Tomb Raider EP12: See-Saw’d

By Shamus Posted Friday Jul 12, 2013

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 107 comments

Link (YouTube)

In this episode I mentioned An anthropological introduction to YouTube. I said this about it in 2008, and today I still tell people it’s the best thing on YouTube. It’s a presentation given to the Library of Congress in 2008 by anthropologist Mike Wesch. It’s a study of the way YouTube (and to a lesser extent, the net in general) has both shaped our existing cultures and arguably formed a completely new culture. I find it captivating.

We also mentioned PewDiePie, who is insanely popular but also intensely reviled. My spontaneous estimate of our fanbases was roughly correct. His typical video gets in the neighborhood of 14 to 20 million, and the average Spoiler Warning hits in the 1.4 to 2 thousand range. It’s easy to get bitter about that if you look at view numbers as some sort of public evaluation of your work and worth, so I try to avoid thinking of it in those terms. I like what our show does, and there aren’t many shows like it. More people like Katy Perry than They Might be Giants, more people like Transformers than Primer, and more people like Call of Duty than System Shock 2. In an ideal world, we’d all be just delighted to have our little shared communities and not envy the larger ones.

That’s what I tell myself, anyway.


From The Archives:

107 thoughts on “Tomb Raider EP12: See-Saw’d

  1. anaphysik says:

    On this site: “Tomb Raider EP12: See-Saw’d”

    On youtube: “Tomb Raider EP12: Island of the Rufios”


  2. Quent says:

    Reginald Cuftbert doesn’t die. He mealy respawns.

    1. Zombie says:

      You may strike him down, but he will only become more drunk and violent then he ever has been.

      1. Entropy says:

        He also apparently causes graphical issues with this presence? He’s like Slenderman, but he effects the WORLD AROUND YOU. And does more drugs.

        1. Trix2000 says:

          No bug escapes. NONE OF THEM.

  3. Menegil says:

    Your content is worth ten times more than anything that most of the most popular commenters, like TotalBiscuit and indeed that PewDiePie fellow, can offer, as far as I can see, and I am positively certain there are few souls among us that would disagree.

    I appreciate every second of effort you put into it.

    You guys’ insight is a shining light in a dark and foggy ocean, and you deserve every ounce of praise and good will that can come your way.

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you for the work you do. This blog, and the content it provides, has expanded my horizons more than I could possibly say. And that is the true measure of a positive mark on the world.

    1. Mersadeon says:

      Now, opinions obviously differ, but why don’t you like TotalBiscuit? I would be interested to know that, since I quite like his content – sure, it isn’t as intellectual as Spoiler Warning, but he nonetheless mostly does videogame criticism and commentary on gaming news.

      1. Menegil says:

        Oh, I don’t dislike him. I do follow his commentary quite closely, and appreciate it. I disagree with his views now and then, but more often than not I enjoy the stuff he has to offer.

        Shamus and co., though, produce commentary that is much more insightful, as far as I see it, going into the root of things rather than comment on surface to middle levels, commentary that has encouraged me to think, rather than (just) entertaining me.

        1. Mersadeon says:

          I thoroughly agree with you on that, pretty much verbatim!

  4. ehlijen says:

    You’re pushing the puns past the tipping point here, people. For I, you see, saw what you did there :p

    But more seriously, A fan that likes what you like to do is worth a million fans you feel the need to pander to. I really enjoy spoiler warning. You pick interesting games, mostly, and offer interesting perspectives with just a dash of punning (which I also like). Please continue, I’ll mash E all you want, I promiseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  5. GM says:

    better than Tb yeah a bit and that´s a huge success,pewdie who heh.

    Yeah you guys are great.

  6. hborrgg says:

    She saw a seesaw.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      By the seashore.And was quite sore.

      1. bucaneer says:

        She sees all the sea soar, and she’s ought to cease awe.

        1. Weimer says:

          Vesihiisi sihisi hississä.
          à„rrän kierrän orren ympäri.
          Hattulan pappilan apupapin papupata.
          Kokko, kokoo kokoon koko kokko.
          Ynneli, jynneli, jyrinä, yltyy hyttysen hyrinä.

