I always feel guilty whenever I take time to play video games on my PS3. The truth is there’s almost always something more productive I could doing with my time. Not necessarily something better, but definitely more productive.
So if I feel guilty about that, you can imagine how bad I feel when I’m not even playing the game, but instead I’m so lazy I’m sitting back watching someone else play!
Boy I am such a lazy bum. At least if I were actually playing the rumble feature of the controller might force me to get some involuntary exercise.
If only there was some way to, I don’t know…burn off calories or something. Like use up the extra unneeded fat on your body. Or perhaps if there were some sort of food to eat that didn’t contribute to lard-assed-ness. Some kind of…health…food…or something.
But there’s not. So I guess there’s no point in dwelling on it. Maybe sometime in the far-flung future. Until then, pass me another hot-dog and read on.
THE VIDEO GAME PROBLEM
Well, some of you non-gamers might not realize this, but the new games cost about $60 (U.S. dollars) these days. If you’re buying some special edition you can easily end up slapping down $100 for the cause.
Back in the PlayStation 1 and PS2 days, you could cheat at these games. You could use actual physical cheat devices like the GameShark or Action Replay to put in codes to grant yourself infinite ammo or infinite lives, “god mode” etc. This meant I had no worries of getting through the entire game.
Now you can’t do this (I don’t think), and the developers don’t really build those kinds of cheats into the game (which is unfortunate because that stuff is really fun and adds a ton of replayability).
The end result of this is that someone like me, with limited time (and frankly, limited video game skill), just might not be able to get through the game. If I get too frustrated I’ll end up putting it down and getting back to work on something that I should have been doing in the first place.
Obviously, once I’ve paid money like this I want to at least get to the end of the game. When I say “at least”, I mean that just getting to the end isn’t always all you can do in the game. For you non-gamers, many times there are extras thrown in to increase the replayability of the game. For example, there might be multiple endings to the game (based on the choices you make while playing).
In addition, sometimes there are hidden fun mini-games, Easter Eggs or secret levels you can only get if you beat the game once. Xbox Achievements and PS3 Trophies are another huge reason – these are acknowledgements of specific accomplishments you complete during the game, which are available for all of the people on your friends list to see. Bragging rights, essentially. It’s tough to get all of these on just one play-through of the game.
I don’t care at all about Trophy bragging rights, but I do care about getting my money’s worth out of the game. Man, I wanna see every single dark corner of every level, secret or otherwise. I want every ending and every stupid funny outtake or whatever. I don’t want to miss anything!
THE VIDEO GAME SOLUTION
So barring actual cheat codes, how can I do it if my skillz aren’t quite up to snuff?
The answer is to go on YouTube and try to find a video walkthrough to get you through the tough spots.
When playing a game I’ve encountered this scenario many times: I keep replaying the same damn level, getting killed the same way, and I just can’t seem to figure out how I’m supposed to get past that point.
Even though I love video games, I told you I’m not really that good at them :)
Finally I thought, “someone must have posted a video about this part.” Turns out I was behind the times. Not only were there multiple videos about whatever game I typed in, people had been posting the videos of their ENTIRE gameplay sessions.
After watching a few videos of people tackling the problem levels in different ways, I’m usually able to work my way past any obstacles and get on with enjoying the game.
THEN A FUNNY THING HAPPENED
Normally I would hop over to my computer, check YouTube, pull up the first video that came up in the search, watch and repeat until I got what I wanted. Then I would jump back over to the couch and try out whatever new technique I just saw.
There came a point, however, when I just never picked the controller back up -I was having too much fun.
Watching these guys goof off in the game, and listening to the commentary, some of which was downright hilarious, kind of had me hooked on the videos. At the end of each one I would just keep clicking to load up the next one.
Eventually it got to the point where I would just download all the videos at once (using Downloadhelper for Firefox ) and transfer them to my PS3 for continuous playback. I might as well have grabbed a bucket of popcorn and a large soda. That was the level of interaction I was reduced to.
Note: Technically, I can watch youtube vids right from my PS3, but the web browser sucks and so does my internet connection, whether using wired or wireless. So I usually won’t even bother.
CHECK THESE OUT!
Ok, check out Vash12349 on YouTube. This is the guy I’ve been watching the most. A lot of his off the cuff commentary cracks me up. BEWARE: As seems to be the case in online gamer vids, cursing is done liberally and without mercy!
This is one part of his video walkthrough for one of my favorite games –Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PS3:
And also see ArmageddonGaming on YouTube. He was cracking me up a lot in the vids, too. The same warning as above applies here.
