Diecast #230: Halloween vs. Christmas

By Shamus Posted Monday Oct 29, 2018

Filed under: Diecast 65 comments

Here we spend half the show talking about Halloween, everyone’s favorite blend of stranger danger, cosplay, and diabetes! I know a lot of American culture leaks out into the rest of the world, but I don’t know if that includes Halloween. How widespread is the practice of dressing up in costume and begging around the neighborhood for candy?

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:

01:43 Halloween vs. Christmas

The observation we make here is that Halloween is growing in cultural significance while Christmas is shrinking. Like I said on the show, we’re deliberately avoiding the possible religious dimension to this. Having said that, maybe I’m off base here. Maybe it only seems like Christmas is diminishing. I only have my personal experience to go on. I’m curious if others have noticed a similar trend.

Like I said on the show, I can’t really eat candy because I can’t eat corn and ALL candy in the US is made with corn syrup. Except, a couple of weeks ago we found candy corn made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. Yes, the one candy that contains no corn is candy corn.

Also, here are a couple of examples on my favorite gag costume:

Wayne’s World One-man Halloween Cosplay – Best Costume Ever!
Man In a Box DIY Illusion Costume – How to Make it (Halloween)

30:06 Distance Level Editor is Groovy

If you’re curious, here are the levels I’ve uploaded. Just be warned that I’m not really in sync with the rest of the community and I’m not making what the bulk of players are into. I favor long tracks that more more about the lights and music and less about crazy car stunts.

32:42 Oxygen Not Included.

Link (YouTube)

39:27 Shadow of the Tomb Raider

To be clear, I’m only a couple of hours in. Maybe it gets to be less boring at some point. We’ll see.

48:28 Patreon integrated Discord server

Paul set up a Discord server for his Patreon. I know I covered this on the show, but let me go over it again for you non-podcast folks:

I’m considering creating a Discord channel for Patreon backers.

On one hand, I want all my content available to everyone for free. Content that’s behind a paywall is content that, essentially, doesn’t exist. If Google can’t find it and if you can’t share it with your friends, then it’s like the content isn’t really on the internet.

On the OTHER hand, I’d like to give some sort of special content to thank people for supporting me. I’m grateful for my supporters and I’m always keen to show my appreciation beyond typing the word “Thanks!” once in a while.

These are two contradictory goals and I’ve never been able to figure out how to reconcile them. I want to reward supporters, but I don’t want that reward to feel like paywalled content. If someone isn’t supporting me financially, I don’t want them to feel like I’m trying to punish them.

From seeing what other creators are doing, it seems like previews are the way to go. Maybe streams, chat channels, and little updates for “here is how far I am into writing project X” or “here is the next game I plan to cover”. Discord seems like a good fit for this.

On the other hand… I dunno. Feel free to share your thoughts on any of this. If you support other creators or hang out in Discord groups, I’d love to hear your views on what works and what annoys you.

For the curious, during this segment I mention Screen Rant Pitch meeting, which is pretty fun and worth checking out.


From The Archives:

65 thoughts on “Diecast #230: Halloween vs. Christmas

  1. deiseach says:

    Halloween has been a big deal in Ireland for as long as I can remember (I’m 42) – for kids. This business of adults dressing up is where the American influence has recently become a thing. It’s originally an Irish festival, and it tickled me no end when the pumpkin monster on the Real Ghostbusters was referred to as Samhain, pronounced ‘Sam Hayne’ by Ray Stantz but ‘Sau In’ in Irish. The British barely do it at all. It’s become more common due to the influence, you’ve guessed it, of American television, but they have a festival on November 5 where they set off fireworks to remember the foiling of a plot to blow up Parliament in 1605 and I don’t think anyone has enough runtime for two nocturnal shindigs within a week of each other.

    You’re sorry you asked…

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Figures it was an Irish thing. I wasn’t aware!
      Cool site theming btw Shamus. Spoooooky.

    2. MelfinatheBlue says:

      Oh yes, Samhain, or as those in the pagan circles I run in like to call it “the litmus test of whether you’ve learned enough to know it’s a Gaelic word that isn’t pronounced the way you think it is.” We mostly say “Sow-en” but that’s no doubt an American Southern pronunciation rather than correct Irish Gaelic, rather like “Slawnchair!” for “Slainte!” (I have no idea, my friends were doing it long before I came along and I suspect good whiskey had something to do with it).