          Et cetera.

          1. some random dood says:

            Not really sure what is going on there…
            But it does make me notice that a lot of commentators here are European. Might be interesting to get a rough breakdown for where in the world you get your fans from. Don’t know if Google provides location statistics to their youtube posters (although i am sure they are capable of it), but maybe it would be possible to get a rough idea from your web-site statistics?

  7. anaphysik says:


    1. Humanoid says:

      Or is that describing a fight between Spoiler Warning fans and Disclosure Alert fans?

      The can be only one!

      1. Syal says:

        But how can you fight… yourself?

        1. MrGuy says:

          In most videogames, by way of incredibly broken grenade mechanics.

          1. Bryan says:

            And in Fallout 3, by way of the Fat Man. …trying to avoid thinking about Little Lamplight… *twitch* *twitch*

            1. Lovecrafter says:

              And in Ocarina of Time, by spamming Din’s Fire.

        2. SougoXIII says:

          I’m disappoint that none of you go for the persona 4 reference. For shame.

    2. Syal says:

      I’m pretty sure I can take 10,000 Pewdiepie fans.

      1. ACman says:

        I know. What’s the median and spread of ages for Spoiler Warning fans versus PewDiePie?

        As long as we held a choke point somewhere I’m sure we could gradually slaughter a few thousand 5-10 year olds each. Then again Shamus is stridently against the killing of children for some reason…

        1. Neruz says:

          So what you’re saying is we need to set up an internet Thermopylae. Sounds like it’s time to dust off the old spear and shield.

    3. Tony Kebell says:

      If we’re going by youtube subs, it’s 9,000,000 vs. 3,000
      a ratio of about 2333:1 ration.

      1. el_b says:

        hardly fair odds, best get the blindfolds out.

        no idea what anyone sees in pewdiepie, even as a kid i had better taste.

      2. Scampi says:

        How did you calculate that?
        I don’t want to call your numbers outright wrong…but wouldn’t 3000:9000000 result in a 1:3000 ratio? Please, enlighten me if I’m wrong there.

        1. Tony Kebell says:

          Yeah sorry, cant brain, got the dumb. -_-

    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

      It means we will fight in the shade!

      1. MrGuy says:

        This is MADNESS!

        1. Vagrant says:


  8. Phrozenflame500 says:

    Oh Jeez you mentioned PewDiePie for a minute in a 20 minute video. Time for a shitstorm.

    By the way, did you guys see “Adults React to PewDiePie”? It’s a video by the good folks over at Retsupurae basically mocking the hell out of him. Here’s a link if anyone’s interested:

    1. anaphysik says:

      That was awesome.

      The ‘youtube reacts’ mock reading of the comments to that video is also entertaining:

      EDIT: And now I want to see a mock “Twelve-Year Olds React to Spoiler Warning” video. Although I suppose Ruts should have us well covered on that front ;P
      Or perhaps something like “TweenyBoppers React to Spoiler Warning” would be less offensive to actual reasonable 12-year olds.

      1. Syal says:

        I’ll just put this continued Pewdiepie followup here.

        I keep telling myself I should watch at least one Pewdiepie video, because the Retsucomments always complain about Game Grumps and I like Game Grumps, but then I remember that I can’t get past the three minute mark of the “Adults React” video and then I go watch something else.

        1. Tony Kebell says:

          If there I one video you should suffer through to get a sense of his mental well-being and whether you’re allergic to his specific brand of stupid, it’s the “8 million bros” video.

    2. BeamSplashX says:

      Retsupurae is fantastic. The fact that they make a point of addressing mistakes they’ve made in the past through blogs and podcasts is actually a big factor in why I like them. That, and finding their let’s plays really entertaining and informative. It’s why Spoiler Warning is one of my favorite things to watch, after all.

      I think they would be happy if PewDiePie replaced his rape jokes with insight. I would be, too.

