Thursday, February 22, 2024

Pat Contri Hating Me and Using Emulation for His N64 Book

Pat reluctantly posed for this photo at a convention. I thought we were still friends at the time.

My buddy Smash JT did a video recently on Pat Contri’s forthcoming N64 book. He mentions me in the video as someone Pat has unfairly insulted on his YouTube channel and podcast, which I appreciate – thanks, Smash. But just to be clear, I wasn't consulted for the video, and I've never commented on Pat’s N64 book before this blog post. I've also never commented on his and his contributing writers’ use of emulation to write the reviews. I figured that was his business, and it didn’t really affect me.

I’ve discussed other retro gaming books by other writers on my blog and my YouTube channel, but I don’t really feel comfortable commenting too much on the N64 book until I take a look at it. As far as emulation in general is concerned, it makes sense for rare and expensive games, but less so for common ones. Those should be fairly easy to purchase (and later resold if needed to recoup the money) or at least borrow and play on original hardware. I love physical media, and original cartridges are always preferable, but it is what it is. Regardless, if he wants review games using emulators, that’s his prerogative and not really my concern--it's actually a common practice. It's certainly NOT a scam to write a gaming book using emulation, as Smash JT's video states. It's not a perfect solution for games you don't have access to, but it's a solution. My issues with Pat run much deeper.

One thing is clear: had Pat, who I was friends with for almost 10 years, not only turned on me and started trashing me on his podcast as soon as my first Omnibus book came out (his attitude change toward me was instantaneous when he saw me as a competitor), I would probably be congratulating him and maybe even helping him promote the N64 book—after all, we were friends and had an amiable working relationship. I promoted the hell out of his NES book during the Kickstarter and for weeks after it came out, because I was proud to be a part of it, and to help him out. I even message him congratulations on his Super NES Kickstarter, which he ignored.

Pat was thrilled that I was a guest at Mo Game Con.

But, as soon as he saw me as competition instead of a friend and colleague, he started lying about me repeatedly on his podcast and calling me names. Among other things, he called me a "passive aggressive asshole," presumably because I've tried to deal with this pointless conflict in a cordial manner. He said my reviews for his NES book were “garbage” after he deleted them for the publication of the THIRD edition. He brought me up on his podcast periodically, just to say bad things about me and my reviews, which is totally strange and disingenuous since he complimented them repeatedly during the production of the book. In 2015, he said "great job" and that I was a "backbone" helping keeping his NES book going, as you can see by the email below. During the writing process of his NES book, and while the first two editions were in print, he was cool to me and said nice things about my reviews (while sometimes suggesting edits), but then things changed. Even before he started getting really nasty with me, he began ghosting me at conventions and acting uncomfortable around me—but only after my SNES Omnibus Vol. 1 came out.

To provide a backstory on how things went south with Pat, when it was time for the third edition of his NES book to be published, he announced that there were going to be 60 reviews completely rewritten. I remembered that I had done approximately that amount and messaged him to inquire if he was taking out my reviews. He saw the message but didn’t answer me, which was odd. I wish he had given me a heads-up because I was still mentioning that I had written reviews for his book in my bio and my resume—freelance writers like myself are constantly sending out pitches to various editors, using their credentials when submitting article ideas.

Pat had every right to remove my reviews from his book, but I just wish he would have given me the professional courtesy of letting me know. It really did cause problems for me. For example, leading up to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo around that time, my guest bio on their website, which I had submitted months before, mentioned that I had written for his NES book. Well, if someone only had the third edition of the book and then saw that bio, they would be confused or think that I was lying. So, I had to contact PRGE and have them delete that bit of information. First-world problem to be sure, but annoying. Much worse, his followers began harassing me online, based on Pat's harsh words about me. Pat even insults me “privately” on his Patreon. (Message for Pat – nothing online is private.)

The bottom line is this: Pat only started being a jerk to me after my first SNES Omnibus book came out. It is a large full-color hardcover, unlike my more basic Classic Home Video Games books, which he didn’t see as competition. He’s spreading false information when he says he thinks my reviews are garbage. He paid me for them and complimented them several times. And even if thinks they are garbage, and even if he heavily edited a few of them (a common practice for editors), is that really the way to treat one of your writers and supposed friends? I’ve written hundreds and hundreds of articles for various publications and never once did any of my other editors start insulting me about it later. In fact, Pat’s is my only editor to have ever insulted me at all. Sure, I had work rejected before, like any working writer, but those editors acted like professionals. People had warned me about working with Pat—that he might turn on me, which he ended up doing—but unfortunately I ignored them.

Oh, and one more thing: if my NES reviews in Pat's book were indeed garbage, then he should be soundly criticized for publishing them in the first two editions of his book. None of my other editors/publishers would have published and sold what they thought was awful writing. Those "terrible"  reviews of mine would have simply ended up in...the garbage.

More evidence that Pat was happy with my work during the writing of the book:


Elvis Perri said...

That all seems to be a damn shame with pats change towards you. Also because at the end of the day your books could compliment each other You seem to me to be the more truthful of you both. I plan on buying your books one day + the kiss book too that’s awesome. Other game books like Atari, sega, ps, Xbox would be great as well

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

abundantly clear that pat liked your reviews until you became inconvenient for him as a fellow author. pat contri should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

A guy who labels himself a punk, actually being a little punk? Shocker... What's next? People being surprised that Shady Jay is actually shady?