just kind of switch off and not pay as much attention. Have you found that I mean is there much AI you've experienced in any workplace? Or you know where where any technology is involved in the workplace to ensure that staff are kind of logging in doing what they're meant to do, and then leave surveillance or anything.

Nikita Riseley

There has been a few instances. Yeah. So with my workplace, we basically have like a swipe on swipe off system and everything like that, but like. A lot of people usually seem to forget to do that as well.

Speaker 3

And then.

Craig Norris

But you know when they came or? Didn't come the trust system I.

Nikita Riseley

Guess yeah. But so like, they've gotten into this whole big thing. Now where, like if you don't clock on, you don't get paid basically. So that basically. It gets people to do that but.

Craig Norris

So yes, you, you. You. Yes. You don't want to slack off, and so you don't. You want to make sure you get paid for the time you're there. Yeah. So yes. And that way, yes, AI systems, or at least computerised systems, can assist another. Really a slight change of gear. There was another really interesting article. Reading on Polygon, talking about how the John Wick movies have always lived by video game rules. Right? So I love this idea of of where media or computers or video games starts to find. Meaning other parts of life. So the workplace, in this case movies. And it's quite interesting now, have you seen the John Wick movies, Nikita?

Nikita Riseley

I think I've seen the first one a very long time ago. Yeah, I know what it is, but I haven't actually deep dived into it. Like I've only just, like, saw the first one and that.

Craig Norris

Canna Reeves with a gun.

Nikita Riseley

Was probably a. While ago, yeah.

Craig Norris

Because it's one of those enormous franchises. What's really fascinating about the John Wicks space is how, of course, successful. It's been, yeah. But also, if you start unpacking. Action and the narrative Dr and the type of suspension of belief an audience has to have for a character to survive so many gunshots around them. And you know, there's there's ideas that he's sued is, is, is bulletproof and so forth. But but nevertheless he does. Kind of have so much damage, so this article was talking. About really the. John Wick works particularly for video gamers, because there's suspension of disbelief is much easier to maintain because it's playing by video game rules, particularly the the final boss video game rule that you know you're encounters slowly lead up to the final boss, which is very much how John Wick works. It points out some other. Interesting examples of this, particularly that kind of grinding like you're in a video game and you just grind through levels or you have to go. Find a part of the game to basically get.

Nikita Riseley

Basically all like the wave modes and everything like that. And like just follow the enemies, which is basically tells you which way to go.

Craig Norris

Yes, yeah, yeah. Cause why? And you need that kind of character. You want to make that character stronger, so you just kind of grind some lower level stuff so it it can be strong enough. Yeah. Which is kind of like the that Tom Cruise movie edge of tomorrow. Yeah. Where Tom Cruise's character is kind of stuck in this time loop constantly regrinding. The the boss encounter right until he can perfectly achieve it, which is probably why, again, many people were enjoyed that movie again, video game game logic. So yeah, they're all pointing out how the John Wick film and you know, increasingly. Yeah, I'm curious as to whether other films. And TV shows are working because how we define suspension of disbelief. If can be in conversation with different realities. I mean, I think you've got suspension of disbelief as it applies to the real world, right? Like someone saying, you know, they they just can't believe, for instance, well, a little one I remember is the Prometheus movie where people said. So this is part of the alien universe. And in the first kind of the newest, I guess that trilogy that Billy Scott did, the first one had a group of scientists and and and support staff go to this planet and everyone was so angry at the scientists not behaving like scientists, right? Like they they were taking their helmets. If they're exposing themselves to various risks and they're just saying they were behaving stupidly right that that kind of suspension of disbelief. Quickly evaporated. Yet it's interesting because I think the same criticism could be made to John Wick that it doesn't really make sense. It doesn't hold up to real world.

Nikita Riseley

Logic, yeah.

Speaker

But it's so.

Craig Norris

Successful and I would say that success is because the suspension of disbelief is based on video game reality, right? And you've got an audience. That is more than happy to go along and enjoy the kind of. Of pacing of a video game in terms of a character arc, particularly that again, that final bus idea, that kind of power ups that that John Wick encounters. Yeah, it's it's a really interesting, interesting concept.

Nikita Riseley

It reminds me of, like the Transformers movies. Where everybody was saying, like, I can't remember the actress's name in like the third one or something like that. It wasn't, it wasn't. Oh, I can't even think of the name now, but anyway, she was like, wearing all white clothes and everything like that. And she was basically running through the apocalypse. And how did she stay so clean?

Craig Norris

Yes. Yeah, that's right. They. Yes, yes. But the the makeup is unblemished. They they're in an apocalypse scenario, but. Yeah, because they're still conforming to some conventions of, you know, I guess maybe audience appeal, the the Transformers genre is another one or movies another case where, again, critically, they were savaged. But for the audience rating was huge. Right there was there. Was a huge popularity for those and again that kind of trying to explain that divide between where a critical reaction kind of misses. Why a piece of work is popular? I mean, we might criticise Transformers for various things, but nevertheless it did become incredibly successful. A lot of people watched. It a lot of people enjoyed it. And again, why is that? Again, you could argue maybe video game rules. I mean, Transformers probably plays by video game rules. We'll have to. There you go. This is a challenge for us. Well, Nikita, we're going to bring you on. We'll give. We'll give ourselves some months to watch. All the Transformers movies. We'll set up a a research project. We'll we'll get a research coding list together based on video game rules, and we'll apply that to.

