Long ago The Young Turks were in the running for the fabled (and still unfilled) 10 o'clock spot on MSNBC!
When I'm not playing games for review or working on content for Defunct Games, I'm generally pretty active in other fields of interest. Like everybody, I watch my fair share of TV, go to movies and listen to music. I have also been drawn to politics and punditry. Call me crazy, but I'm a wonk. I love watching the process, the arguing, the backstabbing. It's something I can't get enough of ... especially in an election year.
Given my love for the internet and interest in politics, it's no surprise that I find myself tuning into a lot of new media talk shows. These days my favorite is a wildly popular three-hour internet show called The Young Turks. This long-running (for the internet) series features Cenk Uygur and a fun group of extras that rotate through the studio. The show is lively, topical and always funny. Even when I disagree, I love it. And that's why it pains me to say this: Somebody has got to stop The Young Turks!
Right up front it's worth noting that "Cenk" is actually pronounced with a "J" sound, like "Jenk"!
It pains me to say this, but this longtime fan believes they have gone too far. It's not their left-leaning politics or their crummy taste in music, instead it's their video game reviews. That's right, The Young Turks reviews video games. Well ... they attempt to review games, what actually takes place is somewhere between a natural disaster and walking in on your parents having sex. Their reviews are so bad that it's forced me to rethink how hard I've been on Tommy Tallarico.
As a fan, I know the best thing I can do for my favorite internet talk show is to show them the light. Using the power of a kinda popular video game website, I hope to get in touch with The Young Turks and get them to stop their psychologically damaging video game reviews. But to do this I will need audio, lots and lots of audio. So without further ado, let's hear Cenk introduce us to the one and only "TYT Video Game Expert!"
CENK: "You know how we're always trying new things on The Young Turks? We do sports, we do entertainment, we do politics obviously. And we decided we're going to do tech and
I signed an online petition to get General Wesley Clark to take over the video game reviews!
gaming. We did our first ever one on tech and what wound up happening is some people commented "you guys don't know anything, the host's an idiot." Okay, yeah, that's the point. I don't know, so I bring on somebody else to talk about it. Now the second one we're going to talk about gaming, and guess what? Wes Clarke's in the house. Okay. Now, if anyone knows gaming, it's Wes. No no, you're a bona fide expert."
Wait ... Wes Clarke is in the house? You mean the four-star General who unsuccessfully ran for President back in 2004? That Wes Clarke? No, sadly, we don't get the 65 year old Army General talking about BioShock 2. Instead it's his son, Wesley Clarke, Jr. That's an inspired choice for a video game critic, but I'll go with it. Just keep in mind that Cenk makes two important statements right up front: A) He doesn't know anything about video games and, B) Wes is a video game expert.
Cenk is a knowledgeable guy about a lot of things, but it's blatantly clear from the get-go that he knows nothing about modern video games. His questions and references make it sound like the last game he played was the original Donkey Kong. Not to dwell on the point, here's an example of a typical Cenk question ...
CENK: "Alright, you know, we know that I'm ignorant to all this gaming stuff and that's why we bring you in and so that you help me
It sounds like the entire Young Turks crew need to have a Rock Band weekend!
learn as a novice. I don't even know what a campaign is."
See, I told you Cenk was clueless. This is a guy who doesn't own a game system and never even thinks about the video game industry. In other words, he's the kind of guy who would NEVER come to a site like Defunct Games. And I think that's great, especially if he's open to learning about video game history and maybe even experiencing some for himself. As a lover of this form of entertainment, I want to share it with everybody, so I hope that Cenk truly is as open as he says he is.
It's unusual to hear such elementary questions asked during a video game review, usually the basic questions are left for the backstage banter. But Cenk isn't worried about looking like a video game noobie, even if it means that every video game fan in the audience is collectively rolling their eyes. Unfortunately for those game fans, Cenk has a lot of stupid questions. Here's another example of what comes out of his mouth ...
CENK: "Following up on Ana's question, what does it mean it takes eight hours? Does it mean it takes eight hours to master the game beat or finish it?"
This is a metaphor for Dark Void!
Okay, so this is kind of a boneheaded question. Sure he asks if the game takes eight hours to beat, but he implies that maybe all you're trying to do is "master" it. Is it just me or does he make it sound like this is Pac-Man or Space Invaders, a game about honing your skills and beating the high score. Sorry Cenk, this is Dark Void, an action/adventure game from Capcom. There's no such thing as mastering Dark Void.
Okay, I'll give, that's two stupid questions in a row. I'm sure that these Young Turks don't have any other stupid comments to drop. Wait, what's that you say, there's another clip? Fine, lay it on us ...
ANA: "You know [Dragon Age] is described as a role-playing game. So what does that mean?"
The dark side of role-playing!
Oh wait ... that's not Cenk! Who is this lovely voice? It's actually Ana, the 23 year old co-host. And guess what, she's not a gamer! That's right, now it's two against one. But remember, Wes Clarke is a bona fide video game expert. He should be able to bat down all of these stupid questions and teach Cenk and Ana a thing or two about video games. One can only hope that he will inspire these two novices to pick up a game system, perhaps try a game or two and see if they like it. Maybe then they will be able to contribute to these game-related sections.
But not so fast, let's take a second listen to that audio clip. Pay special attention to Wes Clarke's response to Ana's fairly straightforward question.
WES: "Okay, look, this is the worst part of the movie, er the RPG that just went by. Eventually it builds towards this love scene with you and this total bitch that you find in the woods that like tags along with your party."
An RPG doesn't need to be turn-based, but it definitely helps!
Wait ... WHAT??? That doesn't even come close to answering Ana's question. Instead of answer Ana's straightforward question, Wes goes way off topic and starts talking about the game's story. Talking about the "total bitch" that you hook up with doesn't answer what a role-playing game is, instead it just suggests that you aren't very good at focusing on the questions.
But don't worry, Ana, I'll answer your question and make things less confusing for everybody. A traditional role-playing game is generally a story-driven experience, where your character earns experience, becomes more powerful and goes on an epic quest. Many role-playing games (including the one you are reviewing) have a familiar high fantasy look, similar to the Lord of the Rings movies. RPGs are known for their strategic combat, which forces you to plan your moves ahead and use your head to get out of sticky situations. I hope that helps.
Speaking of Lord of the Rings, I believe that Cenk has something he wants to add about dragons. Take it away, Cenk ...
CENK: "Alright, Wes, I'm going to start out with an offensive question. Dragons. Ehhhh ... I don't know. Isn't that a little ... you know what I'm saying. A little feminine? Like machine guns are ... no no, I haven't said a word."
Dragons are gay? Now hold on, I was sure that sparkling vampires were gay, but it's also dragons? What else is gay, Sasquatch? Maybe it's because I've played so many video games and watched so many movies, but dragons definitely aren't gay. They weren't gay in the Lord of the Rings movies. Totally not gay in Reign of Fire. And I don't remember running into too many fabulous dragons in Monster Hunter. I'm just saying, dragons are definitely NOT gay.