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"Dad, have you ever heard of Portal?" "I've had Portabella Mushrooms..."
February 19, 2013 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Dan writes about games for a living. Dan's dad does not play games. Dan plays games with his dad. Much amused frustration is had by both parties. 2011, 2012, 2013. Individual Youtube videos after the jump.

Episodes range in duration, but are usually between 15 and 20 minutes. Good videos to start with include Minecraft, Bioshock, Scribblenauts, and Mario Kart Wii.

Dead Space 2
Heavy Rain
Bayonetta
Katamari Forever
God of War 3
Resident Evil
Mario Kart Wii
WWE All Stars
Bioshock
Limbo
Portal
Muscle March
Batman: (Aardvark) Arkham City
Kinect Party
Scribblenauts Unlimited
Journey
Tokyo Jungle
Minecraft
posted by codacorolla (47 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
You or Dan misspelled portabello.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:48 PM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just watched the Bioshock one. I still have no idea what that game is about but I want to watch all of the rest of them.

It took a couple minutes for them to get warmed up but their banter was great.
posted by mountmccabe at 7:03 PM on February 19, 2013


Don't mushrooms reproduce asexually?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:05 PM on February 19, 2013


You or Dan misspelled portabello.

You misspelled portobello. From Wikipedia, "The spellings "portobello", "portabella", and "portabello" are all used,[8] but the first of these spellings is the most common."

But spelling derail aside I'm watching the Portal link right now, mostly because it's the only game I've played in the past several years. I like the back and forth between Dan and his father, they seem to be having fun. I probably won't watch them all, but I'm looking forward to a basic understanding of what I've been missing by not playing Minecraft.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:05 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love this, thanks. Dan's dad makes a great deal of inappropriate(ly hilarious) sex jokes.

I also love how easily he picked up Katamari Damacy. That game is like an expression of some long-dormant portion of the human genome.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:22 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know they're having fun, but this is honestly sending me into a meltdown. I'm this close to yelling at the video.

The instructions are on the screen, damn it. The instructions are on the screen. It's telling you which button to press; the instructions are on—look, it was telling you—look, just walk. With the stick. With the stick. The stick. Stop—the stick. You just—it just told you—look, the instructions are on the screen. Right there. There. There. There, damn it

The worst part is that I know perfectly well this is an unreasonable reaction and I can't stop getting frustrated anyway. I need a glass of water.
posted by KChasm at 7:23 PM on February 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


When he's staring at the dark wall in Bioshock then goes down the stairs backwards was hilariously frustrating. I imagine this is the same frustration my husband felt while I was switching to PC gaming. I can barely show my mom how to load pictures to her quilting forum. I would never have the patience to show my parents how to play a game.
posted by MaritaCov at 7:28 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I used to teach older adults how to use computers, so I was actually getting more frustrated at Dan: 'listen, he's new to this, yelling at him won't help! stop it! just slow down and let him explore!'
posted by codacorolla at 7:28 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dan: "I actually have this [Katamari Forever] soundtrack on my computer"

Dan's Dad: "Of course you do. You probably have this on during intimate moments back at the apartment"

Dan: "Of course"

Dan's Dad: "If only there was someone else there to hear it"

zing


I wish my Dad was cool as that. Can we trade?
posted by littlesq at 7:38 PM on February 19, 2013 [23 favorites]


I used to teach older adults how to use computers, so I was actually getting more frustrated at Dan: 'listen, he's new to this, yelling at him won't help! stop it! just slow down and let him explore!'
I have a feeling his dad knows the limitations of Dan's teaching skills and is having fun poking that particular bear. I am thinking specifically of the Minecraft video when Dan was utterly failing to explain how to jump and at the peak of his frustration dad slooooowly turned a full 720 degrees with a smirk on his face.

Passive aggressive is the best aggressive.
posted by fullerine at 7:48 PM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


1) Dan's dad is Mike Nelson.
2) Holy crap the Minecraft one.

