Contains Moderate Peril Episode 88: Toxic Online Communities

Welcome to this weeks Contains Moderate Peril Podcast. Being old and cynical, both Brian and I are a little sceptical regarding trade shows and the continuous stream of press releases they generate. However, the appearenace at CES of a potential Steam box, codenamed “Piston”, did get our attention. Any endeavour that could re-invigorate PC gaming is fine by us but will this small form factor PC be able to take on the console market? We discuss what may or may not happen next. We also look at that perennial side show, the Oscars and consider their importance in 2013. Although a big deal to the US movie industry, do the public care as much as they use to? Finally, a high profile industry insider speaks out about the “toxic” state of many online gaming communities. Is this a matter that can ever be resolved or are forums always destined to descend in to anarchy and discontent? We consider MMO’s such as LOTRO, STO and SWTOR to see if they validate or refute this claim.

Show notes for this weeks podcast.

  • Steam & Xi3 reveal “Piston”: [Starts 01:40]
  • Piston is one of a range of products. Specifications here.
  • How popular do you think such a PC product will be?
  • Is it a credible threat to the console market?
  • Will it be a closed system or an open PC?
  • How relevant are The Oscars? [Starts 21:26]
  • Now that the Oscar nominations have been announced, do these awards have any real credibility or are they just a promotional exercise?
  • Do the public defer to the Academies opinion or look for recommendations elsewhere?
  • Are awards that involve the public’s opinions of more importance?
  • Is player feedback becoming increasingly “toxic”? [Starts 34:46]
  • David Gaider, the lead writer for Bioware’s Dragon Age IP has published a blog post lamenting the “increasingly toxic” atmosphere on the studio’s online forums.
  • This is a common phenomena among gaming communities.
  • Is the problem getting worse?
  • What causes this to happen and what can be done to address it?


The podcasts are intended to be broad in content and casual in their nature. They are fun to record and are intended to inform and amuse. All opinions offered are our own and do not reflect any official view held by the game developers or film studios whose products we discuss. There is some strong language used occasionally. To listen to the show you can use the embedded media player below, directly download the MP3 file or alternatively use the iTunes store.

Music Credits:

Operation Smash by Morton Stevens

OP40 by Sean Murray

Intermezzino Pop by Ennio Morricone

Hummel gets the rockets by Harry Gregson-Williams

Shaemoor by Jeremy Soule

Operation Smash (Reprise) by Morton Stevens

Voiceover by DJ Ric Santos

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