Terrence : Hello nerds, and welcome to the Engadget Podcast. I'm Terrence O'Brien, editor in desperate need of a haircut. To my right, Cherlynn Low, Chief Contrarian Editor.
Cherlynn: You're a nerd.
Terrence : I am a nerd.
Cherlynn: Hot kettle.
Terrence : Yeah, that's how I got this job.
Cherlynn: Oh god.
Terrence : To my left, the Senior Editor in charge of ...
Devindra : Crankiness
Terrence : Crankiness, yes, crankiness. Devindra Hardawar.
Devindra : Hello, hello. I'd also like to point out, Cherlynn, you're also a nerd. You can't escape.
Cherlynn: I am not!
Devindra : Yeah.
Cherlynn: I got this job by charm. Not really, it's ...
Terrence : No, no. Not that you're not charming, but you do seem to have it out for me.
Cherlynn: I do.
Terrence : You have made it your goal here to really just like-
Cherlynn: I really don't like your beard, Terrence.
Devindra : This is going to be a fun episode.
Terrence : Wow, you're going after the beard.
Cherlynn: I'm going after everything. But also I'm very nervous for today. Also, I'm not here.
Terrence : You're not here?
Cherlynn: I'm not physically here, no.
Terrence : No. Physically?
Cherlynn: I said that twice today.
Terrence : Yes, that's just proving my point.
Cherlynn: Yep, I'm dead, guys. I'm dead.
Terrence : How are you Devindra?
Devindra : I'm okay. I'm very tired.
Terrence : Yeah, another late night of working, I assume?
Devindra : Yeah.
Terrence : It's been kind of a long week for everybody. We are again a little bit short staffed. We got a bunch of people on vacation. It's also EFA, so we've got a whole bunch over in Europe doing the coverage thing live.
Cherlynn: But us back here got to work too.
Terrence : Yes, it is not any easier for us back here unfortunately. And the home front is actually often sometimes even a little bit harder than actually being there on the ground covering the event.
Cherlynn: Yeah, yep.
Terrence : It's a little bit of inside knowledge for you people out there. The worst thing you can do basically is be covering the home front during an event. The people who stay home during CES, they aren't really getting a break.
Cherlynn: That's the worst thing, yeah.
Terrence : So yeah, should we kind of just get right to it?
Devindra : Sure.
Terrence : It is time for Flame Wars. As we start every week, this is our debate segment. Cherlynn, Devindra, you guys are going to talk about the biggest stories of the week. You will have 20 seconds to make your opening arguments. I'll allow you a brief rebuttal at which point I will declare a winner based on the strength of your argument. Pretty straight forward stuff. Let's start with a little bit of EFA news. Because why not. Lenovo announced the Yoga Book, which is a tablet/notebook hybrid thing.
Terrence : Things.
Devindra : It's really a notebook.
Terrence : Yeah. What makes this device unique is that it doesn't have a physical keyboard. Instead, it has a touch pad that displays keys as an outline, but also doubles as a digitizer. Cherlynn, you got to try this out. You were actually pretty impressed by this.
Terrence : Tell me a little about this and why you think is actually like a really interesting and exciting move for Lenovo to make.
Cherlynn: In 20 seconds?
Terrence : Yes.
Cherlynn: Oh my god. First of all, I love pen and paper. They have a feature where you can write on real paper with a pen on top of the tablet and it gets saved into the device. This is great. Then the software can recognize the text and save it so you can search your notes later. It's really cool. And consider the audience. It's very innovative for a very specific group of people. (Buzzer sounds) Screw you, Terrence!
Terrence : Thanks. That's good. That sounds-
Cherlynn: You asked a lot of me in 20 seconds.
Terrence : You'll have more time. Don't worry. I just want you get built up that quickness, that efficiency.
Cherlynn: You're just biased. You like Devindra more.
Terrence : It's not about liking Devindra, I just like to buzz.
Cherlynn: I swear.
Devindra : Actually, he likes hitting the button.
Terrence : That's really what it is. I'm easily amused and I like things that make noise. So, Devindra, you're less of a fan. You think Lenovo went a little bit too far here?
Devindra : Yeah. It's a cool idea, but we've seen touch capable keyboards like this before in the Surface. Microsoft pretty much gave up on them because it sucked. Trying to do that again on this device, I'm not quite sure who it's for or what it's really meant to do.
Terrence : Ahhhhh. He's, wow. He is always way under and he ruins my thought.
Cherlynn: I think you just don't buzz. Like you just don't look at the timer when he talks.
Terrence : I'm staring right at it. He has five seconds left.
Cherlynn: God, I said the same amount of stuff he did.
Terrence : Timing, Cherlynn, timing. Listeners, timing.
Cherlynn: At the same speed. You just don't like me. That's it.
Terrence : We love you. That's is my favorite reaction to anything ever.
Cherlynn: Oh god, no ...
Devindra : It's like physical revulsion, wow!
Terrence : Guys ...
Devindra : You okay?
Cherlynn: I can't, no ... I'm sorry I can't say the same to you, Terrence.
Terrence : That's okay.
Devindra : I think Cherlynn is just trying to get away from defending this.
Cherlynn: No, that's not true. Listen. Okay, can I?
Terrence : No, please, go ahead, that's ...
Cherlynn: First of all, I agree with you. The lack of a physical keyboard is going to be really a sucky thing for people who want to be productive on the go. But, like I said, consider the audience. This is built for very niche or not so niche actually, there is a sizable audience that likes pen and paper, that wants to write. There's artists and designers out there out there that are going to benefit a lot from having this on the go. They can sketch onto the device wherever they go.
Devindra : But you have to use like a Lenovo specific pen and stuff, right?
Devindra : There are a lot of limitations in terms of how that works.
Cherlynn: There's not a lot of limitations. It's a good stylus with those like 2,048 levels of pressure.
Devindra : Is it a better stylus than Lenovo has had before? Because I've tested a couple of those and they are really skinny. Really hard to hold. So that's a problem.
Cherlynn: This one's more like a pen. It's got a pen cap and everything and with that pen cap you can finagle the nib so that you can replace it with a real ink cartridge which is pretty cool.
Devindra : That's cool.
Cherlynn: Yeah, I win, right?
Terrence : Well, I have a question for you, Devindra. Actually, I think you make a fairly compelling argument. I'm one of these people who likes to take notes because I constantly forget everything.
Devindra : Yeah, sure.
Cherlynn: Not surprising.
Terrence : It's not, it's really not. It's terrible. My mother used to tell me that I would forget my head if it wasn't attached to my body, that sort of thing. Without the ability to really quickly jot down notes, I would be an insanely unproductive person. But as I've moved away from pen and paper, I've found one of the big obstacles to really embracing that is the speed at which I'm able to take notes on a digital device. This seems like it actually offers a way to kind of bridge that gap in a much quicker access to that sort of thing. Not a compelling ...
Devindra : Maybe. You say that. I'm pretty sure you'll probably be able to type faster than you can actually jot down notes with pen and paper. You may just do it in a more organic way with pen and paper, but personally, I'm somebody who has been typing for awhile. Jotting down notes on a keyboard is really fast. Yeah.
Terrence : What I was going to ask though. I do type much faster than I write. Also, I can read what I type and my handwriting is atrocious. Anything that I write with pen and paper is basically useless to me anyway. What I did find super interesting is, you don't even have to fire up the tablet, you don't have to fire up an app. You just pull the pen out and start scribbling and without turning the screen on, it automatically saves the note that you've written down.
Devindra : It is a cool idea. It reminds me of the Microsoft Courier, that failed project from a couple years ago. But also this is a full size, this is a big tablet. This isn't like a nice little seven incher right?
Cherlynn: It's 10 inches. It's still pretty small.
Devindra : Yeah. I feel something like this is a little more portfolio size. A little smaller maybe would be really cool.
Cherlynn: To make your argument for you, the one thing I would worry about is what happens when it's out of juice and you need a piece of paper there? I'm helping Devindra here. So points to me, right? It has a really large battery, 8500 milliamp hours. It's supposed to last up to 15 hours of general use. Idle, it can last for days. I think it's innovative and I think my point here is also that in the space that's kind of dead, Lenovo's really innovating.
Devindra : How much is it though?
Cherlynn: 500 for the Android version and 550 for the Windows version. It comes in two versions too. It's pretty cool. I win.
Terrence : One last question for you and then we can decide-
Cherlynn: Oh, so needy.
Terrence : I know. Just tell me a little bit about the typing experience on it. Because I do kind of agree with Devindra that typing on this flat screen seems like it's going to be a terrible experience. I haven't tried it myself.
Cherlynn: I did. I tried it and it was kind of awful. As I noted in my story, which is very well written by the way.
Terrence : It is an excellent piece by the way. You should go read it. You should go watch the video. It's very good and ...
Cherlynn: It's got basically no travel. There's haptic feedback. They are very generously sized. It's really very odd. Lenovo said that you can get used to it in about two hours. You'll be banging out emails in no time.
Devindra : Sure.
Cherlynn: I think that's two hours of constant use, which no, I don't have the time for.
Devindra : That was the same thing Microsoft said about their touch keyboard.
Cherlynn: Which and it still sucked. Right?
Devindra : And then nobody ...
Devindra : Yeah. So I don't believe Lenovo when they say that. I think that this is really going for the person that can do without a keyboard all together or doesn't mind typing on screen. Because it's a similar experience to typing on screen except with better haptic feedback.
Terrence : Okay. I'm going to, unfortunately, award this one to Devindra, Cherlynn, I'm sorry.
Devindra : Ah ha!
Terrence : I think that this is .... it's an-
Cherlynn: Oh my god! Can I walk off?
Terrence : You can, if you want. Nobody is keeping you to the chair. You are not shackled to that stool. Here is what I am going to say is I think this is a very interesting, innovative device. I think the idea of being able to quickly jot down notes without having to fire up an app or turn on a tablet or anything is really interesting. But at the end of the day, like you said, the typing experience is terrible. At that point, what is the purpose of this extra digitizer thing anyway if you could essentially just draw on a screen with a stylus-
Devindra : If you could see the look of hate Cherlynn is giving you.
Terrence : Yeah, she is giving me the evil eye.
Devindra : It's great.
Cherlynn: You just like Devindra.
Devindra : This does seem like ...
Cherlynn: Let's be real. I made a really compelling argument.
Terrence : You did. It was-
Devindra : And then you also killed your own argument.
Devindra : I helped you because I wanted to show I was smarter than you.
Terrence : I kind of want to be honest here. I'm a little bit of a Lenovo fan boy. I love-
Cherlynn: You're supposed to judge, however, based on the power of the argument. Not your personal belief.
Terrence : Yes, and so I was already biased in your favor and you did not win me over.
