January 24, 2014

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton has spent 25 years trying to escape from the tragedy known as "Wesley". He still acts, but his main thing these days is to be a columnist and writer.

He also has a TV show about table-top games called... "Tabletop". Since I don't own a TV, I don't know anything more about it than that. (Like, what cable channel does it run on?)

John Kovalic is a cartoonist and illustrator, and a friend of Wheaton's from way back. Yesterday Kovalic was a guest on the show.

Kovalic's main title is "Dork Tower" and he posted three cartoons about it: one two three

And that particular episode of the show was put on YouTube. I just watched it, and it was a lot of fun. It's worth a half hour.

And... what Kovalic's cartoon characters say about Anne Wheaton is absolutely true. She's stunning. And Wil Wheaton is a very lucky man. (He must be doing something right; they've been married 14 years.)

UPDATE: Wikipedia says that TableTop is a webcast. I wonder where the money comes from? It's not cheap to put together a show like that. Do they get a cut of the YouTube advertising?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 02:56 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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1 Yes, if you put up a YouTube video and allow advertising, you get a cut.

Posted by: Mauser at January 25, 2014 12:14 AM (TJ7ih)

2 Google sponsored the 'Geek and Sundry channel, founded by Felicia Day. Thats where the money for this series comes from.

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at January 25, 2014 10:18 AM (76G0j)

3

That's interesting. What the web did to newpapers and magazines, now it's about to start doing to cable TV.

"Broadcasting" on YouTube has some real advantages compared to cable. For one thing you're not stuck with a hard-and-fast length you have to fit into. For another things, FCC censorship rules don't apply.

It's just a trickle right now, but eventually it'll be a flood.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 25, 2014 10:46 AM (+rSRq)

4

Webcasting/webstreaming is the way of the future, but I have my doubts about Youtube as the platform for it (Primarily due to the management/ownership of Youtube, i.e. Google.).

 

Posted by: cxt217 at January 25, 2014 10:50 AM (XQR7Z)

5

I think YouTube is going to be the foundation of this, just as Blogger was the foundation of blogging.

Blogger made it easy for people to get into blogging, and the number of blogs exploded as a result. (Of course, Sturgeon's Law was an underestimate when it came to this.)

But Blogger doesn't dominate blogging and YouTube won't dominate webcasting either. They're both convenient and cheap but limited in various ways, and ultimately unsatisfying. Blogger was training wheels for a blogger, and YouTube will be the same for webcasters.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 25, 2014 11:07 AM (+rSRq)

6 I think some of his popularity in tabletop games comes from the Acquisitions Incorporated D&D games held at PAX each year. The videos are all on youtube, and have some rather hilarious, if raunchy, moments. One recurring theme is Wheaton's ongoing feud with acid traps.

I read somewhere recently (it might have been an Instalink) that a growing amount of bandwidth is going to people watching other people play games, whether console/PC or tabletop (either traditional or using PC tools like VASSAL or Roll20). I'll readily admit to watching playthroughs of games, particularly the movie-like ones (e.g., The Last of Us) that I have neither the time, skills, or often the hardware to play myself.

A heck of a lot of people are apparently watching top MOBA players go at it, though, and that might just mainstream e-sports once those viewers hit peak earnings age, much as the "Children of the '80s" have apparently driven some of Hollywood's choices in recent years (e.g., Transformers/GI JOE).

Posted by: BigD at January 25, 2014 12:40 PM (VKO9N)

7 Yeah, Webcasting ability was apparently recently added to the nVidia drivers package in some of the latest versions I've downloaded, as well as full screen capture.

Posted by: Mauser at January 25, 2014 01:32 PM (TJ7ih)

8 I'm gonna agree with BigD and admit to watching playthroughs of older games I no longer own or cannot play due to skill (in the video game arena.)  In the case of some board games like Mage Knight, a good video playthrough helps in learning the game beyond the basic instructions.  Box of Delights has shown me some strategies I don't think I would have ever thought of just playing on my own.

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at January 26, 2014 08:52 AM (76G0j)

9

A lot of the dedicated streaming services like Twitch and UStream get much/most of their traffic from people broadcasting video game playthroughs.  Tougher games, harder to find games (Like Panzer Dragoon Saga - most US Sega Saturn games, actually.), import games, and speed runs will always get an audience.

I have friends who stream games and it is nice being able to watch games that you will never play or own.

 

Posted by: cxt217 at January 26, 2014 06:28 PM (jvZKz)

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