I first met Rum when I worked at Gamestop; he was an honest customer who wanted to speak to an honest employee. I stepped-up and the rest is history, and ever since I have been tuning into his shows. He probably doesn't remember this, but it happened—I promise.
"Back in the day being a gamer meant you were a social outcast and gamers came together to avoid judgment, to enjoy something collectively with others. Now it seems that gamers are the ones casting judgment over others."
Ciel: So let's begin by having you tell me who Rum is, that is to say what motivates the Rumandapples Show? What is it all about?
Rum: The Rumandapples Show was originally a one time deal. Due to people becoming interested in the show I realized I should press forward with it. It continues to evolve as I do along with it. My motivation is basic and unexciting, to be quite honest; I enjoy talking about video games and giving my honest opinion. I give my honest outlook on the gaming industry, community and the games we play. I never wanted to be the guy with a million subscribers or fans with nothing to say. I only want to be myself. It is very boring, I know.
Ciel: Your honesty is something I have always liked about your show; its why I listen to it in the first place. It never comes off as whining or entitled. A lot of broadcasters have this problem. How do you manage to stay objective and level-headed despite the general disappointment you may feel toward a particular product, company, and so forth? Now I say listen because unlike a lot of broadcasters you refuse to "show" yourself—which we will get into later, I promise.
Rum: How I stay objective is that I try to look at things from multiple perspectives not just mine. Not sounding whiny or entitled is pretty easy. I do not put all my stock into video games it is a very small part of my life that I have been very blessed with being able to reach people who enjoy my thoughts and opinions. Yes it is not easy to covey disappointment without sounding like a cry-baby, but it really comes down to having a good reason why you do not like something.
Ciel: And I think that's it. Your videos, that is to say your opinions, seem less driven by impulse. You do not rush to make a video, get hits, and move on. So I'm wondering what the process is like for you then in regards to writing and preforming for your show.
Rum: I refuse to show myself simply because my personal life is no one's business. That is not said in malice. Besides, does what I look like have any actual impact on what I say? No, it does not. My videos are not made on impulsive decisions. I take lots of time to look over a new game or something happening in the industry, it really comes down to what I have to say and do. I think this provides validity and substance not just for me, but for others as well.
Ciel: Now I know you have an opinion on those that do show their face. And I have to ask, what is it? Putting you on the spot here. In other words, how do you feel about people who show themselves? I am under the impression that they rely more on their 'presence' as stars or whatever rather than the content they present. To me, showing yourself allows you to be lazy.
Rum: I think for some people the way they convey themselves is from a more visual presentation standpoint, others will use their so called "silly" or the tired-ass 'random' aspect to draw in people. This way of doing things does not contain substance; it is all just flash-in-the-pan nonsense that people lose interest in over time. I try to keep my focus on what I am doing and where I can go next in the years to come.
Ciel: Before I touch on a question raised there, I want to address an issue you're always talking about as I think in some way, it ties into this whole YouTube, media phenomenon.
In Episode 48 (look at me, doing my research) you briefly talked about your love/hate relationship with gaming. And I'm right there with you. So I have two questions. What is by your lights a bigger issue: games or those who play them? It seems like a happy Rum is a sort of rare thing and you are always somewhat disappointed in either a company for ethical reasons or disappointed in a game for a variety of reasons. So what is it that keeps you coming back—that gives you hope that gaming can get better?
Certainly neither of us would complain about something if we did not care about it. I guess the bigger question I'm asking is: why do you care? Other than of course, it being an interest of yours (because ultimately you stand to lose only a hobby).
"Hah! Nintendo most likely would hate my show and me. I think any company would hate someone like me..."
Rum: The issue is both inside the games that companies are putting out these days and the gamers who play them. When it comes to the games we get, you can just look at the laundry list of remasters, remakes, constant franchising where it is not needed. Additionally companies give us games that look great but lack anything worth replaying a second time. With gamers I think we just need to readjust our attitude towards others in general. Back in the day, being a gamer meant you were a social outcast and gamers came together to avoid judgment, to enjoy something collectively with others. Now it seems that gamers are the ones casting judgment over others.
There is no simple solution to the problems in gaming. We as consumers need to remain critical in order to get the best possible game that $60 can buy. Anyone who has a job or has real bills to pay understands my feelings. Gaming companies need to stop treating gamers like wallets with legs but that cannot happen unless we respond to companies and not buy into their horses**t they call advertisement. What keeps me coming back to gaming is hope. I hope that gaming gets better. I do not think what I say or my opinion is going to change anyone“s mind, but at the least it might help them see a different side of the sphere and maybe look into it for themselves
To answer your other question on whether me being happy about a game is rare, you're right—it is rare when I am satisfied with a product. Maybe I am getting old or maybe I just look at the bigger picture differently. Gaming could make me happy if people stopped buying into hype. If people and companies stopped this day 1 DLC nonsense. The overblown amount of money companies spend to promote a game is notworth half that much, etc..
Ciel: On that note, do you care to join me in a moment of complaint over the new and 'free' Battlefront DLC? I am not sure if you have heard but players will be getting 'free' DLC a month after Battlefront launches.
This DLC is the planet from the new film... which... also comes out a month after the game. Meaning this 'free' DLC that they are using to help promote the game and themselves is already made—and probably already on the disc— and is only being given to gamers a month later as to avoid spoilers for the film. I am sure "space battles" will be paid DLC as part of the premium package battlepack-ghost protocol-grabbag that you can only get if you pre-order the game and the season pass.
"Gaming companies need to stop treating gamers like wallets with legs, but that cannot happen unless we respond to companies and not buy into their horses**t..."
