[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/extra_credits_new_4945.png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:From left to right: Scott, James, Daniel and [=LeeLee=]]]

->''[[{{Tagline}} "Because games matter!"]]''

''[[http://extra-credits.net Extra Credits]]'' is an animated webseries, formerly published by ''The Escapist,'' then [[Webcomic/PennyArcade PATV]] and recently self-published, which is is hosted by James Portnow (writing), Daniel Floyd (narration), Dan Jones and Scott Dewitt (art), the latter's spots formely belonging to Allison Theus and Elisa "[=LeeLee=]" Scaldaferri before they left to work on other projects. The hosts use the series as a means to cover many issues pertinent to the video games industry, in particular what goes into the creation and development of video games, what video games have to do to become recognized as a legitimate artform, and creating intellectual discourse on important issues in the video game community.

The series uses a voiceover over top of static, minimalist illustrations and funny pictures culled from various Internet sources, with emphasis on {{Visual Pun}}s. This aspect is heavily inspired by [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation another series]] made famous by ''The Escapist''.

The show strives to be [[EdutainmentShow both lighthearted and humorous while providing an insightful look into the inner workings of the video game industry]], in a topic of the week format, often tackling many of the most prevalent and controversial topics in the gaming industry, such as topics regarding [[RaceTropes Diversity]] in games, [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil piracy]], [[JustOneMoreLevel video game addiction]], and the unreasonable working conditions faced by many game developers. The show also manages to be [[ShownTheirWork thoroughly researched]] on the topics it is covering. This shouldn't be surprising, as James, Daniel, and Allison are all well-immersed in the industry; James is a game designer himself, Daniel was an animator for Pixar Canada (and contributor to [[Music/OverClockedRemix OC ReMix]]), and Allison is a concept artist.

Due to a money-related misunderstanding, ''Extra Credits''' run on ''The Escapist'' drew to a close. After a brief "hiatus" period on [[http://www.youtube.com/user/ExtraCreditz YouTube]], they moved to PATV. Proof, if needed, that the two groups are on the same wavelength.

As of January 2014, PATV has ended their 3rd party hosting, meaning ''Extra Credits'' primarily hosts using their YouTube channel once again.

''[[FanNickname Pre-Escapist]]'' episodes can be watched [[http://www.youtube.com/user/kirithem here]].

The entire archive from during and after their days at ''The Escapist'' can be watched [[http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZdeTNJjBFMnImFBRYyfi0g here]]. The episode guide [[Recap/ExtraCredits can be found here]].

It doesn't stop there--besides ''EC'', a few more series started on the channel:

* ''James Recommends'' - In which [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin James recommends]] mainly under-the-radar games that you might not have tried or even heard of.
* ''Design Club'' - In which Dan breaks down levels/elements within certain games, analyzes them, and explains their meaning.
* ''Extra Remix'' - In which attention is drawn to artists from the video game remix community.
* ''Extra History'' - In which historical topics such as the Punic Wars and the World Wars are discussed.

%% Please redirect all PA and Escapist links to Youtube if you find them.
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!!Tropes which ''Extra Credits'' provides an example of:
* AnimationBump: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKmNzujz-Aw Episode 200]] featured a fully-animated dance party at the beginning, and even a few of the usually-still shots of Dan at the podium had more movement than usual.
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Several abstract concepts discussed on the show are represented visually by some kind of creature. MicroTransactions by "micro-transaction-raptor", a small blue feathered dinosaur; [[BoringButPractical First-Order-Optimal]] (or FOO) strategies by a foo dog, and user choices by a two headed kangaroo-like beast. Games themselves are represented by green rectangles.
* ArtShift:
** In "Innovation", and whenever a guest artist is invited. They generally imitate the style while putting their own twists on it.
** In season 4 they added [=LeeLee=] to their ranks, and while her and Allison's styles were mostly similar, difference between the two could be seen during certain points.