Nikita Riseley

I haven't even thought about that, but.

Craig Norris

Transformers we've I'm already regretting this challenge. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I guess typically on the show. This is where they've set it up is what a a kind of a fundraiser, right? Yes. Let's if you can. No subscriber thing, right. If if we can get 200 subscribers.

Nikita Riseley

That sounds like a lot of work.

Craig Norris

A next week we will embark on a one month, one month Transformers video game rules project. There you go. I think that's.

Speaker 3

How that works, yeah.

Craig Norris

Please no one. Yeah. Don't hold me to that.

Nikita Riseley

Pretty much.

Craig Norris

One there alright? Yeah. So that again, two really interesting. Bits of news. I'll post those. Bits to the show. Quotes on the podcast and YouTube so people can go and dig into that when they want. We might just shift to getting ready now to come back and talk about packs with Nikita any second.

Speaker 1

Are you defined by the binary oppositions? Stable meaning. Want to trace it all? Edge Radio doesn't just offer you media. We offer you media mothership. Media mothership designed to reveal the emporias of the day for one hour of difference. What are you waiting for? Hop on the media mothership.

Craig Norris

Hey, you're listening to media mothership here on Edge Radio 99.3 and I'm joined by Nikita, who's going to assist me because I've never been to PAX. In unpacking this pack space was. So what is pax?

Nikita Riseley

Pax is basically just one giant convention that involves video games. Pretty much, if that's in basic terms. So pack started in America, I think it. Was Seattle. Yeah, but yeah, so all of the like the the exact execs from the fly in every year in Australia this year was actually the 10th year.

Craig Norris

Right he is.

Nikita Riseley

So had the had the 10 year anniversary in Australia.

Craig Norris

Does that and it took a break during COVID.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, it did. I think it was about two, maybe three years before they got back up and running again over COVID, but yeah, it's it's quite fun. They have like a lot of. Like the major video game like publishers and. Console developers and everything like that. They've also got a lot of smaller indie devs that come in.

Craig Norris

Was there any tazzy stuff?

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, there was. Usually Tasmania has a separate little sort of booth thing and you can go there and play. Their games normally it's a giant Margarita is there with party golf and everything like that and. There was a few other smaller ones and then there was also. New Zealand had a booth as.

Craig Norris

Well, go New Zealand. Yeah, right. Is that the first time? New Zealand.

Nikita Riseley

I don't think so. I think they were there the year before. This is only my second year that I went, but I'm pretty sure they were there. The year before that as well.

Craig Norris

Nice. All right, So what were some of the highlights this year for PAX 2023? It was held in Melbourne, so I imagine the flight was a huge.

Nikita Riseley

Highlight. Ohh yeah, it was great we got there. There was no delays on the trip there on the way back it was another story. But the year before I had delays too. So like, yeah.

Craig Norris

Naked lays.

Nikita Riseley

But yeah, the flight was probably not one of the highlights, but.

Craig Norris

Cause how long? Did you like? It's it goes for the weekend.

Nikita Riseley

It does. So it goes. You can you can buy a number of different tickets. I had a three day pass, but that's sold out within probably two months. I'd say so that sold out relatively fast and then you can just buy separate day passes as well.

Craig Norris

Right. So you went for the three.

Nikita Riseley

I went for the three days. Yeah. Normally I would probably get like a a media pass or something like that, so they've got those two for like streamers. And like there's guests as well and all that sort of stuff. But yeah, it was nice just to go there and have a bit of a relaxing time and walk around rather than.

Craig Norris

Had had you taken the media pass previously or?

Nikita Riseley

I haven't for packs, no other conventions I have. So like our local icon that we. Had, yes, I did. Media passes there and I've done falls festival and everything like.

Craig Norris

That and this is. Overlapping with the work you've got for your Twitch channel or.

Nikita Riseley

So that was when I was working at Tigard. That's in my first and second year of uni. Yeah, yeah.

Craig Norris

Ohh great. Yes, the local uni journalistic publication.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, it was great. I loved it. But yeah, I haven't started streaming yet on Twitch, but I will be probably in the near future.

Craig Norris

I reckon, alright. Stay tuned. We'll have to make a special launch announcement when that happens. Yeah, right. So you've. You've you've been able to see behind the scenes on some conventions in the past. Through to Guarders and getting media pass access, but for packs, did you have to do a little bit of homework to figure out what games were going to be there? Developers, personalities that you wanted to corner?

Nikita Riseley

I mainly went for the community side of things, but there was also major developers that were that came back to Australia this year so they were not really developers but but they had Nintendo and but Theresa, they are with the new Nintendo. I'd like the new what was it, the Mario game, Mario? And there was also Sega in there as well, with Sonic the Hedgehog.

Craig Norris

Right, yes, that was the. I did see the giant. Was it all Lego Sonic?

Nikita Riseley

Yeah. Yeah, it was a giant Lego sonics.

Craig Norris

And as soon as I saw that, I thought.

Nikita Riseley

I took a photo with that. It was great. It was.

Craig Norris

Great did mikes. I immediate reaction when I see giant Lego things is oh, I'm looking forward to the YouTube of that getting knocked over by a young. Kid. Yeah, kind of. Moment. And there's been these cases of that happening.

Nikita Riseley

I think.

Craig Norris

What? What happened?

