Jonathan Holmes is a British-born Australian television journalist and producer who was the presenter of the ABC1 weekly programme Media Watch from 2008 until July 2013.
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Hey everybody! I'm Jonathan Holmes, ex-reality show "star", Animation producer, videoblogger, video personality, and new Editor-in-Chief of Destructoid.com. I'm excited to talk to you, ask me anything!
Update: I'm going to stop answering questions at 2pm! This is fun! But tough! Thanks everyone for asking me things!
Update 2: OK, it's 3pm! I'm closing up shop! Will still answer all the questions I have in front of me (last refresh was at 2pm) and if I see a question that I think I have a really good answer for after that, I'll get to it too. If not, thank you SO MUCH for asking me questions, and don't hesitate to hit me up on twitter or PD me on Dtoid.\
In light of the events of the past few months, what is your stance on the borders of disclosure? i.e At what point is a relationship between a writer/reviewer to a game/game creator is close enough to warrant a disclosure?
P.S. Big fan of SupHolmes :3
My thought is that disclosure never, ever hurts. More than anything, recent months have shown me that our readers think we (game bloggers) are way more important than I thought. In the past, I may not have disclosed that the creator of Catlateral Damage gave me a Smash Bros. towel, not because I wanted to hide it, but because I didn't think anyone would care.
If our readers want disclosure, we're happy to give it to them. It's easy , fun, and benefits everyone. Hooray!
Are you going to join Kotaku & Totalbiscuit in not accepting after-launch embargoes for primarily single player titles?
Also, what are your views on "review events" and their influence on the final review?
We've been having discussions internally at Dtoid about what to do about post-release embargoes. I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, I don't want to abide by a practice that is designed to keep our readers in the dark. On the other hand, refusing to accept post-release embargos just means we wont get an early review copy of that game, which means we'll likely be delivering an even later review. That doesn't help the reader either.
If you have ideas on how to encourage publishers to do away with the whole concept of post-release embargoes, I'm all ears. It's an ugly practice that I am happy to publicly denounce, but I think publishers are more concerned about what you, their bread-and-butter, have to say about the topic. That said, it's my job to help signal boos the voice of Destructoid's readers, which is something I love doing anyway. If a reader were to write a cblog about how much they despise post-release embargoes, I'd work to have it promoted to the front page.
Oh, small note, we just got our review copy of Sonic Boom Wii U sent to us. Hard to be optimistic about that one at this point...
Oh, and I missed the second part about "review events". They're another thing I'd love to see go away. It's yet another thing that publishers will keep doing until it bites them in the butt. What's the best what to bite their butt? I have ideas, but I'd love to hear yours.
Where is podtoid?
It's online! I think there are like more than like 200 episodes of it at this point. enough to last a lifetime!
Why couldn't you hold all those limes, anyway?
That's not me! I am balder, fatter, and more exhausted looking than that guy. He is a cool guy and I wish I was him.
Have you played the backer version of LISA: The RPG yet? I assume you won't be reviewing it (since you're in it), but I'd love to hear your thoughts on it so far.
Hi again AdamTierneyWayForward!
Lisa came out just as I was starting to take on Dtoid EiC duties, and also at a time when I have 4 darn videogames I had to review. One of those games (Woah Dave!) has been reviewed now, and I assigned the other 3 (Sportsball, Tengami, Stealth Inc 2) to other reviewers because I'm friggin' swamped.
So now I'll hopefully be able to get some time in with Lisa! I love the graphics, music, and scenario, so it's hard to imagine I wont enjoy it. It looks like a game designed to make you feel good and bad at the same time, which is one of my favorite ways to feel.
Who is your favorite and least favorite member of The Misfits and why (in 1,000 words or less please)? Their songs are better.
Hi AdamTierney WayForard!
Robo, because he is like the Marilyn Munster of the group. The rest of the guys are all wearing skull face make up and pouring blood on the Count Chocula (sp?) cereal, and Robo is just sitting they eating a sandwich and watching baseball.
It's takes a lot of guts to join a group of wanna-be demons named Eerie Von and whatnot, look them in the eye and say "Hey guys, how about the name Robo! That's pretty cool, right? Like a robot! Spoooooky", and then make yourself a sandwich. Trust me, I know.
Oh wait, which Misfits are we talking about?
What is your opinion on gamergate?
I don't think GamerGate is a movement, or an event, or a belief system. It's a flag. That flag has been flown by the nicest, most sugary sweethearts, the most foul, mean-spirited folks on the planet, and everyone in between. Right now, the people who get the most attention with the hashtag are the foul group, which is a shame for everyone involved.
I hope the sugary sweethearts find their own hashtag, as they are inevitably going to be lumped in with the other folks as long as they wave that flag.
Jonathan Holmes is it paedophilia or not if I believe the kid is an incarnation of the Dalai Lama?
I don't think so, as long as there is no lust involved. See a therapist! Maybe they'll know for sure.
