It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey… unless the ending sucks, apparently.

This week: Brandon, Tom, Josh and Harrison tackle the latest headlines regarding Giant Bomb and Tested’s new owners, assess and examine the community uproar and protests of Mass Effect 3’s controversial ending (in another spoiler-free discussion!), and coo over the beauty and immersion of ThatGameCompany’s engaging PSN-esclusive, Journey with recurring guest, Heidi. Plus, Eric shares his lesbian space adventures in this week’s Tales From the North and the group dives headfirst into some listener emails!

Any fans looking to protest this episode may direct their charitable donations to Childs Play.

Hit the jump for this week’s related videos and pictures!

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33 comments on “JKP! Ep.90: Fruitcake Baby

  1. Shadra Mar 21, 2012

    Mass Effect 3:

    God bless you, Tom and Harrison.

    I didn’t enjoy the ending, but I don’t think it needed to be changed and I can see where it fits even now with that other theory floating around. And plenty of my friends didn’t hate the ending either. There are plenty of people who just don’t hate it enough to waste their time on innernet game forums throwing ridiculous philosophical justification arguments around arguing about their feelings and trying to convince everyone that they need to agree with them.

    Also, do you know who has retained complete creative control of his story and absolutely refuses to do what fans want (and is insanely successful)? George R. R. Martin. Creative control to the point that if he dies, the series is not allowed to be finished by anyone. And he basically writes his books to be realistic and horrible, and fuck what anybody thinks.

    Re: Fan theories/’cool things that could happen’: A lot of time they purposefully won’t do that for legal reasons. There is legal precedent for a suit claiming an idea was ripped off/stolen (happened on old author mailing lists/forums), which is why most creators refuse to read fanfic-- not necessarily because they hate it, but because they actually risk running into similar ideas that they -already- have, and now having a serious problem.

    I won’t go on any further since nobody actually gives a shit (also because the number of logical fallacies Josh presents are too monumental to address) but Brandon has heard prettymuch all of my thoughts on it.


    Tyler’s question is a pretty great one. When I was little, I was super into SCIENCE and NATURE. I think the first thing I totally obsessively nerded about was probably Sonic the Hedgehog… I remember trying to draw it a lot.

    Also Tom, the bubble/gear building set was called Capsela, and I played with those a /lot/.

    THE END. Miss you guys :(


    • There are no logical fallacies in “They wrote something artistically and technically bad, tons and tons of fans want them to fix it, the series has always thrived heavily on fan input, and the people who made it agree”. It’s no different than them re-issuing and re-doing the tie in novel that was garbage, which they did without complaint from anyone.

      A writer writing a story means nothing. It’s entirely possible that beyond an initial idea, a writer has no idea what he’s doing and will mess up bad. It’s just straight up shameful to stand fast beside your pile of garbage and go “But it’s MY pile of garbage and I’m proud of it. Since it’s my pile of garbage, no one knows how to clean up this garbage better than me”. That’s just not true.

      George R.R. Martin is not successful because of creative control, he’s successful because he’s good at his job. As soon as he writes a Game of Thrones book where the Lannisters apologize for everything they’ve done and buy everyone in Westeros some ice cream, then fans have every right to call his work garbage, and hopefully they care enough about the universe he’s created to allow him a mulligan on it instead of just dropping it entirely.

      I can’t wait for the post-mortem, because I can really lay into the game’s ending with specifics, and anyone who still actually thinks that it’s maybe sort of good if you squint hard will be annihilated. The plot holes, the art theft, the laziness, the childish twist and the inappropriate tonal shift can all be discussed at length. You said it yourself: You just don’t care enough about the world and the characters enough that it’s a big deal to you, but anyone who does actually care about the world and characters and who actually needs more from an ending from a major piece of media than “everyone died and it was very sad” hates the ending, guaranteed.


      • Shadra Mar 21, 2012

        Logical fallacy #1: Oversimplification

        This is something that you use often to completely neglect important facts or details that are very much relevant, but don’t support your personal view. The very fact that this issue can be discussed and argued without circles for hours (as it has been) is evidence there is no actual ‘bottom line’ and that there is no realistic or accurate way to summarize it.