* ArtEvolution: The show's signature art style went through three iterations during its run, not counting the guest artists. The pre-''Escapist'' videos used a crude, but bright art style employed by Floyd. After the series became weekly, Allison provided smoother art with a more pastel-type color palette. After she was replaced by Scott [=DeWitt=] during Season 6, the new artists revamped the style, making them closer to SuperDeformed.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
** TheStinger for "Our Oscars":
-->''"Big {{E3}} Developments. New Sony handheld. New HD Nintendo console. And apparently, sports stars don't count as celebrities. I didn't know that."''
** Mentioning examples of serious "mechanics villains" in "Big Bad I - The Basics of Villains in Video Game Design":
-->''"(...) Maybe you want a true villain of pure evil so that the player feels like a hero fighting them, like [[VideoGame/ShovelKnight the Enchantress]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Chaos]], [[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger Lavos]], [[Franchise/KingdomHearts Maleficent]], [[VideoGame/AnimalCrossing Tom Nook]]..."''
* AscendedExtra: [=LeeLee=], previously a guest artist, joined the team in the 100th episode.
* AuthorAppeal: James ''really'' likes the {{Cyberpunk}} genre and HorrorVideoGames, dedicating several episodes to exploring facets of each of them.
** The web series loves to bring up and talk about {{First Person Shooter}}s and {{Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game}}s more than any other game genre.
* BerserkButton: Poorly-made propaganda games. Well-made propaganda games don't always set their world on fire either, but ''poorly''-made propaganda games inspire [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0ci6rYOleM epic rants like these]].
** The big problem they have with propaganda games is willfully misinforming the audience. While ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarezTheCartel'' can't really be described as propaganda, it is such a disrespectful hack-job of the Mexican Drug War that it deserves everything it gets.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Given the idealistic tone of the series, they rarely criticize games unless they have a really good reason. However, there are a few episodes where they simply tear a game apart, such as the one about ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarezTheCartel'', which uses lots of heavy-handed language; Daniel flat-out calls it despicable and horrid, due to its lazy design and dishonor of the subject matter.
* BrainBleach: In the first "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_rvM6hubs8 Western & Japanese RPGs]]" episode, Allison does a search for "{{Eroge}} [[VisualNovel visual novels]]" while working on the episode, only to start scrubbing her eyes out with bleach on viewing the results. She's now the page picture for the trope.
* BRollRebus: Done in a similar style as ''WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation'', the narrative is accompained by relevant and/or related pictures and drawings.
* BroughtToYouByTheLetterS:
** James was always shown wearing his blue "J" T-shirt. This was changed after [[ArtEvolution the change in artstyle in Season 6]].
** Generic characters are shown wearing letter-coded clothing, such as "D" ones for Developers and "G" for gamers.
* CaptainObvious: [[InvokedTrope Mentioned by name]] in the Amnesia episode, [[VisualPun complete with a Captain America like drawing.]]
* CatchPhrase: James seems to have made "Hello Youtubes! Welcome back to ''James Recommends''!" into one for the ''James Recommends'' side series.
* CausticCritic: A beautiful [[AvertedTrope aversion]]. While there are things that piss off the EC team, most of their analysis are done fairly, and often conceding to the problems and troubles the other side of the debate goes through. Even their ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarezTheCartel'' review, which is possibly the most negative and judgmental thing they've produced, always speaks professionally and thoroughly justifies every complaint.
* ContinuityNod: After receiving her shoulder surgery, Allison's avatar has had a [[ArtificialLimbs Bionic Arm]] drawn in some episodes.
* CuteAndPsycho:
** Allison, as she grows more crazed looking as each episode wears on. {{Lampshaded}} repeatedly:
--> "[[OhCrap Uh oh,]] Allison, put the eraser down, I'm almost done!"
