Any time a new form of media comes out the old guard will rally against it. It happened with movies, it happened with comics, it happened with animation, and of course it’s happening with video games and the internet. So imagine putting the two together and you can see why let’s players and other internet celebrities are getting the short end from the “normal” entertainment sources. MatPat of Game Theory shows us that not every troll is in the comments section. Yeah, I’m calling it as I see it after seeing this.
As far as Howard Dean, the scream was the least of odd things to come out of his mouth, and that’s not even taking my political bias into account.
I’ve written before about the hierarchy of entertainment media, with live-action movies at the top, and how the keepers (and the worshipers, aka the fans) want to keep that in place. Look how they fought animated movies getting a Best Picture nod and shoved them into their own category when both Beauty And The Beast and Shrek potentially would be nominated. And even then there are unwritten rules, which led to what fans feel was a snub of The LEGO Movie because it was based on a toyline (and some of the various licenses they have). They don’t like that something may have the audacity to attempt to match their level.
And like I said in the intro, new media will be attacked by old. When television first made the scene some people wrote it off as a fad, but movie and radio fought against it. Movies somehow won and remain at the top while the only radio dramas I know are on the internet or Adventures In Odyssey, the religious show that thusly only gets play in certain markets. The radio dramas and comedies of old used to dominate and it’s where many people got their news before television networks (owned by some of those radio companies who were smart enough to see a future in TV) started newscasts and local stations started their own newscasts. Now radio is background noise, a go-to only when the power goes out and that’s if your smartphone isn’t charged or on a 3G network instead of the in-house wi-fi that no longer works because there’s no power.
Comics are still looked down upon as “for kids”, which has prompted Marvel and especially DC to leave kids as far behind as possible for fear of liking something for kids. Video games are headed that same way. There’s a war between media, and the prize is time. Your time. The time you spend reading a book or playing a video game is time you’re not watching a TV show or seeing a flick. The internet, which can host all media, gets the biggest target site because of this. You can watch old TV shows or movies, or watch brand new productions. You can find music long since off the radio or find brand new stuff. I think it boils down to the internet’s lack of fear.
Anyone with enough savvy or savings can produce a short or long video now thanks to easy to obtain legally software, and if they don’t have enough they can go to Kickstarter or Patreon to find help funding the project of their dreams that studios or publishers are too afraid to attempt because it doesn’t fall into a certain established formula. While you can find plenty of crap on the internet (insert self-defecating humor brought on by low self-esteem here) you can also find some high quality stuff and even something you didn’t think you’d like, such as let’s players, people who play video games that people watch. And there are reasons to do so. They may learn about an old or independently produced game they want to check out or see if a game is good before they plop down $60 on a game. Or the player is him or herself funny to watch, or a team game like Rocket League, a game I love watching let’s plays on for some reason. It’s a video game where you play soccer with RC cars but I love watching people play it.
I think these celebrities and creators hate that somebody who isn’t earning millions of dollars by forcing some studio to pay out the nose but through direct ad revenue and without some marketer trying to push some gimmick to make themselves look important is becoming famous for doing something they feel is just goofing around. There’s actually work put into making a let’s play or an internet comedy sketch entertaining, the same as any other medium. It just takes different ways of thinking and they’re not used to that. They don’t like that some “average person” like PewDiePie can make millions of dollars by going to the fans directly. And now I’m starting to wonder if that isn’t why Disney took down Blip after they bought Maker Studios after Maker Studios bought Blip?
I know it’s a worry to see these “respected” sources putting down YouTube and other internet-based media like webcomics or Bandcamp but as MatPat said, fighting them openly won’t help. They’ll use it against you because they don’t want the way they’ve built their careers to be challenged, accidentally or not. Yes, they’re giving false information to their viewers and readers but since those readers and viewers are people we know we need to do what internet celebrities are doing with you–go to the public directly. Video gamers trying to defend their reputation have failed at this. Convention goers fail at this. Look at local coverage of your local con. I see it during ConnectiCon coverage where it isn’t treated with the same dignity as festivals and other events. We need to go to the people we know, bypass the Jimmy Kimmels and E! Networks and show them that the internet is not the enemy but a great way to find new entertainment and multiple sides of the news. We grew up as kids being told “knowledge is power/half the battle”. We need to be the other half, applying and spreading that knowledge. Just as television and movies offer something different, the internet can do things they can’t, and vice versa, just like every other media format from books to video games to comics to music to audio dramas to theater to whatever the human race comes up with next. It’s why I try to review all media, because each tells a story in their own way and none is better than the other, not even the live-action cinematic status symbol, who will gladly to plunder media to build their own “greatness”. We have preferences but no format is superior. That’s what makes all media great.
By the way, remember when Jimmy Kimmel did an internet video?
Or is it just Let’s Plays he and his producers hate? Like I’ve said from day one on this site, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s crap!