KH-Vids Podcast Episode #79: The Value of Let's Plays

Discussion in 'Community News & Projects' started by Misty, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Misty gimme kiss

    Sep 25, 2006
    Cisgender Female
    A podcast? At this hour? Damn straight!

    This week @Misty, @libregkd, and @Calxiyn are joined by @Scarred Nobody for a chat about Let's Plays! Before that, we go over some Kingdom Hearts news & updates, and Cal updates us on some recent revelations regarding the Realm of Sleep in Kingdom Hearts χ (Chi).

    For our main discussion, we talk about why people watch Let's Plays, why people do Let's Plays, and why parents just don't understand! Misty also brings up the gender divides in viewership and creation of LPs after watching a really enlightening YouTube video on the subject; it turns out, Google is determining your gender in pretty funky ways, and Cal's YouTube channel has a huge female following and she should be proud.

    As per usual we answer user-submitted questions; @Eric Luna makes us choose a video game universe to live in and most of the answers will surprise exactly no one, @Graxe asks what's our poison, and @Knight of Fafnir gives Misty an excuse to gush about Life is Strange (and other games coming out in 2015).

    Finally, @Scarred Nobody informs us that former KH-Vids member, @fadedphantom, is actually famous and will appear in the Kill la Kill dub set to air on Toonami this month! Once a KHV member, always a KHV member, so check her out as Mrs. Mankanshoku!


    Download Episode #79 (MP3)
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    Interested in being a member guest on the podcast? Fill out our form here and we'll be in touch. Ask us a question by visiting this page or sending an email to!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
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Discussion in 'Community News & Projects' started by Misty, Feb 3, 2015.

    1. Darkandroid
      I admit I've been bad at listening to the podcast recently, but I will make sure to listen this at work tomorrow!

      I saw the video linked and it brings up some interesting ideas about the gender ratio on gaming YouTube viewers. Relatability may be one of the biggest factor in my opinion, but how Google handles demographics could potentially be a factor. I've just come back from 2 day course at work and Display and Search ads on Google were mentioned quite a bit. As far as I know your ad demographics are mainly there for targeted advertising and other marketing activities. But it could be within the realm of possibility that in the YouTube algorithm the gender of the YouTuber could have an influence on the type of searches you receive. Once a certain channel starts to get a higher number in that gender the chances of you encountering it will increase and a snowball effect will happen, it could explain the extreme differences between the gender ratio for channels.

      I've also finished the first episode of Life is Strange this weekend and I enjoyed it. It's basically 'Telltale Presents: Tumblr the Video Game' but it's refreshing to see a game be so down to earth (despite the supernatural elements), you don't really see many games like it. It really capture the feel of an indie movie. Some of the dialogue is pretty poor and it's a shame about the really bad lip syncing, but I am planning to get the other episodes as they they come out.
    2. Scarred Nobody
      Scarred Nobody
      Thanks again guys for having me on. It was a really fun discussion.

      And I find that whenever I'm on here I'm pimping out other people's projects.
    3. Misty
      Yeah, we discuss about how weird Google's determination of gender is and how that's influencing the results; looking more into the video it also doesn't appear that she had that much data to work from, but even so, they're interesting conclusions -- but certainly not absolute statistical fact.
      I agree, I'm willing to excuse things like bad dialogue and technical problems (I honestly didn't notice the lip-syncing issues!) for the atmosphere and ambitions of the game. I really loved it, which I'm sure comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody who knows me, but wow
      Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
    4. Amaury
      OMG, Misty! What is wrong with you!? You're not supposed to post this until tomorrow around 12:30 AM! ;)

      But, anyway, this would have been a fun episode to be a guest on. When you get to the user-submitted questions section and tell people how they can submit questions and all that, how do you talk so fast without tripping over your words? :o

      Also, I didn't hear it mentioned, so I hope it's okay to ask: Is there any ETA on the anniversary styles?
    5. . : tale_wind
      . : tale_wind
      The only Let's Player I really watch right now is Markiplier because he is no nice and adorable and passionate and smokin hot i mean wow take me now pls and yeah. He's fun to watch.

