Author: Jordan

REACTWORLD REACT TO REACT

react-world-fine-bros

Variety reports that the internet duo called “Fine Brothers™” have trademarked the “reaction video™”. And are now looking for people to join-up with them and create this community of looking at content and talking about it… like just about everything on the internet.

Now, it’s a little early to comment on the success or possible failure of this “company”, but The Fine Brothers™ have made it their mission to get just about everybody to react to just about everything, give their thoughts on camera as it’s happening and make a success.

I remember a long time ago, the “2 girls 1 cup” video was around, featuring ladies drinking literal shit. And there were reaction videos to people watching that shitty video, pun fully intended. Fine Brothers™ took that concept and decided “well how about instead of horrible videos like Rebecca Black’s Friday, let’s do viral videos” these viral videos are  shown and you get old people, teenagers, and anybody off the street and go “well I think that’s cool”

But here’s the problem – there is nothing proprietary about that. For example, let’s ask ourself, what is a “let’s play” video? Let’s Plays™ (which for some reason are trademarked by Rooster Teeth Productions) are for instance, a reaction video of video games, somebody plays a video game, and offers off their opinions on things.

Someone on camera asking their opinions on things isn’t a “reaction” let alone a “let’s play”, it’s a vox pop, something that has been in journalism for over a hundred years, an Op-Ed collumn, like one you are reading is similar to a “reaction” video, I am offering my “reaction” to the “reactionworld” and writing it down – what’s the new thing about this?

The “company” is more or less the legal ramifications of making these videos, and the content allowed to make “reactions”, so for the percentage of advertising revenue, you will get to be able to have any public domain video allowed, plus whatever deals they can make from their YouTube buddies, because of their status as YouTube Celebrities.

o'leary gif

Here’s the biggest concern I have – Pretty much most vlogs on youtube are “reaction videos™” in some way, most of the “angry reviewers” such as Angry Video Game Nerd, and Nostalgia Critic have been around prior to Fine Bros.™ Reaction Videos™. And yes, Let’s Play™’s are a big subsection, so much that YouTube creating a “Gaming” division to compete with Twitch… but can anybody see that more-or-less when it comes to these genres, it’s mostly whatever requires the LEAST amount of work and have the most “personality” will succeed? A let’s play, requires recording the game video, and talking over it, a reaction video requires a camera and a laptop to watch, even a vlog is a simple camera job.

What I am really seeing is a capitalization on a genre of video that might be “successful” to Fine Bros.™, but is a gamble to just about anybody else who doesn’t have the subscriber count as they do. It’s a “style” of video, and I would rather see something different, I would rather see Karaoke videos in the car or people recording their own backyard wrestling league. Something unique and different makes YouTube channels stand out, that by doing a “Reaction Video™” or “Let’s Play”™ you are merely trying to fit into a sea of stuff that already exists from people already more successful at it than you are.

So, I am sorry Fine Bros.™ I think your idea, while trying to be a good way to get money and capitalize on your fame on “reactionaries™” (I trademarked that one.) You are betting on it being a genre people will care about in 5, 10, 20 years. And I really doubt that, because anybody with a vlog can do what you do, anybody with a blog can write about what they saw, and none of what you are preaching to me, comes across as genuine, which should be cautionary to the hundreds of thousands of subscribers you have, thinking because of this service they could be just as successful as you are in a “reaction video” field.

People falling down stairs will never go away, but people looking at that video and going “Oh Shit!”, that will also never go away… it just won’t be because of the success of this company, it’s just because somebody needs to say “Oh Shit!” and that person with the camera believes they are the kind of person to say that.

I’m out.

Advertisements

Ode to FishCenterLive

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKJAAAAJDEwMzBkMTQzLWYyNzYtNDBkZC04OTYwLTAwOWI4NmQ2Mzk2Yg

If you have to ask me, right this very second “what am I watching on television?” or probably something along the lines of “what internet series do you enjoy?” I really just have to point you to Twitch.TV/AdultSwim for it’s afternoon line-up of irrelevant fun.

