Tag Archives: Discord

blog: Internet Friends

A few years ago we were streaming out some Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds to our gigantic audience of like 4 people, when one of the folks in our chat blindsided us with a simple request: “Can I join you?” It was a request that more experienced streamers would not engage with at all, but like a house of cards our convictions came crumbling down in an instant. Our inexperience laid bare and our judgment dissolved, we let them join us — live and unvetted. Of all the ways that story could have ended, I would not have expected it to end with us having excellent chemistry with what would become a really good friend, which is exactly what happened.

But that story is an outlier and represents the only time in my life that I’ve ever made an ‘internet friend’, and they kind of forced my hand cause I didn’t know how to say, “nah, we’re good,” in the middle of a stream. Like, they could have hopped on our stream and just said the most horrendous shit they could imagine, but instead they were extremely cool. It all worked out, but it’s made me think about all of the online communities I’ve avoided and the connections I never made, mostly because of a crippling social anxiety.

It’s weird to me that in an age where internet anonymity emboldened people to be as vile and repugnant as possible, that I can’t muster the courage to interact with people online. I think my fear comes from that ’emboldened asshole’ thing though, cause while I’m not the type to engage with folks online whether it be positively or negatively, I worry everyone else is gonna be really shitty to me the second I open my mouth.

I see people engaging with each other inside of games, on social media or over Discord, basking in the glow of their shared interests and I wish I had that. I wish I had a place that I could log into and just kind nerd out with random folks who are just as weird and dorky as myself. But I don’t know where to start, and more importantly, I have this crippling social anxiety that makes even the simple task of hitting the automated “say hello” button that pops up in Discord servers a tall order.

All of this begs the question, ‘to what end?’ I have friends that I talk to pretty regularly and we’re all pretty dorky, it isn’t like I couldn’t blab about video games or D&D to them. I guess I just want to meet new people, but regardless of if that’s in-person or online, I’m terrible about being brave enough to engage with anyone new. Like, I’m not even the guy at the party who spends all his time on his phone, I’m guy who didn’t even show up to the party and feels terrible for not going but also relieved.

This isn’t just about wanting to make new friends though, because the other side of this whole situation is me wanting to find welcoming communities of like-minded individuals. I know they’re out there, but I just don’t have it within me to make that jump and engage with one of them. It’s social anxiety manifest in spaces where I assume I’d be welcomed, but the possibility of them being exclusionary, no matter how infinitesimal, outweighs my desire to make new connections. Simply put, I think I’m just afraid of rejection.

Blog: Launcher Hell – 11/13/19

A lot of PC players tend to get pretty uppity about the fact that companies are trying to maximize their profits and keep closer control over their games by requiring the use of an exclusive launcher.  For the most part, I don’t mind having to open a different executable to play my games, but some recent developments have made me shift my stance a little.

Looking at my desktop I have six different launchers for my various games.  Steam, Origin, Uplay, Epic, Xbox, and the latest addition, Rockstar.  But that isn’t even half of the available ways to buy and launch my games.  It seems like it would be a lot to manage, but it really never presented itself as much of an issue to me.  That is, until Red Dead Redemption 2 launched and required authentication through their launcher.

Here’s the series of events that transpires when I try to launch Red Dead Redemption 2, a game I know isn’t going to work properly:

I’ll click the desktop shortcut, only to be met with a fatal error because I had the audacity to try and use said shortcut.  I’ll then open up the Rockstar Launcher and log in because it never remembers my credentials.  I’ll click the big, “Play on Epic” button that appears, because I bought Red Dead Redemption 2 through the Epic Games Store.  The focus shifts to Epic for a moment, then back to Rockstar, then a windows notification asking me if I’m truly certain I want to play the game.

Finally the game will launch, I’ll play for 5 minutes before the frame rate hitching becomes enough of a burden, and quit.

It’s like a 5 minute wind up to play a game that doesn’t work.  These are two separate issues admittedly, but its enough to make me rethink this whole “everyone has a launcher business”.

I’m also not saying that Steam should be the de facto launcher and be the only player in town.  Every publisher wants control over their product, and wants the biggest slice of profits they can get.  Sure Epic is doing an 88/12 split on revenue, but if I bought a game available on the Epic store on the publisher’s storefront, that’s 100% of the take right there.  The business behind launchers makes sense.

There are two main categories of launcher in my eyes.  The first is the publisher specific ones like Uplay or Origin.  Then the second are the storefronts like Steam and Epic.  I know those last two make their own games, but the volume of third party games on them warrants the separation.  So I decided it would be fun to list off every launcher I can think of, just to give you a visual idea of how many of these damn things there are.


  • Uplay (Ubisoft)
  • Origin (EA)
  • Blizzard.net (Blizzard)
  • Rockstar (Rockstar)
  • Xbox Game Pass (Microsoft)
  • Bethesda (Bethesda)

There’s definitely more of these that I can’t think of at the moment.


  • Steam (Valve)
  • Epic Games Store (Epic)
  • Discord (Discord)
  • Itch.io (Itch.io)
  • GOG Galaxy (GOG)
  • Windows Store (Microsoft)
  • Twitch (Twitch)

Once again, there are more that I can’t think of at this moment.

But take a moment to consider the fact that there are now several different launchers for organizing your various games spread out across different launchers.  Seriously, check out this list.

I’m not complaining about having to use different launchers to play different games.  It usually requires me to click a different icon and nothing more.  But in the case of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Rockstar, all it seems to have done is add more points of failure to the experience, and that’s my biggest fear with this stuff.

If I buy a game on Steam that needs to authorize through Uplay, but Uplay’s authentication servers are down, that’s a hassle.  That’s my biggest issue with all of this.  I just want to play my games as obstacle free as I can, but with this endless fragmentation of storefronts and publishers, I think we’re just going to have to get used to these hurdles for a while.