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Subject: Does "going pro" entitle you to pity? rss

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Nonsense Junkie
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I was listening to a prominent "boardgame celebrity" when he said, "I like this game a lot but I don’t have any time to play it, so if the patreons could vote it up as game of the month for streaming that would be great."

Is it strange that some people make this bargain to "go pro" and submit to their fans but then beg them for pity?
 
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Nonsense Junkie
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Thomas Elder wrote:
I pity online celebrities who's live depend on what their viewers want. They don't get to live their own lives and do what they want. They are puppets.

How many of them do you think would consider themselves puppets and how many would consider themselves to be "living the dream"?
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Ryan Keane
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I don’t really interpret that as asking for pity. Commercial artists regularly have similar requests of their clients, asking for time (and money) to produce something they are excited about but that may or may not match exactly what the client is asking for. But it’s symptomatic of the democratizing of youtubers/podcasters/social media artists. They are commercial artists producing work for what their clients want, but instead of having one client telling you what to do, you have 100’s or 1000’s. Some artists need that instant feedback more than others, but social media seems to encourage that.

Commercial artists are going to do what they have to do to make a living. They may be getting to do a job they love, but it’s still a job. Perhaps the patreon and KS backers who vote and feel vicariously like they are part of the artistic process are the puppets?
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Nonsense Junkie
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Ryan Keane wrote:
I don’t really interpret that as asking for pity. Commercial artists regularly have similar requests of their clients, asking for time (and money) to produce something they are excited about but that may or may not match exactly what the client is asking for. But it’s symptomatic of the democratizing of youtubers/podcasters/social media artists. They are commercial artists producing work for what their clients want, but instead of having one client telling you what to do, you have 100’s or 1000’s. Some artists need that instant feedback more than others, but social media seems to encourage that.

Commercial artists are going to do what they have to do to make a living. They may be getting to do a job they love, but it’s still a job. Perhaps the patreon and KS backers who vote and feel vicariously like they are part of the artistic process are the puppets?

My question isn't really about their right to request money for their work. I'm fine with supporting commercial artists. My question is more of the expectation that I feel pity(I assume that is what they want) when they tell me how hard they are working to provide me with content to consume. Should I feel some guilt when a content creator tells me that he "had" to work over the weekend or was up late so he could make a deadline that he advertised?

I realize that this may have a critical tone, but I'm truly wondering if content creators expect people to open their hearts along with their wallets?
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It's important to remember that (a) going pro doesn't necessarily mean you're earning a huge amount of money unless you're doing amazingly well, and (b) in order to make "going pro" a viable option, you are in the end accountable to your fanbase / patrons / audience and keeping them entertained is your job now.

So it might not be pity as such, but if you've given your audience the power to pick what content you make, then it seems reasonable to let them know what *you* would like to do and let that be a part of their decision.
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Brad Miller
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Pity?

Sounds like begging for cash to me...
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Al Walker
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elschmear wrote:
I was listening to a prominent "boardgame celebrity" when he said, "I like this game a lot but I don’t have any time to play it, so if the patreons could vote it up as game of the month for streaming that would be great."

Is it strange that some people make this bargain to "go pro" and submit to their fans but then beg them for pity?

This is the problem with the 21st Century. Too many people want to be paid by Joe Public to cosplay, play video games, board games, and whatever else you can find on YouTube these days

I work hard for my money, I manage an estate that is made up of 315 Acres of land, 138 buildings, and over 200 assets. What money I have to spend on myself isn't going into the pockets of someone who doesn't want to live in the real world, part of my taxes already pays for the unemployed and politicians

I understand everyone wants to be paid to do what they love, by Zeus' beard I would love to be paid to play games, but to state you don't have time and essentially begging for pity is bordering on pathetic

I don't have a lot of time between work, school runs, looking after the family, and karate/gym but I will make time to play a game when I can. I'm sure they can find time in their busy schedule to play a game they want to

So my answer is no, going pro does not automatically entitle you to pity.
Pity is given when there is a circumstance that would demand it, such as diagnosed with a terminal illness. At that point you may have my pity but not my money
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Ryan E.

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"so if the patreons could vote it up as game of the month for streaming that would be great."

I don't even understand what this means in the original post.
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Nonsense Junkie
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ozradio wrote:
"so if the patreons could vote it up as game of the month for streaming that would be great."

I don't even understand what this means in the original post.