Cherlynn: No, uh uh uh! Your personal belief here is that the .... aw whatever.
Devindra : Anyway.
Terrence : We need to move on though unfortunately.
Devindra : This isn't worth anybody will ever put into this device.
Terrence : It really is. Let's be honest. Nobody's buying it.
Cherlynn: Sorry guys.
Terrence : Let's move onto Intel. They announced their seventh generation CPUs this week and I think CPUs are a hard thing to get exited about. It's never the sort of news that gets everybody all jazzed up and partying in the streets. Nobody's lining up to buy a new-
Devindra : Says you, Terrence.
Terrence : Nobody's lining up to buy the new Core i7s unfortunately. Let's be honest with ourselves. Since you are already starting to fall asleep, why don't we start with you, Cherlynn? Tell me why you think Intel really failed to capitalize and deliver here with its latest generation of CPUs.
Cherlynn: So this is, like you said, the seventh generation already. Intel hasn't done anything that's really drastically new other than better performance, better battery life, but that happens every year. By this point, I am so bored. I really wanted something different like a new infrastructure or just a new way of delivering speed. Beat that!
Terrence : You came in three seconds under. Nice!
Terrence : You can do this.
Cherlynn: I can, this is boring ....
Terrence : Devindra, you are one of our resident chip nerds though.
Devindra : I somehow became this, yeah.
Terrence : I guess, tell me a little bit about why people should be more excited. Why Cherlynn should be more excited about this chip.
Devindra : Mainly around 4K video. This chip has hardware decoding and encoding built in. It basically won't use very much CPU usage to play 4K videos and encode them. That's a huge thing. Because right now, even with a fast computer, 4K will kill your CPU usage.
Terrence : And again, five seconds. I'm pretty sure he practices this in the mirror the night before.
Devindra : Many many years of weird radio podcasting things, yeah.
Terrence : Cherlynn, do you not think there's value or anything worth getting excited about now that these chips can decode 4K natively. That means that low end laptops, tablets, and I assume that Intel will eventually push these chips and this architecture to other things because you can find-
Devindra : It's coming on laptops in September and desktops I think January.
Terrence : Intel also makes chips for TVs as well. Sure, right?
Devindra : Sure.
Terrence : And so this could eventually find this way into that or set top boxes.
Devindra : Maybe. I think TV is more using the mobile chips now.
Terrence : Okay.
Cherlynn: Name me a 4K display laptop that's on the lower end.
Devindra : They don't exist yet, Cherlynn, because the chips aren't there! Now we have them and now you'll ... I honestly agree that will be useless, but ... yeah.
Cherlynn: Right now it's useless and again, the timeliness is a big factor, but also, lower end laptops wanting to do a 4K editing and encoding and decoding kind of to me, it feels like the wrong audience. To me it feels like people who are going for the Chrome Books and the lower end streams and whatnot aren't going to be using the 4K.
Devindra : Maybe. There are a wide variety of lower end chips too, but just the idea that these can handle videos of that size. Because it's not just 4K. It will also have hardware decoding for 1080p and other video sizes too. Basically, this means you can sit there with your laptop and watch a video and your laptop won't die in four or five hours. It may go for eight or nine or ten hours. I think that's the ultimate good thing here.
Cherlynn: But then by the time that happens, Intel will be on its eighth generation, so what's the point?
Devindra : That's two or three years away at this point. What do you mean by the time that happens?
Cherlynn: By the time the lower end computer catch up with all the displays, with the right components ...
Devindra : You don't need the 4K display. It may also be more for people who want output. You have your laptop at home and you want to spit it out to a higher res monitor or something or even your TV, you have the option to do that now. Your computer won't chug.
Cherlynn: That is if your computer supports 4K output too, right?
Devindra : Yeah, that would all be coming. You need new chips for that Cherlynn!
Cherlynn: First of all, snooze, I don't care. But second of all, you're just going to win because Terrence likes you. So what is the point? I don't even want to do this anymore.
Terrence : I do want to interject here real quick. Because I think Cherlynn makes a really important point which is-
Terrence : Intel is putting 4K decoding in these chips and you're arguing that you know that you know it means it will make in available in these low end devices. She rightly points out that there are no laptops with 4K at the lower end and they're not coming any time soon. It kind of, it is to me-
Devindra : I think Cherlynn is focusing on the lower end because that the weaker segment for this chip.
Terrence : Here is the thing to me. It is kind of does reek of Intel kind of jamming in a feature that doesn't necessarily need to be there, rather than really innovating and delivering. Me and Cherlynn were talking about this a little bit earlier. The core architecture is now a decade old.
Devindra : Well, they change it every couple years. So they're on this new-
Terrence : They make tweaks to it, but at its basic level, its been the same for a decade. That's the longest that any real basic architecture has existed-
Devindra : I think the name has been the same, but Intel has had this tick tock cycle in terms of how they're refreshing the chip. This chip is an improvement over the Skylake design from last year. That was a pretty big change over the other one. Every generation brings thermal improvements so they run a lot less hot. They can get up to higher megahertz. They can reach higher speeds.
Terrence : Well they can reach higher speeds. I guess my point is that they are these very small incremental things. The megahertz , sure they can reach slightly higher speeds, but the megahertz race is over, That ended basically with the death of Pentium Four-
Devindra : This is true. Now it's about basically the thermal positioning. They've also, like a 4K laptop that's super thin, insanely thin. Their newer chips will may be in some super thin tablets, a device like that. Being able to power and decode 4K on its own. Forget low end computers. Think about an ultra thin laptop or an ultra thin tablet. That's insane. That is pretty insane.