Nikita Riseley

I think somebody said like the actual maker or something on Twitter or ex or whatever it's called nowadays. He's like, don't, don't push it over or something like that. And I think people were just like, mocking that as well. In a few pictures that I've.

Craig Norris

Seen but you got a photo up with it. You you got to stand next to the Sonic. Yeah. Lego piece. Like life size, right? It's.

Nikita Riseley

That was basically the highlight now, yeah. Huge. It wasn't that big. For me it was probably. I'm quite short, so it was probably about. Yeah, basically half the size.

Craig Norris

So probably my size for a six year.

Nikita Riseley

Well, yeah, basically I have about 164 centimetres or something. So about half that, yeah.

Craig Norris

So you said you were. Connecting with the community there.

Nikita Riseley

Or yeah, so I'm also a Patreon subscriber for a Twitch channel called Back Pocket.

Craig Norris

Yeah. And they're a really interesting group, right? So this is the kind of elements of previous Australian. And video game shows specifically good game which needs to be on ABC and then what happened they reformed they kind of.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, yeah. So the yeah. So barjo from good game. People might remember him. He's a bit of a bit of a character. He left the game first. I can't remember what year it was, but it was quite a while ago now and he ended up doing his own Twitch channel, which is quite popular. And then I think Hex was the next one or Steph is her real name. She was the next one to leave and basically everybody else just sort of followed after that, I think. And anyway they they got back together again and they created their own channel called Back Pocket, which is the community that I Patreon to.

Craig Norris

And yeah, and it's such a I mean, it's such an interesting model of creating content with Twitch and Patreon, so within. So obviously they do a regular twitch streams of various video games they play and you engage with them as part of the the audience, but also. Fandom. Yeah, of those identities? Yeah. And then Patreon is, of course, space. Many people know. But for those that don't know. It's a kind of way of financially supporting creatives, where there's various tiers or levels of of engagement. Have you found your participation in the you're part of the back Pocket army? Is that what they're called?

Nikita Riseley

I think the technical term is pocketers like back pocketers, so they took that name from another online. Group that they engage with as like it was basically the ABC's good game version. It's hard to explain, so it's just basically the YouTube, the YouTube side of good game. Yeah. So they called it good game pocket.

Speaker 5

That audience can.

Nikita Riseley

Back then, so they took the name pocket from there. So it was like bring back pocket. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 3

Right.

Craig Norris

Yes, yes, yes. Yeah. Ohh. Cute. Yeah. Bring. Yeah. So it's also kind of a political phrase. Yeah. Right. Bring back pocket pocket peers. Pocket being a kind of offshoot of good game. Ohh wow. Because it's such a difficult thing to untangle yourself away from. Imagine for those creatives in terms of you were part of a proprietary. You know theme at ABC and then and then trying to extricate yourself but do the same thing. Elsewhere, like on Twitch, and make it sustainable for you?

Nikita Riseley

And keep that sort of audience as well. So it's like merging 2 and two together. Yeah, if that makes sense.

Craig Norris

Yeah, but again, you know the great thing about which is is keeping it grassroots. And yeah, this does give me an idea. I need to think of what to refer to media mothership hands when we find them. I guess I can't really do the the pocketers. Seeing media mothership years doesn't ship shippers? No, that's a phrase for people that are doing fan fiction.

Nikita Riseley

When I think of Mothership, I think of your UFO's so like you could probably do something with like. Aliens maybe, but like.

Craig Norris

Because, well, kiss had, like, the Kiss army. And I was doing this podcast. Yes. Or this show yesterday were the huge Kiss fan. And he was talking about. Joining the Kiss Army in the 80s. But yes, I did. I think yes, doing that kind of X files anally in mothership and go alright. Well, we'll keep. Workshopping something? So you're you're a pocket here? Yep. Excellent. And so you got to to engage, like, for height, like, leading up to packs for the back pocket space and community. That became a a centre of let's do a face to face. Meet up. Yeah. And catch up. How did that all all pan out.

Nikita Riseley

So with the Patreon subscription, you also get access to the discord. There's different tiers of different ones that like different channels on the discord that you can have access to, but there's like multiple different ones. So there's like PAX chat and you can just talk to other like minded people in the community.

Craig Norris

Oh, there's so much that I'm learning here.

Nikita Riseley

And yeah, plan out basically everything. The creators of the show also did a meet up on so it's Saturday. I think it was.

Speaker 3

And again exclusive.

Nikita Riseley

Before their before their actual panel.

Craig Norris

Exclusive for Patreon supporters.

Nikita Riseley

Not really. I think basically everybody was invited pretty much. Yeah, most of them were just rocketeers. Mainly, yes. Yeah, it was great.

Craig Norris

What was it? I mean, I know in media studies, so I guess Full disclosure, Nikita has been a previous life is a wonderful student in some of the classes I taught at university. And one of the concepts we looked at was the parasocial, the concept of the parasocial moment. Where you meet celebrity or you've developed that relationship, many celebrities, many media creators, will have Instagram, social media, outreaches twitch and you develop a kind of friend. That that benefits both sides. But then sometimes you meet people in the real life. And of course the warning being you never meet your heroes. How have you found? That parasocial relationship that the Rocketeer and back. Pocket spaces had.

Nikita Riseley

It's actually really interesting, like it's still really like fun. But like, it's, yeah, it's just weird because, like you, you engage in like, this, this children show from, like, your childhood, basically, and then you. Get older and sort of like you meet them at like conventions and things like that, which is. When they're working for like ABC still is this like really? I can't think of the word for it, but.

