One Year Ago…

Originally published on Trevor Trove on May 19, 2016

Today marks Day 200 of writing every single day for this site since I started on November 1st of last year.

It also marks the one-year anniversary since I sat down with Tim Gettys, Greg Miller, and Colin Moriarty of Kinda Funny to record an episode of their Gamescast. We sat down and talked about Kinda Funny Live (which had just occurred a few days earlier), PlayStation Vita Essentials (in honor of Tim’s new hardware), what went wrong with the Wii U, Vita, and Kinect 2.0 (my topic), what makes for good video game cover art (a viewer question), and then a bevy of other questions. On our way to dinner afterward Greg said the following.

I was still relatively unknown in the community. I had certainly made a ton of new friends in the week prior from my time at Kinda Funny Live. And I had told a handful of people that I was actually sticking around afterward to be on the show. My biggest claims to fame prior to that Tuesday afternoon were having been on an episode of the now-defunct Kinda Funny Book Club or the in-depth Kinda Funny Live recap I wrote up for a friend (and then published on Facebook and the Kinda Funny forums for the community).

I touched on it briefly in my write-up reflecting on my 30th year, but I don’t recall if I’ve ever spoken about the main reason I spent $2,000 on Patreon (plus the room and board in San Francisco) to go on the Gamescast. It was almost entirely a personal investment. If I’m serious about trying to break into the games industry, I felt I needed to test myself. I saw the notion of trying to hold my own against some of the biggest names in the industry as a sort of proving ground. Based on how that day went, I thought I would have a much better sense of how much work there was still to do.

And I’ll be honest; I felt really good about it.

To that point, there had only been one other Patreon guest. Luis Menchaca had gone on an episode of the GameOverGreggy show, paving the way. I specifically chose the Gamescast for 3 main reasons:

  1. The motivation to test myself described above.
  2. The fact that I couldn’t be the first Patreon supporter to be on Kinda Funny but I could be the first one on the Gamescast. I’ll always be a part of Kinda Funny history because of that.
  3. No matter what, I figured I’d be able to fall back on my nearly 30 years of gaming. The idea of the GameOverGreggy show is really intimidating. Yeah, you’ll (hopefully) have a lot to say about your topic, but what happens if you have nothing to say about the other topics? That what some of the comments tend to say on those guest episodes (“they were so quiet”). Personally, I disagree. I think people just aren’t used to another voice on the show as a norm and when it’s not someone else from the industry or a celebrity guest, the community is just going to judge them more harshly. Sad truth but the fact is that not everyone watching the content is really a “Best Friend.”

One of the most potentially intimidating things about that experience: there was almost zero prep. Apart from the topic I brought to the table, I had no clue what we were going to talk about. I figured recent gaming news might be fair game but Tim didn’t talk to us in advance about what the topics were going to be. Now that’s hardly a problem for Greg and Colin. They’ve recorded countless hours of content over the course of their time working together so they can easily bounce off one another. Tim, as the host of the show, could rely on directing the traffic but he also was the only one who knew the topics going in so he was probably going to pick stuff that he could speak to.

Meanwhile, I was left to rely on my performance background in theatre and years of various improv exercises to keep me comfortable. The other ace up my sleeve was that I’ve listened to so much content from them that I kind of knew a lot of what they would say before they said it. Or I knew enough about their interests and gaming histories that I could connect and relate. For example, when talking about video game box art, I could absolutely connect with Colin on the art from the Super Nintendo Final Fantasy games because I know that we both love those entries.

In the couple weeks following my time on the show, my Twitter following grew by leaps and bounds (thank you) and I routinely checked in on the comments to see what people were saying, fully expecting the internet to do its usual thing. But I was determined to hear whatever criticisms came so I could identify what to work on.

And the comments were overwhelmingly positive, which warms my heart to this day. There were a couple of comments of people who thought it was insane or stupid I spent that money to go on the show. A surprising number of people missed the part at the top of the show where I identified myself as a Patreon supporter and thought I was just a friend of theirs from the industry (probably the highest compliment I could have taken away from the whole experience, really).

The most pointed criticism I recall was that people thought Colin didn’t like me. Now I’ve not spoken to him about it but every other time I’ve seen him since, he’s been great and kind to me so I don’t think it is. He was even gracious enough to read one of my very first Trevor Trove review: The Mega Man Legacy Collection. I knew he wouldn’t be a fan of my criticism of the game but he respected my perspective and told me to keep writing.

I think what people were responding to was two-fold. First, that was the third major piece of content Colin had worked on that day, after Colin & Greg Live and that week’s GameOverGreggy Show, which they were wrapping up as I arrived. In the short break between podcasts, he was very open about being exhausted and wanting to look at reworking the schedule so they broke up the podcasts over separate days. I think the other thing people were responding to was the idea that I was actively trying to engage him on the show. A lot of the time, he’ll kind of hold back while everyone else discusses the topic and then present his argument all in one go. If I go back and watch/listen to that episode, I interrupt him at times and I ask him questions. There was certainly no disrespect intended from my direction and I don’t think he perceived it as such, but it certainly does break up the “normal” cadence that people might be used to. But they didn’t respond that analytically and so they just said they didn’t think he liked me.

It was an incredibly humbling experience and one that I think back on fondly. Without it, I wouldn’t be here creating content. I’m sure I’d still be playing games but I’m so much more personally fulfilled having written about my passion these past 200 days.

Let’s keep it going.

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