Cherlynn: Sorry, I just ...
Devindra : Cherlynn is laughing at me!
Cherlynn: No, I'm not laughing. I was not listening to you guys because this is, sorry..
Devindra : Cherlynn is not listening to me!
Cherlynn: Terrence can argue for me on this. I'm not even going to get exited because he said I made a good point because he's just going to give it to Devindra anyway.
Terrence : I'm actually going to give this to you, Cherlynn. I see what you're saying.
Cherlynn: Because of personal biases though!
Terrence : No, it has nothing to do with personal biases. It has everything to do with I think you make the better point and I think they're just not worth getting excited about. They continue to be incremental improvements and I think that sort of thing is people are getting a little bit restless at this point. The improvements that people really want to come out of these things are not what they're getting. 4K decoding is nice.
Devindra : Yeah, but what are you looking for?
Terrence : I think people would be more interested in the new Intel chip doubles my battery life.
Devindra : Well, it's not doubling it, but it does improve your battery life. Okay, if you want to double your battery life, you have a laptop right now that maybe can run 4K in four hours. You double your battery life by bringing that to hardware decoding.
Terrence : I suppose that's true.
Cherlynn: He already gave me the point, so shut up Devindra.
Devindra : I'm pointing out logic here.
Terrence : I get what you're saying, but I'm just saying the improvements there are so minor. My laptop, that I own now, doesn't last significantly longer than the laptop that I had ten years ago on the same size battery unfortunately. I think that that's where my issue lies. I would like to something more.
Devindra : I would like to say though that if listeners are planning to get a computer anytime soon, wait. Because you do want the new chips.
Cherlynn: Hold out.
Terrence : No, I mean they're worth waiting for if you're in the market for a new computer. Don't buy an old chip if you don't have to, but also don't line up. (Buzzer). All right, is that you want to move on?
Cherlynn: Yeah, that's me going Terrence, please, please-
Terrence : Let's move to the most exciting-
Devindra : Yeah!
Cherlynn: No, no, oh, okay. Yes, we have to do this.
Terrence : We do have to do this and I can't wait for all-
Cherlynn: Can I just explain for a second why I laughed just know because I looked in our script document and I realized Terrence has spelled winner, "whiner". And I just burst out laughing.
Terrence : Then I fixed my typo.
Cherlynn: Then you fixed it, so it's still funny. Anyway, go ahead.
Terrence : We're going to talk about Dead or Alive.
Devindra : And their, but why?
Terrence : Controversial VR mode. For those who don't know, although I'm sure most of you do, Dead or Alive is a fighting game in theory.
Devindra : But this is Dead or Alive Extreme.
Terrence : Yes. Which is their beach volley ball.
Cherlynn: Are you serious?
Devindra : Beach volley ball, yes.
Terrence : Dead or Alive is theoretically a fighting game that exists primarily as an excuse to show scantily clad women. They brag ...
Devindra : It used to be a good fighting game.
Terrence : It brags about its breast physics, like this is a thing that they actually do in their press materials. Then they have these side games, like beach volley ball and they teased I guess, not released, a VR mode.
Devindra : Yeah.
Terrence : That I'm struggling to describe without coming off as overly crass.
Devindra : VR fondling.
Terrence : Basically you get to poke, prod and fondle a virtual woman while she protests that you are doing this. She covers herself and yells no. In the video demo of this, the man trying it out continues to poke her against her protests.
Devindra : He's really enjoying it. Yeah.
Terrence : We covered this with I'm going to argue the most excellent headline possible which is "Dead or Alive VR is basically sexual assault the game". For those of you who don't like that, I don't care. It's honest, deal with it. You can complain and take to YouTube and get all riled up about it if you want. Yeah, I watched-
Devindra : Who would do that Terrence?
Terrence : I won't call people out by name. There's some angry children out there basically.
Cherlynn: Some? Hoards of angry-
Devindra : There are people with a lot of time on their hands who can't wait to fondle virtual women.
Terrence : Yeah, they're really excited about this.
Cherlynn: They really said that?
Terrence : I don't know if that's because they've never fondled a real woman, or if-
Cherlynn: So glad you get to fondle a real woman, Terrence.
Terrence : Or if because their only experience with fondling real women, was ... I'll just leave it.
Devindra : No, that's Terrence.
Terrence : I'll just leave it there.
Cherlynn: Dirty already.
Devindra : I think Legal's walking in the door.
Cherlynn: Yeah, they're right ...
Terrence : Before I get in anymore trouble. Cherlynn, Chief Contrarian Editor, would you like to go to bat for Dead or Alive real quick?
Cherlynn: 20 seconds is not enough time to-
Terrence : I won't even give you the buzzer. We'll skip the 20 seconds for this one.
Cherlynn: Okay. I'm not supporting the game as in this thing that it's doing here. I'm not supporting rape. I am against physical or sexual assault, but is VR experience the point of it? It's not to fondle the woman. It's not the whole point of the VR experience. There are other things you can do. It's really up to you, the player, to do this. Sure, this shouldn't be in there, but I was talking to Sean Buckley, who wrote the article. He mentioned that after all the flack he caught online, one of his friends pointed out to him, that the result of that prodding is different depending on the number of points you've already scored with the girl. It's kind of weird.
Devindra : You can earn the sexual assault?
Cherlynn: You can earn the right to touch this girl which let's be real-
Devindra : That's worse, Cherlynn!