Speaker

OK.

Nikita Riseley

Like you don't. Like you don't really feel like you can express your full self if you're working for a certain company or something like that and you go and meet people, you still feel like you're attached. So to that sort of. Yeah, you know what I mean.

Craig Norris

Yes, that that kind of media space. Yeah. So it can be, yeah. Fascinating. When you're allowed entry into what typically is kind of industry knowledge or industry engagements through being able to join a discord community, chatting online and then being able to. To meet face to face on packs. Yeah. So again, it's very rare that they're face to face meetups like this. So you'd you'd caught up on packs with many other pocketers.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, it was great fun like I. I had met a few in years before, but a couple of them I haven't. And yeah, it's just really nice to put phases to names and things like that. So everybody just addresses themselves as like a username and stuff that they see on Twitch all the time, like in the chat and everything like that. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker

Because it.

Nikita Riseley

It's just it's good.

Craig Norris

Can be very. Yeah, and it can be intimidating going to a space. Did you go with friends or you went by yourself and then met and then organised to meet up with your?

Nikita Riseley

Friends, I went with my brother. He's not really part of that community. Well, he is a little bit, but like, not as much. He's not fully into it as much as I am, but I also met up with a few friends that I've talked to over the discord and everything like that and met in years prior. And then yeah, it's just like. We had a bunch of name tags this year, so one of the mods of the channel gave us all the name tags right. So like we could just write our names, all user names on them as well. So everybody could basically identify others.

Craig Norris

As you were sporting around the Convention floor. Your age.

Nikita Riseley

So it's basically a conversation starter as well.

Craig Norris

Right. Yeah. And they were distinctive. Little name tags. Yeah. Did anyone outside of that? Culture ask what was going on. With the name tags or.

Nikita Riseley

Not me personally, but I'm pretty sure they probably did. I don't. They're quite big. Yeah, they're quite big. Like they'll just like.

Speaker 3

It's a great idea.

Nikita Riseley

Probably the size of like a normal like. You know those kids birthday badges that you can get? Yeah.

Craig Norris

Ah, perfect. Yes, yes, yes. Can I ask if it's not an invasion of privacy? What your username was for this? For the back pockets.

Nikita Riseley

Mine is NJ game, so it's basically just my initial spelled out long form, so it's E double NJAY game.

Craig Norris

Right. Perfect. Perfect. Alright, so there were packs connecting with the community and so there were the personalities there like the back pocket team. Did they do anything formally for packs there?

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, they did. They did a a A panel which was in the main theatre ran for about an hour and a half. It was just basically a live stream or like a live show of what they usually do on their channels every Thursday, so they're they're variety show that they have on Thursday.

Craig Norris

Right. Nights. Yeah. So was it video game chat discussion? Unpack.

Nikita Riseley

Basically, yeah. So they talk about the games that they've been playing that week. And then they go on to more random like fun topics. For everybody else to participate in. So they played everybody want to switch?

Craig Norris

And what is that? Everybody, one piece switch. I hope it's a body swap switching thing. Like you just change identities, no?

Nikita Riseley

That that is. No, it probably could be. I haven't played it like fully myself, but so it's a Nintendo Switch game where you can get multiple people involved.

Craig Norris

Right.

Nikita Riseley

This version of it you can use. To play it, yeah, instead of joy, cons. And it's just a bunch of random like little games. So there's basically a game on there that's like.

Craig Norris

Yes, just believe.

Nikita Riseley

Kind of like squid game. You know the red light green light right game. Except obviously you don't get shot like in. Squid game but. Yeah, that was quite fun. They found out that you can only have 100 people participate in it, though until the servers crash.

Craig Norris

Ohh really? Right, so there were. No kidding. So there were more than 100 people engaging during. Packs for that panel.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, I'm not sure the capacity of that theatre, but it's probably, you know between.

Craig Norris

That's a substantial audience.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, probably more than 300, I'd say, yeah.

Craig Norris

So touching base with what you the community you're part of, did you also then discover some new stuff, new games, new genres to enjoy in the future?

Nikita Riseley

I I didn't play many games because of like all of the lines and everything it packs. I didn't wanna waste a lot of my time standing for hours on end.

Craig Norris

Really. So for the.

Nikita Riseley

The popular titles like the Mario Game and like all of those were pretty much.

Craig Norris

How does it work? So there's consoles. They're set up and you line up and you can play like 3 minutes or something.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, pretty much, yeah. I basically got the whole.

Craig Norris

When something's right.

Nikita Riseley

Experiences by looking over other people's shoulders. But it looks really good.

Craig Norris

Anything you saw that you thought? I'm gonna keep an eye on that. That looks fantastic.

Nikita Riseley

There's a few like. Basically, yeah, pretty much the Mario game. I liked that one. There was the new Forza that was there. What else was there? A lot of these games have already just been released, I think.

Craig Norris

And Bethesda had a a small suite where they announcing or releasing anything or.

Nikita Riseley

But there's I had a small suite, but I didn't really get to see what they had. They were at the other side of the hall, I think.

Craig Norris

So you had a three day pass, but even with that, you know, you just you can't do everything and you. Can't wait in line and.

