Jimquisition: The Rise of YouTube Fodder

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The Rise of YouTube Fodder

Just a little note of warning that we're not dumb, and we know exactly why so much crap is being peddled on PC lately.

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I'd say that the reason people won't buy them is because stuff like PewDiePie's videos are so obviously edited and trimmed down, and most of what you see are just the best bits, the bits which don't involve crashes or walking for five minutes.

Well, that was an entertaining video, I wonder whether E3 will have anything of interest this year. It won't live up to last year, though.

I thought you covered those games because it's your job as a reviewer, you know, to inform consumers.

Goliath100:
I thought you covered those games because it's your job as a reviewer, you know, to inform consumers.

Right, but why I cover them *confidently* is because of what I said. Like I said.

Yup...and funnily enough... they still do it because it's not always about money. It's about visibility. It's better to sometimes be a visible failure than a quiet success. Especially when you put on your resume that you worjked on a game the person reading it has probably heard of.

I'm still not quite sure what's the point of letting such games go viral, if evidently no one buys them. "They take up space" where? They are on the newest releases list for a very short time, and then never appear on the front page again, while better ones do, and make sales as well.

If anything, you people are letting them take up even more space, in reviews, and videos, and forum discussions, that could have been spent on popularizing good indie games and give THOSE better visibility instead, if they can be transformed into sales, instead of railing agains something that no one would have had to hear about anyways.

Alterego-X:
I'm still not quite sure what's the point of letting such games go viral, if evidently no one buys them. "They take up space" where? They are on the newest releases list for a very short time, and then never appear on the front page again, while better ones do, and make sales as well.

If anything, you people are letting them take up even more space, in reviews, and videos, and forum discussions, that could have been spent on popularizing good indie games and give THOSE better visibility instead, if they can be transformed into sales, instead of railing agains something that no one would have had to hear about anyways.

I imagine browsing for games will become quite the pain in the arse.

Jimothy Sterling:
Right, but why I cover them *confidently* is because of what I said. Like I said.

Because all they do is take up space? Because informing the consumer is not the job of the reviewer, right?

I think they only make up a tiny portion in the flood of shit being unleashed on Steam nowadays. Personally, I wouldn't buy these games simply because I do not enjoy them.
Either people enjoy them and thus buy them, or after a while fewer of these games will be made. If there is no money in it, developers will not make such games. I think that there is a lot of potential for innovation and great ideas in the "short horror" game genre but only a small portion of these youtube fodder games actually innovate, so in the end the ideal solution would be if only those innovative games persist.

So in the end I do not really think that this is as big a problem as Jim makes it out to be. Sure, it is far from the ideal situation but overall these games are just a tiny portion of a much larger problem.

Even Pewdiepie I've noticed is leaning away from such games. Part of it I'm sure are lucrative contracts with bigger companies giving him early access as a way for them to build hype, but he's tried to play more mainstream games that are less YouTube fodder. He still plays some of that stuff, because his audience loves to watch him scream, but I think it's unfair for Total Biscuit (who I have trouble watching because every time I load up his videos its about him defending his job or dicking around in an options screen pointing out inane details for 20 cocking minutes) to call it "Pewdiebait." He isn't baited to play anything. His audience is, and they're a big one, and they pay his bills, so... yeah.

I'm a little puzzled as to Jim's criticism towards the use of jump scares in some of these cheaply made horror games. Wasn't the older episode "Scare Tactics" basically him defending the jump scare as a valid way to build tension?

Maybe he's changed his mind between that episode and this one, but I just wanted to bring it up since I've always thought Jim loved jump scares.

Uriel_Hayabusa:
I'm a little puzzled as to Jim's criticism towards the use of jump scares in some of these cheaply made horror games. Wasn't the older episode "Scare Tactics" basically him defending the jump scare as a valid way to build tension?

Maybe he's changed his mind between that episode and this one, but I just wanted to bring it up since I've always thought Jim loved jump scares.

Jump scares
vs
Jump Scares that only exist as a cynical marketing grab

Zachary Amaranth:

I imagine browsing for games will become quite the pain in the arse.

Then don't browse games on Steam. Walking into a bookstore and trying to find good books solely by their cover, is also a pain in the ass.

That's why people don't do it, and why some books become hits while others don't, instead of all of them pulling equally distributed among poor uninformed buyers. Because even the most casual readers (if anything, them the most), listen to their friends' recommendations, the hype, and their foreknowledge of the author or the genre.

Alterego-X:
"They take up space" where?