    3. Duncan Snowden says:

      No, not the British; the English. Halloween’s always been big in Scotland (and, apparently, Wales). Although, instead of trick-or-treating, we have “guising” (as in “disguise”: pronounce it “guys-ing”): kids dress up and knock on doors, but instead of demanding a treat, they’re invited in and have to do a party piece in exchange. As a shy child, I always considered it a form of abuse, but it does at least have the merit of teaching a work ethic as opposed to extortion.

      And, almost into my parents’ day (I’m 47… they tell me), in strongly protestant Scotland, Christmas simply wasn’t a thing. Before WWII it wasn’t even a holiday. My grandfather worked a full day if it fell during the week. That’s why New Year is so strongly associated with Scotland – you know, Auld Lang Syne and all that. They had Santa, but he came on Hogmanay. And those were the days of apples, oranges and maybe a shiny sixpence in your stocking if you were lucky. So Halloween was the big holiday for kids. I completely agree about the adultification being due to the American influence. The grown-ups might have helped put your costume together and carve your turnip (not pumpkin; our turnips are what Americans apparently know as rutabaga), but they never joined in. Their role was to be entertained and dish out the rewards.

      Oh, and we’ve always done Guy Fawkes’ Night a week later as well. Hey, we’re pretty far north here; it gets dark and cold at this time of year, so we’ll take any excuse we can get to cheer things up a bit.

      (By they way… long, long-time reader (and listener), first comment. Never thought it would be about something like this…)

  2. Liessa says:

    Yeah, it’s not really a big thing here in the UK – the most you’ll usually get is a few kids doing ‘trick-or-treat’. As deiseach points out, we have Bonfire Night only a few days later (which is also our big ‘fireworks’ festival, similar to Independence Day in the US), so we tend to focus on that.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Where I used to live in London it wasn’t a big deal, but where I live now there’s a good system: if you want to get involved in Halloween, you put up the decorations and the trick-or-treaters will turn up – but if you don’t, they’ll pass by your house.
      As a misanthropic shut-in, I appreciate that other people can have fun but I’m not obliged to get involved or feel bad about staying out of it.

      Lots of Jack-o-Lanterns, though. It’s a marriage of convenience between ‘fun activity’ and ‘somewhat rural area where farmers saw a opportunity’.

      1. Joshua says:

        That’s generally how it works in the U.S. Lights on if you have candy, light’s off to say you are not participating.

  3. houiostesmoiras says:

    I suspect that Halloween and the rise of sexy costumes have fed each other as well. I mean, what teen or young adult is going to pass up the opportunity to interact with members of their preferred gender in skimpy clothing in a casual setting where staring is appreciated? And if you’re not feeling sexy yourself, everyone loves laughing at a silly costume. There’s also a big culture these days around making cool stuff that feeds into costume creativity.

    About international Halloween, it’s become really big in Japan in the last decade. They don’t go trick or treating, but they usually have some candy at home and lots of costume parties. Pete Donaldson of the Abroad in Japan podcast (and Radio One London) loves going to Tokyo in October to see all the amazing costumes.

    1. houiostesmoiras says:

      Oh, Shadow of the Tomb Raider… I don’t know if you watch Outside Xtra, but boy does Ellen Rose have a rant about Shadow of the Tomb Raider. It’s pretty entertaining just to watch the portion they left in the show.

      1. PPX14 says:

        Oh nice, I haven’t watched any Oxbox or Oxtra for a while, will tune in.

    2. Echo Tango says:

      I predict in 20 years, Halloween will have evolved into a month-long orgy of sexy costumes, gluttony and other alcohol-fueled shenanigans.

  4. Asdasd says:

    Ah, Teach Your Kids Exortion: The Holiday.

    To be fair though it mostly nowadays seems to be a celebration of pop culture, creativity, and sweets. None of which are bad things if you don’t pay too much attention to the obesity epidemic.

  5. Joe says:

    Here in Oz, I resent the increasing Americanisation of our culture. Well, I want to keep the good stuff. The great movies, bands, etc. But Halloween and trick or treating has really caught on with the children of generation X. When I was younger, there was the fun Simpsons and Rosanne Halloween episodes, but no TOTing.

