Posted on Sunday, March 10th, 2013 at 2:18 PM by GlitteryMocha
Platform: PC: Intel i7-2700k 3.50 GHz | 8Gig Ram | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
Q: What is your personal history with gaming? (Age, games/consoles played, etc)
A: I’ve always enjoyed games. I come from a family who, to this day, still spends most family gatherings playing card and board games. So picking up electronic gaming was a no-brainer. My first gaming console that I played on was the Atari which my parents had. I remember me and my mom taking turns playing Centipede and many other games.
My first real gaming console that I remember vividly was the original Nintendo. I would have been 6 years old and the year was 1988. In fact, if you really want to relive my experience you can here – Best Christmas Ever Mario and Zelda set me up to be a gamer for life.
I’ve owned several consoles throughout the years – Super Nintendo, Genesis, 3DO, Xbox and probably a few more that I can’t remember at the moment. Admittedly, the one console that I’ve never owned is the PlayStation. I’ve just never been a fan of the controller, but my friends always had PlayStations so I’ve had plenty of time on them.
My greatest pleasure in gaming is when I experienced multiplayer for the first time. I thought the idea that you can interact with people across the world was mind boggling. My first multiplayer experience was actually a text based game called Legend of The Red Dragon (Which is where my name comes from) That was back in the day of dial-up.
Favorite Childhood Game: Mario Kart – (Always beat my brother up in battle mode)
First RTS: Age of Empires – LOVED that game!
First Multiplayer FPS: Rainbow Six on PC
Favorite Original Xbox Game: Original Ghost Recon
Favorite Series: Battlefield
Q: You’ve been on YouTube for a couple years now, explain the evolution of your channel from back then to what it is today.
A: I used to be a big clan member and enjoyed competitive gameplay back in the day. I actually started YouTube to create tutorials for new members who joined our team so they could get the basics of the game we were playing. Back then, I was hooked on Tom Clancy’s EndWar, which was a RTS game. There was a lot of info and detail to the game that a lot of members didn’t know about, so I decided to create a channel just to throw up a couple of videos giving tips.
After a few comments from users who really enjoyed the walkthroughs – I was Hooked. It felt really good to know that I was helping people learn new things and making the game more enjoyable for some. In the beginning, I focused strictly on tutorials. It took a while, but over time I was finally able to expand into other areas and games that I enjoyed. I also added a little of my personality to the mix. If you watch some of my older videos, it doesn’t even sound like the same person lol. I was pretty bland back then Today however, I cover whatever I’m in the mood to talk about. I still do tutorials, but now I mix in News, an occasional comedy – and anything else that I feel will hopefully be entertaining and intriguing to my viewers. I can honestly say that the day I uploaded my first video, I never would imagined I’d still be here today still doing it. But I’ve come to really love the community and the work.
Q: How did you become involved with the BoosterBusters?
A: Ever seen that show “To Catch a Predator”? It was a TV show where they would do sting operations to catch pedophiles and would expose them on TV. (I know your probably thinking, how does this relate to BoosterBusters, lol)
When I picked up Black Ops, one of the features that I loved was the theater mode. One day I was scrolling through the leaderboards and stumbled upon a Booster who was obviously cheating. So I created a video called “To Catch a Booster”. It was basically a parody where I exposed the Booster for cheating and told people how they can help fight and catch Boosters.
LostInPlace then took that and warped it into the BoosterBusters where they would go in and expose the boosters in game and have a little fun with them. Lost is one of my best friends, so we team up on a lot of projects together and toss ideas back and forth. So it was a match made in Buster heaven.
Q: What made you start videogamesandnews.com – Why did you feel the need to aggregate gaming new like that?
A: I’ve always been a pretty big news junkie. Whether its World Events, Science & Technology, Politics, or Gaming. I’ve always felt it was important to know what was going on in the world. Some of my favorite political sites were aggregators like the Drudge Report and The Huffington Post. I had always hoped that I would find a gaming website that was similar in style where you could go get all your information from one site without having to visit 10 different pages or sites. I waited awhile, but just didn’t ever find what I was looking for.
Finally, after a lot of searching and thinking, I decided just to build that site myself. It hasn’t been live for very long, but it’s really encouraging to see how fast it has already grown, and the users seem to love it because they come back daily for more info. My dream was to build a site that featured the day’s top stories from the best sources, and I’m extremely pleased with what we have so far.
Q: How do you integrate gaming news into your YouTube videos and what do you find most challenging about combining the serious nature of gaming news with the nature of YouTube which can often be more biased and even unprofessional?
A: It was a very tough transition when I began creating news videos. My channel features a variety of content, but you’re always going to have viewers who only subscribe to you for “X Game” or “X Videos”. And a lot of times when you try branching out to do new content, it can be a little frustrating. The views tend to be a lot lower, and you always have viewers who just want the content that they want to watch.
Overall, my viewers have been really supportive and I almost think that now my channel is more known for news content. It took some time, but I’m glad I stuck with it.
Many YouTubers are very opinionated who cover the news. I’ll occasionally throw in my opinions, but I try to stick with the facts and focus on the information. I think this is both a strength and a major weakness. Controversy sells period. There is a reason why the Glenn Becks, and Chris Matthews of the world are successful. Because they do represent a very biased point of view, and they are so outspoken, it is entertaining to listen to.