Cherlynn: It's bad. It's still bad, but it's kind of like real life.
Devindra : No!
Cherlynn: Kind of, you think? Terrence has lost it. Just completely lost it.
Devindra : You have to shut down the show right now?
Cherlynn: His face is so red, I think it's a coronary.
Terrence : Oh my god, I can't ...
Cherlynn: I'm not even saying I'm for this. I'm just saying that there are other mechanics to this game to prevent this from happening.
Devindra : What!
Terrence : Mechanics to prevent it? It's not preventing it. It's mechanics ...
Cherlynn: I guess to justify which really isn't cool. I'm trying to be fair because it's my job to consider the other point of view.
Devindra : We gave you an out. We gave Cherlynn an out to be like you don't have to defend this. So ...
Cherlynn: I said I still would because I want to present the side of the trolls.
Devindra : You raised the point earlier too about violence and how we accept violence in games ...
Cherlynn: I did. You and I were talking about it yeah.
Devindra : Versus nudity and sexual stuff, so I think that's a good point.
Cherlynn: Right, I was saying to Devindra when we were discussing this late in the night unfortunately, that there is also a double standard. I don't get our uproar over this on our parts when we don't care about people killing people in very grotesque ways in games. One of the comments that Sean Buckley received was that "I bet you're going to say GTA is a murder simulator." Which, you know what, we didn't say that. It's weird. We don't give GTA that much flack for letting you kill people-
Devindra : We do raise criticisms, yeah.
Cherlynn: Right. My issue here is more about the double standard. It's more about the fact that our reaction has an equal and opposite reaction?
Devindra : I see that. I get that. I've been following the Dead or Alive series for awhile. I used to really like fighting games. Then this series came out. The earlier games were pretty good. Then they got into this weird place where it just got really perverse. Yeah, they started talking about boob physics. They started talking about this weird stuff. Then the spin off series happened which were basically excuses to watch the female characters in the game and just watch them play volleyball and just ogle them. The move to VR, I think is a very natural step for this franchise, but this idea that you can literally just fondle them and just basically assault them, even while the characters are saying no, to me that crosses the line.
Because virtual reality is not just playing a game, it is like you experiencing this thing. There's less separation between the player and the game and things like that. I agree violence in gaming is a problem, but even in games where you're killing people, it's not like you're physically enjoying the act of killing somebody. When a game is basically a murder simulator, there was that game from a year or two ago, where it was basically just like really perverse and really politically incorrect. It was like touting itself as a murder simulator. Everybody gave that game crap.
Terrence : Oh yeah, I remember that.
Devindra : Hatred.
Terrence : Was that it?
Devindra : I think it was called Hatred. It was basically a guy trying to make a really dumb point. That oh look at all this.
Terrence : We did, to be fair, take that to task. I think we did call it a murder simulator.
Devindra : But that's a different level than like ...
Terrence : I think you do bring up an interesting point about the double standard and I think that is whole rabbit hole we could go down. That's a general American culture thing. We are much more accepting of violence than we are sexuality. For whatever reason that is, probably has something to do with the fact that we were founded by a bunch of fundamentalist Christians.
Devindra : Yeah, Puritans!
Terrence : Yeah!
Cherlynn: I'm not going to ...
Terrence : No, no, it's why don't need to go down that rabbit hole. Not too far at least. I do think there is an important distinction between something like GTA and Hatred or the Dead or Alive thing, which is GTA is put in the content of a narrative. Whether or not you want to argue that's it's glorifying violence through that narrative, there is still a story there. It is an attempt to convey something. Whereas, the Dead or Alive experience is just kind of mindless, even if there's other mechanics and other things going on there. It's not trying to tell you a story, communicate morals, or provide entertainment beyond what you would get at a strip club [inaudible 00:26:50]
Cherlynn: Exactly! Two things I want to say, right. So you are saying that this Dead or Alive groping experience, let's name it for what it is.
Devindra : That should be the title.
Terrence : If you change it, I think it's currently called The Paradise Experience or something. Which is also incredibly appropriate, I suppose.
Devindra : Dead or Alive, Happy Endings. I don't know.
Cherlynn: I like that. Dead or Alive, Happy Endings. You're saying that if this groping experience were put in the context of a storyline. They kind of let you live vicariously and it was clear about that. You're saying this is okay?
Terrence : I'm not saying it's okay. I'm saying it would be-
Cherlynn: More acceptable.
Terrence : It would be a different debate.
Devindra : Yeah.
Terrence : There's trouble with representing any act of violence, whether it be sexual or not, in media in that way. The creators of Game of Thrones got a lot of flack for the rape scene of Sansa. To an extent, understandably so, but that also did serve a narrative purpose and a piece of art. I think their arguments for why they did it are valuable ones, even if at the end of the day, I disagree that it should have been in there.
Devindra : Yeah.
Cherlynn: I see your point. I'm sorry. Just to jump in there. I was trying to say this while you were talking just now. What is the distinction? You took issue, Devindra, with the fact that this is a VR experience. It puts you in-
Devindra : It is another level.
Cherlynn: Right. But what about VR porn? What about VR porn that's eventually going to morph and let you choose your own story?
Devindra : VR porn is a thing. It's happening. Porn is I think it is sort of a separate argument. I wouldn't want to relate games to porn. Okay, yeah, some porn experiences are basically games and games are getting to that point. That is a whole separate thing though. That is something made for adults. Usually, involves willing women. Involves participants being willing, unless it's like some weird rape fantasy. But even then, the construct of the fantasy is known. It's not a snuff film, right. We separate snuff movies from the fantasy of oh all this weird sexual stuff. I think that's a big difference.
