Welcome to the REVAMPED Spiders Lair YouTube channel- New Shows announced

It’s been less than a year since I started my newest YouTube channel, The Spiders Lair, to accompany this blog. I’ve been doing the podcast every week since Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, 2017. I launched a web series, The Dark Web TV as a companion to the podcast this past January. Due to a variety of reasons I canceled the show after just a few months.

I have been trying to come up with ideas for content I can produce on a regular basis that fit in with my creative vision for the website. I am here to announce those new shows coming to the channel.

I will be producing short form, medium form and long form content in the near future. Starting this week I will be launching several new types of videos. In the coming weeks, once I get some technology issues taken care of, I will be bringing back The Dark Web TV!

Here is the list of new shows coming to The Spiders Lair, with a description of the show and a time frame for launch.

Five for Five

This series has already had a soft launch last night. I am doing to be doing new videos called Five for Five. In one video I will share 5 things from a specific topic I like. Topics will range from movies, toys, games, collectibles to anything I can think of.

Then, there will be a companion video, Five things I dislike.

Five for Five videos will upload on Mondays and Tuesdays. I will upload the Likes video on Monday with a follow up video on Tuesday.

This or That?

Another short form video I will be doing on Wednesdays is called This or That? It will be a brief comparison between two different things in the same category. For example, Lethal Weapon or Die Hard, spaghetti or lasagna, Ice Cube or Ice T, etc. These will be short form videos I release on Wednesdays. As time progresses I will shoot for more polished, edited videos, as I can get internet to my laptop. In the meantime all videos will be shot on the cell phone an uploaded, unedited, directly to YouTube from the phone. This process will allow me to get more content out faster.

What’s Streaming?

These videos will make their return on Thursdays. These will be a little more edited. They will still be short videos but will be edited with b roll and graphics. Not this week as I don’t have things set up but I will be relaunching this series this week to get it going.

Collector’s Corner is also making a come back on Friday’s. This will also be the time slot I use to share any pickups or unboxing videos I might make. Each week I will pick a different item from my collection to share what it means to me, how I picked it up and why I bought it.

The Dark Web TV

I have removed What’s Streaming and Collector’s Corner from the show. The relaunch will be a return to form. Me, discussing different topics. It will be a companion to the Dark Web Podcast so chances are it will be mostly the same topics with just a quicker take on things. It’s likely to be fairly off the cuff and unscripted but it WILL be edited like before. Since I am shortening the length down to between 8 to 15 minutes per episode, it should be easier for me to stick with it. AS before, these videos will be shot, and hopefully edited and uploaded on Saturday’s. Chances are I might film on Saturday, edit on Sunday and upload Sunday evening, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the podcast.

I am also going to be setting up a web cam to start shooting video with the podcast to make uploading videos easier.

I hope with all this new content people will find the channel has a new focus for the coming year. I am going to try to work hard to making things better as time goes.

 

Virtual Reality is changing the world

Back in the early 1990’s there was this little-known technology that was making a push to get into the homes of every American at the time. No, it wasn’t VR. It was CD-i.

Phillips created the CD-i (Compact Disc Interactive) as a joint-venture with Sony. The purpose of the product line was to make CD-ROM technology more accessible by creating a multi-media platform that was less expensive than a full desktop PC with a CD-ROM drive installed. It was also intended to be a stand-alone multi-media device capable of producing MPEG video. With a special card the machine could play, first CD-i Video Discs (Compact Disc Interactive Video Discs) then the Compact Disc Digital Video format (shortened to VCD for Video CD) It gets a little confusing but around this time they were working with Sony to spread Video CD to the world as a replacement for LaserDisc. The technology eventually faded into obscurity. The machine’s legacy lives in in very false rumors spreading mis-information around the internet involving Sony, Nintendo and a conspiracy that is flat false and easy to disprove. However, the technology didn’t just end. You see, contrary to popular belief, the CD-i was neither a video game platform, nor a commercial failure. Phillips continued to produce the machines well into the 2000’s and the Video CD format it spawned, lives on to this day, albeit mostly in Asia.