At the start of the morning you get “Stupid Morning Bullshit” (formally Amateur Hour) in which Sally and Jonothan traverse the internet looking for strange youtube videos, snapchats they have received and answering calls while playing video games or taking quizzes. It’s a call-in show, for audience members to participate, but most of the time is really Sally and Jonothan having a fun time sharing stories and getting to know random people, like Domino’s Pizza managers. Depending on the day, you could be seeing a game show, a daytime news show, or something in between, which is always a fun watch.

Then after a while break (unless you just woke up), they have an afternoon event, “Crosswords” with Dave and Max. They grab the new york times crossword puzzle from the day and try and solve it, with the help of audience participation. Most of the time, they are able to solve the crossword (it takes 30 minutes) so the second half of the show becomes a weird call-in “shout-out” love show called “Tender Touches”, where people spread the love to people over the internet, to “Maxterminds” in which the host, Max Simonet probes Dave, and viewers at home with philsophical and theoretical questions while audio and video blend over causing an audiovisual mess… which is also the same to their new show “Mystic Shadows”, which reminds viewers of the Adult Swim Series “off the air”, only with all the video bending and audio changing done on the fly, as a live show.

Then you have great events throughout the week, such as “Tuesday Tea” in which they bring in somebody from Williams Street or Adult Swim games to keep audiences updated on not just what’s going on with the Cartoon Network block, but in their own personal lives. Viewers however, do not get a viewing of the people, but of the tea itself. Is it Tazo? Lipton? Tune in each week to find out!

Another series is Human Race Wars, which takes place in the company office as employees risk their lives racing around cubicles and wires while on hoverscooters in the hopes of winning the golden helmet and bragging rights. Viewers at home can predict the winner to win a small prize. This is also similar to “Daytime Fighting League”, hosted by Max and Dave as well, in which local professional wrestlers get in actual fights, with strange gimmicks in the hopes of winning, and the viewers at home, the chance on helping out the main event show – Fish Center.

tumblr_nm90geHZgv1upsmwno1_500

FishCenter aka FishCenterLive is a really abstract show – what started as just footage of a fish tank being streamed, grew into what might just be the best talk-show on the internet, and one of the greatest game shows ever created. In each episode, ten fish compete against each other (possibly against their will or willing knowledge) in games of “coin quest” in the hopes of winning points. There are 5 coins scattered across the tank for +1 point in round 1, 3 +1s and 2 -1s in Round 2, and 2 +5s and 3 +1s in Round 3. At a random time in the 60-90 second contest a “Badass Coin” might pop-in which adds a layer of suspense to the action, as it could be worth 25 points, or costing 10 points, it won’t be revealed until the fish swims across it.

However, this is not the only game in town, as in-between these events, callers can call-in to give their thoughts on the proceedings, which fish they feel deserves it (Mimosa? Long Donovan? Dottie?) or be able to play one of the twisted games created to help a fish of their choice win or lose bonus points. Games such as “Apple Bobbing for Bobs With Numbers” asks players to pick a number, and then guess which famous Bob is behind the bushel of apples. Another game, “Bumble Berry” plays like concentration where callers try and match up cards to earn points. Or “Guess That Choekemon” where playersare given a silhouette and must identify a pokemon, given a pun off beloved host and judge, Andrew Choe. Sometimes, as a consolation to losing or as a bonus for winning, the “200” is played, where if a player can correctly guess which box between 1 and 200 has the “200 points”, they can give it to a fish of their choice (this is almost a guarantee that that player will advance to the Final Round on Friday, more on that later).

At the end of the Friday show, the two highest fish (or eel, if Hamburger somehow made it) compete against each other in a game of skill and smarts – Fish Tank Choe. The fish go back and forth hoping to secure three in a row on a tic-tac-toe board, with whoever getting the most points the advantage of going first, and winning in case of a tie-breaker. That fish is crowned “King of the Tank” and earns all the glory and prizes that come with it. But, it’s a weekly show, played per season. So someone will be crowned at the end of Autumn, Winter, Summer and Spring a “Super King” that is the overall champion of the game.

It’s an hour-long absurdist game show, but what makes the show interesting is the heavy balance between chaotic and peaceful. At one moment, you have just the fish swimming, calmly, the next moment, you have Dave yelling at Andrew or Matt Harrigan over the scoring, or not being able to fish his lunch during the lunch-break. You have bizarre videos and crazy sketches such as “Great Moments in Fishcenter History” or actually having the hosting present behind the scenes of the series, or the tank itself.

