"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1
"The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1
"I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes
As some of you may know, my place was broken into shortly after PAX East 2011. My video camera, my PS3, my Wii, my PC, and a over 50 games were stolen. I still haven't recovered all that stuff, and I probably never will, but that's really OK. The kindness that the burglary brought in people, many of which I have never met, has made the whole traumatic event worth it.
If it weren't for the donations and support that I received from the Destructoid community, I would not have been able to do any video work at E3 this year. Basically, each and every video I've done since March, and every video I plan to do throughout this year, is because of you guys. I you get of sicking my face on the front page, you only have yourselves to to blame.
Without naming names, I want to show you some of the stuff that people sent to me to show their support. I love you all equally, but I love some people more equally than others. Most of you have already received your thank you gifts, some of you still have your gifts on the way, but regardless, you know who you are, and I hope you know how much your unbridled generosity means to me.
Thanks to Dtoid TEHMORROW. He sent me a Christmas card. I still can't believe it! I was so God damned touched that he bothered to send me something.
If he had sent me his address, I would have sent him something in return. If you're reading this TEHMORROW, PM me so I can get your address and mail you some crap.
BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE DESTRUCTOID SHOW AWARDS SHOW
Did you see The Destructoid Show Awards Show 2010 part 1? If you didn't here it is. Checking out the first couple of awards will give the proper context for this next bit.
See the Kratos acceptance speech? That was me! Weird, right? I barely recognized me myself.
It was never the plan for me to be Kratos. We shot the awards show the morning of the day that I had to start my cross country drive from San Fransisco to Boston. The idea was that a Dtoid staff member (who shall remain nameless) was to do Kratos's acceptance speech, and send the video to Revision3 while I was on the road.
Well, when I got back to Massachusetts, I found out that the Dtoid staff member in question was having technical difficulties, so they couldn't get their video done in time. Revision3 needed a Kratos acceptance speech in a few hours.
I was freaking out.
With no other recourse, I decided to try to do it myself, because I couldn't expect anyone else to snap to it, not on that short of notice. To make matters worse, I had left my hair clippers in San Fransisco, so I had to shave my head with hair clippers that aren't meant for clipping hair from your... head. It took a while, and it was fairly painful.
To save time, I didn't even shave my whole head. See if you can see the hair in this picture.
Anyway, after shaving my head as much as I could, I dug up as much make-up as I could find from under the sink (where I keep my make-up),and then tried to think of something to say.In case you couldn't tell, I didn't come up with much, but hopefully it still turned out OK.
I really hope Kratos wins something again this year, and that they let me take another crack at the speech. I know I could do better next time!
Also, I had to do the old man dog shadow puppet speech at the last minute as well. Here's the unedited version.
I have no idea what I was going for on that one.
CONSTRUCTOID IS COMING
So, we've got two episodes of Contrustoid in the can. Like with Sunday's with Sagat (the weekly series I was doing for a while), time constraints were an issue in terms of production. I just didn't have the time to put as much into these as I wanted. Deadlines for reviews and previews are breathing down my neck. It would have been irresponsible for me to abandon those responsibilities for this experimental little show we've been working on. That said, I know that there are a few parts of the show that are definitely awesome (at least to me).
Also, Constructoid doesn't have the technical issues that Sunday's with Sagat suffered from, at least, not so far. No Green screen mishaps, no bad sound, etc. Just now, I found a few seconds in one episode where an animation was missing, but I'll probably be able to get that fixed before it gets posted.
Speaking of that, it's still not determined if Constructoid will be a segment on the Dtoid show, it's own thing, or both. Either way, I'd really watched it whenever it appears, and telling me what you think of it. Like everything I do, I do it solely to interact with you guys; my chosen videogame community.
And I hope you're watching the Dtoid show! It's reached new heights of late. I can't wait to visit the set in San Fransisco, if not just to watch Max and Tara do their thing. I probably wont be able to get down there until summer, but that's OK. It give me something to look forward to.
I FOUND MY BOGLIN
Also, is "cool story bro" still a thing that internet people are doing all the time? If so, I imagine a few of you will be commencing with that in the comments below.
* We're fresh out of videos for the Character Studies series, so if you were thinking about doing one, now's the time. I'm trying to stay on a weekly schedule, so it would be good to get one by Wednesday. I know Epic-Koryuken and UsedTable were working on one. Are you reading this guys? Get on that.
Worst case scenario, I may get someone here at Dtoid HQ to do something, but that probably wont be pretty.