** The guest artist Erin too.
* DearNegativeReader: After their two-part series on faith in games, they got a lot of knee-jerk reactions to their position (most of which boiled down to fact that [[YouKeepUsingThatWord they switched between the different meanings of the word faith]]). Normally they sit back and leave the follow up conversation to the viewers to kick around, but the argument got so strong that they felt that they had to make [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2Vx9qoLzFs another episode specifically to address it.]]
* DopeSlap: In "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWFzFsHc75U Easy Games]]", James delivers one to a hardcore gamer who says that [[FanDumb real gamers work for their fun]].
* FemmeFatalons: Allison sometimes draws herself with some pretty nasty claws for the sake of a visual cue.
* {{Foil}}: Near the begining of the "[[http://youtu.be/WXA559KNopI Microtransactions]]" episode, Daniel says that EC is always trying to be the calmer voice, while a crude picture of EC-inspiration [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] shows up, angrily saying, "What are you getting at?"
* FlatJoy: What Daniel does when revealing that they're going to be talking about ''Call of Juarez: The Cartel''. "Ta-daaa."
* MirrorUniverse: It's been argued that the show as a whole is a SugarBowl take on WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation, [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal respectively representing]] the polar ends of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism in respect to how they view the game industry.
* MoodDissonance: In the "Open Letter to EA Marketing" video, Daniel reads out-loud the original mission statement for Electronic Arts, a highly idealistic vision for the evolution of video games as an art form. While he's reading this, he shows clips of EA's various cynical ad campaigns that embrace the worst of gaming stereotypes and do little to advance the medium as an art.
* MustHaveCaffeine: The second artist, Leelee, might be this, judging from the sheer number of coffee cups in the "Energy Systems" episode.
* OurMonstersAreWeird: Allison is ''really'' good at that. Often borders on horror.
* PorkyPigPronunciation: "Pedagog... pedagodag..." (shows word "pedagogically" on screen) "This word."
* PrecisionFStrike:
** In "Art Is Not the Opposite of Fun," Daniel uses this trope while questioning the claim that studying what makes games unique will cause them to become worse or less fun.
--> "It's the suggestion that we shouldn't explore games further. That all of this inquiry and study and tampering is going to [[DarthWiki/RuinedForever just ruin]] our favorite hobby. And that is a claim that needs answering. It makes no [[SoundEffectBleep f**king]] sense!"
** In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarezTheCartel'' towards the end.
--> "I'm willing to wager there's now at least one person out there who now believes more firmly that [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty Mexicans are stealing our women]] because of this game, and that is [[SoundEffectBleep f**king]] disgraceful. [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech It is a shame to what it means to be a designer, and it belies the responsibility we as a group hold when producing mass media.]] We can do a lot better than this. We can inform, and educate, and entertain, but failing all of that we can at least be honest."
** In "Games You REALLY Might Not Have Tried," when talking about [[VisualNovel/SayaNoUta Song of Saya]]:
--> "... [[LampshadeHanging I apologize]], what the f**k did I just play?"
** In Extra Remix - Sixto Sounds, in a less heavy sense.
--> "Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to f**king rock out!"
** And in part 2 their Extra History segment about WorldWarI:
--> "... He would have to go into hiding for a while, but... holy s**t is that the archduke!?"
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
--> "Do not Tangle. With the kind of people. Who install Linux. on their [=PlayStation=]s. Trust me: You are ''wasting''. Your. ''Time''."
* RaymanianLimbs: The main art style has these for all human characters that are not Daniel behind his podium. Guest artists [[DependingOnTheArtist might or might not follow this]].
* ReRun:
** Almost every episode from the show's run on Website/YouTube was revamped for ''The Escapist''.
** The "Uncanny Valley" episode they uploaded to PATV was the third time they've covered that topic, once for each incarnation of the show.
*** Interestingly, the PATV episode was remade from scratch with a reworked script and animation.
* RunningGag: Allison's shoulder injury is sometimes rendered as a [[VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution Deus Ex style]] [[RuleOfCool cyborg arm]].
* SelfDeprecation: The UncannyValley [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKTAJBQSm10 episode]] pokes fun at the show's art and Daniel's narration.
