Did you know that YouTube videos of people playing videogames are so incredibly popular that the top channels are bigger than those devoted to most Hollywood and pop music stars? Yes, it's true. Among the biggest, for example, is a dude name PewDiePie, whose YouTube channel has over 30,000,000 subscribers. (That's more viewers than a lot of well-known TV shows!)
Why is this? In Janine "Iris" Hawkins' latest post for Paste Magazine, she explains how this came to be: "Let's Play videos are phenomenally popular among gaming fans," as she puts it to me. "Some are about skill, some are about speed, some are about humor, but others are just about relaxing. They cater to gamers who experience ASMR." I.E., Autonomous sensory meridian response, usually a pleasant tingling sensation. Yes, there are game-watching videos devoted to creating that soothing feeling. (One ASMR video channel, as Iris notes, has over 30,000 subscribers.) That in itself is fascinating, but as she goes on, this also speaks to a larger game industry shift empowered by user-generated content:
Ten—even five—years ago, the vast majority of video content available for games was marketing material. It was meant by its very design to get you interested in and excited about a product. As the production of video content has shifted more and more into the hands of fans, we now have access to both more content than ever before, and content much more varied in nature than we could have possibly imagined. Our game videos can be about speed, they can be about skill, they can be entertaining, they can be relaxing. They can even put us to sleep… And that’s not a bad thing.
Well said. Read the rest here.
Please share this post: