Violent Waves Podcast - Take a swim in the deep end.


#1

Our songs refuse the grave.
These beating hearts make violent waves.
Push the pedal right through the floor.
Want so much more.

  • Keith Buckley, 2016

Hello fellow LP fans! I am Fiendly, and I’ve been at this hobby for about four years now. Along the way, I’ve gotten to know the unique community built around this specific activity quite well, and yet it never ceases to surprise me. Just three months ago, The LGBTQ+ thread launched and opened up to me a world I’d previously only dipped a toe into, and in that thread I was encouraged to pursue the idea that lead to this podcast.

Let’s Plays in the niche in which I’ve found myself often thrive on the anonymity of the individual making them, with personality-driven and facecam LPs generally being shunned. This anonymity attracted me to the hobby in the first place, but over the years, through co-commentary and on platforms like Twitter, I’ve met all sorts of interesting cool people with lived experience in fascinating topics, frequently topics that have affected my life as well. With Violent Waves, I’ll be sharing stories with some of my favorite folks and getting to know them better, and hopefully it’ll be fun and enlightening. Enjoy!

Episodes:
01 - Enby Ace Hang Time w/ Bec
02 - Let’s Plays Are Art w/ Skippy Granola and Scruffy
03 - Fur Down the Sandcastle w/ Micolithe and Garr


L(P)GBTQ Zone - It turns out, we were The Gays all along...
#2

Episode 1:
Enby Ace Hang Time w/ Bec

Sneaking in at the very end of Pride month with something I’m proud of, the debut episode of Violent Waves with special guest Bec (@Anoia)! We discuss the recent developments in our identities, our experience with the frequently erased subjects of asexuality and non-binary gender, the ‘ugh’-worthy issue of being queer in the American south, and last but not least, Let’s Plays!


#3

Episode 2:
Let’s Plays Are Art w/ Skippy Granola and Scruffy

Pictured: The omen that immediately preceded the recording of this episode.

This time around, I discuss the craft that brings us all here with some thoroughly experienced fellow LPers, Skippy Granola and Scruffy! Together, we go through our personal backgrounds with watching and doing Let’s Plays, other hobbies these multi-talented individuals enjoy, and the unique place LPs hold in entertainment and, yes, art. The title of this episode is spoken in earnest and used here without irony.


#4

Great episode. I think Skippy more or less nailed it on the head about Let’s Play as a performance art/act, but I would argue that it can be far more than a riff track or an interaction between LPer and the viewer. For me, LP is an opportunity to show someone how you see a game through your eyes. For example, all the little edits I tend to make in my videos are sorta there to 1. visually contextualize the feeling I had when I first experienced these set pieces or these points in a game, and 2. because I thought it would look cool. And these kind of things I can’t emulate in a setting where a friend is sitting right next to me and watching me play a game.


#5

That sums up my motives behind the edits I make pretty well. But also it’s because something that I tend to feel bad about when I hear other LPers talk about their hobbies is that I don’t really have any non-game hobbies of my own, so I have almost nothing to talk to other people about and wind up wanting to make my LPs as special as I can in some way to compensate for it being all I can do with my time.


#6

This is an excellent point, there’s much more to an LP than the commentary. Choosing how to present a game, from the format of an LP to the actual gameplay to the editing style, is just as important, and justifies the value of different LPs of the same game perhaps even more so than commentary does. Editing is a very creative process and I’ve always found it immensely satisfying to conceive of, plot out and execute a neat editing trick for a video.

I notably abstain from discussing my own hobbies in this episode of the podcast for similar reasons. I don’t even particularly like video games outside of the act of LPing them, but the personal connection of spending way too much time playing and thinking about a game always makes me feel like I have something specific to add to it that no one else could.


#7

I’m really enjoying the podcast so far, in just two episodes you’ve shown you can handle serious topics and more lighthearted discussions in a really eloquent way!

It was really interesting to hear of your hobbies in the latest video, it’s cool to peek behind the curtain a bit and see what else goes on in the lives of LPers beyond the videos they make.

I’m not sure if anyone else watches LazyGameReviews on Youtube, but not too long ago he posted a video revealing that he keeps his collection of Big Box games/filming set up in a private storage facility and not in his house as previously thought. There was a bit of a fan uproar, with some viewers accusing him of faking it for the camera or ‘selling out’. He had a very healthy response to the hubbub that was essentially that his videos weren’t his entire life, he wanted to maintain separation between his youtube channel/business and his home life and how establishing that separation helped him mentally and emotionally.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLmhCdkibbM

I think having hobbies outside LPs keeps us all healthy, gotta have some variety in life! And as LGR mentions that separation between youtube/home life can really make or break a person. Kudos to you all for having some additional (And pretty cool) hobbies!

