Category Archives: Video

The Problem with Patreon

I recently launched a Patreon specifically for my YouTube channel. I’m a huge fan of Patreon. I think that people making money for their work (even if talking about games is a hobby, it’s still a lot of work) is a good thing. I currently support a dozen creators who I particularly enjoy – video makers, podcasters, writers. For me, it’s a way to say thank you for providing me with hours of entertainment, keep up the good work.

Of course, not everyone feels this way. There’s a lot of backlash against Patreon, specifically (at least that I’ve noticed) in the gaming sphere. Some people consider it begging, some people think “well you’ve been doing this for free for this long, why ask for money now?” and some people, as far as I can tell, are just dicks who are offended at the very idea of people making money off a hobby. I’ve seen this come up in forums, on Twitter, on YouTube videos and in comments.

I had debated starting a Patreon for a while. I wanted to do it, but I was also aware of how it is perceived among some people and didn’t really want to deal with the extra negativity. Eventually, I decided to just go ahead with it (thanks in part due to the push provided by this excellent breakdown of the gender imbalance in games Patreon and its followup over on Go Make Me a Sandwich). I posted the link on Twitter once or twice, and people were really supportive and RT’d it a bunch. That was nice. I again hesitated about posting about it on my YouTube channel even though it’s specifically for my videos so that’s where an announcement should go.

On Saturday I posted a 2 minute video on announcing the Patreon along with some details about it. It was the first (and only) time I mentioned it on YouTube. This happened.

YouTube Subs

The first time I’ve ever lost more subs than I’ve gained in a day. I actually lost 17 subs the day I published the video (and gained 5 new ones), and 10 the following day.

I posted two videos within a couple hours of each other because I wanted to give people real content as opposed to just a Patreon ad for the day. Here’s how they were received.

Video dislikes

In 2 days my Patreon video is 1 dislike away from being my most disliked video ever (that’s honor still belongs to my Fallout 4 video from November – people are just as mad about Fallout no longer being a CRPG as they are about people making money on their videos).

And then there are comments like this.

Patreon comment

Also comments that bash other people’s crowdfunding efforts. Sigh.

Now, it’s not all bad, obviously. 11 people have supported me and many people have boosted it or wished me luck. Those people are awesome.

Still, the negative reception makes me wonder – what exactly is the problem? I really don’t understand the backlash for a service that is completely optional. It’s really no different than a Twitch streamer having a subscription button (except on Patreon you can choose the amount you want to give). I’m not really into the streaming scene, but is there as much pushback against the existence of Twitch subscriptions? How about people having a PayPal donation link on their sites?

People run their Patreons in many different ways. Some give exclusive content to patrons, some send out physical rewards or spend time on Skype with patrons at certain levels. Some treat Patreon more as a tip jar, where there are no different reward levels or ‘goals’. I have my preferences for certain practices over others. If someone runs their Patreon in a way I don’t like, then I just don’t support them. If I don’t think their content is worth any of my money, then I just don’t support them. If I find they spend more time promoting their Patreon then making content… getting the picture?

What is it about the idea of people giving their viewers the option of tossing them a few bucks that offends people so?

Still Alive

Oh, hello there. It’s been quiet around here lately, hasn’t it. Sadly, my focus seems to be on videos now. Well, not sadly. I like doing videos, and the feedback I’ve been getting is great, but I am sad I don’t write as much anymore.

While it’s been quiet on the blog, I myself have not been quiet. In fact, I can’t seem to shut the hell up. I’ve been a guest on a number of podcasts lately, 3 of which are out for your listening pleasure.

First, I was on the Rocket Pants Podcast. I talked to Alex, Chris and Jon about what I’ve been playing, tried to answer some really tough trivia questions and we had a discussion about whether retro or modern gaming is superior.

I was also on The GameEnthus podcast, for the second time. I talked to Aaron, Mike, and Tiny about a ton of things. Deadpool, XCOM2, MAGfest, the X-Files, the list goes on.

Last, but not least, I was on the RF Generation Collectorcast. My boyfriend Will and I were both invited on to talk about the SegaCD with Duke Togo and WildBil. This was cool, as it was really the first time Will and I have collaborated on any content creation. Also, I got to talk about my love of FMV games.

I also recorded two other podcasts which should be coming out shortly. I’ll let you know when those are out.

Video-wise, I’ve put out a few things. A couple highlights are my top 5 games on the PS1. It was hard to not just pick 5 JRPGs.

Also, I also just put out a funny/sad video where I read a bunch of mean comments people have left on my channel. It seems to be pretty popular so far, because who can look away from a car crash?

Also, I’m working on a secret mystery thing, but that’s not ready to be revealed yet. (Oooh, mysterious)

That’s it for now. Hopefully the writing bug bites me again at some point.

 

XCOM2 Tips and a Strategy Game Question

XCOM2 is out! I basically play this 12 hours a day now, I’m having so much fun with it. I thought I’d parlay all that time played into a video with 10 tips to get you started with the game. Here it is:

I got a comment on the video, which I haven’t responded to yet, that asks what it is about XCOM that appeals to me. They go on to say that in their experience women aren’t very in to the strategy genre but have a seen a ton playing and talking about XCOM2 and they wonder what about it appeals to women moreso than other strategy games.

First, I obviously am not a fan of sweeping generalizations about what genres appeal to each genre. Second, women are not a monolith so aside from the fact that XCOM features just as many women as men, which I think is a draw, I can’t really say why anyone else is attracted to the game. Third, my experience is contrary to the commenters. I know lot of women who play and talk about strategy games like Civ, Crusader Kings, Banished, Cities: Skylines, Warcraft, Starcraft, but when I fangirl out about XCOM it’s mostly men who respond in kind.