Nikita Riseley

But pretty much, yeah. Even the line for merch on the first two days, I know of people that were standing in line for about 3 hours just to buy PAX merch. Really. Yeah. I'm like, yeah, no, I'm just gonna wait till, like, Sunday. But by the time Sunday comes, everything sold out. So, like, it's. Yeah.

Craig Norris

Holy cow. OK. So it sounds like you were trying to maximise your time there. Yeah, avoiding long queues. What did you do then? To to best enjoy. Efficiently packs.

Nikita Riseley

UM. Basically just hung out with friends. Mainly, yeah. But yeah. Other than that, it was. I did a lot of walking around, that's for sure. They had like the table tops.

Craig Norris

What a very social thing to do.

Nikita Riseley

Games there as well, so they got a separate section for tabletop.

Craig Norris

Like your classic board.

Nikita Riseley

Games, yes. So they had, like Dungeons and Dragons and like magic and everything like that set up there. They had a whole heap of different ones.

Speaker

Oh, fantastic.

Nikita Riseley

But yeah, I didn't get to play any of those either. And probably because I don't really know how to play.

Craig Norris

Yes, that's right. Yes. Out of the learning curve.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah ohh have a bit intimidating.

Craig Norris

So one of the challenges in packs as you're pointing out is is handling the crowd. Was the crowd bigger or larger or smaller than last year the the previous time you've gone?

Nikita Riseley

It's hard to say. I think it was roughly around the same, maybe a little bit bigger. There's a lot of times that you kind of don't really want to be in the exhibition hall though, especially like for long periods of time just because it's very, very humid. A lot of my time was spent outside to breathe. With all of that tech and everything, and just. Crowds and yeah, it's very overwhelming.

Craig Norris

For us. And given through tagada's, you've been to various other pop culture events in. Yeah. Locally. Yeah. How how does PAX 2023 compare to that? Is it is it kind of one of the the biggest events?

Nikita Riseley

I'd say it's probably, yeah. It's probably one of the biggest events in Australia. That's based around that sort of industry and everything like that icon that I went to in Hobart. It's mainly based around like anime and stuff like that, rather than they've got like a small video game area, but it's not particularly that big. The size of the convention hall in Melbourne is it's. A bit of a difference, that's for sure. I think I was doing about. Between 15 to 20,000 steps a.

Craig Norris

Day it's great exercise, so it is it is a healthy way to a pursuit. Many people would consider as being one where you just sitting in front of a monitor playing games, the reality being. Actually the opposite that that you. To get an excellent workout.

Nikita Riseley

That's for sure, yes.

Craig Norris

So any advice or suggestions for people that might be thinking? This time next year, going to packs what? What would your advice be?

Nikita Riseley

Probably become like part of a community or something like that. It's definitely more fun to go with friends or something like that. It's a bit overwhelming at times, but yeah, just prepare yourself for like, all of that sort of thing and just. Yeah, basically waiting a lot.

Craig Norris

Yeah. So bring something to distract yourself with.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, like pack your Nintendo Switch or something like that. It will be standing there for a while so.

Craig Norris

A lot of standing, actually, while you mentioned that what what devices did you see people have on hand as they were walking or was it mainly just a classic mobile phone or where the quite a few handheld game?

Nikita Riseley

It's mainly just. I just basically saw a lot of people with mobile phones. There was a few streamers there that walk around with cameras with selfie sticks and everything like that, so you'll probably be on like a live stream somewhere on the Internet. Half of these people, I have no idea who they were, so it was. Just like walking past.

Craig Norris

That would be an unusual thing to see in South one with a selfie stick doing a they'll be doing a live video stream or record.

Nikita Riseley

They're probably doing like an IRL stream, like in real life thing, which is basically a whole different genre on Twitch.

Craig Norris

Right. Yeah. So how do? Well, OK. So the inner life genre is 1, which is just slices of life live recordings anywhere.

Nikita Riseley

So people go fishing, people go walking, shopping, basically anything, really.

Craig Norris

And I imagine some. I have I have come across somewhere that it just seems to be set a camera on the the side and they're just doing life right. They're they're fishing or yeah, they're not really doing shout outs or looking for engagement. It's just like watching a fish tank.

Nikita Riseley

Pretty much, yeah. Sometimes they'll just look at their chat or something like that and they'll talk to people. But yeah. That's basically what it.

Craig Norris

Is all right. So that's the deep dive into packs. Now I'll play a short clip. To set up the next discussion of video game analysis and engagements, keep listening here to media membership manage radio.

Speaker 5

Welcome to San Andreas. I'm CJ from Grove St landed the heinous **** ******* and cold heat and Los Santos neighbours getting no sleep even with anybody competing. Even pulled meat, pulled beef and the green bag with cold feet last with the flag, with the crap that's sold cheap, staying in shape, hit the gym, lift the weights. You're super cute. Big and buff. Nice and straight. You got stats. Suspect weapon steel stabbing the muscle, fat and sexy. Here you get clothes from pin codes and phone that suburban zip pick them and be set. Watch your back when rival who is they'll test just to guess. If you're so Father. And bail jump out busing gun into like, tucked it changes, it seems like I'm on. Impossible, miscible miss Twisted prediction that's hostile. Championing and Pulaski harassed me cop cause been on. I ask the last half week because the greatest for the gangsters hard boy hands is the language for the bank. And it's dangerous, old boy. Get your brains. Look for how you do your. Fingers home boy. Top and topless dump them out in the block. Shake before the cops come. They don't got no back. Another black.

