How to prevent this forum from becoming like /r/letsplay?

I wasn’t quite sure if this should be in the Feedback Forum or maybe somewhere else, as it’s not a problem YET…

But I’m a little worried that when the forum becomes truly open for all, it runs the risk of becoming like reddit’s letsplay subforum, a teeming pile of people desperately clamoring for youtube fame, obsessing over statistics and upload schedules, freaking out over run-of-the-mill spammy interactions, and perfecting their Search Engine Optimization keywords. It’s downright soulless and sucks all the fun/creativity out of LP, imo. We pretty much never had to deal with that sort of talk on SomethingAwful, but that was perhaps due to the general shaming of people who took LP seriously, and not as “a pseudohobby at best.”

While it’s certainly not inherently bad to discuss technical aspects of building a Youtube Channel, I feel like that’s almost a separate thing from the creative topic of Let’s Plays themselves (discussions of SEO tactics/thumbnail designs/intros and outros/etc apply to any Youtube channel), and too easily leads to neuroticism. Approaching Let’s Play like a calculated business plan is not only soulless, but somewhat pointless as well. It just kinda reeks of those self-help books – if self-help book tactics ALWAYS worked, there would be no market for them, because everyone would be successful. Obsessing over SEO and stats just makes a forum sad and kinda boils the creative element of LPs away so that all that’s left is “How do I trick the most amount of people into watching my Youtube Channel.”

Basically: Is there a way we can respect/take seriously the hard work that goes into creating a Let’s Play while keeping the Youtube Fame Algorithm Seekers at a minimum? Any ideas or rules that might be good to enact?


I think the biggest contributors to it not happening on SA were the membership price tag, the selectively high standards and the three month rule (even after it was abolished, people quoted it (hello, it is I, the fool who did a Bloodborne LP)).

Since we have no price tag and the 3-month rule doesn’t make sense in the current gaming climate (does anyone really care about whether it was 3 months since this obscure indie game was released), we’re only left with higher standards. And that also runs the risk of creating a climate of snobbery, which is also something you don’t want.

I’m not sure whether the current software allows it, but I’d do a mild combination of time-constraint and post-constraint. Something like “you need to have been registered for a week and also have had X posts in the LP forum before you can make a thread in the LP forum”. This way, it functions at least like a padlock in that it stops someone just registering to do a thread dump, helps them learn from other threads and also threads that are struggling for feedback might get a better influx of feedback (because unless you’re LPing a really popular game or are already established, you will be struggling to get responses on your threads).

Some other restrictions that might make sense are adding a max cap to LP threads per week. Nothing ridiculous, just again, to keep people from doing a post dump and leaving.

This is all of course prone to abuse and it might encourage low-effort posting for the sake of forum access, but I’d argue you’d be dealing with that even without the restrictions. This way it’s just less of it. Basically, you want to make it harder for the type of people you don’t want, but not in a way that it will affect the people you do want negatively.

As far as things like how to stop thumbnail optimizers, facecamers, etc, there are three ways: hard bans (aka not allowed), soft bans (heavily discouraged and criticized) and compromise (why are you using a face cam? Do you think it makes the LP better? You’re right, it does/I think it gets in the way). Since this is a blank slate almost, the tone the community goes for (even if it is mostly based off of an existing community) is gonna be formed in the early days and we should decide what tone we want. Being more inclusive means there will be more people to manage. Being less inclusive means higher quality work with a lower quantity of people.


I’m also thinking that perhaps emphasizing that this is a forum for the CREATIVE aspects of Let’s Play and not the BUSINESS aspects of Let’s Play might help a lot. Some rule like “We DO care about helping you make a cool Let’s Play that looks good and is fun to watch. We DON’T care about helping you optimize your viewer retention and blah blah blah, that’s stuff is boring. Don’t do it.”?


I think that’s fine. We just have to make a distinction between “I want more views because I want more money” and “I want more views because I want more people to enjoy my stuff”. I think I only have one monetized video on my channel, but I still want more viewers because as a creative person you do want to be noticed in some capacity.

The distinction doesn’t necessarily need to be in the rules, it’s just that if someone asks how to get more exposure, we as a community shouldn’t shut them down immediately because it sounds they’re looking to be a Let’$ Player.

