Let me start by saying, on your behalf as the reader, "What the hell does a 38 year old guy need a Twitch stream for? Freakin' weird-ass way to handle your mid-life crisis, bro. Go out and by a nice car or something, you frickin' dumbass."
Now that that's out of the way, let me announce "Why Stop Now?", my new Twitch stream / gaming show / eBay sales bonanza series of infomercials.
Here's the logo, which you may remember from 2012:
Yeah, that still looks pretty dope. I'm going to have to print up some t-shirts and stickers at some point in the near future. That'd look boss on a mug. Just sayin'.
There's a lot of history with this series, so strap in. I'm a-gonna talk for a while, in the patented Kris style.
The History: (skip to 'Cut the Crap, Already' section below if you'd rather just cut the crap, already.)
"Why Stop Now?" was originally going to be a scripted web series about video games. I started kicking the idea around in 2011-2012 or so. The idea back then was to do a video series that captured some of the feel of my Negative World reviews and editorials. I got pretty deep into working on it, including coming up with the logo above (before those other guys started using a similar visual idea) and writing and producing the intro theme music and video.
Oh, you never saw that? Well, here it is:
Key consideration: It had to be short.
I used a video capture card to grab video from a few different games over the years. My initial intention was to launch with "Jerry Rice and Nitus' Dog Football". If you remember when I couldn't stop talking about that silly game, well that's how far back the idea of doing a video series goes. I captured a lot of footage for Episode 1, but I stalled out on the script. I wrote dozens of good jokes (or good enough to pass my low standards, anyway) but I was never happy with the completed scripts. They felt eternally bogged down in a second draft phase.
I hit some other snags, too. Here, I'll even list some of 'em for you in helpful bullet-point format:
Bullet Bill said:
* Got a job with some accountability, which meant I couldn't just cut off work in the middle of the day to write a review of Boogerman, like I used to be able to do. That's crucial, because a big part of being a successful writer is the freedom to write when you're feeling inspired. * As anyone who's heard me on the podcast can tell you, I'm a better writer of jokes than a performer of jokes. I honestly kinda suck when I'm on camera. * Had a baby, and who has time to do anything they want to do after having a baby? * I was basically doing this alone, so it was easy to become discouraged and second guess myself * I was simultaneously working on a music album, so I had to split my creative energy. * Look, sometimes you just want to come home from a bad day at work, eat a whole bag of Cheetos, yell at a bird, and go to bed. You can't do that if you're obligated to sit at a computer and come up with 14 jokes about frickin' Ninjabread Man.
They say the jokes write themselves, but nope. Turns out you actually have to write the jokes.
On top of all that, playing video games for the purpose of a review is surprisingly arduous. If you want to talk about something late in the game - and if you're reviewing it, you probably should - then you gotta play the game to completion. So that's hours of gameplay, right there. (Hours I didn't have to spare, by the way). On top of that, you have to then go back through hour after hour and gigabyte after gigabyte of video footage to locate the clips you want.
For some people I think this could be a labor of love. If you just love playing video games, the first part is basically no problem. If you have a secondary itch to work in video production, maybe the second part is fun for you too. But, for me, the whole process just turned into work, real fast.
So the series kind of percolated for a while. I made a second major attempt at launching "Why Stop Now?" when Super Mario Maker came out. I got a newer capture card and worked even harder to come up with a good script. That time I got a final draft that was... ok. It wasn't my best writing for Negative World, but if I steadily improved from there, then it would have been a reasonable soft launch.
But it stalled out again when I had to compile the footage. It was just a total bore to put together.
Beyond that, I wasn't happy with my performance. I shot some test footage of a scene where I was wearing a gorilla mask (don't ask why that nugget of comedic gold never made it to air) and when I looked back at it, I just thought, "This guy just looks like an a-hole." So I shelved it.
(Rest In Peace, photo of some gorilla masks that, for whatever reason, screws up Negative World's formatting.)
Look, I've come to the conclusion I'm more of a writer than anything else. And I'm a writer who has found himself having less and less time to even play games, much less do a bunch of production work around it.
So that should've killed "Why Stop Now?" stone dead. Right?
And maybe it would have except... I played Breath of the Wild and decided to retire from video games.
I've got a half-written review of that game that I'll probably finish one of these days. It goes into depth about the pseudo-religious experience I had while playing BotW. Suffice to say, I think it's the greatest video game I've ever played. And, moreover, it changed my life. It made me realize that my life has to be about more than just living vicariously in imaginary worlds. Being able to inhabit Link while he went on his grand adventure encouraged me to start looking for actual adventures in my own life. It was time to stop looking for those kind of experiences in 1's and 0's. It was time to start finding them in the real world. And if I could find ways to help other people while doing it, well that's a part of the responsibility of life, too.
