Crowbcat as viddie game truther


#1

A YouTuber named crowbcat came up in the most recent waypoint radio. I have a friend who is pretty into his stuff but I could never really stomach it.

The wordless video essays seem to just tie lots of things together with red yarn without having to go to the trouble of making any sort of cogent thesis. It’s almost like a video game equivalent of a 9/11 truther saying “I’m just asking questions”

Has anyone in this community examined this guy’s stuff at all or have any thoughts?


Sometimes, the Trailer Has a Better Story Than the Game
#2

As far as I know they’re a collective of people and yeah they’re very bad. They’re just giving fuel to communities to lose any kind of rational thought in order to slam dunk video games.


#3

This thread disappoints me because I was hoping that there was somebody out there who is ruthlessly promoting their theory that Video Games Do Not Exist, like that German guy who thinks that the 7th through 10th centuries are a fake conspiracy created by the Pope.

If anybody needs me, I’ll be starting my YouTube channel to promote the Truth that the Sheeple must Wake Up And Realize: Video Games Are A Lie and don’t actually exist


#4

They aren’t?!?!


#5

Quoting a post from martijos94 in the other thread regarding Austin Walker’s article referencing one of crowbcat’s videos:

They’re not really a “truther” but somebody who makes snide, controversial video content that’s practically engineered to get a ton of attention from Reddit and ResetERA. It’s bad.


#6

I’ve only ever seen their videos showing different interactions and degrees of reaction in games, and all i’m wondering is if this is really the kind of way i want to consider valuable in games and it’s definitely not. Otherwise, i can’t speak to their work.


#7

I for one am so thankful that someone was brave enough to finally mention that Watch Dogs looked slightly worse at launch than in it’s debut trailer, the industry will never be the same


#8

I felt the same as you when I first saw that “This video shows why Far Cry 2 is better than Far Cry 5” post, which I honestly found to be kinda disappointing. I’m only starting FC5, and never played FC2, but I don’t usually find much value in the critique of people who “criticize” games by showing a series of nitpicks. It reeks too much of gaming YouTube circa 2009. So yeah, I definitely see the truther analogy, and well done for thinking it up.


#9

Man, I wasn’t even aware of that stuff. Ugh. This dude’s videos always came off as the most clickbait, tabloid-esque stuff to me. Like comparing differences in, say, the way GTA3 handles shadowing if you step in front of a car’s headlights versus the way GTA5 does it is could be interesting from a technical perspective, but he frames it in this weird, gross “this is what they don’t want you to know” sort of way. Something about it always rubbed me the wrong way so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if the dude himself is shitty.


#10

It sounds like I might be fortunate to not know, what is resetERA?


#11

A forum started by former prominent members of the NeoGAF community. It’s generally an ok place, the mods and admins have no tolerance for bigotry, but yeah, stuff like comparisons of different releases of games tend to become huge threads with overly nitpicky drama.


#12

Is it not the Russian chess master that thinks the Dark Ages literally didn’t happen? My favourite thing about him is that he hates communism because the Soviets invented a computer that owned him at chess. Great banter.


#13

Garry Kasparov?


#14

I’ll be honest: it’s fun to watch Crowbcat drag a game I don’t really like, like Dead Rising 4.

Mostly, their videos are stirring the pot. Every pot. All the time. Crowbcat intentionally feeds the worst parts of the gaming community. I get the feeling the person behind that channel is one of those “gotta teach those game journalists a LESSON” sorta-GG types.

So even if I like to watch Crowbcat drag a game I don’t like, I always feel a tinge of guilt.


#15

I was curious after hearing the discussion on the podcast (and the caveat that people said they suck) so I watched a few of their videos and got the same vibe.

They really seem to appeal to the gamer who feels the need to defend all games as infallible and above criticism EXCEPT THE ONES THAT WRONGED ME BY BEING…BEING…because I don’t like them.

Quick edit to avoid making a post just dunking on someone: In context of the larger discussion, I feel like in a way these videos made me less inclined to like a game based on not exactly living up to its original pitch. Those Bioshock: Infinite systems did look cool, but in the end they definitely didn’t make me go “Well THAT would’ve been a good game, actually.”


#16

That seems like a strange takeaway. Those tiny interactions are often some of my favorite parts of a game. And I think there’s a lot of interesting territory for criticism there too. The tools to affect NPCs and the ways that they respond in games like Red Dead Redemption and GTA 5 speaks volumes about the worldview of those games. And often, I think those small moments are much more memorable and affecting than the big setpiece missions and cutscenes.

I think the toxicity is the much more important thing to focus on with these videos. They really are edited in a way to imply “downgrades”, or “marketing lies”, or “broken promises”. They’re like political smear ads agains game developers. And it’s perfect bait for a certain type of hate thread on youtube, reddit, etc.

Compare it to Helixsnake’s clip compilations that often showcase absurd physics glitches and exploits in games. Rather than portraying them as negatives or “QA lazyness” he frames them as wonderful discoveries, little moments of unexpected sillyness and joy inserted into your game experience. They can even become creative tools to reinterpret the game world in ways unforseen by the developer.


#17

Aye that’s exactly who I meant.


#19

His Halo video was hard to watch he barely stitched together enough clips to get across his narrative that basically 343i is bad.


#20

They’ve always come off to be me like the video game equivalent of CinemaSins to be perfectly honest. Whatever valid points the videos may occasionally hit on or allude to seems negligible compared to the amount of people who use them as a catalyst to start bad faith discussions about how a game sucks, or as a way of repeating the “lazy devs” rhetoric. They just feel deeply cynical and consumer-first, which maybe makes their popularity unsurprising.


#21

At one point in time, I really enjoyed their videos. The cynical humor and snappy editing IS appealing to me and it is fun to dunk on games that I don’t like. This is something I’m trying to move away from now because I felt that it was helping push me to be more negative than I want. The real trouble is that I wasn’t really being informed or getting an interesting perspective as I felt I was at the time.

‘Man, this guy is really sticking it to those bad bad game devs!’ -Me, then

The turning point for me was the video on Team Fortress 2. I played TF2 for years and I was quite familiar with a lot of the small changes that happened over time. As I remember it, the premise of the video seemed to just be that TF2 looked bad now.

It was a huge bummer for me because I expected it to be looking at art styles and how TF2 slowly evolved as it took on more and more art that didn’t really mesh with it’s original aesthetic. Instead it was just very specific things that were cherry-picked to give the impression that the TF2 of the time was just entirely worse. It seemed to go out of it’s way to not engage with any of the introductions to the game but rather only the changes or removals.

On the positive side, I feel like I’m more critical of videos now. I am better at recognizing when a video is possibly being misleading with it’s editing.