* I keep trying to write a import preview of Pokemon White, but every time I start, Pokemon White sabotages the whole plan. I'll start writing, then boot up the game to refresh my memory on something. After that, I get inescapably sucked into the game until I'm forced to do something else (answer the phone, go to the bathroom, go to an industry event, write other stuff, sleep, etc).
No more excuses! As soon as I'm done with this From Dust write up, I'm tackling (ha, get it?) the Pokemon post. Watch for it.
* Bit.Trip BEAT came out on iPhone/iPad yesterday. It's extremely good.
*I bought tons of stuff in Japan. Do you want to see it? If so, I'll do a photo blog. Let me know.
Just got back from TGS, +14 hour flight, very tired, but I wanted to tell you guys some stuff firt. So, in order of importance-
*The Japanese version of Pokemon Black/White doesn't seem to work on non-Japanese DSi. I can't even tell you how much fear and regret that filled me with. Looks like it works with the regular DS lite, so that's a relief.
* I was detained at the airport for that Booth Companions video. Someone filed a complaint about it, though apparently it wasn't any of the Booth Companions themselves. I'm guessing it was someone who saw the post, most likely an American.
Anyway, they called all the women from the show in to see if any of them wanted to press charges. I could only vaguely make out what was going on, but apparently most of them liked the video. A couple even gave me their managers' business cards so I can send them the video in HD. They were all very nice, and the all apologized for the trouble. I guess the "no photos" thing is really there to protect women from up-skirt and ddown-shirt shots, of which my video had none.
Anyway, I feel bad that some people seem offended by the video, but the only thing that really matters is that Booth Companions liked it. If they didn't, I would have taken it down.
* Japan is obsessed with something called "Cubic Mouth" right now. You should check it out. It's the creepiest art style I've seen in many, many years.
* Microsoft is definitely not skimping on the advertising for Halo: Reach in Japan. I saw three commercials for it in the span of an hour, and on prime time no less. Maybe that's not surprising to you, but I was shocked.
* And back to Pokemon Black/White, the cinematic intro is INSANE! It's so serious! Can' wait to jump into the game.
* No new Sundays with Sagat this weekend. Here's why.
We shot five episodes of the series right after Andy and I got back E3, but other than the one we posted with Birdie, they've all been sitting on Andy''s hard drive since then, untouched and unloved. I haven't been able to watch them even once, just to see if they suck or not. The longer I go without watching them, the more I suspect that they suck, especially the one about Dead Rising. I desperately want to watch them, just to see if they're any good, but I can't
That's mostly because Andy is working around the clock on putting the finishing touches on his NESN show, The Batter's Box. He's got to get everything done by tomorrow in order to get it to the station by Monday, but after that, he said he'd help me get a few Sundays with Sagat(s) finished off, hopefully to be posted on Tuesday or Wednesday.
In case you're curious, here's a promo I did for last season of the Batter's Box. It's not that good.
* TheCleaningGuy was nice enough to invite me onto Sega Addicts for a podcast last week. I'm too self conscious to listen to it. Does it suck?
* Is there anything more frustrating than being totally misunderstood, particularly by thousands of people? I'm not sure if there is.
I shot a video for E3 this year where I put my arm around a "booth babe" for 45 seconds instead, of the customary 20 seconds. I thought that I stated clearly in the post that the purpose of the video was to show that putting your arm around someone you don't know at all just because you like their looks is creepy, that taking pride in this by taking a picture of yourself in the act is creepier, and perhaps creepiest of all is that most "booth babes" don't seem to see any of that.
As some of you may know, I have a master's degree in social work. I've tried to help out many prostitutes, and most of the time, it's depressing as hell to get into their lives with them. Often times, the creepiest thing about connecting with them is that they seem totally resigned to their lives, and unconcerned with the fact that what their doing is desensitizing them to the meaning of sex and love. Sure, every once in a while, you'll meet a prostitute (usually a guy) who just loves sex and money, doesn't feel dis-empowered by being paid for sex, and can't get out of prostitution relatively unscathed. Most times though, prostitution means drugs, violence, loneliness, neglect, self loathing, emotional isolation, and self destruction. The creepy part is, it doesn't take long for them to get to the point where the don't even that anymore.
Booth babes are not prostitutes, but they are sex workers. They do expose themselves, visually and physically, to strangers who may treat them well, or may treat them like shit. Most seem to do it because think that's what they're good at, that that's what their good for, that that's where their "strengths" lie; being objectified, being treated like a giant, sexy action figure at best, a piece of meat at worst.