That's the short version. Stay tuned for that review, coming 2023. I'll lay it all out then.
Anyway, that experience resulted in some major changes. For one, I have probably around 500 game cartridges and disks that I gotta do something about. I don't see any reason for me to hang on to most of them at this point.
So, that's where "Why Stop Now" got resurrected.
Cut the Crap, Already
So I've gone through my video game collection and pulled out 150 games, earmarked to sell on eBay. This is the first round of "cuts" from my collection, so as you can imagine, we're not talking about the very best games that I own. In fact, I'll level with you, most of these games are dog biscuits.
If I could turn these into actual dog biscuits and feed a dog, I'd probably do that right now.
So these will be going up on eBay real soon.
But then something occurred to me - I'm going to have to actually test every single one of these games before I sell them on eBay. I know for a fact that a few of these games probably don't work. And some of them I haven't loaded into an NES in a decade. So who knows? I can't sell a broken game.
That's where the idea for the Twitch stream came to me. Maybe I could livestream the testing of these games. I could throw in the game, prove that it works, play it for a bit, make some jokes about it, and when I run out of things to say... move on to the next one.
And you know what would be a good title for that livestream? The one I already have. "Why Stop Now?" already says it all. The theme song already says, "We wasted our youth on video games. Why stop now?" It's perfect, because I am stopping now. It's like it was planned that way. (I assure you it wasn't.)
So, starting Monday, August 28th at 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central, the cartridge testing begins on Twitch at this URL: twitch.tv/wewastedouryouth
I'm going to be joined on the first episode by my brother-in-law, who's a good friend of mine and a pretty funny guy. You'll like him. He'll probably appear in many future episodes, too. My wife, who has appeared on the Negative World podcast before and knows most of these games, will also make some appearances. She's shockingly funny. (Interpret the word "shocking" as you will.)
I've also got a few comedy features planned as we go along. There may be some more beatnik tone poems in the near future. I might play you a song on the accordion. Who knows where this could go? 150 is a lot of cartridges to get through.
One thing I'd love to do is get Negative World involved in the actual show itself. For one, since it's live (with a short delay) I'd like to leverage our Discord server to do a "call-in" portion on some shows. So, if you're around and I'm talking about some old game you have a story about - or if there's something you just want to make fun of - I'd love to include you via Discord. I've tested this with Shadowlink and Miss TNT (my sister) and I think I've worked the kinks out. I think it could be a lot of fun.
The list of games I'm going to test is long, and I'm going to post it below. If there's a particular game you want to see from the list, call it out and I'll be happy to play it right then (so long as the console is something I can set up easily. And if I like you. So some limitations apply.)
Serious Talk Time
I want to mention something from the heart that I think is important: Negative World doesn't owe me anything. Not a shred. You guys have always been good to me, supported my projects in the past, spoken well of me when I didn't deserve it, and put up with a lot of my half-baked ideas (Kristopher Wright Tests Your Patience, anyone?). You don't owe me your time. You don't owe me a dime.
A cynical person might say I'm trying to sell you something, since the end goal is to get rid of the games on eBay. I want to cut that one off at the head - I'm certain I can find a buyer somewhere on eBay for most of these games. So I'm not bringing Negative World into this because I'm looking for a market to sell my dusty copy of Maximum Carnage for the Sega Genesis. That market already exists on eBay. Someone already wants that stuff.
To the tune of 5 US dollars, baby!
And I'm not trying to leverage my friendships here to go onto Twitch eFame, either. I'm 38, not all that funny, and I've fallen out of love with video games. I'm under no illusion that anyone, outside of my immediate peer group, is gonna give much of a rip about "Why Stop Now?". That's not me wallowing in self-pity. It's just a fact. A happy fact.
It's happy because what I do see is an opportunity to have one last hurrah with some of my friends here at Negative World before I head off into the sunset. Some of you guys I've known for over a decade at this point (can you believe it, rhjort?) and I think it'd be fun for us to laugh at Shaq Fu together, one last time. I hope you see why that might be fun, too.
Ok, let's lower our expectations a little though.
I've never been all that into Let's Plays or Twitch streams in the past, so I don't know what other people do. I kind of don't even care. They may have already cracked the code on how to do these things and I'll never know, because I'm not going to start watching other people's Twitch streams just to get ideas.
The show will probably be full of amateur mistakes, dumb technical issues, webcam shots that look right up my nose for minutes on end, and possibly my brother in law loudly passing gas for the entire world to hear. Who knows? Who cares? It'll be Amateur Hour but it'll still be fun.
