Jimmy Kimmel pokes fun at YouTube Gaming. Gamers freak the fuck out.

Last Friday comedian Jimmy Kimmel — host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! — did a bit on his late night talk show about YouTube’s recent unveiling of YouTube Gaming. For those of you who are not aging gamers like myself, YouTube Gaming is Google’s attempt to take on Twitch, a site that allows gamers to live stream themselves playing video games. YouTube already has a pretty big video gaming community of players who post videos of them playing/critiquing/trolling and/or otherwise spending way too much time playing video games with PewDiePie being not only the most popular gamer making videos, but the most popular person on YouTube as a whole. YouTube Gaming allows you to organize all of those offerings in one spot as well as provides a streaming platform for games to compete with Twitch.

Anyway, Kimmel’s bit was about how he just doesn’t understand why anyone would sit and watch videos of other people playing video games. He compared it to being like going to a restaurant and watching someone eat his food for him. Here’s the bit:

Now I’m not unsympathetic to Jimmy’s argument. I wrote about the trend back when it was first getting started and I was amazed there were that many people out there content to watch someone else play a video game.

However, that was years ago and the folks making videos have evolved over that time such that it’s not just about watching someone else play video games. PewDiePie is probably the best example of this as his videos tend to be entertaining not because he’s so good at the games he plays, but because he’s goofy as fuck while playing them. There’s also been the rise of MOBAs like League of Legends and DOTA 2 that involve quite a bit of strategy as well as skill and can draw crowds that rival any major sporting event. It’s no longer just watching some other random dude play a game, though there’s plenty of that out there for those who are into that.

Personally, I don’t watch much of that sort of thing though I’ll indulge in the occasional video put out by Tony “Tobuscus” Turner on his gaming channel because, frankly, he’s an amusing idiot. I also watch videos by Drift0r and TmarTn for tips on Call of Duty class builds and strategies. So I can relate to both sides of the argument.

What I can’t relate to is the ridiculously vitriolic reaction from some parts of the gaming community to the light-ribbing Jimmy Kimmel gave YouTube Gaming. It’s been so bad that Kimmel has covered it on two different nights on his show. Check it:

Holy shit, what the fuck is wrong with you people?

While I’m sure most of that is hot air, there’s still no excuse for wishing fatal diseases on the man just because you didn’t like his comments about watching other people play video games. And there’s certainly no reason to imply you’re going to put a fucking bomb in his car and that you’re going to do terrible things to his wife and daughter.

And it’s not just Kimmel. Video game developers regularly get death threats when they make changes to their games to try and balance things out. It’s doubly bad if you’re a woman in the video game industry and don’t even think of being a Feminist trying to critique video games.

It’s tempting to suggest that this is just the perils of having a hobby that also includes way too many 12-year-old kids who shouldn’t be on the Internet unsupervised, but then you look at the profiles for a lot of these assholes and you realize this isn’t just a bunch of kids trying to look mature by being dickheads. It’s a bunch of adult assholes who really should know better by now. You want to know why people still look down on you when you say you’re a gamer? This is why.

I’ve been playing video games since the days of the original Atari 2600 and I love this hobby. Some of my best friends are people I’ve only known over the Internet, chatting through a headset while shooting up zombies or blasting away at Nazis or working together to take down a dragon. As an older gamer* I feel a bit of responsibility to tell you fucks to stop being so fucking butthurt over someone else not understanding your hobby and poking fun at it.

Your enjoyment is not dependent on Jimmy Kimmel understanding why you like to watch others play video games. You certainly shouldn’t be making death threats just because you’re not happy with something he (or anyone else) said about it.

(*As a side note, it’s really kind of weird to learn that I’m a couple months older than Jimmy Kimmel. He’ll turn 48 in November. I’m not used to being older than the hosts of popular late-night talk shows.)

John Oliver interview with Edward Snowden.

John Oliver has been knocking it out of the park ever since he left The Daily Show to start his own comedy news show on HBO. Last Week Tonight manages to both entertain and inform and, in some ways, is a better show than TDS. Best of all, HBO and Oliver makes full length segments of the show available on YouTube so you don’t have to pay for HBO to see it.

Each week Oliver picks a topic and does a deep dive on it and this week he’s tackling surveillance and Section 215 of the Patriot Act and how we’re not having the debate we should be about the NSA and domestic spying. It’s a great segment, but it’s even better because he managed to score an interview with the man who arguably made it possible to have this debate, Edward Snowden, and he doesn’t pull any punches with his questions:

Once again I have to marvel at how a comedy news program manages to do better journalism than the supposed news channels. It also breaks things down into a context that is not only funny, but which the average person can comprehend.

As Oliver points out, part of the reason we’re not having this debate is because the subject matter is so highly technical and hard to understand for most folks. It’s doesn’t help that too many people barely pay attention to what’s going on around them. Ask them who Taylor Swift is and they can recite lyrics from her latest single, but ask who Edward Snowden is and too many don’t have a clue. These programs need to be seriously revised and given more transparency, but that’s not going to happen so long as we don’t bother to talk about them.

Finally, this gives me a chance to make use of this:

Would've been funnier back when it was still winter, but fuck it.

