Questions for folks who dislike old games being played during certain content.

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#1 Edited by BrunoTheThird (837 posts) -

I posted this on Reddit already, but thought I'd post it here too if that's cool.


I read plenty of comments from people who seem to have fairly strong knee-jerk responses whenever old games make an extended appearance on UPF or other GB shows, and I thought of some questions that would genuinely interest me if you could answer. Not in a, "So tell me this, haters!" way, I actually don't have a stance on it either way, this is purely fueled by curiosity.

Q1. Let's say you were the host of a laid-back gaming show, and one of your favourite things to do on the show was dig into some older games and see what happens. You see after the stream's over, or even live in the chat window, that x amount of people really don't enjoy it. What would you do about it? Would you change your output? Would you engage with them in regards to it? Would it bug you?

Q2.a I often comment when I don't like the direction an episode from a TV show went, which is an identical process, but I feel that I'm inclined to do this to start a discourse, perhaps to gain other input, pro or con, to digest and integrate into my own thinking. My question is, when you express how much you dislike when old games crop up, are the intentions of that similar to my TV show analogy, or is there a part of you that hopes the staff may see your comments and try to curtail the content to make for -- in your opinion -- a superior viewing experience?

Q2.b. If the latter was true for you in Q2.a, have you ever thought of an alternate way older games could be shown without making you want to stop watching? Say, streaming an old game at the same time as a newer one, and having multiple feeds to choose which you'd like to focus on?

Looking forward to your responses!

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#2 Edited by Yesiamaduck (2554 posts) -

They always play old games when they have skeletal staff as jeff can just quickly blast through a bunch of neat games from a single box with little worry of anytjing going wrong. And also, honestly, there was literally a stream yesterday which was exclusively new games.

Also its jeffs thing, it should be expected at this point, everyome else on staff usually sticks to new releases.

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#3 Posted by The_Greg (543 posts) -

My answer to Q1 is that you shouldn't really take the vocal minority seriously. Don't ignore them completely as their feedback is just as valid as everyone else's, but don't change what you're doing because one out of a thousand people complained.

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#4 Edited by Humanity (18846 posts) -

I am one of the people who has started to become tired by seeing extremely old games on stream. To quantify, I mean games that are very old, like the UPF from the other days and generally most of the stuff we see on the Old Games Show. While I found this content extremely engaging at first when Jeff introduced it to the site, over time the games they show have started to have less historical significance and Jeff himself has had less interesting things to say about them. He is, and I believe always will be, an extremely able host so even when playing a terrible game with few redeeming qualities or interesting facts to uncover Jeff still manages to keep the stream somewhat lively. That said, bad games are bad games and an uninteresting game that has 30 pixels on the screen is no more engaging to watch simply because it's old than an uninteresting modern title.

That said..

As for your first question I honestly don't know. I've never hosted and don't plan to. On one hand as someone that "creates" illustrations, I would say that you should always stay true to yourself. At one point some people starting assailing me in the past because of the way I drew cartoony noses in. My response to this was that I make stuff the way I make it and if people don't like it then they don't really have to look at it. I'm not inclined to change my inner self to please others, especially when I'm making art for myself and sharing it as a fun thing to show off. When I am actually creating art for money then I make sure the people who hire me either know what style I work with or reach some sort of understanding how the artwork should look in the end. They are paying money for it after all and I am putting a lot of my own time in to create the product, so it would be a waste of time the both of us if I entrenched myself and stubbornly created artwork for said employer in a style that I preferred which they weren't happy with. That is not a clear answer but it's how I see it. All that said - Giant Bomb exists entirely because of Jeff's character trait of doing things his way - he was let go from GameSpot for not budging and the site was built against all modern trends the way he wanted it - so I doubt he will let outside influence ever seriously dictate how he will run the website.

As for why I sometimes comment on it, what is the goal? The goal is usually just community interaction. I'm simply curious to see how many others share my opinion and what others think. I've never seriously considered that me saying anything in the comments will have any effect on the site. To be brutally honest and with all respect to staff etc etc.. I think very little user feedback is ever taken into consideration on Giant Bomb. So no I have no hope that anything will change, not from the comments anyway. It is more likely that they might look at site data and notice a fall-off in viewership which might make them re-examine the cost/effort vs. gains of said features.

Personally I'm not sure how they might make the old games stuff more palatable to me. Certainly more interesting games but that is a subjective matter of taste. I honestly don't know. For instance the Venetian Blinds "game" has fascinating history behind it despite being a big nothing of a game. Most of the games Jeff showed off yesterday had a lot more meat to the bones but had little interesting facts set to them. For instance I actually have watched the Allo' Allo'! TV show so seeing the sidescroller it was based on was somewhat interesting but since Jeff and the gang were unfamiliar with it they just kinda jumped around and moved on. The format of Encyclopedia Bombastica was what I really enjoyed because it had a staff member talking indepth about a game that they really enjoyed. You learned not only fun facts but interesting anecdotes and the passion of the host was what drove it forward. Even if the gameplay was stale you could set it in the background and enjoy the interesting conversation. Simply mucking about for a few minutes not knowing anything or saying "yup they made a lot of these bad sort of games back then" isn't really all that interesting one way or the other.