--> '''Daniel''': Smartass.
* SeriousBusiness:
** A large part of the series's message is that video game developers should take their medium as seriously as other media.
** The importance of balancing gaming with RealLife and the serious consequences of game compulsion was detailed over two episodes, and broke the usual style of the show by having James speak directly.
** The breakdown of ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarezTheCartel'' is absolutely ''brutal'' in its treatment of the game, condemning it for multiple sins; it starts with how its lazy design indirectly encourages the killing of black people and gets more serious from there.
** However, in the episode [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOIZXxB1nlI Toxicity]], they urged players who love blaming their teammates for not winning to not treat "winning at video games" as SeriousBusiness.
* ShoutOut:
** In the "Sharing Our Medium" episode:
*** The "[[MemeticMutation PLAY ALL THE THINGS]]" pictures are a shout out to ''Webcomic/HyperboleAndAHalf''.
*** During the "Be Encouraging" step, there's a guy being very ''not'' encouraging and saying [[Westernanimation/TwoStupidDogs "Well, isn't that cute... BUT IT'S WRONG!"]]
** And in the end credits of "Let's Talk About Pacing", their encouraging message ended with "Also, Santa is real. And [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Friendship IS magic]]."
** In their second video on ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', they show a picture of a Kanassan with the captions [[WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged "I CAN SEE THE FUTURE!!"]]
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: The tone of the series is extremely idealistic: it views the recognition of video games as art as inevitable, treats virtually all developments in the industry as furthering this cause, and views most obstacles in the way as easily overcome.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent:
** Game Addiction (Part 2) where James Portnow sits down in front of the camera and discusses his own past in this area. Daniel even comments on how they tried to do it in their normal, academic style of commentary, but James simply couldn't write a good enough script while remaining objective.
** Their episode on the controversial bills SOPA and PIPA had James, Daniel and the owners of various gaming websites speaking in live action, urging the viewer to boycott E3 unless the ESA, which is E3's main backer, withdrew their support for those bills. They followed it up the next week with a conventional episode on it however.
** They did it again with their "Extra Credits supports Firefall" video. There was even some lampshading by the team about it.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm_tN6wHEaI Funding XCOM]], where they talk about... well, funding a real-life XCOM.
** A [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbBHk_zLTmY Three-part]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf0-Yki5p40 report]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT_rev5VAQc on the]] [[UsefulNotes/PunicWars Second Punic War]].
* TakeThat: In "Games You Might Not Have Tried: 16-bit", when Daniel talks about which systems they'll cover.
--> We'll be talking about Super [=NES=] games, Sega Genesis games, and *picture of [=TurboGrafx=]* ...yeah, just the first two.
* TheLastDJ: Despite the portrayal of a SugarBowl community surrounding them, their criticisms of weaker aspects of gaming make them out to be a textbook example of this trope.
* UpdatedRerelease: the UncannyValley episode, mk. 3! Now on [[PennyArcade PATV]]!
** The pre-Escapist videos (and even some of the early ''Escapist'' episodes) are more representative of Floyd's college-requisite JadeColoredGlasses, and have been incrementally re-made with new scripts and new art whenever WritersBlock sets in...
* VerySpecialEpisode: Game Addiction: Part 2. Complete with AnAesop:
--> '''James:''' Life will always welcome you back.
* VisualPun: Very common.
* WeAreExperiencingTechnicalDifficulties: The Project Ten Dollar episode ends this way, after Allison threatens to erase Daniel with her pencil eraser for not ending the episode on time.

!!Tropes that are discussed by ''Extra Credits'':
* AllegedlyFreeGame: In "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwI0u9L4R8U Free to Play Is Currently Broken]]", Dan talks about how free to play games are targeting "whales", or players who spend lots of money on in-app purchases, ignoring players who spend little to no money. This results in games that are devoid of content without spending lots of money, and it alienates players who literally cannot afford to play a "free game".
