Monday, July 28, 2014

Modern Warfare Critical Let's Play Series

For a while I've been toying with the idea of doing a 'Critical Let's Play' of the Modern Warfare trilogy. It's no secret that I guiltily thoroughly enjoy the Modern Warfare single-player campaigns a great deal, even as I know they are incredibly messed up for their glorifying of Western militarism. I always struggle to explain to people why I enjoy them so much, as it is really the moment-to-moment pacing and framing of the storytelling that I enjoy, more than any broad themes that are easy to explain in writing. So I thought I might record myself playing through the games, talking through them as I go, pointing at the particular little things that I like while being able to bring my audience a long and show what I mean about the pacing and about the framing of particular scenes and whatnot.

So I have started this. There is a Youtube playlist here (and embedded above) that I will be adding videos to over the coming months as I play my way through. I've put up four videos to start with, playing up to the nuclear explosion in Modern Warfare, and from now I might put up two more videos every week or so. We'll see. I don't want to just pile hours of footage in there at once as I really can't imagine anyone wanting to watch it all in one go.

I'm not the most experienced at capturing videogame footage, or at expressing myself vocally, so any and all feedback is appreciated, negative or positive. I'd love to know if you think this style of analysis is interesting and engaging, what works for you and what doesn't. Some things I've already realised: there is a slight delay between the footage and my voiceover. I think this is because the Elgato Game Capture software I use to capture from my Xbox 360 doesn't really like my iphone earphones+microphone I'm using. I'm not sure what to do about this, but I'll be sure to linger at scenes I want to speak about for a moment longer in future videos. Related to this, I need to not stop recording as soon as I say 'Thanks for watching', because I am losing the last few seconds of my talking. Finally, I clearly need to trim my beard because you can hear the iphone mic scraping against my facial hair in the second video, haha. #bro

I'm also toying with the idea of starting a Patreon (whoops, I did it) before I produce any more of these, on the off chance people are willing to throw a few dollars my way. I can't imagine this being a massive fund that would make me a lot of money, but I think if I am willing to put in the hours of work of playing through all these games again with an analytical eye, I might at the very least provide people the opportunity to pay me for it, since, after all, games criticism is labour worth being paid for. Again, I'd certainly appreciate any thoughts people have on this. I'd rather not put ads all over the videos, obviously.

So that's what I'm doing. If you watch them, do please let me know how you find them because, frankly, I have no idea what I am doing.