An interview with Alfie Bown

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JaySevenZero
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An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by JaySevenZero » April 8th, 2016, 10:57 am

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On this special edition of Cane and Rinse, Ryan Hamann (@Insrtcoins) interviews author, professor, and games philosopher Alfie Bown, sharing the insights that he has gained while writing his book Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism.

Music used in this podcast:

Track 1: Spring (The Valley Comes Alive) by Eric Barone from Stardew Valley
Track 2: Theme by Carlo Castellano from The Swapper.

An Interview with Alfie Bown was edited by Ryan Hamann.

You can subscribe using iTUNES or use our RSS FEED, or you can just simply DOWNLOAD IT HERE instead.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by Tleprie » April 9th, 2016, 2:31 pm

I thought this was an interesting interview, partly for the content, but also for the reaction that it received on twitter. I didn't feel that anything in it was offensive, everyone was being civil, but I was also focused on making dinner while I listened. I may have to give it another more dedicated listen, but I'd be interested to hear what other people found so off-putting about it.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by gallo_pinto » April 9th, 2016, 2:48 pm

Yeah, I haven't been able to listen to it yet, but I was caught off guard by the negative responses to it on Twitter. Excited to see what it's about!

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by Tleprie » April 9th, 2016, 4:24 pm

Just finished my 2nd listening. I can see where some of Alfie's ideas might be seen as a bit extreme, but I thought he was being completely reasonable in the way he presented all of his ideas. Most of the points he made were leaning towards the psychology of how people interact with and use games in a capitalist society. I don't think he was necessarily saying that that society is bad, but just enjoys examining it from different angles than most people might.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by ratsoalbion » April 9th, 2016, 5:30 pm

I quite agree. Seems to have pushed a few people's buttons though!
:lol:

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by HMSPolio » April 9th, 2016, 6:13 pm

A great listen; a springboard for interesting debate and set me off on a few tributaries of thought.

And, OT I know, but hasn't Josh got a lovely voice?

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by ratsoalbion » April 9th, 2016, 6:51 pm

Ryan (not Josh), but yes he has!

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by skidoosh » April 10th, 2016, 7:13 am

Surprised to hear about the negative responses on Twitter. Not looked unless I have to in case I see anything about DS3. The reason I'm surprised is there we're very few of his theories that I hadn't heard, in one for or another, before. I'm not saying he's ripping people off, I'm just saying some of the groundwork was already done. Like the "guilt" factor. I read that on the bbc a while back.

What were people feeling negative about may I ask (without going to twitter)?

P.S.I didn't feel negative about this interview. The angle that Alfie was coming from is very much an angle I'd like to hear more from. Employing the use of psychology in tech stretches as far back 1995 and the birth of Amazon. The suggestions you see all over the site aren't just 'related content', they're driven by an algorithm, designed by a team of psychologists and proven in labs and testing. Companies like King, more than likely are using techniques similar to Amazon and many, many more.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by skidoosh » April 11th, 2016, 7:07 am

Just risked twitter to have a look at the kerfuffle. I think the "gentleman" who referred to the interviewee's point of view as Marxist (only read a few of his tweets before it started to resemble something more akin to youtube comments) should really sit and reflect on whether his reaction was as extreme as he interpreted Alfie's point of view to be and does he have any research to discredit it.

Even though I didn't find all of Alfie's opinions entirely believable, he may have the numbers to back it up. I don't. I think we all have to accept in an industry generating the kind of monetary figures as gaming has in recent years. Even lifting the UK's inflation rate at one point. More and more research and possible sponsored counter research (so don't take anything at face value) will be done and if we don't like the findings, that's our problem.

Working in the sciences I'm forced to constantly re-evaluate my perspective based on current, past, new and future findings. I do this via a process of questioning, research and experimentation to validate or invalidate the information. Not knee-jerk reactions and somewhat inflammatory comments insinuating that in a world this large, only your point of view is correct.

On a more positive note. That was, as it always is, a very good interview from Ryan. More please.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by Alex79uk » April 11th, 2016, 7:25 am

ratsoalbion wrote:Ryan (not Josh), but yes he has!
For those of you who's faces I do not know, you've all got a face I've invented in my mind when you're speaking. Ryan is Josh Groban.

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:lol: :lol:

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by skidoosh » April 11th, 2016, 7:35 am

Alex79uk wrote:
ratsoalbion wrote:Ryan (not Josh), but yes he has!
For those of you who's faces I do not know, you've all got a face I've invented in my mind when you're speaking. Ryan is Josh Groban.

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:lol: :lol:
Bloody hell it is :D

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by gallo_pinto » April 11th, 2016, 12:28 pm

Yeah, I had read the Twitter exchanges before listening to the episode, so I was expecting something a bit more explosive. I thought the interview was thought-provoking and a very reasonable discussion of ideas. It's one thing to disagree with someone's opinions or analysis, but the guy on Twitter was basically saying certain people shouldn't even be able to discuss ideas. It was ridiculous.

I've really been enjoying Ryan's interviews on more academic video game topics (the Greg Toppo one was also interesting).

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by skidoosh » April 11th, 2016, 1:43 pm

Thinking back to it, it's quite hilarious. Someone on the internet on the internet exercised his democratic right to free speech to tell other people that they should have denied someone else their democratic right; to free speech.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by ratsoalbion » April 11th, 2016, 2:07 pm

Yep. Incredible innit.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by skidoosh » April 11th, 2016, 3:01 pm

It's quite ironic that he calls the point's of view Marxist and then tells you that you shouldn't allow it. In states that are still governed on variations of Marxism, they tend not to agree with the principal of free speech unless it props up their point of view.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by ratsoalbion » April 11th, 2016, 5:37 pm

Indeed.

There were a couple of other naysayers too, with one saying the podcast was "wanky" and another that it was "cheese", but all the conversation only prompted more people to listen so it's all good!
:)

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by skidoosh » April 11th, 2016, 6:37 pm

I did see. That's bloody terrible. I hope Ryan and Alfie aren't taking it personally, it's just the internet. Any cretin can have an opinion there. And that's a fact I do have the data to validate. Just look at my twitter and forum post history.

The interviewer kept the conversation flowing while the interviewee gave the listeners interesting trains of thought to peruse. It was, like all of your other interviews a stimulating listen. If some individuals are incapable of hearing views and opinions that don't "gel" with their own without resorting to insults rather than investigating them, then it's their loss.

I really appreciate the gargantuan effort that goes into all of the things you guys produce. From the community management, content creation, editing and maintenance is massive. And after all that to be hit with something as low brow as "wanky" and as paradoxical don't let the "Marxist" speak is beyond baffling.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by ratsoalbion » April 11th, 2016, 6:44 pm

Thanks man, appreciate it.

Though a young man, Ryan is extremely level-headed and - as far as I can tell - isn't unduly hurt by the criticism.

There have been more positive responses anyway, which thankfully has been overwhelmingly true with everything we've done.

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by skidoosh » April 11th, 2016, 6:55 pm

That's good to hear. Couldn't really investigate it all fully thanks to my self imposed ban from the internet for anything more than coming here!

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Re: An interview with Alfie Bown

Post by Tleprie » April 11th, 2016, 9:32 pm

If people are interested in exploring related topics to those in the interview, the most recent episode of the Cracked Podcast discusses similar ideas. They don't talk about video games, rather design in advertising, building layouts, etc... I found it quite interesting.
The Cracked Podcast

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