Craig Norris

All right, welcome back here to media mothership on Edge Radio. 99.3. I'm your host, Craig, joined by guest Nikita. Hey. Hi and co-host Taylor.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, hi, I'm finally.

Craig Norris

Here, finally here. So Nikita was taking us on a journey. Into packs and now I want. To flip the script. Sounds so cool when I say that live script, I should have sound. Effects to to really sizzle my. Wrapper. Tea. OK, let's just push through now anyway, for this script. By then, talking about engaging with video games and the weird ways people engage with video games is one of my favourite topics. Because when I had to teach, were you in?

Speaker 3

The video game unit that I taught you back, yeah.

Nikita Riseley

I think it was. Yeah, it was you. Know that's a very. Long time ago, but yeah, I.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, yeah, I failed it. Yeah, if.

Speaker 5

Mean it was mental rolling.

Taylor Lidstone

I remember correctly.

Craig Norris

I think either you've submitted your final assignments. So surprise, yes, I've bought.

Nikita Riseley

I don't think I did. So you know, alive.

Craig Norris

I've brought in your final assignments. We're doing a live assessment and and. One of the the final assessment that it did for that unit was you have to get a video game. And create an engagement with it, which is not how the creators of game would have intended. So you know, one student did the SIM game and he got a mod. No, not SIM. It was one of those kind of city builder games. Got a mod which was Hobart and then tested out all of the the theories of reducing traffic. Right. The ring Rd. Around Hobart. A tunnel.

Nikita Riseley

That would have actually been really.

Speaker 3

Cool. Yeah, yeah.

Taylor Lidstone

That would have been genius.

Speaker

I like, yeah.

Craig Norris

It was based on this Daisy Reddit post, which I'd read where a guy posted on Daisy to say that he wanted to do a he was looking for someone to create. A UN journalism skin for him to wear in games so he could interview people in the game as a journalist character for a blog he's doing. Would you? That's. That's great, man. That's the future of journalism going in game in character. Doing interviews and. Ohh there's a bit. Yeah. Yeah, Daisy was because.

Taylor Lidstone

For sweaty teenagers, I mean.

Craig Norris

He was he was wanting to explore. How the zombie game? Was getting emergent gameplay happening with survivors and you know, kind of like the worst thing about zombies or the other humans. So humans killing humans. Yeah, I love that idea. So yes, my hope was to get students creating this kind of new journalism thing that didn't quite. Happen, but nevertheless I always get an opportunity to return to weird. Ways people use video games. Right. So I'm just going to throw it out to you. Some of the things I've heard, so I played GTA because one of the common ways in which people play games differently are those people that play GTA according. To the rules of the road. Have you ever done?

Speaker 3

This have you.

Craig Norris

Yeah. What was that?

Nikita Riseley

Like it's alright I guess, but like you get sick of. It after a while. But he was like, oh, there's a person over. There run the whole Rd.

Speaker

Yeah, well.

Craig Norris

My 17 year old is going to learn driving and yeah, let's. Do it in GTA.

Taylor Lidstone

The thing is, I do I do that as well. So I use the rules of the row. But, but it's very difficult because. I drive on the. Right hand side.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, that's true.

Craig Norris

So maybe for planning a trip to America, GTA is a really good way of familiarising yourself.

Taylor Lidstone

With it could be, yeah, yeah.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, American Rd rules, yeah.

Craig Norris

You need to I. Mean the later GTA games. They do allow you. To do first person right so you can get. All right, so other bizarre ways. Gamers have used video games, according to new and unusual rules are in The Sims. Some players decided to create a challenge called the Black Widow Challenge. You haven't heard of this one? OK, Black Widow challenge. So have you guys played The Sims? Yeah, yeah. What is The Sims? I've never played. It I've Noah. But I'm gonna ask this question so audience.

Nikita Riseley

Just a simulator of life. Pretty much yeah. You can create your own characters or anything.

Craig Norris

From birth to death kind of thing and.

Nikita Riseley

Like that? Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Taylor Lidstone

In sort of a weird, perverse way, yes.

Nikita Riseley

Yeah, yeah.

Craig Norris

OK. The Black Widow challenge. The goal is to create a female SIM who marries as many male Sims as possible and then kills them off. In various ways. The challenge has different rules and objectives depending on the version of the game, but the main idea is to collect money and. Leaves from the deceased husbands. Black Widow, will that work? Black Widow challenge could. You create a few more SIM and then get it so that she is in game killing her husbands to syphon off their money. Would that would you be able to? Set that up.

Nikita Riseley

I mean, you probably couldn't get the character to kill the person, but the person that plays the game could definitely kill off the husband.

Craig Norris

You would create. I don't feel comfortable.

Speaker

And that.

Craig Norris

Alright, so have you heard of any other? Bizarre things about The Sims. And I know there's ones like you give a phobia to a character or something, and then you you get them to experience that phobia again and.

Speaker 3

Again and again, right.

Taylor Lidstone

Make them fear fear. Afraid of water and then just build pools all around.

Nikita Riseley

Them. Yeah. Take away the ladder from the swimming pool, yes.

Craig Norris

Yes. So sadistic. Have you done any sadistic things in The Sims or someone you know has some sadistic things?

Nikita Riseley

I mean, yeah, I think we've all basically done that. Yeah. Well, I hope we have anyway. Otherwise I'm just like something psychopathic.

Craig Norris

Top 550 pins.

