Mar 17, 2014

The Right Track?

It's been six months since I joined Instagram. I feel like now's a good time to write down my thoughts and reflect. Despite all of the progress, I ask myself if I'm doing more harm than good to the world.
I'd say I'm doing more good than harm. I've never experience this kind of success with any other endeavor I've ever been in. In my first 6 months on IG, I've gained 1,354 followers and counting. That's crazy when you compare it to the 5 years it took me to hit 400 followers on Twitter. This is easily the biggest following I've ever had & it's only been 6 months.
I also have over 28,000 likes for the 921 pics I've posted. That averages out to about 30 likes per picture. I'm curious to see how my numbers will look in 6 months, but if my steady growth is any indication they should be higher.  People discover my page everyday and seem to really enjoy it. It's not rare for someone to follow me then start liking 10 or more pictures. I put in the work, carefully researching & choosing the best pictures to post. Now I'm up late writing a blog post about my Instagram. I must really want something out of it. I do. I want a career.

There's gotta be a way to use the creativity you see on my Instagrams to make a living. My IG should show that I am an extremely creative person who has ideas. Ideas for commercials, billboards, lots of things. I've been trying to make a career from the Internet for 5 years and I'm just now starting to build a following. Where it leads is anyone's guess. I remain hopeful. Maybe I'm going down a dead end street, but I wont know if I stop walking.

My Instagram is truly one of a kind. Nobody was consistently making memes of older guys before I showed up. I got the idea of making Daddy Memes from the Instagram pics I would see on Twitter. Whenever I saw an IG pic on Twitter, it was usually a meme. The meme was usually clever and relevant to current events. It gave me the impression that Instagram was the place where lots of meme's are posted and I was right. I downloaded instagram, a meme generator, and made myself at home.

I've been looking at pictures of Daddies for more than a decade. Before I ever saw a Daddy video I was online looking at pictures. I bought my first computer in 7th grade from the money I was making on my paper route. It was a Compaq with 1GB of storage space. I damn near filled that bitch with the pics of naked Daddies I saved from sfpix and bcn mature. Those were the days. I've seen thousands upon thousands of daddy pics over the years. I decided it was time to start making memes out of these daddy pics. What would my memes reflect?
My memes would have to reflect my love for older guys without being corny or creepy. I wasn't going to caption things that made no sense to me. I don't know what it's like to be an older white man, but I damn sure know what its like to be a young black man. Young African American Culture aka Hip Hop is the driving force of "cool" for youth around the world. Older white guys are seen as the least cool people in the world. Why not take pictures of the least cool people and caption them with things the cool kids can relate to? I get to celebrate my admiration for older guys while adding my personality to the captions.  Makes sense to me.

When I started posting pics, I was posting pics to turn me on. I'd add some fly caption to some sexy daddy pic and hope it got likes. I didn't notice the humor til I started getting compliments for being so funny. I was like what? A few days later I started to see the humor. I was sitting there trying to be sexy, and everyone's laughing. Fuck it. Keep em laughing.

The best part about Instagram for me is my growing fan base. I'm finally finding like minded people who are both smart and cool. The reception I've received from IG overall has been great. I post my pics on popular hash tags and get respect. Nobody gives a fuck that a gay black man is posting pics of old white guys. If they do, they haven't said it to my face. I doubt anyone thinks that deep about my page tho. It's not that serious. 

I gotta give credit to the one asshole I ended up blocking. The way I handled that situation showed the strength of my fan base. My fans are ready to go in if someone gets disrespectful. That's love and shows just how cool they are. They're proud of who they are and they appreciate what I do. I think I might've finally found that group I've been looking for.

My Goal with Daddies Be Like is to create a place where people who like older guys can enjoy quality pics. We just love the daddies and enjoy the pics. No bullshit. We live in a time where being a Daddy Admirer isn't really accepted in society. It's seen as if something is wrong with you for being attracted to older guys. Daddies issues, financial issues, etc. It's never just "oh they like each other whoop whoop." I embraced my love for older guys and tuned out the haters. It's made me a better person.

If the 16 year old me could follow my Instagrams. He would've loved Daddies Be Like because of the cleverness behind it. @DaddiesBeLike is my mainstream page. That's where I post my latest Daddy Memes. You won't find any pictures too edgy here. It's more about humor. The pics posted on Daddies Be Like reach a larger audience but is my backup page, due to the success of my @DadsBeLike.

