I’m a Grown Gamer, but not by much. It’s my 27th birthday in a few days, so I can still be considered the baby of the group. As recently as three or four years ago, I was uploading gaming content to YouTube, and streaming on Twitch.
When I was younger (perhaps 16 – 20) I became pretty enamoured with the whole ‘YouTube scene’. I uploaded regularly, captured gameplay on a variety of titles, and did commentary videos. It wasn’t overly successful, gathering just around 1000 subscribers at my peak, but I enjoyed it. I tried to run the channel from a few different angles: news, reviews, montages, etc.
It died off, of course. That’s to say, my interest did.
However, YouTube and Twitch are undoubtedly bigger than ever today. It does seem to be a topic of interest for the younger generation now though, as it was when I was involved. It’s quite unfortunate to say, but it seems to have soured considerably.
The vast majority of ‘YouTubers’ (sorry, content creators?) rely on identical tactics to claw in viewers. The bulk of the community appears to be formed by 13 – 21 year olds, using the same equipment (set-ups), playing the same games, and pushing the same content. When I was falling out of YouTube, it was FIFA and Call of Duty.
I recall teenagers screaming wildly at their televisions as they opened ‘packs’ on FIFA Ultimate Team. They’d toss furniture around the room, bellow at nobody in particular, and tear their clothes off.
And this behaviour was mimicked. Over, and over, and over again.
Perhaps this still happens today – I don’t know. I’ve well and truly fallen out of love with YouTube, and I haven’t been on Twitch in perhaps two years.
In fact, there is only one YouTuber I actively watch these days, and that’s CallMeKevin. He’s a twenty-something Irish gamer with a natural affinity for comedy and entertainment. The beauty of his channel is its simplicity – Kevin plays games, and talks. That’s basically it.
He’ll take requests on what to play, and he’ll play it. That’s not all, of course – his editing is brilliant, as are his voice over skills. There’s no shouting, no screaming – he doesn’t even swear (much!). He doesn’t rely on clickbait titles or devious tactics to get views, he’s simply brilliant at what he does.
The community behind Kevin is just as amicable. He has a sizeable following (2.2m at time of writing) and they revel in the content he distributes. There’s a healthy subreddit, countless in-jokes and catchphrases, and a real atmosphere of inclusion. I’ve seen countless YouTubers on screen in recent years, but Kevin really does stand out from the crowd in my opinion.
We went a bit off-track there, I think.
It seems to me that you can’t get involved in YouTube these days (or Twitch) unless you’re playing one of perhaps half a dozen games. This very exclusive list includes titles such as Fortnite, the battle royale bonanza that has taken the world by storm. Unfortunately, I’ve never even installed the thing, so I wouldn’t see the appeal.
I’m very curious to see how the future of streaming and video content will play out. There’s no doubt that it’s an ever-growing industry, and I’m sure grand things are on the horizon. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting back online recently, but I simply don’t have the time. Also, there are tens of millions of competitors in the extremely over-saturated market.
What’s the opinion of the Grown Gamers? Are there any particular gaming YouTubers or streamers that you enjoy watching? If you drop a suggestion, I’ll check them out and see what I think!
Alternatively, do you agree with my impressions above?
Let us know!