The thing about VR, having tested so much of this stuff out, VR isn't just like playing a game. It is like replacing your reality. It is like you physically experiencing things. I take issue with us getting to this point. Even in the gaming world, when violence reached a certain point, there was backlash. When Call of Duty had that level in the airport where you were basically mowing down innocent civilians, there was a lot of backlash against that and about what that meant. Yeah, our view of violence and sexuality in games isn't great, but I'd rather if we want to be mature, let's approach actual sexuality in real adult relationships and not guys having an excuse to grope women.
Cherlynn: I think there's a lot to be said about sensitivity in this country and there's a lot to be said about the mechanics of the game behind this. They could improve it for sure. I want to say that regardless of how you rule on this Terrence, Mr. O'Brien, that I'm glad that we managed to talk about this with both sides being able to see all the arguments.
Devindra : Check my Youtube channel later.
Cherlynn: Because I can guarantee you, we are going to get so much hate for this. People who just won't open their eyes to either side of the argument.
Devindra : I think I'm especially annoyed because of gamer culture right now. And kind of how things-
Cherlynn: But that's a rabbit hole.
Devindra : That's a hole other thing, but I hate how everything has turned.
Terrence : We do have to move on. I do want to leave this real quick on one particular element of this that we didn't really get a chance to get to. That was part of the backlash that we got about this story. I think this speaks to your point about VR being a different level to an extent. That was people basically arguing that we're up in arms about a thing that isn't real. At the end of the day, it's a virtual experience and, therefore, it should be acceptable because we are not harming a real woman.
That's the dumbest argument. I just want to say that. If you are out there listening, watching, whatever, and that's the argument you were making, that was the issue you took with the headline and the story, is that it's not real. A, it was in the headline where we called it a game. B, that's dumb. You're encouraging it through a mechanic in a game and just because it's not actually real, doesn't make it acceptable. Go ... I am dropping an F bomb because I don't know. I'm awarding nobody a point for this. We all lose because of this game, okay?
Devindra : I award you no points. Yeah. We're all dumber for having had this argument.
Terrence : Yes. No, we're actually smarter for having had this argument.
Devindra : I think we're smarter actually.
Devindra : I'm trying to go, was it Billy Madison ...
Cherlynn: All right!
Terrence: Lets move on to our big topic of the week in group chat. We are going to talk about Chris Brown. Why?
Cherlynn: Baby...baby...baby... is that the right song?
Devindra: I don't know.
Terrence: Why don't you tell us why Devindra. You're the one who wrote the story.
Devindra: So this week. Chris Brown woke up to a police stand off. Apparently, a woman who I don't think she's been named yet, reported that Brown had pulled a gun on her and the police kind of just set themselves up in front of his house. He started posting Instagram videos just kind of ranting against the police and how he's being treated. Meanwhile, outside, the standoff outside his house lasted like most of that day. Local news was there, people were broadcasting stuff on facebook live, all at the same time he was like responding on Instagram video. It was just kind of an interesting back and forth for a big media story like this.
Terrence: I did find this sort of interesting and weird to watch it unfold, but one of the things I wasn't quite sure of at first, and I kind of hear both your takes on it, Chris Brown is hardly the first celebrity to have run ins with the law, he's hardly the first person to find himself splattered live on news networks, I've seen counters that obviously the one that jumps out, at least in my mind and I'm sure that people of a certain age's mind is OJ and the white bronco.
Devindra: Well that started our whole, the media culture that we live in right now, that was the tipping point.
Cherlynn: I was not alive, I'm sorry.
Cherlynn: No for real. When was this?
Devindra: Oh my God, God...
Cherlynn: 80's? 90's?
Terrence: Let's take a pause...
Devindra: I'm burring my head in my hands...
Terrence: It's just um hmm....
Cherlynn: Listen I can't help it that I'm young
Terrence: I actually need to find out what year this was because I actually don't remember
Cherlynn: I'm pretty sure it was the year I was born.
Devindra: Is that 92?
Terrence: I think it is.
Cherlynn: Oh that's not the year I was born. I was not old enough to be reading the news.
Devindra: Maybe you should have been.
Cherlynn: No. Uh-uh. What? You're saying that...
Devindra: 94. Yeah. You're not that young Cherlynn.
Cherlynn: I was pretty young. I was barely, no I read from a very young age but... I did not care about news when I was 7 years old.
Terrence: Okay. Lets, now that me and Devindra feel old, again. There's a running theme on this podcast.
Devindra: There's a reason I'm cranky editor.
Cherlynn: I'm contrarian.
Terrence: What kind of made this different. The Chris Brown thing different than OJ and other coverage that we've seen before?
Devindra: I think mainly that he was responding and almost, not quite in real time, it wasn't Instagram live video or anything, but he was responding to things that were happening and I think he was also watching the news and seeing how people were reporting on him. That back and forth was kind of fascinating too. I mean during the OJ car chase at one point, I forget who it was his friend AJ I think, who was actually driving the car, like he got, the police called him and some of those calls I think were also broadcast. There was some back and forth there but it's just funny how much, you have a phone, it's basically a whole production studio for you to rail back at the media or whatever.
Cherlynn: Yeah, I think it's interesting that this kind of lends us the prospective of the other person, the other side the side that the media circus doesn't get to see. What it feels like to be at the center of all this.
