Brendan Keogh

is creating critical let's play videos




per video


Hello! My name is Brendan Keogh. I'm a videogame critic and academic from Melbourne, Australia. You might have seen my writing on Unwinnable, Edge, Polygon, Overland, Ars Technica, or somewhere else. Maybe you read this book-length piece of criticism I wrote on Spec Ops: The Line called Killing is Harmless.

I recently used this Patreon page to create a "Critical Let's Play" video series of the Modern Warfare trilogy of games, and I really enjoyed doing that. I thought it would be good if there was a way for people to be able to support me while I do this, because videogame criticism is important and the people who make it deserve to be supported. Now that I have finished that series, I am going to use this Patreon page to continue making Critical Let's Play videos of other games!

What's a Critical Let's Play video? It's somewhere between a video essay about a game, and a normal Let's Play video. In my first series, I played through the single-player campaigns of all three Modern Warfare games, while talking about them in a critical and analytical sense. I didn't just react to the games, but talked about particular, moment-to-moment design and storytelling decisions. So whereas a written essay (my usual line of work) would allow me to talk about the games in broad strokes, what these video series let me do is get into the fine-grain of what I find interesting about these games (while also connecting these grains to the broader themes). Things like how a particular corridor is shaped to direct the player's gaze at a certain scene, or the way the music shifts over the course of a single stage, or the way a stage in a later game references a stage in an earlier game. 

What games are you going to play? I've already played through the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare trilogy, and you can see those videos here. For my next game, I've already started recording a playthrough of Max Payne 3 (now being uploaded here), which is a game I find incredibly interesting for its level of polish and the general rhythm of the game. After that, I am thinking of doing something a little bit more obscure and strange by playing through Binary Domain, a Japanese cover shooter full of fascinating themes and characters. After that, we'll see where things take me. After those two games, I will probably put it up to a vote to my Patrons to decide what games I do next. 

In addition to playing through full games, I would also like to do other videos where I maybe just play one chapter of a game, or just move around an open-world game for a while so I can talk about that environment. For instance, I would really like to record a single video where I drive across the barren wasteland that is Fuel's open world. Or maybe play some indie games, like Proteus, which would only require a single episode or two. 

So How's This Going To Work? Well. I will play through the games and create videos that are at least 20-30 minutes in length (sometimes they might be longer), that I will then add to a YouTube playlist. There will be a break between each game while I go off and record the next game, and I will provide plenty of warning in case you have no interest in whatever I am doing next and want to remove your patronage. When I am uploading new episodes, I am going to continue to upload a new video twice weekly (once on Sundays and once on Wednesdays). Other individual videos about other games might appear around these videos.

So I am asking for patrons to pledge an amount per video, which I will be posting in bursts (quite frequently for a while, then none for a while). Patreon doesn't allow you to pledge less than $1 a video but you can, of course, also use the monthly cap option if you wanted to pledge less per video. For instance, a $5 monthly cap would mean you are giving me less than $1 per video, which would be totally fine! 

When Will You Start? I am currently recording some videos for Max Payne 3, and I plan to start uploading those in December, probably. I am deliberately waiting a while before I upload these so that my existing Patrons have a chance to withdraw their pledges since this project was exclusively about Modern Warfare when they came onboard. 

What's With That $100 Goal? So a few people asked me if I was going to put subtitles on my Modern Warfare videos. This is something I simply don't have time to do myself, sadly, but I'm paying somebody some of the money I made from doing that series to slowly do that. But this is something I'ld like to formalise with future videos. So once this Patreon gets to $100 per video, I will either start using a percentage of that money to pay someone to implement the subtitles on each video in a timely fasion, or find the time to do it myself. 

So that is that! If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me either on Twitter or via email. I have also archived the old version of this Patreon page here, from when it was just for my Modern Warfare Critical Let's Play series.
$16 of $100 per video
I want to be able to pay somebody (or find the time myself) to put subtitles on all the videos I create. If I am making this much per video, I can justify using some of that to go towards making this happen.
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