When it comes to video-based media I love movies and tv shows, but above everything else the last few years I find myself consistently watching regularly releasing content on YouTube. My favorite content to watch is a small corner of creators who specialize in Game Reviews, some of them more serious, others more silly, but most are a mix of the two. Doing bits and riffs on games, funny editing and scripting, and overall just having a great time! This unique corner of the internet has kept me regularly entertained for nearly 5 years now and it has been really fun watching the community grow and change and adjust with trends, YouTube policies, and more. I hope with this series to give just a little back to the community that practically gives out free entertainment in a way that helps spread the word about them and grows their audience if only just a little bit. The first channel I will be featuring is Pushing Up Roses!
BEFORE WE GET STARTED: Something that Roses feels strongly about is support and awareness of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). It is something that she struggles with and she encourages anyone who also struggles with BDD to check out the resource http://bddfoundation.org/ Hopefully if this is something that you too find yourself facing that you find Roses’ story encouraging and this resource helpful!
I’m really excited that the first person featured in this series is Pushing Up Roses, especially right after her hitting 100,000 subscribers! I’ve been watching her videos for a few years now and have always enjoyed her snarky humor and intelligent analysis of games. Along with game reviews, she has covered all sorts of interesting topics in gaming, Sex and Death in games, Save Slots, Moon Logic, and even a “Where are they Now” on FMV actors.
Her content always feels original, and many of the games she’s covered I’ve never seen covered on other channels. In the off chance that I have seen it covered by another reviewer, her approach is unique and entertaining. Her special brand of sarcasm has earned quite a few laughs and chuckles from me. Perhaps even more important is the fact that my daughter enjoys her content; she gets excited and climbs into my lap if she sees me watching a Pushing Up Roses video. (Her favorite video so far is “Grossology”) On top of all that, Roses engages well with her fan base and proves herself to be an incredibly brave individual facing a few obstacles and overcoming some major life trials (understated by a long shot) that she talks more about in the interview below, and even more so in a wonderfully made “Draw My Life” video she made a few years ago. She even learned how to edit videos specifically to prove to herself that she could do it, and as someone who spent a butt load of money and does video work professionally, respect Roses, RESPECT.
If you go to Pushing Up Roses channel you’ll find mostly two kinds of videos. The first kind is centered around a specific game that she goes through and reviews. Analyzing various aspects of the game, while making a few snarky comments. A vast majority of these games are classic Point and Click Adventure titles like King’s Quest, Grim Fandango, Monkey Island, and the Humungous Entertainment titles. Whether a well known title or completely obscure within that genre, it usually be found on her channel. The other type of videos are video essays of a specific topic in gaming. She uses different games to support her conclusion and the result is a fascinating look at an aspect of games that you may not have considered before. She also has a few things that aren’t adventure games and aren’t video essays, but those two are the ones that can be expected.
To conclude I’ll say this. Thanks Pushing Up Roses for being a super cool person that my daughter looks up to, for doing this interview, and for creating great content! She is well worth the time and a subscription! Visit her channel here!
Some of my personal favorite videos that I recommend checking out are
- What is your favorite video of yours? Why?
I am not sure I have a favorite. They are all great accomplishments for the most part, though some of the older ones suffer from lack of experience and sub-par quality. I think one of the best ideas I had for a video was for my “Where Are They Now: FMV Actors” video. I hadn’t seen it done before and I thought it could be a unique video. It’s one of my most viewed so I guess other people share that opinion. The video I am most proud of is undoubtedly my Draw My Life video. I put a LOT of work into it and it had me feeling the most fulfilled by far.
- What got you started in doing video based game reviews?
I had always liked video games first and foremost. I think what got me started was wanting to be a part of a site called That Guy With the Glasses back in 2010 or so. I liked that everyone appeared to be friends and having fun making “reviews” about what they liked, and I thought I could try that using my love for video games. I started doing very short let’s plays on older computer games, and they were fun but I knew I wanted to do something more. I had studied fiction writing in college and knew I had a talent for that, so when I started using YouTube more exclusively I changed my format to more snarky, personal gaming videos.
- Did you learn to shoot and edit to do YouTube or was that something you already knew how to do?
I had absolutely NO idea how to do ANYTHING video related when I started. I couldn’t even edit let’s play videos. It was pretty damn sad.
I never really had interest in making movies or videos growing up. I liked art and writing and that’s really where my skills were. But for some reason seeing other people do videos piqued my interest and I just had to learn. Another producer taught me how to do very simple editing, enough to align game footage with my commentary. Even then, I struggled HARD. I had never worked with video tracks, audio tracks, or hell, even microphones or capturing software. I always felt like an outcast whenever I got together with other video producers because it seemed like everyone had experience in something related: acting, editing, radio…things of that nature. It took me awhile to find my groove but once I did things became easier and I definitely have standards for how I edit. It can still be difficult though, seeing as how I DESPISE being on camera and have no experience with acting or presenting, but I make it work.
- What has been the best part about doing Pushing Up Roses?
