YouTube: a guide to genre part four
With the release of the sister site Youtube Gaming earlier this year, the gaming community of Youtube has recently received a lot of attention. The community is growing rapidly, and the industry is sustainable, as proved by the streaming site Twitch. Despite what Jimmy Kimmel says, watching Let’s Players play games online can actually be a phenomenal form of entertainment.
Two of the better known Let’s Players are PewdiePie (Felix Kjellberg) and Markiplier (Mark Fischbach). Both specialize in reactionary Let’s Plays. This means that they play a lot of horror games awash with jump scares or over the top humorous games that lend themselves to ridiculous situations. PewdiePie has the most subscriptions on Youtube with 40 million plus subscribers, nearly double the amount of the second most subscribed.
The group of Let’s Players known as Achievement Hunter are the owners of the Youtube Channel titled Let’s Play. Their videos are long form and tend to be more structured than most Let’s Players's videos. This means that rather than just entering a game and playing it from start to finish or wandering around aimlessly, they go into the game with a specific goal or challenge to complete. Their two most popular series are “Grand Theft Auto” and “Minecraft.” Since the two groups work as a part of the same company, Achievement Hunter often collaborates with Funhaus. Funhaus has a slightly warped sense of humor and doesn’t shy away from the adult side of the internet. Basically existing to parody themselves, their shows include “Demo Disk” and “1 Dollar 1 Hour” which highlight terrible games. These two groups prove that you don’t have to be good at video games to play them for a living.
Anyone who watches a lot of Youtube Vloggers knows that one of the most popular formats is the collab (short for collaboration). TheRunawayGuys channel is the result of a collab between three Let’s Players: ProtonJon, NintendoCapriSun and Chuggaaconroy. Though successful in their own rights, the magic happens when the three come together. TheRunawayGuys take on individual projects playing them through to completion. These games are often a party game like “Mario Party” or “Wheel of Fortune.”
One of my favorite Let’s Players is JoshJepson. Josh avoids games like “Grand Theft Auto” and generally plays more lighthearted games generally. For example, his current big project is “Yoshi’s Woolly World,” and he often has one-off episodes in games like “Super Mario Maker” and “Portal Custom Maps.” Also, he frequently collabs with his friend AttackingTucans on their shared channel Versus.
But Youtube Gaming isn’t all Let’s Plays. One of the most well-known gaming channels is The Game Theorist, home to the show “Game Theory.” Hosted by MatPat (Matthew Patrick), this channel uses math, science, history and logic to explain the mysteries of video games. This may mean an explanation of a character’s historical roots, a closer examination of lore or a weapons test.
Though Youtube Gaming is male dominated, there are still plenty of kickass ladies worth a look. Two of my favorites are Lucahjin (Reese Dressler) and LDShadowLady (Lizzie). Both ladies are spontaneous and slightly goofy. Lucahjin is likely to start multiple projects at once and alternate between them. She also enjoys playing Barbie games to mock their girly nature. LDShadowLady mostly plays “Minecraft” and casual games, often with a group of friends, like Vlogger Joey Graceffa.
In fact, many Vloggers have a second gaming channel. Some of the well-known Vloggers who game are The Vlogbrothers (John and Hank Green), Danisnotonfire (Dan Howell) and Amazingphil (Phil Lester), and iJustine (Justine Ezarik). These channels act as a gateway into Let’s Playing for those who are unsure how to access the community.
At their core, Let’s Plays aren’t that different from any other content. They are full of humor and crazy occurrences. The only difference is that the Youtuber’s commentary is based on in-game events rather than everyday situations.
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