    Also, I find it silly how everyone on twitter gives themselves ‘spooky’ names. Furthermore, a movie site I visit devotes the whole of October to horror movies. I’ve tried, but I just don’t like horror movies. So that’s a month I barely have reason to visit.

    On a lighter note, my other big Monday podcast, Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, had the exact same running time as the Diecast today. 55.14. However, a larger file size, due to them being in 320 instead of 128.

    1. BOO!Horus says:

      Also, I find it silly how everyone on twitter gives themselves ‘spooky’ names.

      I dunno, I think that could be fun…

      I don’t get the ‘watch horror movies just because it’s October’ mentality. If I don’t like them the rest of the year, I’m not going to start now because of a random holiday.
      That said, I do like some horror films. It might just be your brainless ‘OMG HE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU WITH A KNIFE’ slasher movie that I dislike.
      But give me a creepy premise that’s scary in an of itself, (and maybe a metaphor for something more basic) like The Thing, and I’m in…

      1. Daimbert says:

        It’s less that it’s just the time to watch horror movies and more that Hallowe’en, as a holiday, is strongly related to being scared and scaring people, and so it’s a natural time to binge on scary things like horror movies.

        I’ve actually been watching horror movies off and on lately, as I picked up a bunch of them cheap — $5 – $10 range — at various times at various stores, and am enjoying watching them and then writing about them on my blog. To be honest, I generally enjoy writing about them more than watching them. But of the ones I’ve watched, most of them aren’t really slasher-type movies, and the one that’s closest — Happy Death Day — is actually a pretty good movie with a pretty good premise. In fact, most of the independent horror movies tend to overload on premise. Where they fail is in realizing that premise as a good movie.

  6. Thomas says:

    Christmas definitely isn’t diminishing in the UK. Its a yearly marketing game to see how much of the year can be expanded to be ‘Christmas’ and they’ve successfully pushed that well into October now, with some September and August indicators that Christmas is coming.

    The UK’s Christmas day is effectively our Thanksgiving too – go home with family, have a big turkey dinner etc.

    1. Kylroy says:

      I find it kind of hilarious and sad that some UK stores are trying to push “Black Friday” in a country without the Thanksgiving holiday.

      1. Thomas says:

        Especially as Black Friday is already two other things – the last Friday before Christmas and another name for Good Friday (just before Easter).

  7. Gargamel Le Noir says:

    Here in France there were a few attempts to introduce trick or treating but it never worked out, it’s just too weird for us to knock on strangers’ doors. We have costumed parties and that’s about it.

    1. Olivier FAURE says:

      You’re just salty nobody liked your Smurfs costume :D

      But yeah, Halloween in France is mostly a commercial thing; commercials and children’s television will get some Halloween theming, you can find Halloween toys in supermarkets, and that’s about it.

      1. Daimbert says:

        And it was made from real Smurfs, too!

  8. Mephane says:

    Disclaimer: I am a Patreon backer.

    I strongly agree with Shamus’ notion of “if it’s paywalled away, it doesn’t really exist”, and wouldn’t want any exclusive content. That said, the idea of a “backers Discord server” sounds intriguing indeed.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      I’d be interested in a patrons discord server as well. You can always shut it down if it’s too much trouble to maintain.

    2. rabs says:

      I’m also a backer, and I’m connected to about 10 Discord servers already.

      I mostly only read email notifications sent by default when I’m mentioned, usually when the owner or some staff are announcing something to “@everyone”.

      So for me it’s not really different than a post on Patreon, but I’m not a chatty person.

      Once in a while, when I’m bored I go there to check what people are talking about, though.

    3. krellen says:

      I’m a moderator/administrator for a Discord server attached to a streamer, and it’s remarkably easy to have a general access Discord, a restricted-access Discord, and/or a subscription-access Discord. Roles can be assigned to users on a specific server and roles can be used to govern access to individual rooms within that server. With Patreon integration, the assignation of subscriber-tier benefits is even automatic, with no need for moderator/owner intervention.

      Oh, but I should say that a Discord isn’t really a replacement for a forum; Discord is more synchronous than a forum (it’s basically just IRC), and expectations of communication in a Discord aren’t going to match those on a forum. Both would have value even if they coexisted.