With all of the shake ups within Destructoid lately at the lower levels and now at the EIC level, will we be seeing any returning staff? Like Conrad & Jim?
Also, more Podtoid.
The day I started as Dtoid EiC, I started sending out emails to past staff to see if they wanted to start doing guest editorials. Some have accepted, some have declined, and some are undecided. There are even more I haven't had the chance to reach out to yet.
I would love for Jim to come back and write a monthly editorial and/or video for Dtoid. Id' want him to write about literally anything he wanted. Anything he doesn't think any other site would be willing to run. For me, that would be a great use for the unreasonable amount of power I am currently wielding.
Any relation to the late great well endowed John Holmes?
No relation! My mom isn't a big fan of pornography, so she didn't know that John Holmes existed. That said, she makes it clear to everyone in earshot that my name is JONATHAN and not JOHN. I swear she can hear it from miles away if anyone ever calls me John. "That's not his name, so don't call him that" she'll say, grabbing you by the collar "Call him that again and you'll live to regret it".
My mom is basically the female version of Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino.
A while ago I made a Minecraft statue of yourself spreading your ass cheeks apart with a little lever that made water come out. It was quickly taken down from youtube because it contained "nudity".
Can I reupload a version where everything questionable is censored with Willem Dafoe's face or would you rather it stay a good memory from the golden years of Podtoid?
Sure! But if you could title is "That beige guy from Podtoid's butt cheeks in Mincreaft" and not "Jonathan Holmes's anus hooray!" that would be nice. Trying to keep a low profile.
Sup, Holmes! Did you have any role models you looked up to as a kid? Do you have any now?
I really looked up to Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell as a 14 year old. Their creative energy, willingness to take risks, and put passion before conventional concepts of craftsmanship are things that had a huge affect on me. That's how to live, I reckon.
I guess Picasso stood for all those things too, but for whatever reason, I had an easier time relating to Evil Dead 2 than I did Cubism as a teen. Go figure.
Hi Jonathan, thanks for doing this AMA!
What is your favorite idea Jim has ever had for you on Podtoid/TDJ?
Also, do you miss the podcast at all, or are you just glad it's all over?
I miss talking to those guys on a regular basis, but I honestly don't miss having the show being broadcast to the world anymore. I'm glad people enjoyed it though.
My favorite idea was probably the one about us doing something terrible that would have ended in me being arrested, badly hurt, killed, or all three.
I'm asking this on behalf of Aoibhin who does not have a reddit account:
Jonathan Holmes, what is the story of your first kiss?
My first kiss was against my will. A girl with big hair and braces pushed her mouth on mine. I got cut. It hurt.
She was pretty happy about it though. I think I was 13. She scared me but I was also really flattered.
You could say she was the original Jim Sterling.
Hi Jonathan. Now that you have more responsibilities at Destructoid, how are you combining it with your full time job? Will you/have you quit? If that is the case, is there a chance for a Podtoid comeback? If that isn't the case, is there a chance for a Podtoid comeback? Will you bring back Podtoid for the love of Glob?
Thanks for doing this, btw.
Hi Sir Davies!
I'm not sure about Podtoid/Dismal Jesters ever going back to it's former incarnation, but I do plan on being on Jim's new podcast once a month if it gets the funding it needs.
most anticipated game for next year??
It's really hard to pin down just one game, but I'm really excited for the Pokemon fighting game from the Tekken team, whatever announcements we get regarding the future of The Last of Us franchise, the future Shovel Knight DLC, and whatever Nintendo R&D has planned. Oh, and Scale! That game is going to be SO GOOD! Tons others games too, but those are the first that come to mind.
Hey Jonathan, what is the best experience you ever had in this industry and if you could, would you go back in time to relive it again?
That's a really tough question! The conversations I've had with developer on Sup Holmes and elsewhere are the most genuine, affecting experiences I've had in the industry, that's for sure.
There are other events that have affected me for purely selfish reasons. Being on the E3 show floor and realizing I'd finally "made it". Meeting other videogame lovers en masse and feeling that sense of community and shared love and respect. Having a surreal conversation with Danny Trejo and how his skin looks like (in his words) landscape.
So many moments of joy and adventure. Bad times too. Too many to count.
I wouldn't live them over again though. I want to keep pushing forward. Like Doktor Kosmos once said "Don't look at photographs. Don't look at photographs. Cause Photographs is not. Going to change the world. You can't look back no no. You must look forward yes. Don't look at photographs. Don't look at photographs."
What is the most disappointing game of the year for you?
That's a tough question. I'm lucky in that I don't generally play games that disappoint me. That's partly because I'm not doing a ton of reviews these days, and because I don't generally have high expectations.
A recent disappointment came from a Wii U eShop title called Sportsball. It's a great game, but it doesn't have much of a single player mode, so I only get to really enjoy it when I have friends over. Thankfully, it's getting new single player modes in the coming months, so I'm already un-disappointed by it.
I'm a lucky jerk!
