We have reinvented television. When before we were slaves to three major networks (and PBS) now we can have 24 cat videos. I don’t know if it’s funny, sad, disturbing or all three that more people have watched PewDiePie than ever saw Shakespeare, Mozart, or DaVinci’s work in their lifetimes. Combined. Then doubled. Times ten. YouTube is one of the internet’s largest seas, and there are always new islands to discover for those daring to set sail.
But if you’re looking for a more direct destination, navigate towards these digital docks, crank up the resolution to 1080P and enjoy. Today I’ll be highlighting three unique YouTube channels that offer thrilling, off-beat, and always entertaining content the likes of which we only dreamed about as we waited for Nick Arcade or You Can’t Do That on Television to come on for those brief thirty minutes.
Switch to theater mode. Here’s some new Tube for You.
Always thought Portal’s companion cube seemed a bit sinister? Ever wonder just what exactly Minecraft’s Creepers might be made of? Wake up in the morning and ask yourself, “Is Pokemon racist?” If you’re a game over-thinker (no, not that one) like me, and you’ve spent way too much time pondering the minutiae of video gamery, don’t worry, there’s someone who’s wasted even more time. And we all get to benefit.
Game Theory (as part of The Game Theorists channel) is equal parts Monty Python, Bill Nye, and cold hard data shaken and stirred and poured into a Nintendo Entertainment System. The dulcet tones of host and narrator MatPat answer those weird little questions you’ve always had while stomping your way across the Mushroom Kingdom.
But this isn’t the typical living room hearsay you toss around with pals. MatPat does the work, studies the science, and does the math to answer every corner of every question you may have. Wanna know how fast Sonic the Hedgehog really is? Ready to get to the point about the origin of Skyrim’s arrows to knees? Looking to have your childhood shattered with the possibility of Mario being a dirty, red Communist? Head over to Game Theory. I’ll bet you’ll be hooked
But that’s just a theory…A GAME THEORY.
There’s no denying that the internet is lousy with show after show all about video games…as this list may also illuminate…but it’s very rare when you find a series so dedicated to diversity. Whereas most gaming shows find one gimmick and go with it, it seems this charming young Brit isn’t happy with staying the course and is always looking to break new ground.
Caddicarus is a series that you never quite see coming. It’s a fast-paced, surprisingly informative, and funny funny funny look at games old and new, good and bad, known and…Coronation Street and the Mystery of the Missing Hotpot Recipe.
But praise really must be given to Caddy’s sense of variety. Between his Slaughter or Salvage series where he looks back on older games and decides whether or not to save them or shoot them with fire, the hyper paced Current Quickies with its eternally-scarfed Dickensian narrator, or my personal favorite Caddy’s Retrospectives where Caddy takes an in-depth look to the first three games (and only the first three!) of any series, this rising star is showing us how the future of true YouTube channels can and should be: diverse, entertaining, and extremely polished. Keep an eye on Caddy. He’s only going up.
And if you’re watching his videos on your birthday, then happy freaking birthday to you!
Easily the most important channel on YouTube for anyone with even a cursory interest in the history, philosophy, or future of gaming, Extra Credits offers five-minute lectures that could easily compose an entire graduate school education in games. But don’t worry, they got cartoons, too!
Games designer James Portnow writes this series full of fascinating insight into the current state and potential growth of the video game medium. These videos are each bite-sized nuggets of wisdom that always make you feel enlightened and invigorated to put their lessons to practice.
It certainly helps that these teachings each come with a heaping spoon full of sugar as Extra Credits has a team of very talented artists who bring to life the words being spoken in elegant, adorable, and, at times, pretty hilarious artwork. It’s what Sesame Street would be like if it got a PHD and was lecturing at Harvard.
Really, though, I can’t stop talking about this shows big ol’ brain. If you’re at all interested in getting into game design on ANY LEVEL, this is must-watch viewing. There are videos that will make you think about how you think. That may change your life. That will almost always make you say “Wow.”
But maybe my favorite part of all, even beyond the brilliance, is this show’s steadfast dedication to hope. Cynicism is just so easy and plentiful online, on YouTube especially, and in gaming criticism maybe most of all, but never on Extra Credits. Instead, we have a remarkably talented team of artists from all walks of life coming together to examine and celebrate love. Specifically, our collective love of games. And, Unrealtors, anyone who wants to make the heart a warmer place to live is always going to get my attention.
HOT PEPPER GAMING
Wanna laugh your ass off watching people torture themselves by having to eat violently spicy peppers and then review video games immediately after? Stop reading, go watch. I never thought I’d be as addicted to this series as I am. And then I saw Egoraptor review Monster Hunter.
This concludes our broadcast day. Love these channels already? Know some other obscure, quality YouTubers? Share them below! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna binge on some Game Grumps.
Adam Esquenazi Douglas is a playwright who was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, was raised by a Jewish man and a Cuban woman, and, somehow, he doesn’t have an accent. His plays have been produced across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City, as well as in Canada and Japan.
He is co-host of two podcasts, The JimmyJew Podcast Extravaganza and Schmame Over Level 2, which can be found at http://jimmyjew.libsyn.com/ and http://schmameoverlevel2.libsyn.com/ respectively, as well as on iTunes. He is a contributing writer to www.GamersSchmamers.com.
He currently lives in Brooklyn where he drinks far too much coffee.