Matt Chat 150: Piracy, DRM, and Digital Media with Shane R. Monroe

Matt Barton's picture

Episode 150! Even I'm amazed that I've produced so many episodes. So many reviews! So many interviews! So many bad jokes! Yes, it's time to celebrate. Besides a great interview with Shane R. Monroe--who I assume most of you are familiar with here, I offer up a special "thank you" in the form of an old school demo!

You can download the video here. Below are some thoughts on the show and reflections on 150.

Dear Matt Chat fan:

I started Matt Chat three years ago as an experiment. I was watching some great retrogaming shows on YouTube that I enjoyed despite their low production values. These were basically just guys recording themselves in front of a webcam and talking about their favorite games, maybe throwing up a few screenshots or (if they were really ambitious) some gameplay footage. I thought--man, I bet I could do that. It looked like great fun, and I had just gotten a webcam from my brother-in-law, so I figured, hell, why not?

My initial plan was to try to promote our books Dungeons & Desktops and Vintage Games. I wanted to produce informercials that would get people interested enough in the topic to get the books. A lot of people wrote nasty comments about the "advertising," though, so I eventually gave up on that and focused on the games. I figured if anybody became a fan of the show, they'd probably find out about the books on their own anyway.

I didn't like the webcam look, but I didn't have anything better. However, I learned that our library on campus loans out cameras and equipment. Bingo! So for awhile I was going there each week and reserving the tripods and cameras and such. I told myself that if I stuck with this long enough and it looked like it had a future, I'd spring for my own equipment. Eventually I bought myself an HD camera, tripod, lav mic, some work lights on stands from Home Depot, and Sony Vegas Platinum editing software. I later added a green screen for kicks, which I seldom use (too much hassle and no good place to work here in my apartment!). All in all, I think I've spent about $900-$1000 on equipment. Looking back, I could've gotten by with a much cheaper camera, since the prices on those have fallen dramatically. I think you could achieve similar if not better results than I do with half the price.

In my naivety, I expected my audience to swell as my experience and production quality rose. That was wrong. The strange thing about YouTube is that production quality is never an indicator of popularity. You could spend $10,000 and months editing a video and get 20 views. Show your girlfriend popping some zits on your back and you get a million views. Show your dog licking its nuts--priceless. Cute little otters holding hands? You're Jesus.

I frequently get messages or comments along the lines of, "Show X is crap compared to yours, but he has 10 times the subscribers. What's up with that?" That's a bad attitude to have, and one I've had to deal with myself. But it's really just as silly as saying, "Why does that Justin Beiber sell millions of records, and hardly anybody cares about the new Maiden album?"

There's no accounting for taste. Me? I have always sought out the exotic pleasures. Budweiser? Never. Give me some weirdo import from a distant land. I've tasted many ales that I love infinitely more than Bud. McDonalds? Nah, let's to go that little local burger joint instead, you know the one that puts gravy on their fries! That's just who I am, and probably how you are, too, since you like Matt Chat! So instead of getting miffed that some other show is more popular, be happy that you found something YOU like and adopt it as your own! Hey, that place that puts the gravy on the fries needs and appreciates your business a lot more than that mega-chain!

Will there be 150 more episodes? Who knows? It's really up to the fans. As long as they continue enjoying and supporting the show, and I can continue to recruit good people to interview, I don't see why not!

Anyway, thanks again for being there through 150 episodes!




Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
Congrats, Matt, it's an

Congrats, Matt, it's an awesome achievement. I hope to check out 150 soon.

ruthan's picture
Joined: 01/22/2012

At first, i live in czech republic (czechoslovak republic no longer, lands were separated 20 years ago) i never heard this stupid quotation.
In advance, i even can say, that 99 procent of czechs, which are by the way biggest beer drinkers in the world per head , yes lands of drunks, and every drunk is welcome.., that your sweet,spicy etc ales, are simply scum, because beer should be simple.. I realy dont care, for me beer was always cheapest, but also worst booze.

To the matter, piracy.
I wrote so post few months ago, but i will write something new i hope.
This status quo is simple stupid, hypocritical, unsustainable.. non rational (most important). Problem is that is against the law, criticize the law, in this case extremly, because if you critize this, you must be prirate, and if critize loudly, if will 1 pirate per thousand others, whose will end in the jail (a loser).