I turned up the sexy on Dads Be Like. Dads Be Like is my original Instagram page. My 2nd week on IG I got reported for posting a pornographic picture. Instagram didn't shut my page down, but they took away my ability to post pics on hashtags with more than 100,000 posts. Lesson Learned. With limited hashtag use in effect I had to change my focus. I turned up the sexy and went for the gay audience. Dads Be Like gained more followers than my other page pretty quick after that.

My IG is me accepting myself completely and not being afraid to express it. I combine every aspect of myself to make the memes you see on Daddies Be Like. Add that to the time I spend choosing the right daddy in a speedo on Dads Be Like. I hope my pics reflect the effort I put into them. I think they do. I look at my pics and feel better about myself. I hope you do too when you see them.
Then best part for me is clicking on a pic and seeing comments from people who admire the pics. You can't help but feel like you're not alone out there.

What the next 6 months have in store is anyone's guess, but I'm locked in. There's no way I'm stopping now. I've got more people to reach with my pictures. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got pictures to edit.

Jan 17, 2014

Goodbye Errol Games

5 years ago I had my heart set on being a videogame journalist. The idea of being paid to play videogames seemed like a dream come true. I could spend hours doing what I loved and nobody could say anything. As time went on I learned that there's a lot more to being a videogame journalist than playing games and making money. If you want to be a videogame journalist, you've got to play the game.

I wanted to be a different kind of videogame journalist. Most videogame websites share the same stories and talk about the same stuff. My goal was to be a unique voice in a sea of sameness. I wanted bring attention to issues most journalists don't talk about. I wanted to call out gaming studios when I felt they were in the wrong. The problem is, the culture of videogame journalism isn't designed for you to stand out. It's designed for you to get in line and be like everyone else.

Most gaming journalists don't bring up real issues or criticize too heavily because they can't. Let's say I go on a rant and bad mouth Nintendo. I face the risk of being cut off by Nintendo. By cut off I mean Nintendo stops inviting me to events, they stop sending free videogames before they're released, and they stop giving me information to supply my readers. The loss of all of that would have a detrimental effect on me as an independent gaming journalist. There's too much power in the gaming companies hands.

The gaming companies pretty much control videogame journalism. They give the journalists the information that goes to the masses. It makes it nearly impossible for a ground breaking story to come from an independent journalist. How could you break a story if the only information you have comes from the people keeping you a float? Do you really want to bite the hand that feeds you? You're better off falling in line and accepting the control the gaming companies have over you.

That's where I realized the gaming industry might not be the industry for me. I pursued a career in gaming to stand out, be different, and contribute to the culture. I learned quick that other journalists aren't as enthusiastic about standing out. They weren't enthusiastic to get to know me either.

One little conflict with a journalist resulted in a lot of gaming journalists blocking me on Twitter. People I've never met in my life all of a sudden had a problem with me. It's childish. It's like first grade where one of your friends says "I don't like that kid over there" so you and all your friends don't talk to that kid. The sad part is most of these journalists are way older than me. I was 21 and grown ass men in their late 20's & 30's were acting like first graders.

I'm the type of person that wants to know a person before I form an opinion. I would've been the journalists that got interviews from both sides and made a story out of it. It builds culture in the world of videogames. Something most videogame journalists clearly don't want to do. They just want to report about games and go home. The culture is deeper than that. I'm not saying I was a saint back then, but I always wanted to build the culture of videogames to something more than being a bitch to the gaming studios.

Then there's the issue of money. When you're independent, money seems impossible to make without building an audience. When you become a paid writer on a major gaming outlet, I doubt the pay is great. The highest job position for a videogame journalist is Editor in Chief of a Published Gaming Magazine. With most videogame magazines out of business, I'm guessing there aren't a lot of Editor In Chief's for a Gaming Magazine floating around these days. Most writers just freelance their asses off on til they make ends meet. I didn't spend all that time in college to make little money. I was down to freelance and work my way up, but I don't think the gaming industry is where I'll find success.

I told myself that if I'm not an established gameing journalist in 5 years, I'm going to focus on something else. I decided to put the dreams of being a gaming journalist on hold. I know there's more out there than the gaming industry. I apologize to the fans I've made over the years, but I'm moving on. I'm growing up and part of growing up is leaving this behind. You'll still get an occasional blog post, but I'm done for now. I'll always love videogames and am still a Gamer for Life, but it's time to explore other avenues.

