-by Dylan DiBona
Once 2010 hit, everybody had a camera in their household. This turned the internet into a cesspool of videos; some funny gems, but most were low quality, repetitive or simply not noteworthy. With an overabundance of let’s players and reviewers, it’s hard to really pick out the best of the bunch. The five YouTubers I’m about to list have content that I have binged, content I come back to over and over again. I prefer these videos to television because they’re centered around my passions, our passion- video games. These are in no order of greatness, it’s just a simple list.
The Gaming Historian
Comedy gaming videos seem to be the main attraction on YouTube, and that’s fair enough; who doesn’t like gaming and laughing? I’m of the belief that, if you have a passion for something, you should have a suitable knowledge of it. If you want to know more about gaming in the early eras, urban legends and obscure titles, look no further than The Gaming Historian.
Norman aka The Gaming Historian, puts together videos of varying lengths with a goal to educate viewers on interesting gaming topics of yesteryear. Don’t worry, it’s not a snooze fest; the editing and layout of every video makes absorbing the facts fun and entertaining. It’s fascinating to learn how the ESRB was formed because of the United States government threatening the video game industry in court, or how Nintendo was sued for its Donkey Kong license “infringing” on the King Kong name. It’s fun but most importantly, educational.
Of all the channels I’ll list, this one is my favorite. It’s not only a shame that YouTuber Satchell doesn’t have more subscribers, but it’s also saddening that the gap between new videos can be unbearably long. What Satchell does here is something truly distinctive and monumental; he doesn’t look at video games, he looks at interactive entertainment. In his most fleshed out series, Case Study, he’ll examine a game and go insanely in-depth with how said game rewards its users.
I go back to these videos all the time, watching each Case Study more than once for a boost of inspiration. Satchell had inspired me to try and take games up a notch in the eyes of the public. This is a smart man making videos worth being shown in game design classes. It’s not like Game Theory where MatPat brings outside science and knowledge to explain in-game theories; Satchell is discussing the science of interaction. I really only recommend this channel if you agree with the theme on my home page, video games are more than just games.
Maybe it’s his majestic vocal chords or the inevitable nostalgia, but Smooth McGroove can attract an audience with incremental variety, even people who don’t play games anymore. Mr. Mcgroove or Max, takes old video game songs and recreates them in acapella form! He has no group, it’s all him singing. There’s really not much else to it. It’s a simple channel, one that can either excite you every time a new video comes out, or one you can play in the background while studying.
I love listening to original game songs and then jumping to Smooth’s version, just to hear the way he always accurately translates the tune. It’s always an astounding and enjoyable experience. Luckily he has tons of videos to keep you busy, and it can put you onto some great video game music!
Game Grumps (JonTron Era)
(Genre: “Let’s Play”)
I was thinking about adding JonTron’s true channel, but there’s another channel where you can see Jon Jafari be himself, Game Grumps. Now let me just say, nothing is really wrong with modern day Game Grumps (in which Dan Avidan took over Jon’s spot after leaving), but back in it’s first year the channel really had this feeling of two friends on a couch burping, farting, swearing and playing video games. And guess what? You could be part of the fun too!
Arin aka Egoraptor (famous for his video game cartoon series Awesome) is still on the show today, but back in the Jon era Arin was calmer and realer, which melded well with Jons crazier antics. Aside from the hysterical jokes, the duo would occasionally debate on certain game design topics (an aspect long dead on the show), or just tell interesting stories from their last. Do yourself a favor, go to the Game Grumps channel and go to their earliest videos. After discovering them almost three years ago, I still go back to the Jon era videos, they’re absolutely golden.
I grew up a console gamer and still predominately play on then today. There’s nothing like sitting on the couch, flicking a switch and holding a controller, all while staring at a big screen. I’ve never been well versed in PC gaming, and only really played the educational games available at elementary school. Luckily for me, Ian aka Brutalmoose continuously pumps out PC game reviews. What really sets Ian’s channel apart is his style and delivery; most YouTube gaming comedians try to shock you with hyper-active silly jokes, but Ian has a very sarcastic, dry and witty sense of humor.
He also does old television show segments called Televoid, which are just as enjoyable, and the occasional review of a modern game as well. Luckily his personality works with these shows too. One of the best aspects of the Brutalmoose channel is the upload speed. You can expect around two high quality videos in a month. I usually take a few months absence from Ian’s videos, but then go on week long binges, and every time I do I crack up.
I hope you guys enjoyed the wide variety of YouTubers I listed! I think that most people correlate YouTube and gaming with comedy, but there’s so much more out there. Are there any gaming YouTubers you want to suggest in the comments below? Let me know and I’ll try my best to reply. As always, thanks for reading.