      1. IFS says:

        I have a friend who is a fan of Pewdiepie (I’ve watched one or two of his videos, I found them bizarre but inoffensive) and she assures me he doesn’t make rape jokes anymore. Now I doubt he’s replaced them with insight but that doesn’t seem to be his thing anyways.

        Pewdie’s stuff seems to be mostly random zaniness as far as I’ve seen, and while I don’t really like it myself I can understand why others might.

        As for the Retsuprae vid I have seen it, and I enjoy Retsuprae myself though in the case of this one I wonder how much of Pewdies content really is/was that terrible, or if they might have cherry picked the worst bits to use in the vid (which would be understandable given that the point of their show is generally to mock terrible LPs).

        1. Phrozenflame500 says:

          They did a podcast (I can’t remember which one, either the 10 or 11) where they stated that it didn’t take them that long to find the content they used and they didn’t really cherry pick anything (he mentions actually not using a few things because it disturbed him to much).

          That being said, it was on their podcast, so it’s hard to say how believable it is.

          1. IFS says:

            Interesting, although I honestly have a hard time picturing what would have been “too much” to put in that video compared to what was in there…

            At any rate if the couple of more recent vids that I have seen are any indication his humor became more tasteful if no less bizarre.

        2. BeamSplashX says:

          Zaniness + insight is why I love Game Grumps so much. That and they both had established creative output before starting it, so there was a reason to be invested ahead of time.

          1. IFS says:

            Yeah I’d say that insight and the back and forth between the hosts is a large part of what helps set Grumps apart from some of the other zany/random humor stuff on youtube.

    3. Paul Spooner says:

      This is honestly the very first I’ve ever heard of PewDiePie. I haven’t done any research between now and then, so I still know absolutely nothing about him other than what Shamus said above. Considering the tone of the comments here, I think I’ll keep it that way.

      I consider it encouraging that I’ve been able to sequester myself from the mainstream to the extent that “the popular” can be unknown even by name. What is that called? A hermit hipster? Hermetically sealed? Living under a rock? “There’s this popular thing you’re into, I’ve probably never heard of it.” I’m just going to use the term Hermipster for now.

      1. Syal says:

        The word you’re looking for may or may not be “troglodyte”.

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          I was kind of looking for something without the implication of a ten foot radius of debilitating stench.

      2. Tony Kebell says:

        You mean you’ve never been on youtube then… because he’s fucking featured all the fucking time if you’ve watch more videogame stuff than the average youtube user.

        1. Bubble181 says:

          I’ve spent plenty of time on YT, and I’ve (going by the comments here, luckily) never heard of him or seen anything by him.

          Soooo….if he’s featured for you all the time, paybe you’re just watching things YT thinks are connected to his videos?

          I watch a lot of game videos as well, though no Let’s Plays (if I did, it’d be Spoiler Warning, but sadly that’s the only Shamus content I don’t follow)

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:


        2. Hydralysk says:

          I watch tons of video game related content on Youtube and I’ve still never really heard about this guy. I think I’ve seen the name once or twice but I had no clue he was this popular or what his content was like. Probably because it looks like he does the more traditional style Lets Plays which is not something I’m really interested in.

          1. Tony Kebell says:

            No, no he doesn’t, he actes like your typical retarded anonymous 12-year ol on the internet. ALL the time. Except hes actually like 27-ish.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Isnt that what Hydralysk said?He does a more traditional lets play.

              1. Syal says:

                The traditional Let’s Play is the Something Awful variety of showing off all the secrets and having all commentary directly relate to what’s on the screen.

                Pewdiepie is the more mainstream Let’s Play.

                1. Tony Kebell says:

                  ^ What Syal said.

        3. Aldowyn says:

          I do watch a lot of videogame stuff, and if he gets featured a lot I don’t notice. I decided a long time ago to ignore him. I used to watch some of Tobuscus’ LPs, which are somewhat similar except WAAAAY more kid-friendly.

        4. Shamus says:

          Featured items are also based on what you have watched in the past. I watch lot of videogame stuff and it’s never suggested PDP to me, but it’s ALWAYS telling me I would love Geek & Sundry.

