That's News!

  • Japan starts partial lockdown, closing down a lot of businesses temporarily. One of them is CERO.

  • @bam541
    I would say why not do it remotely, then I remember Japan still uses fax machines, or has people basically print out emails, write responses to them, then physically run them to the recipient.

  • Just a PSA but if you haven't setup 2 step authentication on your Nintendo ID, do it now

  • Heather Alexandrea of Kotaku put together one of the most well written and interesting retrospectives I've ever read. By the mid-point it does somewhat meander into describing plot elements, but her essay points are so much stronger than mostly anything I see on YouTube from the video essay crowd these days. Really good stuff here.


  • @dipset Kotaku has some of the best writers in games journalism, and it bothers me immensely that it has such a negative reputation with "gamers." Their reviews, along with Schrier's investigative pieces, are consistently incredible.

  • @capnbobamous

    Yeah no doubt. They definitely have a roster of talented writers. The last Metal Gear Retrospective was published in June 2019 and you can tell A LOT of time since then was spent compiling her points, articulating them, and doing the research in-between. And some of that research was enlightening to me, I learned something new about MGS2.

    I think the loudest and most annoying people seem like they're the dominant voice but all of my coworkers check out Kotaku and nobody is upset by them. I personally think they just need some differentiation between their news/journalism style posts and their blog style posts. The website needs a bit more overall editorial on the tone side of things. Do I go here for goofy posts or serious reporting?

  • I detest the essay culture on Youtube, there are some videos that are too long just to make some basic argument about a specific movie or videogame. There are other long videos that are either a retrospective or a chronological timeline of a particular thing, and the research isn't done right. It's also telling how often I hear on these videos "I don't know about this, I'll have to look that up", especially if after it comes a "but" to introduce a main idea. Then they'll use the "in my view" or "in my opinion" expressions, as if their argument couldn't be refuted.

  • @irongrey

    Yeah pretty much exactly what you said. I love the GT / EZA Retro's but the general long form video review or video essay crowd are fanboys who think they are film nerds cause they've watched the whole MCU or something. Not to mention I find they focus on the negatives too much (something I also do as a forum dweller, I should also be more positive). Generally though, I just find they aren't nearly as well written as the professionals write.

    I made a rough cut video essay about how much I loved Arcadia Bay as a setting in "Life Is Strange" and "Life Is Strange: Before The Storm". I wrote like 1500 words but in my VO, my intro and first point was like 7 minutes and I lost motivation cause I didn't wanna be in the video essay crowd. Sometimes, you gotta make content to get better, but sometimes, I also think I just want to leave this business to the professionals. Nobody cares about my opinion on Life Is Strange and until I learn to write better nobody is going to listen either. I wish some people on YouTube edited themselves a lot more than they currently do.

  • @dipset I've only really found some respect for Kotaku last year. They do a horrible job of showcasing the talent that is present there. Most of the serious discussion is muddled and drowned out by the Buzzfeed-level "journalism".

  • @dipset You said it yourself, the only way to get better is to practice. It's always going to be easier to cross your arms and say "This essay sux" than it would be to create a good video essay of your own. And it's scary to be vulnerable and take a chance and put something out there, because you know there are a legion of people crossing their arms, waiting for the next thing they'll look down on.

    And in the best case scenario, you start creating and putting out stuff that you're at least moderately proud of, but in five years you'll look back on it and be embarrassed of all the things you've learned since then. But you got there, and you're no longer standing in the crossed-arm masses.

    "Make mediocre art with alarming frequency," right?

  • You can make a thorough research, write a text according to the structural rules of an oral presentation, look for practical examples. Revise the text, let it rest for some time and come back to trim it. Go to a forum to test the content through discussion. Then look if you can develop some aspect remaining in the text and make more research. If so, revise it, let it rest and trim it again. Record your voice reading the text plainly with a chronometer. Point towards a certain limit, like five or ten minutes - trim words and sentences from the text to reach the goal. Then proceed with making the video. The content should be straight to the point, without apologetic fillers to disguise the relevant ideas nor stories from childhood and the past. Even less references to personal experience in order to validate the proposed ideas.

    Folks just write notes and add the most content possible, without structure or critical thought.

  • @DemonPirate

    I would absolutely agree. If you check all of the G/O Media websites, there is a clear blog-style uniformity between say Kotaku, Jalopnik, and AV Club, so my assumption is that this blog-site style must be a mandate from above and I bet they're expected to make this type of content. At the same time, Kotaku, Jalopnik, etc, also have hard hitting reporting mixed in-between so its a toss up what you'll get on any given week.


    Oh totally. I didn't explain my personal POV very well. I didn't only throw my hands up because I thought my work wasn't good, I just didn't value the time I was putting into it as I already have full time work and would rather focus on different avenues. I suppose my main concern is that there are a lot of very popular video essayists out in the wild who don't add anything compelling or informative and its a shame that there is quality more thought provoking writers out there, but the sea of YouTubers continues to grow and I think some of these people should put together better videos before hitting publish.

    I digress though, because my original point was that the Metal Gear Solid 2 Retrospective is really good so I'd just like to keep the attention there. I saw Heather wrote her process out in a comment below:


  • @dipset Ye it is very unfortunate that the Conservative side of the YouTube gaming scene has seemingly decided that Kotaku are a bunch of "betasimpcucks" and other buzzwords simply because they would like games to advance in meaningful ways, and also treat women/trans folk like actual humans.

  • @dipset I feel that. The tone is pretty inconsistent, but I don't usually go on the website without already knowing which article I want to read, so it doesn't bother me too much.

    Also, Irongrey deleted their account so I'm not going to @ them, but I think channels like Jacob Geller, hbomberguy, and Every Frame a Painting more than make-up for much of the drivel in the video essay genre.

  • @capnbobamous

    Every Frame A Painting produces videos so compelling they engage me like a film itself. I absolutely love their work. The video about Vancouver speaks to my heart (despite me living in Ontario) but they have so many gems. I don't think they've posted in a few years which makes me sad :(

  • @dipset Every Frame a Painting was great, but they decided to end the channel a few years back. Tony and Taylor wrote a post-mortem for Medium if you're interested.