In 2005 YouTube, an online user oriented video platform, was launched for anyone and everyone to use. I remember hearing from someone that there was a hilarious video, looking back probably something to do with a cat, that I just had to watch. I went to the site and clicked and have been hooked by this revolving door of videos ever since. Now somewhat of a YouTube hoarder, I have at least 70 subscriptions and watch almost every video each channel puts out. However, in the last year I’ve started to gravitate towards a specific type of video as my favorite and with over 60 million estimated subscribers in this genre it seems like I’m not alone. Of course I’m talking about the rise of the YouTube gamer.
For whatever reason, 2 years ago I would’ve told you that I had no interest in sitting and watching someone play a video game while listening to their rambling commentary, but lately these have become one of my favorite types of entertainment. The popularity of the gaming channels on YouTube have skyrocketed. Some of the most popular gamers include PewDiePie, Markiplier, TheRPGMinx, and Yamimash who collect hundreds of thousand page views on every video. The most popular, PewDiePie (otherwise known as Felix Kjellberg) , has a massive following of over 26 million subscribers which is more than either Justin Bieber or Rihanna. With such a huge fan base it leads many to wonder what the appeal can be.
While watching this type of video I’ve recently started to wonder what my initial draw to the genre was. Now that I’ve been watching for a while I’m familiar with the personalities but there had to be something that initially drew me in, right? The first thing that I can say that initially got me hooked has the amazing personality types. Whenever I was in a bad mood I’d turn on a gaming video and just have to smile at the guy or girl screaming curses at a game they’re stuck in with reckless abandon. Many gamers now have a face cam and the hilarious faces they make while navigating the game makes it even more entertaining to watch. If I’m in a terrible mood, for me, these things never fail to get me laughing and feeling better.
The variety of content is also a huge draw to many people. No matter what type of gamer you are you can be certain that there is a channel out there for you. While I mainly focus on comedy and horror based players you can easily find videos for cheats, walkthroughs, head to head gaming, online, mmo(massive multi-player online), and literally too many others to list. Not only are there videos for a laugh but if your stuck in a game yourself you can most likely find a video on YouTube to help you progress your own gaming adventure.
Another huge draw to the gaming community is that they are genuine, good people. With such a huge fan base gamers, from what I’ve seen, do more to relate to their fans than almost any other type of YouTuber. Along with adding a fan based section to many videos some gamers even go as far as to support charities. Markiplier is a great example, contributing thousands to charity for cancer research and constantly looking at new opportunities and ways to donate. Find his ongoing charity for breast cancer here at GoFundMe. Along with the great things they do online they are always the nicest people to meet in person. In the past meeting celebrities has always been a less than stellar experience, but at the recent Pax East convention meeting Markiplier and Yamimash was out of this world. Both were genuinely funny, relatable, and so down to earth that I haven’t stopped singing their praises since.
Along with all these things, my favorite part of gaming channels is the constant content they release. Most serious gamers will put out videos, ranging from 5 minutes to an hour, daily. For me knowing something new to watch is there daily makes all the difference. Gaming channels may not be for everyone, but if you haven’t given them a chance or watched in awhile they may be worth giving a shot. Even though I started out being skeptical about this type of entertainment my day wouldn’t be complete without watching. Check it out.