Friday, 30 May 2014

TNA and Zippcast

Total Nonstop Action and ZippCast have a lot in common, don't you think? They're both better alternatives to PG-WWE and CoperateTube, they actually listen to their fans, and they actually focus on wrestling and video-sharing. In short, they're awesome! ...At least that's what I would say if I was drinking the Kool-aid.

Here's the reality. ZippCast has a better layout then YouTube, every update they make actually improves the site further. Plus, while every video on YouTube is treated like some original web show or movie, hence the advertisments and copyright bullcrap, ZippCast is all about video sharing. They don't do it to get famous, they do it because they don't want to keep to themselves. On the other hand, the layout is so outdated and hard to navigate, the actual site is buggy, help and support is pathetic...AND IT'S ALWAYS SHUTTING DOWN!!!!

From the beginning, TNA was in WWE's face; whether it was playing the sports entertainment card or actually focusing on wrestling. It's also helps that TNA is very, very, VERY innovative. But let's recap: they had a video game, a developmental territory, a relationship with Bellator MMA, live TV tapings on the road, a roster made up of modern day legends and icons of the past, and a very different atmosphere. All of which they could use to compete with the WWE...and they blew all of it with terrible booking, repetitive invasion angles, and, allegedly, terrible treatment of their superstars and talent.

Meanwhile, the PG rating, 3 hour Raw which nobody can finish in one sitting, and supershow format - which almost killed off the exposure for mid and low card performers - have only hindered WWE in recent years. And while YouTube continues to be Google's personal money-making machine, while giving the finger to it's users and the community, they're still doing what they did before Google bought them out: creating viral hits and turning niches to mainstream entertainment.

At this point, ZippCast and TNA's respective fanboys fanbases look more like brainwashed mooks. Clearly, ZippCast and TNA aren't as "good" as they think they are. They're underrated, yet overhyped; great ideas, horrible execution. They only time when they should get the applause is when they actually beat WWE and YouTube at their own game, which they have done many times, but that's not the point. The point is, at some point, we need to stop giving them a pat on the back every five seconds and start giving some criticism.

We need to stop wishing that they were better and actually try to make them better.

Monday, 12 May 2014

In Spike We Trust? The Prelude to Spike's Gaming Coverage

From what I heard, I was right about VGX being an improvement but McHale absolutely ruined it. As far as criticism goes, if McHale didn't co-host, last year's revamped event would have been the turning point for Spike. Something that would give them a bit more credit as a gaming broadcaster.
But sadly, that isn't the reality. The reality is, once again, they blew it. I said it before, I'll say it again, online networks like Machinima.com have replaced television networks like G4 when it comes to gamer entertainment. They know who their audience is and they know how to cater to them. Television offerings just don't cut it anymore.

And yet, between video game adaptions and tie-ins like Defiance and the surprisingly positive reviews for the Need for Speed film, I still believe there is still some hope that TV and movies can actually get it right. Why else would Spike be named the official broadcaster for E3? Because, while Spike at least gave a crap about gaming, G4 was apparently too busy with Cops, Cheaters, and Lost reruns! Whether gamers like to admit it or not, Spike is the only network left on North American airwaves to bring gaming to their TV sets.

If the team behind VGX wants to solve their "PR problem", all they gotta do is find people who will actually treat gamers with some respect. Spike's demographic and the gaming community are two different beings. You can cater to the former, by all means, but at least treat the latter with some dignity. Meanwhile, I notice that GTTV is off the air, leaving Spike without a gaming news show. Whether or not they've cancelled it and will replace it something else, I'd like to see the show at a more accessible timeslot.

I'll admit that I never got to see VGX or last year's E3 All Access, I just scrambled around news articles and hoped for the best. This year, I'll follow Spike's coverage of E3 2014, then I'll check out VGX at the end of the year. Now that we know for sure that G4 is dead, I want see for myself if Spike can learn from it's mistakes and take G4's place, not as a gaming network, but as a network that at least casual gamers can trust.

Gamers can dismiss it, but the rest of us won't. Spike is the last frontier for gaming television; they need to start acting like it.