I want you to understand, when I say Burn Down The Sandcastle there is not a hint of irony in there. The Sandcastle represents everything wrong with LP on SA. It’s an echo chamber reinforcing that your LP needs to follow a strict set of rules before its “good enough.” But fuck that noise, if you wanna make an LP do it however you fucking want. If it’s good, someone will watch it. Hell if it’s BAD someone will watch it. But you can’t improve to the point where you rise above the sea of mediocrity that is SALP if you just listen to the advice of people who post in the sandcastle. If you do the exact same thing as everyone else, you’ll just hover in the middle and never be noticed.

I understand why LP is the way it is on SA. But that doesn’t make it right. I’m also not advocating a total lack of feedback, if you accidentally squish a thing to 4:3 that should be 16:9 someone should tell you. But I have not seen any useful feedback regarding commentary in the sandcastle basically ever. Normally it’s whitenoise posting about subtitles vs. voiceover as a commentary style, people asking things like “why are you using sony vegas,” and “why are you hosting your screenshots on imgur and not lpix” and when you get right down to it, none of that shit matters. Use whatever tools you’re comfortable with. If you’re serious about improving your video quality you can ask hey what’s better than X and get a recommendation but to be chastised for something like using Sony Vegas rather than AviSynth is silly.

I remember the exact moment I stopped trusting the sandcastle. I was doing Chime for a megathread pokecapn was doing for downloadable games (which let’s be honest was just a vessel for Sonic 4 Episode 1) and someone in the sandcastle suggested I do it as a voiceover LP. Chime is a music game. Subtitles so that you can hear the music make sense. I never sandcastled Cooking Mama, Beyond Two Souls, NiGHTS Into Dreams, or Battleblock Theater for this exact reason. There’s no point. I know what I’m doing and I’m smart enough to solve problems as they arise.

A long time ago I watched the documentary about the band Wilco making their most well-regarded album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Alot of things about that documentary stuck with me, and I feel like the sandcastle is analogous to Reprise records. After recording Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and delivering the record to Reprise, the label told them they wanted changes made and Wilco’s response was basically “No, this is the album.” which led to Wilco leaving Reprise Records.

Anyway the whole reason I’m mentioning this is that one phrase near the end of the documentary really hit me hard. A music critic for Rolling Stone who’s name escapes me said "This is a record. This is something that probably someone will buy, pay fifteen, sixteen, whatever bucks for it, and that’s cool, but what’s encoded somewhere on the bottom of this thing, this dopey little disc, that’s what matters. This, the artifact, the actual object, does not. What’s encoded in here, if it’s any good, you’ll hear it. And you’ll either get it, or you won’t. And just as a writer, as a fan, as a guy who just listens to music alot, y’know, if you don’t get it, I just think that’s kinda too bad."

I hope you’ve been able to follow my weird disjointed thoughts through this and understand I am not explicitly advocating for a world without feedback, but rather for the destruction of an archaic part of Something Awful’s Let’s Play Community that no longer serves its purpose. Pretty much everyone I have any modicum of respect for in LP discounts the sandcastle as nonsense, and even a few people I don’t. As it stands now, all the sandcastle really does is stifle creativity.

If you do LP’s my advice is to break the mold, go out there and make something worth watching. It may take some practice, I don’t expect anyone to really pull out a fantastic LP as their first one (though it has happened before). But hey, if it’s any good, you’ll see it.