I doubt this is the last the videogame industry has seen of Errol James. Hopefully I'll return a stronger individual to a diverse industry filled with cool journalists. Til then I've got to figure out what I want to do with my life. Whatever it is has to put my creativity to use. I'll figure out something. I wish everyone the best. Maybe I'll see you on top one day. This isn't good bye. It's see you later.

P.S. Happy 5th Birthday Baby. Time for you to rest.

Jul 23, 2013

Things Video Games Do Better Than Movies

Catching Short Attention Spans
I have a better time watching movies on cable. The commercials give me enough time to do other things. Having to sit still for more than an hour can be a nightmare. Especially when I'm not in control of what's going on. Video Games Win when it comes to stimulating my attention defect. Movies can be so uninteresting at times.

Video Games Adapt To You
Movies demand that you understand what they're about. Videogames try to adapt to however you play. If you want to shoot cops and raise your wanted level, Grand Theft Auto responds. If you want to Complete the Story and Stop playing it's okay. If You want to play multiplayer online and never see the story, Call of Duty adapts.

One thing I notice about this generation of console games is how much the games react to you. I constantly heard praise as I'd plow through games such as Saints Row & Ratchet & Clank. I'd notice how the praise wouldn't appear as often when others would play.

Better Overall Experience
The greatest movies are interpreted differently. Everybody who watches it sees the same images on the screen, and have different opinions about what they see. You might notice extra things when you watch a movie, but you see the same images.

The greatest videogames are experienced differently. You could see totally different things and love the same game. A game like Fallout 3 is so open ended that every game is completely different. You could experience the same event in a different way from other players in Fallout 3. I could love how Megaton was blown to bits while someone else could have diffused the bomb and had a totally different experience.

Video Games Last Longer
Going to the movies is a great activity. It gives you something to do when you need to kill time. Spend a few hours eating popcorn and watching a movie. It's fun.

Video games are designed to last longer than one day. If you spend a day watching movies, you'll see more than one movie. Spend a day playing video games and you could be playing one game all day. I've spent months playing games that I love. 4 years and over 500 hours later, I still enjoy Fallout 3. I'd have to watch a ton of movies to spend that much time watching films.

Video Games Have Better Settings
Video games do a better job at presenting a place. Movies give you cool camera angles and stuff, but videogames let you explore the surroundings. I'd love to have explored Al Pacino's mansion in Scarface. The videogame made that possible. Open World Games have made it possible to explore various cities during different periods of time. I felt like I was in Hong Kong in Sleeping Dogs, LA in 1946 was vibrant in LA Noire. It's really awesome.

Better Opening Day Sales
No movie has ever made as much money as Call of Duty on it's first day. Black Ops 2 made $500 million dollars on it's first day in 2012. The Avengers had the highest grossing first day for a movie at $207 million in ticket sales. Yea Call of Duty costs a lot more than a movie ticket, but still. Numbers don't lie. That's probably why you've got George Lucas & Steven Spielberg talking about video games.

The Power of the Controller
There's more power in the controller than Steven Spielberg realizes. With movies your eyes and ears are all that's necessary. Video games demand a little more out of their consumers which pays off. The control gives gamers the ability to control how they play.

May 24, 2013

Please Delay Saints Row 4

Two Sandbox games being released 3 weeks apart is overkill. Here's an example. I started playing Dishonored late last year. I was enjoying Dishonored immensely until I started playing Hitman Absolution a week later. Playing two stealth action adventures games at the same time ruined it for both games. Hitman felt too much like Dishonored, and Dishonored wasn't fun anymore. I stopped playing both games as a result. I'd hate to have that happen to Saints Row 4, & Grand Theft Auto 5.

Sandbox games need time to breathe. There's no way a sandbox game can be completely explored in 3 weeks. There's just too much to explore. A Late August Release for Saints Row 4 makes no sense. Saints Row has been established itself as a Blockbuster Series. It was that sleeper hit that the month of August when the first Saints Row was released, but now Saints Row is a blockbuster franchise. Blockbusters belong in the Holiday Season. A late October/Early November release makes the most sense for Saints Row 4.