Lastly, I tried to think of some common denominator shared between the strategy games I love. I like the alien and sci-fi aspect of XCOM – but also like high fantasy strategy games and the semi-realistic nature of Civilization. I love that I can micromanage the tactical combat in XCOM, as opposed to just building and placing units and letting them do their thing – but not being able to do that doesn’t turn me off the others. I like that in Civ I can get cultural and technological victories rather than fight – but I’m also good with the all military, all the time nature of XCOM.

Which brings me to my questions for you. Do you like strategy games? What draws you to the ones you like? Alternatively, if you don’t like Strategy games, why not?

The X-Files Game

The X-Files is coming back to television in less than a week! That means it’s time to review The X-Files Game on PlayStation 1. Check out the video if you want my thoughts on the game or want to learn some embarrassing stories about me from when I first started watching the show.

 

Early Access, Beta, and Information Overload

My latest vlog brings up the issue of how much pre-release information about a game is too much. I’ve written about this before, but have had some new thoughts on the matter. What raised this was the possibility of taking part in the beta for Torment: Tides of Numerera, one of the games I’m most looking forward to this year. There’s a small part of me that wants to see things first, but a bigger part of me that wants to wait for the final product.

How do you feel about this topic?

One Girl Gamer to Rule Them All

Walk with me, if you will, into the mire that is YouTube comments…

Well, that’s a shitty invitation if I ever heard one. Are you still here? As my YouTube channel has been growing, so has the amount of terrible comments. I guess you can say that’s to be expected, though that’s really fucking sad. Some comments are so awful they can be immediately brushed off as coming from terrible, sad, angry people, such as “Fuck this dumb hoe” or “Die you cam slut whore”. Though, I would ask everyone not to refer to these kinds of comments as trolling. “Die, bitch” isn’t trolling. It’s harassment. I share the worst comments on Twitter because I like to call out this stuff, but it’s kind of losing it’s novelty. Can you believe at one point I thought to myself “Hey, my first harassing comment, I’ve made it.” The Internet is gross.

Anyway, those aren’t the comments I want to talk about. There’s another kind of comment, a more sneakily sexist kind. It intends to be complimentary to a woman but it does so by putting all the other women gamers down. Things like:

“You’re the first girl I’ve seen review video games, and you’re great at it!” This one is puzzling and makes me assume you live under a rock.

“It’s nice that you don’t get too much into gender politics and focus on content.” As back-handed as it gets. I like you, because you don’t talk about things that try to make me see the world from someone else’s perspective. Also, it assumes that anything outside of gameplay mechanics is not real content and makes me want to talk about gender politics more.

“Nice to see a female gamer  who is about something more than sex appeal.” I suppose that if I were to wear more low-cut tops (of which I own many), my credibility would fly out the window. Everyone knows that being interested in games and wanting to look hot are in direct opposition to one another (just as these kind of comments are in direct opposition to the ones I receive that focus solely on my looks and ignore what I’m talking about).

“It’s so nice to find a female YouTuber who’s actually a fan of gaming” or “Wow, a girl who knows about games!” Because all those other women talking about games (which don’t actually exist according to commenter 1 above) are faking it. Hours and hours dedicated to videos and streams on a topic they don’t even like, those liars.

This last one is the one that bothers me the most. A compliment that depends on comparing you to other women and putting those women down isn’t much of a compliment at all. I’ve gotten it on my channel, I’ve seen it on many other women’s channels. A man will decide that this woman is the one true female gamer, to be put on a pedestal. This woman knows what she’s talking about, she really loves games, she doesn’t spend too much time talking about things they don’t like. She stands head and shoulders above all the other women, who pretend to like games for attention or to push their social agendas. She’s real, and the rest are fakes.

This kind of thought process is really sick and kinda scary. Women gamers aren’t some special fucking unicorns.  They’re everywhere and what they wear, or the games they prefer, or whether they’ve been playing games for 1 year or 30 doesn’t make any one of them better or more real than any other. If you like me because I talk about retro games, shitting on the women who don’t doesn’t make me feel special, it makes me think you’re an asshole.

There’s this pressure to respond positively to these kinds of comments because hey, they like my stuff, they’re trying to be nice. But these really aren’t compliments, this isn’t nice. I mean, at least they’re not calling me a whore? That’s a pretty fucking low bar, because comments like these are indeed sexist. What if men on YouTube were treated the same? What if each viewer felt that there could only be one true male gamer, and the rest were garbage? There would certainly be a lot less content to chose from. Want to see more women talking about games? Stop making it a competition. Of course, I don’t think that seeing more women in games is really the desired outcome from the people who make these kinds of comments.

Tips for Commenting on YouTube

  • Stay on topic. If you’re watching a game review, a comment about the presenter’s appearance is not necessary. Also, unless the video specifically mentions your penis, never bring it up in a comment.
  • If you want to compliment the YouTuber, tell them why you like their video or opinions. Don’t compare them to other YouTubers, or put other people down.
  • Don’t send a private message when a public comment will do. It creates more pressure and is kinda weird. You can’t force a personal relationship.
  • Watch the whole video before commenting. If you’re going to ask a question or try to teach the video maker something about what they’re talking about, and it turns out that gets mentioned later in the video? You’ll look dumb.
  • If you want to insult or threaten the YouTuber, just go take a fucking walk instead. 

Looking for Q & A Questions

This past week I hit 1000 subscribers on YouTube. I’m super excited and thankful to anyone who watches my videos. I’m going to be recording a Q&A video next weekend, if you have any questions you’d like me to answer you can leave them as a comment either here or on the video below.

Thanks!