This is a clip from another favorite of mine called Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune:
FOLLOW THE MONEY
Now you probably noticed ads popping up on these. I really wonder how much money is in this thing?
If you check out Vash12349’s channel, you’ll see he has about 67,000 subscribers, 1300 vids uploaded with a combined total of over 65 million views of his videos!
Not bad if you can swing it.
I’m not sure how much Google is paying per click here but I have to believe it can at least add up to some decent partying money, if not life-changing income.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
I was considering doing something like this, but I don’t really have as much time as I’d like to play games. Still, if you were interested you’d need to get some essential equipment.
It looks like a lot of these guys are using either a Hauppage HDPVR or a Pinnacle Dazzle.
These products record your gameplay video and audio. But it doesn’t look like they record your voiceover, so you’ll need to do that separately. I think most of these guys use a USB headset or other microphone to record into their computer at the same time they’re recording the game.
According to Vash’s page, he uses the Logitech USB Headset H360.
So then you’ll need to edit the video so you can add your commentary track onto the gameplay vid.
Again, back to Vash, he’s using a version of Sony’s Vegas to do his editing. That might be overkill for this sort of thing but just so you know you’ll need something that can combine your audio and video tracks.
LIVE STREAMING YOUR GAME
I was looking through some YouTube channels and I noticed that many had links to their live video gaming on Justin.tv.
I’m not sure exactly what’s required to get this working. This is another avenue of gaming where I just didn’t have a clue this was going on. I wouldn’t consider doing it myself but obviously many others would and have done it.
The site is jam packed with video channels -and if this one is out there, you can be sure there’s plenty of alternate sites just like it.
So this is a strangely mutated form of gaming entertainment. The whole edge games always had over movies is that you were the star. Now I went and handed that back over to someone else and sat on the couch like a lump to watch them play the game.
Man, I’ve already downloaded Vash’s Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 walkthroughs.
So far I’ve only watched the ones where I’ve actually played the game because I get a lot more out of it.
However, I was thinking of downloading some videos of games that I don’t own or simply can’t play because I don’t have an Xbox or PC capable of gaming.
Now that will really be strange since I’ve never played the games, I don’t know what’s going to happen and I have zero control over the outcome.
Actually it won’t be strange. It’ll be just like the movies, I guess…
60 thoughts on “Addicted to Non-Interactive Video Games”
NIce post. I like the angle you chose for it. And definitely in-depth. I’m not really a gamer, but I’m sure that people that are will get a lot out of this. Also, good work on the illustration.
Yo thanks for dropping in Todd. I’m a bit behind the curve on this, so I’m sure the true gamers are already up on it, but it seemed pretty cool so I decided to write about it.
And I had a lot of fun with the drawing!
Lol my son likes to watch the gameplay videos and I just never understood that because I’d rather be working on my Xbox achievements and playing myself. I have 17000+ gs on xbox and am most proud of beating Halo campaign on legendary. However I laugh because I was truthfully just my much better gaming friends’ spawn point. :) It pays to have MLG level friends. However I’m 10th prestige legit in Black Ops…not too bad for a mom. Ha ha My son was just showing me some guy’s YouTube channel that uploads walkthroughs daily- each with like 30,000 views. Crazy. You knew I was going to be all excited about this post being a complete game freak.
Holy Hannah, Melinda! I never knew you were such a complete gaming BAD-ASS!
If I had an X-Box I would definitely hire you to protect me when I get into a game. You might be able to make some extra cash running a protection racket! LOL.
Hey see if you can find that link your son showed you, I’m looking for some new material to watch as I vegetate :)
Chuggaaconroy is the name the guy goes by but I think he does a lot of N64 and Gamecube. But I saw some PS3 I think. I’m sure you can find his channel. He has a bunch of fan art I believe as the channel background. Very cool looking. I have had to refer to a few walk throughs to find hidden skulls or briefcases for achievements I was determined to get. Gears of War is my fav campaign so I’m all ready for the new one to come out. I mostly play first person shooters and fighting games like Soul Calibur and Marvel Vs Capcom. I can’t leave Black Ops till I hit the highest prestige. :P
I stopped playing video games for the most part due to the same feeling that I could be more productive. But I think that you do need to have activities in life that you enjoy doing. Furthermore, the $60 expense could be enjoyment for days to come, while many other activities can cost you $60 for maybe an hour. I think it is money well spent.