Taylor Lidstone

I think I think everyone's done the the Black Widow sort of like esque sort of thing.

Craig Norris

Sort of thing. And you're not going to provide anymore details than that to me.

Taylor Lidstone

Right. I built a big property. Yeah, and then made a basement. And made all. These little rooms with. A bed and a microwave and a toilet in it. And then just put them all in there and take.

Nikita Riseley

Just like like the.

Speaker 3

Door oh man. Away the door. Ohh really?

Craig Norris

And what happens to them?

Nikita Riseley

I mean, they eventually starved to death if they don't have a fridge in there, so they can't.

Craig Norris

Make food would they start eating each other or?

Speaker 3

Something, no.

Craig Norris

No. OK, so cannibalism's out.

Speaker 3

OK.

Craig Norris

Sorry, I don't know why I said sad. All right, so Pokemon Sun plays decided to follow a set of rules called the Nuzlocke Challenge. OK, if you know this one, Taylor. OK, so the rules are meant to make the game more difficult and emotional by forcing the player to release any Pokemon. That faints in battle, OK and.

Taylor Lidstone

Death is permanent, basically, yeah.

Craig Norris

The oh correct. And they can only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area. The challenge also encourages the player to nickname their Pokémon and from a bond with them. What is the Nas like? Challenge anything further than that. All right, so OK, in Pokémon you.

Taylor Lidstone

You just explained it, So what? Do you make of?

Craig Norris

Have you get Pokemon and then you? Fight with them. Alright, so where this is different though, is that usually you can choose which Pokémon you want, right? You wouldn't take the 1st.

Taylor Lidstone

One. Yeah, I suppose, yeah.

Craig Norris

So that introduces. Challenge 00 and deaths permanent. So if if it faints, it's gone right. Have you done them? That's not challenge, no.

Nikita Riseley

I'm completely new to this altogether, so I have no idea what I mean. I I know all Pokémon is and everything like that. I've played that, but I don't know what this challenge.

Craig Norris

Because I get. Link is there because you're more likely to have your Pokemon die. In those circumstances.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, I suppose. Yeah. I was trying to trying to get you to use potion so they don't.

Craig Norris

Right cause normally Pokemon can be a victim of that kind of collect them all. Kind of.

Taylor Lidstone

Hmm yeah.

Craig Norris

Thing and yeah. Well, you know. I think there's fundraising material here, right? Which we if we can get. To like on that.

Nikita Riseley

Set up the Patreon.

Craig Norris

30 subscribers so if. We can get to 300 right 100 times. A live no salt challenge. Grand Theft Auto. We've done Animal Crossing, right? I haven't read this one, actually. I sent it to the kid, you know, Animal Crossing. Yeah, I played it. Yeah. OK, well, here. We go someone that's played it. So in that Animal Crossing, New Horizons, some players decided to create a horror themed island, right? They used custom designs, furniture and items to decorate their island with spooky elements such as blood, bones, graves and ghosts. They also invited other players to visit the island and experience horror themselves. How does that make?

Taylor Lidstone

You feel that's not really. She's a challenge. I'm playing the games is not to be intended. It's just like, you know.

Speaker

Hey there.

Craig Norris

It's a kid game and you turn into a.

Taylor Lidstone

Horror thing, I know, but that's just like using what's in the game elements already. Yeah, OK.

Speaker 5

I should bet these first.

Nikita Riseley

Is that? I mean, what's the? What's that raccoon or whatever his name is? I can't think of his name, but he just constantly asked for money all the time. So. It's kind. Of like a horror in itself, because you have to actually pay off the money.

Craig Norris

OK, that's a sinking feeling. Red Dead Redemption Online someplace decided to take the redemption part out of. Oh, sorry, redemption part of the game too. Seriously, and formed a group called The Red Dead Redemption lists. They dressed in white robes and masks and went around preaching. Kneeling and baptising other players, they also tried to avoid violence and follow a strict code of conduct.

Taylor Lidstone

I mean, people have got too much time. Don't.

Craig Norris

They well, you know, this reminds me of the the the story of the dad that said his son, who want to play Call of Duty. One of the Call of Duty games. And he was like 14.

Taylor Lidstone

If you want to play this game. You have to fight in a.

Craig Norris

Real war. And then it was. Let's read the Geneva Convention. 1st and then play the game according to Geneva Convention rules and so they sat down and they tried to see how far they could get through the game playing the Geneva Convention. Yeah, that would be fun. No Man's Sky. That's an open world, Alien Planet Discovery game. There's a player called Darth Maul who claimed to have discovered a massive alien invasion in the game. He posted screenshots and videos of his encounters with giant creature spaceships and bases. And he also invited other players to join him fighting these invaders. However, it turned out he was using mods and editing tools to create the illusion of an invasion, and he was actually trolling the entire community. One person's conspiracy.

Taylor Lidstone

That reminds me of the fellow that's in the Elden ring, which is the online sort of component of that game. And there's like, the really, really difficult boss, and he'll just go. And if anyone's looking for players, he'll go in and basically solo.

Craig Norris

It right? Yeah, he's this kind of like, you know, in in TV you had that. Kung Fu movie or even highway to heaven, right? So this is this, this benevolent. Uber Chad Gamer, who will come in and help. 12 year old. Who's been crying about not finishing this level like?

Speaker 3

Dark Souls or something? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Uber, Chad.