  9. Christopher says:

    I feel like people keep trying Halloween here in Norway, but the older people are, the more they resent it. There’s no point in dressing up and going out if you’re met with disinterest and suspicion and absolutely no candy, or if you’re the only one doing it.

    Halloween parties work out, though. Everyone loves a good excuse to dress up and drink. I celebrated Halloween more during college than any other time, and I’ve got some fond memories of those. I made a lifelong friend at one of those parties by dressing up as santa while my buddy dressed up as a present.

    I’ve seen no sign of Christmas slowing down. I don’t think it has much to do with the strength of Christianity, if it ever did in the first place.

  10. Daimbert says:

    Interestingly, just this morning on the way into work I was thinking “It’ll be Christmas pretty soon!”.

    I suppose that shows where I sit on the whole “Hallowe’en vs Christmas” debate …

  11. Christopher says:

    Bit on the side, but have you been playing the Spider-Man DLC?

  12. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Was in Walmart the other day, and they already have the Christmas decorations out. Was then in Trader Joe’s, and the Christmas stuff was also already out. I don’t think Halloween is winning this fight in Kentucky.

    1. John says:

      The Home Depot near my house replaced the Halloween stuff with Christmas stuff a good two weeks ago. I hope nobody was still in the market for a giant inflatable skeleton. The giant inflatable snow globe isn’t nearly as spooky.

  13. Bodhranist says:

    In Moscow and Saint Petersburg, there’s essentially no trick or treating, but Halloween has really caught on as a reason for adults to get costumed up, go out and have fun. It seems like half the bars in town have some event with costume contests, decorations, and creepy music. Many of the ballroom, folk, and other dance groups will have some sort of costumed event as well, although sometimes it’s more generally autumn themed than specifically spooky. There’s not much in the way of private Halloween parties at people’s homes, though.

  14. unit3000-21 says:

    The most interesting thing about Halloween in Poland is the annual backlash. The holiday itself isn’t terribly popular, mainly among kids and horror buffs, but there are costume parties here and there (almost no trick-or-treating, though some kids tried it last year in my neighbourhood). The biggest Halloween tradition is definitely all these cries of Liberal West Destroying Our Youth amongst right-wingers and church officials. They even try promoting All Saints Parties, as a catholic alternative to dressing up in cool monster costumes, without much success though (no surprise there).

    1. Redrock says:

      The biggest Halloween tradition is definitely all these cries of Liberal West Destroying Our Youth amongst right-wingers and church officials

      Oh, you have that too? Thought it was a Russian Orthodox Church thing. I think it’s nice that they have something in common with the Polish Catholics. Hmmm. I wonder if the ROC could be convinced to embrace Halloween just to spite catholics, and vice versa. Just imagine how much fun they’d all have.

  15. John says:

    First, I’d like to mention that I really like the forums. Please keep them! I suppose I might also really like Discord, but I’ve never used it and don’t know anything about it. I hate to sound as though I fear change, but the truth is that I fear change. Thank you.

    Second, on the subject of Halloween, I’ve moved a lot over the last twenty years, and the one thing about Halloween I’ve learned in that time is that the way people observe (or don’t observe) Halloween is extremely variable and depends a great deal on local circumstances and traditions. And when I say local, what I really mean is at the neighborhood level. No one ever goes Trick or Treat-ing in my current neighborhood. But plenty of people go Trick or Treat-ing in the neighborhood about a half-mile to the west of me, and in a neighborhood about a mile to the east Trick or Treat-ing is positively huge.

    I suppose that it’s in part a question of demographics. I’ve observed that the more residential units a building has the less likely it is that anyone in the building will hand out candy. My neighborhood is at most about a quarter single-family homes. The other residential buildings tend to have between three and six units. By contrast, the neighborhood to the west that I mentioned above is almost entirely single-family homes. It’s also worth noting that a fairly large percentage of the families in my neighborhood aren’t originally from the United States and likely don’t have a tradition of handing out candy or taking their children Trick or Treat-ing. In my previous neighborhood, most families had lived in the United States for at least a generation or two and Trick or Treating was reasonably common, despite the fact that most buildings in the area had at least two residential units.