I think it means that he has no time to play games because he is constantly creating content for his patreons. So, he is asking for a "favor" from his patreons to vote up the game so he can livestream it(still devoted to content creation) and still get to enjoy another play. I think that his devotion to his patreon base is so great that he won't allow himself to play a game for "just fun" unless he can create content for patreons at the same time.
 
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marne
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Pretty sure I know exactly who you are talking about and even though they review games that are in my wheelhouse, I've pretty much stopped tuning in for various reasons including comments like this. They managed to repeatedly do and say things that were just completely out of touch with reality and insulting to listeners.
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Mark Salamon
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Hey, you should go to youtube and check out my videos. Look for Mark Reads Rules.
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Hello, I’m Mark. You may know me from my long-running hit YouTube series Mark Reads Rules. Or maybe from my recently-launched companion YouTube series Mark Bags Bits.

As a boardgame celebrity, I have some very interesting thoughts on this issue. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to post them here. I will post them on my Patreon tomorrow night for supporters only. So I hope you’ll head on over to my Patreon page and support me.

I would like to send a quick shoutout to my current supporters. Your support means the world to me!
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Jeff Warrender
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I do not understand this industry.

I don't understand why there aren't patreons for people who design games, but there are many, many crowd-sponsored people who talk about games. Why do we say, I will only support a game creator through a business transaction, whereby I exchange money for a tangible product (with the expectation that a very little bit of money eventually makes its way to the designer), but I will support a content creator as a patronage transaction?

I don't understand why a content creator would relinquish editorial autonomy over whatever games he/she wants to cover, and why, if his/her supporters liked said content creator enough to provide patronage, that they would retract their support were he/she to cover the 'wrong' game.

I don't get it!
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Scott Miller
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jwarrend wrote:
I do not understand this industry.

I don't understand why there aren't patreons for people who design games, but there are many, many crowd-sponsored people who talk about games. Why do we say, I will only support a game creator through a business transaction, whereby I exchange money for a tangible product (with the expectation that a very little bit of money eventually makes its way to the designer), but I will support a content creator as a patronage transaction?

I don't understand why a content creator would relinquish editorial autonomy over whatever games he/she wants to cover, and why, if his/her supporters liked said content creator enough to provide patronage, that they would retract their support were he/she to cover the 'wrong' game.

I don't get it!

Uh, it's pretty simple. Everyone is paying for entertainment. If I give $5 a month to a game designer, what kind of entertainment is being returned my way? I already bought the game they designed. There is no obligation on either end.

If I give a podcaster $5 a month, I am expecting entertainment in return.
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Nonsense Junkie
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jwarrend wrote:
I do not understand this industry.

I don't understand why there aren't patreons for people who design games, but there are many, many crowd-sponsored people who talk about games. Why do we say, I will only support a game creator through a business transaction, whereby I exchange money for a tangible product (with the expectation that a very little bit of money eventually makes its way to the designer), but I will support a content creator as a patronage transaction?

I don't understand why a content creator would relinquish editorial autonomy over whatever games he/she wants to cover, and why, if his/her supporters liked said content creator enough to provide patronage, that they would retract their support were he/she to cover the 'wrong' game.

I don't get it!

I think the product of game reviews, overviews, play-throughs, etc. is such a different product from physical boardgames that a patreon model wouldn't work.

I think there would be a market for game designers to follow a patreon-model if they could produce quality games on a regular basis that would appeal to consumers. Unfortunately, most game designers don't produce the quantity of games AND the quality of games in a short time to warrant a subscription-based model(exception would be Stefan Feld in 2008 and 2010 or Martin Wallace from 2008-2010). P500 and Kickstarter seem like better models for designers to enlist supporters for their games.

When designers can pump out games like Grisham can pump out novels then we might see a patreon model.
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Andreas Krüger
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jwarrend wrote:

I don't understand why a content creator would relinquish editorial autonomy over whatever games he/she wants to cover, and why, if his/her supporters liked said content creator enough to provide patronage, that they would retract their support were he/she to cover the 'wrong' game.

I don't get it!

The content is available for free, so they want to provide something for their patreons. I'm not sure if it is really necessary, but I guess it works as motivation.
 
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Jeff Warrender
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Chaiftan wrote:


Uh, it's pretty simple. Everyone is paying for entertainment. If I give $5 a month to a game designer, what kind of entertainment is being returned my way? I already bought the game they designed. There is no obligation on either end.

If I give a podcaster $5 a month, I am expecting entertainment in return.