Yeah Tim I’ve often thought that, too. Here I am playing a game from 5 years ago! That’s many many hours of enjoyment. I just like to make sure I can see everything in the game for my money -I agree it’s money well spent. Thanks for the comment!
I was a videogame addict between age 16 and 19. My familiy was so worried about me because I just went directly from school to my room to play games and frankly, that was the highlight of my day. I stopped playing so much when I entered college.
Now I play games from time to time and I really enjoy the experience knowing that I deserve a reward after a long day at work..so, there is time for everything.
Mario you’ve got the right idea. Do something you enjoy and can look forward to so you can unwind.
I tell myself that I deserve time to play but I still always get that feeling in my mind that I could/should be doing something else.
From now on i will muzzle that inner voice though :) Thanks for commenting!
I got hooked to it for quite a time but I realized there are many task I cannot accomplished because of what I am doing. I slowly controlled it. Now, I make it a reward for myself after finishing some work at home and in the office.
yayebangz this seems to be the general theme. People enjoying video games as a reward for putting in a hard days work.
I think that’s the right way to do it. Work hard and play hard! Thanks much for reading!
but you said you will write next something on LOTR trilogy…:) Just kidding, this is not disappointing either, since I am a video games fan, as well. Actually, not as quite as big as you are, but I certainly do not feel guilty when playing…yes,there could be something better to be done with my time, but can’t we have some entertainment? Plus, it is a great brain stimulator. I think Vash12349 could be making excellent money with his videos, I also wonder how much could he be making out of it…but, I am sure he needs no other job than that one.
Hey Kristina! I actually am going to do something on LOTR eventually -I just have to set aside time to re-watch the movies so i can find something to complain about :)
Yeah we deserve some down time to have fun. I just feel guilty about it as I look over and there’s some half-finished drawing staring at me with its DEAD EYES. Then I turn it over and keep playing :)
I might try to contact Vash12349 and see if he’d be interested in an interview here, this is some cool stuff that others out there might like to get involved in.
Oh holy hell, I was DYING laughing so hard. DYING!! =) (Yeah, sorry I’ve been off-grid lately…)
Here’s where I out myself with my gaming geekness. Some couples go out to dinner and a movie for a great date night. My lovely boyfriend and I make dinner here, then he sits down and plays Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, or any of the Halo editions, or BioShock, etc., or I’ll play Oblivion (only ’till Skyrim comes out in November, baby, yeah!) and Fable 3. It’s better than a movie, because it lasts longer! And our commentary is every bit as hilariously foul as Vash’s.
And I’d play online more (or play more at all) if it meant I could do so in peace. Usually my daughter starts screaming in jealousy two minutes in, so I do more watching (with popcorn) than playing. Of course, I say this just so I don’t have to admit I don’t play XBox Live because someone already took the name I wanted: PanzerGeneral. =D
OMG…she’s BACK! Good to see you here again, Delena :)
But yeah I told you he was funny! Many times I just burst out laughing and almost choked on something while watching his videos.
That’s great that you and your boyfriend can enjoy the same passion. Too many times your hear about how video gaming is tearing some couple apart. I like to hear the opposite!
So you’re another Xbox-er like Melinda? Man I might have to pony up for one and cross over so we can form a guild/crew/clan/posse or whatever they’re calling it these days. They’re making that Skyrim for PS3 too, right??
Wait, you mean you don’t wanna game as “AboriginalMama”. Man everyone would want you on they’re team!
Well, I’ll look forward to the day you ad your boyfriend decide to record your own commentary :P
>.< Yeah, I'm back…kinda. Super sick + super busy = super dead, lol.
But yeah, I'm an XBox fiend. The Wii was only to be able to watch Netflix, and for the nostalgic games you can get at the Wii store. Spent last night watching the boyfriend make cinnamon pies and play Donky Kong Country. Well, and lol'ing at him a lot…
I miss online playing, seriously. There's no way I could for a while, not without a really understanding babysitter. Sucktastic! Ah well. I'll just have to be uber here at home.
And yes! You totally have to spring for a 360. Heck, you can get a refurb from GameStop no prob. That way you don't have to feel less awesome than the rest of us. *snerk*
As for gaming tearing apart couples? That's just because the gaming half of a couple doesn't understand about Spouse Aggro. Get them their own system! Stop drawing aggro. Otherwise you're just kiting trouble, and you get the GM on your back for that. =)
Damn I’m sorry to hear you’ve been so sick!
Hopefully this means you’re feeling better now?