What’s the point? Well once it was determined CD-i could be used for interactive, low-cost MPEG video discs large employers across the country quickly turned to the format. During the heyday companies were churning out low-cost employee training videos using the format because they were cheaper to produce than a LaserDisc yet more versatile than a VHS tape. Keep in mind this was before DVD, which did ultimately prevent the format from becoming a mainstream retail product to the masses, however like Beta Max before it, the format lived on in the professional realm for far longer than anyone would have ever expected.

We are now starting to see a similar pattern with Virtual Reality. Companies are starting to figure out that as a format VR can be used as employee training technology rather than home entertainment technology. Upon first glance one might be inclined to see companies like Walmart or UPS announce they will be using VR tech to train new hires as a sign the technology is not entirely dead as a commercial entertainment product.

I was almost one of those people until I remembered the CD-i players I kept running into as late as 2009. A budget minded corporation invests in an employee training program, typically for a ten year duration. Thus, when companies turned to CD-i players in the 90’s, they invested in the tech they were not about to abandon it. That didn’t do anything for adoption of software on a wide scale. Companies could press their own CD’s for pennies using standard equipment. Even though most DVD players could play Video CD’s, companies that purchased the dedicated machines were highly likely to stick with them for the long run. I saw this a lot in fact.

The reason why even a large retailer like Walmart adopting the technology and even commissioning a specific piece of software won’t necessarily translate to mass-market adoption is simple. Walmart only needs to purchase the software one time for a specific use. That won’t do much for Electronic Arts. They won’t care if Walmart purchases 5 million of the machines, that’s not going to be 5 million gamers playing Madden VR, that’s going to be a set number of stores buying the machine for a specific purpose. In other words, all it means is hardware sales might see a small bump in sales but as far as adoption rates go, it won’t make an impact at all.

Why am I writing about it then? Obviously I was a champion of Virtual Reality. I continued to believe it would be like CD ROM, which replaced CD-i in the market before giving way to the superior DVD. My hope was the PS5 would come packed in some way with Playstation VR.

The more I see businesses adopting VR technology for purposes other than video games the more mixed my feelings become. Ideally, I want to live in a virtual world where I put on my headset and do all the fun things I suspect I don’t have the drive to do in real life. Partially because of money. I can’t ever see myself getting on a plane and flying to Paris, France. However I can see myself taking a virtual tour using a VR machine, if it were believable enough.

What I really want is to buy The Sims VR and live out my fantasy life or pick up Legend of Zelda VR and fight the forces of evil.

What I don’t want is to go into a new job and be told to put on a VR headset for a virtual training session rather than being given a physical tour of the place I am there to learn. I’m not entirely certain the VR method is necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t really a settle my fears that gamers aren’t adopting VR in the numbers I would like.

I haven’t completely given up hope on the technology taking off just yet. I just don’t have a ton of confidence in Walmart being the champions of the technology.

Pokemon blues

The first time I heard about Pokemon was through a trading card magazine I used to get in the mail back in the late 90’s. If I am not mistaken it was a one off done by the folks at either Toy Fair, Wizard or one of those other hobby magazines I used to subscribe to in the days before the dominance of the web.

What I remember reading about was not the Game Boy game, but rather the exciting new trading card game taking the country by storm. The country, at that time, meant Japan, and the article was about how it was getting ready to invade the states. Invade was not strong enough of a word. Pokemon completely changed everything.

I had a friend who opened up a trading card shop in the early part of the decade during the rise of the Magic the Gathering craze. Magic was a great game and all, but me, I was more into Star Wars CCG. That’s Customizable Card Game for the uninitiated.

One thing he told me, at the time, was card games come and go. He believed Magic had longevity because of the cross over between D&D fans. I was more skeptical. See, I bought Marvel OverPower, Star Wars CCG and Spell Fire (the D&D game) so maybe I was a little biased. However, neither of us expected Pokemon to stick around longer than a few seasons, the card game that is. At the time there wasn’t a video game or cartoon in the states just yet. The oncoming storm was brewing, we just weren’t fully prepared for it.

