Am I trying to be controversial?

I’ve been creating videos on YouTube since 2008,  and I’ve made many friends.  I’ve grown to really appreciate the gaming community on YouTube, and understand that sometimes seeing feedback may not always be rainbows and butterflies.  Recently I’ve noticed that several of my videos have been considered by some “controversial”. To the point where I’ve noticed a significant thumbs down and even a few people unsubbing my channel.

The first video that I uploaded several weeks ago that got a lot of heat was a video talking about a new game I’m working on with CollectorVision Games called Justice Beaver.  In the video I talked about a funding campaign for those who are interested  where they can preorder through Indiegogo.

The game initially started off as a Rick Dangerous clone.  Some people weren’t pleased by this decision to do this and called it “lazy” etc.  I had some people call me an “eBegger” or “Sellout”.  We listened to the feedback, and we decided to go back to the drawing board and make this game 100% original, yet the hate still came. In the end the game will be a better game, but it’s disheartening to see people hate on something that I’ve worked hard on along with my team at CollectorVision Games.

Link to Indiegogo page here:

The other video was a video I posted where I had lent my video camera to my good friend Joe Cody while we were up at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo.  He had plans to drive from Portland through Nevada, and finally end up in Phoenix, AZ where he lives.  On this journey he was going to pick up some games, because that’s what he does for a living; he buys and sells video games.  I felt this would make for an interesting video because it’s game hunting done from a different perspective. Mind you I was not apart of this trip, yet the hate still came.

I’ve been doing this long enough that I have a really thick skin. I’ve had people call me every name in the dictionary, and that doesn’t bother me.  I appreciate and respect everyone’s opinions and  I understand that everyone has different thoughts about videos.

In regards to the Justice Beaver, the hate was a little surprising.  I’m not forcing anyone to buy a copy by all means, and I’m not sure how what I’m doing with CollectorVision affects some people so personally.  It’s as if every time I talk about a game I’m working on, there are those who just bash it no matter what.  Will this prevent me working on new games? No, actually it motivates me to want to work harder on them.

I can understand a little more with the “Ultimate Game Hunt” video.  I had a feeling that some people may not appreciate Joe and his team’s approach to buying games.  One thing that I didn’t make clear at all was that at the beginning of the video at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, they were buying those games in bulk at the very last hour of the convention.  Most vendors don’t want to carry all of those games home, so if they go unsold, they are often times happy to buy at a discounted bulk rate.

There are many industries that have a buy/sell middle man so to speak.  Playing cards, toys, music, cars and even homes have people who go in and buy cheap and resell later to people who are willing to pay the market value.

Keep in mind that it’s the buyer who sets the demand for a product and the buyer who determines the prices that they sell for.  Joe and his team buy games in places that people aren’t buying them, and then sells them to gamers who are willing to pay for them because they are unable to get them otherwise.  It’s not evil, but it’s economics. We as gamers/collectors may not appreciate the tactics, but I can’t blame Joe for selling games to make a living.  I wanted to post a game finding video from a different perspective rather than from a gamer/collector perspective.

Bottom line I appreciate the YouTube gaming community, and particularly the ones who support my show and who are subscribed to it.  I certainly haven’t meant to ruffle any feathers, and I’m sorry to see so much hate recently.  Looking back on it and I wouldn’t have changed anything at all.  There have been many supporters for both videos as well, so I don’t want to just focus on the negativities.  At the end of the day I still enjoy making videos and being a part of a great community, even if sometimes they can be brutal.

About Gamester81

John “Gamester81” Lester started playing video games at a very young age. His first ever console that he played was a Colecovision, quickly followed by an Atari 2600, and his passion for video games hasn’t stopped. In 2008 John decided to start a video game review show on YouTube called Gamester81 by reviewing rare and retro video game systems and games. His show quickly grew in popularity, and he became friends with many other gamers in the YouTube community.

He is also one of the hosts of the All Gen Gamers Podcast which is a bimonthly podcast for people and video games of all generations.

Some of John’s other hobbies includes collecting Star Wars memorabilia (YouTube channel Starwarsnut77), playing classic arcade games (YouTube channel Gamester81Arcade), watching sports, and listening to music. John is a big fan of the 80’s and 90’s and in 2009 started a YouTube channel called NEStalgiaholic where he talks about nostalgic items and memories from his childhood.

To see some of John’s video’s in 3D visit his YouTube channel Gamester81in3D.

Favorite Systems: Colecovision, Commodore 64, NES, & SNES.

Favorite Games: Donkey Kong Arcade, Atari Star Wars Arcade, Super Mario 3, Final Fantasy II, & Goldeneye 007

  • I’m not sure why you were getting hate about the game. I think working on games like that are cool! Far as the video game guys I commented on that on YouTube. No hate towards those guys, they need to make a living as well and put food on the table. That’s good to know it was near the end though. Like I said on YouTube families come to these conventions to have a great time and if resellers come in the beginning to buy everything up what’s the point of going? Then tickets don’t sell nobody will want to come and the convention shuts down. That was my only concern :). No worries John you Rock!

  • FatherBrain

    I think you’re a good guy John. I DO wish you would be more careful about pushing your home-brew stuff. We trust you for reviews and impressions, but your home-brew stuff is a one way street. That said, you seem like a genuine guy, and I like your stuff. -Eric

  • Michael

    Personally, I love your videos, and really enjoy when you have Joe on the show. It is a business, and a tough one, and I was very interested to see them at work. Personally I do prefer when you keep your Collectorvision videos seperate from your Gamester videos, if that makes any sense, but I can’t fathom why that would get you hate mail. Joe is good at his job, and I found the video no different than watching a series about pawn shops and such, you find the best deals you can when you buy and when you sell, seems a no brainer to me. Also, Justice Beaver looks to be awesome…so ignore them. If anything, I am jealous you guys get to make games on these classic systems lol.