(It also took me a while to figure out you had to hold the button down, not tap it)
posted by dirigibleman at 7:53 PM on February 19, 2013


Are they all as excruciating as the Minecraft one?
posted by unmake at 7:57 PM on February 19, 2013


unmake: No, he does pretty well in Dead Space 2 as I recall, and loves Tokyo Jungle.
posted by Canageek at 8:00 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Compare to: 6 year old kid teaches mom how to play minecraft..
posted by unmake at 8:02 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't know they had brought back Dan Ryckert's dad. Arguably, the funniest thing Game Informer has done (most of their Replays are pretty skippable).
posted by Redfield at 8:03 PM on February 19, 2013


"And then something Japanese will happen."
posted by dirigibleman at 8:03 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The worst part is that I know perfectly well this is an unreasonable reaction and I can't stop getting frustrated anyway.

Controlling that urge to just start yelling, flipping out, and seriously considering the risk/reward of resorting to physical violence and hiding the body as an easier solution to a computer support problem is one of the major determining factors in becoming an IT guy people actually want to call (if they wait, the problem is just going to get worse). It was in no way easy at first, but in no way did I want to be 'that guy,' whose patience lasts only about 15 seconds into explaining where the power button is for the third time.

Oh, sure, there is part of me that still flips out when encountering a user that makes teaching a goldfish how to do the YMCA dance seem easy, but at least it's not outwardly visible.

I instantly went to the Muscle March video first. That game is a good judge of what I am to expect with the other videos, since there is so much going on on the screen, plus goofy Japanese fun, and to what degree he'll accept being a nearly nude guy in a Speedo.
posted by chambers at 8:05 PM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


How many of these can they do before he generally gets it and can navigate through games OK?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:28 PM on February 19, 2013


Oh my god watching him play Portal was the most frustrating thing ever.
posted by painquale at 8:33 PM on February 19, 2013


Oh god, I've played most of those. Beat GOW 1,2 And Arkham Asylym as well. Got to the minecraft vid and realized I am closer in age to the dad than Dan. I gotta get a respectable job and some kids ASAP.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:36 PM on February 19, 2013


This sort of reminds me of that Christmas when we got a Nintendo, and my mom tried playing Super Mario Brothers. She just mashed random buttons without any clue how it worked, but made it farther in the game than anyone else had...

Mind you, she‘s not cool enough to make an Arrested Development joke like Dan‘s dad...
posted by Jughead at 8:58 PM on February 19, 2013


The most wonderful moment of the Portal one came near the end. Dan has been trying so hard to explain both the portal concept and the fact that the hero is a woman, and when he finally thinks he's demonstrated how portals work, his dad says, "There's some girl over there."
posted by roll truck roll at 9:05 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've tried to get my dad to try to play computer games - any computer games, but he doesn't have the patience or inclination for them. Not Tetris or World of Goo or driving/flying games or shooters or strategy or adventure. Nothing. Not interested.

Was able to convince my mom to play on strength of "bonding time" but I'm worried that I'd stab myself in the temple to stop myself from stabbing her's to keep working at it for 45 minutes. She really isn't inclined to play computer games; started playing Grim Fandango letting her explore the environment by giving her instructions on how to go-where/do-what she wanted to but she just didn't get the idea/appeal of plot-driven adventure gaming, much less the limitations. 3PS/FPS/anything-twitch didn't appeal to her at all. World of Goo was horribly cruel for her for entirely inexplicable reasons.

I think it might be that they think that they have better things to do than play computer games.
posted by porpoise at 9:33 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've tried to get my dad to try to play computer games - any computer games, but he doesn't have the patience or inclination for them. Not Tetris or World of Goo or driving/flying games or shooters or strategy or adventure. Nothing. Not interested.

My dad introduced me to computer games, and subsequently got himself hooked on FPS games with Wolfenstein 3D. I remember him giving up gaming after playing through Quake II, reasoning at it was just too much of a time sink. I don't think he's played since. I haven't played since the original Portal came out. There are too many other things to do.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:39 PM on February 19, 2013


The Dead Space 2 video has a huge payoff at the end.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 9:42 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it might be that they think that they have better things to do than play computer games.