          1. Tony Kebell says:

            Yeah, it’s because i watch a lot of content that is simular to his, the audience analytics are nearly the same, the games being played are the same and the format of a simple cometary is the same, it’s just that the other youtubers I watch do not act like 12 year olds, thats the only difference. Also he gets feattured on the home page of youtube in the gaming category so much it’s unreal, he also gets ‘recommended’ to me, I seemingly cant escape him…It drives me round the bend, hence the rage filled, near flaming comment, that I noticed didn’t pass moderation, which is fair enough, i get worked up over youtube productions a little easy i suppose, sorry ’bout that.

            Edit: It’s also because I’ve accidentally watched bits of his videos, because sometime his video when featured on the home page will just be a video title and thumnail, the name will sound kinda interesting and the thumbnail will only mildly be related, so I click, thinking, hey whats going on here and then It’s a PDP video and I hit dislike and close it.

          2. Drexer says:

            “but it's ALWAYS telling me I would love Geek & Sundry.”

            I’m going to go on a limb and say that the Youtube overmind is correct here. Shows like Space Janitors and Tabletop really do seem like things that you would love Shamus.

      3. Klay F. says:

        Luckily, “popular” in terms of the internet has a wildly different meaning than “popular” in terms of the rest of the world. The decentralized nature of the internet in general and youtube in particular means that things can be wildly popular in related circles but virtually unknown outside of said circles. Its quite awesome. Even someone like me, who watches absolute TONS of LPs has only very rarely heard of PewDiePie.

        1. Syal says:

          On a related note, who here has heard of Sips, or the Yogscast? I only heard of him because he did an Orcs Must Die LP, even though he’s got more subscribers than Game Grumps.

          1. Disc says:

            You mean the real guy? The best guy?

            I think a lot of it can really depend on what you follow regularly on the internet. I originally discovered Yogscast two years back thanks to a growing interest in Minecraft and Sips just by association with them a year back. I’m not sure I’d ever heard of either if not for one thing leading me into another. It’s not really that hard to miss out on something, if you’re not even looking for it. Being on front page of Youtube doesn’t really count much for me, since I tend to ignore it pretty much 99% of the time and just go over to whichever channel I feel like watching.

  9. Jacob Albano says:

    Chris doesn’t know about Sids as a unit of measurement. I wish I could remember which episode Rutskarn explained that in.

    1. Faren says:

      It was a running joke in the Fallout 3 season, but I can’t really narrower down the episodes.

      1. Bryan says:

        It started near the end of Operation Anchorage, IIRC from the recent repost of that season… Yeah:


      2. BeamSplashX says:

        It was the episode was about 13 Sids long.

        Someone called me Sid the Science Kid once (’cause that’s my name! HA!) and I wouldn’t have known what she was talking about if it wasn’t for Rutskarn. What I’m trying to say, I guess, is… thank you, Rutskarn. Thank you.

        1. Humanoid says:

          Wait, are you implying it was used as a pick-up line?

          1. BeamSplashX says:

            That would be more entertaining than the truth, which was that it was the only nickname she ever used. I think she called me Sid Vicious once, and what would I love more than being named after a talentless asshole that stabbed his girlfriend? Besides everything.

            But that was quite a few Sids ago. ConSIDer it water under the SIDge.

            1. StashAugustine says:

              Since I can’t pass up the opportunity for a pun, I should point out that my dad had a fluids professor named Sid “Viscous.”

              1. Aldowyn says:

                I had an astronomy/physics professor named Centauri. Sadly, he apparently changed it to that :(

                1. anaphysik says:

                  Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, IT’S ALL CONNECTED HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED

  10. Disc says:

    The advantage of being small is there being a lot more room for the individual to get involved. In massive communities like that your effort is more than likely to end up as just more piss in the sea. Maybe someone will care, or not. As the leader(s) your roles would also change as you’re no longer nearly as reachable for the average man as you used to be, since it’s just not possible to keep up with all the hundreds or thousands of people trying to reach out to you every day. The blog alone would never be able to hold together as it is.

