How did I miss this? "Doctor Sparkle" makes hi-quality free videos about video games. Specifically, he’s made a series of videos playing EVERY game made for the NES/Famicom, in chronological order. And they’re good!


Link to download episodes:

These videos are quiet and scholarly, completely unlike anything you’d see on G4TV or (God help us) SpikeTV. I like them; I’d PAY for them; and that…brings me to the true point of this post. Serendipity has resolved two huge problems in this case:

—–1) How do Doctor Sparkle and I connect? He made something for me, something I’d really like to know about and consume. I really want to find things like this. Why didn’t I know about this sooner? I stood a good chance of never finding out at all.

I found out about Chrontendo from a Metafilter post here:

Many would say that things are working as they should. I plugged into an aggregator site, and found what I wanted. If I wanted it better/timelier/surer, I should plug into better aggregators. And that’s somewhat true. But it’s not just about me or him alone. For the consumer and the creator to get together, we expect the creator to be a savvy salesperson, AND we expect the consumer to be a maven. If either wants to just be himself/herself, well, tough.

The future is today, and we were SUPPOSED to have autonomous agents that would actively seek out this stuff, and bring it back to us (remember? Remember the digital dog commercials?) Mebbe that has to be thrown into the same bin as flying cars and moon bases. 🙁

—–2) How does Doctor Sparkle get paid? His power to make and transmit his product is greater than ever, but he’s got two huge barriers still to overcome.

One is copyright. He’s making a derivative work of huge amounts of content, content owned by many different entities. Although theoretically he’s free to create this work (since he’s making something new and different from the original works, and not using too much of the original work) and sell it too, in reality any rights-holder can effectively shut him down quickly and permanently. This is stupid, of course. His work is a gift to the rights-holders, even if he makes money. I blame Mickey Mouse. Seriously.

The other is payment. I’ve been saying for years that all TV advertising should go away, and I should just pay $1-2 for every episode of everything I see. And the tech and infrastructure is moving inexorably in that direction. But it’s not moving fast enough for me. is one place that gets it; I buy all my Cinematic Titanic episodes from them. But for every open structure like EZTakes, there’s an iTunes, selling me movies I can’t watch on my bigscreen (unless I shell out for Apple TV, instead of my Tivo), or Tivo, selling me movies I can’t watch on my iPhone. Get with it guys! The future is now! (And the answer isn’t monopoly!)

Win a $100 gift card!

I’m trying something new, over at

I’m enticing people to give me feedback on my game Planetary Governor by offering them a chance to win a $100 gift card. If I had the money, I’d pay hourly for game testers, but then I’d be more than an indie/auteur game developer, wouldn’t I?

I’ll post further as a get results (one way or another) on this experiment.

Brand Gamblin

Brand Gamblin is a friend of mine. We worked together at Acclaim back about 8 years ago. I also helped him start his "Calls For Cthulhu" project ( . Since then we’ve both left Austin, and chased our muses in different directions.

Brand worked with Sid Meier on…CivRev, got divorced, and started writing. He won NaNoWriMo twice in a row, and published his first book, Tumbler (

Did I mention Brand is an accomplished stage actor, too? And he’s just as good at programming and designing games as I?

Brand is awesome. Buy his book. Play CivRev. Watch "Calls For Cthulhu". You’ll be glad you did.http://www.callsforcthu……