Recently, Jagex announced the upcoming closure of their mini-games site, Funorb (see the announcement here). Funorb is a childhood favourite of mine, and I absolutely love Arcanists and Steel Sentinels, so it pains me to know that I may never be able to play these games again.
Thankfully, we’ve at least been given 3 months notice along with free paid membership, so I decided to take the opportunity to not only play the game, but record it and dump the videos on YouTube unedited along with full voice chat with my friend.
My original reason was of course for archival purposes. I wanted to record practically all matches I play, perhaps along with commentary, and upload everything mostly unedited. Eventually, I should end up with a big catalogue of videos that I can look through one day to maybe relive the game a bit, from my younger-self’s perspective. I’m making these videos mainly for myself, but I also want to put it out there on YouTube to maybe be discovered by others. If I end up with an audience, then cool, I guess.
Naturally, this prompted another idea:
What if I record all my other gameplay and put it on YouTube?
(Or well, maybe not all my gameplay, but the idea’s there.)
Archiving And Building A Big Time Capsule
As already discussed, it could be interesting to archive everything, essentially building up a big time capsule of my gameplay. Technically speaking, this entire venture shouldn’t cost me much (although my PC is 6 years old at this point, so it might struggle to record later games). All it should cost is a bit of extra time to set up recording software, then to upload videos to YouTube and enter in metadata.
Future me will thank past me for giving future me all this nostalgia material, and I could use these recordings to:
- look back at old gameplay to relearn how to play certain games (and my old strategies and builds),
- review past games in the short-term to identify areas of improvement, and
- to provide video evidence for random bugs and oddities in games.
Putting it on YouTube will also mean it won’t cost me any local storage space - everything is offloaded over to Google’s data centres. However, this does mean losing video quality due to the server-side transcoding. As advances in data storage technology causes significant drops in price and efficiency, I want to eventually keep the lossless recordings, but for the older recordings on YouTube, downloading a lossy compressed copy off YouTube is the best I can do (unless Google miraculously provides original-quality lossless copies in the future.
Sharing Experiences With The World
Although I can put the videos on YouTube publicly, it doesn’t have to be public; I can keep them private, or unlist them for privacy. However, making them public can be great for sharing my experiences, for anyone who cares to watch.
However, that assumes anyone even cares to look. It’s certainly not out of the question that an entire massive archive of raw gameplay footage may never get any views for however long Google decides my videos can be kept for (centuries?). But even if no one watches my videos, I lost nothing.
Unfortunately, putting all this gameplay footage online may be information that could be used against me one day.
Picture this: perhaps one day, I might promise someone to do a certain task at home, but if I don’t get it done (or maybe even if I do), me dumping large amounts of gameplay onto YouTube could be used against me, with accusations along the lines of “if he wasn’t so lazy, this could’ve been completed”, or “if he wasn’t so lazy, this could’ve been done better”.
Someone could also use my video uploading patterns for malicious purposes, such as for planning break-ins.
All of these concerns are also shared with actual professional streamers (such as on Twitch) and professional YouTubers, so I could borrow some of their wisdom.
For instance, I’ll need to ensure that I allow no personal information to leak into my videos. This can be easy if I’m gaming on my own, but it can be more of a problem when I’m casually playing with friends with voice chat. We don’t necessarily always talk about our personal lives, but occasionally, we can get things like:
- Occasionally mentioning names and other private information,
- Occasionally mentioning birthdays and other events in our lives,
- Forgetting to mute our microphones when our families may walk in and talk about private things, and
- Saying or discussing things that may be offensive to others (even if none of us in the voice call are offended ourselves).
I’ll also need watch my uploading schedule. Highly frequent video postings can indicate that I’m having a long break from work or school, while gaps in my upload schedule can indicate when I’m heading out for work/school, or if I’m on a long trip overseas (or even domestic). All of these things could be leveraged by someone with the wrong intentions.
Feeling Less Relaxed During Recordings
Without a recording going on, I’m naturally more relaxed, knowing that everything that’s happening is kept to myself, and I can go as crazy as I want. No one will know.
While recording, I find that there’s added pressure to maintain privacy while also being presentable to the outside world. This can cause undesirable behavioural pattern shifts, such as increased stiffness and acting nervous as though one is in front of an audience, or otherwise simply not acting “natural”. This may also reduce the enjoyment of a videogame.
Sure, I’m not necessarily making these videos for others, but I don’t want to produce something that may be looked on in disgust one day, even if the video is private and the only person who will know is myself.
And even if I’m not the problem, it can be a problem for other people if they’re in the game with me (especially if voice chat is on). Even if people never say that they mind, I’ll still be worried.
The Satisfaction Of Producing Content
I’ve gotten a bit negative with those last two discussion points, so I’d like to discuss a more positive one: satisfaction of producing content with my time.
This is a lot of why I’m maintaining a blog. Content creation is satisfying because I want to produce things for others. Ideas and experiences are great, but sharing them is even better. So why not extend it to gaming? Gaming is already satisfying for the moment-to-moment experiences, so why not try to capture it?
I personally feel that knowing my experiences are captured by screen recording and being intentionally (by myself) saved somewhere is satisfying. My time feels much more well-spent if I produce things, no matter how mundane (such as raw gameplay videos), and I feel more productive while playing videogames this way.
And who knows, maybe I might actually end up building an audience and pivot into producing “proper” gaming content? I’m not exactly sure how that might happen, but then again, I’m not sure many of today’s successful YouTubers in the gaming category knew either. That could be an even funner yet productive way of spending my leisure time while also making a bit of extra money on the side.
It’s an attractive idea, yet also surprisingly complicated. For me, I think I’ll continue exploring this idea of uploading gameplay, although I’ll probably end up uploading the majority of them as private YouTube videos.