We're joined by Wowhead.com Community Manager Rhea Monique for another round of our Gaming Exchange Program. This time, Tim endured Team Fortress 2 while Richard suffered through World of Warcraft. You'll never guess the results! Plus, our take on The Death of Middle Class Gaming, and the coach from the Major League movies takes over Tim's hosting duties. Featuring Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and (sort of) Tim Spaeth.

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Tim Spaeth

Tim Spaeth

Cleveland native Tim Spaeth grew up in a happy household – a household with a father whose major client happened to be an Atari games distributor. This led directly to Tim's first nickname: "The kid who got Atari games before anyone else." Indeed, he knew Pac-Man and E.T. were colossal bombs weeks before the rest of the world, and the resulting celebrity brought him great pleasure.

Through the years every aspect of Tim's life has been touched by gaming. He mastered typing thanks to Space Quest, honed his poker skills on The Sierra Network, and learned to hate after a particularly traumatic game of Tecmo Super Bowl.

Today, Tim lives in Chicago with his three kids and strives to find that perfect balance between family, career, and Warcraft. He enjoys broadcasting, martial arts, rock and roll, growing and shaving his beard, singing show tunes to the homeless, and losing at Mario Kart to his lovely, talented, and amazing girlfriend.

In late 2008, Tim became the producer and host of the GameCritics.com Podcast, and he's thrilled to be bringing GameCritics' unique editorial voice to a brand new medium.
Tim Spaeth

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12 Comments on "GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 51: Gaming Exchange Program II, “Middle-Class” Games"

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Just an FYI to anyone who sees this, the following deal is currently on Amazon:

Enslaved for $14.99 on PS3, and $18.75 on Xbox 360 – brand new – and the game only came out six months ago!

And this is why I cannot bring myself to pay $60.00+ for a new game these days, except for that rare occasion.


thumbs up for inviting females.
nice to hear some other voices.

getting colds occasionally is also a refreshing idea.^^

just recently had that conversation:
“I can hardly understand you, the connection is terrible.”
“eh, that’s me, i’m having a cold.”

It has been funny listening about what you explained about games prices in the “quote of the week” section of the podcast. If had already realized that on Amazon(UK) the price of games drops after a month or so. In the other hand, we have my country: Spain. Although videogaming is nothing new over here (I started playing Pong almost 30 years ago, as many of you), there is still a huge gap between you and us, relating to how games are considered when it comes to apply reasonable prices to them. Just to let you know what is the… Read more »
I remember Carpenter’s comment of something to the effect of B-movies being the home of daring ideas because most often, big studios won’t risk challenging their audience too much… ‘Dark City’ is much bolder science fiction than ‘Avatar’, yes? It seems the same with games.. bigger studio, bigger budget = prettier visuals and more generic, standardized gameplay; FF XII, which was awarded mostly 8s and 9s by the corporate game world and called a ‘great’ game. But to me, FF XIII IS Avatar. Both are beautiful and flat as pancakes for deeper themes and subtexts, and therefore crap BECAUSE of… Read more »
Just finishing up listening to the podcast and I find myself very much in Tim’s arena in where I see no distinct value in killing strangers – jerks or otherwise. But that’s also my attitude in competitive sports (I play tennis mainly), in where I go out for the fun, but my mind shuts off the moment my opposition gets too competitive, and the game ceases to be fun. I don’t identify winning and a great kill score as something I should point to and say “look how great I am”. I play all games for the fun of it,… Read more »
Mike Bracken
I have to disagree on the idea of the distinction between A and B games existing in our heads. If we take the film comparison as an example, A movies are big budget studio films that spend 20 million bucks on a leading actor and have a higher catering budget than the entire cost of making the average B film. A films get huge numbers of the best technical people doing very specified things. B movies often get one guy trying to do three jobs to keep the project going. I don’t doubt for a second that guys working on… Read more »
Trent Fingland
I think there’s more to the the difference between Tim and Rick’s attitude about online gaming than just something generational. Like Tim, I consider myself steadfastly relegated to the single-player sphere, and if any multiplayer happens its going to be strictly co-op. The lone exception was Metal Gear Online, which was a competitive shooter, but I found myself devoting hundreds of hours to it. There hasn’t been another competitive multiplayer game to captivate me in the same way since. I’m not sure if I can account for _why_ MGO had such a strong draw for me, but to me it… Read more »

no man, it was hilarious. You know you’re loved!

Richard Naik

I didn’t know what she said until I listened to the show since I was so into my grand diatribe. I will go hang my head in shame now.


To Richard and Rhea: based on everything you said about TF2. I would highly recommend trying the game Heroes of Newerth, which seems to have many of the similar qualities TF2 has.

Chris Cziborr

Agree with the comments so far about pricing. It’s not like the less-than-AAA releases can’t make some money by dropping prices. PC games for years have been $10 less than the console counterpart versions.

One of the better regarded sub-AAA games of last year, Deadly Premonition, did well in terms of sales with a $20 price tag plus that Amazon.com sale. It had a small development team so costs I assume weren’t very high. And they still managed to come up with a very inventive game.

– Chris

Rhea pwned Richard. Hotness of the week. Personal quibble: If you’re going to talk about B movies and B games and put Singularity in that category out of some ‘not good enough to be enjoyable because it wasn’t a better game’ stance- then I strongly suggest you watch TIMECOP with Jean Claude Van Damme, then make a serious attempt at pretending you ARE John Claude Van Damme, and try playing it again. You will enjoy yourself and the whole experience will make a lot more sense. Seriously, I think Rhea was right on this one. The distinction of B game… Read more »