YouTube Academy: Understanding the gaming community

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By Hannah Monson
Teen Columnist,
The Friday Flyer

Relatively speaking, video games are still very new. Just thinking about the advancements in technology over the past 40 years gives me shivers. Let us not forget the new online video platforms that have also grown and upgraded in the past years. Combine these two international sensations and you have one of the biggest online fads of the decade: gaming videos. This month in YouTube Academy, we’re delving into the world of let’s players, tutorial-makers, challengers and live-gamers.

If you’re familiar with online video, YouTube specifically, then you’ve most definitely heard of gaming videos. The most widely-known man on the platform, Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg, is a comedian/ gamer from Sweden who started posting videos to his channel in 2011. He also happens to have to most subscribers on the entire website. Pewdiepie (pronounced pew-dee-pie) has over 50 million subscribers, and his channel still continues to grow. He isn’t exactly family-friendly, and that’s what most would credit his success towards. Other big creators on the platform are Mark “Markiplier” Fishbach, with over 16 million subscribers; Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin, with over 14 million subscribers; and Daniel “The Diamond Minecart” Middleton, with a little over 14 million subscribers. These are only a few big gamers in my circles. There are hundreds of gamers to choose from and watch, making it easy to find someone who identifies with your interests and likes.

In order to explain the huge category that gaming videos are, we first have to look at what a gaming video consists of. The basic format involves a video of the gameplay and comedic/ informative commentary. Many people have “face-cams”, a little box in the corner of the screen that shows their face so they can directly address the viewers.

Now that the basics are covered, we have to distinguish the different types of gaming videos. The first one I’ll speak about is the most popular type: “Let’s Plays”. As I’ve said before, a “Let’s Play” is simply a single or multiplayer game being played in front of you. Sometimes they contain tutorials or tips for the game; however, they can just be for comedic entertainment alone. Within that category are different types of gamers. For instance, some gamers exclusively play the multi-console RPG, or Role Play Game, “Minecraft”. Some creators play horror games only, or a certain console’s games only. Some players will be family friendly and PG, while others may curse or talk about adult subjects. Every gamer has a different style and outlook on their content. The creators I mentioned above are all “Let’s Players”.

Another type of gaming video is a “How-To” or “Tutorial” video. These are exclusively informative; they show how to unlock certain characters, get to certain places, defeat certain enemies or other difficult tasks in a game. Another name for this video type is “Walkthrough”. Most makers of these videos have channels exclusive to one game. One of many exceptions to this rule is the YouTube creator Bradley “theRadBrad” Colburn, who is considered the “King of the YouTube Walkthrough”. He has a little under 7 million subscribers and an avid following.

“Challenge” gaming videos are not exclusive to any one group of gamers. Many “Let’s Players” have done challenge videos before, and most do them as trends that come and go in the YouTube community. The challenges in these videos range from punishments you do if you mess up in the game to disadvantages you must concur while playing a game. They are usually for comedic effect, and most should not be tried at home.

A type of gamer I haven’t referenced yet is a “Live” gamer. These people broadcast themselves playing video games live over YouTube and other live-streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouNow.

Did I mention that YouTube has a whole other website just for gaming? To go to a Video Game Only Zone, visit gaming.youtube.com.

At last, you now understand the massive gaming community. You are now prepared to do field research of your own and decide for yourself if gaming videos are right for you. If you’re a fan, great! If not, then don’t worry. Come back next month to see if beauty and lifestyle videos are fit for you instead. From prints on paper to musings in your mind, my name’s Hannah. Thanks for reading.

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