Monthly Archives: May 2013

“Oh No, The Internet Took Away My Money”

MOM, I HAVE A JOB! ITS MAKING VIDEOS ON THE INTERNET!

I was thinking of breaking this article into two parts, but the more I think about it. The more they can relate to each other.

Now, I should preface this by saying – I’m already bias against let’s players and internet reviewers. I just don’t get the appeal of watching others play video games. Additionally, I don’t see the appeal of people bitching and whining in character in the attempts of “entertainment”.

I think it’s more “entertaining” to be yourself, and let your review speak for yourself. That’s why I keep doing this stuff. I am not really “popular” of a reviewer, but it is something people think I should pursue, so i’ll try.

I’ll also preface this by saying that I’m also unemployed. I don’t have any jobs in television, nor am I making money off this blog or any video content. I’m helping out my mom and that’s about it. Is it embarassing? Not really. She does let me use a laptop computer to send emails, tweet, and write articles like this when nothing happens.

I’m just like every college graduate – I am done with classes, and the next step is finding that career and job. And I feel that I can keep fighting and fighting, but while that’s going on, continue being the writer only a select people know and love.

Let me know if you have any business inquiries.

Late last week, it was announced that Nintendo has decided to capitalize on the “Let’s Play” thing. What they decided to do was for every “let’s play” on youtube, they would take 100% of the ad revenue and put ads on those that don’t.

People were whining.

Waaahhh, that’s my money Nintendo

You took away my $12.32 this month of “Let’s Play Super Mario World Part 22”

And I think it’s good, because Nintendo has such a “brand” that they can survive off Pokemon Videos for the next three years, because of how loyal their fanbase is. Wii-U could be a massive failure, and they might be able to survive to make a new console to compete against Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Then Lewis “Linkara” Loveshogs made a video encouraging people to turn off ad-blocker and suffer through 30 second advertising because that’s the only way they get paid. His words are that “this is a full time job, not a hobby”.

People are whining…

Waaahhh, that’s my money people who use Ad Blockers

You took away my $12.32 this month of “Angry Comic Book Nerd – Deadpool Killustrated”

And sure the reviewer is to blame for some of this, but ultimately – if Blip and YouTube didn’t have such annoying advertising, people wouldn’t use it.

You have

Pre-Roll (which appears BEFORE THE VIDEO)
Banner (which appears AS THE VIDEO GOES ON)
Mid-Roll (which appears IN BETWEEN THE VIDEO)
Post-Roll (which appears AFTER THE VIDEO)
and sometimes, there isn’t even stopping or pausing or anything to get rid of these damn things.

It’s fucking annoying, really really really annoying. In Movies, The Advertising comes before the movie, in the form of either Trailers or those “get your ass to the concession stand and buy some Buncha Crunch” commercials… and that’s it.

You don’t watch “Star Trek” and midway though, see a trailer for “Man of Steel”.
You don’t watch “Iron Man 3” while there is a banner ad to watch “The Gauntlet on Blip”
In television, advertising is a bit more annoying. You have commercials before the show, in between acts of the show, after the show and even sometimes the network has banner ads to “STAY TUNED FOR CELEBRITY NURSING SCHOOL”

Thankfully, you can sometimes buy these shows on DVD/Blu-Ray or stream them on Netflix and avoid that altogether.

Advertising is annoying, and on the internet where it’s such a new medium – we still don’t know how to monetize the damn thing. There’s going to be problems like this.

WILL SCARECAM FOR FOOD

What do these people have in common?

More than likely, they saw someone else do it on the internet, and want to do it themselves.

They saw someone bitch about video games – they’ll do it too.
They saw someone else play video games – they’ll do it too.

They decided to emulate those that came before, not as a career, but as a hobby.

That hobby garnered fans, which in turn built an audience.

Because of that “audience”, they now have to do something to “please them”. And for most people, that means doing those videos as frequently as possible in the hopes of making it a full time thing, and then get paid.

They’ll get paid by either – Advertising Revenue, Merchandising (Quote Tees) and sometimes just Paypal Donations or Kickstarter.

