Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Becoming an Internet Celebrity

The Internet must have some pretty low standards if I'm becoming a celebrity.

Alright, so I'm no Keyboard Cat or Tay Zonday--I mean, I don't even have my own Wikipedia page yet--but it looks like I'm on the way. To being that popular, I mean. I'm not turning into Keyboard Cat or anything. Anytangent, my rising celebrity status is all due to Mega Man.

I've been on YouTube for just about a year now, and I've been posting my video playthroughs of various Mega Man games, with retrospective audio commentary. Lots of people make Mega Man videos, so it's not like this is anything new; I just thought it would be fun. As with this blog, the publicity didn't matter (though I certainly didn't mind it)--my main goal was to have fun.

Mega Man 1-3 went fairly quietly into the public eye. Some people rated my videos, some people left comments, and some people subscribed or requested to become my friend. Then I released a run of Mega Man 4, my all-time favorite Mega Man game. That's where things started to take off.

My enthusiasm for the game was uncontainable. My Mega Man skills were at their finest yet. I followed up with a series of videos for MM1-4 of bloopers, glitches, tricks, and other fun things that didn't make it into my original run for each game. Between the passion-driven MM4 videos and the glitch videos that people might specifically search for on YouTube, I saw a sudden increase in the number of comments, ratings, and views. More people wanted to subscribe or be my friend. I started getting personal messages asking me for gaming advice and wishing my happy holidays.

Before long I was holding back-and-forth conversations and seeing my videos favorited by my viewers. People started clamoring for another Mega Man game, expressing their excitement over whatever was to come next. I started getting requests for all sorts of Mega Man games. Around the time I posted a teaser trailer for my in-progress Mega Man 5 videos, I was spending a good 20 minutes per day reading and responding to everything my viewers wrote.

Allow me to reprint a few of my favorite comments here, from my Mega Man 5 teaser trailer:

"Words cannot describe, how Awesome this is gonna be"

"MAN this wait is killing me..."

"I can not wait! Still, I'm watching your playhtroughs over and over in preparation!"

"Sir Hoover, I recognize your brilliant gaming prowess and showoff-ery. My god, I can't wait for the run of this game!"

Incredible, right? I am perpetually pleased and surprised by the wonderful and ego-boosting comments left by my viewers. Of course, while all this high praise and attention might make me feel a bit like a celebrity, it also sets the bar incredibly high for all my future videos. That's why I've been going above and beyond to polish these videos as much as possible and post them as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, this increased focus on Mega Man has started to interfere with my relationships, my personal projects such as and my own very necessary Me-Time over the past two or three weeks. I at least realize this, and I've been taking steps to keep things balanced, but it's all too easy to let the tide of 214 subscribers and 57 friends wash you away. These are people who've been waiting over half a year for a new set of Mega Man videos; who am I to keep them waiting?

On the other hand, who am I to neglect my friends, family, and ongoing personal projects?

Things have been getting a tad depressing as of late, what with my job search becoming more disparaging by the week; the overwhelmingly positive response of my viewers has been exactly the boost I've needed to keep me motivated. I've been looking for work for just a little longer than I've been on YouTube, and I assure you I haven't had 214 employers express an interest in me and 57 job offers for me to accept. YouTube has been a reminder that it's still possible for me to catch the attention of complete strangers, and compliments will make a person feel good no matter who they're from.

We'll see where this popularity goes. Maybe it's fleeting; maybe it'll linger a while; maybe I'm only just getting started. Wikipedia, here I come!

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