Definitely the feeling you get when someone expresses joy from watching your videos. And not just joy but appreciation; sometimes I get messages and emails saying I lifted someone’s spirit after they had watched a few of my videos, or I help to quell their depression when they feel especially sad. Even though making money doing something I love has been a benefit, I’ve always wanted to do this for personal reasons.
- What are some of the biggest challenges of doing Pushing Up Roses?
The biggest challenge is being a public figure of sorts while contending with Body Dysmorphic Disorder and depression. Sometimes I joke to myself, “Wow, you seriously picked the wrong job, didn’t you?” I’ve had to learn to structure my career in a way that allowed me to keep going through hard times. I had to learn how to deal with sometimes being on camera, and accepting when I couldn’t when the BDD got especially hard. I had to tell myself that it was okay to redo parts of my videos to make myself more comfortable. I’ve had to say no to collaborations that would potentially flare my disorder, and be as candid as I can with colleagues and fans at conventions who wanted to take my photos. It’s can be extremely taxing because this particular mental illness is one that isn’t as familiar to people as others are, so I’ve had to not only find a comfort zone that both challenges me when I need to be challenged and reassures me when I need to be reassured, but I’ve also had to attempt to explain this disorder to people I work with. But as much as it is difficult, it is also satisfying: Every time I complete a video, it’s a victory and a step in the right direction. And this entire experience has taught me how I can work WITH my mental illness and not against it, and it’s also taught me how to be more candid and upfront with people.
- What video games are you playing these days?
I don’t have a lot of time to play games leisurely, but I finished up Cuphead not long after that came out, and I like to revisit my favorite older computer games every now and then. I’ve been going through Escape from Monkey Island, and have also been playing Final Fantasy 9 in my spare time.
- Do you recommend them?
- How long have you been doing Youtube?
I started uploading in 2010 – I initially only uploaded long Let’s Plays. I then switched to Blip as my primary platform while I was on TGWTG. When I left there, I started uploading frequently in the beginning of 2013. So I’d say about 7 or 8 years with some less frequent uploads while on TGWTG. The last 5 years has been the most active.
- What are your current goals? (if applicable)
Well, I recently hit my main goal, which was hitting 100K subscribers. I was absolutely thrilled when I hit it; I’m still coming down from the excitement. That was THEE goal, so now I don’t even know what to do with myself. My goals still entail putting out the very best content I can, and I am also working on a memoir about mental illness.
- How would you describe Pushing Up Roses?
That is a great question. I honestly have no idea, hah. I don’t even remember what I put in my channel description; whatever it is, it probably needs to be updated. I should do that after answering these questions.
The channel is mostly a personality based one where the presenter, moi, discusses gaming, TV shows, Murder Mystery, and whatever the hell she wants. I’ve always told people that even though there’s an emphasis on games, it’s mostly about me and my personal experiences with gaming and all other things I love, hate, or just want to talk about. I never know how to describe it, though. Sometimes I go on Twitter and ask my followers how they would describe it so I can use it for descriptions and interviews. I bet they don’t even realize I am USING THEM LIKE PAWNS, MUAHAHAHAHA.
- What was the first video game you remember playing?
Well, my brother had a Nintendo when I was very young, so I vaguely remember seeing him play it, but I don’t recall playing it with him. The first memory I have where I was dedicating all of my attention to a game was when I was 4 or 5, and my Aunt loaded up King’s Quest 3 for us to play together. I instantly liked the computer, and found it SO fun to control a character that I can give commands. We were terrible at it. Even if I could only get a couple points for figuring out the most mundane puzzles, it excited me. I also discovered Space Quest around the same time and enjoyed that as well. Whenever I went to her house all I wanted to do was play on those games on the computer.
- What are your current top 5 games?
They are always changing of course, but I think my top five would include Grim Fandango, The Dagger of Amon Ra, Aladdin (Genesis version), Super Mario World, and Gabriel Knight. But honestly, I can rattle off titles I love forever; a top 5 doesn’t even begin to cut it.
- What/who your inspirations for Pushing Up Roses?
Yanno, I am not sure. I think my main inspiration was just…wanting to do something to challenge myself. To prove I COULD do it. You know how really snotty people always comment on things with, “Ugh, this sucks, I bet *I* could do that!” Well, I told myself “I bet *I* could do that”, and then did it! I definitely watched a few producers; I really liked Little Miss Gamer, and like most people I also watched AVGN and the Nostalgia Critic, but I mostly wanted to do this for my own satisfaction and tried not to mimic other producers too much.
- Are there any other creators out there you enjoy watching and would recommend people go check out?
My favorite people to watch on YouTube are Lazy Game Reviews, Brutalmoose, Hbomberguy, Lindsay Ellis, Kiri Callaghan, and Ask A Mortician (Caitlin Doughty). I recommend all of them. Oh, and I also LOVE You Suck At Cooking.
I hope you enjoyed this feature on Pushing Up Roses and head on over to her channel to give her your support by subscribing and and then head on over and check out the other channels she mentioned!