I’m looking at the internet right now, and it’s time to face a few uncomfortable facts. Well, that and today I turned 21 years old. And I’m currently suffering a very premature (very prolonged) mid-life crisis (aka what the internet tells me is severe depression). I started this blog up in mid-August when I came home from Scott Pilgrim badly needing to tell someone how amazingly they screwed that movie up. But that move was just a whim. I had no grand ambition, I didn’t think I’d be doing postaday2011 (though I seriously need to retag some articles). I didn’t think “Hey, I’m good enough at this that someone will see what I’m writing and offer me a job”. I thought “I want to tell people not to waste their money on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the only place I’m allowed to do that is the internet”.
Now, I’ve been trolling the net for a long time–it’s what I do, as a young man who may or may not have severe undiagnosed ADHD (thanks, internet!). The instant reward set up of browsing online just kept me hooked, not to mention the artificial sunlight that my laptop monitor provides keeps me awake all hours of the day. I heard a crackpot theory about that the other day, and then after staying up until three in the morning not tired at all, it started to sound a little more true. So, here I am, on the internet, for the past several years. I’ve grown accustomed to this set up of minimal effort, maximal reward. Go here, click here, go here and all of a sudden I’m listening to the new single “Air Pump and a Mushroom Cut” by Canadian hip hop band Wolves. (I hope they release more stuff, that single is badass.) I put in possibly the world’s most minimal effort, and my brains every action is rewarded.
And that all was fine until I realized two things about a couple weeks ago. Well, not two things, several things, but they all happened at once and they’re all intertwined, so two things. One) I’m going to be twenty one years old on March 31st, 2011 and there’s nothing I can do about it. Two) Nobody reads blogs anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you lovely, dashingly handsome and winningly attractive people here don’t read blogs. Of course you do, you charismatic exemplars of humanity. But I don’t read blogs anymore, and if I’m writing for myself, doesn’t that make me my target audience? And if I don’t read blogs, how am I going to get other people like me to read blogs? And there’s the rub–that’s how I’ve been thinking of it since my first day where I got over a hundred views. I don’t want to monetize this site, I want to keep it cool, but I also want to do something that will get the attention of people with money who want to hear me talk about stuff.
So I was watching Epic Meal Time one day, and it hit me: bacon is freaking fantastic. And then I cruised on over to Top 5 with Lisa Foiles and thought that Lisa Foiles was indeed a lovely girl and that whoever her husband is must be the luckiest gamer on Earth. (I should hope he plays games.) The next day, I watched Zero Punctuation and Anthony Saves the World–I love ZP, but I’ve had the world’s hardest time getting into Anthony Saves the World, but I watched it anyway because Lisa Foiles was guest-starring as Debbie, the hot receptionist. And today, the only reason I haven’t watched Extra Credits yet–despite the fact that it is open on my other monitor, just waiting for me to press play the moment I hit publish–is because I’m writing this. And I watched a lot of videos from Daniel Floyd’s previous series to Extra Credits, called … well, it didn’t really have a title, it just sorta went by “Daniel Floyd’s Video Lectures” where he’d talk about video games. And they’re all on YouTube and that was pretty sweet.
When it hit me: I just watched about five separate series in the course of one week. Small, bite-size, easy to ingest entertainment. About five to ten minutes in length, so as not to interrupt the flow of your day. Always with a point or a moral and some idiosyncracy that makes it distinct from the others. Lisa Foiles has her general attractiveness and awesomely perky attitude, Daniel Floyd has his voice modulator (I hope) and Alison Theus’ delightful artwork–Yahtzee Croshaw has produced Zero Punctuation in exactly the same style since 2007. There’s a part at the end of Daniel Floyd’s first video lecture where I first realized it was actually a presentation for a class he was in. And he’s drawn himself banging his head on his keyboard, moaning “I wish I had just done that PowerPoint presentation”. And there was a comment–an oddly perceptive and “with it” comment–below that said “I bet he isn’t wishing that now“.
Of course he isn’t wishing that now. Because of that one whim he had, to make a video lecture about gaming as an art form instead of just doing a PowerPoint presentation for a school project, he’s now being paid by a serious magazine to talk about video games. I have no idea if it provides a living to him, but I know it’s supplemented his living enough that he can also afford to be an animator at Pixar Canada. So I’m likely gonna see his name in the credits when I’m going to a movie sometime soon. And all of this was because of that one, whimsical idea: “Why don’t I make it into a video?” Video is really the new magazine format in our lives. Videos are the new articles. Videos are the new sit down, consume, move about your day and think about what you just learned media.
So, in the spirit of that whim, I announce that I hereby intend to make a video series!
But I’m gonna need help. So, if you know anybody at all anywhere who is interested in working with a very polite and now 21 year old shut-in who talks too much, let me know.