They take up server space. They take up bandwidth.

Valve can offer the sales they do because of two factors: volume and minimized expenses.

If a crap game is taking up space on a hard drive and people are browsing the store page (or, heaven forbid, actually buying and downloading the game), then they are cutting into Valve's costs.

Nevermind the expenses Valve incurs during the issuance of a refund.

So, yes, it's in the best interest of Valve and their customers that crap is kept off of their service. Otherwise, say "goodbye" to those 75-80% off sales.

My easy solution is to not watch Youtube "celebrities."

Most are insufferable enough as it is.

Also why are you derisive of the Putt Putt games? Putt Putt is amazing.

Hey man, I was with you all the way until you bad mouthed Putt-Putt. Those games are amazing.

Uriel_Hayabusa:
I'm a little puzzled as to Jim's criticism towards the use of jump scares in some of these cheaply made horror games. Wasn't the older episode "Scare Tactics" basically him defending the jump scare as a valid way to build tension?

Maybe he's changed his mind between that episode and this one, but I just wanted to bring it up since I've always thought Jim loved jump scares.

It is the usual difference between something that is put in the game because the devs think it belongs there and improves the overall experience vs. something which is put in simply because the chart with the numbers and the words says that this element (in this case jump scares which make youtubers shriek) boosts sales.

The first one Jim applauds, the second he wants buried six feet under. With the coffin lid-side down just in case...

OT: After the last few days of youtube videos in which you sounded quite sick, I'm glad you are getting better Jim. I hope you make a full recovery soon!

Uriel_Hayabusa:
I'm a little puzzled as to Jim's criticism towards the use of jump scares in some of these cheaply made horror games. Wasn't the older episode "Scare Tactics" basically him defending the jump scare as a valid way to build tension?

Maybe he's changed his mind between that episode and this one, but I just wanted to bring it up since I've always thought Jim loved jump scares.

In games like Slender and it's rip offs, jump scares are the only method of scaring you (besides atmosphere, obviously). Compare using jump scares occasionally like the few times they appear in Amnesia with the Slender rip offs which have one every few steps.

Id say these games are irritating and their associated youtube videos are fucking obnoxious but i think they are a part of a bigger problem. It's a problem of dilution. Horror as a genre got a big leg up with games like Slender and Amnesia because it showed they could be successful and cheap. Now we see the new wave of PC horror games tainted by cloning and a massive void in quality.

Here is the real problem; Having Steam be like a mobile store is bringing the problems of mobile gaming. Mobile gaming is devoid of creative worth. It just is right now. It had some great potential a few years ago but all we see now are a few self-perpetuating monoliths and an ocean of cloned shit. No one bothers to even look anymore, the chances of finding something new that isn't offensively bad on Android is almost nil.

If these games were simply consigned to where they used to be, their own crummy web-hosted downloads, then i think the argument of dilution would be lessened. But this is quickly becoming what people associate with these kinds of games and it will only make it harder for the next Amnesia or Outlast to be successful.

Oh great now I'm single click triple posting. Website derps again? Get your shit together escapist.

Triple post for some ungodly reason. Please remove.

Uriel_Hayabusa:
I'm a little puzzled as to Jim's criticism towards the use of jump scares in some of these cheaply made horror games. Wasn't the older episode "Scare Tactics" basically him defending the jump scare as a valid way to build tension?

Maybe he's changed his mind between that episode and this one, but I just wanted to bring it up since I've always thought Jim loved jump scares.

I think he does love jump scares. GOOD jump scares. They're not all cut from the same cloth. I haven't played Amnesia the Dark Descent, but I did read that the jump scares in that game work because they happened often enough that you were constantly expecting them, but infrequent enough so that you had long periods of time where you were alone expecting monsters to jump out at you only for another agonizing five minutes of silence to go by. There's a difference between a horrible slimy monster jumping out at you at just the right time and a man in a bad halloween mask jumping out at you every two seconds.

He didn't hate these jump scares because they're jump scares. He hates them because they're jump scares that aren't scary.

MinionJoe:

They take up server space. They take up bandwidth.

Valve can offer the sales they do because of two factors: volume and minimized expenses.

If a crap game is taking up space on a hard drive and people are browsing the store page (or, heaven forbid, actually buying and downloading the game), then they are cutting into Valve's costs.

If they are actually buying games, a cut of that goes to Valve (that's valve's main revenue in the first place).

If they are not, then no bandwith is being used, and the hard drive storage for one copy of the game (or even several terabytes of games) is negligable compared to the costs and profits that we are talking about here.