Rum: The free DLC is nothing more than lackluster way to promote the movie that most people who buy Battlefront are likely to see anyways. The game is not going to drive people to theaters at least it won't for me. It would not surprise me one bit to see a paid DLC option to gain access to full fledged space battles that used to be free in previous installments.
Ciel: Speaking of potentially stupid company moves. Where do you stand on the whole YouTube/Nintendo debate? I made a blog post about it that ended rather inconclusively, and my primary concern was the hypocrisy of the whole "greed argument" and YouTubers calling out "greedy Nintendo" when in fact them not being able to post Nintendo videos results in less hits, less views, and ultimately less money. So the greedy guy is calling out the greedy guy and the whole thing confuses me to no end.
Rum: I can understand the â€œgreed argumentâ€ to a degree, and while Nintendo should of at the least adjusted their stance on YouTubers using their games to make their own content, I think that it is kind of sad Nintendo does not see the obvious assistance that free promotion, via YouTubers, can provide. This could make sales for their products go up considering all the money issues and commercial failures Nintendo has been having. Nintendo is an odd one to say the least.
Ciel: I mean, I am sure you can talk about Nintendo; you just cannot show Nintendo products. YouTubers assume that the only way to 'advertise' a product or talking about it is to 'show it.' See what I mean? Lazy. But hey, I will digress so we do not linger here. I am pretty sure Nintendo would have no problem with your show.
Rum: Hah! Nintendo most likely would hate my show and me. I think any company would hate someone like me due to the fact that I am a very hard apple to please when it comes to video games. But I talk about Nintendo all the time on my show and I do not require Nintendo footage to do so. A lot of people tend to follow trends or look at what they know is successful and that“s not the way to go. You have to be yourself and enjoy what you do; people pick up on bulls**t they can sense it.
Ciel: What is Rum's favorite game? Do you prefer to talk about products you like or things you dislike? There always seems to be this undertone to your videos that is trying to steer gamers away from their habits. Habits of which have made me cringe when people call me a 'gamer.' Habits that make me say, "I play video games—a lot, probably more than a 'gamer.' But, I am not a gamer."
Your show advocates for a sort of image change if you will, but nothing that is too overbearing to the point of being paternal. Do you feel like it is more effective to discuss what is wrong with gaming or what is good about it?
Rum: To pick one game as my favorite is unfair to some great games out there. I enjoy retro titles like Flight of The Amazon Queen, Full Throttle, Contra and the like. When it comes to current games today? The picking is very slim but I can say that Sunset Overdrive is something I can manage to enjoy because it is pretty much human pinball with guns. Oh, and Payday 2.
I do not intentionally try to talk about all the negatives in gaming but they are very apparent and I feel many of the topics I talk about are ones others do not care to discuss. The last thing I want to come off as is paternal. I think the audience I have enjoys me picking at the things gamers do that make us all look like jackasses. When it comes to effectiveness it is a mix bag really. All in all, I always go by the formula of my honest opinion because whether someone agrees or not they will appreciate and respect the honesty you put into it.
Ciel: Do you feel that the reason people do not discuss the topics you do (or even in the way that you do) is because they have a larger audience to lose? Most people start on a gimmick and fail to deviate. The apple cores of the world—the apple nation if you will—is no doubt growing and I think that is because you have a human presence that most 'educated' gamers are able to relate to, are able to have meaningful discussion with. You certainly provide some type of insight and your videos generate a decent amount of thought.
Understanding this, what does the future of the show look like? Do you envision a large Rum and Apples website where apple-cores can get together or are you more inclined to leave their discussions to YouTube, Twitter, etc.?
Rum: I am sure with some very successful YouTubers that have cultivated a certain gimmick they cannot deviate from because they will lose subscribers but that is their own fault. They decided to convey themselves with an on-screen persona that does not allow them to touch on certain topics. My thought was always f**k a gimmick, why bother? It is just a character; it is not really yourself. If people like or dislike me, let them do it because of my real thoughts and opinions not something I doctor up because it will get me views.
I love my apple cores; they are not only vocal and opinionated, but they are very intelligent to boot and I don't say that to make myself feel good; it is just a fact like the sky on Earth is blue. They tell me when they disagree, when they agree, and what they feel. It is good to inspire discussion and debate about the things we love in a neutral forum where you can get your point across and the discussion does not turn into adults arguing like five-year olds.
When it comes to a website of my own, it is not time just yet. I get featured on GTN Gaming Tech News, Blackout Media, and now this lovely interview piece with Game Podunk. When enough people start asking me about it, I can then seriously consider making one.
Ciel: I mean I could easily keep you here, but I think with that we will kind of wrap it up. Is there any sort of final thing you want to sign off with? What's up next for you? What topics in the gaming world are currently of interest.
Rum: Thank you for the interview first and foremost; I am actually surprised anyone would want to. Secondly I want to thank the applecores who believe in me and continue to be a source of inspiration. What is next for Rumandapples? I will continue to do the Rumandapples Show every Monday and â€œAcross The Pondâ€ with @Roshu666 every Friday and of course I still host the Hour of Blackout Podcast.
Other than that I have been asked to play some games lately so I will be tossing that on my channel as well. Gaming topics in general: I want to see what happens to Nintendo in the long run, Konami and their strange idea to continue the Metal Gear Solid series even with the original people responsible for it gone by next year, how cyber-crime will continue to be handled in the future (i.e. swatting and ddosing). I could go on forever...
Ciel: Awesome. Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time.
Rum: No problem brotha man.