Would’ve been funnier back when it was still winter, but fuck it.

The Doctor in “Regeneration Carol.”

This Christmas will be a bittersweet one for fans of Doctor Who as it will see the end of Matt Smith’s incarnation of The Doctor. The folks at Not Literally decided to see him off with an adaptation of Baby It’s Cold Outside:


If you’re not watching “Your Bleeped Up Brain” then you should be.

your-bleeped-up-brain-square-logoI’m a big advocate for skeptical thinking. It’s one of the best tools you can have in life for determining truth claims and avoiding being scammed. We can’t be experts in everything so being skeptical is your first line of defense. To be really effective at it you need to understand how your brain works.

That’s where shows like Your Bleeped Up Brain come in handy. Each week they pick a theme — Lies, Superstition, Deception, Memory — and then they show you why your brain is susceptible to each one. Developed with the help of Richard Wiseman, the show delves not only into why your brain fucks up, but how it has had an impact on history on everything from world wars to belief in vampires. After each concept is explained they demonstrate by running experiments on the street with random folks passing by. It’s not only informative, but hugely entertaining.

Alas, there’s only four episodes in the series and they’ve already aired three of them. However, all is not lost as you can rent them through Amazon Prime or you can watch full episodes on the official site for free. I’m hopeful that it does well enough that they decide to pick it up for a full season later.

Happy 49th birthday Doctor Who!

On this day back in 1963 The Doctor first graced television screens. It would be years before I’d first see him, but fortunately he hung around for quite awhile. He disappeared for a bit in 1989, but he’s back now and better than ever.

What’s really amazing is that he doesn’t look a day over 30*:

*Current actor Matt Smith is 30.

“The Newsroom” on the Tea Party.

I don’t subscribe to any of the movie channels, but I have to admit that I’m sorely tempted just so I can watch the HBO series The Newsroom. In part because I’m a huge Jeff Daniels fan, but also because of scenes like this one:

For being fiction, there’s a lot of truth in that segment. I’ll bet the Tea Party isn’t very happy with that show right about now.

Doctor Who Season 7 trailer hits the net!

Can’t wait for this to get underway. I mean, just look at this:

Oh my! The Dalek episode alone looks like it’s going to be amazing. Every single Dalek ever created for a past episode through the original series will be present and accounted for. It’s also the last hurrah for the Ponds and word has it they don’t have a happy ending.

New teaser trailer for “Doctor Who” season 7.

Gonna be a long wait:

More Christian persecution: GSN announces Bible based game show.

Christians have it so hard in America. Persecution rains down upon them from all sides with Big Media being one of the worst offenders. Godless shows and constant attacks on Christian principals abound and now the ultimate offense has arrived: The American Bible Challenge.

GSN said the questions will be “designed to acknowledge and celebrate the Bible’s continuing importance in contemporary life and culture.” Can’t wait for the stoning-of-adulteresses question.

It appears contestants will be selected on the basis of their backstories, because GSN says contestants are going to share them with viewers at home and the studio audience.

And teams of contestants will represent “worthy faith-based organizations,” said GSN, without elaborating as to how it planned to weed out the unworthy ones.

via Jeff Foxworthy to host ‘The American Bible Challenge’ – The Washington Post.

These poor Christians are going to be tasked with demonstrating actually knowing something about the Bible? How unfair is that! Everyone knows you don’t actually have to read the book, that’s what the clergy are for! They do the reading and then tell us how gays are destroying America every Sunday. Isn’t it enough that they get up early on a weekend day and go to church? As if being asked to actually know something about the Bible isn’t enough, the show is going to be hosted by Jeff Foxworthy! Haven’t they suffered enough?!?!

Depending on their screening process (do they weed out the idiots who haven’t actually read the book or not) this could be a highly amusing show to watch. It’d be particularly interesting if they allow atheists to participate given that the average atheist tends to be a bit more well read on the topic than the average Christian tends to be. Foxworthy seems to agree:

“It will be interesting to find out what people really know, and an opportunity to present the Bible in a fun and entertaining way,” Foxworthy added.

What surprises me, however, is that there isn’t at least some outcry on the part of many far Right evangelicals about the show literally trivializing their holy book. I wonder why that is?

Among the show’s consulting producers are members of Odyssey Networks, a nonprofit organization that features on its Web site a video addressing, “Is America Ready to Vote for a Mormon President?”

Oh, I see. Because they had a hand in making the show in the first place. They must be thrilled that they’ve managed to get a Bible-themed show on a non-religious cable channel. Now the question is: Will anyone watch it?

“Doctor Who” tribute video spans the entirety of the show.

If you’re a fan of the revived Doctor Who series then you probably know that the show has a long history — this November with be its 50th anniversary — but may not have seen much, if any, of the originals series. If you’ve got 9 minutes to spare then you can get a taste via the this tribute video that counts the stories from 1963 through the 2011 Christmas special plus various spin-offs and specials:

Probably one of the more comprehensive overviews I’ve seen considering that there’s still 106 episodes missing from the BBC archives. Spotted many of my favorites from both the old and new series. Will have to make a point of hunting some of them down.