Sup Holmes? Realtalk, how do you HONESTLY feel about No Man's Sky? All these game sites are hyping the holy hell out of the game, but from everything I've seen, I'm getting a real Destiny/Titanfall/Watch Dogs vibe...
Basically, is it going to be a , "Meh' experience?
I think No Man's Sky is just one of those games, you know?
No, how could you. I haven't said anything descriptive yet!
There are probably like 50 relatively high profile games a year that only the people who pre-love them are going to bother to write about. These are usually small games designed for a pretty specific audience. As a result, the perception is that these games are getting universal positive press, when in reality, they're just getting selective positive responses. Everyone tried Destiny. Not everyone liked it. Not everyone is going to try No Man's Sky. The ones that do will probably really like it.
Now that I think of it, your question speaks to a larger issue, that of the split between the values and motivations of people who write about games as their profession and people who just want to play games for fun. You see this split with film critics all the time. Some small drama gets 4 stars across the board, while the new Transformers gets crap reviews while being beloved by millions across the world.
It's understandable that this gap would exist, but if I have my druthers, we'll work to close it as much as we can at Dtoid. It's not a fun gap for anybody.
Can we get more video things done on Destructoid? if so, Would you be doing most of it? If not, can Jim Sterling stop by and do a bit? If not, Can you hire back Conrad please?
Jim and Conrad are flying solo these days, and I wish them all the luck and power in the world. If they want to come back to Dtoid, I'm sure we can figure something out. That said, they're doing pretty darn well on their own. Independence is something that almost every creative type yearns for, and while Dtoid allows for A LOT of creative freedom, nothing is more free than being your own company.
We'll see what happens I guess!
Hello Jonathan! I'm a long time reader of Destructoid, and have listened to Podtoid as well since the early days of Anthony Burch and the rest of the gang that have since moved on.
What I really want to know is what are some more specific plans you have for Destructoid now that you're in a position of power? Destructoid is a special site to me, and I'm sure it's in good hands with you.
We want to do more guest editorial, some new video shows, to reconnect with past Dtoid personalities and involve them in the site, to give people raises if we can, and to add more levity and passion to the world of videogame blogging.
We've already put some of those plans in motion. Some of those plans have already puttered out, but new ones are springing up in their place. Hopefully by the end of the month, there will be enough changes that the (hopefully) more energetic, risk-taking Dtoid will be clearly different than it was before.
Here's to hoping! And if you have any ideas, let me know!
As someone who believes that the best, most consistent part of Destructoid has always been its community, I'd love to see it given more opportunities to thrive and grow. As the new EIC, do you have any plans for ways in which the community of the site could become even more involved in the site's livelihood?
I agree that the best part of Dtoid is the community. The fact that it sometimes feels like there is a split between "the front page" and "the community" has been a problem that every Dtoid EiC has struggled with. We all hate it. We all came up from the cblogs before going to the front page, and we all want the cblogs to get more focus.
I have a few ideas on how to make that split less severe. I want to start calling Cbloggers and singing to them, or sending them random crap I have lying around my house. I want to make sure we keep promoting cblogs to the front page and hiring cbloggers for staff positions whenever we can. I want more NARPs. I want more surprises. I want a culture where everyone feels like the belong and that they are being heard.
Hopefully we can do all the things!
Jonathan, what do you see as the greatest strength and challenge for Destructoid as you take over as editor-in-chief?
The biggest challenge Dtoid faces in the future is finding the space we're best at filling in this ever expanding, ever more complicated world of "videogame enthusiast culture". When Dtoid started, it was Niero's escape pod from the corporate world, his passion project that only had to survive in order for it to be "successful". His goal was to create a videogame enthusiast community website that didn't die and didn't totally suck.
That was a time when there was no Youtube, reddit, Facebook, or Twitter. The idea of a "videogame blog" wasn't big business. There was littler precedent for success for a start up videogame news/reviews/editorial website. All that's changed now. There are hundreds of ways to access videogame news and editorial these days.
So where do we fit in?
What I'm hoping is that we'll be the place people turn to for unfiltered, focused passion for everything about games. We've all seen how many of the bigger game blogs and commercial sites have moved towards doing coverage of movies, TV shows, and "quirky" mainstream news stories. If that's what those sites want to do, more power to them, but I suspect they're doing it out of necessity. For better or worse, those kinds of posts are going to appeal to more people than the Space Invaders Vs. Arkanoid story we posted last night. That's just reality.
But what if Dtoid doesn't have to give into those financial realities? What if we can survive by being the one game site that doesn't cave to those financial pressures? What if we can be so passionate, so genuine, and so creative that we don't have to go the low road? What if we can live off fumes and fun alone? We'll never be rich, but we'll hopefully survive, and do things that we're ultimately proud of. It was this attitude that made Dtoid the place where Jim Sterling, Anthony Burch, Nick Chester, and countless other success stories found their voice and got their start.
Dtoid isn't the site people go to make it big, but we have proven to be a launching pad for many successful writers, video producers, and game developers. I'm guessing that's because we're the only site that lets our staff try just about anything they want.
