Saturday, February 16, 2008

Unemployed To Web Video Overlord In Months

I talked briefly about Zero Punctuation during my discussion of Bioshock. It's a game review series by a demonic game reviewer who talks a hundred miles an hour with no pauses (hence the name) and does his best to skewer most of the games he reviews. After putting out a few reviews on the web (much to the approval of a fairly large viewership in a short period of time), he was noticed by The Escapist and brought on board (video). He reviews one game a week for The Escapist and his series of reviews have gotten a lot of notice and millions of viewers, making it a win win for both parties involved. Most of the attention is on the game reviews, although check out the two machinima pieces at the end of the last few reviews, especially the TF2 'love story' at the end of the SimCity Societies Review.

Now, apparently, ZP previews will be shown on G4 X-Play (covered in NewTeeVee and Kotaku). That's quite a rise from being self-described as unemployed and bored (NewTeeVee).

Two things: 1) it is quite impressive to bootstrap yourself simply by your talents and YouTube to a gig on cable TV, and 2) judging by Yahtzee's website (fullyramblomatic) he has actually produced a hell of a lot of content, comics, essays, even several short video games, and so his rise has not exactly been an overnight success. Impressive resume there.

There has been another amusing series making the rounds lately called "You Suck At Photoshop" (available on MyDamnChannel, YouTube Episode #1). It is both educational and entertaining (how often does that happen) as an apparently distraught ex-husband and employee in a crappy company uses Photoshop as a therapeutic tool to work out his frustrations at the world (his divorce? his crappy boss?). I am not sure if the stories behind these videos are even true, but there are some interesting things going on (check out some info at LaughingSquid). The videocasts appear to simply be the narrator (Donnie) working at this desk (we see his computer desktop, the photoshop window, and IM program). In episode #6, a brief flash of the desktop shows a company logo (Phebco - also linked at MDC). Well, if you check out, you find something straight out of Portal. ARG? Someone simply having a lark? It's definitely an example of some of the unique entertainment being generated on the web (and asks the question - can you produce something true entertaining simply by screencasting someone's desktop?) that is also educational (when will the copycats emerge?).

Who needs television when the web is so damn entertaining?

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