Looking Good.

Just getting things ready for Saturday. Decided my old streaming scene was a bit boring, so I tried upping my game. So far I like what I’m seeing and probably won’t change it too much.

Screenshot 2014-10-24 01.30.39

There’s a bunch more color and visual interest. Before, I was using a super-sparse background and I thought it best to change it to something that was busier, but dropped the opacity so it wouldn’t dominate.

I kind of dig adding the silhouette of the St. Louis skyline there. I’m raising money specifically for children’s hospitals in the St. Louis metro area, so it feels fitting and gives it some additional personality.

This kept me up way too late but I love giving just a touch more effort to the look of the stream. Hopefully this will catch some eyes in the main Extra Life directory.

I hope you’ll join me on Saturday.

…And We Know What I’ll Be Streaming Late This Year

Bandai Namco makes about two-thirds of the gaming friends I have giddy with joy:

We are very excited to announce that next month it will be possible for players to migrate their Dark Souls: Prepare to Die games, saves and achievements from the Games for Windows Live platform to Steam.

I have regrettably never played through Dark Souls, but I think shifting it away from GFWL will push it onto the list of things I’ll end up streaming later this year. (If I can ever get my streaming act together other than the yearly marathons.)

Extra Life 2014

8:00 a.m. Central Time, October 25th—8:00 a.m. Central Time, October 26th.


Watch this live on Twitch.tv

We Did $700 Last Year; This Year Let’s Make It Even More


As an incentive, the more donations we get, the more Pinball Arcade I’ll play, starting with the beginning of the stream. Y’all get the four core tables for free, and for every $100 donated, I’ll add another table in the order they were released. If you donate at least $100, you can ask for a specific table to be done next in your donation comment and I’ll bump it to the front of the list. I’ll play each table until I hit a score that puts me on the high score list. Here’s the order of tables:

Tales of the Arabian Nights, Black Hole, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Theatre of Magic
The Machine: Bride of PIN*BOT
Medieval Madness
$300 – Cirqus Voltaire
$400 – FunHouse
$500 – Gorgar
$600 – Monster Bash
$700 – Black Knight
$800 – Creature from the Black Lagoon
$900 – Harley-Davidson
$1000 – Taxi
$1100 – Elvira and the Party Monsters
$1200 – No Good Gofers
$1300 – Scared Stiff
$1400 – Big Shot
$1500 – Twilight Zone
$1600 – Star Trek: The Next Generation
$1700 – Attack from Mars
$1800 – Genie
$1900 – Dr. Dude and His Excellent Ray
$2000 – Firepower
$2100 – Cactus Canyon
$2200 – Central Park
$2300 – Space Shuttle
$2400 – White Water
$2500 – Centaur
$2600 – PIN*BOT
$2700 – The Champion Pub
$2800 – Whirlwind
$2900 – Flight 2000
$3000 – Goin’ Nuts
$3100 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
$3200 – Tee’d Off
$3300 – Haunted House
$3400 – Victory
$3500 – Class of 1812
$3600 – Cue Ball Wizard
$3700 – El Dorado: City of Gold
$3800 – Fish Tales
$3900 – Black Rose
$4000 – Black Knight 2000
$4100 – WHO Dunnit
$4200 – High Speed
$4300 – Junk Yard
$4400 – Lights…Camera…Action!
$4500 – High Roller Casino
$4600 – Diner
$4700 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula
$4800 – Phantom of the Opera

In addition, I have gift links for a bunch of free Steam games that I’ll be giving out throughout the stream, but only if we have a good number of people watching the stream.

If we don’t make it to a next tier in the pinball list, I’ll start having to play other stuff to try and fill the time. You might or might not want this to actually happen. :) If there are too many tables added to the list, I’ll add another stream night or three to fit them in and will get them all streamed out before the end of November.



The Future of Media Is Broader

Matt just retweeted a link on Twitter to this post on Engadget, referring to the fact that at least to date in 2014, no album will have gone platinum in the United States:

The decline in album sales is certainly nothing new, thanks to the smattering of streaming options now available to eager listeners. However, 2014 looks to be particularly awful.Forbes reports that nearly 10 months into the year, no release since January has yet to reach platinum status — a release that sells 1 million copies (in the US). What’s more, only one has sold a million copies: the Frozen soundtrack that hit shelves last year.

I’ve been pondering this recently. Album sales are down across the board. Single sales are also down, at least as far as they are tracked. Usually, what’s blamed for this is the rise of the streaming model, where you pay a single subscription and get access to as much as you want.

But in a world where scarcity is no longer a thing, what if it’s rather that our consumption is changing?

I first started thinking about this when I changed my method for purchasing games to a digital one, both in terms of using console services and with my switching back to using the PC and Steam as the primary source of my game purchasing.

I noticed rather quickly due to that the fluidity of pricing, the types of recommendations I was receiving from friends, and the ease of publishing in a post-physical-media games economy, I was purchasing more things that years ago I would not have considered—or in most cases, would never have been made.

You can see this happening in terms of availability and ease-of-publishing. Just take a look at services like Loudr or Bandcamp. More people are able to publish more types of music or movies than ever before in the history of either medium. Digital makes things cheap and accessible. It democratizes them. (Look at what you are reading now. Fifteen years ago this was barely possible.)

So what’s the longer tail on sales of things like games, music, and movies? What if the future isn’t in huge sales numbers for a very few projects or products, but in smaller sales numbers spread across a far greater number of creators and artists? The removal of scarcity and the (relative) ease of production means that if I have a singular focus or preference as a consumer, I can focus in just those things.

If I like a specific flavor of jazz, I can listen to just that as long as I’m able to find artists that play it. If I like a specific genre of game, often now I can live just within that genre and play those things to my heart’s content.

And even further, the creators of the things I consume are closer to me than ever before due to the rise of blogging and social media. I can interact with them. They can engage with me, increasing my interest and the depth of my support for what they are doing. Everyone is a potential artist. Everyone is a potential curator, sharing their likes and dislikes as I often do here. Everyone can find others that share their unique interests, which further stokes the fire.

The future is less a handful of blockbusters, and more a broad swath of interests that engage a relative few, but more strongly than ever before. It’s already happening in games. It is starting to happen in music. Movies will be the last to change.

It’ll be fascinating to see how the entrenched industries keep up with this shift.

No Bach at the Sem for me this year.

Sadly, I won’t be joining my comrades in the American Kantorei this year in performing the Bach at the Sem series of concerts. I’ve been performing with them on and off for the last thirteen years, and for the last three years in a row, but the rehearsal and performance schedule just didn’t line up with what I could commit to.

I am disappointed to be missing out, but I wish them all the best and hope that this year (the first with a new Director after a long search) will be fruitful and produce more of the finest of music.