* TheArtifact: Discussed in "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzkS0mt3B50 In Service to the Brand]]", the original ''Franchise/BioShock'' had features which fit the world of [[GhostCity Rapture]], but in ''Infinite'', those features were included because they were in the originals, but otherwise [[GameplayAndStorySegregation didn't make sense in]] [[FloatingContinent Columbia]].
* BoringButPractical / DifficultButAwesome: Discussed in the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqFcF_jRrx0 How to Play Like a Designer, Part 2]]" episode in which they explain that "First Order Optimal Strategies" (which require little player effort but give good results such as the "[[VideoGame/ModernWarfare noob tube]]" or "[[VideoGame/StreetFighter hundred hand slap]]") are necessary to allow new players to have a competitive edge and allow them to gain enough confidence and experience to start using more difficult but ultimately even more effective strategies necessary for more difficult levels or matches. He cautions though that any such thing needs to be carefully developed and thought through, as it can create unintentional {{Game Breaker}}s which might flatten an otherwise expertly plotted difficulty curve.
* ButThouMust: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45PdtGDGhac "The Illusion of Choice"]] discusses how this is pretty much inevitable in most games and showcases a few tricks that game designers use to give the player the illusion that their choices are meaningful when they don't really make that much of a difference in the long run.
* BribingYourWayToVictory: Warned against in the [[http://youtu.be/WXA559KNopI "Microtransactions"]] episode, with a crossed-out picture of Jareth from Film/{{Labyrinth}}.
--> '''Daniel:''' [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Never. Sell. Power.]] This is seriously micro-trans 101, but we still seem to have this temptation to squeeze the maximum amount of money out of our players by selling them things that [[GameBreaker alter the balance of gameplay.]]
* CharacterDerailment: [[invoked]]
** They argue that this happened to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtgA6SaHHa0 Kratos]] in the ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' sequels, which was only exacerbated by {{Flanderization}}.
** They also argue that this is basically what happened to Samus with ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'', stating that Samus [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter already had a workable characterization]] that emerged from the mechanics and backstory of the previous games, and that suddenly ramming a new characterization down the player's throat made Samus worse for it rather than better.
* CompetitiveBalance: Discussed in "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e31OSVZF77w Perfect Imbalance]]" in which they, counter-intuitively, suggest that a designer should deliberately introduce an slight element of minor imbalance into play. The idea being that ComplacentGamingSyndrome will set in if everything is perfectly balanced, as players will find the optimal strategies and only play to those. However, with calculated imbalances, players are forced to adjust their strategies as the MetaGame keeps shifting. They recommend a balancing technique of "cyclical balance" as a kind of extended TacticalRockPaperScissors, where Element A is obviously powerful, but has an exploitable weakness to a strategy involving Element B, which in turn has a weakness to something using Element C, etc. ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' is cited as a good example of this.
* CosmicHorrorStory / EldritchAbomination: In "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DyRxlvM9VM Why Games Do Cthulhu Wrong]]", they discuss why video games can't do the cosmic horror genre any justice, at least not without subverting almost everything mainstream video games are about. Video games are usually about presenting the player with a challenge to overcome, and while portraying Cthulhu as such a challenge hits the notes of Lovecraft, it completely misses the music; true Lovecraftian horror is about forces so completely beyond humanity that just seeing one leads to madness, and that are impossible to even fight, let alone defeat.
* CriticalResearchFailure: {{In-Universe}}, they really lay into ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarezTheCartel'' for making extremely basic errors in its portrayal of the terrible Mexican drug wars and indirectly encouraging the grossly racist "they are stealing our women" stereotype -- even though, in reality, the reverse is much closer to the truth.
* CriticismTropes: Discussed in the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb3HQlFmfds Game Reviews]]" episode. Analysis focuses specifically on the differences between the informational content of typical movie reviews and the informational content of typical game reviews. The former tends toward more contextual information as to how the film compares to other films, while the later tends toward more descriptive information as to what is in the product. While they concede that the descriptive information is essential, if that is all a video game review is, all reviews end up looking alike and it becomes difficult for a reader to glean perspective.