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#5 Posted by PDXSonic (572 posts) -

The one thing I've learned from being around this site for several years now is that people will complain no matter what. There is no satisfying everyone.

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#6 Posted by Ares42 (4362 posts) -

Not really the target you're looking for, but I'll give my answer to Q1 anyways. The show is not for you, the host, it's for the audience. You see this mistake crop up all the time on YT and Twitch, people putting their own desires ahead of the audience, and it's never good. If the audience lines up with your own interests, great, but people aren't tuning in to make you happy. If you have any interest in becoming or staying successful the last thing you want to do is turn your back on the audience you've managed to capture so far.

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#7 Posted by ripelivejam (13203 posts) -

Older games are what make the site unique to everything else on the internet to me.

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#8 Posted by squigiliwams (101 posts) -

Core problem is that some folks think every piece of content should be applicable to them. There are billions of hours of content on the internet, you're not a bad Duder if you turn something off and watch something else. Me personally? I catch a huge nerdboner when jeff digs into the old stuff, but can't stand when Vinny tries to break a game. In the time i could write an angry response in the comments, i've already gone to twitch to watch someone stream something else. Why complain when i know it makes 1000 other people insanely happy to watch vinny go full vinny?

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#9 Posted by The_Greg (543 posts) -

Watching Brad play Star Wars Dark Forces is one of my favourite pieces of GB content ever. I'd love to see more of that stuff.

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#10 Edited by BrunoTheThird (837 posts) -

I think we all have an innate love or at least respect for classic old games (or less respect for less important old games if that is a qualifier in your case), so I never take it as some kind of ageism, just a matter of taste like everything else. I am currently way into PC Engine and the 5200 myself, but it's fascinating to hear from a perspective of deep retro fatigue. I am always intrigued by the thought processes and reasoning behind certain responses, but also how they would interpret the same responses from the other end. Switching the I/O, so to speak.

Very interesting answers so far, to me anyway. I had similar thoughts about how people interpreted things like this when some comments kind of despaired that another old game was the focus of This Is the Run (Contra Hard Corps).

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#12 Posted by Brackstone (922 posts) -

I'm not a fan of when they play a bunch of old games at a time since they really just blast through them quick. Especially on the last UPF, they'll boot something up, mess around for 5 minutes, then move on. It makes the show feel like it's constantly switching between things and filling for time until it's over.

If it's something like a Breaking Brad, This is the Run or Vinnyvania where they really get some time to spend with the game, it's fantastic. But if they're just checking out some old crappy game that no one rightly remembers for 5 minutes before moving on, I don't think it makes for interesting content.

The other thing is that there are so many neat games that come out each year nowadays that surely they could find something good (or potentially good) that they overlooked in the past year or two to check out instead. For this time of year, maybe it's a good time for the staff to check out games recommended on the various staff and guest game of the year lists that didn't get any video coverage.

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#13 Posted by frytup (1326 posts) -

The point of the most recent UPF's old games portion was to show off the MiSTer. The actual games played were mostly irrelevant. If you don't give a crap about a retro gaming FPGA project, you can safely ignore it and move on with your life.

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#14 Posted by Christoffer (2374 posts) -

You should do a rap song

Why are these our problems? I don't care about old games because I already know about them. Because I'm old.

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#15 Edited by mems1224 (2508 posts) -

I don't like when they play old games but it's very much a me problem. Jeff tends to be the one that mostly plays old games and he usually plays stuff I could not give less of a shit about and usually just think they look boring. I think it's because I just have 0 connection to the commodore 64 and things like that which is what he usually plays. I grew up a snes kid and I feel like that kinda gets the shaft around here unless it's Dan. Now if they ever play through Run Saber, I'm here for it.

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#16 Posted by SloppyDetective (1613 posts) -

I don't mind old games showing up but I do think this obsession with game preservation is a bit, idk what the best word is so I'll say, masturbatory. Like there are a million shit ass movies from the 80's-90's that were straight to vhs and you don't see every one invested in movie culture lamenting on how we as a people owe it to ourselves to break laws to ensure every shit ass movie is preserved, but some people seem to think that every bad game that ever got released should be available in some form currently so we ass a people have a full record of video games. But I like hearing the anecdotes and opinions of the duders around old games, even when the game itself sucks.

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#17 Posted by Tom_omb (1073 posts) -

I like when they play old games. I agree it can be a bit tiresome when I don't have a refrence point for some of these earlier games that came out on machines I've never touched. But They don't spend too much time on each of these games.

I enjoy the history lesson. I may not ever play these games, but watching Jeff play them for a few minutes expands my understanding of the spectrum of what games were before my time around the world. He's expanding his own knowledge aswell when he plays games even he doesn't know.

Plus there's nothing better when they play an all time favorite of mine, like Goldeneye or Mario Sunshine.

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#18 Posted by ThisIsACoolTag (111 posts) -

I like the old games, and have watched all of the streams from Jeff's home, but taking game requests from chat is usually bad. The Amiga games on the MiSTer were either basic/arcade games written by a handful of people in their bedrooms, or the imaginative games that people fondly remember playing needed a 30-page instruction manual - so dipping in for a 3-minute (quick) look won't leave anyone satisfied.

As mentioned above, having access to a folder with every game release on a platform means you also have all of the shovelware and average-to-bad games to wade through if you are just picking games at random or by how the name sounds.