If 2020 has given us anything, it’s the chance to sit on our couch as our life rots away around us. You could spend this time learning a life skill or bettering yourself in different aspects of your life but instead you spend this time watching video games. The key word there being ‘watching’. In a world full of people demanding instant gratification we cannot simply be expected to play through an entire video game level by level, defeating our enemies and earning our praises. Absolutely not! Luckily for us let’s plays exist. For those who don’t frequent living victoriously through internet personalities, a let’s play is defined as “One or more people, usually from message boards, that record themselves playing video games through screenshots or captured video (Mostly the latter)” by Urban Dictionary. Just like any other job, there are people who are good at it, and those who are bad at it. Compiled below are some of the best and worst the internet has to offer!
Starting up in May of 2012, Markiplier took to the interwebs creating gaming content the likes of which were largely unknown. Many years and many, many videos later, Mark sits comfortably among the top of the YouTube gaming community. Known for his compelling voice and over the top reactions, Markiplier has gained a following of 26.8 Million subscribers and for good reason. Mark seems to be the total package when it comes to the Let’s Play community bringing both sophisticated and sophomoric humor to his game play while more often then not still being able to buckle down and beat a series in a reasonable amount of time.
Talk about finding your demographic and milking it for all it’s got. Rising to popularity seemingly overnight Richard Blevins, otherwise known as Ninja, gained his popularity playing the 2017 free battle royal game Fortnite. Being that this game’s primary demographic consists of children, Ninja wasted no time pumping out game play and commentary tailor fit to that demo. In this case it really is a matter of quantity over quality, I strongly urge anyone who hasn’t yet to attempt and sit through a Ninja stream, you will quickly find a lack of any verbal substance or attempt to provide comedic or thought provoking dialect. The issue comes from the fact, Fortnite being the hot new trend in the young gaining world led mainstream media to select Ninja to represent the face of the let’s play community in their narrative, not to mention he refuses to stream with anyone of the female gender. Not to take anything away from his dedication to the game, but if you have arrived at his channel seeking variety you will be very disappointed. Apart from the occasional one off, the hefty majority of Ninja’s videos are exactly what you would expect, Fortnite game play and more Fortnite game play. Stick to what you know I suppose, he seems to be doing just fine with his 24 Million subs backing him up.
What happens when well known comedy content creator JonTron joins forces with fellow NewGrounds.com OG creator Egoraptor, pure gold. While Arin and Jon began tearing up the YouTube community with their brash and bold comedy game play back in 2012, it was not until Jon’s departure and replacement with Dan Avidan the following year the channel really began to take off. Involving two genuinely funny and creative individuals, Game Grumps tick all the boxes. Providing compelling game play including some of the most abstract and anticipated games of all time partnered with over the top situational and relatable comedy, The Grumps take let’s plays to the next level. Never afraid to expand or try new things for their community Game Grumps have previously expanded their content to involve a series for Steam based games as well as multiplayer arcade style party games. In more recent times, The Game Grumps have capitalized on their Guest Grumps series involving some truly iconic celebrities and comedians, as well as launching a weekly live action show entitled simply, The Grumps.
Friends of and former co-workers of the Game Grumps, Matt and Ryan provide their own unique game play experience. If you are a long time fan of The Grumps who fears that they have lost their crude edge over the years SuperMega may be just the place for you. Never afraid to push a few boundaries or do what ever it takes to commit to the joke, Matt and Ryan go the extra mile to provide quality and humorous content for their viewers. Banking not only on their killer comedic timing but their bold and abrupt editing style, their simple videos always seem to be comedy gold. In addition to their Let’s Plays, SuperMega also provides their viewers with a weekly podcast as well as frequent live action sketches.
What can best be described as a boring video game reviewer to begin with, ProJared doubled down when he decided to do the same on his personal life. Jared’s videos have always been vanilla, using the absolute bare bones approach to game review as well as let’s plays. He did his research and presented you with his findings but if you are tuning in for his witty commentary or comedic timing prepare for it to fall short. A relativity mediocre gaming channel at most suffered the end all be all when in 2019 Jared was accused of cheating on his then wife while also soliciting nude photographs to his fan base. This marked the end of ProJared, while he may still produce his watered down content, his channel will never recover.
These are just a few of the highs and lows in the Let’s Play community and I would love to hear who you think the best and worst Let’s Players are below!