Wut R U Playn? – THE SHIFT

I have to preface this by saying that this is part of a much bigger picture that we hope to reveal as staff in the very near future. To be a part of this community now will prove to be very rewarding when that time comes. Now is as good a time as ever to be a SMYNja.

I mentioned last night was the “end of an era” for SMYN, as it were. That is, it was the last episode with all of its sections intact and enclosed in one podcast. In two weeks, we will have our E3 call-in show. Two weeks after that will be the post-E3 show. However, the week after that (say June 16th-ish) will bring about a new shift.

Show Me Your News is not going away as a podcast, but instead being re-purposed in a way. Some listeners do enjoy the 150-minute length, but it really turns a lot of new listeners off. If this community is going to grow again, a line has to be drawn, or we risk losing it for good. Therefore, SMYN will remain a bi-weekly podcast that specifically covers the latest video game news – ideally with the Headlines, Out Recently, Soapbox, and Thought segments. As a result, the show will be leaner and hopefully will target about a 90-minute length.

However, a new podcast will rise as a result of this from the SMYN team, called Wut R U Playn? (WRUP). These will take place during SMYN’s off-weeks, will be more flexible in terms of hosts, and will be more relaxed and tangential, yet with that air of professionalism we like to maintain. Episodes will include the Wut R U Playn section from SMYN, with no restrictions on length to move on with the rest of the show, and will bring back Mailtime, along with Quotable Quotes and YouTube Recommendations. I don’t like calling it a “spin-off” show, because nothing has really changed as far as content goes. It’s the same direction, just on a different week. Again, estimated duration for this should be about 90 minutes as well.

Rationally, nothing is being lost here. We are not cutting any segments – in fact we’ll be gaining Mailtime once again. As part of the SMYN team, we are now delivering weekly content, instead of having a down week, yet we are keeping things intact. With these estimations, you are getting approximately an hour and a half of content every week, as opposed to two and a half hours every two weeks. Please feel free to comment about this change in this thread, remember that nothing is perfectly set in stone, and it won’t even be happening until after E3 is over. However, the most important thing to consider is that THIS IS PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER…

Last night in our Skype chat, some fans expressed some concerns which I might as well tackle here:

– “What is going to happen with guests? Would they feel cheated for being on ‘half’ a podcast?”
This is an interesting question, but it does have various ways of being solved. If we do land “big-name” guests again, I would rather have them be on WRUP, which is more conducive to asking what they’ve been doing lately in the video game world, plus the hosts and fans get to interview them in Mailtime. For SMYNjas who have wanted to be guests for a long time now though, having them on consecutive WRUP and SMYN episodes is certainly not out of the question, if scheduling allows for it. These two podcasts will still work very closely together, but will achieve different purposes in essentially different parts.

– “Isn’t WRUP infringing on what Read the Manual already does?”
Not really. WRUP is more for video gaming and the more fan-centric side of the SMYN community with Mailtime. Read the Manual does a great job covering all sorts of topics, from TV, to music, to anime, and even video games. Similarities can be drawn, I suppose, but I believe the differences are certainly very distinct.

– “Wut R U Playn is a useless segment anyway, so it doesn’t deserve its own podcast.”
Not necessarily true. The segment on the show not only is a great marker for listening to old episodes, where we were in our gaming histories, but there’s nothing really wrong about hearing about old games. I personally see a lot of value in hearing about these kinds of games, so that I may be swayed enough to add it to my backlog. Also, hearing that I’ve convinced people to play games such as Persona or Mass Effect and they’ve really enjoyed them is very rewarding to me. I would rather not rob anyone else of that experience, to learn something new about past video games. If that lacks value for you, I’m sorry. But with a podcast based on this, we get to maximize the potential of this kind of information to most of our listeners, who do care.

– “What about new game releases? Those are still pretty important!”
Out Recently will still be covered in Show Me Your News. If we have anyone who has played the game on that episode, we will certainly discuss it there, if it is not big enough to make a headline. Of course, guests are still welcome to discuss the new games they have been playing in WRUP.

– “Youko is now doing weekly work, which I think is crazy.”
Yeah, perhaps. I’ve handled the work transition pretty well so far and I hope to do so with more efficiency in the future. If things get too overwhelming though, I can certainly back off of WRUP, if need be. That show will have more flexibility, in terms of hosts, anyway. Also, editing audio is not that time-consuming for me, as long as it has been recorded well.

– “The entire SMYN thing needs to either reformat completely, or go on an undetermined hiatus.”
Here’s the problem, though. By reformatting SMYN, you LOSE THINGS in the process. This trims up SMYN to a leaner format, keeps everything else in WRUP, and even adds Mailtime back again. Also, an undetermined hiatus solves absolutely nothing. In five years, the only distinct hiatus we’ve had was the burnout from the video podcast. In fact, burnout should be the only reason for a hiatus, not to “preserve things.” Or do we all not remember what happened the last time we unintentionally gave the impression that we had dropped off the face of the earth (hint: three letters)?

– “The podcast will fall apart in this format. You are going to ruin its name because of this.”
This does not make any sense to me at all. Refining things, providing more content, and not losing any segments in the process sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Show Me Your News was a podcast ONLY ABOUT BRAWL at one point. And then we changed ENTIRELY to a general gaming podcast. Think about that for a second! MLG may have “ruined our name” by making it seem like we had stopped entirely, but getting better at what we do will not “ruin our name.” In fact, I can PROMISE you that with the bigger-picture plans we have in store, the SMYN brand is going to carry quite a bit of weight.

– “What will happen once Smash 4 news comes back?”
Why, look at that! Refining what the Show Me Your News podcast does only allows for greater flexibility once that happens. That, and we have that distinct name and brand for Smash fans to come back to.

This is just the beginning of something with [b]great potential[/b]. I look forward to hearing your responses, both positive and negative, so that we can tailor an experience for both long-time SMYNjas and brand new listeners.