It has been said that man cannot live by bread alone. As such, bacon was invented. Then came along fakin' bacon, and a great thing was bastardized. But I digress.
The same theory applies to gamers, as we cannot live by bread alone either. We need bacon as well. We also can't rely on just video games. Exhibit A: You're reading GameRevolution right now, which is not a video game but a website about video games. You probably read other game sites (after scouring ours for information and entertainment for hours, of course), maybe look up gameplay videos on various sites, or even, if you're old-skool, pick up a gaming magazine. (For the new generation, a “magazine” is like a blog you can physically hold in your hands. It's basically historic at this point.)
When I got out of my “too cool” phase maybe four or five years ago, I learned a lot had changed since back when I gamed in my late teens and twenties, and how much video sites like YouTube now were not only influenced by gaming, but also in small ways influenced gaming back. I started clicking around, learning what a “Let's Play” was, getting re-immersed into gaming culture (for better or for worse at times), and how gaming no longer remains a medium that just sits on one's console of choice. Also, I found out how damn creative some people can be with the medium and the subject of gaming.
With that being said, there's some great metaphorical bacon out there for gamers, and these are my top five favorites. All these shows got their start broadcasting via YouTube, though now they can be found on various websites as well. These are all shows with original content based on gaming but not actual gaming themselves, so the aforementioned “Let's Play”-type videos are not in the runing. Otherwise, you might see prolific Let's Players like DeceasedCrab or PushingUpRoses, who just launched a new Let's Play of one of the best adventure games of all time, Grim Fandango.
From the other side of the pond—and really, who started calling it a “pond?” It's the Atlantic Friggin' Ocean!—comes Caddicarus. The screen name of James Caddick, Caddicarus puts the slightly-British spin on reviews that Americans enjoy.
It's much easier to listen to a game get trashed when behind a delightful accent. Ranging from current titles to throwbacks to some great and unique Top 10 lists, Caddy ranks right up there with Monty Python, if they did video game work. And, you know, was only one person instead of multiple.
Okay, so he's not like Monty Python at all. But still dash clever. For a sample of this delightful pip (I dunno, sounds British to me) check out his feature on the Tomb Raider series.
Better known as the sister site of CollegeHumor.com, Dorkly started off as videos on YouTube featuring our favorite characters in gaming in sketch comedy of sorts. From Sonic to Samus, King Arthur to King Koopa, no one was safe from Dorkly's skewering. We can't help but love the “Meets With Their Agent” series—it's like SNL in glorious pixilation.
For those who like a little smart with their funny, look no further than Jared Knabenbauer, better known to YouTube viewers as ProJared. I came across ProJared when another person on this list (spoiler alert: the next one!) guest-starred on his show for a take on Pocky & Rocky, and I was impressed by ProJared's intelligence—the man is not afraid to be both smart and funny, a combination sometimes woefully lacking on the Internet these days. With a penchant for the obscure and a fleet of blue button-up shirts, ProJared proves that you can learn a little something while getting your chuckles in.
Proof that ProJared belongs on this list: He was brave enough to tackle the bastard stepchild of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest.
To friends, he's Austin Hargrave, but to the YouTube community at large, he is the one and only PeanutButterGamer. PBG was actually the first YouTube show I began watching with regularity, as I'm a sucker for Top 10 lists. But PBG was also the first show I saw when I realized, you actually could make an entire series out of video gaming.
With segments such as “To Kill an Avatar” and “The G-Files,” in addition to his “reviews” and haranguing of terrible games, as well as his month-long celebration of all things Zelda, PBG clearly puts 110% effort into every video produced. So if some time passes between videos, it's all for quality's sake.
Mashing up his love of Zelda with his penchant for the weird, this Zelda Month episode of "The G-Files" looks into the Ben Drowned creepypasta.
Some games deserve our mockery. Some games deserve high praise. Some games deserve a little of both. Fortunately, the boys from Continue? are here to serve barbs to all.
Consisting of Paul Ritchey, Nick Murphy, and Josh Henderson, Continue? answers the question, “What if the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 crew had video games instead of movies?” Between running gags and sketch comedy, Continue? is at its best when you realize that all those snarky thoughts in your head that you thought were impolite are exactly what Paul, Nick, and Josh are saying on camera. It's a bit relieving, a bit cathartic. At the end of about a half hour of essentially blind play (no booklets, no walkthroughs), the three reveal if they would “Continue” to play the game, or if it's “Game Over” and the power button gets hit.
With my bizarre life schedule, it's hard to watch anything on TV or the Internet with any sort of consistency, but Continue? actually commands my attention every Wednesday with regularity.