  • Clay Cromer

    Don’t let it get you down John. Some people don’t do well with good will towards others. Same thing happens on My gaming channel when I do a spotlight video to help out smaller channels. I get a load of flack over that & people unsub. But I tend to look at it this way. If a person would unsub me for helping out another person. Then that is the kind of person I don’t want subbed to my channel. Keep up the great work John & don’t let this kind of negativity get to you. Like My dad always said. You can’t please everybody.. but everybody can’t please you either.

  • Kyle325

    I guess some people dont get that Joe is getting these games into peoples hands that want them, and helping give the games and consoles good homes. Otherwise, they’d just be sitting around unused. Anyone who cant get past that is being a bit narrow minded I believe.
    I like Joes buisness and I like seeing these things on Gamester’s channel.

  • WillOhio

    Don’t change a thing Jon. For whatever reason there will always be people who have extreme aversions to everything, and what’s worse, instead of it just being their problem, they will spill their hatred and bile out to infect others, feeling the extreme need to speak their mind and try to make the problem bigger. Actually the “unsubscribers” is maybe best because it weeds out people whom genuinely aren’t interested in everything you offer, maybe only one part. To each their own. You can’t please everyone all the time. Nor should you try.
    You discussing your own projects in the Retrogaming world, something very specific to the heart of this channel, is right on topic. Kudo’s to you and your team for wanting to keep the revival going for the older systems. I think it’s amazing how much love their still is for these machines, that people are actually willing to create new material for them. And you choosing the title you did, and the the initial reasoning, i looked at as imitation being the biggest form of flattery. It’s not like you are trying to reinvent the wheel. Hell, Big Game studios are even terrified to do that (hence the reason for the churning out of sequel after sequel and now rehashing old-retro titles). Why anyone would react so violently to it in a negative way, is beyond me, probably because I do not think that way, and nor does a large majority of your subscribers.
    I found the candid journalistic sort of approach to the Atari2600 guys “Week in the Life” really fascinating. I am surprised they were as candid as they were with the negotiating. Very cool, interesting stuff man. Thank you so much for doing that! I am always curious how that worked. How people came out of that thinking they are potentially ripping people off is beyond me. It smacks of a bit of ignorance. But that’s the world. There are a lot of people unfamiliar with exactly how things work. And to each his own. IT’s good to have an opinion.
    Like me. And I am sharing mine. A Positive one. Keep up the good work Jon. You, Jason, MetalJesus Jason, Lord Karnage and a couple others are keeping the torch lit for us Retrogamers. You all seem to present the hobby in a friendly and honest manor. You can’t go to wrong with that approach.

    Now get back to work on that game! Quit worrying about the nay-Sayers.

    • John Gamester

      Thanks man!

  • Geoffrey Davey

    First of all, John, I want to say thanks for the effort you put into the video and the site. I know there are a lot of haters out there but I wanted to say your work is appreciated.

    I was one of the people grousing about what I saw in “Ultimate Game Hunt” but I can’t really blame those guys. Hell, I admire their entrepreneurial spirit.

    However, whether it’s old video games, tea cups, or amiibos; a big part of why we collect is the thrill of finding something special in the wild.

    When Joe and his team go on a multi-city tour, they are scooping up many of those “wild gems.” The problem isn’t Joe alone…. its that there are HUNDREDS of people like Joe. The internet has created this culture of people who buy things and flip them, honestly I think most of the time all its doing is adding more middle men and driving up the costs. I see guys at target buying 5 Villager Amiibos, cleaning off the racks so they can go home and ebay them at huge mark-ups.

    It’s for these reasons that people get their panties twisted when we watch Joe with his huge truck of games.

    Anyways, disagreement is one thing, but don’t let the haters get to you. Just food for thought.

    • John Gamester

      Very well said, and I agree with you.

  • “In the end the game will be a better game, but it’s disheartening to
    see people hate on something that I’ve worked hard on along with my team
    at CollectorVision Games.”

    That’s one of the negative things about game creation. I too was a victim of this as I made a shoot-em-up but it was accused of plagiarizing. I spent months working on that game and it’s heartbreaking to hear someone tear it in a few minutes. Regardless, you are right in that you must persevere. Hating is easy with no payout and working on a game is long and arduous but when you succeed, the payout outshines any hatred anyone can dish out.

    • John Gamester

      Good point man, and thanks. What was your game called?

  • Bruiser

    Is John Gamester 81 trying to be too nice? I think you’ll find the verdict is… guilty. Not sure where I am going with this, umm, cool, calm and ultimately interesting look at the trials you have at the moment… But you’re one of the biggest faces of Retro gaming on YouTube. Your videos show up in nearly every one of my searches and perhaps the attention is annoying, but your hard work and your message is getting out there.
    Gamester81 won’t be remembered for having one episode about resellers or pitching a game some people disagree with, your successes and the community you built will outlast these hurdles.

    • John Gamester

      Thank you man.

  • Calaca Boy

    I think what’s going on here is that a lot of people are so used to YouTube being a place to see free videos. The notion that suddenly they would need to pay for something upsets them.