That really isn’t in my DNA. I try to take a balanced approach and look at all sides and understand different points of view. I think my approach is a strength in the sense that I believe there is a group of people who just want the news, and who are smart enough to make up their own minds based on the information and don’t need me or anyone else to tell them what to believe. I’ll be the first to admit though that this group is probably in the minority, and I realize that I’ll never be a WoodysGamerTag – but I don’t want that. As long as I can provide a service that I feel is helping others, if I’m creating content that I feel is good quality material and I’m continuing to grow, then I’ll be satisfied.
Q: Do you feel your success on YouTube has helped you with VGN or was the website something you would have started eventually anyway?
A: I thought that both could be very useful to the other. I cross promote my channel on VGN and vice-versa. Without YouTube, I probably would have never created VGN. YouTube has definitely played a huge role in the early success of VGN. It is extremely difficult to start anything new and drive traffic to it. So having a base to start with that I’ve worked a couple of years on building has played a huge role.
Q: What are some of the sources you rely on and trust for your news and articles and how do you separate the hype that is so common in gaming news from the facts?
A: Each of the websites we follow have their strengths, they have their own breaking stories and information. It really comes down often times to who has the best content on a particular story. It’s also important for us to stick with sources that are reliable. We do our best to deliver a service that people can trust first and foremost.
Q: What makes VGN unique from other gaming site aggregators or things like Google Reader or some of the mobile apps, like Flipboard, etc?
A: Most aggregators are automated, and I think that is probably the biggest difference. Each one of our stories has been vetted by someone who is actually a gamer. Also, because VGN isn’t affiliated with any other site or company – it allows us to focus on quality and not focused on representing a certain group or set of ideas. Our only agenda is gaming information. We also don’t put up ‘filler’ articles just to have new content. Many sites will display stories that a lot of times simply aren’t worth reading. We try to focus on the articles and stories that we feel as gamer’s are important.
Q: What are your thoughts and preferences when it comes to the current gaming platforms? What about the next gen systems?
A: I’ve been playing more PC games lately, but I’m still a fan of the Xbox. Currently there are experiences and games that you just can’t get on the current set of consoles. But once the Next-Gen hits – if you can give me more players in-game – better graphics – experiences comparable to the PC – Then I’ll be happy to pick my controller back up. I think that is what we will see in Next-Gen, so I’m looking forward to the Next Xbox.
I’m the type of person however who is hoping they all succeed – PS4, Next Xbox, Steam Box, Ouya – Nintendo etc. I’ve never really been a ‘fan-boy’ – I’m a gamer. When one system gets it right, that puts pressure on the others to get it right. I think competition is great for the industry, and I’m hoping that gamer’s everywhere benefit with great new experiences.
Q: What are your opinions on publishers using big YouTubers to promote their products? How can you tell what’s a real opinion and what’s “been paid for”?
A: Well I can only speak for myself, but I try to let my viewers know in the beginning whether or not I received a review copy of a game. I think its important to be transparent and let the viewers know up front what’s going on. I’ve tried to take an approach with my reviews where I don’t focus on a “Number” or “Rating”. I just try to give a good overview of what the game offers – good and bad. Let users make up their mind whether or not it sounds like a good idea. Everyone is so different and rate games differently depending on different factors. Sometimes people give games bad scores for dumb reasons, and vice-versa – I think my audience is smart enough to figure stuff out on their own. Hopefully the audience feels comfortable enough with the commentator and can tell whether or not they are giving a genuine review – or whether it’s paid to say.
Q: Your commentaries cover a wide range of interesting topics, What are some of the topics you are most passionate about and what is it about them that excites you?
A: I’ve never seen a doctor about it, but I’m pretty sure I have attention deficit disorder (ADD), lol. I love a variety of topics. Technology, History, Philosophy – some of my favorites are actually Space – the Future – and Politics. People are often turned away by politics (I used to be). But I try to approach all of my topics in a way that’s inviting to everyone. I’m not here to bash anyone’s ideas or call people names. I enjoy listening to other ideas. I like topics that affect each of our lives. Topics that I feel have meaning.
I’m an introvert, so I don’t tend to really enjoy small talk. That is also why I’m not a very good live streamer in my opinion. I’m not very good at talking non-stop and if I don’t have anything important to say, then I can be pretty quiet. But if you want to talk about a topic where we can have an in-depth discussion, then you won’t get me to shut-up
Q: Balancing out a YouTube channel, your website, as well as a life away from those things has to be tough to do… have you ever considered finding help for your website to take some of the weight off your shoulders?
A: I have, and that is something I intend to work on in the coming year. I’m not really a person who feels comfortable asking for help, so it doesn’t come naturally. It’s a blessing and a curse at times. One of my first jobs I ever held was at Wal-Mart and I was a department Manager over Hardware. Even then I wasn’t very good at delegating jobs to others and would usually just do it myself. Everyone loved working for me, hah.
Q: What are your plans for the YouTube channel moving forward? What about VGN?
A: I think it’s going to be a great year for YouTube. With the upcoming releases of the next-gen, there is going to be plenty of news to cover for both YouTube and VGN. I’m also contemplating some other projects to help out fellow YouTubers and video creators. So it’s going to be a busy year for sure!
The Red Dragon’s Links
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Special thanks to IND Gamers for allowing me the opportunity to conduct this interview!