But that's just it -- as gamers, it's the games that are supposed to be the enjoyable thing, the source of the entertainment. But if a designer that you like said "hey, can a bunch of people float me $5 a month to support my next creation?", most people would balk at that. The response would be "No thanks. Try to get a publisher for it, and then we'll take a look, and if it sounds good to us, maybe we'll buy it." We'll ensure that people who talk about games can make a living so that can keep creating content talking about games, but as for designers, well, you know, sorry man, way too bad that you've chosen a vocation that so poorly compensates creators, but that's just the economics of the thing, nothing we can do about it really.

I understand that this is how the industry works, that it's the status quo, that status quos are hard to change, I'm just saying I'm surprised that the new status quo that's emerged in recent years has been to coronate content creators, rather than game creators, as the gaming celebrities, and to make sure they, rather than game creators, are the ones who get paid for their efforts.

Admittedly! I don't really watch gaming videos at all so it's not surprising I wouldn't see the value in that kind of things whereas others would!
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jwarrend wrote:
Chaiftan wrote:


Uh, it's pretty simple. Everyone is paying for entertainment. If I give $5 a month to a game designer, what kind of entertainment is being returned my way? I already bought the game they designed. There is no obligation on either end.

If I give a podcaster $5 a month, I am expecting entertainment in return.

But that's just it -- as gamers, it's the games that are supposed to be the enjoyable thing, the source of the entertainment. But if a designer that you like said "hey, can a bunch of people float me $5 a month to support my next creation?", most people would balk at that. The response would be "No thanks. Try to get a publisher for it, and then we'll take a look, and if it sounds good to us, maybe we'll buy it." We'll ensure that people who talk about games can make a living so that can keep creating content talking about games, but as for designers, well, you know, sorry man, way too bad that you've chosen a vocation that so poorly compensates creators, but that's just the economics of the thing, nothing we can do about it really.

I understand that this is how the industry works, that it's the status quo, that status quos are hard to change, I'm just saying I'm surprised that the new status quo that's emerged in recent years has been to coronate content creators, rather than game creators, as the gaming celebrities, and to make sure they, rather than game creators, are the ones who get paid for their efforts.

Admittedly! I don't really watch gaming videos at all so it's not surprising I wouldn't see the value in that kind of things whereas others would!

I get your point, but for some reason, that's just how it is in creative buisnesses. Writers, artists, musicians - very few can make a living doing it, compared to the people working with critique, distribution and publicity. The providers of the thing itself are usually the least well off.
 
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Peter S.
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jwarrend wrote:
Chaiftan wrote:


Uh, it's pretty simple. Everyone is paying for entertainment. If I give $5 a month to a game designer, what kind of entertainment is being returned my way? I already bought the game they designed. There is no obligation on either end.

If I give a podcaster $5 a month, I am expecting entertainment in return.

But that's just it -- as gamers, it's the games that are supposed to be the enjoyable thing, the source of the entertainment. But if a designer that you like said "hey, can a bunch of people float me $5 a month to support my next creation?", most people would balk at that.
Actually, there was a "Titan Series" KS that was effectively this: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/781219801/the-titan-ser....
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Peter S.
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Also, on the OP's question, it's not really that different (in abstract) than any other job. "Hey boss, I'd like if I could work on X project for my next assignment" is pretty normal, and it being the boss' call is also pretty normal. As mentioned, the only real difference is that your boss is an enormous and barely-governed committee. (Burnout among YouTubers is a real thing, too, when there can be A LOT of pressure to produce more and more each week, or when the crowd's tastes end up pegged at something different than yours.)
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ErsatzDragon wrote:
"Hey boss, I'd like if I could work on X project for my next assignment" is pretty normal, and it being the boss' call is also pretty normal. As mentioned, the only real difference is that your boss is an enormous and barely-governed committee.
I think this is a false equivalence. The supporters may pay the bills but the creator sets the rules. Nobody's forcing all the decisions to go through the "boss" here.
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jwarrend wrote:
But that's just it -- as gamers, it's the games that are supposed to be the enjoyable thing, the source of the entertainment. But if a designer that you like said "hey, can a bunch of people float me $5 a month to support my next creation?", most people would balk at that.

Would they? If you have a good following and you distribute something tangible as the product of your month's work, it's possible you could get supporters. Look at Grant Rodiak's pop up Kickstarters -- those involve crowd support for a game he's making.

