It’s been a little while since I’ve posted here, mostly because last semester was really really rough. Long hours, busy days, and nary a drop to drink.
But now I’m back and kicking! This semester, my show, Fan Game Follies, is doing a crossover with Wren Dalton’s show The Ludic Society. On my show on Thursday nights, I’ll be playing through Majora’s Mask along with Wren, Morgan, and Diego. Then, on Sunday afternoons, the same squad will be walking through the Ben Drowned, Moon Children, and other Majora’s Mask ARGSs (alternate reality games). By doing so, our hope is to provide a more thorough experience with the games to hold sustained conversations with each other and the audience. Essentially, we’ll be doing a deep reading of all these media over a number of months to really go in-depth.
We’ve already gone through a few episodes of the collaboration, and here are some initial thoughts I have about it.
- Our audience shifts with us when we cover similar topics. Wren has cultivated an awesome audience through their hard work promoting and spreading interest in their show. I haven’t spent as much time building up a solid base of viewers, with most of my streams garnering maybe one or two viewers per stream. (Not saying that’s a bad thing, just the truth!) But, when I began streaming Majora’s Mask in conjunction with The Ludic Society, we discovered that the same audiences that liked discussions of the ARGs also began watching Fan Game Follies. So, it seems that audiences will watch streams even on different days if they like the content and are familiar with the people hosting.
- Conversation makes streaming so much easier for me. Being able to talk with other members of Serious Play has really helped me build confidence and skills in streaming. I like having a more casual, conversation-based stream because it gives me time to focus on gameplay and I don’t have to worry as much about entertaining the audience. I trust that my co-streamers are there to help out and provide awesome commentary, which they always do. And I like hanging out with friends. Go figure!
- Majora’s Mask is ripe for conversations about fandom, methods of storytelling, and the relationship between time, space, and video games. I’ve always loved Majora’s Mask, and I feel like this is the closest we’ll ever get to an arthouse kind of vibe from Nintendo. (A24 could probably make a fantastic, moody MM game a la The Green Knight). But playing through the game and ARGs has given me some new light on the work. The fan labor of MM is simply incredible, and I think the cult-like following of MM has helped with fan productions, particularly in the ARG and fan game communities. The game itself is a sequel, and it’s disjointed and haunted storytelling pairs extremely well with fan labor. Majora’s Mask is also one of the few games that truly highlights the recursion of the gameplay loop by having the player start a new three day cycle every time the world is about to end. That kind of larger gameplay loop imbues the game with a strange relationship to time and space that I think could be explored more, just not by me here because I’m tired and brain is dead.
But yeah, these are some random thoughts I’ve had while playing. My head is as empty as the Happy Mask Salesman’s smile. But yeah, if you want to hear actually good commentary of Majora’s Mask, check out Fan Game Follis and The Ludic Society this semester!