Books are for nerds. Wait…

ps4 xb1 controllers

Nearly a year ago, I started streaming games as part of a show I do called Cullen Plays. I do these shows on the fly, no set schedule, for old games occasionally at lunchtime (which I’ve neglected as of late, but I am going to try do these again) and for newer games and DLC which I announce ahead of time (you’ll see one for Final Fantasy XIV on Saturday and one next week on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 but more on that one once the embargo lifts).

But in doing this – both captured videos on YouTube and livestreams on Twitch – I’ve done this as myself. The truth is I’ve had a fair few ideas on what I’d like to do with this streaming nonsense. In fact, this was one of the ideas I mentioned I had when I started streaming last summer. But I’ve had it buried in the back of my head because of my confidence in being able to pull this off.

Until now. And to be clear, this isn’t an announcement of something new, but rather a feeler.

Would anyone be interested in a game club akin to a book club?

Let me be clear here on how it’d work. For a month, we’d talk about a particular game and week-after-week in that month, we’d be talking in a specific point in the game. Lets use Alan Wake – a episodically-structured game that has a literature background – as an example. It has about five or six acts in the entire game.

Each week, we’d play an act from Wake and talk of our feelings on the game to that point as part of a livestream showing that act in particular. Then we move on to the next act for the week after. Once the month is up, we’ll pick a new game that’ll be chosen by you, the participants. Basically, more or less, like a book club.

To be clear, the above was an example. No schedule or list of games have been determined and again, this is only merely a feeler.

Kotaku did this a few years ago with numerous games but they stopped after Mass Effect 3 came out nearly two years ago. To my knowledge, no other outlet has done something since and certainly no big-name UK outlet has done something like it ever. Admittedly, I’m not a big-name outlet, not even in the UK, I’m just some scrub. But I think this would be a very, very cool thing to do.

Again, this is only merely a feeler to get some general reaction to this. I’m definitely more than willingly up for this, but what do you think? Is this something you want to see? Is it something you’d like to take part in?

I’ve had comments closed off on the entire blog since The Last of Us open letter last June in fear of having the game spoiled for people at the time (just look at the comments left on it) and I’ve left them off since then, but on this occasion, I’ve turned on comments for this (and only this) post so you can comment on what your thoughts are on this. Whether it’s a good idea, a bad idea, etc.

You can also tweet me what you think at @JohnnyCullen. And there’s the Contact Me page above so you can email me. I’m really keen to hear all kinds of feedback on this from anyone who is interested, even in the slightest. So let me know what you think.


4 replies on “a game club?”

  1. It’s a great idea Johnny. I’d be up for participating especially if you’re wanting to feature a lot of narrative games.

  2. This is similar to what we’ve been doing with the Squadron of Shame podcasts since the 1up days. It’s a great format, with a couple of caveats:

    – I’d say there’s relatively little point tackling games that have already been discussed to death — the Mass Effects, the BioShocks and The Last of Uses of the world — unless there’s genuinely something new to say. One of the best things about this kind of format is being able to make people aware of lesser-known games that people haven’t encountered before.

    – Long games are difficult to manage a group of people playing. This format works best with short, easily digestible games, or titles that lend themselves to episodic play (like, say, Alan Wake that you mention above). While I’d love to have a group of people playing, say, the entire Ar Tonelico series, it’s probably not going to happen. I could, however, convince a bunch of people to all play something like Brothers or To the Moon.

    I don’t know if I’d be able to participate, since the Squadron of Shame is already well behind on podcasts and games to play together, but it’s a good idea worth pursuing. Good luck with it!

  3. Right then, massively combined consensus on here, Twitter and the UK games groups (industry and journalists) on Facebook since last night is overwhelmingly in favour of this, so I’m going to pull the trigger on this! I’ll have a think on particulars over the next week or two before announcing something more concrete but it’s definitely happening!

    That said, any more suggestions, by all means scream it (don’t actually scream it) on here or Twitter. Thanks, everyone!

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