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I think a lot of the problem with that soulless aspect is that r/letsplay is just one giant wall of threads that don’t interconnect, it’s not possible to advertise your content and create interesting discussions with your Let’s Plays if it’s being drowned out by pages and pages of boring minutae. If the optimization people wanna have their own little corner of the tech support forum then I don’t see any harm in letting them do it since it doesn’t detract from the actual LP threads themselves.


This would also address another concern I had. On another forum I used to read there were a bunch of youtubers using forumbots to spam threads about their latest LP/Walkthrough/whatever on the creative board. Which the mods had to clean out almost daily.

Yeah, like, as long as it stays in a single thread in the tech support or feedback fortress; I wouldn’t mind it. That way anyone that wants to take part in that kind of stuff can, and anyone who doesn’t can ignore/mute the thread.

While we’re probably not going to make any of this stuff against the rules, I will add a mission statement to the site that makes it clear that this forum is intended to be a place for creators to connect with fans without having to deal with the usual youtube SEO bs.

I’ll also say that more than anything else, it’s you guys, the community itself, that shapes the community far more than the rules do. If we want to keep this a fun, casual place for everyone, we need your guys’ help. When someone makes a thread freaking out over one negative comment, tell them to calm down, it happens to everyone. When someone starts to melt down because they can’t figure out what games give the best SEO, advise that they should instead focus on making great content with games that THEY want to play.

@Combat_Lobster I will make spamming against the rules, if it isn’t already. I’ll need to check.


Perhaps a good point to make will also be to show that if you make the LP really good, people will gravitate towards it, and if you keep making really good LPs, people will want to support you. Chip and Ironicus’ Patreon is really successful, and it seems like basically any time Metal Gear Rising comes up around the Internet, someone will link a video from Chip’s LP.

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The way I have seen it, and I could be wrong here.

SALP was seen as the high standard, with huge rules in place, you pay the membership to play, and you get first timers a bit of fear on totally fucking up, not to mention rules regarding 3-months, and an almost animosity if somebody were to LP an already LP’d game. (No, it is I who does the Super Mario Galaxy games), that members couldn’t really be themselves, and flesh out what they feel a playthough of a video game entails. That sometimes you get debates like “Is Reaction Cam allowed?” “Are Skits Allowed in this?” and in turn, this doesn’t express enough creativity in what should be a fun interactive experience between viewer and user and discussion about the video game, if the OP allows.

Reddit is more seen the same way I see podcasting - I want to make one, but I don’t know how. Hey check out my gameplay of this game. The playthoughs of games has grown to be popular, look at YouTube, look at Twitch, that almost everybody wants to be the next PewDiePie or GameGrumps and just play the video games for viewership and popularity, and probably get the “Trending Gamer of the Year” at next year’s Game Awards.

The problem with Option 2 is that while it gives people creative control over their videos, the videos almost do a bare minimum job of reaching out to audiences and coming up with something that offers up their unique talents. Are they speedrunning the game? Are they funny? Or are they just gonna regurgitate memes they picked up from 4chan? While SALP was about the game, Reddit was about the creator/user themselves.

What I see with this message board, is somewhat of a hybrid of both, the talented people from SALP, who have put in effort in their videos are now offering up help to the ones looking to get involved into this, out of love of the game, not because it’ll raise their subscription count.

I think it should have a bit of structure (Trigger Warnings/NSFW Content is perfect) because it creates a bit of a parameter for creators, but just enough wiggle-room to shape their own content in stride. Taking suggestions from the audience for characters or having fun with the sandbox in a multiplayer.

I am guilty of doing reaction cam when I stream video games, because I feel my streams are a “gaming show” where I show off games, with the need to be on-cam as a host of sorts. I might not say anything funny/creative/intelligent, but I want people to know I am there in case it’s quiet for a few periods of time.

If I did a LP (I haven’t decided what my first one would be, as I mostly stream), I would probably record in batches, taking breaks to get suggestions from the audience, and record commentary in post. Making sure I edited down how many times I died in a level (and saving those mistakes for an “end of the run bonus video”) so I look like I am competent.

