Thursday, February 23, 2017

Let's Play: YouTube's Perplexing Games

I have commented on the feature of Let's Plays on this blog before, and my tone hasn't changed from defending Let's Plays. I am a supporter of Let's Plays or "Walkthroughs" because I find these videos on YouTube to be genuine pieces of entertainment where gamers can sit back and enjoy what another gamer is experiencing. As a gamer you get an idea of what your gaming experience will be like when playing the game that's being played by someone else via YouTube. 

Now let it be known that I have never been a fan of PewDiePie. I have heard of him for the longest time but I have never bothered to watch his YouTube content because from the snip-its of footage I've seen of him, it seems to me that I would be wasting my time watching such content.

However, with that said, PewDiePie did bring up an interesting point in a recent video of his where he was heavily critical of YouTube and how they managed their economic distributions to members who were very popular. The linked article above was written by a long-time Let's Player named Slowbeef who has seen it all on YouTube. There are many reasons why members on YouTube experience a burnout of some sort.

One form of burnout would be "subscriber burn" where if you don't upload a video in some time, let's say a week or two, then the amounts of subscriptions you will get from people will slow down to a halt. In some ways YouTube has become a game of popularity between members who are trying to get ahead and get their names out there. This popularity contest has become dangerous in the last few years since more controversies have occurred, with YouTube itself being the prime suspect for causing these controversies.

YouTube celebrities don't have the same protection as typical celebrities you see in Hollywood. Not even close. Most YT celebrities don't have any agents or consultants they can go to for reviews of their content, and there's no dialogue being exchanged as to what should be considered appropriate content on YouTube. (Example: What kind of humor should be used in a video.)

The art of a Let's Play video isn't as easy as 1-2-3. I do agree with Slowbeef that creating the right kind of content in a Let's Play takes time. A Let's Player has to find out what he or she does best in before they can plug away. You don't just slap on gameplay footage and mumble to yourself and then say you did a good job. No, if you're gonna speak up while you play, then speak up. Let the people hear what you have to say.

Now there are a couple paragraphs in Slowbeef's article above that I recommend you ignore, because there again lies the problem with choosing the right dialogue in getting your message out. If I want to read a professionally written article, the language of it has to be proper... which this article isn't.

Back to YouTube, their perplexing games seem to revolve around them being able to dock members subscription counts. There is some broken algorithm at play now where if 1 subscriber suddenly unsubscribes from a member's channel, that will count as 2 unsubscriptions. It's nonsense like this that makes people not want to trust YouTube altogether because when a company does something like this, playing mind games, it makes one wonder what it is they're really trying to do.

How does all of this impact the Gaming Industry? Consider the sources of where gamers have to go to get an idea of what a game will be like before they buy it. If at any point YouTube has a huge crash in their business and many channels get negatively effected by this crash, it will shut down most of one outlet for gamers to go to. Basically it will be harder for gamers to judge a game they want to buy since they won't have as many opportunities to see the game via Let's Play. If you can't see why a game's so good to begin with, there's less of a chance for you to buy it unless you are given the chance to try it yourself.

It's just something to think about as we tread through the muddy waters of Let's Plays, a harmless form of entertainment.

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