The callers either play into the crazy game, by trying to be forced characters (which is largely frowned upon and met with disappointment) to just regular joes with amazing backgrounds just having a good time and just having to root for a fish. Other times, you will get people who are die-hard fish fanatics complaining about the scoring, or hating on a particular fish wanting them to get flushed. And on the rarest of times, you get people complaining about Adult Swim programming, which is met with silence. It’s not a “Tim and Eric” sketch, it’s really just a fun call-in game show, with the lowest of stakes, but the highest of laughs.

There is so much entertainment involved in Fishcenter, that something as simple as “making a game show out of a fish tank”, is actually so complex and so enjoyable that you can’t miss it. And if you do, there are replays over at FishCenterLive.com or in a 15-minute “best-of” on Adult Swim every day.

But if you ask me, you need to watch the full hour, it’s the pacing of the show that makes it work, the exact amount of yin and yang, the exact amount of chaos and peace that make this show work. People will call in and make whatever they want, if it means points to Eel Hamburger, Yo Hal Look At That Tang, or Ol Blue (but between you and me, Blue is kind of a jerk.)

I salute Fish Center, for showing that Twitch and the internet can be more than just “playing video games” and “broadcasting tournaments”, it can actually be more simpler than that, it can be just as competitive, but equally as entertaining, which is why I love the show, and keep swimming back for more. 15 points for Long Donovan Follows for the Long Donovan twitter.

 

maxresdefault

Game of the Generation? Burnout Paradise.

burnoutparadise.

If you had to ask me what was the one video game that made the biggest impact in the “last generation” gaming market, there would be a handful of titles, I am currently thinking between Burnout Paradise, Rock Band 3 and Red Dead Redemption as those titles. But instead of trying to make this feel like a series, I am going to put those off for a while, and just get into the details on something that hopefully many people find true – Burnout Paradise is the ultimate game of the “PS3/Xbox 360” era.

I have been a fan of the Burnout series for a long time, including “Burnout 2: Point of Impact”, but to imagine a burnout game being open-world felt like a tough challenge, let alone one asking yourself questions like “how does it work?” and after being somewhat biased and admitting to buying it for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and even the PC (it’s on Steam, why not?)

And the answer to that is : flawlessly.

If you want to play online-mode, it’s as simple as simply pressing on the control stick. If you want to do a simple “race” against AI, you just park at the street corner, and if you want to compete against friends in the same race, you do both, or just challenge them.

The challenges when it came to a racing game, aren’t any different than that of your favorite “open world” action game. Knock Down a target, avoid the police, cause a bit of chaos, simple challenges. And there was even a map that pointed exactly to the points you need to turn in order to reach said events.

Electronic Arts somehow published a better open-world game than Ubisoft, a company that is notorious for having every game being open-world.

When it came to DLC, it wasn’t that bad, you had new cars, new trucks and even a new section (Big Surf Island) which provided more of what people enjoyed. And one of my favorite DLC packs of the generation – Burnout Party Mode.

Burnout Party Mode allows players to pass-and-play the controller and compete against each other in various challenges across the Burnout Paradise map. Completing a stunt, getting the fastest time, getting the farthest distance, surviving the longest and tons more.

When it comes to a soundtrack, it had a huge variety, from 80s Rock, to 2000s Pop and classic music from the Burnout series, that the biggest problem with the game isn’t a matter of “what” but a matter of “when”, that “when”, being the next Burnout game?

At no point during the game was there a loading screen, aside from the beginning world, which introduces you to “Paradise City” with the music of Guns’N’Roses… so if you screw up or need to retry, you have to finish the game or try a new challenge.

Everything about Burnout Paradise was every new mechanic of the generation – “in-game” branding, open-world aesthetic, DLC practices that weren’t nickel-and-dimeing the audience, the need for expansive multiplayer, the need to have a game be about having fun with friends and exploring as a team (or being a jerk and taking down people so you can see their reaction seconds before the crash)

It’s not the most perfect game, but it did pave the ground for just about every title available, and while you see Need For Speed games every other year and other driving games trying to be like Burnout Paradise, nobody was able to do it better.