I remember right after my younger sister started showing me her Pokemon cards my first reaction was to roll my eyes. I already started getting into Dragon Ball Z TCG and the Digimon cartoon was starting to pique my interest. I thought Digimon was so much better than Pokemon, it would only be a matter of time before it supplanted Pokemon and the ‘Pikachu and Pals’ craze would fade into obscurity.

It was around the time I picked up a Game Boy Pocket that I got my first taste of the Pokemon video game. A friend at school sold me his Yellow Pocket so he could buy a Green Game Boy Color. He gave me two games with it, Wario Land, Super Mario Land 3, and Pokemon Blue. Needless to say I didn’t even insert the pokecart into my machine. I traded it to Software Etc., the game store in our mall before it turned into a Game Stop. That was it, no more Pokemon for me. I bought an N64 earlier in the year, along with a PS1. I started to realize there were Pokemon games showing up on the N64 and then, seemingly out of the blue a movie gets announced.

I continued to resist. I was too old to get into that crap. I was 16 when it came out and I had already upgraded to Playstation and Mortal Kombat, I wasn’t even spending much time playing Sonic or Mario games at this time in my life. Pokemon was certainly, I thought at the time, beneath me. Especially with my younger sister, six years below my age, being so into it. Of course she didn’t have a Game Boy, for  her it was a card game.

One day I came home from work. I worked at the buffet in the casino. I discovered all my tip money I had been saving up was missing, around $40 or so. By the end of the day I discovered my sister and one of her friends had taken my money and spent it. They played games at the arcade, rented movies at the video store, bought a pizza and to top it all off they brought home a few packs of those silly Pokemon trading cards. I was furious. At this point I had enough. I made her and her friend sell their Pokemon cards to pay me back the money they stole. I wasn’t going to be too harsh on my ten year old sister, so I ended up taking her and her friend out to the buffet for supper to say no hard feelings, but I insisted they sell those damn cards to pay me back. I learned in the trading card business how quickly a hot card can rise in value and then plummet so I knew we had a narrow window to sell them for cash. She ended up paying me back every penny, and I washed my hands of that fifthly game for good. Or so I thought.

The years would go by and I would continue to resist. Every time a new game came out I grew increasingly hostile towards Nintendo. They never released those stupid things one at a time. They always came out in pairs along with some console tie in or spin off, which meant they were devoting a lot of resources to that game not making games I would have bought. This resentment carried into my interactions with fans online. I instantly attacked, berated and dismissed the opinions of anyone over the age of 7 that talked about Pokemon. I was really harsh. I really hated that game.

Things began to soften up a little bit once I got a Game Cube in 2004. I purchased a copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee and quickly learned Pikachu was a pretty good character to win matches. I chalked it up to him being the most recognizable character in the franchise so I never really let it lure me into trying the games. It wouldn’t be until 2010 when I downloaded the Pokemon Blue rom for GB and played it on my Windows PC before I ever game a proper Pokemon game a chance. If this is the part in the story you were expecting me to say, wow, what was I missing out on all these years, wrong. All it did was confirm my suspicions.

The game was just a watered down, RPG knock-off with the most obnoxious collect-a-thon mechanic at the entire heart of the game. Not something like a RareWare platformer where the core game play was at least fun. It wouldn’t be until Pokemon Go before I would give a video game in the franchise a serious chance. This time it was for work. I was working at a newspaper at the time of the games launch. Of course all the other media outlets were doing stories on people walking into traffic or walking off a cliff or similar stories. I decided to write safety guide and how to column for the newspaper where I worked. I order to be informed, I downloaded the app and tried it out.

Now you are thinking a-ha! Finally that sour puss converted once he saw the true light! Wrong again. I ended up keeping the app installed for a little over 2 years, but only to let me nieces and nephews walk around catching Pokemon and hatching eggs. Eventually I lost interest and walked away.