** FourPointScale: Also briefly touches on this, mentioning that to someone who comes into the hobby from outside of it and is more familiar with rating systems for other works such as movies, game reviews would often seem quite misleading when giving numbers.
* DarkerAndEdgier:
** Discussed in the episode "[[http://extra-credits.net/episodes/hard-boiled/ Hard Boiled]]". They explain why DarkerAndEdgier tends to happen with video game franchises, taking ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 3'' which they had just played as an example. Some of the reasons cited are [[TrueArtIsAngsty misplaced ideals]] that Darker and Edgier makes something seem more SeriousBusiness, assumptions about what a young audience wants to buy, and the game industry's {{egregious}} tendency to FollowTheLeader.
** Revisited in the episode "[[http://extra-credits.net/episodes/growing-with-our-heroes/ Growing With Our Heroes]]", which in contrast to the earlier "Hard Boiled" episode discusses some of the positive reasons why people keep being drawn more mature reboots of older franchises. A lot of it boils down to nostalgia factor, wanting to keep our "childish" things rather than discard them, but try to make them relevant to us at a different age. The key difference in whether it ends up being good or bad has a lot to do with ''why'' such a thing happened: if it is to appreciate something from a new perspective of experience that tends to work out well, but if it to try and make it seem [[SeriousBusiness more serious]] in fear of judgement, then it tends to end poorly.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: More-or-less discussed in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnxVOUSzX4A Negative Possibility Space]].
* DigitalPiracyIsEvil: Discussed in the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfZv_lPwBFI Piracy]]" episode. Daniel and James' viewpoint in a nutshell: if [[NoExportForYou it's not available in your country]] or has been [[AbandonWare lost in the sands of time]], then [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes pirate away]]. Otherwise, if you like something, just pay for it, and don't be a dick. The episode addresses the flawed arguments on both sides of the debate:
** For game companies: By releasing their games with annoying {{DRM}}, they just provide pirated games the advantage of being free, and giving them the additional advantage of being unrestricted and less buggy, and therefore is not going to help the developers in the long run.
** For pirates: Any justification you have for piracy based upon the argument that "the game is not worth buying/playing" for whatever reason instantly becomes hypocritical and meaningless once you pirate the said game, because by doing so you have just proved that the game IS worth playing.
* DownloadableContent: They touch upon the process behind the creation of this, particularly the reason for Day-1 DLC, in their VideoGame/MassEffect3 DLC video. They do acknowledge that publishers and developers can abuse this, but state the reasons that sometimes DLC should be necessary to not only keep up the value of the product, but increase the available content in the game, especially in shorter games.
* FakeDifficulty[=/=]NintendoHard: Discussed in the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea6UuRTjkKs When Difficult Is Fun]]" episode, distinguishing what is a difficult-but-fun game and what is a punishing game. Specifically:
** Difficult but fun: The game consistently follows its own internal rules, provides players alternate options to overcome challenges, and offers short respawn times that allow the player to quickly get back into the action after failing.
** Punishing: [[TheComputerIsaCheatingBastard the game breaks its own internal rules]], doesn't give a player options but rather [[TrialandErrorGameplay forces repetition until the players memorise the correct approach]], has challenges that rely on [[LuckBasedMission luck as opposed to player skill]], and arbitrarily forces players to sit through long waiting periods between reattempts after failure.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: Touched upon briefly in "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIQ6yWptvfA Amnesia and Story Structure]]" but taken to its logical extreme in "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQJA5YjvHDU Narrative Mechanics]]" where they cite ''MissileCommand'' as a case-study in how a game can tell a story using ''only'' its game mechanics.
* GenderAndSexualityTropes: Discussed in a few episodes.