On the subject of earning money from LPing, be it through patreon or ads on videos, personally I’m happy that I’m not making money from LPs. I think if I were to start to earn money from it would change the dynamic a bit. I think it adds pressure to deliver content that lived up to the price tag. I’d have to decide if a video was worth publishing, and if I ever put out videos that I felt were subpar I think I would feel as though I didn’t earn the pay. Though saying all that I know other people have been able to make that shift! I think the statement you expressed of “Accept that you may get money, accept that you may not” is the healthiest way to approach it.

Also it goes without saying, thank you so much for the shout-out for @GenghisKait and I! I’m sure I can speak for both of us that we’re really appreciative anytime anyone gives our LPs the time of day, especially when they’re kind words coming from an LPer who’s videos we both enjoy!


#8

I’ve only heard of LGR in the context of a YouTube commenter saying I sound like him (I don’t hear it), but that’s an intensely internet thing to get angry about. I guess it makes him not “lazy” enough for them? Good on him for finding a solution to the work-from-home dilemma of technically always being at work.

I feel like that’s an attitude that passes when you realize there are people who want you to be fairly compensated for your work and will decide for themselves if it’s worth it to them. Plenty of people I like have Patreons bringing in not insignificant funds despite months of inactivity or working on out-of-the-ordinary stuff, and there’s no reason for them to feel bad about that. That said, I can definitely relate to not wanting any pressure or expectations on what I produce, so to each their own.


#9

That’s very true! I think that shows my bias a bit. I’ve often found that hobbies sometimes lose their appeal once money gets involved. I think I’m too much of a perfectionist, and money adds that extra bit of pressure that makes it hard to let go of little things that I was previously okay with letting slide.

I think enjoyment of one’s own work is really paramount to putting out good LPs. For me, I’ve found a surprisingly large part of enjoying doing LPs is being able to let stuff go.

Believe it or not but literally every time I’ve recorded an LP I’ve cried during the recording of the first episode. I get incredibly anxious regarding whether the commentary is going well enough, and usually we get about 2 minutes in and I end up putting the breaks on things and asking to restart the commentary. I’m lucky that Genghis is able to reel me back in, generally once we get through that first episode then the rest of the videos go much more smoothly (AKA without tears ha ha).

In a way our LP schedule, and sometimes the types of LPs we do, helps me to move past that stress. We want to be able to put out a video each Sunday, and if we’re recording a game in which one of us is blind we can’t exactly rerecord without losing our honest reactions. That helps motivate me to get over my stressors and accept the little things.

Now, obviously if you let too much slide and an LP becomes unwatchable. There’s a balance that needs to be maintained for sure though. The sense that I get from watching other LPs is that everyone else is dealing with the same thing. Like you all touched on in the podcast, sometimes you get a few episodes that just aren’t there, but you roll with it because you know the following episodes are going to be way better. It’s sort of nice hearing that sentiment from other LPers! It helps hit home that we sometimes deal with the same questions and stresses during the production of our LPs. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of people on this forum want to produce LPs that we’re proud to show off to others.

Ultimately, LPing is definitely a labour of love! Without that love the labour isn’t worth it, and if your LP comes across as a labour no one’s gonna love it.


#10

Yes, the shout-out is much appreciated, especially because I enjoy your work so much! Excellent work on these podcasts, I’ve really enjoyed listening to them.


#11

Episode 3:
Fur Down the Sandcastle w/ Micolithe and Garr

After keeping quiet about my hobbies in the last episode, it’s time to discuss a beloved subject that I’m nonetheless inclined to apologize for: furry! @Micolithe and @Garrbage join me to cover furry in relation to Let’s Play, queer issues, and unfortunately, bigotry, both practicing and combating it. I’m eager to test how maligned the subject of furry is in this day and age, so enjoy/sorry!

Also note that I didn’t edit together a video for this episode due to a lack of free time and so as not to risk misusing the work of the artists involved. The essential images I was going to use will instead be linked in the video description.


#12

eyyyy rad I had alot of fun doing this


#13

This was a real blast to be a part of! You’ve got a good thing going here.


#14

Hey, if you can tolerate this podcast despite my involvement, then you’ll love anything else! For example, the new podcast from friend of the show @Micolithe where he isn’t burdened by a terrible premise or a host who has never spoken to a human before. It’s Actually Good!™


#15

I’ve always been curious about how people chose their fursona, like if people just chose what animal they thought was cool or if there was more meaning to it (Or sometimes I wondered if maybe there’s some master list of personality types matched to animals and people tried to use that to figure out what their fursona should be? Like a Myers Briggs test thing that tells you if you’re more of a tiger or a wolf).

Out of curiosity, how common is it for people to change their fursona? Is it pretty common for people to go through multiple ones or do most stick with just the one?


#16

A lot of people seem to base their fursona choice on a snap judgement, like the first thing that comes to mind based on animals they like or can relate to in some way. There are species stereotypes for the more popular fursonas, and I’ve heard things like “all the tigers I know are angry people” and “anyone with a bovine fursona should be vegan.” These generalizations tend to be pretty accurate, suggesting many furries instinctively know the “right” species to go with.