      • Etrian Mystery Dungeon
      • Splatoon
      • Fire Emblem 14
      • The Legend of Zelda Wii U
      • Xenoblade Chronicles X
      • Mighty No. 9
      • Final Fantasy XV (I am firmly in the camp that it will be released by December 31, 2015)
      • Etrian Odyssey Untold II: The Knight of Fafnir (if Atlus eVER ANNOUNCES LOCALIZATION FOR IT)
      • No Man's Sky
      • Ori and the Blind Forest
      • Puzzle and Dragons Z + Puzzle and Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition
      • inevitable Pokemon main series yearly release
    6. Misty
      I've gotten used to reciting it and I talk fast in general I guess. I also do the showtime recording we have for the theater I work at so between the podcast and that, I get practice in.
      They're not really anniversary styles and nope.
      Oh tale, you beautiful, naive, sophisticated newborn baby.
      I'm in such conflict over this game. I mean, space and 65daysofstatic is a great combination but I feel like I'm missing something about it that's causing everyone else to get hype.
      Also looking forward to this!
    7. libregkd
      It's pretty and you're exploring space. There is the whole upgrading ship/equipment and economy and survival aspect to it. But I feel just being about the travel around space and just explore has people hooked. I like, half mentioned this to you a bit ago, but never got around to finishing what I was saying, but you should look at something like Elite Dangerous. It's a vaguely similar concept except without the style (though it is still gorgeous looking) of No Man's Sky and, at the moment, you are only space traveling, can't get out of your ship and explore planets/space stations yet and such.
    8. Misty
      I guess maybe it's not for me, then? Because that's like... exactly what I expect from it and I'm just not hype. I guess considering I play games like 90% for narrative, 10% so I can develop crushes on fictional characters, that's not really surprising, but the most attention it will probably grab from me is a download of the soundtrack.
    9. Amaury
      I see. I'm a naturally fast-talker myself, but often times, people don't understand me, unless they know me and have gotten used to it.

      The anniversary and new styles, then. But thank you. :)

      Also, why is my name in the last two quotes? :p
    10. libregkd
      Maybe not then. It's very much one of those games where you kinda...make your own fun? You give yourself your own objectives (outside the main one given to you at the beginning of the game), you make your own story, and make your own moments. It's very much a sandbox in that respect.
    11. . : tale_wind
      . : tale_wind
    12. Explode
      As someone who put BBS in chronological order, I can say that the timeline in the game is mostly bulls***. The Disney Town order (and maybe other worlds) is determined by who you played the game as first. And the order of Olympus Coliseum is straight up wrong, because it shows Ven goes there first, with Terra right on the tail end. But the way things play out, Terra must have actually arrived slightly before, since he's referenced as a "heavy-hitting contender" in Ven's visit. Kind of messed me up when I made the videos, but I digress.

      It really bugs me when let's players scream a lot for no reason: it just comes off as disingenuous. Can't say that I like pewdiepie. Markiplier is right on the border. I've seen a few of his videos, and I ping-pong between liking and being annoyed by him. He's got enough charm though that I have an overall positive view of him, haha. I watched Game Grumps for several months around when they first started. They have some great moments and have a good presence, but I got tired of them. It's not that I think it's bad, but sometimes it feels too much like they're putting on a performance. Not that they're acting or being phony, but they feel a little too aware of their audience.

      The only let's players that I consistently watch is Two Best Friends Play. They acknowledge the audience from time to time (and are very interactive with their fans), but as a whole it just sounds like a couple funny dudes talking to each other, without much of a performance. The main reason I watch them is because aside from being entertaining, their commentary has substance. 3 out of the 4 of them were testers, so they have a lot of insight in between the stupid jokes. And even though there's a lot of sex jokes, it's very clear they're conscious of women's issues, and other social issues. Like how even though Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain have strong female protagonists, they're often put in creepy fetishistic, murder-rape scenarios that add nothing to the plot. Or how mental patients are poorly represented in games; often portraying them as horrible monsters (even in non-horror themed games). Pat majored in psychology, so he has a lot to say about things like that, and is a well of weird psych stories and facts. They're currently doing a playthrough of Silent Hill 2, and it's mostly them discussing symbolism and the technology behind the game. Not exactly a laugh a minute (really dark at times, actually), but it's interesting and relaxing. So yeah, I don't watch let's plays just for humor, though that's nice too.

