Skeptics with a K: Episode #0x100


Ear seeds, DOOM clones, Prince Harry, and acupressure. Plus Fortnite, accidental piercings, and Tim Roth. All your base are belong to Skeptics with a K.

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  1. #1 by James on August 8, 2019 - 14:40

    Games companies shouldn’t be let completely off the hook for this, mobile games and the bigger companies definitely do pursue predatory design decisions when it comes to monetising their games. The lower down employees like coders don’t have any say in that, these are high up decisions, and in the big companies often pursued for shareholder dividends.

    This is completely different from the moral panic type stuff mike is lumping in it with, they go out of their way to target the most vulnerable people all in the name of profit, like gambling companies do. The laws need to be updated, any game that has lootboxes (or similar) available for real money (or in game currency that can be bought with real money), should be automatically PEGI 18, sold by government licensed vendors and require a form of ID to purchase under threat of severe fines.

    People like Jim Sterling have been documenting this trend for years, recently bringing to light videos like “Let’s Go Whaling” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNjI03CGkb4 where a mobile dev lists all the predatory mechanics now starting to be commonly used in free to play games, and yes that includes Fortnite.

    I’ve been playing games most of my life (heck i’ve got one paused while i type this), but you don’t have to be some anti-game moral panic christian type to see what some of these companies are doing and be disgusted by it. Gambling ruins people’s lives and having a live and let live approach to it in our current age is just naive, particularly when it’s in products that children have access to.

  2. #2 by Peter on August 18, 2019 - 07:10

    Hearing Alice mention the “keto diet” as a potential future topic was fantastic, and piqued my interest immediately. I’ve heard so much conflicting stuff about it, some of it from seemingly reputable sources, that I honestly don’t know what to think any more.

    I suspect it’s one of those things that’s been distorted beyond recognition, but is based on a few nuggets of truth. Yet I’m still occasionally tempted to try it, because of all the anecdotal stories I see/hear around me.

    I’d love to hear a proper scientific/skeptical perspective on it.

  3. #3 by Dan Haycock on September 8, 2019 - 11:27

    Enjoyed the discussion about video games. But three fantastically important things really stood out!
    1. They’re called ‘Doom clones’ because they were cloning Doom, not Wolfenstein 3D, even if Wolfenstein 3D came first.
    2. Conversely, it seems strange to mention the influence of Hunger Games on ‘Battle Royale’ games, without mentioning that the design is much more directly influenced by another story that has been a film, a book, and a comic. The name escapes me…
    3. Oh please please please, not ‘heterogenious’, it’s ‘heterogenous’!! Please don’t be one of those people that says ‘mischievious’…

    Getting right to the vital heart of the matter, it’s me.

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