That said, changing up fursonas is pretty common, though not quite as common as I thought at first. I did a quick run through the furries I know and about two thirds of them had never changed their fursona. This podcast happens to represent the most common approaches to fursonas, with Mico staying as loyal as a canine to his, Garr maintaining multiple characters to switch between, and myself making a permanent switch to a new single character (which is fairly uncommon in my experience).

Also, I was wondering if you had any specific thoughts on the furry art scene as an artist yourself. It’s lost most of its stigma over the years, but it’s still super insular and specific, there’s no real overlap with other art communities. In the likely scenario that you’ve never put much consideration into it, that’s cool, I just don’t think I’ve ever seen what an artist outside the fandom has had to say on the subject


#17

It’s funny, honestly the biggest thing that strikes me about furry art comes down to a personal preference of mine, namely that I kinda dislike when an animal character has very human hair, as modeled by Shirley Duck here:

Choke_the_rooster,_fowlmouth_and_shirley

I’m not really a fan of anthropomorphic/furry art that does this, mostly because it feels a little out of place to me? I find it a bit distracting, as it makes me feel as though the character is wearing a wig, which is fine if that’s intentional but I usually find that that isn’t the intention of the artist.

I think it’s usually done more for female characters than male, it’s sorta like people are afraid that a character won’t read as female without long luscious hair? I like seeing the designer find ways to incorporate an animals actual features to suggest stuff like hair in a way that makes sense to the animal they’re drawing. Fowlmouth in the picture above is a good example, they emphasize his rooster crown in a way that it resembles hair, and as a result it feels a bit more natural to me than Shirley’s design.

Angelique from Rango has a bit of the wig-hair thing going, but she also has this nice bit with her tail coming up to rest on her shoulder, resembling a feather boa. I’d like to see more artists do stuff like this, I think it’s a fun way to really hammer home that this isn’t an animalish human, it’s a humanish animal.

photo

Now obviously this depends pretty heavily on the level of anthropomorphism the designer is going for, in some cases the wig-hair works very well for the character! I just think that it shouldn’t be used as a go-to, and I’d like to see more artists stretch their wings a bit and try not to rely on it too much.

I should note too, I’m not sure how prevalent the human hair thing is in a legit furry community, but from my lurkings on deviantart it seems like it’s not too uncommon? But maybe that’s just the deviantart crowd.

Also as a random aside, I actually made a friend in University once because of anthro art. I was doodling a character of mine (A weird fish man) and another student in my class noticed. He thought I was a furry, and being a furry himself, he sat down and struck up a conversation about my art and we ended up becoming friends. If I remember I believe his fursona was an otter, I’m not sure if that’s still the case anymore, I’ll have to catch up with him sometime and ask him if his has changed over the years.


#18

Ah yes, the classic human hair dilemma. I tend not to favor that look and you’ll never see it in any art I get, but it can definitely work depending on the character. You see it pretty often (I’m even noticing friends’ characters with wig-hair in some pieces and not others), but notably never on fursuits. It becomes rather obvious they’d have to use a literal wig to achieve that effect and that would almost certainly clash with the fur. Gives some food for thought when designing a character I think. Luckily, it’s not a trait that automatically gets slapped on female characters anymore as furry art has drifted from its Looney Tunes-inspired beginnings into its own thing.

Something you see a lot is a character’s fur styled like human hair, as in the case of Garr’s arcanine, which is a neat use of animal-specific attributes to create a humanoid look. Clever stuff like that and the squirrel tail feather boa and wings worn like a cape do a lot for humanizing a character in a way that isn’t jarring, but alas, there’s only so much you can do in that realm.


#19

To be completely fair i was a furry for about 7 years before I finally got a fursona at all.

I’ve thought about making secondary fursonas but I agonized so long over getting the one I have already correct it might be a while.


#20

I’d agree, it’s definitely a look that depends very much on the individual character. I think with some characters it can work really well, the key is if the artist is incorporating the human hair into the design. My biggest grievance with the wig-hair usually boils down to it feeling like an after thought, rather than a balanced part of a design.

It’s interesting that you haven’t seen it that much on fursuits. It makes a lot of sense actually, the medium that a character is rendered ends up affecting their design. You see that pretty often in animation, a character will be designed differently if it’s intended for a 2D or 3D film (Or film vs television).

Speaking of fursuits, I really got to hand it to some of the furry’s out there that make them. I do a bit of costume making myself, and figuring out patterns/making stuff to fit a regular human is labourious and sometimes pretty frustrating. I imagine making an animal suit out of foam and fur is extremely time consuming (And probably 10 times more frustrating).

I imagine fursuits are pretty frigging hard to wear too, probably very stuffy and hot. I’ve made/worn ballgowns and just three layers of hoopskirt, petticoat, and skirt are enough to make me sweat, I don’t know how people are able to deal with a fully enclosed suit of fur and foam. I imagine most furry conventions probably have to keep a careful eye on their guests, heat exhaustion/the threat of passing out is probably a big concern.