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Spoony the "Tyrant"
The nature of reputation is that whatever people feel you should be, you will be. And so, contrary to lack of evidence, Spoony is a thin-skinned diva who despises his fans. His popularity peaked in 2009, he inadvertently nurtured a hatedom in 2010, and the haters simply EXPLODED by 2011. He has, to put it succinctly, replaced the Irate Gamer as the token bogeyman of the internet. It'll take years for him to live this down.

The question becomes whether or not he deserves this status. Internet critics are magnets for these kinds of wars; people pick their designated sides and are labeled "fanboys" or "haters", ignoring the moderates in-between. In Spoony's case, he probably wasn't ready to manage a forum. He assumed that taking a proactive stance with the loudest trolls would be a good aggressive move — failing to realize that the people who netted him the Mashables "Funniest Person to Follow" Award and donated money to TGWTG expected a little dividend. More seasoned web personalties, like AVGN or the Cinema Snob, know how to avoid needless confrontation. Behaving as recklessly as the trolls (or at least putting up a hard-assed image) will just explode in your face.

I'll be honest: those who say Noah's early videos are superior have a point. He wasn't playing a character back then. Once his site went online, he felt compelled to carve out a persona, and stayed firmly in character... probably even during situations that didn't call for it.. Several of Noah's fellow contributers at TGWTG have reported that he is nowhere near that angry in daily life. Like it or not, he's still raw at this reviewer thing, and his style is evolving. He's blessed with comic timing and is a gifted mimic, but he overly relies on that standard 'angry reviewer' rant laced with curses and screams. This runs counter to his biggest strength; namely, geeky gonzo journalism.
This review suffers from multiple personality disorder.
comment #5747 Scardoll 11th Jan 11
Was the crack about his hair and heart condition really necessary?
comment #5748 emeriin 11th Jan 11
I erased the entirely reasonable message from my memory when I saw communism compared to child molestation.
comment #5749 Kerrah 11th Jan 11
would you prefer the term "kiddy fiddling"?
comment #5750 johnnyfog 11th Jan 11
I quite liked the FFX reviews, thank you very much.

I don't agree with everything Spoony does, but I do think the amount of grief Spoony gets for every little thing he does that rankles someone is ridiculous, so I appreciate the call for reason. But I am having some serious difficulty parsing that last paragraph. Edit for clarity plz?
comment #5751 MBI 11th Jan 11
EDIT: Sorry, I skimmed over the review.
comment #5752 Scardoll 11th Jan 11 (edited by: Scardoll)
To be fair, I think there's a lot of sarcasm in this review that isn't being conveyed very well.
comment #5753 MBI 11th Jan 11
would you prefer the term "kiddy fiddling"?

I work at a kindergarten. Comparing child molestation to an economic system you dislike is a pretty sure way to make yourself look like a complete ass.
comment #5763 Kerrah 12th Jan 11
And yet my conscience is undamaged.

But to elaborate for other people, I've always considered myself a nerd, but lately I feel as if I don't meet the mandatory requirements. The more strident ones very opinionated on 'free speech' and so any suppression of dissent is an act of war. The line between constructive criticism and being a dickhole has turned invisible. And once Spoony displeased them, he became marked for life; Hence the child molester line. In point of fact, 'constructive criticism' is nowadays code for 'butthurt' and a vocal minority of nerds take the attitude of You exist to service.....Us. toward their web personalities.
comment #5767 johnnyfog 12th Jan 11
And yet my conscience is undamaged.

Well, it's not like an ass ever realizes it smells like shit.
comment #5770 Scardoll 12th Jan 11
Yeah because if a person gets pissed off at people tearing into his shit or insulting his friends, that clearly means he's an unreasonable douchebag with ego problems. Spoony is honest, harsh and high strung, and sometimes he gets mad, yes, because if you ever fuck up and maybe say something stupid, that automatically makes him a bad, bad man, never mind all the times he says how much he loves his fans, if he gets mad once all that goodwill is gone.

And the child molestation line was simply a joke, you have to understand that while you might not find it funny, everything is offensive to somebody, ergo either all comedians are awful people or you need to get over it.
comment #5785 Phrederic 12th Jan 11
No, the problem wasn't the mention of child molestation. The person was complaining because you called communism an evil equal to child molestation. And I'm inclined to agree with him/her.

Besides that, this is a very intelligent review that I agree with wholeheartedly.
comment #5789 Wackd 12th Jan 11
Woah, me? I didn't compare the two. And the point was that, in the united states, communism gets a very, very bad rap, to the point that admitting you're a communist is at the same level as admitting to be a child molester, a bit of hyperbole, but it's pretty damn true.

