Why do I play Half-Life?

hqdefaultCarpe noctem my feathered flock! While trolling through some comments and messages, the following idea came in from Rob on Patreon:

Here’s a question, since you’re coming back to Half-Life again. You have a somewhat unique perspective on Half-Life because you played all of 1, spread over a while…and have now been partially through 2 on a blind run for quite some time. Obviously, you enjoyed 1 enough to start 2, and 2 is engaging you enough in some ways to keep you coming back to it. What engaged you about the first one, and is it the same things that are engaging you in the second?

It’s a deceptively fascinating question, at least to me. My initial knee-jerk response is, of course, I play it because that’s what I do. I started the series, I should finish it The sky is blue, dogs bark, and Hawk plays Half-Life. But, as Johnny Rico observed in Starship Troopers, “Fight because I’m an M.I.? Brother, you’re drooling like Dr. Pavlov’s dogs. Cut it out and start thinking!”

So I did. I started thinking. This article is the result of that thinking.

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Advert possibility

Sooo, this is new. With impeccable and ironic timing, I just received an email from the folks over at Fullscreen Inc, asking me to partner with them. I am strongly considering this possibility, as it would allow me to both monetize my videos (usually not possible for a Let’s Player like me), and grow my audience. This would mean a couple of things, as i understand it right now, from your perspective: 

Potential negativesAdvertising, obviously. I’m still exploring exactly what kinds of ads we’re talking about and what, if any, control I will have over the form they take. I doubt anyone would complain about ads that show up next to the video, for example (I never even notice those myself), but I personally find ads before videos rather annoying. Not enough not to watch the video, of course, but I do skip them, and always roll my eyes when they come up. I’m sure you feel no different. 

Potential positivesThe elimination of Hawk Time. We all know my penchant for inconsistency. This isn’t because I don’t want to provide you content, obviously, but because life gets in the way. And since this is nothing more than a hobby to me right now, it takes a back seat to most things (I’m sure you understand.)

If this became an actual, or even potential, source of regular revenue, however, that would change dramatically. It would become something of a second job for me. I imagine I would upload a minimum of a video a week, if not more. Two a week, both from a different game (for example, one HL2 video and one Portal or Portal 2 video) is probably what I would shoot for. This blog wouldn’t be neglected either; and if I make enough this way, I might even look into buying my own domain and trying to monetize the blog (also as un-obnoxiously as possible–NONE of those irritating as hell animated ads on my watch, I swear.)

Thoughts? Opinions? Things I haven’t/should consider? Comment away!

 

 

‘Ey! ‘He says ‘he’s no’ dead yet!

Hi. Remember me? That person whose videos you used to be entertained by, before she lost her job, had a dead computer, and all sorts of other fun personal issues you don’t care about?

Well here’s the deal, guys: I have a new job now that I love, that allows me evenings and weekends again, and allowed me to get myself a new computer! And so, here I stand: asking if, once again, you would come back, be my fans, watch my videos, and read my blog posts. Whatada say? Forgive me for disappearing on you? 

I can say that, even though I didn’t produce much, if any content over the last few months, re-watching those videos, and reading your comments, have been integral to getting me through a very, very difficult time in my life. So thank you for helping me weathered the storm. We’re back in port now, the skies are blue, the birds are singing, and it’s time to go kick some Combine ASS!

 

I do have one issue that maybe you can help me with. Since this is a new machine, I don’t have all my old saves from the old computer. There may be a way I can get them back, but it won’t be easy. What would be ideal is getting them back from the Steam synch Cloud–they don’t seem to have synched automatically. Anyone have experience in fixing that issue? If not I think it will be okay, it just may not be until next week I get to play and record if that’s the case. I’ll satiate you with at least one blog post if I can’t get my save game via Cloud. You have my word on that. 😀

YouTube copyright idiots

So a couple of my LP videos have been identified as having “musical compositions that violate” (some sort of) copyright. Clearly, this is bullcrap. I have exactly one video on my channel that could be claimed as that and it has been for years and I haven’t disputed it–they just run ads next to it now I think. But they’ve now identified Half Life 2–part 7 as having copyrighted audio. Which is clearly retarded, since the audio is entirely game sound effects and me talking. Question is, should I dispute it? As of now, it’s not really flagged against me; if anything, they’re just running ads next to it as well. It’s not taken down or blocked. I hesitate to dispute it in case it draws the wrath of YouTube and brings them down on my entire channel; on the other hand, I loathe the fact that some scummy company can claim I’m using their stuff when I’m very clearly not. And I hate even more that I totally found out about this by accident. Really, YouTube? You couldn’t even send me A FRIGGING EMAIL when this was claimed MONTHS ago?

