[Media Meandry] Variety Shoebox Piracy

My mind was too tight when it came to working through the question of “how do I stream a variety of videogames in an interesting way?” I worked through the idea yesterday evening and when I went to bed, that’s when I came up with the idea that became a shoebox rather than an overlay. Over the course of 6 hours, I played maybe 30 minutes of videogames, but we had a blast talking about many topics.

I enjoyed most how we made fun of the idea of me not playing videogames.

It started off innocently enough with playing some games, then when we got more discussion going, I made a whole bit out of playing a few seconds of videogames, poorly, dying, then proceeding to continue through the chat – where at one point, I was approaching one hour behind live. If someone posted something at 3:47pm my time, I might have officially read it at, say, close to 4:47pm.

Our conversations mainly centered on the legality and morality of variety streams.

How do stream a variety of games that you don’t legally own and don’t legally have the license to broadcast? The idea was something I meandered through when I couldn’t sleep last night, so, I read about half of the 18-page document on DMCA. I didn’t get to the meat of the matter, and I haven’t been in consultation with copyright experts, but from a casual perspective, I think that unless you purchased a game new from a retailer specialized in selling that game, from the original manufacturer, you only own the physical vessel that contains the game. You don’t own the game in terms of owning its license. You own a copy, at most, that lets you play it privately. So that we even broadcast games alone, let alone with their licensed music, makes sense to me why DMCA strikes would happen.

Twitch might allow this piracy to happen because our broadcasts generate revenue.

Well, except for mine, since I don’t run ads on my broadcasts. Sure, I don’t get money from Twitch, but I don’t need that sort of money. It’s not morally OK for me to endorse the alcohol ads that would run, I don’t need the money right now, but, were it ever to come up that I needed to run ads to generate money to, say, eat or house myself, I don’t think anyone would judge me for that – just as I don’t judge anyone that broadcasts for profit. These morality questions start with the broadcasting of videogames that we don’t have the broadcasting licenses for, that we barely modify under fair use laws, then conclude with the audacity of wanting money? How we consolidate that morality is how we broadcast.

For me, I am as self-aware as possible when it comes to all of this stuff.

I know that the game developers [programmers, artists, writers, composers] aren’t making money off of my broadcast, and, I’m not making money off of their work. The most we can do is pay full price for new videogames that we think we’re going to like – same for new albums, books, or any other media. This generates negotiating power for the media makers to then say, “our previous media made XX profit rather than merely Y profit, so we would like to aim for A, B, C.” This is what enables newer, experimental media compared to playing it safe. The safe brands are the ones that will probably generate enough to justify certain thresholds like physical releases in major retail stores, whereas riskier indie media has to be more of a grassroots operation.

Pay your artists fairly and do what you can to support fair licensing.

This applies outside of media to any avenue as well. One viewer, Stump, runs a home improvement company and he once mentioned how he doesn’t accept work from people he doesn’t like. With a few examples we outlined, I can agree with that, since if you don’t like the person/people you’re working with, then there will be problems from start to finish. It’s a business risk for Stump to take a job from someone that might not pay him. Same for anything. The cost of, say, broadcasting for 250 hours as I accomplished with today’s broadcast meant 250 [plus] hours spent not doing other things. Whether writing, sleeping, or hanging out with friends [plus the preparation time, which could add in an additional 125 hours, easily,] I dedicated that 250 hours to broadcasting.

I think that was 250+ hours well spent.

As Los spoke of me recently, I have a platform, and I use it. I don’t use it for evil or unkind things. When I speak criticisms of companies or people, it’s with the intention that they hear my perspective in a way so that they can learn or grow. If someone doesn’t like that which I say, they don’t have to participate, but for those who do, we can meander our way to better avenues. As I mentioned at one point during the stream, I’ve been writing in obscurity for nearly 5 years to an average of 0 readers. I might get someone dropping a like, or figuring out a way to comment, or something like that, but I haven’t achieved financial success with the over 900 hours I’ve spent writing so far.

What if it takes me 9100 more hours to achieve success as a writer?

So what? Let’s get to work. Doing broadcasts like I’ve done are fun ways to interact with people and technology, but writing like this is how I dig into my brain deeply and come up with new ideas. I’ll continue to work in this sort of direction for future broadcasts. I can add the screenshots of titles to future shoeboxes, I can rebel against traditions even further. I can do it at my own pace, and to my level of quality, because there’s no money in it for me right now.

No one has the ability to financially control my broadcasts or writing.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: My personal experiences.
Related: Other Media Meandry essays.
Screenshot: Not really an overlay but a shoebox of pictures.
Written On: 2021 July 17 [10pm to 10:27pm]
Last Edited: 2021 July 17 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.