1974698-blog_1

Oh, and Barack Obama used the game to sponsor his presidential campaign, so if that wasn’t a sign of “hope and change” and a game of the generation, I have no idea what is.

GBStv – Too Ahead Of It’s Time

goon

Recently, Joel Hodgson is on Kickstarter raising money to create a new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. This has come about due to a growing rise to the former series, including the special “Turkey Day” celebration they had last year from Shout Factory. The Turkey Day events are nothing new, Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuted on Thanksgiving, and quite frankly has always had some involvement on Thanksgiving.

But one of my most vivid memories actually came around the mid 2000s. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was off the air for good, not even reruns were broadcast on Sci-Fi. YouTube has yet become the powerhouse it was, and the only way to really watch it was through Kazaa or your torrent website of choice, but as a person who spent “:10bux:” to browse and post on a message board, I found a better solution – GBStv.

GBStv or “Goon Broadcasting System Television” was a play of the General Bullshit forums of Something Awful. It was a broadcast streaming website that allowed users of Something Awful to not only upload, but request videos to be broadcasted next on the network. Episodes of “Mega 64”, would clash alongside AMV Hell, as well as episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and actual in-house shows made for the channel.

It was probably one of the most sketchiest if you think about the copyright infringement, but it was also one of the biggest examples of Crowd-focused programming that has not returned even to this day. Sure, you have websites that would let you broadcast youtube videos in-sync with your friends. but rarely one that was going on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a commitment to airing the weirdest videos available. It was where I actually remembered watching Rejected and immediately afterwards was some Windows Movie Maker videos of people smashing stuff with a hammer.

The server bills must’ve been expensive as well as the process in which to upload videos, to repeat, YouTube barely existed. But this was the website that got people a glimpse into “Bill Fillmaff’s Secret System” besides going to IGN. But what I felt made it such a unique idea was that everybody was in control of what aired, it could be something good, something bad, or just something weird, and you were in control of getting rid of it at any time.

Like a television channel, they had special live events, but unlike a television channel, everybody could be the executive in charge of putting up anything. Speed Runs were put on next to Aquabats Music Videos, and if you were bored with either, you could just upload or rate any of the shows involved. As off-the-wall and zany most livestreams can try to be, and as presenter-heavy as a regular person on Twitch is when it came to playing games. Nobody and Nothing can really capture the kind of irrelevance Something Awful Goons came up with, like WTF Chuck.

While the internet does make us stupid, and there are a few liveshows that are very unique, you rarely saw the equivalent of a public-access channel, a blank canvas for the weird, and the antithesis of internet media until GBS showed up. Sure, you had places like Loading Ready-Run and even the Angry Video Game Nerd beginning their webseries and webshows, but GBStv was the kind of service that was the fast-moving “if you liked this weird stuff, here’s some more weird stuff” that somehow always kept being interesting, until the ultimate slowdown in 2010.

Bob Ross and the Importance of Creativity.

BobRossTwitch

Recently, Twitch.TV has celebrated a new section of their livestreaming website, by offering up something strange – a marathon of “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross.

The success of the series comes from Bob Ross and his calm demeanor, joyfully painting away landscapes and encouraging viewers at home to join along, even if they aren’t that skilled in painting.

As a gimmick, it really did help Twitch get a pull in audience, either out of nostalgia for the 11-year old PBS series, or out of “irony” because it isn’t video games, which is what is expected from Twitch.

Personally, I saw it more as a “calm” under all the chaos of Twitch. A normal day at Twitch involves a livestream of a video game championship, while two or three popular streamers have a chat show. The inflections are loud, the noise in the background is loud because of either the video games or the audience. And a sudden push to this channel, and you get nothing in the background, just the sound of Bob Ross and his paintbrush.

It’s a palette-cleanser for the livestream audience, and it’s also a great way to finally introduce something that has been going on for decades now – drawing streams.

Since as long as I could remember, livestreams have always had one “style” that was unlike any other – showcasing digital art.

No matter what time of day, there was always somebody drawing something on the internet for everybody to see, rather it was fanart of an anime character or someone from a video game, to their own original characters and stories, it’s always amazing to see how long it takes to create art, even if it’s just one panel from a comic book.