But reviewers and entertainers are providing things on an ongoing basis. A game designer who came up with a way to provide us something on a regular basis could probably get a patreon thing going.

What about a narrative game of some sort where each month a new scenario came out and for $x a month you got that scenario in the mail. Wouldn't this be the kind of thing you're talking about? That's Arkham Horror.

The distinction between the way you're describing it and what I see as the product from the money I give to Shut Up and Sit Down is that they produce some things each month that I get. If I just started sending money to Martin Wallace, what do I get in return? If I was guaranteed 3 games a year or something, I'd be all for that.
 
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Well, but just to be clear: the things you get from, say, SU&SD aren't transactional: you're paying them to have the time to make the content that you consume.

The difference being, of course, that videos have a much, much, much higher churn rate than games. A 10 minute video may take, what, 10 hours? 20? Whereas a game will take hundreds of hours to generate. I have one game that I have easily 2000 hours into! One couldn't expect a comparable churn rate on a game patronage model. But one could still "give the designer time to work on games", as opposed to having to hold down a day job, it would just be that the horizon of one's expected return would have to be longer. Why do we unshackle content creators from the rat race but not designers? I guess it's as you say, the churn rate is just faster.

That said it nevertheless does surprise me, then, that content creators feel enslaved to their content creation in the way the OP describes, but maybe their patrons don't view their patronage in the way that patronage usually is understood to work, i.e. that it grants artistic license to the recipient.
 
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Brendan Riley
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jwarrend wrote:
Well, but just to be clear: the things you get from, say, SU&SD aren't transactional: you're paying them to have the time to make the content that you consume.

The difference being, of course, that videos have a much, much, much higher churn rate than games. A 10 minute video may take, what, 10 hours? 20? Whereas a game will take hundreds of hours to generate. I have one game that I have easily 2000 hours into! One couldn't expect a comparable churn rate on a game patronage model. But one could still "give the designer time to work on games", as opposed to having to hold down a day job, it would just be that the horizon of one's expected return would have to be longer. Why do we unshackle content creators from the rat race but not designers? I guess it's as you say, the churn rate is just faster.

That said it nevertheless does surprise me, then, that content creators feel enslaved to their content creation in the way the OP describes, but maybe their patrons don't view their patronage in the way that patronage usually is understood to work, i.e. that it grants artistic license to the recipient.

You're right, but their overall support depends on that production, even if I'm not individually buying particular videos. Digital content also has the advantage of being free to replicate, as opposed to board games in which the physical production and shipping costs money.

But the end outcome is the same -- if I felt I wasn't getting anything for my money (i.e., the videos and podcast and writing from SUSD decreased in volume and or content to some strong degree), I would stop supporting them.

The game designers who have crafted productive Kickstarter businesses, like Ryan Laukat or Tim Fowers, ARE getting the kind of support you're talking about. Additionally, Jamie Stegmaier has created the Stronghold Champions program, which is essentially a support program for his weekly videos and pre-order access.

I believe the Splotter folks have this system down pretty solidly, at least this is the impression I've gotten from podcasts and whatnot. They make one game a year, make enough copies to set themselves up for the next year, and sell out at Essen every year. Occasionally the game has wide enough appeal that they reprint, but often they don't.

Perhaps you can offer an example of what a program you'd like to see would look like? What would it be like to sponsor a game designer this way?
 
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elschmear wrote:
I was listening to a prominent "boardgame celebrity" when he said, "I like this game a lot but I don’t have any time to play it, so if the patreons could vote it up as game of the month for streaming that would be great."

Is it strange that some people make this bargain to "go pro" and submit to their fans but then beg them for pity?

I'm pretty sure I know who he is (or 2 guys made the same statement recently).
If I'm not wrong, I have a different opinion. He has to stream games corresponding to the "specifications" of his channel, some games are on the news (funding campaign or recent delivery for example) and have the priority for the streaming time.
Considering the time needed for the streams and all the related work, he hasn't a lot of time to play non-streamed games.

So giving the patrons the opportunity to request streams is a way to say "hey, there is no reason to stream this nowadays, but you requested it !" and then hope that they and him want the same game.
 
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moocheck wrote:
Pretty sure I know exactly who you are talking about and even though they review games that are in my wheelhouse, I've pretty much stopped tuning in for various reasons including comments like this. They managed to repeatedly do and say things that were just completely out of touch with reality and insulting to listeners.

Well now I want to know who it is.
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