        For instance, you don’t acknowledge that I never said I didn’t care about the world or characters (for god’s sake, I cried like a child multiple times in that game), I said that I don’t care about a fictional game’s ending -enough- to go on a crusade either for or against it-- I have a life, both academic and social, that outweighs any such desires in terms of importance. Plus, as stated before, as a consumer of storytelling for a long time, I don’t find endings I don’t like to be that life-disruptive (see: The Dark Tower)

        Logical Fallacy #2: Irrelevant Conclusion

        “I can’t wait for the post-mortem, because I can really lay into the game’s ending with specifics, and anyone who still actually thinks that it’s maybe sort of good if you squint hard will be annihilated.”

        Just because you can have the freedom to present your argument with examples does not give you any sort of guarantee that anybody will agree with you. Believe it or not, this is an issue of subjective opinion, not of facts.

        Logical Fallacy 3: Circular Argument

        “They wrote something artistically and technically bad, tons and tons of fans want them to fix it, the series has always thrived heavily on fan input, and the people who made it agree”

        Why is it bad? Because people are saying it’s bad! Why are they saying it’s bad? Because it’s bad! Considering ‘bad’ is a subjective adjective in the first place, your argument is still won’t be supported even with evidence from the game itself, because I can (and have) just as easily defended it with facts and examples that adhere to literary standards and guidelines that qualify it as ‘good’.

        Logical Fallacy #4: Small Sample Size (Inconclusive Evidence)

        You say ‘tons and tons of fans’, but as Harrison pointed out, the numbers you offer don’t statistically amount to much in comparison to the sales of the games. If the true majority of fans were so dissatisfied with the ending so as to join in the campaign to have it changed, then there would be millions of people upset, not a loud, indeterminable number of people. There is insufficient evidence to support your claim. Are there people upset about it? Absolutely. Is the majority or even half of the consumers of the game upset? Statistically unlikely, but unprovable either way.

        Logical Fallacy #5: Converse Fallacy of Accident

        Similar to the previous, you base your claims of fan reaction based on your personal observations and not on any kind of legitimate sampling of the consumer market or even just self-declared fans of the game.

        I have to head out to class, but I think I covered some of the ones I see that come up often in your arguments. The actual arguments themselves have an entire other list of refuting statements I could provide, but until the show comes out where you can present your case to me a second time with your facts, evidence, and logical conclusions in presentable order, I’ll leave this with this:

        While you are obviously passionate about your position and opinion about the ending of Mass Effect 3-- which I absolutely do not find offensive, wrong, or even that bothersome-- it seems to render you unable to acknowledge differing viewpoints and opinions that are not only just as valid as yours, but also easily defensible. This is the only thing I’ve found to be grating about your continued lambasting of Bioware and the ending of the game, and probably because this is the same kind of flooded illogic and lack of critical thinking that has lead to the ridiculous freak-show circus of a political stage we’re enduring in the last few years. I know you are perfectly capable of constructing and presenting arguments and evidence in support of your claim, and I just wish you would do -that- and not just fall back on generalizations, hyperbole, and passionate assertions that your opinion is and should be taken as fact.


        • Patrick Mar 21, 2012

          Even if they do make a dlc ending for the game, we all know the real ending they made for the game. Honestly I liked the ending and even if it was bad the thing you should take from it is more about the adventures and story up to that point (like Harrison’s example with the dark tower).

          I really appreciate that you guys are not spoiling the ending until you all have played the game, shows integrity and resolve to do that. I think that when you guys do finally get to that episode it should be the Harrison hosted episode because then he will have a viable subject to talk about.


        • >Just because you can have the freedom to present your argument with examples does not give you any sort of guarantee that anybody will agree with you.