** "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUqivXMlpcQ Diversity]]" hints at the several episodes to come.
** "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP6gXZPVgD4 Sex in Games]]" introduces the topic, exploring why developers might wish to include sexuality as part of theme or characterization, citing games like ''{{Ico}}'' as an exploration of intimacy even without sexuality.
** "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUqivXMlpcQ Sexual Diversity]]" uses ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' as a case-study in how including some [[QueerAsTropes diversity of sexual orientations]] can greatly add to characterization in games.
** "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1qndga6SNU True Female Characters"]] discusses how to write female chacters. It also cements a theme through these episodes that writing a character like this requires thinking about what expectations that character's society places on them, and what aspects of [[NotASubversion those expectations they choose to embrace]] and [[AvertedTrope what they choose to reject]], saying that someone who rejects every social expectation placed on them is just as sterotypical as someone who embraces every expectation.
* {{GIFT}}: Not by name, but the episode "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt9GwmOWoqo Harassment]]" lays out some ideas on how these people can be expunged from the gaming community. The later episode "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9A8VJBh_Yc Toxicity]]" discusses the way people treat each other online, including this.
* InMediasRes: Discussed in the Amnesia episode (see Three Act Structure below), and in the Starting Off Right episode.
* TheLoad: In the episode "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suf0Jdt2Hpo Minority]]", they point to this has one of the bad uses of children in games, comparing it to Clementine from ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'', who is a useful ally.
* MicroTransactions: Discussed in "[[http://youtu.be/WXA559KNopI Microtransactions]]". They believe that microtransactions can be very beneficial to gamers and to the industry, giving players the option to spend how much they want on games, from $5 to $500, instead of a flat $60 for everyone. The problem with microtransactions right now is how the industry is using them as a [[{{Greed}} free-for-all gouge-fest]].
* NostalgiaFilter:
** The topic is touched upon in "Videogame Music". Daniel ponders why gamers are more fond of the old NES themes, despite the better resources available to video game composers these days. Like most topics, he [[TakeAThirdOption chooses the middle road,]] stating that there's still great soundtracks being made today, while encouraging composers to stay grounded in their roots and create a [[EarWorm strong melody]] that will [[LevelOneMusicRepresents endure for years after the fact]].
** Discussed in more detail in the episode [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diq2zNi04Pw "A Little Bit Of Yesterday"]] where they discuss the popularity of {{Retraux}} games and what exactly is that certain something about those older-style games that we are trying to recapture.
* PowerCreep: Discussed in the appropriately-titled episode "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bxszx60ZwGw Power Creep]]" as an issue that tends to subtly sneak into [[LongRunners Long Running]] persistent games, be they {{Collectible Card Game}}s or [[MassivelyMultiplayerOnlineRolePlayingGame MMORPGs]]. They cover why this issue is ultimately bad for business, bad for the player, and how to mitigate it.
* ThePowerOfTrust: Discussed as its importance between the consumers and the producers of any technology that requires users to share personal information for the sake of functionality during the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgXf1clkN08 NOT a Security Episode]]" episode.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7lD97BxMN0 Shovelware]]" shows how this trope exploits consumers and the industry from an economical standpoint.
* RaceTropes: Touched upon in the episode "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mbOSB7EQpM Race in Games]]". In particular, they look at how the context of race-relations can inform the player about a character, using ''LANoire'' as an example. They elected to go for that perspective rather than a "how to write racial minorities" bent because they were concerned that would only lead to stereotypes. They went on to say that many of their suggestions about how to handle GenderAndSexualityTropes apply to RaceTropes as well.
* {{Railroading}}: Discussed in the episode "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45PdtGDGhac The Illusion of Choice]]". For players to feel agency within a game, they must feel like their choices in the game are meaningful, but since any player choice requires extra work from the developers, there is a limit to how much freedom games can give; therefore, games will give an illusion of choice, keeping players on a set path with various tricks to make them think they are the ones in control. It's only bad if the illusion falls apart and the gamers realize they're being herded by the game.
* RealIsBrown: Poked fun at several times.
