July 14, 2011

Also, His Face Is Photoshopped Onto Every Protagonist

I have been watching Game Center CX a lot with Brer recently. It’s been fun times. However, it did get me thinking a little bit about why I’m willing to watch what’s basically a Let’s Play in Japanese about games I don’t care about when there’s so much quality Let’s Play entertainment out on the internet right now.

Earlier today, though, I feel like I finally figured it out.

You see, your normal let’s plays fall into some categories. You have people who are Let’s Playing things because that’s what you do, and those are awful and terrible and you shouldn’t watch them. You have people who are using Let’s Playing as a medium for humor, jokes, and entertainment. Those are the ones you should watch.

Game Center CX is none of those things. It doesn’t feel scripted, of course, but it also doesn’t feel forced. Arino is fucking genuine in everything he does. He is not great at games, but you can tell he has a passion for them. When he does things like read the dialog that’s on the screen out loud, it really feels like he’d probably be doing that, even if the cameras weren’t running. He’s a nice guy playing hard games. You want him to succeed.

It’s this genuine nature around Arino that makes it different than any other LP I’ve watched. Let’s Plays where people are dying over and over again and cussing games out and whatnot are kind of boring, and one-trick ponies. You don’t give a shit about the suffering, you know? (Unless, I dunno, it’s a dude I like like Brickroad dying all the time on Bomb-omb Battlefield.) With Arino, you do. You want him to win. You know he’s a nice guy who deserves to win. I mean, he’s willing to sit there and try for hours and hours for this show. He wants to enjoy and finish these games. He’s so charming, you feel for him.

That’s really the difference, I think. Whether that happens through solid show editing (which is possible) or just with Arino being awesome, I’m not sure. But it’s certainly a different experience, and one that I enjoy having.

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