          This next sentence destroys this argument, and many of the others that follow that you’ve made, so pay attention: Just because someone has an opinion, doesn’t make it valid. If there are two differing opinions, one presented with supporting arguments and one not, the one with supporting arguments “wins”, because opinion on their own are worthless. The only justification someone can have for these endings is “I liked them”. That’s great, that doesn’t make the endings good and it doesn’t make that argument valid. All that means in the light of an awful ending is that person likes bad things *unless* they can say *why* they liked it and give examples. I’ve seen a couple of feeble attempts to do so, but they mostly revolve around assumptions that the writer knew exactly what he was doing/ did certain things for a reason, so we should trust them. I’ve been trying to remain spoiler free on this site, so I can’t go ahead and obliterate many of these arguments yet.

          > I said that I don’t care about a fictional game’s ending -enough- to go on a crusade either for or against it

          It takes no time to formulate a stand, and your stand is apparently that a writer should stand his ground and stick to his guns regardless of technical quality, creative quality, theft (either intentional or accidental) or laziness. For what reason, I’m not sure. My stance is that a writer should admit when he failed, and then fix the problem. Your stance leads to writers that think that, to use a technical term “their shit don’t stink”, and my stance leads to accountability and redemption.

          Here’s something that might blow your mind: writers don’t always know best, even with their own stories. The fans are more important than the writer, because without the fans, the writer is nothing, and given a large enough fanbase, chances are someone is better at the writer’s job than the writer is, even the job they created. There is no such thing as “artistic integrity”. You have people that do their job well and people who don’t.

          >Why is it bad? Because people are saying it’s bad! Why are they saying it’s bad? Because it’s bad!

          You’re basically saying every creative work is all subjective, and that’s adorable, but it’s not true. There’s consensus, there’s such a thing as bad taste and good taste. Subjectivity exists, but the notions that things are “bad” or “good” exist as well. If you adore something that everyone else you know absolutely loathes, you have bad taste by definition. That doesn’t mean you can’t adore it, but what it *does* mean is that you have to admit that it’s probably bad when you do so. Saying that you like something also means that it’s good is arrogance. There’s plenty of things I love, but I readily admit are probably pretty shitty, and the ability to do that is a rapidly dying art.

          Something that contains cut corners, art theft, plot holes, tonal inconsistency, and a slew of other problems that i’ll get into later can be argued as being “good”, I guess, but why would you want to do that? Just admit that they did something that they threw together in an afternoon, admit that it’s basically an insult for them to have done so, and convince them to try again. The fact that someone out there thought it was good for a couple minutes is not enough justification to shield it.

          > If the true majority of fans were so dissatisfied with the ending so as to join in the campaign to have it changed, then there would be millions of people upset, not a loud, indeterminable number of people.

          Like you said, there’s no way to quantify either way. All I know is that every comment section on every website, every poll on the Bioware forum, several major articles and tons of running gags everywhere have been seen coming down on this ending. I can count the people who like it on one hand, literally. You are assuming that a small portion of the internet is being whiny as they always are, and that’s a fair assumption to make. I’m telling you that this is far, far larger and more valid than that, and in the face of any evidence to the contrary, you have chosen not to believe me because question mark. Considering that most people statistically don’t finish their games, and internet presence on any issue is a fraction of the actual fan representation, It is entirely within reason that the majority of people that have actually finished the game hate the ending to death. Since you don’t like the ending either, I have to assume you’re just being contrary because you hate whiners that much.

          >it seems to render you unable to acknowledge differing viewpoints and opinions that are not only just as valid as yours, but also easily defensible.

          I acknowledge when I am proven wrong, as I often am. I acknowledge defended opinions that have salient points. I do not acknowledge differing viewpoints on the grounds that if I didn’t, I’d seem like a jerk and the other person would be sad. I never say “In my opinion…” because I’m speaking on a website that’s almost entirely editorial. It would be redundant to say it, as it should be understood. This leads to idiots telling me constantly that “you think your opinion is fact”. No, I think my opinion is *right*, and there’s a huge difference. If you disagree with my opinion, that’s great, but the onus is on you to tell me why. I am entirely open to hearing opposing viewpoints, it’s just not often that those opposing viewpoints win.