For the record, I think that people who dress up in mascot outfits and walk around at Disneyland get objectified too, just not sexually. Sometimes they get beat up by drunkards, but for the most part, they do alright. They're loved by kids, pitied by adults, but like booth babes, they are sometimes treated like giant action figures too. The difference is, they are (almost) never treated like sex toys.
So yeah, that's what I think of the booth babe phenomena, and that's why I made that video.
Sadly, a lot of people didn't get the point. That must be my fault. I am apparently not destined to be the next Sasha Baron Cohen. When I pretend to be a person I'm not (role playing?) to show how that person is ridiculous, it doesn't come across nearly as clearly. Maybe I should have done a funny accent or something, and put a "booth babe" in a burlap sack and try to carry her away the way Borat did to Pam Anderson? Would that have better?
I thought the creepy face I was making would be enough to make the point -- "Booth babe posing dudes are creepy", but I guess that wasn't enough, as more than a couple people across the internet are claiming that I sexually harassed the woman, that I'm a "piece of shit", and that the whole joke was at the expense of the "booth babe".
It's weird to me, because even if you think the video is humorless or is in poor taste, I think it's still pretty obvious what my intent was. It's that my intent isn't coming across that has me so frustrated. I can only guess it's because this topic is too evokative for some people, that they have an emotion -- "Hey! That guys got his arm around that booth babe for too long! CREEPY!" and then an reaction-- "I HATE THAT GUY!" without ever getting to the idea which was supposed to be -- "It's not that he has his arm around her for too long that creepy, it's that he's posing with her at all, that it took her so long to break the pose, that she does that kind of stuff all day and no one thinks anything of it. That's what's creepy!"
It's the same as what Edmund McMillen was saying on Bit Transmission, about when people get offended by the word "fuck" but not by "f*ck" or "fcuk". There emotion blinds them from reason. First, they get an emotional reaction from the word "fuck". The feel offended, then they get angry at the "perpetrator" of the word, though they don't even know why they're feeling what they're feeling. It's just because they "read a bad word". That's enough to inspire anger and indignation, and a hostile reaction like "You shouldn't let words like that on your website!" or "I'm not going to play your game because it has swears in it".
Spelling to word wrong, or leaving out a letter, doesn't change the meaning at all, but for some reason, it doesn't inspire the same emotions. If people bothered to think for a second, they'd see that they should be offended by "fuck" or "fcuk", as long as the word wasn't used in a way that had an offensive meaning.
This also happens with the grammar police. People think that just because you fucked up and spelled a word wrong, that it's a good idea to disregard everything you wrote. They emotionally link "bad speller" with "bad writer", and "bad spelling" to "bad ideas", without giving any thought to is that reaction makes any sense.
The moral of the story is, I'm frustrated.
Oh, and here's the post I'm talking about if you're interested.
* Speaking of Edmund McMillen, he sent me a t-shirt and couple of comics. Awesome.
I probably wont be able to review Super Meat Boy now, as people will claim that Edmund bought me off if I give it a good score. Truth is, the only reason this stuff means anything to me is that I already love Meat Boy (and Super Meat Boy). Like with the Bit Trip games, I loved Edmund's games first, then through my love of the games, I got to actually meet the guy, and lucky for me, we got a long.
Anyway, I thought this stuff was awesome and I wanted to show it to you. Here it is --
Also, I'm a total jackass for not mentioning the birth of flash games in that "revolutions" post from last week.
* Beavis an Butthead might make a comeback? Good idea? Bad idea? Personally, I'm hoping that it signals the return of "indie" TV to Mtv.
Mtv is known for making cheap shows. As far as original programming, that's always what they've been about. Sadly, "cheap shows" went from meaning sock puppet action comedies to reality TV. For a while, the channel had a decent balance, with 50% videos, 35% cartoons and other low budget oddities, and 15% reality shows. Now it's turned to 15% videos, 85% reality shows, and no oddities.
I might sound naive here, but I think that could change back. Adult Swim and the cartoons of Comedy Central have been getting more and more popular. That's the kind of programming that Mtv used to excel at. That's a huge audience that they abandoned, but with a little effort, they could get us back.
But will they even try? Gads, I hope so.
Anyway, enough out of me. If you managed to read all that, thank you, and if not, I understand.
[Edit: And if you ever think I'm being a dick, feel free to drop me a PM.]