If that's what's gotten us this far, then I don't see why we'd stop now.
Your positive attitude has really made you one of my favorite people in gaming journalism, I love your stuff. From Sundays with Sagat and Constructoid to Sup Holmes.
My question to you, will the E3 runaround video return next year?
I don't know if the running around E3 thing will happen this year! I am old now, and funny looking. I'd rather pass the torch to a new generation, and we've got plenty of people at Dtoid who would love to run around the thing.
We'll see in a few month! Gosh darn it, time flies when you're having fun...
I just want to say I loved podtoid and the dismal jesters, even in tough times they always get a laugh out of me so thanks for that. also keep up sup holmes it great.
as for my question do you plan on returning to fistshark marketing? also chungus?
Hi Markqr! Yes I do plan on returning, but I will probably show up in character, because it's more fun. We'll see though! Jim, Caitlin, and Conrad are some of my favorite people, so if can work with them on a thing, I will. Always.
At what point am I no longer allowed to send over the thing I want you to say for my Kickstarter reward? :P
JK HI JON!!!
I'm hoping to get all the Sup Holmes KS rewards sewn up by the end of the year, but it's never to late to send over a thing! jonathan(at)destructoid)dot)com! Email me whenever! And thanks again for backing!
What was your favourite developer insight (so far) from Sup Holmes?
An impossible question! So many insights, I can't pick just one. I can tell you that one of the themes that keeps coming up among Sup Holmes guests is the pursuit of the creative process. We all want to be able to tap into the well of divine inspiration, but sometimes we can't. Worse, sometimes we think that we have, and before we know it, we're totally off track, making an Alan Smithee film by accident.
It seems that the happiest, most creatively successful game designers balance their lives by engaging in activities that give them positive energy, and the output that energy in the most honest, self-surprising ways that they can. I think that self-surprise piece is key. If you're not saying to yourself "I don't know where this idea came from, but I love it, and I want to take care of it", then it may not be such an interesting idea.
For a lot of people, the trick is to let go of ego and preconceived notions of "good" or "bad" ideas, and let themselves become slave to their imagination. Easier said than done though.
Does that make sense?
JONATHAN HOLMES IF I WERE TO DRESS UP AS NESS FROM EARTHBOUND AND HAVE YOU PUNCTURE MY ANUS, IS IT PEDOPHILIA?
If you were to have me puncture your anus, I'm pretty sure that would be you violating me, which is not exactly pedophilia, because I am old. And gross.
So yeah, that's gross! Hope that helps!
Have your presence in podtoid/dismaljesters really interfered with your day job? Would you concider joining Jim on his new podcast?
My presence on Podtoid/Dismal Jesters came dangerously close to affecting my former day job. When people entrust their biggest, most painful life secrets to you, and then they Google your name to find you associated with podcasts that are about the things those shows were about...
Yeah, that's not good.
I was getting recognized by more and more fans of the show, sometimes in the town I worked in. More and more of my clients were familiar with videogame blogs and associated things. It came to a point where it just wasn't worth the risk anymore. It wasn't an easy decision, and I felt terrible letting down all the fans of the show, but I had to do what I felt was best for everybody.
Hope that makes sense!
Can I buy you a "World's Greatest Boss" mug? I know I don't work for you, I just think you should own one.
You are wonderful!
Do you have any plans for the site? Like a Destructoid themed convention perhaps, named after it's new editor? A 'Jon Con', as it were?
I have no plans for a con, but I do hope to start organizing more local events. I've been talking to some pro gamers like Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios and some high score record holders like Caitlin "Splatterhouse" Oliver about doing special live streams with us. Maybe they'd want to do local Dtoid sponsored tournaments and high score runs too?
There is so much we can do, but only so much time and energy to do it with, but I want to do it all! That's the only reason I envy vampires.
Hey Mr Holmes,
Can you give any insight as to what happened with Dale? He kind of just upped and vanished, but there wasn't any explanation (At least that I saw). There were posts around Dtoid in comments sections, but never anything from the staff.
You'd have to ask Dale, but from what I understand, he didn't feel like the company was a good fit for him anymore and he moved on. It's not an easy job, as I'm learning. You have a lot of responsibility, but no real power. You only have influence. No one at Dtoid HAS to listen to me, but hopefully they will, because I've earned their trust and respect. We'll see I guess.
Dale had, and still has, my trust and respect. Everyone on staff loves him. He's just that kind of person. If her were to want to come back to the job, I'd step down and give it to him in a heartbeat, just because I like working with him so much.
So yeah, that's my perspective on that. I love Dale. The EiC job can drive you nuts. I know whatever he does next will be great, and if he ever wants to work with me and/or Dtoid on something, that would be awesome.
When reviewing do you take into account what other people give them as a score? Do you feel that some game sites just give games a lower score to stick out from other critics? Also why does it seem like all game previews only say positive things and never negative things? Sorry for the many questions.