    It’s not that more people shouldn’t be able to enjoy the same things, but I think I’ll always prefer a smaller community if only for the “breathing room”.

  11. The Rocketeer says:

    I kept waiting for the Hook reference that never came… *heartbreak*

    1. broken says:


      you’re not the only one.

    2. MrGuy says:

      I was sad no one sang Whistling in the Dark.

    3. TJ says:


      (Also the voice of Prince Zuko form Avatar, woot!)

  12. Nano Proksee says:

    This mining facility is pretty easy to build compared to the effing ski-lift for ships!

    1. ehlijen says:

      Pssst, please :) I want to see the reaction of the hosts who haven’t seen it yet when they first do unspoiled.

      I couldn’t stop laughing for minutes!

  13. patrick johnston says:

    I Just wanted to speak up and say thank you to the entire spoiler warning cast. I watch a lot of web content. In fact I watch let’s plays far more then I watch real television. With that in mind I have to say that spoiler warning is hands down the best thing I have yet found to watch on the internet. It is one of the first show’s I watch everyday that it comes out and I enjoy it far more than just about anything else. Just wanted to say that even though the fan base isn’t the largest on the planet the show is great, please keep up the good work.

  14. Tony Kebell says:

    I hate PDP, with a passion, his content is uninspiring and unoriginal. His humor is purile and I once vented my anger by leaving a rage-filled comment on his “8-million Bros” video, very therapeutic to just wail on those 12 stupid year-olds.

    (LINK: )
    (If you open the all comments section and search, ctrl+f, my name “Tony Kebell”, you’ll see the stupid amount of hate I got, something like 200+ hate messaged and I replied to ALL of them, some i replied to seriously and others, no so seriously.

    1. some random dood says:

      Wow, that’s some dedicated hating – I can easily see you as a Sith Lord!
      Obligatory XKCD

      1. Daimbert says:

        Why does this remind of this scene from Get Smart (the TV series):

        Psychiatrist: I’m a member of [some abbreviated psychological group].

        Smart: What sort of group is that?

        P: Essentially, we’re a hate group.

        S: [beat] A HATE group?

        P: Yes, against hate. We hate hate. Absolutely hate it.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Wait,twelve stupid one year olds?Why do you hate babies?Another obligatory XKCD.

      1. Tony Kebell says:

        Well, that was a weird mistake… didn’t notice that.

  15. Alex says:

    I must admit, after seeing the title here I was wondering how you were going to kill yourself with a see-saw.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I just want to say that I really enjoy the little spoiler warning cards in the beginning,and that I encourage Shamoose to continue making them.

    1. TJ says:

      Yes! “Press [E] to Spoiler Warning” should be a shirt.

  17. Atarlost says:

    The difference between you and other lets plays is that if they stopped it wouldn’t matter. Low brow shows are a dime a dozen. If you stopped doing Spoiler Warning that’s pretty much it. Where else are we going to get two CS majors discussing graphics pipelines while two English majors troll each other with puns and incinerators?

    It’s like comparing Gears of Crysis 1984 to the game Rutskarn is working on. It’s not going to gross as much as a AAA bro shooter, but for people who want a good RPG where choices matter there aren’t a lot of options.

    1. Trix2000 says:

      Don’t be so quick to discount every Let’s Play out there. Much as there’s a lot of low-quality stuff out there, there are quite a few nice and fun ones too if you look.

      That being said, Spoiler Warning’s still fairly unique. I always find it funny how much I have to replay bits because I’m trying to listen to both the game and the commentary, but miss one or the other – it’s all so interesting.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Most of the uniqueness in Spoiler Warning comes from the group dynamic, and group LPs are rare (for good reason, it’s pretty complicated)

      2. The Rocketeer says:


        I was aware of Shamus’ pre-Spoiler Warning LP’s, but what first sold me on the concept was The Dark Id and his various works. Most of it is rather low-brow, to be frank…

        But I owe him NieR, at least. I would never have given that game a second glance before his glowing recommendation, and now I count it an invaluable and unique addition to my library.

