So a while back, the fantastically talented James Allen proclaimed that he was taking the reviews on his awesome site, Out of Eight PC Game Reviews, from a textual to a video format. At the time, I had no idea why one would want to do this, so I was confused. I mean, isn’t text better?
Now, however, after watching his videos and making more of my own, I get it. Making these video articles is just a TON of fun, more fun that actually writing them out in all honesty. Take the Kerbal Space Program video. I was totally having writers block about the actual written article, but when I decided to try a video preview series, I jumped at it.
Therefore, I’m thinking of experimenting solely with video reviews and previews, but I wanted to ask what you guys thought, since this site is as much here for you as it is for me. ;) In the poll below, please let me know how you feel about switching from a more textual format to a more visual, video format. I look forward to seeing the results of the poll as well as reading your comments and questions below. Thanks, as always, for your time and your patronage. It really means the world to me. :)
Edit: The poll below is now closed. Thanks to everyone who voted and commented!
34 thoughts on “An Honest Question about Videos…”
I generally prefer text, but some games like KSP are hard to do without showing it with a video.
Fair enough, thanks! :)
Agreed. Videos are fine for a once in awhile kind of thing… When a review really needs to be seen. My biggest issue is that most people read far faster than people talk, and being a avid, and reasonably fast reader, videos often bore me to tears.
One of my biggest gripes about the internet is how many ‘How-To’ items on the net are going to video (And being in IT I use A LOT of them). Text lets you easily scan and skip over things if you are in a hurry, not to mention being able to use Ctrl+F. With video you are pretty much stuck with watching the whole thing, or trying to skip around through the video, which often takes as much time in trial and error and buffering time as it would to just watch video from start to finish.
That said, the reviews and articles here are worth reading start to finish, but I still can’t get over my anti-vid sentiments.
So you’d be fine with something more of a balance between the two, then? Welcome, by the way!
I’m in IT as well, and I agree with you. Can’t stand skipping around in a video, never finding the right spot.
A balance between mostly text and some video would be my preference.
What do you think about this sort of balance? A text blurb and a video – https://www.outofeight.info/2013/02/march-of-eagles-impressions.html
30 minute videos are more than I wan’t to spend time watching all the way through, but skipping along with it for a few minutes gives a good overview. The text is short and to the point, which is good, but you might want to know more if you are still curious afterwards (the video fulfills this role if you can watch it, which depends).
Good points, thanks! :)
I find that text is easier to take in when I don’t have the time to commit to a video, or I’m somewhere like work or the library where I can’t listen to audio. That said, Stian is correct that there are some instances like “let’s plays” which need to be video-based. News is better off as text, I think.
Hhmmmm, well on Out of Eight, each video post also has a textual blurb that coincides with the impressions in the video. Might that be a good balance, or you’d still prefer all text? I hope you don’t mind the question, just trying to honestly gauge things here. :)
Video is king. It’s just so much easier to consume. As a viewer you can also apply varying degrees of attention to video. With text always needs full attention. And yes, you can actually show things in video, as opposed to describing them.
Welcome to the blog Mathias, and that’s kind of how I feel.
I mostly read SGJ at work while waiting on other things to happen here (and dreaming of shooting space lazers at space stuff in space!). Video-only content would curtail that, sadly. I still watch the videos when I can but outside of work. I think the videos are great supplements to your fine writing.
What do you think about an article that has a blurb of text along with the video, as Out of Eight does it with theirs. Would that be a good balance, or would you still prefer more text?
That would be fine as long as there is *some* longer text content, but tnh I have kind of stopped reading Oo8 once he went to all-video content, even with blurbs. I realize I am probably in the minority with regard to this, but this is not how I consume content, even with all the positives that video brings. I know a lot of folks do these days.
Got it, this is excellent feedback, thanks! Based on feedback and the polling so far, it looks like I should determine on a game-by-game basis whether a game is looked at via text or video. That sound reasonable?
Yes, that sounds reasonable. Thanks for asking for feedback!
Awesome, thanks! And you’re welcome, I love my readers and totally value what they think, so I don’t wanna do something that bothers/alienates folks. :)
I like both, but I find it hard to pick. I like the videos, but I can’t watch them at work.