And why are we focusing on one line that has nothing to do with the review at all?
comment #5809 Phrederic 13th Jan 11
I actually like his latest stuff more than the earlier type of reviews. However aside from that, I agree that if you give him a subject, a camera, and about an hour to give his thoughts on a subject, he is very, very good at it. Take the wrestling vids - which I know not everyone likes so I'm putting a Your Mileage May Vary condition on this statement - which are composed of him sitting down with some notes and then taking apart TN Aimpact, and it's really entertaining.

Personally, I think the style and wit of his reviews has been refined over the past year, with the set of Ultima reviews being my all-time favourites, but I could be alone in thinking this. I can see how the more carefully crafted reviews are different from his v-logs, and how these can be seen as losing the immediacy and intensity of some of his ranting.

Yet, there is one thing that can be said very clearly, and that his fanbase may qualify as the Most Triumphant Example of an Unpleasable Fanbase. If you come over to his site having previously been a frequenter of TGWTG.com, you're in for a shock. The Nostalgia Critic has a series of trolls that comment on his videos, but most of these are just rebuked by everyone else, told to shut up and are mostly ignored. If you move over into Linkara's section, you'll find a very supportive fanbase that tend to be very thoughtful of their critique and use it to constructive ends, because everyone knows that Lewis actually reads the posts and if you point something out, he will take it on board immediately or test it out for improvement. Moving on into Cinema Snob or Phelous's territory, you have fans that just love picking apart weird, strange, and perverse films with their respective critics, and are usually horror or R-rated film buffs who love talking about the movies they watch. ... But if you go to the spoonyexmperiment.com you have people who deride, insult and criticize both him and everything he's ever done, constantly pick apart what he says for any hidden meaning and then criticize him further for banning the people who were just outright insulting him. (Btw, I'm not implicating the writer of this review in any way of being this, and consider the entire review soundly realised).

Just recently when he had to take time off because he had freaking hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and was trying to work out his meds, you still had people complaining about the lack of updates, and if by chance he managed to put something brief together that he thought was entertaining, they would complain about the fact that they weren't "proper updates"! I'm not trying to say the man isn't flawed, because he is! He's human, for chrissakes! He has plenty of flaws in his work, and things to attend to in order to get better at what he is doing. It's the same with the Nostalgia Critic, Linkara, and is going to be true for anyone else out there who is an entertainer who hasn't perfected their art. More so, TGWTG has only existed for what, 4, 5 years? Everyone still has a long way to go. Constructive criticism is always needed for feedback so you can improve. And I've come across many reasonable people who can give very astute critique, and who have done exactly that. But everything is shaded in a negative light when you have people who just tear apart pretty much anything he puts up, insult him, and then criticize him for "turning heel on his fans" (recently one of the more stupider comments I've read). Any worthwhile feedback or opinion at all just gets lost in the mass of seething idiocy. Yet, after this kind of treatment, when he then gets up in front of the camera and apologizes for not updating due to health problems, it just crosses the line. Suffering from my own chronic health concerns, and knowing how debilitating they can be, I'm surprised he hasn't gotten up in front of the camera and told everyone to fuck-off (which is what a large slab of his fanbase have accused him of doing already).

Sorry for ranting on this, and attaching your nicely worded review to a 400 + word count post full of angry, mostly incomprehensible raving. If it's of any consolation, a moderator will probably come along and erase this before it sticks around too long. I don't know whether I'd qualify as a Fan Hater or what, but I do know that I have growing homicidal urges and when I finally crack, Spoony's fanbase is going to be the final straw.

Again, sorry for the rant.
comment #5826 13secondspastmidnight 14th Jan 11 (edited by: 13secondspastmidnight)
dercommissar, is that you?
comment #5831 johnnyfog 14th Jan 11
Well this is one of those "your denial doesn't mean anything" kind of things, isn't it?

For the record, though, no.

comment #5927 13secondspastmidnight 17th Jan 11
Holy Crap! Spoony *liked* FFX-2? Consider my mind officially blown! Don't get me wrong, I like it myself, but I was getting geared up for Spoony to vent his spleen on the game. Turns out there won't be much genuine spleen to vent, aparrently.
comment #7113 Arthur 28th Mar 11
Good review, and pretty fair. Shame people are getting strung up on minor quips about kiddy fiddling. I didn't even know about Spoony's heart condition, so I have even more respect for the guy now that I have read this.
comment #7117 maninahat 29th Mar 11
removed the reference to kiddy fiddling and bum tickers.
comment #7243 johnnyfog 11th Apr 11
@Arthur Wait, did I miss something? When did Spoony review FFX-2? I'm pretty sure he didn't do that one yet, and I'm also sure he said he doesn't like it.

