Friday, February 10, 2023

Marcus "Armake21" Sparacio (January 16, 1983 – January 29, 2023)

On January 29th, 2023, news broke that Marcus Sparacio had passed away due to medical complications, a little over a couple weeks after his 40th birthday.

Sparacio is perhaps best known in the Youtube circles for his series of angry review videos under the moniker of Armake21; one of the first such reviewers to gain a following after the explosion of the Angry Video Game Nerd and the whole angry reviewing cycle. Over the years, he has adopted many other online handles; NicotineAlien, BoxedEntertainment21, TheWaste0Time, and Marc0. He made videos that had him playing games and sometimes even discuss certain topics, but every once in a while, he'd bring back the Armake21 gimmick for a special occasion.

Out of all the angry reviewer types to come out of the woodworks, the one that I gravitated towards the most was Armake21. And for what it's worth, he was one of the best in the genre because his performances in those videos were such that it blurred the lines between reality and fiction. Whereas most angry reviewers would show mock anger in a completely unbelievable manner that made it obvious that this was just a show, Armake's anger felt believable, genuine, and sometimes unhinged to the degree where you had to question whether this was an act or was he really that angry? That's what made his videos so good. Because the idea of angry reviewing is getting pissed off at the most trivial things; that's where the humor lies. Seeing some guy rage over the fact that he fell off the Deadly Tower time and time again and getting more angry with each passing moment was fucking hilarious.

What added to the persona was when he would talk about more topical things. His rant on copy protection methods fucking over the consumer who buys legitimate copies of games is one that I urge everyone to watch, as it touches on a subject matter that is as relevant today as it was back then, if not more so now. The Decline Of Gaming is another one. Most people remember the absolute railing that he gave to Chris "Irate Gamer" Bores. Those are great rants. Hell, I even enjoyed the one video where he showed people how he made reviews. He only made one, but I actually enjoyed it, if only to see that process in action.

Marcus fell off the radar a few times and when he came back a few years ago and he did videos that were just him playing games... those were some good videos. It was just a guy playing games and having fun. It was a stark contrast from the guy who once wrecked a copy of Bomberman Act Zero. And in a way, it was a nice bit of storytelling in hindsight; the angry young man who raged to the heavens found peace and emerged from the darkness an enlightened man.

I never knew the man, never spoken to him. All I know of him are through his videos and his occasional comments on various Youtube videos. And yet his loss feels like I've lost a friend that I hadn't seen in years. It probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but when you watch someone for as long as I have - whether it was his newer stuff or whether it was revisiting the classic material hosted on the ArmakeArchive Youtube channel - well worth checking out to revisit some classic Armake videos - you feel as though that person has been a part of your life in some indirect fashion.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Marcus' family and friends.

Thanks for the memories, Marc0.


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