This is like saying that the Escapist forums should delete the least useful comments to save up their server space where they were stored. Technically true, but a thousand times less significant than other effects of a censorship policy that this would imply.

Alterego-X:

If they are actually buying games, a cut of that goes to Valve (that's valve's main revenue in the first place).

If sales < overhead, then profits < 0.

If they are not, then no bandwith is being used, and the hard drive storage for one copy of the game (or even several terabytes of games) is negligable compared to the costs and profits that we are talking about here.

Storefront hosting requires bandwidth. Forums require bandwidth. Angry e-mails to Valve support requires bandwidth. Sure, hard drive space it negligible. But the associated services for that nugget of worthless data are not free.

I didn't even know this was a thing. I had to watch the video again just to let it sink in. I thought crap or dull games tried to stay on the down low to avoid word of mouth getting around and (rightfully) ruining its sales. I guess this just goes to show the either there are plenty of LPers/reviewers buying those games and/or their viewers buying them out of morbid curiosity for the videos remain up with no copyright strikes from butt hurt hack developers who couldn't swindle as many people as they would have liked. Like BigTuk said, I guess it does pad out the companies' and individuals' resumes, though. Not knowing the reviews of every game they made, would you buy the hit new game from the dev with 3 games on Steam(or your service of choice) or the equally appealing game from the guys who made 20 games?

Alterego-X:

Then don't browse games on Steam.

I love how the solution is to spend less time looking at games. More or less the antithesis of a storefront's existence.

Walking into a bookstore and trying to find good books solely by their cover, is also a pain in the ass.

I fail to see how walking into a store and looking at a finite supply of mostly current titles is in any way comparable to looking online through an uncurated supply of titles which may or may not work, which mostly can't be "flipped through," and which don't go away.

That's why people don't do it, and why some books become hits while others don't, instead of all of them pulling equally distributed among poor uninformed buyers.

Popularity of a title has nothing to do with being an informed buyer.

Thanatos2k:
My easy solution is to not watch Youtube "celebrities."

Most are insufferable enough as it is.

Also why are you derisive of the Putt Putt games? Putt Putt is amazing.

I especially wish the people who complained about Pewdiepie would just stop. About the only time I hear about a lot of these things is when people complain about them. I don't know, has anyone here ever actually heard someone say something positive about PDP? Maybe it's just me.

Goliath100:

Jimothy Sterling:
Right, but why I cover them *confidently* is because of what I said. Like I said.

Because all they do is take up space? Because informing the consumer is not the job of the reviewer, right?

Okay, you're deliberately fucking misinterpreting me aren't you?

I cover this shit because it's my job.

I cover this shit WITH CONFIDENCE because I know it doesn't give them more sales.

Okay?

Uriel_Hayabusa:
I'm a little puzzled as to Jim's criticism towards the use of jump scares in some of these cheaply made horror games. Wasn't the older episode "Scare Tactics" basically him defending the jump scare as a valid way to build tension?

Maybe he's changed his mind between that episode and this one, but I just wanted to bring it up since I've always thought Jim loved jump scares.

I love them done RIGHT, not when they're lazy paint-by-numbers YouTube fodder crap.

MinionJoe:

Alterego-X:

If they are actually buying games, a cut of that goes to Valve (that's valve's main revenue in the first place).

If sales < overhead, then profits < 0.

If they are not, then no bandwith is being used, and the hard drive storage for one copy of the game (or even several terabytes of games) is negligable compared to the costs and profits that we are talking about here.

Storefront hosting requires bandwidth. Forums require bandwidth. Angry e-mails to Valve support requires bandwidth. Sure, hard drive space it negligible. But the associated services for that nugget of worthless data are not free.

The quantities you are talking about are fairly negligible, compared with the returns for selling a game. The video (which is what will take up the most bandwidth on a store page) is on the order of 5 Megs (conservatively), compared with 2-3 gigabytes for you average Slender Clone. So every actual purchase (which I assume has the cost covered in the price structure) will equate to 500 views in bandwidth, if those 500 people watch all the video. Not terrible.

Emails are tiny, unless the angry customers are adding attachments. Also, how many people actually return a product? How many emails does Steam even pay attention to if you haven't bought the product already?

All of these things can be built into the price, and the costs themselves really aren't that onerous. There's a reason you can buy a game for $5 on Steam--the bandwidth really isn't that expensive.

Zachary Amaranth:

Alterego-X:

Then don't browse games on Steam.