      A little off-topic, but I've heard the argument that let's plays are damaging to the industry, because people can see the whole game for free, so they won't pay for it. There's probably some truth to that, but I'd say they do at least as much good as they do harm. I've never watched a full LP of a game that I would have otherwise bought, and then decided not to buy it because I saw it already. On the other hand, there are several games that I would not have bought were it not for seeing someone else play it. The best example is the Metal Gear series, which was a little before my time, so I never played it when it came out, though I considered it. When TBFP started playing MGR: Revengeance, I watched the first part, thought it looked awesome, and then immediately bought the game. It's a spinoff game with not too much connection to the main story, so it was a good introduction to the universe, without it spoiling the other games or me being totally lost. From there, I bought the Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection and played the rest of the games.

      At their worst, LPs are just surface entertainment. But there's nothing wrong with that: most TV shows are the same. I love It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, but it doesn't make me smarter or add anything substantial to my life. But what LPs sometimes offer is a peek into someone else's life. You can hear people, unscripted, from different walks of life than you; older, younger, from different countries, talking about things in a very personal but casual way, which very few forms of entertainment allow.

      Side note: I watched a few Korean LPs to help me learn the language. Very simple, everyday vocabulary, and they usually play an english game with subtitles, so you can pick up on certain phrases with real-time translations.

      I wrote a bit more than intended, but that's just because it was such a good subject ;) Great podcast, all.
    13. 0blivionkeeper
      I only watch one LP which os done by Really Freaking Clever, he's doing a challenge in Super Mario Sunshine where you cant use the Hover Nozzle at all, and I only watch that because 1. He's playing the game with restrictions to make a unique viewing experience, and 2. I think he's hilarious.

      As for the KH speedrunner who has no personality, I'm quite sure that's BlitzKidz or something similar (will edit the name later). He is horrible for entertainment, his voice is so flat and he isnt funny, however he is fantastic at the game, and his videos helped me beat the Data-Battles in KH2 on Critical.

      Games I'm looking forward to this year...

      MGSV: The Phantom Pain - I'm playing through the series from start to finish atm, so by the time I'm done those this should be released, and I'm so hyped for this. Tho from what I've seen from GZ, I'm not so hyped for the story content. Not because its much darker than the rest of the series but because I don't think I handles the themes its running with very well this far. But maybe they'll do a better job this time :)

      Persona 5 - OMG! The need to get this game is unreal for me! Persona is like the perfect blend of fantasy and personal life development for me, I love how they mixed the two together in 3 and 4. And I really hope that in romantic relationships they give a definate gay/bi/lesbian option this time around, seeing as the series hasn't had a gay relationship in it since the second installment. But regardless, I know I'll love it!

      Also, Misty, you haven't had hot tea!? Maybe its because I'm Irish, but I just cant fathom that xD We drink it almost religiously over here.(I drink like at least 5 cups of it a day, which... probably ain't too good for me haha)
    14. Misty
      Procedurally generated games are cool for this reason, and that it means you can keep playing forever (with restrictions of course but still), but they have the downside of creating mish-moshed or repetitive content -- you could theoretically have two planets that are exactly the same except for one variable. The likelihood of a user encountering two so closely identical planets is low, of course, but planets for the sake of planets still isn't really my thing.
      Same! Especially because some of the lower tech LPers who scream liberally don't level the audio properly so that it's not blasting out your speakers.
      I've heard of them before, will have to check them out! Thanks for the rec! I also like when it's a group (or even just one person), it makes it more of a conversation which I prefer.
      Some developers have really embraced the concept while others are really negative of them, even though their benefits or drawbacks really haven't been measured. Certain games, however, never would have been as popular as they are without LPers (like Five Nights at Freddy's). I suppose an LPer playing a AAA game like Assassin's Creed and dumping on it could deter some buyers, but since people tend to watch more for personality than the games played, it's not that common to search up an LP for a game, see someone trash it, then decide not to buy it -- or at least, it's probably as common as seeing someone play a game then wanting to buy it for yourself. Either way, that's the same risk run with a game getting good or bad reviews. This doesn't consider the game's story of course, but there are plenty games that I've been spoiled for that I still went out and bought.