This “hobby” of becoming like somebody else, is now where they spend their time, instead of at a job. You get a check in the mail (or paypal) for $1,200 and suddenly you stop doing something more stable, in favor of continuing this as long as possible.

The problem is – all things must come to an end. Advertising sinks, and more people who do what you do means that less viewers will show up as well. Your $1,200 becomes $800 becomes $200 becomes $20.

It’s not your fault, everybody is doing it. You just helped make these bullshit fads, a reality.

When it comes to anything internet, whatever you do, please don’t quit your day job.

Because at anytime, Nintendo could come along and legally do that. And at anytime, people will grow to not stand you anymore. All that will be left standing from your once found fame is your unsold quote tees, and a check for $1.29 that will only be enough to cover the price of a Beefy Crunch Burrito at the Taco Bell and nothing else.

If you continued your career Monday through Friday, and then spent weekends working on your “pet projects”, you wouldn’t be in that much financial pain. Something is better than nothing, and getting a job at GameStop is at least more stable than being the guy trying to live off Metroid Prime LPs for the rest of your life.

You’re better than that. You’re all better than that.

5 Minutes to a Fortune.

Davina McCall's Hourglass of Horror!

As you may or may not know – I watch a ton of television. Shocking, I know. However, when American television doesn’t try out new formats of games. I do my best to watch shows from other countries… okay mostly Britain. Either way, it’s another game show talky thing.

The game is called “Five Minutes to a Fortune” and it airs on Channel 4. It’s hosted by the always cheerful, always chummy Davina McCall. She’s a game show host you just want to give a big ol’ hug to… even if you’re losing money in the process.

This isn’t Davina’s first time hosting a game show in which money is lost as the game progresses – she’s also the “master presenter” of Million Pound Drop Live (which we in the US royally fucked up, and we’re sorry for that.)

The show works like this – there are a team of two people. One person is the “Time Keeper” and the other is “Pretty Much Screwed Over”. On the game board is seven categories of various skills like English, Sports, Movies, Television, Numbers.

And they have to play five categories in the main game…. once the game has been announced – the “time keeper” uses their Five Minutes by spending it on different games. If they are confident in their partner, they might pick a small amount of time – 30,45,50 seconds. If they aren’t confident, they might put in a minute plus some time.

Then the game is played… Similar to a Sporcle Quiz, players have to detect photos, decipher photos, spell backwards or anything else that might be a time killer. But once the timer ticks away the time.. as soon as it reaches zero, the hourglass will be rotated and the jackpot of £50,000 begins ticking away.

The sound of coins filling up the bottom jar of the glass distracts the contestant as they try and continue the game. They only need to get five answers correctly – how hard could that be?

Well in the event that they completely screwed up, their “Time Keeper” friend can make a “Emergency Stop” and end that round. Unfortunately, they will lose any coins in play that round. And the computer will randomly select the next game – with the same time as before.

After the five games are completed – it will be up to “The Time Keeper” to actually do something.

They have to answer five more correct answers – but this time with a limit of only 10 seconds to name five items that correspond to a top ten list.

And, you guessed it, after the ten seconds – the money is ticking away! And if they run out of money – they are out of the game.

It’s actually a very fun show to watch. Possibly one of my favorite game shows presently on the air, in the world.

Give it a go, and scream out the answers if you want to.

And Davina – #Smooch

+5

Let’s Bitch About Podcasts!

So earlier today, Penny Arcade made a Kickstarter for a Podcast –

And let’s just say, people are a bit upset about what’s going on. They “need” $10, but in reality, that’s to guarantee the money, so they can get to their stretch goals.

A few weeks ago, Scrubs Star Zach Braff also did a kickstarter with the same disapproval.

The reasons are almost equally the same –

“If you are millionaires, why do you need our money?”

And that’s something I actually can’t defend. Why does the Main for “Scrubs” need money to fund a movie – can’t he get some from a production company or distributor? Why does a webcomic, that already got millions for “Ad-Free”, suddenly need money – even though they have made two conventions?

I have no clue, but Kickstarter has become a tool for evil, rather than good. When I praised Kickstarter, I was praising the idea that small businesses (and indie companies) can actually get their ideas off the ground, with the help of donations.

Sure, Internet Reviewers got funding for “MOVIES” about them, and Indie Games about Zombies with 8-bit Graphics have been funded. And let’s not forget table top D&D games about zombies, with Internet Reviewers as Pawns… so immediately afterwards – my idea of “crowdfunding brilliant ideas” was dismissed.

Among every one good idea on Kickstarter, are hundreds of ideas that I have seen, or could easily be funded by what they are already making…  I like to treat Kickstarter like “Shark Tank” for Amateurs.

Can you REALLY trust these people with your money?

And for Penny Arcade – I could. They’ve made a name for themselves in this…

Just ask yourselves three questions when about to fund.

  1. What is this money going towards? (Equipment? Rentals? People? Material?)
  2. Will this product be something I would use? (Do I really want to play this game?)
  3. Can I trust this person with the money, and NOT spend it on hookers and blow and ask for more in a few months?

That’s about it.

It seems like the “$10” isn’t something they really want – they just want more money…

AND SUDDENLY THIS IS MEANINGLESS

It’s a cop-out to real companies who have real ideas, and that’s a bit of a slap in the face…

But you’ll fund them – Because they are Penny Arcade… THEY MADE PAX AND PAX EAST!

At first, I thought they needed equipment, but apparently not.
I also thought they’ll need webhosting and storage (bandwidth is a killer in podcasts), but they have a good enough site to not need that.

There is really nothing necessary about the Kickstarter – except for maybe to get “some funding” for backup microphones and laptops.

But wait – there’s more…

You’re thinking “oh this podcast will be free”, it’s just a “giveaway to their fans” – you would be wrong.

You see, this is a podcast that will be “PAY-PER-EPISODE”, just like what Ricky Gervais did back in the late 2000s. What I found out about that model, is that you won’t get a huge audience of people listening to you, and instead pirate the shit of it and put it on YouTube.

It’s not a dumb idea, it guarantees the necessary money for keeping up the servers and bandwidth – places like ASiteCalledFred is having problems with right now. (FUND THE SNYDECAST, PLEASE)

But to me, I feel like it’s ridiculous to pay money per episode just to have people talk about stuff you usually already know about. It’s something YouTube is going to experiment with eventually, and it’s really really really really stupid.

Here’s how I feel about it –

The Internet is mostly filled with teenagers who love internet memes being “lolrandom” and other stupid shit. Some of them might have Debit Cards to fund their Netflix Addiction and Anime Commissions, but that’s about it. They’ll need parental approval to get a card and use it for things…

Just imagine trying to convince your parents to lend you their card so you can buy a “Penny Arcade Podcast”? Even tech-savvy parents will be going “But aren’t podcasts generally free?”

So Bless Penny Arcade for using a somewhat flawed payment opportunity for their podcast, and giving it a second chance. Maybe because they are Penny Arcade, they can actually get away with it – which is why they need the funding.

Does it piss me off? Not at the least.

Because I am NOT the audience for Penny Arcade, I am to Video Games what A1 Steak Sauce is to Chicken Nuggets. Barely related.

I don’t think you can really bitch about Penny Arcade, because they are trying to use Kickstarter to fund their dumb ideas, despite probably making a killing off quote tees, video games and art books.

They are trying to create something that many podcast creators have a problem with – getting money off their idea.

You see, with YouTube you’re okay – they have adsense, and you can put ads over playing games for the internet, and intentionally play horribly so you can get more parts up, and thus more money.

You’re also okay with Banner ads, however with AdBlocker being very popular, it’s impossible to judge how many people view your ads. Even if you break your “review” up into four parts to get four times as many “views”.

And with “Commericals” (think Revision3 or Nerdist) – you can easily skip over them with your player to get back to the talky talk. Advertisers can’t gauge why you’re worth so much. You might have ___ Subscribers, and __ Listeners, but how many of those Subscribers and Listeners actually sit and tolerate the ads?