Gah. I hate this system so much. Any advice would be appreciated.

SOPA/PIPA

Yeah, I know you’re sick of this by now. But that doesn’t make it unimportant:

Now, obviously my site’s not black–no one would care if it was, frankly. (I know the videos I’ve promised aren’t up yet by the way, but that’s due to an unrelated technical issue. I would never bait you guys by saying I had videos to post, then not post them just to make a political point.)

Now, as much as I like to, I don’t make my living doing this, so my livelihood is not threatened. My hobby, and several hundred hours of my time to date are though–and so is your entertainment. So are all of the video creators I love. (Just look at my blogroll–none of those people would be around if this is passed and enforced to it’s full extent.) It’s well worth your time to write your congressman and even more importantly, to vote in the next election. We don’t just want SOPA gone–we want anyone foolhardy enough to support it gone. Because that means they’re either so technologically behind they don’t understand why these bills are terrible, or (even worse) that they FULLY understand why they’re terrible, and SUPPORT THEM ANYWAY. There are many updated lists of politicians and corporations who support these things. Take note of them, and vote and act accordingly.

In closing, I give you Neil Gaiman and Friends.

Braaains. (And Skyrim!) But mostly braaaaaains….

So I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve been even slower than usual in terms of both blog and video update. One of the reasons is that I’m still job hunting, and to be perfectly frank (and a wee bit personal) for the moment, being unemployed when you don’t want to be is difficult, both from a practical and a psychological perspective. It makes it difficult to summon the initiative to make videos even when I do have the time. (The good news is that I do have two almost ready (actually one long play session I’m splitting up.) So be watching for those.

In honor of the place where I stopped the second video, which should be up soon, I should let you all know that there is another reason I’ve been a bit delinquent on my video making and blog posting:

Yeah. I got attacked by a headcrab. Sadly for me, it wasn’t Lamaar, and it kind of decided to take control of my brain. So THANK YOU VERY MUCH to the (amazingly awesome) fan who sent me this alien-spawned brain sucker, and condemned me to an existence of living death and muffled screaming. (I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to out your name on the site, so if you’d like, feel free to take credit in the comments if you are so inclined.)

In other, possibly more important news, I have a situation that I was not expecting: I own a copy of Skyrim. I could never have bought it, but a good friend of mine gave it to me as a Veteran’s Day gift. Obviously I’m going to start playing like, as soon as I finish typing this (and I’ll start recording the playthrough just in case), but I’m not sure if this would be a great LP. Open world games are notorious for being difficult to watch. So, I’m leaving it up to you guys: do you want to see a blind Skyrim LP, even if it involves a lot of me running around being lost and doing nothing? I’m actually okay with it either way. But I want to know what you think.

As an alternative to a full LP, I could simply play with video on and post any actually interesting/funny things that happen. Or I could BLOG about the game, rather than make it a video LP. I do like written LPs on other sites.

Hmm. Right now I’m leaning towards the written LP. I think that would really be the best of both worlds: it would allow you to hear my reaction to the game, while cutting out the boring parts. Naturally, this LP would have several screenshots per post, as well as video supplements.

But, you guys are my audience, so I’m interested in what you think. Post away!

In Like Flynn’s

Last weekend, my best friend and I made a trip up to Disneyland. This isn’t unusual for us, as we only live a couple of hours away. “But Hawk,” I can hear you saying. “This is a nerd blog. Why are you telling us about your vacation when you should be playing Half-Life 2 and/or Portal?”

Because, my friends. Because I have found It. I have discovered my own personal Shambhala–a nerd Mecca unlike anything I had thought possible in this day and age. Now, I know my reader/viewership tends to skew a little young (younger than I am, anyway) because I LP relatively modern games, so not all of you may appreciate this as much as I did. You might find it interesting nonetheless, though–this is, in many ways, the story of where my love of video games came from.

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