-->"You see, there's nothing inherently wrong with cutscenes. The fault lies in how we've been using'em. The cutscene [[TropesAreTools is a tool]]; asking games to forever abandon the cutscene is like asking the carpenter to give up his square, or the painter to never use grey or brown... or the game to never use grey or brown." (''followed immediately by a [[VisualPun picture of]]'' VideoGame/GearsOfWar).
* SequelEscalation: Discussed in "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKzJWoZWMOI Spectacle Creep]]", pointing out how making games "bigger and better" eventually leads to games becoming absurd, and even losing sight of what made their predecessors so successful. This leads to a ContinuityReboot in order to get a franchise back to a more sane level, before spectacle creep sends it back into absurdity.
* StealthBasedGame: Discussed in "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC22ZF21Llk Like a Ninja]]", which points out the differences between stealth-based games and action-oriented games, and why stealth games are either really good or really bad.
** They also cover why it's hard to put [[StealthBasedMission Stealth-Based Missions]] in action games, because the core feeling of stealth is overcoming obstacles despite being underpowered and plays out more like a puzzle, while action games tend towards overpowering your enemies through combat.
* StealthParody: Discussed briefly at the end of the "[[http://extra-credits.net/episodes/hard-boiled/ Hard Boiled]]" episode, where they suggest that the ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' series has become self-aware of how over the top they have gotten through SerialEscalation, and the end text of the episode recommends playing ''Modern Warfare 3'' with the mentality that it is a send-up of modern shooters.
* {{Technobabble}}: The subject of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_F-Wsvj1t0 an entire episode]]. They link it to the difference between the extremes of the MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness, with [[Mohs/SpeculativeScience hard science fiction]] on one end and [[Mohs/ScienceInGenreOnly future fantasy]] on the other, saying that the really inaccurate use of technobabble tends to come when an author cannot commit to a fantastical idea and tries to tenuously ground it with sciencey-sounding language. They then go on to briefly define a few commonly used ideas in physics to give viewers a slightly better understanding of those terms.
* ThreeActStructure: Discussed in the Amnesia episode, particularly with video games and their habit of [[InMediasRes starting in Act 2]].
* TokenMinority: Mentioned in the diversity episode as a bad solution to accusations that there aren't enough female, black, or other minority groups.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: [[invoked]]Discussed in the episode "[[http://extra-credits.net/episodes/hard-boiled/ Hard Boiled]]", where they show that just because ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 3'' is DarkerAndEdgier than its previous entries in its series, doesn't inherently make it more artistic.
* UncannyValley: [[invoked]] Discussed in the pre-Escapist episode [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKTAJBQSm10 "Video Games and the Uncanny Valley"]]. Brought up again in the Halloween Episode, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmV7iugxqEw "Symbolism 101"]].
* UnfortunateImplications:
** [[invoked]]They note how poorly thought-out game mechanics can accidentally send very dangerous messages if designers aren't careful and responsible. As an example, they cite the convention of making certain races and groups the enemy in recent mainstream shooters, which risks dehumanizing them in the minds of players who are required to slaughter them in droves without question. They single out ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarezTheCartel'' as an example of a game that does this, devoting an entire episode to ripping apart the UnfortunateImplications within it, concluding that TheyJustDidntCare.
** For example, the ''only'' achievement in the game related to "Kill X Enemies" called "[[http://www.trueachievements.com/a153055/bad-guy-achievement.htm Bad Guy]]", and is done on a level with exclusively-black gang members (whom you ''purposely'' incited to violence). Couple that with tweaking reality to fit the narrative (in this case, using one level to depict Mexican drug cartels coming to the US to abduct American women to sell as sex slaves, when the reality is pretty much the ''complete opposite'') and their outrage over this is understandable, even if HanlonsRazor applied. Oh yeah, and the ''[[DesignatedHero "heroes"]]'' treat the strippers in that latter mission as {{Disposable Sex Worker}}s.
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