Late October would give gamers a good month with Grand Theft Auto 5. We all must remember, Grand Theft Auto is the biggest series in videogames. The quality, and money behind this game requires at least a month of attention from the gamers. A late October release gives Saints Row 4 enough time for a good Black Friday sale price. I'd definitely buy Saints Row 4 for 29.99 on Black Friday to help me get off of Grand Theft Auto.

That's the thing. Saints Row helps me get off of Grand Theft Auto. Grand Theft Auto IV was my heroin, and Saints Row 2 was the methadone that got me off of it. The six month gap I had between GTA & Saints Row was enough time for me to get lost in Liberty City. I was so hooked to Grand Theft Auto IV, I probably still know my way thru Liberty City. Street Names and everything. I used to wake up craving to play Grand Theft Auto IV until Saints Row 2 showed up. I absolutely hope to become this hooked to Grand Theft Auto 5. I just hope Saints Row 4 is released after it to help me get off of that shit.

May 21, 2013

Xbox One: The Future For Casual Gamers?

Microsoft played it safe during their Xbox Reveal earlier today. Microsoft decided to do the things Sony did not do during their PS4 Reveal a few months ago. The first thing Microsoft did differently was actually revealing the console. The Xbox One is the next generation from the Xbox Family. It looks a bit bulky especially when I compare it to my Slim PS3. The controller looks cool, but no touch screen in the middle like the PS4 controller. All in all the Xbox One looks like a VCR with a lot of power under the hood.

Microsoft made sure to show off the power of the Xbox One. Not by showcasing games like Sony did, but by giving you the specs of the machine. 8 GB of RAM, a blu ray drive. A billion blahs, 300,000 other blahs.
Honestly the tech specs mean nothing to me. I have to see witness the power of the Xbox One by playing a videogame to really get an understanding of it. When the graphics look better and the game run smoother than the Xbox 360 is when I get impressed by all of those fancy processors and stuff under the hood.

As far as games being displayed. Not much in that department for this reveal. EA Sports came out and showcased a bunch of sports games that come out every year. You gotta do better than that at E3 Microsoft. Everybody and their mama knows Madden is coming out on the Xbox One. No surprise there.

They also showcased a bunch of sports related stuff that I honestly have no interest in. I don't play sports games, and I'm not that much of a sports enthusiast to play fantasy sports on my xbox. A good 20 minutes of the hour long presentation was dedicated to sports. That's a serious misuse of time. I highly doubt the majority of people who tuned in gave a damn about playing the next Madden on their Xbox One. Which brings the question.

Who is Microsoft trying to appeal to?

While 20 minutes was spent on Sports, another 20 minutes was spent on Kinect. Kinect has casual gamer written all over it. The thing that bothers me about Kinect is that it becomes less about videogames everytime I see it. At least when it was first introduced, Microsoft tried to incorporate the hands free technology into videogames. Now they don't even try. They just show you the same voice command features every press conference. It's pathetic.

Microsoft always wastes a bulk of its press conferences showing off the Kinect. They display how to turn on your xbox with no hands. How to change channels with no hands. How to become a lazier human being by using your voice and hand motions to do everything. It wouldn't be as annoying if Microsoft didn't do it all the time, but ever since 2010 they show off the same Kinect features like nobody notices. Stop it Microsoft.

The highlight of the event was Snap Mode. This gives you the ability to multitask from one screen. You can watch a movie, and access Internet explorer from the same screen. In a world where we multitask more and more everyday, I like it. They didn't say if Snap Mode could be used while you're playing a videogame. If it can, that's hot and a reason for me to check out the Xbox One. 

The last 20 minutes was spent showcasing things in small doses. A small speech from Steven Spielberg revealing a Halo Television Series. I had no idea people played Halo for the story, but okay. There was one videogame on display by the creators of Alan Wake called Quantum Dream. The trailer for that was weird, and didn't really say much about the game. If anything the trailer showed off the water graphics that new consoles like to show off in early games. Oh and at the end of the press conference we got a trailer for the new Call of Duty. 

So to recap. Microsoft revealed the XBox One, showed off the same Kinect features, showed a few sports games, two exclusives, and the new Call of Duty. If I were a casual gamer, I'd be excited. Sony on the other hand showed game after game during their PS4 press conference. They were clearly going after hardcore gamers with the PS4 reveal. Microsoft on the other hand wants the Sports Gamers. The Gamers that faithfully buy the same games every year. I wasn't sold on the Xbox One after this reveal. Maybe their E3 press conference will help change my mind. 

