Communities of the Internet: Let's Playing
One of the things I find most interesting about the internet is how groups of people will come together, just like in real life. You would think that in this technology age we would all dip our hands into a little bit of everything, but the trends you find on the internet are more geared towards sticking together with one particular group of people that share your interests. Hmm, just like real life?
But what I find to be most interesting is what kinds of communities form on the internet. Even on this very website, Hubpages, we all consider ourselves to be part of a group: Hubbers. One of the oddly difficult things to do, however, is break into these communities and become a member.
Today, we are going to look at what is, in my opinion, one of the nicest communities of the internet: Let's Players.
What is Let's Playing?
Let's Play: Noun; in this instance, what it is. (I want to watch a Let's Play of Minecraft)
Let's Playing: Verb; in this instance, the action being taken (I will be Let's Playing Mario World)
Let's Player: Noun; in this instance, who is doing the action (My favorite Let's Player is <insert name>)
LP, LP's, LP'er: abbreviations of the above terms.
Let's Playing is as simple as recording footage of a video game while you are playing it, then adding commentary (whether it be during recording or after) that is informative, funny, or whatever you want it to be. In more complex instances, some Let's Players, like Chuggaaconroy, heavily edit their videos to be a complete video guide of how to play the game. In some instances, like his Pokemon Let's Plays, character and location bios are as detailed as you would find in a FAQ/Walkthrough.
However, the most popular forms of Let's Playing are just simply recording your game footage, recording footage of the person let's playing via webcam, and then uploading the raw material with no editing. This is most often seen done by people who got into making gaming videos because of the success of their other channels, rather than purely driven by video gaming. A gtood example of this would be Tobygames,
I must admit, I was a little weirded at first to the concept. Watching someone else play a video game? To me, that was akin to when I had to wait for my turn for my brother to play video games when I was a kid. But think of it like that, instead your brother is one of those voice over guys you enjoy listening to.
How does someone become a Let's Player?
In this instance, just do it is really the only way. You can study a little bit about the art by watching other Let's Players, but you really only become one when you start uploading your own videos.
Let's Playing isn't something you do hoping to become famous on Youtube. Even the most popular Let's Players like Chuggaaconroy or NintendoCapriSun will say the number one reason they make their videos is because it's fun and something they enjoy doing. If you thought the Video Game review market was crowded, wait until you start looking around at Let's Players!
The reason this being is because with emulators, it's very simple for anyone to record a video of them playing a game and adding commentary. You can find almost any, and I mean almost any video game, on Youtube, being Let's Played by someone. This just makes your personal reasons for Let's Playing even more important. A good Let's Player let's their love for video games show through, and not just looking for a way to get famous on YT.
How is the community?
For the most part, really friendly. Even amongst some LP'ers with low subscriber counts, you will find loyal fanbases that watch their videos. Some of the more well known LP'ers actually have a group of loyal fans that will follow them, even to conventions like PAX. People have no problem looking at the aspiring LP'ers videos and leaving helpful feedback. They are actively engaged on Twitter.
I have never actually met another person that was actively involved in Let's Playing, but I do have a couple of contacts through Youtube that we mutually view and comment on our videos. They are all extremely friendly, and funny guys to boot!
My Picks for Top Let's Players:
My first and favorite LP'er is definitely Chuggaaconroy. I was watching guitar videos when I happened to stumbled upon his LP of Super Mario RPG, my favorite game of all time. His videos combine a good mix of humor (albeit a punny one at that..) with a completely detailed, almost always 100% walkthrough of a game. What I like most about his videos though, is that his love for video games shines through. He is seriously not monetizing his work as well as he could be, and I believe this to be by choice. He is an LP'er first, business much later.
My second favorite LP'er, or actually I'd have to say LP'ers, is Joshjepson and Attackingtucans when they collaborate. They have such a good way of bantering between the two of them that it's hard not to laugh at some of the downright hilarious things they say. Their Collab project, Mario Sunshine versus, got me into watching other collaborative works like Gamegrumps.
Which brings me to the last Let's Player I'm going to list. Gamegrumps are two guys, egoraptor and jontron, who made a collab channel. They either play versus each other, or play games that one is an expert on and the other not so much and watch as the other humorously tries to beat. If JoshJepson and Attackingtucans created the collab projects, gamegrumps perfected it.
Some other good LP'ers would include: NintendoCapriSun, Luchajin, Donnabellez, and too many others to mention, let alone watch all of their videos.
How would I rate the community overall?
Very highly. There is a weird sense of "elitist" in many communities of the internet, so it's a breath of fresh air when you can come into a particular community and find everyone, from the most famous to the least, is helpful and nice. My favorite thing to do is find a game I want to play but don't have the time, and have it playing in the background as I work on other projects. It's just a nice way of getting that feeling like you're playing video games with your siblings all over again.