        Our tastes in games seem to align pretty closely, as well. In particular, there at least a couple sacred cows I took a bit too much pleasure in seeing him savage.

        After turning out work at a rate almost unheard of among LP’ers, he disappeared par-way through Final Fantasy X, which, even as he began it, I feared might become The Forever Thread. I keep a candle lit for his return, and love the shit once more.

  18. Dai Panda says:

    If it makes you guys feel better you would deffinetly be able to take my fans.
    Like, both of them!
    On topic though I gotta say the dynamite-guy really made my week. I needed a good laugh.

  19. Abnaxis says:

    It’s funny just how nervous 2008 Shamus was about streaming voice, yet now the majority of content on the site is video or podcast. How the times change…

    I miss the text

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      While text is nice,and I love reading Shamoose prose,voice has the advantage of being listened to while doing other things.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Yeah, but it takes way longer.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          I dont know,Shamoose is pretty verbose.The only thing is that his too long posts get split into parts,and they take longer to make so these are days apart.

          1. Syal says:

            I’m assuming that was “It takes way longer to listen to him talk than to read an article with the same words”.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              No,I got that point.But it takes longer to listen to him because he cannot write as fast as he talks,so his longer pieces have to get split into parts.For example,his 12 year mistake story wouldve been way shorter if he was telling it via podcast.

              1. Daimbert says:

                But also not as detailed, because with writing you can make sure you remember all the little details and even go back and add them back in, which you can’t do easily with a podcast.

      2. anaphysik says:

        “voice has the advantage of being listened to while doing other things.”

        Generally the opposite for me: If I’m listening to someone talk, I have to pay very close attention to it, and so can’t use my eyes for anything unrelated (game footage that the speaker is talking about is, obviously, related (though I do occasionally rewind SW eps to catch what was in the vid, or what they said while I was watching something interesting in the vid)). Whereas if I’m doing something that only requires visual input (like, say, reading), then it’s very easy to listen to music at the same time.

        1. Daimbert says:

          In my case, I can ignore — for the most part — background sounds, which means that if I put something on in the background it had better be something that I don’t mind missing parts of. When I read, of course, I can’t really pay attention to anything else … but it’s far easier for me to hop in and out of text and not miss anything than in a video or podcast, because the text waits for me to come back without my having to pause it. And it’s also a lot easier to go back and re-read something, even if it’s several pages up, than to rewind back through a video.

  20. Hitchmeister says:

    Someone reading this might care. Tomb Raider on sale on Steam for 75% off until 1PM EDT Monday 15 July 2013.

    1. Humanoid says:

      Amazon have been price-matching Steam during this sale, and with a one-time code ‘gooncave’ for 15%, takes it to $10.62. Amazon just give you a Steam key so it’s the same thing.

      Non-US residents will need to use a fake billing address.

  21. GM says:

    How many are going to buy Tomb Raider at 12$? at steam as the message just above me says.
    i´m uncertain myself and also been thinking of buying the Darksiders II – Season Pass dlc because i got the game but i beat the game already and such.

  22. ACman says:

    Any chance you guys will commit to a release schedule? For the ‘Bioshock’ ‘Spoiler Warnings’ at least?

    I can sorta understand why you guys skip weeks for a series that is in production, but the Bioshock Spoiler Warning has been finished for almost 2 years now and you’ve skipped at least 3 weeks.

    And when is Josh going to finish “Shinobi: Total War” or whatever it is? Forreal?Comeon?

  23. krellen says:

    Regarding the corpse warnings being set up to “warn the boars”, I immediately thought “warn the Boers” and then asked why a bunch of South African farmers were on this island.

    1. Weimer says:

      Boers were bunch of Dutch farmer/hunters who fought to resist British colonialism, weren’t they? So maybe they’re here looking for agents of their bitter enemies! It’s an assassin squad sent to kill Larry Craft! Plottwist!

      1. Syal says:

        You know what they call a plot twist that goes way past left field?

        A HOME-RUN!

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