I think that a review score should reflect how compatible the writer was with the game. It's like a "love test" score. If you get on with a game so well that you wouldn't change anything about it, then it gets a 10/10. If the game is something you just can't get into at all, then it gets a 1/10.
I don't take what other outlets give games for scores into account. In fact, I try stay ignorant to what anyone else things of a game I'm reviewing before I review it, to minimize any subconscious concerns about how the review will be received. When you write a review, the only things you should be thinking about are the game, how you feel about it, and why you feel that way.
As for why previews tend to be positive, I think it's a couple of things. Developers and publishers generally make an effort to show the best parts of their games in preview builds. Likewise, most preview writers have limited time, and want to write about games that people will want to read about. Those tend to be the same games that they enjoy playing. No one wants to read a preview of a mediocre or below average game. No one wants to write a preview of a game like that either, because in order to write the preview, you have to play the game first.
I've played TONS of games at events for previews that were mediocre or below average. You play them for 2 minutes and then run for it. It's the ones that inspire you to play for 20 minutes, the ones that you can't wait to play again, that you end up writing about later. For better or worse, we are still the "game enthusiast press", and the games we're enthusiastic about are going to get more coverage.
Reviews, on the other hand, are games you've been specifically assigned to play, even if you don't like it. That's why I think you see a lot more sad review than sad previews.
In the Sup Holmes with Tim Rogers two years ago you talked about doing a 3 hour long episode when he released his new game. Now that Videoball is close to release and you don't have the restraints of Dtoid.tv scheduling, can you please make that happen? You guys are two of my favorite "game people" :P
Hi again SirDavies!
I should totally do that. Sup Holmes is booked until late December, but Tim is a powerhouse of imagination and verbal discourse. He's welcome back on the show for sure.
hey i wanna become a video game journalist after i graduate high school...then college i guess...any tips on what i can do now to help make that dream more possible? I keep trying to get into a routine of writing, for like practice, but i can never fulfill my weekly goals. Id be very grateful for any advice, thanks!
Honestly, I have no idea how one would break into the game journalism thing these days. It's a completely different world now than it was when I started game blogging 7 years ago. By the time you graduate from college, it will a completely different world than it is now.
My general advice for any creative pursuit is to experiment, be more afraid of missing opportunities than of making mistakes, and to practice, practice, practice. Time spent practicing always pays off, even if the results aren't immediately apparent.
Also, diversify. Try doing videos. Try a little game design. Game Maker is easy enough to get started with. So is Twine, if you like words. The only way to find out who you are and what you can do is to stretch yourself. See how far you can reach. Stretch again. See if you can reach further the next time.
It sounds like work, but once you give yourself up to the process, it can be pretty darn fun.
Hope that helps!
If you could have any current gen game demade for a defunct Nintendo console what would it be/what console?
I'd love to see an 16-bit Uncharted. There's some fan art of that somewhere and it looks awesome.
(last one :P) Will you please make someone update the "About us" page? I know it must have taken a long while to write, but it's like finding an old dusty book at this point!
Also, what do you think about the recent trend towards more post-release coverage in some videogames websites?
Hi again SirDavies!
I should update that! Good idea! We will do it.
And I think post-release coverage is awesome, as long as its not orchestrated by publishers in order to keep people from warning consumers about games that are buggy, broken, or bad. That's different than the trend towards focusing on older games that you love.
Any talk about games that you love, old or new, is good stuff. I want more of that.
Are any of your shows coming back to Dtoid now that you have the power?
I'm trying to get a new show about Samus and Sagat being roommates going, but I haven't found anyone to shoot it and help edit yet. Hopefully I will!
There was some kerfuffle last year about adblockers destroying Destructoid's revenue stream. Has this been resolved or is it still causing issues?
AdBlock still definitely hurts Dtoid's revenue, but that's inevitable. If people don't have enough of a personal connection to the site to turn off AdBlock or sign up for our HUGE subscription service, that's on us. We need to do a better job.
That's part of why making the site a more personal, passion driven place isn't just good for the soul. It'll probably good for the site as well. Game enthusiasts know bullshit when they see it, and they aren't going to support bullshit sites.
Now more than ever, we need to be honest, creative, and passionate about videogames. That's what the readers want. That's all they've ever wanted. That's what our most successful writers have always done.
We're going to try to take that even further if we can.
I have been a reader of Dtoid since 2007. And while it has had its up and downs I've always enjoyed the content and reviews. How do you envision the future of Dtoid and what are your plans to keep it on track?
I hope I don't sound repetitive when I keep coming back to the ideas of honest, passion, and creativity. I think that's the only way Dtoid can go from here, for personal, philosophical and financial reasons.
I plan to keep that on track by supporting the Dtoid staff to take risks, to make themselves vulnerable to the readers with work that doesn't follow the "How to videogame blog and journalism" textbook. If you look at the most recent breakout hit developers, lets players, or other personalities of gaming culture, so few of them followed a text book. Most of them don't even like school. They like creating things. They like getting their hands dirty. I'm definitely one of those people.