Craig Norris

In the Call of Duty Modern Warfare, some. Players got bored. Of the fast paced and game plan decided to slow things down. They created custom matches with low gravity, reduced speed and increased health. They also used vehicles like trucks, helicopters and tanks to create makeshift robots and convoys. The result was a slow motion version of Mad Max Fury Rd. Yeah. Go down valheim any valheim plays here.

Nikita Riseley

I haven't played it, but I know of it. I know a few people that just, like, do like the whole. What is it like? Cottage call type thing. It's like they decorate everything. I know people that have spent hours doing that, but yeah.

Speaker 3

I'm from game OK so.

Craig Norris

Because this it goes on to say that someplace decided to spice things up by creating a battle Royale. Vote. So I guess there's no battle Royale in Valheim and they used mods and commands to spawn hundreds of enemies, weapons and items in a large arena, and then they set up objectives. So yeah, it sounds like you. A PvP game and turn it into PvP. Yeah, last example in Hades, a rogue like game. Where the player tries to escape from the underwear you guys played heides.

Nikita Riseley

I haven't played it. No, I know I've heard of it like I know of it.

Speaker 3

No. OK. Yeah.

Craig Norris

Yeah. So some players decided to take a different approach. Instead of rushing through the levels and fighting enemies, they. To explore the environment and interact with the characters, they also use mods and cheats to disable combat. And unlike all the dialogue options, they.

Speaker 3

Enjoyed the story?

Craig Norris

Law and art of the game more than. The action. So I think that's a fascinating. Idea. You just switch off all the combats and you get a mod that disables. All fighting and you just spend the whole game in dialogue. The NPC characters and just checking out the scenery. Wow. Wow. So it's kind of like a SIM later.

Nikita Riseley

I mean, if it's a pretty game, then it's probably a good. Way to do it but.

Craig Norris

All right. Well, look, I reckon there's some great fundraising challenges that set the game called Media mothership that I can get set.

Taylor Lidstone

Up. So what would what would media mothership be?

Craig Norris

About, well, I like the idea of saying it's like. Combat game and then it's more interesting turning all the combat.

Taylor Lidstone

Off, OK, yeah.

Speaker 3

And doing it as.

Craig Norris

A dialogue game so it. Could be I? Don't know. It could be like one of those games where you're just stuck with. Dialogue wheels all the.

Taylor Lidstone

In conversation with you and it's.

Craig Norris

Time. Yeah. And you got three choices. Yeah. And it's just this really recursive loop, in fact.

Speaker 3

Like hell like.

Nikita Riseley

Like Walking Dead or something like that. Like The Walking Dead. Games like telltale. Yeah. The yeah, yeah.

Craig Norris

Yes, yes. Yeah, exactly that old school. One funny story was about that people who were pointing out there's one like, not Skyrim, but one of the ones before Skyrim could be. Yeah, they they found that the they rushed through the audio dialogue for that game. And there were moments. Where you know you, you, you, you get an NPC. There's an audio dialogue encounter and the guy is saying it and then he says Ohh, hold on, let me do that again and then he reads it again and what they've done is it actually dumped the practise version into the game. Yeah, next time we might play them. Well, look, that's been media mothership for another week. 457 leaving mere minutes away to get to the next show after media membership, which is K pop. Unlimited. Yeah. Taylor, you are part of Kpop Unlimited.

Taylor Lidstone

So you.

Craig Norris

I know. We won't talk about the percentage of those parts, what's up for key pop unlimited this week? Are we playing the same? Songs as last week. That's great.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, mainly because I've had no time whatsoever. I've been finishing university stuff, yeah.

Craig Norris

My challenge for you for fundraising is see if we can play the same song constantly, like we just play one song 8 times. And we see if we can still do K pop unlimited next.

Taylor Lidstone

Week no, we'll be kicked off.

Craig Norris

Well, actually saying that, yeah, yeah. And media mothership and K pop unlimited. We'll be on a break next week. That's because there's a live cross to a school to do their live thing. So you will be hearing. As many in school children and this hour next week.

Taylor Lidstone

I think I'm. I'm going to that anyway, so I'll probably be still on the air.

Craig Norris

Great. Yeah. So we can do a type of medium. On the shoe on location. So yeah. Hopefully people recognise the difference. They don't just think Gee media mothership sounds better. It's really great today. Glad they replaced those guys. No. Alright. Well, thanks very much for listening. You can get a hold of previous shows on YouTube and Twitch and listen on demand on edgeradio.org dot AU. Hey, Nikita, if people. Want to find out more about? You should they.

Speaker 3

I mean. Sorry, you're you're going to sit.

Nikita Riseley

I mean.

Speaker

I will be.

Craig Norris

Up like a fan.

Nikita Riseley

Streaming relatively soon, but yeah, you can follow me on NJ games. I always forgot my own name. So E double NJAY games.

Craig Norris

So if, if anyone's hanging out in the back pocket group or join back pocket, they can drop your name.

Nikita Riseley

I promoted this on the discorders yes.

Craig Norris

Sweet, sweet, groovy, groovy, groovy. So keep listening to each radio coming up. Next K pop unlimited.

Taylor Lidstone

Maybe just to get the music.

Craig Norris

Ready and we might be playing more than one song, but it might be one song continually. Yeah, all right.

Speaker 3

So hold on, get the system playing again. Yeah, so keep listening here to Edge Radio 99.3 FM.






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