      Now that the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One have built-in tools to make streaming/recording video much easier (one more so than the other...), I think that's going to force publishers to realize that this is a trend that isn't going away and they should embrace it.
      It definitely isn't making me any smarter, heh. (I watch it too)
      Which at the end of the day gives me all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings; this is true of the entire internet, really, and I think it's awesome. I certainly wouldn't want to live without it.
      Thanks! I love big comments. I'd keep doing podcasts even if nobody was really leaving comments, but we choose topics that we hope people will have thoughts on, and since we can only provide so many perspectives in a group of ~5, we like to hear from other people too!
      Here in America we drink COCA COLA for BREAKFAST LUNCH AND DINNER
      Nah but it is definitely a cultural thing; of course plenty of Americans drink tea, but nobody in my family does and none of my friends do, so I've just never really had the opportunity to. I'll have to change that sometime!
    15. Explode
      I don't recall who brought it up (libre?), but speed runners are magic. I also got really into them the last couple weeks. Watching people completely break a game like Spyro 3, or just have incredible devotion and memory/muscle memory for tough as nails games like I Wanna Be The Guy/Boshy is amazing to watch.

      I can recommend LPs of theirs if you like, depending on what kind of thing you're looking for.

      Totally agree about No Man's Sky, by the way. I really want to be into it, because it looks really pretty, and the scale is super impressive even for a AAA developer, let alone such a small team. But the exploration angle isn't enough for me. I typically only like games that are story-driven, or have really good local multiplayer. I'm also wary of procedurally-generated stuff. I think it has a lot of potential for keeping things fresh (namely in horror games), but I would still want most things to be scripted. I'm keeping an eye on No Man's Sky, but it's not blowing me away on the same level it is for most people.

      And without getting too much into it, I think calling the Kill La Kill dub awful is a tad extreme. I watched the trailer and first episode in Japanese and English, and they sounded pretty similar to me. The voice acting style for both sounds a little weird. Hard to explain; maybe rough around the edges with a lot grit, but I like it. I went on to watch the second episode in English, and plan to continue. Definitely wouldn't say it's perfect, but it's a lot easier to be critical of something that's in your native language. Obviously you should watch it in whatever form you enjoy the most, but I think a lot of people give cheesy/mediocre Japanese voice acting a pass without realizing it. And unless the other version is absolutely amazing, you're always going to be more inclined to prefer the version you hear first. It happens to me too. It's why people swear by the Dragon Ball Z dub, and why people still love the old Sailor Moon and Pokemon dubs, in spite of goofy voices and egregious editing.

      Tea seems like a weird thing to never have tried, haha. I mean, I kinda get it if no one around you drinks it, but enough food places have it available where it almost feels like you would have to consciously avoid it. But enough hating on Misty.
    16. Hayabusa
      One thing I really love about watching people play games on YouTube is not simply seeing personalities, but also when the players have extensive knowledge about the game and/or understand good design and programming. For instance, lately my favorite channel, TheSw1tcher (better known as the Best Friends Zaibatsu,) have been doing LP's of Silent Hill 2: Director's Cut and No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise. Matt was a tester for the Wii version of No More Heroes, giving him a lot more info about the game than most people, and Pat is a huge Silent Hill fan (as am I,) so seeing him explain themes and lore of Silent Hill 2 to Matt (who's never played through the game) is just great to see, as introducing people to my favorite games and seeing them really enjoy them is such an awesome feeling. Also, since they almost always have two or more people in each video, there's the natural dynamic of multiple personalities and perspectives. To me, not many solo YouTube LP'ers are interesting enough, but on Twitch, they can interact with the audience live, which makes it a lot more interesting.

      This is something that I also love about the group. They're so much more genuine and yet entertaining and informative than most other YouTube channels.

      Also, Let's Plays are a thing I've contemplated doing, though I'd want to do it with someone else on the video too. I've tried doing a few solo ones (like Skinwalker,) but as you guys mentioned, it can be tough to find stuff to talk about since I don't really say much while I'm playing a game alone.

      I do remember the fictional universe question being asked on the previous podcast too...I'm thinking I'd pick

      Since I've tried seriously cutting down on my soda intake, my go-to beverages are often iced tea or vitamin water, and when I can, fruit smoothies. If I do drink soda, it's Dr. Pepper. And since I'm 22, I gotta say that I'm not really a fan of alcoholic beverages unless they're sweet, and I barely drink in the first place (though I'm no lightweight.) Thus, I hate beer, but I quite like Smirnoff Peach Bellini and other fruity drinks, and Fireball isn't that bad to me.