Videogame culture is still the wild west, where anyone lucky enough, driven enough, and interesting enough can make it if they are in the right place at the right time. Every time you roll the dice, you might win. The trick is to keep rolling the dice, and to not give up even if you lose big along the way.
When will Chasm be featured on Sup Holmes?!
Congrats btw :)
I would love to have you on the show sometime!Email me at jonathan(at)destructoid(dot)com if you want! If not, I'll email you!
What is the most interesting piece you have written (in your opinion)?
That's a really hard question. I'm one of those people who is pained every time they have to reread something they have written. I only see the flaws.
That said, I think the recent posts I did about how Lone Survivor (by Jasper Byrne) is a great game about the psychotic process, and the post about how Majora's Mask is a effective, honest look at how scary, weird, and fun it is to be a young adult both cam out OK. I wish they were both longer, with better content, and less redundancy, but what's done is done. I hope I do better next time.
Strangely enough, a lot of people like a review I wrote for a WiiWare game called Let's Catch a few years ago. The game was produced by Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka. It's sort of a game about being a therapist. All you do is have heart-to-heart conversations with strangers and play catch. I kind of love it.
Man, now I just want to play Let's Catch again....
Does sea man 2 have ticks?
I wish I knew! I always wanted to play Seaman 2, but it was only released in Japan. I was going to get it, back when I had a backwards compatible PS3, but it never happened.
Really hoping it gets ported to 3DS or something.
Hello Jonathan you lovely boy! What excites you in video games at the moment? Do you still dislike reddit because of its layout?
I still don't understand the layout of Reddit, which is part of why this AMA started ten minutes late. I got confused.
The people who work here are amazing though. I know love the site because of them.
As for what excites me about Videogames, it's the graphics.
And the gameplay.
Also, I think it would be amazing if you did short video reviews of popular AAA games. I think it would have the same feel that the Conan videos have.
Contrary by what you see on the Dtoid front page, I actually like a lot of AAA games and am generally pretty good at them. I don't write about them that much because we have no shortage of writers who are excited to write about them. I usually end writing the news and doing the reviews that fewer people are interested in.
One exception was Divekick. I remember with the Divekick review, I was DESPERATE to get someone else to write it. Not because I didn't like the game, but because I was totally overworked at the time, and I didn't feel my assessment of the game was particularly interesting. I couldn't get anyone else to take it from me though, so away I went.
Thankfully, I think the review turned out OK anyway.
Divekick is a AAA game, right?
And yes, I still have a job in Health Care. I love that field of work almost as much as I love videogame blogging. That said, I have a new position that's less hours which will allow me to do more for Dtoid, or else I couldn't have taken the EiC position.
Will you bring Sup Holmes back to Dtoid? What about Talking To Women About Video Games? I miss that one.
Hi again KyroVII!
I'm not sure what the plans are for Sup Holmes and Dtoid. Even though I'm EiC of Dtoid and I host Sup Holmes, I'm neither in charge of video with Sup Holmes or with Dtoid. Max runs video on Dtoid, Conrad runs video for Sup Holmes. If they work something out, that would be fine with me. If they don't, that's OK too. Honestly, I don't think anyone involved has given it much though. We're totally focused on making more videos. What channel those videos end up on is something we don't give a ton of thought to.
That said, we will be posting the live streams of Sup Holmes on Dtoid for now on. Tomorrow's episode with Dina Abou Karam. community manager for Mighty Number 9, will be streamed live as it happens at 4pm EST. I'm excited about it!
As for TtWaV, I loved doing it, but after a while I got frustrated that so many of the women who appeared as guests on the show got nasty comments on Youtube, and that the ideas we tried to put across were so often misunderstood. If I were better at satire and farce, I'd bring it back, but I'm not.
If someone else wants to try though, they're welcome to it! All of my I.P. are public domain. :)
What's your favourite game of all time? And why?
That's really hard. Mega Man 2 and Resident Evil 4 are pretty much perfect in my eyes, but as a 37 year old man who is packed with stress all the time, I don't turn to games like that for fun as much as I used to.
I've been thinking a lot about how much I love Final Fantasy 9 lately, and also Smash Bros. Brawl. I love them so much. I want to feel the way they make me feel -- that feeling of endless potential, of strange friends getting to know each other, working together, discovering the world, themselves, and each other through play.
I think that's what I want Dtoid to be -- a place that makes you feel like you're playing Final Fantasy 9 and Smash Bros. at the same time.
Will this be the first step towards realizing your dream of a running a video game news and reviews site with content written entirely by 12-year-olds? You've talked about it a couple of times and I really want to see it happen.
I wanted that to be SupHolmes.net, but I still don't even know how to edit the site myself. Now that I'm Dtoid EiC, I don't think it will ever will.
Favorite N64 Game? Thanks so much for doing this!
HI Ben Spike!
Three way tie between Majora's Mask, Star Fox 54, and Dr. Mario 64. Vampire Wario FTW.
Has James Kolchalka played Mother 3 yet?