So while I hate the idea of “pay per episode” podcasts – you’re going eventually see them more often, and “Free Podcasts” will go back to trying to get ads, and promoting “Audio Books” (that nobody uses) and “Web Hosting” (that they don’t even use).

That’s the problem with Podcasts – you have to spend money to make money, some people will take the loss, other people will hope to break even, and others want to be “a full time job” and make bank.

I, on the other hand, believe in a “pay per audience” format – where people can pay money to sit in the audience and attend the recording of your podcast. Think about “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me” and “SModcast” and how it works for their shows.

That audience is almost necessary and gives it a bit of a “Crowd Support” instead of a “Awkward Skype Recording”.

So in conclusion…

Commericals – Okay, but usually skipped
Pay Per Episode – Bad Idea, Promotes Piracy
Pay Via Audience – Great Idea, Especially if you’re a comedian.

(But i’m not a podcast host, I am a livestream host where I talk over bad ideas.)

Gambling on Your Kids has never been so fun!

"TEST YOUR TODDLERS" was probably taken.

“Bet on Your Baby” is a game show in which parents can earn college tuition for their 2-3 year old, if they can correctly predict how their kids will result in a particular challenge. Melissa Peterman

The show is broken up into three different segments, which for reasons of “not really caring to check” – i’m calling them “The Bet”, “The Puzzle” and “The Baby Bonus Round”

The Studio.

In “The Bet” – a couple shows up talking about “their baby”. They then split up the couple – one stays in the studio for “The Bet” and the other enters “The Babydome” to help with the challenge.

The challenges are various things that range from “things they do at a nursery” to “things they do at snack time” to “let’s do things we probably were told not to do”

A few of my favorites are…

How many “cookies” can your toddler stack? (1-6) or (7 or More)
Because, like most people, they will be staring at the cookies and be distracted enough to want to eat them. Let alone, test out their motoring skills, which is still in development for kids that age.

Another challenge was a tower of Red Blocks, Blue Blocks and Yellow Blocks… and they were told the child should smash everything BUT the yellow towers.

How many yellow towers will your child knock down? (0-2) (3 or More)Parents would love to believe their kids won’t “break the rules” and might win the challenge, but what makes this show so great is the fact that parents could also hope for failure on the kid – and they still win!

If they win a bet, they get $5,000.
If they lose the bet, they lose their child. they get applause and we move on.

Did you see the set? LOOK AT IT!

In “The Puzzle” – all couples, regardless of winning or losing their “bets” will play for the chance to play the bonus round. All the toddlers enter the baby-dome in a fight to the death one final challenge.

The kids are all situated inside a circle, with various toys and stuffed animals hiding a puzzle. The puzzle is that of the Rebus Variety (Fans of Classic Concentration would love it). And the goal is for them to throw the toys out of the circle to make the puzzle easier for the contestants in the studio.

Whoever is the first person to buzz in and give the correct phrase – moves onto the bonus round.

The runners up get some prize package from Pampers and Wal*Mart – the proud sponsors of this show. (Did I mention Proctor and Gamble are part of the production team? I really should.)

The return of the "Random Luck Based Game Show"

In “The Baby Bonus Round” – there are ten piggy banks around the studio. Each pig contains a different amount ranging from $500 all the way up to “college” which is $50,000.

The couple goes back and forth smashing a big, revealing the amount inside.

They then decide – to stop and take the money, or keep smashing and hope for more money, especially college.

The couple gets only five smashes, and just like “Punch-a-Bunch” on The Price is Right – if you go all the way, you’re sticking to your last amount. So if you have $15,000 guaranteed for the toddler. Would you risk?

It’s a great mix of intuition, puzzle solving and luck. Which actually makes for a good show.
I know, a show about babies actually is a good show.

Melissa Peterman actually is the size of a small crayon, fun fact.

Melissa Peterman actually is an amazing host for the show, she blends comedy and intensity well for the show. Before the breaks to commercial, they actually have these segments where Melissa interacts with toddlers in a “Kids Say The Darnest Things” moment of comedy skit meets practical joke.