It sounds like they you know, don't enjoy them at all.
posted by thelonius at 9:56 PM on February 19, 2013


The Dead Space 2 video has a huge payoff at the end.

Oh YES it does. Totally worth it.
posted by achompas at 10:24 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it might be that they think that they have better things to do than play computer games.

My mother used to be like this, but is slowly coming around*. Part of it is realizing video games aren't just the province of children.

This point was somewhat driven home one day when she was in line with me at some store, and I remarked that the average age of gamers is mid-30s. Right after I said that, I shit you not, *every* adult in the line with us turned to us with some sort of anecdote about the games they play.

*I also bought her Popcap's Bookworm a few Christmases ago. A few days later she calls me with a, "I can't believed I stayed up til 2am playing a game" story. Another little aha! moment there.
posted by Wossname at 10:25 PM on February 19, 2013


This point was somewhat driven home one day when she was in line with me at some store, and I remarked that the average age of gamers is mid-30s.

This statistic is mentioned often but it is also often misstated. The average age of game purchasers is mid-30s. This includes parents who buy games for their kids.
posted by painquale at 10:59 PM on February 19, 2013


Heavy Rain. Start with Heavy Rain.
posted by linux at 11:14 PM on February 19, 2013


Controlling that urge to just start yelling, flipping out, and seriously considering the risk/reward of resorting to physical violence and hiding the body as an easier solution to a computer support problem is one of the major determining factors in becoming an IT guy people actually want to call.

Silently working out how you're going to dispose of the body is what allows you to be calm and helpful while dealing with that particular kind of tech support call. Or maybe that's just me.

I've found you can divide people into three camps when it comes to IT Support.

The first group are those that are able to apply logic and abstract reasoning to IT problems. This is a surprisingly small group, I'd estimate less than half of all users (and a much smaller percentage of people that call IT in the first place). They're capable of poking around in the menu until they find the option they're expecting to be there, and sometimes even googling the problem or error message. Generally, they only end up coming to IT when they hit something systemic, or a particularly weird one. They can often even read out the error message they're getting, which is a frustratingly rare trait. IT people like this type of user. Sometimes it goes too far, and they think they know more than they do - and thus unauthorised wifi access points and odd little desktop servers that conflict with other systems pop up, but this can generally be managed with co-operation. (There is the odd one that actually knows what they're doing, and they are like gold dust).

The second type of IT Support user learns by rote. These are the people that ring up to tell you that they need to print off a form 10, but it's not working again and can you please fix it - and the problem is nothing to do with printing, but the form 10 document isn't where it used to be on the network because her boss reorganised the network drive in a fit of cleanup.
Explaining the problem to this kind of user, or even how to to solve it themselves next time is probably a waste of everybodies' time. Their thought process goes
'I need to print a form 10, so first I go to this shortcut in this place that looks like a duck, then I click in this section, then that sub-folder where we keep forms 6-20, then click on this a few times until it works, then I go here, and here, and pick the 3rd printer down which is that one over there.'

If anything goes wrong in this process, they find it very hard to substitute an alternative step in the middle on the fly, and unless a colleague can show them an alternative method they usually end up calling IT somewhat frustrated that the damn thing has broken again just like last month, and when is someone coming to fix it? (last month was an entirely different problem with a different system, but gets lumped together). You can generally spot these procedural users when they tell you what they were trying to achieve as an end goal when they report the problem - they're not so good at telling you where in the process it fails, or what error they got, as they assume that you will follow the same steps as them, and encounter the same problem. Test printing a form 10 to their printer remotely from their computer will not solve the problem or help diagnose it - they most likely need a personal visit to go through their particular workflow, with the golden question 'can you please show me how you print a form 10?'. In the event it all does work as planned when you turn up without doing anything, just claim magic hands. Or that you're a computer whisperer.

The third type of user doesn't know what they were doing, what they were trying to accomplish, or about the problem. All they know is they tried to do something, it didn't work, and they are either very important or work for someone very important so expect an IT person in the flesh on the spot right now, regardless of distance, job queue, or anybody else, and no, they can't waste time with basic tests so the technician has some idea of what kit to bring.

