Today, the SG team goes over their favorite underdog channel/site. Let us know who we should check out in the comments below (self-promotion is fine!).
Quite honestly I love to just skip around on YouTube at times and more often than not, when I’m doing so, the number of channels I’m subscribed to increases because one video on a particular channel just grabs me. Niche channels grab me a lot because of this. So here I’ll toss a mention towards a small channel(just over 5K subs) known as Weekend Warrior. I stumbled upon it some time while watching videos about Mighty No. 9, and I have no idea why, but something about MS Paint being used in videos delving into one particular topic really got me into it. Weekend Warrior makes videos on a couple of topics, like movies, games and the occasional (game related) controversy. Uploads tend to be slow but there’s still a lot of stuff to check out.
At this point, I’m subscribed to over 400 YouTube channels, as I tend to be plugged into my headphones 99% of the time at work. I follow your typical big names, like CrashCourse, V Sauce (1, 2 & 3), Extra Credits and PBS Idea Channel, and others that were really small when I encountered them for the first time, like Super Eyepatch Wolf, Midnight’s Edge, Rebel Taxi and The Dom. But there are lots of small channels that haven’t reached their true potential yet, and others that didn’t get their chance before dropping off or changing directions. I’ll leave a “Top 5 Good Under 5K channels” (in no particular order) if you want to take a look at some of them:
1.- 8-Bit Music Theory. This one is hardcore musical theory, I can’t understand even half of what he is saying, but if you like video game music, this channel will explain the processes behind your favorite OSTs. Also, a shoutout to Bulby, a channel that also has great videos about this deep topic.
2 / 3.- BrownBear, and VgScottisms. If you like video game design channels, like Mark Brown’s Game Maker’s Toolkit, these two are for you. BrownBear just started a Banjo Kazooie analysis series, so it’s the perfect moment to hop on, and VgScottisms recently finished a nice countdown to Breath of the Wild.
Aside from my video staples, Game Maker’s Toolkit (which led me to starting my “Holism” series) and Super Bunnyhop – and, to a lesser extent, the cancelled PBS Game/Show and Noah Caldwell-Gervais’s unnamed YouTube channel – my favorite site by is easily and by a wide margin The Gameological Society, an offshoot from The A.V. Club later reincorporated as its dedicated gaming section. There are a number of reasons it’s my favorite: they don’t solely focus on electronic games (card and board games can tell us a lot about modern video game design), they support a wide variety of topics and arguments, the writing is among the best and most consistently great I’ve found from a game-centric site, and at the risk of shameless self-promotion I’ve been quoted repeatedly in its weekly comment roundup.
But really, the biggest reason is their stated, defining principles. The point of Gameological, one which has never wavered, is to get away from the frankly bizarre attempt by most major game sites to “quantify” the value of games on a useless mathematical level. It flagrantly does away with review scores to make clear how the articles, like every critical article about any subject in any medium, is about an author engaging with the work, looking to understand what makes the thing tick (this is why it fits the “underappreciated” category; without scores it avoids trolls from Metacritic, but also more viewers in general). It doesn’t care about giving you a “definitive” review of a game that weighs every quality or demerit like Osiris judging the dead; it cares about what these works are at their core, about the history and context surrounding them, about the ideas that come from and power each mechanic or system or story. And in doing these things, it has led to an astonishingly excellent commentariat, one of my absolute favorites anywhere on the internet.
I have three channels/sites to talk about today. The first of these is 5oups3yeVi3w (pronounced Soups Eye View), a channel dedicated to pop-culture. Not exclusively games but also comics, movies and television. The channel is running by a charming man from the UK who is an archaeologist, a profession close to my historian’s heart, and seems to run this channel not for any profit or to be famous but because he wants to. His subscriber count is very low considering he has been around for 2 years now and has been constantly adding new videos at least once a week but, that only adds to the charm. The community he has built feels like a family and is constantly giving off positive vibes. If you are ever having a long day then listening to such a nice man gush over what he enjoys is uplifting. The video I will recommend is about Link’s Awakening (heck all his Zelda videos are great) where he explains how he first got into the Zelda series.
The next channel is much bigger than the previous one and has been around for a lot longer but I don’t feel like it has gotten much notice from our community and that is the Lorerunner. This man by the name of Archengaia is known for doing long-form reviews and discussions going into different game series (often RPGs) and taking them apart piece-by-piece. He looks at both gameplay and story, talking about how these games came to be, how the gameplay helps make the game and pointing out how deep the stories go. His Zelda marathon was a particularly interesting one, especially for those of us who enjoy theory crafting. However, the video I want to recommend by him is his Rumination on Undertale which is probably the best video on Undertale that I have ever listened to. It is a long one (2 hours!) so it’s best to listen to while playing a game or doing some work but I highly recommend it.
Lastly, I have something different. This time it is a website primarily, although she does have a YouTube channel, and her name is the Travelling Petitpain. As some of you may know, I have spent the last few months traveling around Japan, taking in a different culture, and it was this site that helped me get ready and gave me advice on what I should do here. The blog/channel is quite new but her articles on different cultures, travelling and languages deserve some more recognition. There is a catch here unfortunately, the creator is from France and the primary language used is French. Now, this doesn’t always matter, some of her videos don’t have any speaking and she has a plug-in on her site that will translate her articles into other languages so don’t worry if you don’t know French. So, if you are interested in travelling then check out her stuff. The article I am recommending is a short one but also essential, what cabin-luggage you need for a long-haul flight. Check it out and spread the word!
For this, I’m only counting channels with less than 10k subscribers.
Recently, I found out vgScottisms and First 30 of Game Design from CM30.vgScottisms did a series of quick analysis of Zelda games leading up to Breath of the Wild’s release. Gaijilionaire is another YouTube that deserves a lot more credit as his research is pretty top notch. Sup, Holmes is also very underappreciated, and has taught be a bit about interviewing people in the video game industry. I really enjoy Video Game Story Time’s style, and their videos are starting to appear on Wikipedia. Crashandcortex, the guy who found the Timed Mines in Melee, and Petey in Smash for Wii U, is another guy to definitely keep an eye on. Just Another Castle has some pretty good podcasts. Scruffy has some really interesting Pikmin information, and a great presentation style. There are also some YouTubers that we have worked with in the past. Such as Jedisupersonic, Avalanche Reviews, Delzethin, Kantopia (daily translations!), Minus World, Gaming Reinvented, Perfectly Nintendo, Japanese Nintendo and ConnorEatsPants. I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of people, sorry if your channel/ site slipped my mind!