Hey doesn’t that 360 have Netflix, too? I use my PS3 mostly for watching movies/tv but that’s usually from *cough* torrenting *cough*.
I probably should get a 360, there are a couple of games that I did want to play, and I ponied up for a PS3 for the sole reason of playing Metal Gear Solid 4 so it’s not like a precedent hasn’t been set!
Ok I understood about 1/8th of your last paragraph! lol. maybe I’m not as much of a gamer as I though :)
thank you so much for this one! i am not a big fan of video game but my brother is! i would love to share this with him… i bet he’ll love this!
Hi Mimi, thanks for commenting and sharing with your brother!
And that why we stop playing video games. I still love them, but i feel so guilty maybe even embarrassed to play games.
Plus when i start i cant stop ! After a long (1 year) absence i bought God of War 2 for PS2 and i made just two sessions…..of 8 hours !
Btw – PS2 controller is indestructible ;)
Hey Luke, I don’t feel embarrassed (those game take a lot of skill and effort to make) but yeah I feel guilty even though I know I shouldn’t!
I got the God of War 1 & 2 special edition that came out a year or so ago and I was doing the same thing you did, just a-playin’ away :)
Yeah that PS2 Dual Shock was the best ever made. When they made the Sixaxis they messed up (i know they had legal trouble but they still coulda done better than that)…
John, you had me dying before I even started reading. That little translation bar was the final straw. >whew<
I admire that you can find such joy in other people's fun. I think this is why you rock as a comic artist. (Oh and you can draw good, too.)
Now about this new form of couch potatoism. With a bit more "something", these vids might challenge webisodes for serial entertainment. Until then, I love the way you describe your devolvement into lumpish passivity. Why play, indeed? Isn't this what the NFL and sports bars are all about?
Mitch you’re spot on -with a little more polish there could be something really lucrative here.
Look at the kind of numbers some of those vids were pulling in. The more popular games are probably watched more than some tv shows (although not all in the same night).
The funny thing is, I’m not a real sports fan, mostly because I suck at sports and I can’t really see myself doing any of that stuff.
With this, at any moment I could pick up the controller and do the same things those guys are doing. I can be the hero of the game just like them…well, usually…
Someone is probably making a killing with all this stuff somewhere…
thanks for this post t’was fun reading it… i enjoy watching other people play the game rather than playing it my self… i don’t know why :)
Hi aninglozada, thanks for reading! Yes I’ve had so much fun experiencing the game through others. For me it’s part laziness and part curiosity of how others will beat the game :)
Yes i agree with you i find it very interesting watching than playing, i like that way because im watching there reaction and it’s really funny.
Hi Darlene, yes the reactions are priceless. especially if the person is doing a first run through the game where you know all the surprises but they don’t. Although when they get stuck you may have to fast forward with impunity!
Hi JG, for me, its better to play than watching to others that they playing. it’s annoying..
Hi hannamay, so you want to be in on the action! nothing wrong with that -at least you’re not a lazy bum like me :)
I rather choose playing on Facebook games, its totally cool while playing to other members. And the good thing is its for free. :)
you know I’ve never really got into Facebook games, despite my friends pleading/inviting and badgering me incessantly to help them with whatever farm/castle/mafia hit they need to complete at the time.
I’d be afraid of losing even more time if I got involved in that :)
thanks for commenting!
Ive started to hate video games and the time they suck away. Imagine if you had spend the time you spent gaming over the last year at the gym or working on something to make some extra cash….. I dont like to think about it.
Lol danika just bring that up why don’t you :)
yes that’s an issue I always think about, too. It’s always in the back of my head like “damn I could be working on ‘X’ right now”.
I guess if you use any of the motion control games you can fool yourself into thinking you’re getting a decent workout.
Oh well, we can’t all be wealthy, fit people :)
Hi JG! Yeah… I know.. Those games are definitely addictive. Even when I had many things to do, I always try to make some times for those games! LOL!
Yeah Andrew that’s the definition of a true gamer! lol.
I just watched a documentary about a gaming team in World of Warcraft that spends a mandatory 24 hours a week in the game -and that’s only when they’re together.
each one of them spends time in the game on their own, too! Holy Hanna.
I’m not ready to make that kind of commitment (commitment-phobe here) so i stick to the single players where i can get in and out really quickly.
At least that was the plan..I usually end up playing for hours. And now I’m watching the damn things lol…
Hi JG, great post of yours. Interesting choice you made, with those videos…
Anyway, games are to addicting for me. If I start playing one, I must finish it…
I’m with you – if I buy a game I have to get through it no matter what. It becomes a vendetta :P
Thanks for commenting!