  2. Books, notably Sci-Fi novels, have been re-written to please the fans before. IIRC, Stranger in a Strange Land and Known Space both had multiple endings, partially due to fan input.

    Mass Effect 3’s “endings” are about 98% identical and are done to a MUCH lower writing quality than anything else in any of the games. There are gigantic plot holes, and inconsistencies with previous continuity and characterizations. It is like they outlined an ending and said “good enough” rather than fleshing it out and making it solid. Almost everyone could do better than these “endings.” The Indoctrination Theory makes a lot of sense. There is enough “evidence” to support it that I hope that it was intentional, just conveyed incompetently or sloppily because the writers had been immersed in the endings and all the stuff they intended for months so they missed how obfuscated it would be to those without all that inside knowledge. Hopefully, the rumors of free DLC to flesh out the ending in April pan out.
    Any rough estimate on when the post-mortem will be happening? I bet you’ll record the episode then the fix DLC will get dropped and by the time you post it everything Josh rants on will be obsolete.


    • Perturbo Mar 22, 2012

      I really think those who have not played the game to the end should not support the ending until they have actually played it.

      If they do use the indoctrination theory (which I hope they do) it will be the greatest mind frell in history (in a good way.)


      • I really think not a full thought; should learn talking goodly with words.

        Indoctrination theory wouldn’t be all that earth shattering, its just the hero shaking off mind control at a critical juncture. So many examples of that can be found that its probably got its own tv tropes page. What would be “mind frelling” is how much BioWare of their reputation wagered on this Kaufman-esque stunt.
        Assuming, a bad ending and the controversy followed by FREE DLC to actually finish the trilogy was always the plan and not just a helpful accident that fell into their lap. If they actually published that ending thinking it was an actual, satisfying end to the story then everyone should completely write off BioWare and the Mass Effect 3 crew.


        • Perturbo Mar 22, 2012

          Saw the errors when I after I hit the button. I was trying to put my thoughts down in a very quick and manner. I failed.

          No edit button. *Sad face*

          I really wonder if this was not a next gen attempt at Metal Gear: Psycho Mantis twist on the ending with DLC. It may be Kaufman-esque, there a lot of standards to be met to get there, but if they could pull it off it would be monumental.

          That or they could be money drunk and half @$$ed it.


          • Brandon Mar 22, 2012

            Our system does not include a way for commenters to edit their own comments. Useful for accountability, frustrating for typos.

            *I* can edit comments, however, and I have used this superpower for the forces of good and revised your statement so ben can’t make fun of you anymore, nyeh.


          • Patrick Mar 22, 2012

            all hail the great BrandOverlord!


          • Missed one when you before you posted this time as well. Even Brandon help Brandon helping didn’t save you.


  3. well you pretty much “anwsered/debated” to my question and now I see the logic. I haven’t even touched ME3 and will not till summer, buy I can say that no mather whatever the ending is, they must not change due to reasons already disclosed on the podcast.

    About the 40K dollars raised for an alternate ending…high 5 for the idea, but that amount of money is like said, almost nothing. if everyone gave 1 dollar, that’s 40.000 people, if everyone gave 2 dolars, that’s 20.000 people,4 dolars that’s 10.000 people and you see where I am going with this. People donated from 1 to a 100, due to the fact that is’s going to charity, or if they hated the ending a lot, 1 could easily donate more, thus showing that there could be as little as 10.000 peolpe supporting this…negativity spreads faster and louder than good things.

    First geek thing…playing games since the age of 2, which was the Super Mario Bros. and then Duke Nukem 3D at the age of 5 (am still sane)…been a gamer ever since=)


    • also the frag fest above…just wow…now that is the definition of tl;dr


  4. Shadra beat me to it, but Tom was talking about Capsela. Those, and Technic Legos made me grow up to be a mechanical engineer.


  5. Patrick Mar 21, 2012

    I think I’m down to like 10 episodes until I can say I have heard the entire JKP catalogue. Did I miss the one piece episode?