      2015's top games for me: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Witcher III: Wild Hunt, Bloodborne, Batman: Arkham Knight, No Man's Sky, Persona 5, Soma, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and probably more that can't think of.

      (speaking of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, I managed to get it on sale for like $6)

      (Batman: Arkham Origins felt very dull to me. For whatever reason, a lot of people defend it for having a strong story...I don't at all agree with that though. The game does nothing new or exciting that the Rocksteady-developed Arkham games have, and the overall design of levels and characters is just not that strong. I dropped the game after the Deathstroke fight)


      And yeah, the English dub of Kill la Kill is just...not good. Mikisugi, Mako, Takarada, and Jakazure are all good, but THE THREE BIGGEST CHARACTERS (Ryuuko, Satsuki, Senketsu) DO NOT FIT: Ryuuko and Satsuki just sound so try-hard, and Senketsu doesn't fit the role he's supposed to play in the story. And it's pronouned "Ree-you-koh" and "Saht-ski" and "Sen-ket-sue," at least in my head. It's weird hearing the English version say "Sen-kets."
    17. Misty
      Sure, go for it!
      It's such a relief to have someone that feels the same way about No Man's Sky! Like I don't think it's going to be bad or anything, but the level of hype for it -- an indie game! -- is nuts. Which is great! But it's a bit mystifying to me. When it inevitably pops up in a flash sale I'm sure I'll pick it up and play around with it, but that's my interest level in it.
      Oh, definitely -- like I said, I know I'm partial to the Japanese dub of Kill la Kill just because that's what I watched, originally. On the flip side, I first saw the English dub of One Piece and vastly prefer the Japanese, but that may be because the Japanese voices were closer to what I imagined when I read the manga. I also acknowledge that I am ridiculously infatuated with Ryuko's Japanese voice so I will naturally side with her.

      In fairness this seems like a compilation of some of the worst moments of the dub and therefore isn't really representative of the entire show, but (nsfw warning, Kill la Kill is filled with half naked women and there's cursing and junk):
      Ryuko just doesn't do it for me, she's sort of a smartass but it just sounds like the voice actor is trying way too hard there. Since she is the main character she has a lot of lines, so her being bad is rather polarizing for me. Senketsu is... okay, I guess, but he sounds a little too pedestrian for me, or like the voice they use for airport announcements or safety videos. The voice actress behind Satsuki seems to think that playing Satsuki means being deadpan all the time, but she does alright sometimes. Part of the problem is also that I'm not digging the translation, either. The most puzzling part about it is that, for the most part, the secondary characters are pretty good. It's just Ryuko, Senketsu, and occasionally Satsuki that bug me. But whatever! People can watch whatever they're more comfortable with, like you're saying. I just prefer the Japanese dub.
      Maybe I'm not going to the right restaurants but I can't remember ever seeing someone order hot tea, unless it's maybe my grandparents but I've eaten out with them like once. It's definitely not been a conscious avoidance but I've also said like "oh well I'm gonna order some tea" randomly.
      it's a favored KHV past time
      Oh yeah, having people throw out trivia or other junk is really fun! I like that in streamers and LPers too.
      Forget to finish the thought? lol
      especially so you understand why I was guffawing like a dork when it was brought up
      If we've learned anything from the podcast it should be that I cannot pronounce anything ever.
    18. Hayabusa
      Actually...yeah ._. I don't remember the question now


      No, I do not accept these grievances toward that which is transforming half-naked swordswomen fighting and yelling each other's name.
    19. ♥♦♣♠Luxord♥♦♣♠
      I honestly can't remember the last time I watched a Let's Play. I guess if you count Game Grumps then the last one I watched was Sonic '06 before Jontron left, but to be honest that's less of a "Let's Play" and more of a let's yell a lot with some game play footage in the background that just so happens to go in the order of whichever game they are playing at the time.

      I suppose I lost my interest in Let's plays because I'd much rather play a game than watch it, and it also doesn't help that most new games now seem to be nothing but disappointments (I hear the Wii U has been doing good recently but I don't have one so I can't really say). There is also the factor of free time. School kind of killed that.

      So yay hearthstone and league.