    But it’s also–and I suspect more importantly–a question of specific neighborhood traditions. The neighborhood to the east that I mentioned is not only composed almost entirely of single-family homes, but it also has an extremely active neighborhood association. In addition to Halloween, they also conduct annual garden tours, sponsor a summer day-care co-op, and probably more besides. People don’t just pass out candy. They decorate extensively, perhaps competitively, and Halloween is something of a social occasion.

    1. Daimbert says:

      In my area, it’s the opposite: the older part of the two with the more single family dwellings doesn’t get very many trick or treaters, so much so that I stopped giving out candy a few years ago because hardly anyone ever showed up. I was talking to the owner of the video store — which just closed this past year — at the time and he said that most of them go to the new area because they’re all townhouses and the kids can get a lot more candy while covering the same distance there than in the old part of town. So, basically, kids will congregate where ever they get more or better candy [grin].

      1. John says:

        Hm. That makes sense. I suppose that I’ve always considered town houses to be single-family homes. While a row of town houses may technically constitute a single building, they’ve all got separate, street-facing exterior entrances.

    2. Joshua says:

      I’ve never really seen any trick or treating at apartment complexes. It’s almost always in neighborhoods with single family homes, especially more affluent ones (as long as they’re not a gated community).

      To me, it’s just a measure of economics and safety. People living in rental homes/apartments are less likely to drop $50-$100 or more on candy for neighborhood kids because they typically have less disposable income, and apartment complexes are typically not as safe (for a variety of reasons, including traffic) or accessible as streets with houses.

      You will also see the argument where some people resent children from “poorer” neighborhoods coming in en masse to more affluent ones. Must confess, it’s something that has never bothered me because the kids might not otherwise have a chance to go Trick or Treating.

      1. Daimbert says:

        While I never actually lived in an apartment complex, what I’d heard when I was a kid that all the apartment building kids trick or treated in the building because it was more secure and they’d be able to get quite a bit of candy that way.

        That being said, a lot of places have organized events in malls for that which is more convenient and less weather-dependent, too, so that will draw away a few people.

        For the most part, as I said above, kids will always go where they can get the most candy with the least effort, which includes going to the affluent areas …

      2. RFS-81 says:

        You will also see the argument where some people resent children from “poorer” neighborhoods coming in en masse to more affluent ones. Must confess, it’s something that has never bothered me because the kids might not otherwise have a chance to go Trick or Treating.

        …I’ll just assume that was all part of their Dickens villain costume.

    3. ObsidianNebula says:

      It’s true that Halloween observance is a result of local circumstances. I lived in Germany for many years. Halloween is not a widely recognized or celebrated holiday across Deutschland, but young German kids from the nearby town always dressed and came to the Air Force base to trick-or-treat. I mean, why not? Free candy!

  16. Cordance says:

    Sunflower butter! Im sure you have probably heard this before Shamus and given your laundry list of allergies it might not help you. My wife has a mild allergy to peanuts (aka not anaphylactic) and she loved peanut butter before this and has found sunflower butter scratches that itch.

  17. Mephane says:

    Re Halloween, I wish it were a bigger thing here in Germany. I hate the German Carnival, and while Halloween is celebrated to some degree, I’ve never experienced any trick-or-treating. Which is really tragic because I would give them Oreos.

    1. Ian says:

      A couple of years ago I was in Munich for Halloween and over the evening different groups of children in costume came into the restaurant I was eating in. They only bothered the staff who gave them some of the little chocolates that they would normally put on your bill at the end of the evening.

      At home in the UK it’s mostly now little kids who only go to decorated houses. I remember 30 or so years ago you would get a few teenagers doing it for cash a similar concept to Penny for the Guy which has now stopped happening.

  18. Rymdsmurfen says:

    Halloween was introduced in Sweden a couple of decades ago, but I don’t think it’s catching on. Some kids go trick-or-treating, but that’s about it.

    Coincidentally we already have a tradition of going door-to-door dressed as witches and asking for candy, but that’s on Easter.

  19. Scampi says:

    I’m not a big fan of Halloween anyways and I think I’ll like it less than ever from this year on.
    The reason: I’m a big friend of dogs and a while ago, some asshole played that sick Halloween hater “prank” where a razorblade is hidden in a treat on a dog I knew. The poor animal swalloed his treat in one piece and bled to death before anyone could help him.:(
    Halloween will from this year on be my reminder and make me very sad, I think, because for some reason I associate the two events now.