Playing the same level over and over is not as bad playing solitaire over and over :)
Yeah Neil, one of my favorite games ever! Now if they would only come out with the next one already :)
Those videos are very interesting choice you made… Games are to addicting to anybody including me. If I start playing one, I must finish it.
Exactly, Mamie! Sometimes it’s tought o break away from playing, or in my case…watching :)
I seems that playing video games makes me laugh but I had to stopped playing video games for the most part due to the same feeling that I could be more productive. But I think, all I need in life is to have an activity that would somehow build my artistic skills and just focus on it and not on the other things.
I totally agree with you Monica. I had to stop playing video games to because I could be more productive.
I can see how they can get in the way, but I would hate if I had to give them up entirely. Thanks for commenting!
Back then i was a video game addict. I also watch walkthrough at youtube, do some research at Google to find cheat codes and imitate someone’s tactic. However, everything changed when our economy went down. It was sad at first but then i realized that it made me changed me who i am by doing things thats more productive like working long hours and spending more time with my family.
Yes the economy was actually why I started watching the vids in the first place. After I paid $60 I couldn’t stomach the thought of not getting through the game!
We used to have textual “walkthroughs” and “cheatbooks” back in…… 2004. The good old days.
Oh yeah Jason, I remember all that, reading the walkthroughs on GameFaqs or just some random site I found.
Or how about reading the walkthroughs in the various gaming magazines? ahh good times…
JB you’ve reminded me of the old days when all we had was PS1.In my childhood I remember how excited we used to be on PS1.But now I simply couldn’t find time to play games.
It is SO tough to find time to play these games. Back in the days I simply didn’t have money to buy every video game I wanted to play. Now I still won’t buy a game since I know it will hardly, if ever, be played. I must reverse this sad state of affairs!
Lol, you crack me up. How funny that you’re sitting and watching these vids! I have used YouTube once or twice to help me figure out how to play through some hard situations, but usually I just watch some of my guy friends play and then learn from them- but I think they’ve learned some of their techniques not only through trial and error but from YouTube vids, as well. I could see how you might find it interesting to watch, but my thing is I get bored because I want to PLAY. I can only watch for a few minutes before I get antsy and start thinking: “Hey, I could’ve killed all those Zombies and had time to get the extra life pack!” But if I had to sit and play a full game through alone, no help from YouTube or friends it would take me a looong time, way too long.
that’s exactly how it starts, you just want to see how to get past a certain part.
Now I like seeing how different people cope with the hard parts of the games. Frankly there’s some games that I’m curious about that I have no intention of buying, like L.A. Noire. I like to watch someone play through it.
Heck, I’ve seen worse on network tv…
thanks for commenting!
I love watching people play who get really mad while gaming. A friend of mine used to scream and curse at the top of his lungs and sometimes even slam his controller into the floor when we would play Mortal Kombat on the Genesis back in the day. It was really more fun just to watch him play and see his reactions than actually play myself. Funny thing is he was real good at any game he touched and usually beat me, but would still get mad about something I did or didn’t do. I miss the times before broadband of actual in person multiplayer gaming.
Hey Michael, when I broke my controller during an intense Metal Gear Solid 4 mission I realized the darn things cost too much for me to keep breaking lol!
Gaming may not be productive, but everyone deserves time for fun.
Hahaha yet again you’re cracking me up. I confess that I sometimes have to look up walkthroughs, but usually for sillier games like angry birds and cut the rope lol. PS3 and 360 games have such amazing graphics now that watching a walkthrough would probably be just like watching a movie, so I can see how you could get addicted haha
Oh yeah they are awesome, especially on an hdtv! But the real beauty is the commentary as the game is played. Some people are really good at providing interesting and funny commentary that adds to the experience.
If you have a few spare hours it doesn’t hurt to check one or two out!
I’ll occasionally watch my roommate play Call of Duty to see him dominate. Often this is more enjoyable watching him do well because I am not good at it, and more often then not am dead than playing haha. Don’t usually do the whole youtube watching unless its on how to beat a level like some other readers have said.
I never really got into recording my video game gameplay, even though I had the equipment to do so. I do love watching through game walkthroughs though. I often watch the walkthrough of a game before buying it. I like to know what to expect when I’m playing a game. It also allows me to judge whether or not I’d actually enjoy playing the game.
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