Built to Play

Built to Play 41: Ghost Sounds

Episode Summary

Built to Play explores new Nintendo games at the post-E3 showcase, the tricky world of Dota 2 and the people who watch it, and why we keep seeing the words "You Died" when we close our eyes. Hypothetically.

Episode Notes

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Built to Play explores new Nintendo games, the tricky world of Dota 2 and why we keep seeing the words "You Died" when we close our eyes.

Daniel and Arman visited Nintendo of Canada to play upcoming titles like Mario Maker, Bayonetta 2 and Yoshi's Wooly World. But when it comes to Super Smash Bros. the two land on a bit of a competitive streak. Take a listen to hear more about the relative nudity of Pokemon, Toad's Batman voice, and genius robot design. If you want more in-depth coverage of these Nintendo games check out Daniel's write up from a few weeks back. 

You can hear us squabble over whether Bayonetta 2 is better than Smash Bros and if Goku is the greatest fighter of all time starting 1:06.

Daniel finishes his masterpiece in Mario Maker, the Mario platformer level designer coming to the Wii U.

Daniel finishes his masterpiece in Mario Maker, the Mario platformer level designer coming to the Wii U.

Mobile online battle arena games like League of Legends are easily the most popular games on the planet, so we decided take a look into the fast-growing esport.

Also known as MOBAs, games like League of Legends and Dota 2 are becoming a force in esports. The fourth annual Dota 2 championships back in July crowd-funded a $10.6 million prize pool, a bigger prize than the Super Bowl. Twenty million people watched the tournament, with as many as two million watching at the same time. League of Legends is still the most popular game in the genre, filling the Staples Centre in Los Angeles during its last tournament, but Dota 2 outranks it for the sheer amount of money on the table.

So it should be of no surprise that people are trying to start businesses around the two games. In Toronto you could find viewing parties at bars or in movie theatres. Shane Perron ofeSport Gaming Events hosted a viewing party  of the Dota 2 championships in one of the city's oldest theatres, the Regent. Entry was $15 for a full day of sports spectating. They host events like this for a lot of different games, including League, Dota and once upon a time Starcraft 2. According to Shane, viewing parties are a great alternative to building their own tournaments since they're expensive and take a lot of preparation.

The International, Dota 2's world championships, viewing party held at the Regent. Courtesy eSports Gaming Events

The International, Dota 2's world championships, viewing party held at the Regent. Courtesy eSports Gaming Events

There's just two big problems. Many video game players don't like paying to watch an event they could watch on their laptops, and on top of that, MOBAs are complicated. They're daunting to approach, and the rules are arcane. It's hard to describe a given match of Dota to someone who's never played it. Our best attempt is a single character strategy game played with a team, like a chess team in a forest. That doesn't get into the grit of how the dozens of characters work, however, and their unique roles in these games.

Shane says that hosting events like this can be sustainable, though it will take time. Hear him describe the viewing party they hosted at the Regent, why he's spent more than a 100 hours in Dota 2 and the challenges facing eSports Gaming Events starting 36:00.

Meanwhile, a game's sounds can hang around long after we finish playing, according to a new study from Nottingham Trent University.

Courtesy Cebula Means Onion

Courtesy Cebula Means Onion

Many players have made the mistake of playing games for too long. Say by accident you stayed up all night to beat a boss in Dark Souls, and wound up seeing the words "You Died" and hearing that evaporation sound over and over again. That's never happened to Daniel or Arman, considering they're absolute masters of that game, but for hypothetical sakes, let's all imagine. You turn off the game, head to bed, and right as you close your eyes, you hear the sound of your soul leaving your body. 

This strange phenomenon of lingering game sounds has been studied by the International Gaming Unit at Nottingham Trent University. Everything from the bloop of a portal opening to the ding when you collect a coins can hang around after gameplay, usually after a considerably long playtime. Sometimes it's music. Sometimes it's bullets. It's hard to say what triggers these sounds but they can seem like they're coming from outside of the body, reasonably freaking some people out.

Even more bizarre is that it's not just audio. Visuals can stick around as well, not to mention behaviours based on game logic. It's all part of a group of effects known as game transfer phenomena or GTP. Angelica Ortiz de Gortari is a psychologist and doctoral researcher studying GTP, who explains the sheer variety of lingering noises, images and behaviours. 

You can hear her describe her own experience with GTP, why the effects are mostly harmless, and why regardless it's important to study starting 47:00.

We used a ton of music this week from the Free Music Archive, so to everyone on this list, thanks for providing your music in creative commons.

In our Nintendo segment, we used "Blanks," "Moondots and Polkabeams," and "Hundy Mil Tight" by Podington Bear. "Night Owl" by Broke for Free is our opening theme. "Hallon" by Christian Bjoerklund, "eeeoooww" by junior85, "Nana Veloz" by Crisopa, and "Sun Bum" by Monster Rally all play during our interviews.

We used sound from various Nintendo games, the International 4 novice stream, the CBC, Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, Silent Hill 2, Resident Evil 5.

Special thanks to Mark Asfar for filling in for the news on short notice. Daniel Rosen will be back next episode with a vengeance. This episode was written and edited by Arman Aghbali. 

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