I hate to speak for anybody other than myself, but the general feeling around here is “let the games do the talking more than you do”. Video Games are an entertainment medium, and while it’s not a bad thing, some people really just want to put the focus on themselves on other videos. (It’ll be the ones with the users themselves front and center in the YT Thumbnail)

So here’s what I see in the LP’Zone:

1. Easier interactions with creators and audience

Because shouting at them in the YouTube comments is not gonna help. This is aided by good moderation here, to throw out the hooligans looking to start some trouble/drama to try and benefit themselves. Creators benefit because they could see something they might’ve missed, or come up with a strategy in the next level. What works/What doesn’t work (in a friendly way) And audiences benefit beause they can talk their favorite creators and let them know they are doing a good job. The “Heart” on comments, similar to reddit, rewards good comments/posts.

2. Assistance and Reassurance

I don’t mean this in a “boost in viewership” assistance, but rather assisting in getting a casual gaming audience to assist you in your discussion of the game. Assisting people with what games to try out, and what their next LP videos could be based on previous videos, if they wanted suggestions. Reassurance is to help out those that are feeling like they are struggling with these videos. It’s weird to think, but there are people on the opposite end of these videos. The group here aren’t the kind to go “Your LP sucks, you should feel bad and go away”, they are more of the kind to let the user know of hiccups in capture/audio levels. Reassuring the users, they are welcomed to play video games, and have fun. Inclusive isn’t just some buzzword – it does have merit. Make the people feeling nervous/anxious uploading their video at ease, even if they’ve been doing it for years, some people get the sad slump and feel hopeless, even if they have more subscribers/followers than you. Root for everybody to succeed.

3. It’s unique audience of creative talents

Some people here are just fantastic editors, others are great at one-liners and quips,others can photoshop like there is no tomorrow. We need to Stop, Collaborate, and Listen. There could be people looking for people to join them on a video, or needing assistance in editing/mixing/streaming or coming up with catchy thumbnails for their threads/videos, and everybody is bringing something to the table here.

It’s not just goony goon goons here, if this forum thrives (which is all based on the users), it’s going to be because of the natural kind of goofing with games that show up here to attract users new and old. Everybody here loves video games and comedy and stupid YouTube videos, and it’s about time we came together and created something beautiful.

If you wanted the popularity, just look up the latest challenge videos and replicate them. Get ready for the “spray deodorant challenge” coming soon, unless it already exists, in which case I’ll be sobbing. Because at the end of the day, the numbers really don’t matter, it’s on being satisfied with the content you put out, and the content you take in.

Teamwork makes the dream work.


I added a forum mission statement to the forum overview thread 🚨 Welcome to the LP Calzone - Eat (read) me

Hopefully this should nip some future issues in the bud.

Who was that guy who refused to go along with the old forum rules and suggestions of behavior and kept re-registering to post awful “funny” content? Flamingo something or other.

Just compile a list of his posts and such and say “please don’t be this guy”

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Richard Gamingo the Gaming Flamingo?


This is definitely the reason I have always kept my distance from the SA LP forums, even though I fully realized that it’s the source of all my favorite LP’s and LP’ers; I’m so worried I’m going to do an LP wrong and then be ostracized by the community that I never even bothered trying. Honestly I’ve been sitting at work debating all day long over whether I’d fit in any better here, but I’m posting so at least there’s that. I suppose most online communities require that someone lurk long enough to understand the culture, maybe all this anxiety is just because I feel so out of place.

I know /r/letsplay is bad (I only lasted about 5 minutes there before coming to the same conclusions as OP), but if I’m being honest I’m more concerned about whether people like me, who don’t come from SALP, will be able to find a spot at the table.


I think that this place has the goal of trying to be more friendly than SALP was while still maintaining a pretty decent quality bar - which is why there’s an entire subforum for getting help in doing LPs, tech advice, etc. I think the main thing is that here, people are striving to make a friendly environment where criticism will be constructive and less likely to end with ‘fuck you, OP, never post again’ or really stupid mod challenges and more likely to have people go 'hey, you could maybe improve things by '.


Do contests or challenges. It encourages people to try new things and be creative, plus it builds community.


That’s the one. Don’t be him. But contests like the winter LP one sound good too.

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Seriously considering this - I’ll post more about it later, once we get a few other things shored up.


I think contests and challenges are good when they’re apropos of nothing, as opposed to punishments for rule breaking.