It really is a show that doesn’t take itself seriously, until the very end of the show. The only thing I don’t really care for is the set for the studio. It’s a dark, intense studio, when the “baby dome” is bright and colorful… at least make the studio brighter.

It’s also a show that’s hard to really find on ABC, I would expect it to be paired with America’s Funniest Home Videos (because they love the cute factor on that show), but it’s stuck on Saturdays without much publicity.

I thought we would have babies wearing colander hats beating each other up with wooden spoons like some sort of human cockfighting tournament. Instead, we got an hour of fluffy cute adorable kids and parents who may or may not have exploited them for future college payments to be cleared.

At least when they are 18 they’ll be able to laugh… all the way to the bank… some of them anyway.

So is this the show for me? Absolutely not! I am not at all the target audience for this.

But was it a pleasant hour spent betting on children? Sometimes.

I’d love to see actual bars across America watch this show and bet rounds of drinks on the predictions of these kids… but that’s for another day.

+3

Let’s take a splash…

You could get the same effect putting a bean bag chair into your bathtub!

I’ve been away from the “Garbage Emporium” for a while now. As a person who recently got a degree in this thing called “television”, I should be in that phase where I’m very pretentious in the shows I watch.

I should be going to tumblr and posting gif images of supernatural. I should whine about the ending of last week’s Walking Dead and what being a walker means to mankind….

But instead, instead I decide to watch shows like “Splash”, from the network that brings us “Wipeout”…

Just like Wipeout, you get a fat man falling into a pool of water!

But unlike Wipeout, he isn’t falling in the water repeatedly. He isn’t getting whacked in the nutsack and then pushed in by a remote controlled sponge bar.

Instead, this is a “diving competition” and it’s serious. Because they have Greg Louganis there to be the “coach”. Which somehow just amounts to him sitting on the sidelines and yelling “JUMP!”.

Hey look, it's..um... well at least they have Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Among these contestants, who somehow decided to turn down “Dancing With The Stars” include…

  • The little person from Chelsea Lately
  • The big person who dunked those basket balls.
  • The guy who played “Louie” in “Life with Louie”.
  • That one person from baywatch
  • That one person who isn’t Josh Peck.
  • and a bunch of others who I’m sure did something.

Each week, only half the people dive and the other half watch. They are greeted by a water wall that displays their name, similar to something you might’ve seen in a Japanese Nightclub (or at the very least, ones in video games) and that’s pretty much the only exciting thing about the show.

Where did that wall come from?
How did they get the names on there?
Does someone program it?
Can I put it in my front yard?
Will my neighbors be upset if that’s there?

Let's go to the judges...

All these questions flowing through my mind, as I wait for someone from “The Cosby Show” to plummet into a olympic size swimming pool.

I’m almost confident they built the set of the show around an already active olympic swimming pool, because they aren’t using the pool to it’s maximum potential, they seem to use only a quarter of the pool, while the remaining 3/4ths are spent showing dramatic lights, and a bit of an audience somewhere.

The shows hosts are Joey from “Melissa and Joey” and Charissa Thompson who is actually a sportscaster, it seems. The problem here is the chemistry between the two. It seems Joey wants to “play seacrest”, but when Charissa interviews the players – she treats it like a sportscast. It comes as a bit awkward. If they become more self-aware they are on a celebrity diving show, maybe it’ll get a bit looser and more comedy would show.

I think the saving grace of this show was Louie Anderson, and now that he’s eliminated (as well as tons of celebrities due to injuries) There isn’t any real use to watch the end of the season.

Is it a bad show? Not entirely. But it would’ve worked better as a one-off special instead of a weekly competition…. similar to FOX’s “we totally didn’t rip you guys off” show “STARS IN DANGER : THE HIGH DIVE”

I haven’t seen that show, so I can’t even begin comparing. But one episode is enough for me on both accounts. And this show seems like something that would end up on ESPN 2 back in the 90s… along with World’s Strongest Man and World Series of Poker.

It’s not the show for me, but damn does that water wall look pretty.

-3

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