Cool Ghosts is my new favorite thing on the internet, and it should be yours, too. An episodic series from Matt Lees and Quintin Smith, a duo also responsible for the similarly excellent Shut Up & Sit Down, Cool Ghosts is a wonderfully surreal video game show that is unlike anything else you’ll find on YouTube.
The first episode of Cool Ghosts contains bite-sized but impressively detailed reviews of a number of games you may not have even heard of, from Passpartout: The Starving Artist to The Norwood Suite, interwoven with weird sketches such as a news report about murderous Pokemon, to a very literal discussion about Elder Scrolls.
“It’s definitely a love-letter to old, weird video game TV shows than anything else. “Videogame Television” as presented in the show is sort of an unhinged lens looking at games culture & the industry in a silly, surreal way,” Matt told me via email. “The tone was developed over a frankly very long period of time, and really it’s just a format that allows us express how we feel about games — feelings which these days are quite odd, and conflicted.”
With the episode clocking in at 25 minutes long and boasting relatively high production values (at least for a two-man crew), this isn’t the kind of video you typically see on YouTube, which favors lower quality productions churned out en masse to an audience of viewers with dwindling attention spans. When I asked Matt what kind of audience he believes that Cool Ghosts will appeal to, he replied: “Honestly, I don’t know! We’ve purposefully just made something that we love – and thrown all modern sensibilities out of the window.”
“It’s produced and presented in a way that makes it YouTube Kryptonite,” he continued. “It’s very long, took months to produce, adverts are disabled, no SEO, no calls to action, no encouragements to comment, like, and subscribe. We’ve created a thing that will live or die purely based on whether or not people adore it. Who those people are – or whether they will come – remains A FUN MYSTERY.”
Matt concluded that Episode 2 has already been scripted, though the nature of producing a project such as this with such a small team means that there’s no expected time frame for its release, but that he and Quintin “can’t wait to get our teeth into producing it.” With no ads running on the video, Cool Ghosts is made possible solely due to the pair’s successful Patreon.
You can watch the first episode of Cool Ghosts below: