The History of Review Video

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If we look at the history of review video, it actually developed alongside since the invention of web video. There are people writing review articles ever since the start of public market, and it has gradually became a scene of reviewing as consumerism and global market developed. It is hard to actually trace down the first ever review online video, however, the trend of posting reviews as video has been popular popular since the 21st century.

 To know the history of review video, we need to find out why people write review in the first place. The popular belief is that most reviews come from a handful of serial reviewers who dutifully give feedback on all of their purchases. But in truth, most reviews come from first-time writers. In fact, 76% of reviews across the network come from someone who has not previously left a review on that site. There are new influencers joining this content revolution each day, so what motivates them to take the time?(http://blog.bazaarvoice.com/2013/08/13/pay-it-forward-why-customers-write-reviews/)

The reason people make review video

Once we start writing reviews and posting them online, it is not a hard transition from articles to videos .As video camera became less expensive, cell phones started to carry well-function front camera, review writers were were able to revolutionize their way of reviewing product and actually putting all the information they trying to convey into a video.

 

After the first person posted their video of reviewing a product, audiences are quickly drawn to this new form of information, since a large number of people from the first group of audiences started to film their own reviewing videos. Then, one by one, novice kept joining the team of producers and filming a review video became a habit for some people as mentioned above.

Beside from the increasing number of producers, the technology used in these videos has been improved gradually.

Look at this video from 5 years ago…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNbiAbL9-QM

A review of Nokia 8310 Filmed With A Nokia 6120 Classic. Can’t imagine if a review video CAN be this bad, right?

 

And a glance of an average level review video from last year.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03HxtmEh0bo

In general, the quality of review video has been ascended as the overall standard of making online videos. Addition to that, since more people start making review videos about all sort of product, just try type whatever item closest to you right now into the search box of youtube. It will absolutely blow your mind that there are people already made a video commenting it.

 

The History of Fanvideos

So where did the fanvideo phenomenon originate? Certainly before the terms “fanvideo” or “shipping” became mainstream. In fact, the original pairing that was shipped by fans was Kirk and Spock from Star Trek in the 1960s. Nowadays, fans call a pairing of two characters of the same gender “slash,” which comes from the days before the term “ship” when Kirk and Spock were known as K/S.

So if the extreme support of two characters in a television show or movie began in the 60s, when did fanvideos start appearing?

While there is no clear single video that started the fanvideo genre, one of the earliest pairings that had fans practically jumping out of their seats was between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from The X-Files. The show, which ran from 1993 to 2002, took the act of shipping to a whole new level and most likely became the subject of some of the first fanvideos to be uploaded publically.

It is also important to look at the founding of YouTube when attempting to parse out where fanvideos began, and with whom. Because fanvideos are made almost exclusively by amateurs who use the most basic editing programs they have at their disposal, it is likely that these videos did not exist, at least in large numbers, before 2005 when YouTube entered the world wide web. So what existed before sites like YouTube?

Fanvideos most likely originated from the ideas created in fanfiction, a type of storytelling where amateur authors use the existing characters from a show, book, or movie, and create their own scenarios. Fanfiction stories are still created today, even with the move into fanvideos, and forums support stories about existing couples, slash fiction stories, and alternate universe fiction, or AU, where characters are put into their own world and storyline that has nothing to do with what happens in the real show. Fanvideos have followed this pattern and also exist in all three genres, though “regular” fanvideos are the most popular.

So whether you’re looking for a video about the hottest couple on your favorite show, or want to see a clip of what it would be like for two completely different people to get together, fanvideo creators have your back.

From Kontras to Bubbe: A History of the vlog post

The first ever video blog or vlog was produced by Adam Kontras on January 2, 2000. He created the videos to keep his friends and family informed about his cross-country move from Columbus, Ohio to Los Angeles, California as he searched for a job in show business. His vlog, called Journey, would go on to become the longest-running video blog in history.

Here’s the video that accompanied his first written blog post: 

In November of the same year, Adrian Miles, a researcher in the University of Bergen in Norway, uploaded his own post on a video blog or a “vog” as he preferred to call it. He also created a manifesto that detailed his ideas about video blogging. He was particular to mention, “A vog is not streaming video. This is not the reinvention of television.”

Over the years, as more people gained access to high speed internet and web camera facilities, video blogs gained more attention. In 2004, Steve Garfield, a Boston radio producer, created his own video blog and declared it to be the “year of the vlog”. Radio and television stations began using video blogs as a new way to interact with their listeners and viewers. Forbes magazine picked up on the trend by 2005, and its coverage sparked further media interest.

A short video that was part of Steve Garfield’s vlog:

The founding of Youtube in 2005 hugely influenced the popularity of video blogs and online video in general. By July 2006, Youtube was the 5th most popular web destination, with 100 million videos viewed daily and 65,000 new uploads per day. The number of Youtube viewers grew exponentially since then. This explains how Youtube personalities such as Jenna Marbles have been able to gather 5.3 million views on a vlog post in a week.
Though the world of video blogging is usually considered a domain for the youth, the history of vlogging has included people of all ages. In 2007, The Wall Street Journal featured an eighty-year old Jewish grandmother “Bubbe” for her video blog called “Feed me Bubbe.” It contained a number of cooking videos for preparing kosher food. Since then, many other seniors began creating their own content through vlogs.

The range of viewers and producers of vlogs from 2000 to 2014 display a diversity of age, backgrounds and interests. It will be interesting to track how the vlog evolves as a genre from here on, and what the vlogging movement goes on to encompass.

History of PSAs

  Public service announcements originated roughly around the start of the second world war. Their purpose was to disseminate information through television (and radio) in a fast and efficient manner. The first PSAs come from the United Kingdom through Public Relationship Films Ltd. in 1938. These short films focused primarily on general safety practice throughout daily life. Richard Massingham was the original original producer and actor in these films, and was eventually commissioned by the British government to create PSAs for the war effort. Massingham was the founder of Public Relationship Films, and was known for playing a hapless, dumb man unaware of certain social niceties.

Here is an example of a PRF video on sneezing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRmpJ_dORXA

Messingham’s films had a very humorous style, stemming from the optimism campaigns that the British government championed during World War II. Many of the videos made were on subjects of lifestyle, such as this one about tea preparation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnvYymrCn4g

Public service announcements had a similar start in the U.S. as they did in the U.K. and were produced through the Ad Council. Since PSA’s were heavily involved in war time practice, after World War II the format had to  quickly expand to other types of issues. These involved subjects on public health, environmental safety and other such things much like the ones today. PSAs initially resembled short films, but slowly grew shorter as the nature of T.V. programming developed and they became more suitable for filling advertisement slots

 Currently, several different organizations use PSA’s to deliver messages to the public, and a majority occur as television advertisements or internet commercials. PSAs are so prevalent that they are commonly made and parodied in unofficial settings. Due to their relatively simple format and purpose, they are easy to recreate.

Here are some examples of PSAs made by middle school students:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o89TQ0OxS8U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0qYer6DZ9A

 

History of Amateur Disaster Footage

The history of amateur disaster footage evolved alongside the history of video recording in general. As camcorders became less expensive and more portable, non-professional producers were able to record their lives. It is hard to know from where this genre of online video directly came. One could argue that ultimately these disturbing clips came from cave paintings of unsuccessful and violent clashes between tribes. The urge to record trauma comes from the basic human instinct to study catastrophe to learn from mankind’s mistakes.

One of the earliest known and certainly most infamous video clips is called the Zapruder film. Abraham Zapruder, a private citizen, captured the John F. Kennedy assassination on his personal camcorder. This first-hand footage can be seen all over YouTube, accompanied by a plethora of analyses and conspiracy theories. Before its dispersion on the web, stills from the Zapruder film were published in newspapers and magazines.

A new form of amateur disaster footage bloomed with the development of social media and camera phones. It became much easier for civilians to produce their own content and to share it with the world. The violence in the Middle East was a showcase of the ability of the general public to create this eye-catching footage. Instead of relying on newspaper, magazine, and television companies to publish the stills and footage, the audience can view the disaster straight from the original source.

Amateur disaster footage is not new to the history of media. However, with the rise of web video, the footage has become more raw and honest to the event details. These horrific videos have satisfied the human desire for images of tragedy.

The History of Song Parody Videos

The first known use of the term parody originated in 1587 on the title page of a parody mass by the German composer Jakob Paix. What Paix did was borrow another composer’s musical material, and by stating that it was a parody acknowledged the fact that the music was not his original work, just the lyrics. Parodies became rare until the 18th century, when Bach released “Cantate Burlesque”, which humorously made fun of of the florid da capo arias then in fashion. Since this event, parodies are more humorous than serious. Later in the 18th century, Mozart parodied many lesser composers and songwriters of his day in his piece “Musical Joke”. Theatrical music also began to take on the parody genre around this time, which included satirical songs set to popular music at the time.

Video Game Commentary: A Short History

Like other genres of videos, video game commentary has its own history that makes it unique. Video game commentary for E-Sports (Electronic Sports) treat video games just like any real-world sport, so the commentators for competitive games share the style of sports announcers that you might find in football or soccer. Many of the mannerisms you might find in sports casters are mirrored in video game commentators for big tournaments.

In what could be considered the first major example of popularized video game commentary in North America, the USA television network televised MLG (Major League Gaming) tournaments for the first time in 2006. This included commentary for the games “Super Smash Bros” and “Halo 2”. At this stage in its history, game commentary was not yet accessible enough for the average gamer to produce, so MLG had a bit of a monopoly over the genre for some time. This was also the only time anyone could ever view commentary as well, and because it was televised, only the most dedicated gamers could watch it. Professional Halo 2 matches were some of the most popular and well-remembered, and it was in these early years of MLG that Halo as a franchise enjoyed its competitive heyday. Initially, MLG only had commentary for Super Smash Bros. because the Halo 2 players yelling strategy to their teammates was enough to satisfy fans.

Korea was also a place that competitive gaming, and therefore, video game commentary, owes a lot of its history to. Since the early 2000’s, Korea has embraced gaming as more than a hobby. Korea was the first place to have an audience for video game competition and commentary so large that it was a viable way to earn a living. In the DotA (Defense of the Ancients) community, DotaAllstars served as a precursor for all the competitive DotA tournaments we have today. The first big tournaments were held in Malaysia and Singapore in 2005.

As far as the “Let’s Play” style of video game commentary goes, the term originated from the “Something Awful” forum website, in which someone posted their screenshots of them playing the famous Oregon Trail video game. However, as Youtube grew in popularity and new technology emerged, people could later make videos of themselves playing the games with their own audio commentary spliced in. Today, anyone with the Fraps screen recording program can record themselves playing a computer game, and simply dub over their own voice and upload it to Youtube. Today, the Youtube Let’s Player “PewDiePie” has over 20 million subscribers, which is the most subscribed channel on Youtube.

Here is footage from MLG Las Vegas 2006, with Halo 2 and Super Smash Bros. (with commentary)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGgYko5Kn0U

This is a National Geographic Documentary about the early days of professional gaming in Korea (skip to 24 minutes to hear commentary)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc0Pgm8lWRw

Other Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_the_Ancients

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Play_%28video_gaming%29

 

Fake Movie Trailer History

Fake movie trailers developed, of course, from real movie trailers. They are the result of a development in technology. In the age of iMovie and Final Cut, now anyone with a basic computer and a desire to try can make a fake movie trailer. To try and make a fake movie trailer before these applications would be a massive undertaking. You would have to shoot and hand-cut frames together to make a trailer for a movie that would never exist. It would just be too much work.

Today, it’s a lot easier. Making a fake trailer just requires a love of movies and a little too much free time.The earliest fake trailer on Youtube was uploaded in 2007. 7 years later, and fake trailers have become a relatively large portion of the parody videos on the Internet. There seem to be two different categories of fake trailers: those with footage cut from real movies works, or newly shot footage made into a totally new concept.

The two categories seem to attract similar numbers of people. The measure for how many viewers a fake trailer gets seems to be based on it’s publicity. For instance the “Man of Steel 2″ trailer, has over 3 million views and was recently publicized on several blogs. The Dora the Explorer trailer from above has over 17 million views. What’s important to viewers is the popularity and relevance of the subject. Trailers about famous superheroes or TV shows get a lot of views while trailers for more cult followings like fake Seinfeld movies get less views.

Fake trailers did not come from a film genre per se, but they did come from the film industry. Fake trailers allow the average movie enthusiast to get involved in a small way. Making a fake trailer is easy, and for those people out there who want to be make movies but don’t have the capabilities to get into the business, making one is a great way to have fun in the movie “industry.” Making a short, 2 or 3 minute video can be fun and also inspire people to find a passion in filming and editing. It’s a great way to test the movie-making waters.

 

 

The History of the Fail Video

The history of the fail video is tricky territory to explore. Because there are so many of them, it is hard to search for what was the original one. This leaves the possibility of discovering the original fail video unknown. Fail Videos have been on YouTube for as long as I can remember, but that doesn’t mean much. There have been such a wide range of videos posted that have become so popular that users have put together compilations each year and title it the best fails of a particular year. This trend of combining the best fail videos over the span of a year into a single video started in 2005, this however does not mean there were not fail videos before that. There were many. Their increase in popularity not only drove people to make these annual compilations but as I mentioned in my previous post, an entirely separate website called Fail Blog was created for them.

While finding the exact first fail video is pretty much impossible, for people have been exposing the misfortunes of others on the web since it was possible to do so, one can explore what influenced these videos and similarities in the past. Ever since film and visual media were invented, people have gotten humor from watching unfortunate things happen to other people. An old example of this is Charlie Chaplain. Part of why he was so popular is because people found it hilarious to watch bad things happen to him. While these bad things were never so serious as to take the humor away from it, watching him fall or get hit by something was part of the appeal of his act. Continuing on, one can look at popular shows such as The Three Stooges. Basically their entire act was about getting hit, hitting each other, falling, and a number of other unfortunate things happening to them. The three stooges were tremendously popular and still remain amusing for people to watch today as getting entertainment from watching the misfortunes of others has been around for a long time and will not go away anytime soon.

 

While there are flaws with connecting Charlie Chaplain and the Three Stooges with fail videos, one being that we know when we watch the first two we are seeing actors and its not real as opposed to fail videos which painfully are, if you strip them down to the core there is a real similarity in the type of humor that people can get from watching all three of them. Part of me is ashamed to be comparing the greatness of Charlie Chaplain and The Three Stooges with the Fail Videos but I’m doing it to just look at a basic kind of humor that many people are drawn to.

 

Below are links to videos that people created showing what they believe to be the best of Charlie Chaplain and the best of the Three Stooges. I also added the best fails of 2013

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xjLwC0U1A4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZEX7FEfloE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ybqsis4A64

 

The History of Sketch Comedy

The idea of sketch comedy is derived from North American vaudeville theater and British music hall shows of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Those two types of entertainment were closely related, both featuring several separate acts of a variety of types: classical music, magicians, singers, dancers, comedians, acrobats or one-act plays, for example (they could really be any kind of performance). They were extremely popular because they appealed to more than just a specific demographic. There was vaudeville for both the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated; there was both low-brow, crass vaudeville and there was intellectual, “cultural” vaudeville. This variety of subject material has stayed with sketch comedy, seen in the difference between “escapist” and “social commentary” sketches. A single comedy group usually produces both kinds.

Sketch comedy differentiated itself by cutting out all types of entertainment in vaudeville and music hall shows except for scripted scene comedy. Like most entertainment, it went from the stage (shows like Beyond the Fringe, or A Clump of Plinths) to radio (It’s That Man Again, I’m sorry, I’ll Read That Again) to television and now exists in large quantities on the internet, where low production and distribution costs have allowed for the the proliferation of cheap, amateur (non-professional) in addition to professionally-produced sketch comedy.

Televised sketch comedy was pioneered by the two shows that to this day remain the best examples of the genre: first by Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974) in Great Britain and shortly thereafter by Saturday Night Live in the United States (1975-present). The most notable addition television brought to the genre was the introduction of recurring characters. Before Monty Python brought on Mr. Gumby and SNL had Ed Grimley, sketches were almost entirely unrelated. Today, we have Key & Peele‘s “Substitute Teacher” 1, 2 and 3. These sketch “series” don’t take place chronologically one right after the other, and aren’t intended to be viewed back-to-back, but show the same characters in different scenes. The Red Green Show took it a step further, and consisted only of sketches that followed the characters of Possum Lake. Red Green is still definitely sketch comedy, however, because the scenes were non-linear — it isn’t the same sort of story telling that a traditional comedy (or drama, for that matter) follows.

Like in so many other things, the internet has allowed a huge amount of amateur comedians to have legitimate access to a worthwhile audience. Without getting into the merit of the comedy that has been put up on youtube, the internet is a perfect medium for sketch comedy due to the short and light nature of web video viewing. People don’t use the internet to watch hard-hitting dramas or cinematic spectacles, but they do use their computers to watch a lot of less-than-ten-minute videos and often turn to the internet for a quick laugh. This is the definition of sketch comedy. It’s funny, and you don’t have to invest a lot of time or follow a plot for very long.

Related Videos:

An Example of Vaudeville, the granddaddy of sketch comedy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZo4imTt4Og

Monty Python, the father of sketch comedy:

the famous “ministry of silly walks” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8FrqZ3EVE

“self defense against fruit” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piWCBOsJr-w

“dirty hungarian phrasebook:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6D1YI-41ao

SNL, sketch comedy’s playboy uncle. A quick breakdown of some of the best sketches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uShCUp2QYGs

Key & Peele: Modern sketch comedy

Substitute Teacher 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd7FixvoKBw

Substitute Teacher 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18t5V3gvfa4

Substitute Teacher 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMlD9VoeAeE

The Origins of Terrible Music Videos

To fully understand why terrible music videos exist, we must first understand where music videos came from. The first music video ever aired on the late great Music Television    (aka MTV) was ironically, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. The song title basically speaks for itself, but in summary it talks about how they fear the radio will fall off because everyone would rather watch it on TV. Then in turn small groups with not enough funding to make music videos won’t have a chance to make it “big”.

No need to worry Buggles, because MTV doesn’t even show music videos anymore. Today, YouTube is now the central hub for all music videos (Radio prevails!). Now, The Buggles’ video was primitive to say the least, but bear in mind it was 1979. As the years have passed, music videos have evolved into a way of telling a story or adding theatrical/visual value to a song:

 

The classic: Beat It- Michael Jackson

More recently: Paradise- Coldplay

Or Even: Gangnam Style- PSY

Sometimes that’s not the case though. Sometimes music videos don’t add any value to a song. Sometimes they even devalue a song. That’s what I’m here to talk about. So let’s dive into it. There are two different types of devaluing music videos: ones that are painful unintentionally, and ones that are painful intentionally. Sometimes it’s obvious which ones were made to be intentionally or unintentionally bad, but sometimes it can be tough. One thing is for certain though, both types generally make me so uncomfortable and embarrassed that I have to turn it off.

Really bad music videos have been around since the invention of the music video. There is no official record of when the first one was made nor which video ranks as the worst, but the one thing I can be certain about, is that both painfully bad and unbelievably good generally get about the same amount of publicity, therefore money, as each other. It is always the goal to succeed and have people admire and respect you, but if you can’t do that, can you really blame someone for making themselves famous by making a perfect storm of asinine lyrics and visuals? Food for thought.

Painfully Bad Music Videos: A Manifesto

Why do painfully bad music videos exist? It’s a question a lot of people want the answer to. But first… What is a “painfully bad music video”? It’s not just you and your friends getting together with your iPhone camera and doing a poor job. That would never get anyone’s attention. When I say “anyone”, I mean young people, specifically between the ages of about 13 and 22, because that age group cares about social media the most. What separates “bad” from “painfully bad” is the fact that there was, in some sense, a lot of time and money put into the production of the video. Not only time and money, but there needs to be some kind of seriousness displayed by the artist and or producer. In other words, the people who created this wanted it to be a positively successful project. Here is an example:

Friday- Rebecca Black

Now “Friday” is a horrendous song just by itself, but the fact that there is a music video that is equally as painful just makes it worse. The lyrics are terrible, the vocals are terrible, and the plot line of the video is unrealistic. Some of the questions you might be asking yourself right now are: Who wrote that song? Why was it made? Why is it SO bad? Didn’t somebody along the way know that this was going to be a disaster? How does this song have 63.7 million views?

Well if you think about the theory that “there is no such thing as ‘bad’ publicity” then it’s negative success won’t seem as confusing.  It will always be easier to make a total flop than a smash hit. Aside from the negative response versus positive response a complete failure and a smash hit are basically the same thing: they both get a lot of publicity, they are both talked about all over social media, and they both make a lot of money from both of these things. So maybe it’s terrible, but at the end of the day 63.7 million views are still 63.7 million views, regardless of the mean spirited comments and “dislikes”. Here’s another example:

Chinese Food- Alison Gold

I love Chinese food as much as anyone, but it does seem a little bit strange to sing about ones late night food cravings, right? Wrong. While Friday may or may not have been an intentional flop, this one clearly is. The producer’s followed the exact same recipe for disaster: 1.) Have the singer be young and sweet looking 2.) Have a catchy/POP beat 3.) Have her sing about a topic she has no business singing about 4.) Make that topic lame 5.) Make the lyrics unbearable 6.) Make the video look professional. It’s only been two months since its initial release and it already has 14.1 million views. While this is without a doubt a painfully bad music video, that doesn’t make it any less successful from a money and publicity standpoint.

Sports Highlight Videos

Whether on ESPN, your local news, or even youtube, chances are you have seen a sports highlight video. Ranging from the Super Bowl to a high school football player’s homemade recruiting video, sports highlights have documented the best plays in sports for some time now. Let’s outline what exactly constitutes a sports highlight video. For starters, the goal of a highlight video is to condense the best, most exciting, or most unusual plays of a game, season, or even of all time into a single video. For example, Highlights from an NFL game would typically feature the touchdowns scored, the biggest hits, and any game changing plays like an interception, sack, or big yardage gain. The clips used to recap a single game are usually disproportional in that more plays at the end of the game are shown, especially if the game was close.

A sports highlight video can come in a variety of formats. It can be a compilation of plays set to a song, a chronological recap of a game commented on by a sportscaster (a technique popularly used by ESPN and other major broadcasting networks), or an unedited compilation of the best plays from a previously televised game or match (so, exactly how you would see it on t.v, except only consisting of the exciting parts).

In our busy daily lives, we often don’t have time to plop down on a couch for two or more hours and watch an entire sporting event. That’s where highlights videos come into play. They allow sports fans to stay up to date on the sporting world, similarly to how a news source often gives only the most important and compelling pieces of information about a news story. Also, as fun and thrilling sports can be, there can be mundane moments. The beauty of a highlight video is that it’s able to package all of the stuff viewers want to see into a short, captivating video. Highlights can be used not only to see the best parts of a particular game, but also to compile the best plays of a sport. For example, a video on Youtube titled “Best Goals in History of Football” (soccer) is a montage of exactly what it says it is; the best goals of all time. It has racked up over 51 million views because it’s six minutes of the best soccer ever played, and that is what people want to see.

Sports are special because there is no script. Each game is brand new and capable of producing a never before seen play or scenario. Sports highlight videos work to capture these moments, and when executed correctly, can show the pure essence of why we love sports.

Video Game Commentary

The past decade has seen many new developments involving video games and the culture surrounding them. Like sports, movies, and other popular cultural subjects, commentary on video games has become an important part of video game culture. From the big-budget production quality of the Dota 2 world championships, to some friends recording their silly in-game adventures, video game commentary has garnered a huge foothold in the Youtube scene and on internet live streaming sites such as Twitch.

It is important to note that there are many different subgenres that make up video game commentary. One example is in commentary on games that are particularly competitive in nature. There are high-skill competitive games like Dota 2 which features the massive annual tournament, “The International”, in which every move is scrutinized by announcers who analyze the game like any other sport. There are gameplay videos, or “Let’s Play” videos, in which a personality might try to entertain viewers while playing the game themselves, sometimes by creating challenges for themselves to complete in the game. There are comedic videos in which players try to “break” the game by causing glitches or creating funny situations. Lastly, there is also commentary and discussion on strategy for the many competitive games that are on the market.

One of the unique aspects of video game commentary is why viewers watch it. While video games are the common thread that holds the genre together, in the example of “Let’s Play” and similar videos, the personality commentating is what drives the content to be truly successful. For example, in the Dota 2 world, there is a Youtuber who goes by the screen-name “Purge” who is successful because of his skill and knowledge about the game. When players want to get better at playing a certain “hero” (in-game character) they might watch one of his replay videos in which he commentates on strategy and how to play well. In the case of the Youtube channel “Birgirpall”, two friends with contagious laughter get themselves into hilarious in-game situations and go down a more comedic path. Another reason why people watch others play games is so that the viewers can form some impressions about the game before they make the decision to buy it.

The following are some great examples of youtube video game commentary videos.

“NerdCubed” playing “Kerbal Space Program” in a comedic manner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFX5kZMulu0

 

In this video, “Purge”, a highly-respected contributor to the Dota 2 commentary scene, takes the comedic route and commentates on a game filled with very low-skill players:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOmcaqEqyYo

 

Here, “Birgirpall”, plays the hilarious “Surgeon Simulator 2013” to make viewers laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYjCXjIeNJk

 

This video is of the final match of the Dota 2 world championships, “The International”, with Swedish team Alliance vs. Ukrainian team Natus Vincere, complete with the best announcers out there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_x62_d7DZA

 

Here, Youtuber “Purge” does a more serious “first impressions” video of an update to Dota 2 which brought major changes to the game, and he speculates on what the strategies will be best in the future:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f3DXy1vK34