    1. Joshua says:

      That’s F’d up.

  20. Viktor says:

    The thing with Halloween is that it’s basically turned into an inversion festival. With kids, you can go out and about, hang out late with your friends, visit neighborhoods you normally don’t, and interact with strange adults and be rewarded for all of that. Among adults, it’s an opportunity to dress up in ways that are frowned upon(sexy costumes, genderbends, nerd cred, etc) and interact with a lot of alcohol and with the usual social strata of “So what do you do” irrelevant. That’s a very important release in a society as caste-based as the US is. Other countries have their own answers to this(Boxing Day, Carnivale), but not all of them do, and I’m not surprised that Halloween is spreading to some countries specifically but not others.

  21. Bubble181 says:

    As a Belgian, I remember learning about Halloween and Samhain as “foreign traditions on the same day as our All Saints”. They were treated in the same vein as Dia de las Muerta in Mexico: different traditions from ours, “celebrating” something similar (as they’re all based around remembering the dead at the beginning of winter).
    Nowadays, with Americanization of Europe almost complete, it’s become an important holiday over here in its own right, busily supplanting more local traditions.
    Saint Nicholas, in particular, is suffering – being sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas, along with the Americanized version of Santa Claus being pushed, is really killing him.
    Trick-or-Treating has existed for decades around here, though, and easily predates Halloween as it is now known. Depending on the city or community, children would go around ringing bells and asking for sweets either at Saint Martin (11th of November), New Years’ Day (do I have to say when this is?), or Three Kings (Epiphany, Twelfth Day – whichever name you prefer, the 6th of January). I’ve lived in communities where each of those was usual, and each has their own children’s songs to sing asking. Three Kings tended to be more money-oriented, Saint Martin more candy oriented, New Year’s Day had songs about both money and sweets.

    Christmas has certainly lost much of its religious weight…For people from a Christian/Jewish tradition. I know plenty of atheists and agnostics who’ll happily celebrate it as the day to be thankful for family, come together, just celebrate the safety and warmth of the familial nest.
    On the other hand, being from an area where about 45% of the population is Muslim – I assure you, Christmas *isn’t* considered “everybody’s holiday” here. I wish people a happy Ramadan and a happy Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr, and some will wish me a happy Christmas or Easter, but certainly not all – some are angry and annoyed about all the ways in which Christmas is made easy, while their festivals meet with opposition (the streets are filled with Christmas lights, people get days off work, etc, in comparison to laws banning Dhabiha butchering (Hallal meat, basically, though the two terms can’t be used interchangingly).

  22. Joshua says:

    Oh, also a Patreon supporter here and a Discord server doesn’t provide me with any benefits as I’d never use it.

    However, I sure am happy about the amount of written articles in the past month or so!

  23. RFS-81 says:

    I’ve lived in Germany and the Netherlands, and while I’ve seen more and more store decorations and costume parties come up, I’ve never encountered trick-or-treaters. But I haven’t lived in neighborhoods with many children for over 5 years now.

    Nice background, by the way. Is it also from a game?

  24. Steve C says:

    Oxygen Not Included- There is an alternative to an exo-suit. 1)Print off a brand new duplicate and send him through a one-way door into the hostile environment. 2)Have him create a safe(r) environment for the next duplicate. 3)Goto #1.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      That is a great plan. Why didn’t I think of that?
      Don’t duplicants get sad when duplicants die though?

      1. Steve C says:

        Only a minor amount of stress. A death is the same stress as if they got wet. Printing a new friend makes them happy. Someone dying + a replacement has the same net effect as if they stepped in a puddle.

  25. Dreadjaws says:

    In my country Halloween was introduced about a decade ago, and it’s grown in popularity over the years. Can’t say I’ve seen Christmas getting any less popular, though.

  26. Synapse says:

    In regards to the Discord server; i think either option is fine you do already provide so much free and worthy content with the blog. That bieng said I lean towards free just because im in between finishing my programming degree and gettin a job so I don’t have expenses to support so many Paterons I want :(.

