Adam Conover likes to play games, but he prefers not to do it alone. When he’s not working on Adam Ruins Everything or touring on his live comedy special “Mind Parasites,” he boots up his PC and streams some Sekiro on Twitch.
For Adam, streaming isn’t a business venture (he donates his Twitch revenue to charity). He just likes to have company. Games are full of moments that make you grab the nearest person and ask, “Did you just see that?” Playing for an online audience means his partner can catch a break.
And he’s used to performing for the internet. Adam’s college sketch group Olde English racked up viral web video hits back before YouTube had pulled everything into its massive gravitational well. When their videos blew up, there were no analytics pages or push notifications. If a video was a hit, the IT department would drag them to the server room to show them the network-breaking flood of FTP requests.
Adam would move on to College Humor, where he’d launch the first series of Adam Ruins Everything, the internet show that would eventually become a TV show by the same name.
On the show, Adam plays the most pedantic version of himself: a guy who cares a lot about the facts and not a lot about how they make people feel. Off the air, that’s not who he is, but he and his character share a drive to know everything they can about the way things work.
That’s why he launched Humans Who Make Games— a podcast where he goes deep with the creators of his favorite indie titles like Super Meat Boy, Spelunky, and Into The Breach. He cares about the labor and artistry that goes into making the things he loves, and he wants other people to care too.
I knew Adam was a fan of indie games and punishing action, so we played a bit of Cuphead. To spice things up, I decided to drop some heavy existential truths on him every time he died. Check out the video to find out how it all went down. Don’t forget to subscribe to Polygon on YouTube for more.