I don't know! I should ask him. I sent him a link, and offered to let him borrow my cartridge, but I can't remember what he said to that. He's hard at work on Glorkian Warrior (now on Steam, iOS, and other things), so maybe he's too busy?
Nah. You're never too busy for Mother 3. NO EXCUSES, KOLCHALKA!
When you look at emails in the morning trying to sell you on writing about a game, what is it that grabs your attention? And what do you hate seeing in PR emails?
Honestly, it doesn't matter that much what developers say about their game. We read funny, interesting, charming PR emails about games that just look boring as heck, and we don't write about them.
The main thing a PR email should do is communicate the feeling a game will give you in as efficient a way as possible. If you do that, you'll be fine.
It's more about the game. For a game to be marketable today, it has to do something that you can't get somewhere else from a more established, reliable source. That's pretty tough, but it's possible.
Ex-"realty" show star? I didn't know Road Rules was about property. :0
Okay, proper question. Do you think your day job affects the way you play and enjoy video games?
Also, do you think you'll make appearances on Jim's future podcast about video games (for real this time)? I'd love to hear you talk about video games with him again.
Also, I think I may have hit the semantic satiation point with the word "video games".
Thanks for the spell check! I am bad at reddit. They were on the phone with me, coaching me on how to set this up while I was typing up the post, so that's part of why I spelled wrong.
My day job definitely affects the way I play videogames, I think for the better. A lot of games bloggers run the risk of seeing games as their responsibility, not their recreation, as their meal ticket, not their passion project. I don't have to worry about that. When I get to play games and write about them, it's freeing. It's an adventure. Even as EiC, I don't have to worry about "doing Dtoid right" in order to pay the bills. I work for Dtoid for the same reason I work at mastering Duck Hunt in Smash Bros. It's because I love it.
Duck Hunt is really good by the way.
As for Fistshark, I think I'm a stretch goal on their Patreon? Something like that. I'm not getting any of the money from that thing, but I offered to be on their show once a month if that's what's fun. I love those guys and will take any opportunity to hang out with them. If they decided to upload those hangouts on the internet for people to listen to, then that's on them.
If you choose to listen to it, then sorry and thank you.
Do you have a PO box where we can send you things? Sometimes we have things that we want you to have.
Hi again HowManyNimons!
I do not have a PO Box, and I have so much stuff! But people do mail me things sometimes, usually to my mom's address, because sometimes my mail gets stolen. Her's never does. She lives among cows and pumpkins.
Someone from Japan sent me some awesome Earthbound keychains. I'm looking at them right now and thinking about how incredibly lucky I am.
What are your hopes for persona 5?
Hi again Bruce888!
I hope Persona 5 is faster paced, more surreal, and more surprising than the other games in the series. I love Persona as a concept, but in practice, I always give up on the "main" games in the series before I finish them. After awhile, the fun moments per minute ratio sinks too low for me. I love Catherin and the Arc Systems Works fighting games though.
So yeah, for me, the idea Persona game would do the things that series has always excelled at (endearing characters, dreamlike weirdness, great art direction and music) and pick up the pace. Replaying Earthbound recently reminded me how much I prefer fast, no-frills turn based combat in a RPG. Hopefully Persona 5 will be like Persona 4 crossed with Mother 3. Uggghhh that would be so great.
Hi Jonathan, what is Destructoid?
Destructoid is a videogame news/editorial/reviews/video website that focuses on community engagement and raw enthusiasm for games as a medium. Most of our staff started by writing in our community blogs section, and many have gone on from their to become rich and famous, working for Time magazine, writing AAA videogames, etc.
It's a pretty cool place! I hope you stop by, especially if you like videogames.
Will you steal Jim back from The Escapist?
I don't think he wants to be stolen, but Jim is one of my favorite people and I'm always thinking of ways we can work together again. Hopefully one of my plans (as opposed to one of Jim's plans) will come together one of these days.
Do you have any big plans for Destructoid now that you're EIC? More video content, off beat articles, staying the course, etc.?
I have a lot of plans for Dtoid, all of which involve taking creative risks and trying to push the feeling of joy and passion for games as hard as I can.
For a while, Dtoid called itself the a site for "hardcore gamers". I'm wanting to push us more towards the image of being "videogame lovers". Love makes you weird. It inspires you to do things you never thought you'd do before. Those may be things you later regret, but hopefully, they'll also make you smile and think "Well, I gave it my best shot".
Almost all the most interesting, fulfilling things that have happened to me in my life came about from applying this attitude towards my actions. Hopefully it will lead to more interesting, fulfilling website as well.
Hey Jonathan! I just remembered, I tried to back the sup Holmes KS, but my card goofed and I've never been able to fix it, and contacting you or Conrad got messed up too somehow. Any idea what I can do?
I don't think there is a way to back Sup Holmes at this point. All the business/money stuff on the KS was run by the show's producer Conrad Zimmerman. He'd know better than me.