Terrence: It gives you a direct line to the person on the other side of that police.
Cherlynn: Even though he wasn't the most articulate in any of those videos it was kind of terrifying to imagine yourself in his position and especially if you think yourself innocent. That was I feel like I would've don't that. I would've been para scoping the crap out of that or facebook living.
Terrence: He's not the first person to do that so a growing trend we've seen. In the immediate aftermath of Folinda Casteele, Diamond Reynolds, broadcast on Facebook live and I think that was fort of the first big one we saw. That was the first one that really went huge.
Devindra: That was after videos. There were videos released after the fact that were taken.
Cherlynn: Right, it's not live video, right?
Terrence: Increasingly it seems like people on that other side of the law enforcement divide are taking to social media and taking to the internet to show their side of the story to their benefit or detriment perhaps in the case of Chris Brown.
Terrence: This is a growing trend I think.
Cherlynn: I'm sorry I was laughing because I just saw what comes next in the script. I know this is all scripted guys.
Terrence: Well yeah, I mean I doubt people out there assume that we're sitting down here and literally just making this up.
Cherlynn: No we're free-balling this right.
Terrence: We do come in with a plan for what we want to talk about believe it or not.
Cherlynn: That's why we have our laptops here. Anyway, we're not nerds. The thing I saw next was that you know, putting people behind the camera to show perspective is very interesting when they're actually people of note but some people are just going to take to periscope for anything.
Devindra: That's most of live video right now. That's why most live video content is garbage unless something happens.
Cherlynn: It encourages a sense of self-importance that is kind of a problem with this generation. I find that people, and they're going to hate me for this, are very like self important and very entitled and this believe they deserve a whole bunch of things and this is a whole other topic that we should talk about later. I wonder if putting these tools or the proliferation of these tools is actually making it worse.
Terrence: I think that is a rabbit hole we could go down uh...
Devindra: There's so many...
Cherlynn: There's an example.
Devindra: Kind of related to that right? Yeah it may be like turning people into like narcissists or something but on the occasion there is an event that ends up being important oh all of a sudden the fact that you have the technology to do to this so easily, I don't know it's kind of fascinating. We kind of gain a lot.
Cherlynn: It also makes people a little bit less, I don't know helpful. There is always a problem for like photojournalists. Right. When you're at an event where someone is being harmed. Do you photograph it or do you help.
Devindra: You don't want to be like the Seinfeld finally where you're just taking a video of the experience.
Cherlynn: I haven't seen...
Devindra: Oh my God, were you alive for that Cherlynn?
Terrence: I was alive for it but I kind of don't like Seinfeld.
Cherlynn: I like Seinfeld. I'm all caught up to like the last two seasons but anyway.
Terrence: You're all caught up.
Terrence: I have feeling that actually instead of the dead or alive stuff I'm going to get the most hate mail about not watching Seinfeld.
Cherlynn: Basically, because you're an old white man. Anyway...
Devindra: New Yorker.
Cherlynn: New Yorker too. The thing is I don't want to I feel like this will result in that kind of issue where you're at a fire and you need help but peoples first instinct isn't to maybe help...
Devindra: We've seen that happen.
Cherlynn: Yeah exactly and that's not good.
Terrence: Is there not something to be said though about whether or not this encourages people to document instead of help and participate which I think is a very real concern. Is there not also something to say about the fact that this perhaps builds an expectation of transparency that didn't exist before and puts you, gives you a glimpse into people's lives, another point of view that didn't exist before that happened.
Cherlynn: I mean, sorry to be really trashy and into celeb gossip, but when Kim Kardashian pulled out that snap shot video that showed like incriminating evidence of Taylor Swift saying proving the song lyrics that Kanye wrote, that was like kind of transparent but in a weird way and made Taylor Swift look really bad and kind of pulled down her whole palisade of being a nice girl. I agree and I like, not the expectation of transparency, I think we should always support transparency. I'm a big fan of that I just wonder if at a certain point it gets to be too personal.
Devindra: The reason we're also seeing all the reports of police brutality now is, isn't the fact that all this stuff just started happening right. This is how the world has been and we like most people either didn't know or we didn't know the extent to which it was happening. I think in that way that transparency has been helpful.
Cherlynn: That's right and then that's where the documentation helps because you, we wouldn't have known of a lot of these issues happening if someone hadn't been there with a live camera streaming straight out of there.
Terrence: I think one of the things that kind of straddles this line between the expectation of transparency and pushing that forward and also that self importance is Ken.com and his...
Cherlynn: That's why I laughed just now.
Terrence: Understand so do you want to tell us what's going on with Ken.com since you want to laugh...
Cherlynn: I just think it's ridiculous but go ahead.
Terrence: So he demanded and apparently was granted the ability to live-stream the appeal of his extradition hearing.
Devindra: That's pretty cool.
Cherlynn: I just, I'm not super familiar with the semantics of what was granted. Is he going to live-stream it himself or is someone, has someone set up something for him?
Terrence: I assume he's not going to be able to live-stream it himself.
Cherlynn: That would be weird.
Devindra: Isn't he banned from he internet or something?
Terrence: He probably is. I'm not going to lie I'm not super up on my Ken.com I probably should've read this a little closer before coming to the show.
Cherlynn: Guys we had too much to write before this...
Devindra: All we know, was it approved because I know the judge was considering...
