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.
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…