These are the calls where we're sketching out elaborate plots involving hacksaws and exposing the large drain pipe to the sewer. Just for reference.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:50 PM on February 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


How many of these can they do before he generally gets it and can navigate through games OK?

In most of them he's just hilariously deadpan-messing with his son and deliberately not learning.
posted by forgetful snow at 12:11 AM on February 20, 2013



1) Dan's dad is Mike Nelson.

Uh-oh; sounds like video games might be the Mads's real plan for world domination!

And according to the definitive source, it's portabello.
posted by TedW at 12:18 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dad looks about my age, so I have a hard time imagining that he's never done anything with computers: he's not Grandpa Simpson, although he's having a good time playing up to his son.

He's also cute as hell. :)
posted by jrochest at 12:24 AM on February 20, 2013


Yup, I'm totally a better teacher than Dan Ryckert - though of course not as funny as either him or his dad. Also Journey is more fun once you've unlocked the guy who can fly from the start, but Minecraft really is hard to finagle.
posted by subdee at 2:37 AM on February 20, 2013


These we're great; the handful I watched had me I need tears. I now also need to go apologize to my husband for being that person to him. (Look, I just get overwhelmed and start stabbing buttons. It's not really my fault that they armed me with grenades from the beginning. I mean, the game developers did not think this one through. Of course I repeatedly blew myself up, I had grenades and get stabby at the buttons. I thought we covered that already. )
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:28 AM on February 20, 2013


I think it might be that they think that they have better things to do than play computer games.

I think that's part of the traditional definition of an adult.
posted by Stagger Lee at 5:42 AM on February 20, 2013


I had been harbouring the belief that I could play games twice a year and remain competent and able. Whenever I see kids playing games I realize that no, I'm effectively just pawing frantically at the buttons. It's a slippery slope from there to asking kids to program your VCR for you.
posted by Stagger Lee at 5:46 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


"No, don't go to Bonertown!"

I am seriously impressed that this guy even says boner to his dad.
posted by Leezie at 7:13 AM on February 20, 2013


Part of it is realizing video games aren't just the province of children.

My aunt plays FPS with her children. The youngest ones just gradated from college and got married.

It might help if the attempt to "teach games" wasn't heavily biased toward twitch shooters and platformers. But father and sun spending two hours staring at a virtual chessboard probably doesn't make for cute youtube videos.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:29 AM on February 20, 2013


Oh god, it's just like watching a movie with my mother-in-law. "I'm not going to pay attention to anything, and then I'm going to bitch about how I don't understand what's happening."
posted by arcticwoman at 7:49 AM on February 20, 2013


The title of the FPP reflects the true nature of the videos: they're not so much "Guy's dad doesn't get video games, but gamely (cough) goes along with them" as "Guy's dad thinks that he's a comedian, isn't really paying attention to instructions."
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:10 AM on February 20, 2013


I always think it's funny when the dad throws the guy a bone and actually does what he's been told to which then leads to a moment of elation, followed by another 10 minutes of blind fumbling and casual insults.
posted by codacorolla at 11:12 AM on February 20, 2013


I think that's part of the traditional definition of an adult.
I remember my mother frustrated at the hours I had been playing Paradroid asking me "Do you want to play these silly games all your life?", "Yes" I replied.

So I did.
posted by fullerine at 12:24 PM on February 20, 2013


I think that's part of the traditional definition of an adult.

It's strange to me that a lot of adults who spend their free time passively consuming television shows like, "American Idol" and "Shark Tank" also share this view. What am I supposed to be doing with my free time as an adult? What makes one form of entertainment more adult than another?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 2:58 PM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think that's part of the traditional definition of an adult.

Is being snide and and joyless the other part?
posted by regicide is good for you at 9:01 PM on February 20, 2013


My husband and I have now watched all of them. I think what we found most enjoyable was that the two seem to have a genuine bond. It's fun to watch a father and son enjoy each other's company.
posted by MaritaCov at 6:32 PM on February 21, 2013


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