    Im pretty frequent on Joseph Anderson’s discord server which is free and it’s great chatting with alot of other fans about movies,tv,games, programming etc. But with that you would def have to think more about moderation depending on how many more non Paterons users are on the server.

    Putting my biases aside asking what the Paterons supporting you think is prob best, if they would like something exclusive* for backing you that’s def ok.

    * As negative a connotation exclusivity can imply I don’t mean it in a bad way :)

  27. Blacksmith says:

    I support your Patreon, and I feel no desire to have special goodies. That being said, if you feel that you can make more money by doing so, I won’t be upset either. Do whatever brings in the most money.

  28. Redrock says:

    No real Halloween here in Russia, at least not generally. Some hip young adults in big cities organize Halloween themed parties, but not much otherwise. Hell, there’s even some pushback against Halloween from the crazier conservatives around here, who say it’s a Satanist Western tradition that promotes devil worship, debauchery, etc. The Russian Orthodox Church certainly isn’t a fan of the holiday.

    As to whether Halloween is becoming more prominent in the USA than Christmas, I can certainly see that happening. With pop culture obsession becoming more common and accepted in adults of all ages it makes a lot of sense. Everyone loves movies, TV, games, etc, these days. At the same time, a lot of people seem divided over how exactly holiday greetings should sound.

    1. MelfinatheBlue says:

      Eh, we’ve got the “ACK PAGAN SATAN PANIC” Halloween backlash here in the USA, you just don’t hear much about it (it’s been going on since I was little, I knew a couple of kids who weren’t allowed to celebrate it). Mostly the evangelical Protestants though (at least that’s the ones I’ve encountered or read about)….

  29. Fizban says:

    Non-monetary supporter, and I don’t use Discord so I wouldn’t see anything anyway. I would mention that preview/early access for subscribers is essentially the Crunchyroll anime delivery model, and it seems to work for them. I don’t think a week delay would really work for a blog, but I don’t mind at all if subscribers get previews, chat channels, or earlier notice of what might be upcoming.

    From what I’ve heard it sounds like some people basically have a twitter-like stream of minor updates on their subscriber feed, which seems like something that some people would like to subscribe to, assuming that’s the kind of thing the creator can naturally do without it being disruptive.

  30. Echo Tango says:

    Re: guy-carrying-you costume
    When you brought that up, I immediately thought of this fine fellow, from Sesame Street. :)

  31. The Discord dilemma is easy.

    Have a public channel, and have a VIP one (patreons etc).
    This will make the VIP one less noisy and more exclusive compared to the fully public one.
    It will be easier for you to catch up on VIP chatter that way as the log for a public one will most likely grow very quickly.

  32. Decius says:

    Halloween and Christmas are the same to programmers.

  33. TehShrike says:

    I don’t use any forums. I used to use forums heavily, but they don’t have a place in my life right now.

    I agree with krellen that chat and forums are different things and not mutually exclusive at all.

    I’m in a lot of Discord channels. I would join a Twenty Sided channel if it existed.

    I’m a Patreon backer, but I have no strong opinions on making the channel private or not. I’d rather not have different channels for patrons versus readers, it just makes it difficult to decide where to have general discussion.

    Give patrons a role with a special color and you’re fine, no need to do anything specialer.

    I’m a moderator in a few chat rooms, I could help with a Twenty Sided chat. In non-massive communities it doesn’t amount to much more than kicking out the rare spammer. I doubt the Twenty Sided community gets too rowdy, but if you’re curious about my opinions on moderation I can share ’em. this post covers it pretty well

  34. The Unforgiven says:

    Hey Shamus, I just wanted to let you know that the RSS feed doesn’t seem to be working. I listen (or have listened, I suppose would be more accurate) to the podcast using Overcast on iPhone and it hasn’t updated in months. I know you posted an alternative a few podcasts ago, but that one doesn’t seem to work either. I’m not sure if the problem is on my end or your end, but I just wanted to let you know that there might still be a problem.

  35. Matty1Monopoly says:

    If you made a free discord channel I would join it. I only come to your site every few months to see if anything cool is going on. I originally found out about your stuff back in 2012 when smudboy liked your Mass Effect 3 video and I found out about spoiler warning. As time has gone on, smudboy has turned into a nitpick channel and you’ve gone on to making only written content.

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You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

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