Yahtzee On Net Fame

By Kieron Gillen on March 12th, 2008 at 4:23 pm.

I am King Photoshop

Russ Pitts of the Escapist interviews various Internet Youtube supa-dupa-stars on their awesomeosity. While The Guild’s Sandeep Parikh is chatted with it’s (perhaps predictably) Zero Punctuation’s Yahtzee who gets centre-stage. But predictably doesn’t mean undeservedly, and I was amused to see a little more about his reception at GDC this year, which I’d already heard about in snippets delivered by GDC-veterans.

“…Croshaw did have his moments of celebriphobia at this year’s GDC, where even a short trip down the hall inevitably resulted in more than a few handshakes and requests for autographs. One woman had been clandestinely following him around all week, finally accosting him on his way to the airport to show him her sketchbook. He had a beguiling manner about him, she said, showing him how she’d captured the jaunty tilt of his hat with pencil and ink. The experience was jarring.”

What Yahtzee does next is the interesting one. The smart money, I suspect, is on him ending up doing the Erik and Chet Old Man Murray thing and turning developer love into being a lovely developer. In a more traditional mainstream way than his indie stuff, obv.

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24 Comments »

  1. Alex says:

    As long as he doesn’t do anymore of that awful stuff like that Painkiller-short he tagged onto one of his recent reviews.

    That was shockingly painful to watch.

    I do enjoy his reviews, though. That said, they’ve become rather formulaic.

  2. Flint says:

    The thing is though, the formula is awesome so it becoming repetetive isn’t really bad. But I’m a sucker for verbal sarcasm-heavy humour anyway (especially with funny little pictures to go with it).

  3. Alex says:

    That Escapist piece seems more of a thinly-veiled opportunity to sing their own praise.

    “We got Croshaw! One point five million people watch him! And we got him! Oh and here’s some other guy..”

  4. inle says:

    Yikes. I sincerely hope that I’m not misinterpreting, but I sniff a degree of dismissal of Yahtzee’s impressive body of work in that last sentence. Or at least, “sure, he’s done great stuff with AGS, but imagine what he could do with some REAL tools?” I surely don’t begrudge the man any opportunities to make more games, all of which I’ve greatly enjoyed, but if he chooses to keep making them in AGS, or Inform, or (for heaven’s sake) Flash, I don’t think any potential has been lost.

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    (It’s more to plug his indie stuff again. Which, even for RPS’ readership, not all of which whom know he actually /does/ indie games too)

    KG

  6. Muzman says:

    A lot of people don’t like Zeropunctuation for some reason and they point out that it’s not all that witty or all that insightful. And it’s kinda true in a lot of ways, but it’s the combination of performance (yes the way he talks is performance and he works it and changes it up cleverly all the time), words and cute, incongruous imagery that really make it It’s a sensory barrage. And change-ups like the Painkiller bit were hilarious for the “acting” and the idea, regardless of the dialogue being less than Oscar Wilde.

    Anyway that article was a bit “find a story in our virtual office before deadline” cross promotion, it’s true. But I hadn’t heard of The Guild before and that’s very well written (the Zelda thing is mostly cheese with stupid lad-ish dick and “hawt” jokes thrown in which I can’t stand. The Guild is actually pretty insightful)

    -edit- On that Alexa graph it looks like the big spike came after his Bioshock review, which is one of the best and how I found out about the feature.

  7. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    “As long as he doesn’t do anymore of that awful stuff like that Painkiller-short he tagged onto one of his recent reviews.”

    You have no soul ;)! I wet my pants at that point.

  8. q says:

    I detect a bit of envy in Mr. Alex ;)

  9. Filipe says:

    I’m kinda disappointed that ZP hasn’t brought more attention to his indie stuff, or rather not enough in my opinion. His Chzo mythos games at least show that there’s more to Yahtzee then just snappy punchlines and sarcasm.

  10. Kadayi says:

    His ‘reviews’ are always amusing (though I think the turnaround is having it’s toll), but to my mind Croshaw lacks an actual solid gaming philosophy, He’ll bemoan the lack of a particular element/aspect in one game, then completely fail to acknowledge the very same thing in another. He strikes me as the gaming equivalent of Dennis Pennis, amusing, but disposable.

