If you ever wondered how Dank Art happened it all goes back to 2014 when two of my friends, Tomato & Poetrader, started streaming games for fun that summer. As the weeks went by, I thought it would be a fun idea to draw along with their stream to help add to its experience and its enjoyment (mostly my own). It’s been almost two years & my friends little stream Poemato CX is growing with them, their lives and their relationship.
If you’re not familiar with this ghost & vegetable duo, Heidi & Clyde are best known for their recent book: Legends of Localization Zelda– a companion guide that focuses on the differences betwee n the North American and Japanese release of Zelda on the NES. Clyde is also known for his work on a few fan translations of Japanese games, notably the Mother 3 Fan Translation.
Here’s a quickie Q&A with Mato about streaming
Tell me a bit about what is Poemato CX and where you both stream from (as in city/state)
My wife and I stream all sorts of strange games – usually crazy Japanese games – in what we call Poemato CX. We’re located in Tucson, Arizona and use these streams as a way to play games. Our lives are so busy that streaming is the only way we can find time to sit down and play games anymore.
What made you want to get into streaming? Was it more of a fun thing to do or had the idea been there for a while to start doing it
It all started when I was working on a new version of the MOTHER 3 fan translation. After making all the changes I wanted to make, I needed to test the entire game to make sure everything worked properly. I figured it might be fun to share that with other fans, so I set my shyness aside and streamed the entire game over a week or two. It was a lot of fun, so more games followed after that.
Back when you started up how basic was your set up compared to what you are doing now?
I originally took ideas from Starmen.Net’s funfest streams and combined them with my basic knowledge of website layout to create a simple but nice setting for our streams. Programming is a hobby of mine so I naturally wanted to improve things and add more functionality, so now there are all kinds of fancy automated scripts, special effects, and other bells and whistles. It’s fun making them and newcomers often seem impressed enough to keep watching for a while.
What kind of games do you like to stream on PoematoCX? Tell me about some of the hacked games and memorable games you have featured
We used to celebrate odd holidays such as World Cat Day by playing a bunch of games revolving around related themes. We also play a lot of Japanese games – usually I’ll translate everything live and sometimes I’ll also have fancy programming stuff that displays English text overlays automatically. We used this to play an incredible Japanese hack of Final Fantasy VI that added loads of new content. It was great fun and a very memorable experience. Other times we’ll do more traditional streams like Zelda speedruns, but often with extra little quirks, like adding a heart monitor or letting the stream chat affect the game in question through programming magic.
What would you say are your goals with streaming? Are you setting any serious goals with your streams or do you just like to play games and share the experience with people
I’d say our goal is just to have fun and to have an outlet for playing games. Without these streams we almost never take time out to play video games anymore. Maybe it’s because we like the social aspect of streaming and playing alone doesn’t feel as fun anymore. I consider streaming to be a lot like the old days when you’d go to a friend’s house just to watch them play games. Sometimes it’d be a game you don’t own and wouldn’t see otherwise, or sometimes it’d be a game you own too but was more fun in a social setting. I view streaming as the modern version of that. So if people come watch our silly streams with that mindset, then my goal is already achieved.
in your words, how would you say you make your stream unique? do you offer information on the games or an opinion? do you play really really good? Would you say you are the only Poe & Tomato team?
I think the fact that we’re a little older than many streamers is a big factor. I think the fact that we act like our normal, silly selves helps too. We’re not very good gamers and not very knowledgeable gamers, so I think it comes down to who we are. We’re probably a standard married couple streaming team I’d say.
Whats the best thing about streaming with your wife?
Being able to make new gaming memories with her is great. Having a close partner to interact with helps make streams more interesting too.
chat has joked that the two of you are the kind Mom & Pop twitch streamers. how does that comment sit with you?
I’d say we’re more like the Aunt and Uncle streamers. I can tell kids about “the old days” while playing Japanese games that have yet to release outside of Japan. I’m that uncle that every kid used to have who worked at Nintendo and played games before they came out.
You are a tomato of many hats- I could say you work as a translator but you are more than that these days. Could you tell me a bit about your projects such as books/ translation work
I’ve been a professional translator for almost 15 years now, working on all sorts of stuff like games, anime, movies, and TV shows. I recently took a side hobby of mine – digging into classic game translations – and turned it into a small career too. I now write books on the subject on the side. I also do translation consulting work here and there, and have started dabbling in writing about Japanese gaming history.
You guys havent streamed for a while- what are some of the reasons such as your book, life and cats that are taking more priority?
A couple of factors have kept us from streaming regularly lately. We got some kittens a few months back, and they like to jump around and get in the way. That kept us away for a good while, so for whatever reason it’s been hard to get back into the rhythm. And the more time that passes, the harder it gets to jump back into streaming. My current book writing has also kept me very busy. We do hope to break this weird cycle and get Poemato CX back soon though.
Where do you see Poemato CX in the future? Will there be a glorious return?
I see it being a regular thing again. We miss it and we consider all the regulars visitors genuine friends. I don’t think there’ll be a big, fancy, glorious return though, it’ll just be a quiet “we’re back” realization once we’re in our groove again.