Now why am I writing an article about how I missed out on the Pokemon craze if I continue to have disdain for the video games and cartoons? After all, at this point if nothing has converted me nothing will right? Wrong. Or slightly incorrect. You see I have converted, sort of. Recently the collector in me- especially the kid who was big into collecting trading cards in the 90’s- has started to have a desire to get back into collecting trading cards. Again as a window to bond with my sisters kids I thought I might give collecting the cards another go round. Not that I want to look for rare or valuable cards though. I thought maybe I will pick up a few packs and see what kind of a set I can get going.

Along the way I sampled the anime when it came to Netflix. I even tried out some of the other games, including Coliseum on Game Cube. The only one I ever enjoyed even slightly was the original Blue. I liked the e-Reader stuff and have considered collecting Pokemon-e  but I suspect that would be cost prohibitive at this point. These days I play the Blue Rom on my laptop and wonder what it would have been like had I discovered this franchise 2 years earlier in life, or maybe not had the negative experiences to associate with it. Needless to say my Pokemon blues today manifest in the form of a what-if scenario I will play in my mind. At least once in a blue moon, as they say.

The Dark Web 43- revisting Batman film franchise, Halloween/horror video games, Ice-T arrested and more

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-n2uvq-9daae3

In this exciting episode I rag on Ice-T getting arrested. Or at least I talk about how “gangsta” he is these days.

I take another look at the Batman film franchise for Halloween fun.

Are there any good Horror or Halloween themed video games? I try to find a few good ones.

I talk about the new Sabrina show on Netflix. I will be talking about it more next week.

I also ask the question, what would it have been like if 32X had been more successful? (Sorry RGT 85 I recorded this before I saw your video. I might have to respond to your take next week)

With some new information this week coming to light involving network infrastructure, connections, etc., I take another look at the future of Netflix as a streaming service and contemplate if they might be better off turning into a TV studio/Production studio and licensing their content out to others with the onslaught of competition coming their way.

 

I also lay out some of my Halloween plans so be sure to check back Wednesday night for something special. Stay cool. Thanks for listening, please share subscribe etc.

 

Once again the length it shows me is wrong, it’s just barely over 2 hours yet Podbean shows it at 3 and a half hours. not sure what is going on.

Dark web 42- Halloween movies? BIG Confession, plus a complete look at Bim Dizzle

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-y2c49-9d10cd

*NOTE* This episode is NOT 4 hours long. I don’t know why Podbean is showing it that long it’s longer than normal, just under 3 hours to be fair, but it’s not as long as I am seeing maybe you all see the correct length. Don’t be turned off by that it’s a hearty episode.

Before there was The Spiders Lair there was Bim Dizzle. In this extra special, extra long episode I kind of bear my soul a little as I take a look back at the evolution of this website from a hobby site I began in high school devoted entirely to Gangsta Rap and Star Wars (yes it was a weird blended site) to a dedicated video game strategy guide site supplanted by YouTube and it’s Let’s Players. Then it turned into Bim-Dizzle, a website I had a vision for but no direction.

Find out the inspiration for the Bim Dizzle character, what the idea was, the goal, the downfall.

I reveal my confession to my audience. There’s actually two. A semi-serious but light hearted one up front then the real deal later on.

I also talk about favorite Halloween movies and specials. I also talk about the John Carpenter Halloween franchise and all that Michael Myers jazz.

It was a long weekend at work. I had to work Saturday and Sunday so if I sound a little off near the end please not I was really exhausted by that point in time and I had more work to do the next day.

This is unedited. I usually only edit it for time, to take out the long pauses or maybe a gaff here and there if I get tongue tied, as is often the case. Since the whole show is unscripted, well you get the idea.

 

I also talk about the death of Netflix. I am officially predicting it now. Find out why in this extra special episode of The Dark Web Podcast, brought to you by The Spiders Lair and hosted by THE RAT.