  11. Mo says:

    Was I the only one who read the Yahtzee quotes in that article in the Zero Punctuation voice? :)

  12. dhex says:

    “outside…20 minutes…pufferfish”

  13. Jiki says:

    Well, ZP is the reason I stumbled on The Escapist and the only reason I stayed there. They’re articles are quite yawn though they have some better ones at times which have been quite enjoyable, but their main attraction is still ZP who’ll overshadow the rest of the site sooner or later.

  14. Alex says:

    I detect a bit of envy in Mr. Alex ;)

    I have been found out! ;)

    Seriously though, I really hated the Painkiller bit, it felt like it was written by someone else, a 13-year-old boy, perhaps. But.. that’s just me, lots of people seemed to love it, more power to them. :)

    His ‘reviews’ are always amusing (though I think the turnaround is having it’s toll), but to my mind Croshaw lacks an actual solid gaming philosophy, He’ll bemoan the lack of a particular element/aspect in one game, then completely fail to acknowledge the very same thing in another. He strikes me as the gaming equivalent of Dennis Pennis, amusing, but disposable.

    You are right, I think, but the thing is that his pieces aren’t actual reviews as such anyway, they’re more entertainment than anything.

    He tends to take a game from a genre he doesn’t like to task for having characteristics that are almost inherently part of that genre, which defeats the purpose of reviewing, really.

    He also can’t really be a reviewer in this format, because when he talks positively about a game he finds it very hard to still be funny, which is why most people watch his “reviews” in the first place.

  15. Mitch Small says:

    @ Kadayi:

    I’ve yet to see an game reviewer explicitly state a central philosophy to their work. Maybe I need to stop reading 1up, but it seems that they’re all disposable. Like all sudden stars, Yahtzee’s only being scrutinized because there’s so much attention lavished upon him. Internet reviews (and entertainment, as ZP falls into both categories) are all very ephemeral mediums.

    But I don’t expect him to ride this train much longer. He seems restless, even if he’s having fun. I do look forward to games that he works on in the future. He’s got plenty of skill.

  16. Mike says:

    I feel a little sorry for Ben. His fame is such now that he couldn’t get rid of it if he wanted, and it’s pretty hard to tell whether what he’s doing is good or not because so many people love him with Internet Love.

    I think development would be his next best bet. Even if it was to create a kind of indie publishing label.

    EDIT – The Alexa stuff is amazing, but not surprising. But Amazing.

  17. Julian Murdoch says:

    I’m a huge fan of ZP. Not so much the “new” escapist, and Alexa is about the most misguided way of tracking traffic ever devised by man.

    Love ZP thoguh.

  18. kadayi says:

    @Mitch

    I think if you read enough reviews by a particular reviewer you get a feel for what it is they like or dislike in particular genres and why, and the better ones have a stance. Yatzee got his Escapist Gig off trashing Fable via Youtube, for it quaint good/evil choice system (Your actions are assessed by some universal measure as to what’s right and wrong, by some invisible monitor). However when he ‘reviews’ The Witcher for the Escapist completely fails to recognise that it delivers game choices that not only have genuine consequences, but also ones that don’t subscribe to universal notions of good and evil. Consistency would be a good thing.

  19. drunkymonkey says:

    @Kad: But in such a limited time to do it (what is it, four minutes?), fitting in the introduction, the jokes, the ending, and the analysis in between isn’t exactly an easy job.

  20. Kadayi says:

    @drunkymonkey

    Your imposing constraints on him that simply don’t exist, as a means to excuse him. He’s done short reviews and long reviews, I don’t think it matters much to either him or the escapist how long they are or how long he takes, as long as they generate site hits and advertising revenue. The point is he runs down one (negative) aspect of a genre game (he did the same with Mass Effect and the whole Paragon/Renegade system), but doesn’t recognize the positive at work in others.

  21. ran93r says:

    I see nothing wrong with beating down the negatives in games and building a whole review around them, he does what he does well. His review of The Witcher I found hilarious and although I didn’t disagree with anything he said, I still loved the game. As a format it can happily run and run and fair play to him.

  22. Andrew Farrell says:

    Also when he hits something that I haven’t seen before, the burst intensity of the review can make it hilarious and eye-opening, like his Drake’s Progress review.

  23. vic says:

    I really like ZeroP the ADD flash works perfectly with his voicework. I know you can’t hold talent back … but it can frequently lay dormant or forgotten for many years and I’m always surprised by the way things emerge into popularity. Just when you think there is some media which is too obscure to ever become mainstream, it gets a remix and bam there it is.