That said, if I sucked on camera reading a script, chances are I'm still going to suck on camera making up jokes live. I'm more of a writer than an improv comedian, so I'll probably come off a bit "try hard" a lot of the time. I mention this because I don't want anyone to think I'm promising the video equivalent of my best work at Negative World. It's not going to be as good as that. But it's going to be something. And, according to my watch, something is better than nothing. (I have a very philosophical watch.)
Stole this. You gotta admit it's perfect, though.
So it starts tomorrow at 8pm. I hope you'll be able to show up. Give me a shout in the Twitch chat if you want to participate in the call-in portion. Or just ping me on Discord. I'll have my phone on me.
If you can't make it for the live broadcast, episodes will be archived on my channel for up to 14 days, and I'll probably tag some highlights if you just want to check those out. I intend to do new episodes pretty regularly for the next couple of weeks, until I burn out my 150. I'll update Negative World with the schedule as it becomes clear. It might be nightly for the first week.
Last thing to mention. I've had multiple people on Negative World ask me about which games I'm going to sell and whether they could have a first look at them, in case there's something they want. I'm cool with that, so below is the list of the games I'm selling in the first round. Keep in mind, this is my first round of cuts. Everybody with a sizable game collection has a lot of cruft, and that's what I'm mostly getting rid of this time around. If it goes well, I'll put together a second round of games and those will mostly be better games.
I don't have set prices for these, but if you want to make an offer (before shipping) for some of these, go for it. I won't accept just any offer, but I'm also not looking to make a big profit, here. If you offer something that's reasonable (not, like, 1 dollar for Mario RPG) then there's a good chance I'll go for it, even if I think I might be able to sell it for more on eBay. I'd rather take a 10 dollar loss and have one of you guys get a game you want, rather than hold out just to sell it to some buyback store.
So that's my gameplan. Let me know what you think of the idea below. I hope I'll see you there tomorrow night and in the weeks ahead.
@nate38 Dude, you were on fire. I couldn't read everything in the chat during the show, but I reviewed it afterwards and, I'm just going to say it - you were the funniest thing about the whole broadcast. If we actually had any money or budget or whatever, I'd hire you to crack jokes for us.
When you archive the videos does the chat get archived too? I'm guessing probably not, but I haven't dealt with Twitch much. I feel like I'm missing out by not being able to be there at the time. Ah well.
If I had a ton of money and could just fly everyone to Texas for a big party, I'd do it.
This seems awesome at first glance, but remember. We're now dealing with a rich Texan who is bored with normal games. Who wants to bet that this party ends with us all getting a 15 minute head start before Kris grabs his rifle and climbs into his jeep to come after us?
And those of you who manage to actually get to the river, I pull up in my pick-up truck blasting the theme from Why Stop Now? and shoot you anyway.
Then, afterwards, I look into the camera and say, "I used to think Man was the most dangerous game. Turns out Man is the the third most dangerous game after Polar Bears and that tiny fish in the Amazon that can swim up your pee pee hole."
Uh... hmm... that's the kind of humor you've gotta expect from the guy behind Why Stop Now?
Anyway, I'm tempted to lie to you and say the chat isn't archived, so that way you'll show up next time. But it actually is archived, which is great because you can check out the first episode, including all of Nate's jokes, right now at this link:
@kriswright I'm reluctant to call in with the funnies, because like you, I'm a better writer of jokes than performer of jokes*. Plus, with the 20-30 second delay between the action happening and the viewers seeing it, any jokes I could contribute via Discord to what I'm seeing on stream wouldn't be timely to what's happening in the game. And timeliness is paramount in this comedy showcase of games from two decades ago.
*That said, you performed just fine on opening night. So I'll think about doing it anyway sometime so I can be like my senpai Kris.
Alright. All caught up. Random unwanted thoughts to follow:
Pan Flute- PAN FLUTE? Ugh. Spirit Tracks PTSD TRIGGERED. You're the worst. Bad Dudes- It's like I'm still watching Power Rangers. It's just the White Ranger doing spin kicks over and over again. Skate or Die- Perfectly level skating is the supreme challenge of the video game skateboarder. Dudes with Attitude- See? Power Rangers. Multicolored Interchangeable teenage blobs with attitude. Totally Rad- I feel like they missed something here by not naming the game 'Totally Rad Dudes'. Pin*Bot- 40K is great. You heretic. Jackal- I'm almost too mad about that 40K crack to bother leaving a comment on this one. But the similarities between this and Return Fire were too striking to ignore.