If you want one of the Sup Holmes backer reward comics though, maybe we could trade for it? You draw a comic, send it to me, and I'll send you one of mine? Feel free to hit me up on twitter if you're interested!
What do you think about Free to Play developers giving reviewers a lot more in game currency and access to better gear? Does in prevent you from seeing the "grind" a game may have?
This is the first I've heard of that practice, but it sounds terrible. We don't review a ton of Free-to-Play games, but when we do review them, we wont review them like that.
Jonathan, have you changed your stance on people with multiple personality disorder?
My stance on people with Disassociative Identity Disorder hasn't changed much. I never thought that the diagnosis was completely invalid. I've just never met someone who truly suffered from it. I've only met people that suffered from other diagnosis, who struggled to face the things that were really haunting them because they were too intense and too real, so they expressed their experiences through a process that looked and felt a lot like D.I.D..
These people didn't necessarily "fake" having multiple personalities. It wasn't a fully conscious decision to express their pain and confusion in that way. Through counseling though, they were able to see what was going on, and face what was really causing their suffering.
So if someone comes to me and says they have D.I.D., I start where they are at and work with them from there. Each time I've done that, we've discovered together that they didn't actually have D.I.D.. That doesn't mean no one has it. It just means I haven't met them yet.
All the people I know who thought they had D.I.D. subconsciously got the idea from learning the "language of mental illness" they say in sensationalist movies, books, comics, and TV shows. If mental illness were more accurately presented in media, we'd all be a lot better off, for a variety of reasons.
are you hiring?
We're not hiring right now! But keep in touch! You never know...
Hey Jonathan, just wanted to say that I was a big fan of old school Dtoid/Podtoid, and more recently of the Dismal Jesters. I haven't been on Destructoid in years, since around when Anthony Burch left, but maybe now it's time for a return. I doubt anyone even remembers me anymore.
since the bot won't let me submit a post without a question mark, how is Dtoid going to be changing under your leadership?
I've answered this one a couple of times, so you may be able to find a better answer below.
In short, I'm hoping to increase the energy and focus on creativity and passionate risk taking at Dtoid. Anthony Burch is a perfect example. He (and eventually, his family) took huge risks when he was at Dtoid, and in doing so, created content that was unlike anything else on the internet at the time.
Dtoid was the one place where something like HAWP could happen back in 2009. Thankfully, things have changed since then, and there is a lot more HAWP like content around for us to eat up if we want. But what's the next HAWP-type surprise that's going to happen? What's the next great video/editorial/creative thing going to be? Whatever it is, I hope to foster it's inception at Dtoid. I want Dtoid to be the place where great ideas are born and devoured.
But in a good way!
So why exactly can't you hold all those apples?
I don't think I look like that guy! I wish I did. He's a model.
Were or are you a member of GameJournoPro's ?
Will you be allowing staff to be on similar discussion groups ?
I am not on the GameJournoPro's email. I don't think there is anything wrong with having friendly relationships with peers in the industry. That said, Dtoid is a singular entity composed of a specific group of people, individual chosen based on their particular merits and strengths. Stephen Totilo seems like a great guy, but I wouldn't want him to try to influence what any of our writers do for Dtoid, and likewise, I don't plan to try to influence any of his team to write about things I think they should write about.
Dtoid is going to worry about Dtoid, and I'm sure other blogs will do the same. We have plenty to talk about internally without needing to reach out to other blogs for their perspective on things.
How do you feel about #GamersGate? What are your thoughts about the attacks of the men in the gaming community on women?
I think GamerGate is a reflection of a lot of things that have been bubbling in internet culture in particular, and game enthusiast culture in particular, for a long time now. Someday someone will write a book about all the Sociological implications of hashtag activism, internet anti-empathy, the way AAA publishers spent years crafting the "hardcore gamer" identity in order to instill a sense of pride and specialness in consumers who buy their products, how threatened some feel when that identity is attacked, and so forth.
More than anything else, what I take from GamerGate is the fact that there are thousands of videogame enthusiasts who have felt alienated, used, and dehumanized. I don't want anyone to feel that way. I want Dtoid to be a place where no one ever feels that way. It's an impossible mission, but I aim to get as close to it as I can.
Hello Angus! Is it true you own a tulip farm?
Hi Holmes! Ryu here, when will Sunday's with Sagat make a comeback?
It's not impossible! We're messing around with some ideas for Sagat and his new roommate Samus. I don't see why Ryu couldn't stop by for some Steak and Eggs while we're at it.
My last name is also Holmes, are we related?
are you into cosplay at all? if so do you have any upcoming plans for one at an event? because I can think of one...
Usher's Yeah is one of my least favorite songs, along with that one about horses and that thing about wanting to have sex with everyone.
Sometimes I make videos where I am dress up like Street Fighter characters, including Sagat, Balrog, and Birdie. They are generally terrible.
Any talk over at destructoid of bringing over Tara and nick from rev3 now that they're free agents? Be nice to see them reunited with max
Max was planning on getting a few drinks with Tara last Thursday! I wonder if anything came of that?
I hope so!