For the review itself, everything has pretty much already been said: if any group of fans deserves to be "tyrant"ed on, its some of the ones at that wretched hive of sum and villainy that is the Spoonyones forums. What I honestly do not understand though is the idea that Spoony's old videos were better. What videos are the people that say these watching? His acting, editing, scripting, and camera work has improved exponentially over the years and I for one have trouble going back and watching his earlier stuff and still maintaining they were made by the same guy. The people who believe in "Good Spoony" are just plain in denial.

I also don't get this thing about calling the Cinema Snob a "seasoned reviewer." The only reason the Snob is on TGWTG now is because Spoony hosted his vids on his website for a while after he got banned from youtube, and like it or not that got him recognized by the Channel Awesome guys since Spoony is under their umbrella. Not only that, but he's arguably been at this longer than even the Nostalgia Critic. Honestly, what -are- you talking about, dude? I'm not saying Spoony is BETTER, but saying he's less experienced is just plain untrue.
comment #7759 randomfox 22nd May 11 (edited by: randomfox)
The Cinema Snob was an actor/filmmaker long before he started making reviews. The guy is more comfortable on camera, and he's older than Spoony. So there's that.

The forums are undeservedly bashed. Really, there's only one or two self-admitted trolls, and they're tame by any standard.

As for "Good Spoony", well, he was only bashing universally hated games back then. The fact of the matter is, Noah Antwiler does not like many things. It's not a matter of snobbery or even personal standards — his taste is extremely narrow. Especially with regards to video games. Like me, he's not a gamer per se — he mostly grew out of that whole scene, and now occasionally plays a Persona game here or there.
comment #10742 johnnyfog 12th Oct 11
Just because you think that there "only one or two self-admitted trolls" doesn't make it so. About your "only bashing universally hated games back then" WRONG. You do remember Final Fantasy 8 right? He may of hated himself(justifiably so) but many do in fact like this game. Same goes for The Thing which got fairly decent review scores back in the day, surprising as this may be some people actually do like that game(Not me)! Finally about Noah not being a gamer, are you serious? Have you seen all the games that he plays on the Xbox and Steam? In all honesty while there are somethings I do not like about him (his Underworld 2 review, Tron Legacy) please give stuff like this consideration before tossing out your not so well informed opinion.

comment #11712 TheChupacabra 3rd Dec 11 (edited by: TheChupacabra)
Well, I happen to have been on his fora for years, and it gets quieter every year.

And frankly, it was never bad to begin with. We had a big hullabaloo over Kickassia, which (GASP) not every person in the world liked. There were nitpicks, just as there were on TVtropes when Suburban Knights was released.

In fact, I think the TGWTG forum is the worst of the two, at least lately. They are just plain irrational. And yes, he plays video games, but I don't think it defines him or informs his job as a critic.

Finally, and this is a side note, but I wrote this a review a long time ago when Spoony's future on the site was in doubt, and I wasn't sure if he was on the verge of burnout or not. I don't know how applicable it is to the site now. He's still not necessarily a happy camper, but I think that's more to do with his day-to-day life than the site, which is partly good news. And a lot of comedians are pretty angry.
comment #13394 johnnyfog 22nd Mar 12 (edited by: johnnyfog)
Hm. I've seen his comment sections. Those tend to be pretty loud and obnoxious—half the commenters are spewing mindless hatred and the other half are shouting them down. I wouldn't know about the fora, though.
comment #13395 Wackd 22nd Mar 12
To be fair it does seem that due to the forum crackdowns a significant portion of the trolls have migrated to the comments, twitter and elsewhere so I don't doubt your comments comparing the two forums but the trolls were never bad to begin with? Just because your perception of reality is different from the truth doesn't make it so. Finally my comments on his Steam and xbox habits were in response to this part of your comment that I previously responded to "The fact of the matter is, Noah Antwiler does not like many things. It's not a matter of snobbery or even personal standards his taste is extremely narrow. Especially with regards to video games. Like me, he's not a gamer per se he mostly grew out of that whole scene, and now occasionally plays a Persona game here or there." To elaborate on what I meant is that his tastes are in fact not narrow, he does in fact like a multitude of games, he is in fact a gamer that has not grown out of the scene and that he plays more than the occasional Persona game. Sorry if my prior statement wasn't clear enough.

Edit:Also if your opinion has changed you might want to edit the review to reflect this.
comment #13478 TheChupacabra 27th Mar 12 (edited by: TheChupacabra)
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