"There's something a little self-deprecating about the Punk character, and about my character too," says James Rolfe, a 37-year-old godfather of YouTube gamers who plays a character named the Angry Video Game Nerd and is a collaborator of Contri's. "All these YouTube characters have some kind of element of sadness to them. Thinking back to childhood, were we wasting our time with games? Were we really entertaining ourselves? Were we really happy?"
Wired just posted a piece on Pat Contri, aka Pat The NES Punk. I thought it made for a good look at YouTube gaming personalities that debuted a decade back.Link.
Contri doesn't know what to do-walk the Punk into the sunset, or kill the character off. Nintendo is as popular as ever, which isn't making the decision any easier. The Switch-a Nintendo console designed for middle-aged people as much as it is for anyone-has sold more than 14 million units since it was released last year. Stores spent a year selling out of the NES and SNES Classic. And just this past summer, Contri released a 437-page, $60 hardback coffee-table-sized bible called Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library, 1985-1995, which took him nearly three years to finish. It includes reviews of every mainstream NES game released in the US along with information and factoids and NES curio history. He wrote 450 of the 800-plus reviews, then compiled it all before publishing it himself.
I'm surprised this isn't of more interest to Era.
Love to watch his talks.
Love Pat; he was one of the first YouTube gaming personalities I really got into - him and the Game Chasers.
Haven't had the time to read all of this, but I listen to the CU Podcast usually while mowing the lawn and usually enjoy it. I had no idea he made over six figures, always seemed like he never really caught on with people. Interesting that he found his niche.
These people turned collecting into a job, no wonder they lost their passion. Sitting down and writing a review of every NES game is a waste of time. For every system, that's hundreds of garbage games.
I don't see the point in collecting every game for a single system. Just collect the things you actually want to play.
Well, he made over half a million on that book according to that article, so I guess it wasn't a total waste.
I'd wager most of that money came from his youtube empire, not so much actually reviewing video games. He's basically the braintrust behind RetrowareTV. As he mentioned when people ask him about The Video Game Years -- actually reviewing the games doesn't make him much money (which is why he cancelled it), it's the media company that does (and thus advertising).
He barely makes "punk" vids. That character is dead.
It's weird. You are a YouTube personality, get recognized for it, but you also have to live with it. Or you dispose of your career and start over which is never easy.
... no idea what I wantred to say, just that it must be hard to justify their career and choices to people while also taking a look at their life while they get older and realize there is more than being that character which makes them a lot of money.
Worst actor... his stuff with AVGN makes James' acting seem Oscar calibre
Love his CUPODCAST, but I understand the feeling. Big retro collector myself, but I'm turning 29 in a month, just found my first white hair ever 2 days ago, and the SO is talking kids. At some point you look around at your hobby and think "is any of this worth it?"
Everyone at some point has to come to a realization that everything that own is just a temporary 'thing' that doesn't mean anything really in the long-run. Collections only hold the meaning that we attribute to them and sometimes they can start to feel like a burden rather than something that brings us joy.
*Looks at name and avatar*
That said, you have a point. I still enjoy the hobby, but my current collection is more like a huge backlog of unfinished or unopened games, and I'm really tempted to sell half of it down to size and start fresh. Or just sell half and don't start fresh. Depends how I feel when I'm done doing it I guess.
He's done a good job transitioning the YouTuber angle into something else. YouTube ad revenue is borderline worthless outside of those bringing in hits in the millions on the regular.
His book has done very well and he's diversifying his projects. Hell, he's producing my feature film.
That's why I dropped collecting as soon as I realized that. It's a dead end. There's not enough time in anyone's life to play everything, and buying random stuff just because its rare or expensive, at least for me, is a waste of time, money, and effort.
These nearly 40 year olds on YouTube with a fuck huge collection of old games behind them always have a depressing vibe about them.
Love Pat. Very insightful guy it seems from his vids and the article. I watch his TG-16 vids every year around the holidays. I don't think there's anything inherently sad about loving games as you bumble your way into middle age. Hell, I'm getting quite gray around the temples at almost 39 and I get stoked about gaming news every single day.
It seems he's transitioning pretty well into not needing to play a "character" anymore. I don't know that he's succeeded as much as James Rolfe. I love the AVGN stuff but dude legit has a lot to say about film as well. I could certainly do to listen to Pat's podcasts more often, however.
I guess it remains to be seen if, once all the Youtubing stops, these guys have invested in themselves enough to have fulfilling lives. I hope so.
Yup. I'm speaking from experience Haha. I'm in the same situation. Some physical backlog of over 600 unplayed games. It makes you wonder what you're doing sometimes. I've slowed down a ton in the last three years. Buy like 4-6 games a year.
He still makes the occasional Punk video. They just haven't been the focus of his attention and at this point, pumping the videos out would probably take time and energy he'd rather spend on other projects.
I still watch them when they are made, but I can't blame him for moving on if that's his choice.
Pat's NES guide is incredible. Every NES fan should read it.
It seemed like the low views for the Stadium Events video (which seemed like he did a ton of work researching) was the straw that broke the camel's back.I always felt his Punk character had a positive energy in a sea of angry cynical youtubers, but I'd totally understand if he retired the punk videos for good.
Lol I love the serious picture of Pat
yeah he's definitely gone through a lot going by his podcast, hopefully this will give him time to do it weekly
He has always been nice to me, and is really down to earth and easy to talk to. I always wish him the best success.
John Hancock is the nicest guy in gaming though, if you have the chance, look him up, amazing dude who has done so so much for his community (Kelso Gaming Expo for charity, etc).
Pat's NES guide is incredible. Every NES fan should read it.
It seemed like the low views for the Stadium Events video (which seemed like he did a ton of work researching) was the straw that broke the camel's back. I always felt his Punk character had a positive energy in a sea of angry cynical youtubers, but I'd totally understand if he retired the punk videos for good.
Fact is the holy grails of the NES world truthfully just aren't that interesting. The stories surrounding the games are sorta interesting, but the games themselves... eh. Because, in the end, everybody has played all those "hyper rare" games even back in the day, because what makes them hyper rare is essentially the plastic surrounding a super common game. I mean, I remember when Funcoland was selling Track and field for $0.01.
I use to watch Pat's vids when he did them but he started doing fewer of them, I stopped looking quite some time if he did more or not as he appeared to be somewhat done with them.
The immortal is great. Him and his wife seem like amazing people. Both have great jobs to help society. Probably my fave person in gaming YouTube.
Pat does seem wartorn though. Hopefully the move does good for him.
Awesome, got to interview JH for my blog a few years back. Check it out if you get a minute, I need to update it again lol.
It's a few posts back, he also contributed an article for me.