    • Andrew Mar 22, 2012

      there still hasnt been one :C


      • Brandon Mar 22, 2012



        • Patrick Mar 22, 2012

          When that happens I will know where to start getting back into the series but until then I have plenty of Batman (Batman and Robin is such a great book series!) to re-read and then watchmen again eventually leading to getting Invincible.


        • I support the idea of One Piece episode!


  6. Billy Mar 22, 2012

    Dinosaurs were a HUGE thing with me when I was in first and second grade. I had tons of small plastic dinosaurs (that routinely died to a basketball) and a ton of books about dinosaur anatomy and whatnot. Then my dad got me an SNES and that sealed my fate.

    I used to read Bleedman’s stuff and, as stated, realized that it was pretty stupid. Another comic I like to read is (Obscure Zodiac), which has a different take on TMNT. I think it’s pretty good.


  7. I got a Sega Genesis when i was 5 years old, along with Sonic 2, Ristar, and Sparkster. I think Brandon’s said it before, but that shit was like playing a cartoon, and i was an addict. In terms of not growing up as a nerd, I didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell.

    Josh, does the Catwoman stuff in Arkham City count towards that “slippery slope” stuff of games sold as piece-meal? I don’t know, still haven’t played it, but as far as I heard you had to buy the game new to get the code to put her into the game even though she was part of the plot. This could be another indicator along with Javik as evidence of companies selling pieces and parts of the game rather than just selling the game. There’s also the “DLC” of buying things in games (usually multiplayer) rather than spending time to unlock them.

    I’m glad you’re going to bring up the FanFic question to Zack next time he’s on, I wrote the question basically hoping for an awesome answer from him. I and a few of my friends love reading the worst fanfics we can find, especially Fan Fiction Friday over at Topless Robot. And by the way, I’ve recently seen some about the Once-ler (specifically from the new Lorax movie), as well as one about him being a member of Slytherin. Just thought I’d throw that out there.


    • Speaking of bad fanfic you’ve read “My Immortal,” right?


      • It is the epitome of bad fanfiction, and what kicked off my quest to find the worst of the worst. I also really enjoy dramatic readings of bad fanfiction, and you can find a TON of dramatic readings of My Immortal.


    • Shame on you Tyler, I just did an article on online passes and things like the Catwoman content. You’re slipping! The Catwoman content was fine, because it was given free to people who bought the game new. Used gamers didn’t get it, but there’s really no reason anyone can give me that Rocksteady should care about those people. Javik is different: you have to buy him unless you got the collector’s edition, and he’s actually more integral to the story than Catwoman was. I honestly didn’t believe in the DLC slippery slope because it all started in the worst possible way (Horse Armor) and just got better from there, but I think Mass Effect 3 might start it. I agree with Harrison that this could potentially open Pandora’s Box, I just also happen to think the ending was so terrible that it almost has to be done.


      • I read your article Josh, and online passes for people that actually support the product is all well and good, but I think that Javik is an indicator of a step in the wrong direction from this initial business plan.

        “Buy the game new and get free stuff, some of which may be part of the plot of the game, we appreciate your business.”
        “Ok, we’ll give you the free stuff, only now you have to buy the game new and on a premium, we appreciate your business.”

        This probably wasn’t Bioware’s decision, but it was still an iffy decision nonetheless.

        Also the option of buying content rather than unlocking it in game has always rubbed me the wrong way, but at least it’s just optional, probably with people who can’t devote as much time to the game as others in mind.


  8. Billy Mar 23, 2012

    I have a lot of reading to do above, although I feel left out because I haven’t had a chance to play any of the Mass Effect games (and I have the first two -_-;). I’ll make time somehow.

    Speaking of fruitcake…


  9. Patrick Mar 23, 2012

    On a separate note saw this video and it pretty much sums up the comparison between me as a young gamer and me now.


  10. Brandon I felt the same sort of engagement you felt with Gurran Lagann but with another anime called AnoHana. I was crying at the end of that show, that either says a lot about the show or very little about me.


  11. I’m amazed at the level of humor from your post. The opening line was funnier, because of the sudden impact on the punch line. I was originally thinking this was a serious post but, I had fun reading it, most especially the graphics or random comic strips.


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