I love how the solution is to spend less time looking at games. More or less the antithesis of a storefront's existence.

Walking into a bookstore and trying to find good books solely by their cover, is also a pain in the ass.

I fail to see how walking into a store and looking at a finite supply of mostly current titles is in any way comparable to looking online through an uncurated supply of titles which may or may not work, which mostly can't be "flipped through," and which don't go away.

That's why people don't do it, and why some books become hits while others don't, instead of all of them pulling equally distributed among poor uninformed buyers.

Popularity of a title has nothing to do with being an informed buyer.

I honestly think the picture people have of Steam isn't really what they're trying to do.

Don't think of Steam as Amazon, think of them as YouTube.

Any dipshit with a handheld video camera can put a cat video on YouTube. By the same token, respectable productions (e.g. Jim Sterling and his YouTube channel) can gather many followers. Every once in a while, you get a crazy-ass meme that takes off and make millions. Yet no matter which of these things happens, Google makes a metric ass-ton of money by taking their cut for hosting the content.

That what Steam does. They're not a store, they're a hosting service for devs to stick their stuff up on, and Steam gets a cut when it's downloaded. Crap like Air Control or PewDie Bait should be regarded with the same sort of resigned acceptance as dogs playing piano and 12-year-old let's play-ers. It doesn't stop me from watching Chris Franklin or TotalBiscuit, it just lives in a corner of the internet I never look at, on a webpage that I only spend time with when I'm referred to it by a trustworthy source (or a Google search, for tutorials on how to fix stuff).

SnakeoilSage:
Even Pewdiepie I've noticed is leaning away from such games. Part of it I'm sure are lucrative contracts with bigger companies giving him early access as a way for them to build hype, but he's tried to play more mainstream games that are less YouTube fodder. He still plays some of that stuff, because his audience loves to watch him scream, but I think it's unfair for Total Biscuit (who I have trouble watching because every time I load up his videos its about him defending his job or dicking around in an options screen pointing out inane details for 20 cocking minutes) to call it "Pewdiebait." He isn't baited to play anything. His audience is, and they're a big one, and they pay his bills, so... yeah.

Hah, I do love Totalbiscuit's insane love for a well-developed set of options which less than 1% of people will spend more than 30 seconds looking at and hardly anyone needs, but at least he's passionate about it. Although when I do watch his videos, I usually skip it after 2 minutes, and I doubt I'm in the minority there.

Jimothy Sterling:

Goliath100:

Jimothy Sterling:
Right, but why I cover them *confidently* is because of what I said. Like I said.

Because all they do is take up space? Because informing the consumer is not the job of the reviewer, right?

Okay, you're deliberately fucking misinterpreting me aren't you?

I cover this shit because it's my job.

I cover this shit WITH CONFIDENCE because I know it doesn't give them more sales.

Okay?

And your job as a reviewer is to..?

And if you want the short version: What is your opinion on this:
http://www.errantsignal.com/blog/?p=644

Goliath100:

Jimothy Sterling:

Goliath100:
Because all they do is take up space? Because informing the consumer is not the job of the reviewer, right?

Okay, you're deliberately fucking misinterpreting me aren't you?

I cover this shit because it's my job.

I cover this shit WITH CONFIDENCE because I know it doesn't give them more sales.

Okay?

And your job as a reviewer is to..?

And if you want the short version: What is your opinion on this:
http://www.errantsignal.com/blog/?p=644

His blog doesn't even touch the complaints I've had over games like this. I presented those to him but am yet to hear back.

Abnaxis:
[quote="MinionJoe" post="6.852142.21073109"]The quantities you are talking about are fairly negligible, compared with the returns for selling a game. A 1 minute video (which is what will take up the most bandwidth on a store page) is on the order of 5 Megs (conservatively), compared with 2-3 gigabytes for you average Slender Clone. So every actual purchase (which I assume has the cost covered in the price structure) will equate to 500 views in bandwidth, if those 500 people watch all the video. Not terrible.

Emails are tiny, unless the angry customers are adding attachments. Also, how many people actually return a product? How many emails do they even pay attention to if you haven't bought the product already?

All of these things can be built into the price, and the costs themselves really aren't that onerous. There's a reason you can buy a game for $5 on Steam--the bandwidth really isn't that expensive.

Opportunity cost. If someone offers you a choice between $100 and $1, choosing the latter has an opportunity cost of $99, even with no "real" expenses. Every spot on the front page wasted on shit nobody will buy is a slot that could be generating more money if it linked to one of the many non-terrible games in Steam's arsenal.

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