Other problem is that law is everytime, delayed after rational facts, centuries/decades after, which usualy doesnt too much matters, because, laws are forming for long time, in this age emerged something new, new technology, come realy quickly and law should be quickly, strongly reformed - non usual situation => problems.

Think that we need some new wave, person, as were american GNU guys or Linus for Open source, free software etc.. for new strong software laws reform, because is simply impossible close 60 percent of population in the jail. We could we hypocrites or fix it. Because world goverments are realy good in hypocrity, just look around the world, there are biggest cases.

Quick list what must to change:
- prices per country -> in some countries are people force to piracy, or they have worst cultural life, less food for soul, less knowlegde, worst life etc.. They are literaly slaves of riches countries citizens.
- less prices for childs - software is free or fragment prize for childs, now is possible verify easy age of child in some DB.
- less prices in general, specialy for digital distrubition, 60 bucks (15 years old cartel, if you release game for 15 usd in this age it must be crapp, because good game cost 60 - non sense), maybe 15
- limit copyright law, 70 years, is crapp, 10 or 15 years after software should be abandoware, after 25 source codes must be released
- patents - should be very limited is good for society, we should cooperate (there is power of humans, human group), or should be canibalistic hyenas, im for first possibility
- limit profit tapping / screwing - it sounds very communictic, non capitalistic, but its true, that wery good SW product make in first months lots of money (its ok, its good), but problem is that price of this product falls slowly than price of other no such good product... great example is Blizzard games, 10 years old games still cost 20 bucks. There should be limit, like, ok you maked 20 times more that you invest in deveploment, its is enough, do some new product, because you are saturated and socienty will it receive in 3 years for free (buyers still have advantage of use product at time). Other limit style can be no more than 10 buck for 5 years old game etc.

I now my list is very idealic, it will be long way, but this should be our target.

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

davyK's picture
Joined: 05/21/2006
The piracy bit was

The piracy bit was interesting enough - but I share Shane's dread of the death of physical media -I don't think we will have it for 20 years as he states (though I agree with his reasoning). Even looking at Dreamcast and how sad it is that the online bit (such as it was) is long gone sets down a marker. How much would it cost to host the servers to keep those old games going? A modern server could handle those games with ease yet there's no will to do it from the supplier (OK Sega imploded but still) yet fans are somehow reverse engineering the servers and DC Phantasy Star Online, Quake 3 Arena and Starlancer are STILL playable online after a fashion.

More modern games are having the online element dropped alarmingly quickly - I personally wouldn't invest in any game that has a significant online element which really means I can't see me buying too much as time progresses unless there is some arrangement whereby the online servers can be maintained through some sort of retainer agreement by either 1st or 3rd parties. How likely is that !!! Pigs will fly first.

Paul H
Joined: 10/11/2011
Did you use a different

Did you use a different camera or encoding software than you've been using lately? Something seemed different about the youtube video quality from a technical perspective.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
As far as I know it's the

As far as I know it's the same. Unless you're talking about Shane's video feed, which wasn't the best quality unfortunately.

Paul H
Joined: 10/11/2011
Everything is fine on your end.

I checked out the "HD" version on youtube and it looks normal. I typically just use the embedded youtube link on the homepage and don't mess with any settings, so maybe youtube decided to drop the bitrate on the lower-quality versions.

ruthan's picture
Joined: 01/22/2012

About quality, you still can make burgers, you are still can to be millionaire, if you want, it cost only our mortal soul, all what you have :)
To say true, for me was quality in you book History.., because it was deeper, in these videos is simple less import though or facts and are packaged in jokes, video footages and another, i must name it sauce, but its still good for timekiller, when im too much tired ist better usual telesivion, radio etc.

About Maiden, i have few ten years older friends, whose still life in pass, but heavy metal was defeated by thash metal, after came black and death to defeated thash. Death is now deading is without significant invence, but from it came my beloved doom, but still 15 years death. Now ruling black, because has everything - death voice, clear voice, woman voice, classical instruments, extreme instrumens, el.piano everything is allowed as tools, but must be used to create of desired dark atmosfere (there is the key), if now it simply this genre, it doenst matter that childhood of this genre was crapp, now real good musicians are in.

Dont forget, that virtual show suicide could be also victory :)

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

David Barbour
Joined: 04/05/2012
Here's to the next 150. Best

Here's to the next 150.

Best show on youtube


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