And what I am expecting is that Twitch wants to have the audience of Tumblr and DeviantArt as well, and get these artists to show-off their art to a greater audience. And having their audience be able to chat and interact with the artists (or fans of the series) in the chatroom as well.

In addition, it might be a better way for artists to make money thanks to the “subscribe” feature Twitch implemented. Besides crowdfunded websites like Patreon and the usual Paypal donation link, that might be able for viewers who want to support an artist without wanting anything in return.

The only thing that might be questionable is the rules of conduct and rather or not Twitch can beef up their administrators for the lengthy homophobic comments that could come from the chatroom, and the need to stifle the creativity.

So far, from looking at the creative portion of the website, I am seeing a ton of great things, from people making fanart, to people performing on violin, to glassblowing to perler art of 8-bit video game characters. It’s showing me the internet is very creative, as long as you give them a place to show it off.

The next step for Twitch is probably to spin-off the livestreaming process to have more streaming media concepts, like a livestream that’s nothing but a different word every hour, or maybe a new concept that allows people to actually build IKEA furniture, not just “make furniture”.

And now to look forward to the live-stream of tattoo shops across the entire world, and see what kinds of designs people are getting, only for the chatroom to be all “salt” when someone gets an arrow tattoo.

Mission Statement

MissionStatement

My name is Jordan Hass, and I am currently one of the only two writers for PeriodicalMedia. PeriodicalMedia is a look at media, periodically. We are not trying to be a news publication, a review website, or a website that swims in link-bait and offering up listicles.

And it reminded me of the night in professional wrestling when Vince McMahon, head of the WWF (now WWE) went out of character to promote his new vision for the company.

My goal for this website, is to have the best damn articles available at an almost weekly basis. We aren’t trying for anything daily quite yet, just something that is once a week, what that day is, I haven’t figured it out, but believe me – when I figure it out, I figure it out.

Currently, the only articles on the website come from my friend, Thomas. His reviews of video games are very technical, and very in-depth, and that’s the kind of thing you should expect from this website. And I hope that we can expand into not just video games, but movies, television, comic books, music, internet. In other words, media.

Every article will have at least a minimum of 500 words (that is based on the word count provided by this WordPress) and we will try to have links and sources to almost everything that we cover.

The reason for all of this? To counter the usual way articles and websites handle things.

I, myself, was very Twitter-obsessed, and I would spend six, maybe seven tweets trying to detail my opinion on a current television show, movie, or big talking point within the internet. If you’ve ever tried to do that, it becomes a mess, for others, it becomes a multi-part series of “[5/?]”

A summary of my actual thoughts to fill it up, and while there are websites like “TwitLonger” available – I would rather just simply have those thoughts on a website. With no need to back-track, and the ability to elaborate as much as possible.

I also feel it’s necessary because one of the biggest things I have been hearing in a long time was

Nobody writes anymore, everything is video.

And to me, I don’t see that happening. Sure, YouTube and Twitch have paved the way for just about everybody to deliver to their audience. But for every short segment, you have hours upon hours of content of podcasting, livestreaming, and video game playing, used as simple background noise.

But if that’s in the background, what’s in the foreground?

My assumption is that the foreground is either actual video games, chatting with friends online, social media or reading articles. And my bet is that you would be reading this article as something else is playing in the background. Maybe, you’re reading the comments section of someone who posted this on Reddit or Twitter to let them know how much I suck.

Either way, there will be “walls of text” and if you are one of those “tl;dr” types, you might want to just have a friend summarize it all for you.

One more thing that we have implemented is no comments, I feel that adding the comments section, while helps get viewership up multiple times on the article, or view in case of a YouTube video, doesn’t really add much to a conversation. If anything, what you tend to see in comments are repeating of what the author wrote, an extra bit of information, a question about the author’s intent, or the most likely answer – trolling.

This will probably not be a website that fights the trolling surge on the internet, but it will hopefully be a website that would be more intelligent. A website that asks questions, and then proceeds to try and answer thing. A website that celebrates the novel ideas we share, and the novelty of creative writing.

That’s the idea, to have a smart discussion of ideas, dissecting everything that we watch, and critiquing it along the way.

And maybe just like Vince McMahon, this website feels it’s tired of having your intelligence insulted. But unlike Vince McMahon, we are probably not going to have a Bra and Panties Battle Royale any time soon, either.