Apr 15, 2013

Youtube for 3DS Announced at Next Nintendo Direct?

It's possible Nintendo will announce a Youtube App for the Nintendo 3DS during their next Nintendo Direct conference on April 17th. Nintendo announced their next Nintendo Direct will be 3DS specific. What better time to announce their Youtube App? I sure hope Nintnedo has been working on one seeing as how the PS Vita has had a Youtube app for almost a year.

How cool would it be if you could watch Youtube videos on your Nintendo 3DS? Really cool if you ask me. If Netflix can have an App where you can watch videos in 3D why cant a mobile version of Youtube be installed on the 3DS? C'mon Nintendo. Give the gamers what they want.

Mar 30, 2013

My Love/Hate Relationship with First Person Shooters

I don't think I've ever beat a first person shooter. I've played many FPS' from GoldenEye to Far Cry 3, and I don't think I've finished one. My experience with first person shooters goes like this:

Start a First Person Shooter.
Find It Fun For About
 2 Hours.
Become Bored by the 
3rd Hour.

It makes me hesitant to spend any money towards playing a critically acclaimed first person shooterThe last first person shooter I played was Far Cry 3. That game was nowhere on my radar screen, but things were boring in December 2012, and Far Cry 3 was getting some pretty impressive reviews. I played the solo campaign, and found myself turning it off every 20 minutes. The game had plenty of fun things to do, but I just wasn't enjoying the experience. I traded it in a week after I bought it. All of those positive reviews, and I didn't enjoy Far Cry 3. Shame. I didn't enjoy Far Cry 3 because I hate first person shooters.

I Hate First Person Shooters.

Well that's not entirely true. I enjoy watching people play First Person Shooters. I would have no problem watching someone play Far Cry 3. I probably would have gotten more into the game if I had watched someone do their thing. If one of my friends had gotten into Far Cry 3, I would've been right there watching it like a movie. Heck, I'd even play the game for a little if my friend wanted to take a break.

Come to think of it, I enjoy playing First Person Shooters with other people. I spent months playing  Turok Evolution with my friends back in the day. Multiplayer is where it's at. My friends and I would meet up after school and play deathmatches for hours. I remember I would pack my Wavebird controller in my backpack so I could go straight to my friend Brian's house from school.

I Love Multiplayer Tho...
Hanging out with friends and playing a first person shooter has always been a joy for me. It goes back to the days of GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64. Four people playing split screen on a 13 inch TV having a blast. Those were the days. There's something about being in the same room with a person while I play a First Person Shooter. Maybe it's just being able to hang out and play videogames you know? I hope Split Screen games never goes away.

These days I find myself having the most fun playing Split Screen Co-op with one other player. Modern Warfare 3 surprised me with its Spec Ops mode. My friend Tino and I finished every mission in two nights. I thought Borderlands was best when I played it split screen with my friend Blake. I found it boring when I played by it online, but when Blake and I played together it was magic. We played it until 7 in the morning one night. It was crazy.

Playing Online? 
Not So Much

While I enjoy playing with other people, I'm not a fan of playing First Person Shooters Online. Not only do I suck, but I just don't have a lot of fun playing. I'm a different kind of gamer in an online environment  My focus is completely different. When I play any game offline I find myself trying to be stylish when I play. For example, in  Grand Theft Auto IV, I'll always have a rare or exotic car in my garage. When I'm online my only focus is not to die. It's different. It makes it worse when the game I'm playing is a first person shooter. I'm never see anything coming. It's the worst.

I thought maybe playing online with friends would help, but it doesn't. It's just not the same when I can't accuse anyone of looking at my screen. This is one of the reasons why I consider GoldenEye for the N64 to be the best First Person Shooter ever. Multiplayer games weren't online back then so you were forced to play in the same room with people. I've got nothing but good memories from those days.

Bioshock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is set to be released at midnight. I don't think I'm going to play it. The good reviews Infinite has received are doing little to influence my decision to play it. I don't want to end up disappointed like I did with Far Cry 3. Who knows? I might end up bored enough to give Bioshock: Infinite a shot. When there's nothing else, a first person shooter will have to do.