Awesome: Extra Credits
- In the Piracy episode at 2:25:
- Their epic thrashing of EA's Marketing. The whole episode is concentrated awesome.
"You know how hard it is to piss off people who watch other people's five-year-olds for a living?!"
- Especially the dissonance of putting together an Old EA magazine article over the top of a Dante's Inferno video.
- And their response to how fake reports of the "Bad Nanny" achievement for Dante's Inferno offended the International Nanny's Association:
- The real CMOA for this event, for Extra Credits, for the Escapist and possibly the entire video-game-based web-series genre? The head of EA marketing invited them to a meeting to discuss their marketing strategy after the video went viral.
- Think about this— EA saw it and cared. The episode honestly did something, Electronic Arts is trying to right itself. And this is Electronic Arts we're talking about here!
- Similar to the EA example above, their episode on harassment called out Microsoft in particular. Microsoft acknowledged the call and invited James for a chat.
- The series' presence on The Escapist was a CMoA on its own. In the earlier episodes, before they got picked up by the site, they said that it was inspired by Zero Punctuation. After a while, they're featured on the same site and have an almost greater following.
- On June 29th, 2011, James let fans know that the illustrator, Alison, needed shoulder surgery to continue working as an artist. The original plan was to accept donations over a 60 day period. In less than a day, they already doubled their original figures in donation costs.
- The whole second episode on compulsive gaming was one of these, with James talking frankly about his own past problems and ending on the life-affirming message that real life is always waiting for us to return and that we can apply the same zeal we applied to gaming to life with much grander results.
- The "Call of Juarez: The Cartel" episode as a whole, but sternly calling out the designers for willfully misinforming people about human trafficking deserves special mention.
We can inform, and educate, and entertain, but failing all that we can at least BE HONEST.
- Their conclusion about the responsibilities designers have ends simply but powerfully.
- The ''Politics'' video. They managed to get Jared Polis, a REAL CONGRESSMAN, to speak in the show. Wow.
- This. For context: Richard Danksy, a friend of James, sent him a copy of Charnel Houses of Europe: The Shoah, a supplement for Wraith The Oblivion focused on the Holocaust. The episode explores the game and the topic of what is and isn't appropriate to discuss in a game.
They knew they were gonna hear a lot of angry voices saying, "You can't talk about these things in a game." But they also knew that wasn't true, in the same way that you'd never say that such important topics shouldn't use the medium of television, or that people shouldn't make movies to discuss such serious things. You can't say that something isn't appropriate for a medium. That type of generalization doesn't even make sense. It's not in the medium, but rather how we use it to determine whether we're treating a subject with respect.
- The Narrative Mechanics episode. One of the points that the Extra Credits crew has been saying for years is that story told through gameplay is what designers should aim for, but at one gaming convention, the writer, James Portnow, was challenged to name a game that actually accomplished this. Not only does he succeed, but the example they chose is one which forced the player to confront moral dilemmas with limited resources in a universe which invites an enormous emotional investment while delivering a powerful anti-war message in the bargain ... and their example did it before most Extra Credits viewers were even born. As quoted on the TV Tropes page for the game itself:
Daniel Floyd: What's the bluntest point made by this game? That you can't win. No matter how many stages you survive, or how much time you spend playing, you can't beat Missile Command. Nuclear war has no winners. Your job is futile, but you do it anyway because you can buy people a few more minutes of hope.
- Episode 200 is out!
- They also now have a Patreon account.
- The Creative Assembly has paid these guys to do a history lesson on the Punic Wars, an educational video series to advertise for Total War: Rome II!
- The best part was Creative Assembly telling the EC team that they didn't need to mention them, or the game - just teach some history. But EC did both anyway, since they felt the idea was so awesome.
- They enjoyed doing the series so much, they're bringing it back!
- And now it's officially a weekly show thanks to Patreon!
- The Battle of Dara, the way Daniel narrates Balasarius' observation of the numbers at the battle it sounded something to the effect of: "Well, better put some coffee on, this is going to be tricky to plan for."
- Empress Theodora proving her status as Empress by basically telling her husband and the Imperial Court to stand and fight, rather then run from the rampaging Demes.
- Belasarius taking back Carthage from the Vandels with only sixteen-thousand men, even less then the numbers he had at Dara. And succeeded where the efforts of BOTH of the Roman Empires of old backfired with six times that many soldiers.