Terrence: It was approved he will be aloud to stream his extradition appeal. It is sort of interesting though, regardless the fact that he is a megalomaniac with an absurd sense of self importance...
Devindra: One of the worlds top Call of Duty players.
Terrence: Is that a thing?
Devindra: It's a thing. There was a point where he was like waiting between trials where he just rose up the ranks and became like number one. In some Call of Duty game. He had a lot of free time.
Terrence: Probably. It does, it is sort of interesting and it does speak to this expectation of transparency and how live video and live streaming and internet video in general has pushed us to expect this. Now you're going to be able to see the legal proceedings that will either lead to him being sent back to the US to face conspiracy racketeering and money laundering charges or to remain safe and sound with, where is he New Zealand? Yes New Zealand.
Devindra: This is probably the OJ correlation now. The recording and the way the OJ trial was actually spun out to the media like that was a big change for us. Trial's didn't used to be entertainment. At the same time Cspan like airs all kinds of things like government hearings and sometimes trials too right. So it's not like its super new the fact that it's being broadcasting to the internet I guess is notable.
Terrence: The other thing that sort of struck me about this, and there are children apparently...
Cherlynn: Yeah if you guys hear kids screaming, it's not me I'm not that young.
Terrence: I'm assuming it's bring your child to work day or something.
Cherlynn: Oh Lord.
Terrence: The other thing that struck me sort of interesting is that everybody watched the other side of the Chris Brown stuff on facebook live. Everybody went and watched, you know traditional news coverage but they watched it on facebook live instead of on cable and they did the same thing fairly recently with the Trump tower climber.
Devindra: Although those were both local news casts broadcasting to facebook. They were also broadcasting on their website and occasionally on their own channels too. It was just spreading out the streams that were already there.
Cherlynn: Trying to capture as much of an audience as they can.
Devindra: Yeah. Thirsty. Thirsty for page views or whatever.
Terrence: It does facilitate easier sharing if you're streaming this direct to Facebook though right?
Devindra: For sure. It's just become the platform of choice. It used to be their own channel, it used to be maybe your website, maybe your own app or something now facebook has just kind of taken that role.
Cherlynn: I think that again this is probably a bigger issue but I think that a lot of media is moving toward social media and like broadcasting directly to facebook live. Eventually all our, certain publications that I shall not name, are basically are going to keep publishing content through all these channels and then the rest of their site is going to lose traffic but then as are we...
Devindra: It's a danger.
Terrence: That off platform views and all those buzz words and all that media nonsense.
Cherlynn: All the behind these scenes stuff guys. Anyway.
Terrence: I do think it's kind of fascinating to watch this sort of shift to facebook live in particular because I think a lot of us, or at least I did, you can say if you disagree with me, I just, when facebook live launched I looked at it and I went, same thing you kind of said which is like oh great another way for vain self important people to over share on a social network.
Cherlynn: Aka me.
Terrence: It's fine.
Cherlynn: Let's be real.
Devindra: I've seen Cherlynn's snap-chats yeah.
Cherlynn: Wait, what? Anyway.
Terrence: It's kind of like, it seems like it's kind of actually turning into a like a legitimate way to deliver news which I at least wasn't expecting.
Devindra: Well its more like facebook has some numbers, right. They have what over a billion users. When your a platform that big you give people a platform to put their voices out there and when your that big, yeah interesting things will happen.
Cherlynn: Facebook is it's own country.
Devindra: I'm also so worried about like this like the dominance of facebook and the killing of the open web and things like that.
Terrence: I think that's probably as good a place as any to end it.
Cherlynn: Oh God.
Terrence: That is a solid concern and another rabbit hole we could disappear down that we will save for another episode.
Terrence: Thank you Cherlynn, Devindra for joining me. Where can the fine people find you on the internet?
Cherlynn: Don't find me. Just don't. Okay, at Cherlynn ...whatever...
Devindra: I'm at Devindra on Twitter and I podcast my TV and movies at slashfilm.com.
Cherlynn: All this shameless self plugging.
Terrence: That's what this is for.
Devindra: That's how it works.
Terrence: If you got things you want to plug...
Cherlynn: Your face.
Devindra: Check out Cherlynn's sound cloud channel...
Cherlynn: You're such a stalker, oh my God...
Devindra: You tweet it.
Cherlynn: That's true. Don't follow me on Twitter. Just don't.
Devindra: You can't...
Terrence: Is the sound cloud just you...
Cherlynn: No sound cloud...just no.
Devindra: It's just like Cherlynn like everyone's always against me, everyday.
Terrence: Just lots of threats.
Cherlynn: I'm going to make a rap song about how Terrence sucks.
Terrence: Please. Oh my God.
Cherlynn: Yo Yo Yo Yo.
Terrence: You can find me on Twitter I'm at Terence O'Brien lots of e's no a's. Please send us feedback, send us questions, comments, concerns. We want to make this show enjoyable for you. You can hit us up on Twitter at engageit. Email us at podcast@gageit or just send all of your hate-mail direct to Cherlynn.
Cherlynn: No Terrence.
Terrence: Thanks for joining us don't forget to rate us on Itunes and don't miss next weeks episode we'll be coming to you from San Francisco following the Apple event. We'll be talking Iphone, we'll be talking Sony. It's going to be a lot of fun. Before we go I want to leave you with the comment of the week which comes from JoeR80 "Meh back to watching the Kardashians"
Cherlynn: I shall.
Terrence: Seems like a really good use of time.
Cherlynn: Yeah I love it actually.