Since I’m deaf, I generally dislike videos because most of the time they’re not subtitled so I don’t know what people are talking about. However, subtitling videos are a lot of work and isn’t enjoyable (I know, I did it for my kickstarter!), which kinda defeats the purpose of having videos because then you’re basically transcribing to text… But I don’t want to ruin other people’s enjoyment because I’m in a very small minority (About 1 out of 1,000 have hearing impairment of some sort, and even less than that are profoundly deaf like me). I watched your first part of review of TIE Fighter, and found it dull because for me, you’re just flying around and shooting. I’m sure that your frustrations and comments makes it an entertaining video. So for text reviews, I will read those, and just skip over videos. I’m not trying to evoke pity, just giving my honest answer :)
No no, honest answers are what I’m looking for man. :) Thank you! I’ll likely have a balance between text and video articles, but I’ll make sure those text blurbs in the video articles accurately describe what happens in the video. :) Sound good?
That’d help, yes :) I’m sure that it’ll help those who are not native English speakers as well!
Good call, sadly didn’t even consider such things, so thanks for bringing them to my attention. :)
I support a balance, Brian. I appreciate text a great deal of the time, because I often skim with a specific question in mind until I find a statement that answers it. With a video, it’s much more painful to obtain an answer to a specific question from the review without attending to the entire presentation.
That said, for in-depth coverage of a game, the video format is both highly informative and usually extremely entertaining. I’ve particularly enjoyed your recent videos of your TIE Fighter missions, and I think that for showing deep gameplay videos are great. If the product is amenable, you might consider somewhat shorter presentations, or perhaps a dubbed highlights video – I noticed today that your KSP vid was about 30min long. I turned it off after about 15, since you’d already accomplished convincing me that another look at the updated game would be worth my time.
Excellent answer, thanks man! I’m thinking now I’ll choose video or text on a game-by-game basis so there will be both. And yeah, I’m new to this video thing so I’m sure I’ll get better at making them more efficient, hopefully. :)
Yeah I have to agree here, About 10-15 minutes is the best length for these things. Especially for review/preview-type of things. Play throughs of new and classic games can be in several parts though so no need for too much editing. Only if things get really repetitive or drawn out.
Apart from that I vote for a balance between text and video. I really like both but at different times and for different reasons. As I’m subscribed on youtube I wouldn’t want to loose a reason to check out the site here too. :) I always enjoy it when you’ve posted something new like a list of the latest news. Text is always the best way to skim and find that bit of news you might not have known about. Like a new title or something.
Welcome to the comments Jonas, and thanks for the kind words. Yeah, certain stuff like news will ALWAYS be primarily text, I’m just looking for a sense of where to take featured articles. It seems overwhelmingly like folks want both text and video, so that’s what I’ll give ’em on a game-by-game basis. :) And yeah, I’m trying to get more efficient with videos. You’ll notice the TIE Fighter videos are a bit shorter than the previous Let’s Play vids. ;)
While I liked watching the TIE Fighter and RoE2 reviews, I’m not going to want to do so for all games. It just takes too long to watch every video when they can be up to an hour in length. I’d prefer text reviews with maybe 1-2 videos of short to modest length to demonstrate what the gameplay is like and to show off things that can’t really be put into words effectively. It’s also harder for me to retain what data was offered in a video compared to text, especially when the videos run long. With text the retention rate is higher, and it’s certainly quicker to review what was said. I’d miss a lot of things if videos were the only option.
Hey man, thanks for your comments! Yeah, I’m thinking of ways to make this balanced, since that’s clearly what people want. I’m thinking on a case by case basis I’ll figure whether a textual or video article will be more entertaining, then when using video, make sure the blurb is detailed enough that folks who want to just read can do that too to get a general gist of what’s in the video.
One of the big problems with video is what format. I have a Mac and I refuse to put flash on it – so if you do go the video, or partial video route please ensure that it isn’t published/posted in a flash format. Otherwise I wont be watching…
Welcome to the blog rjbeeth! And do you have a problem with YouTube videos? Those are I believe in HTML5, and I plan to put ’em all there.
I can’t watch the videos as I look at this site at work, but as long as you at least did the news in text I would still come here
Oh, the news will always be in text, it’d be silly not to be. ;)