There’s a lot of brilliant YouTubers out there, covering a wide variety of topics from TV to fashion to Pound Land products, and gaming is perhaps the biggest genre of the bunch.
However, this sea is overwhelmingly populated by lets players and streamers, but in that ocean of content, there are some true gems that stand out, and our writers have come together to talk about their favourites.
Written by Carl Smith Valdez
If you are looking for a YouTuber that surpasses simple analysis of video games, then look no further than NakeyJakey!
He differentiates himself from other video essayists by subverting viewers’ expectations created by his thumbnails. At first glance, his videos might seem similar to many other content creators. However, he gives fresh insight on video gaming through his comedic style and content by injecting his own nuances, wit and critical theories, all of which intertwine seamlessly.
His analyses highlight how subjectivity can be a powerful tool in understanding the concepts behind games. These emphasise how one does not require a university degree in order to be capable of insightful, critical thought. He also explores themes that are usually disregarded by many analysts, such as ideas stemming from clothing design, animals and alcohol in video games.
He diverges from formulaic video essays with his infectious personality and set design. He puts himself before a green screen for relevant “let’s play” videos, and sits on a yoga ball while discussing the game. This welcomes engagement in an odd, yet equally exciting manner.
Furthermore, his rap reviews bring out another side of NakeyJakey. He demonstrates a plethora of talent with his creative and experimental analysis of video games, helping to bring his points across in ways that are simultaneously informative and entertaining.
NakeyJakey’s presentation is truly unique, hilarious and surprisingly perceptive. His channel highlights how editing doesn’t need to be complex in order to foster a connection with online audiences. All an individual needs is authenticity, charisma and sincere opinions that reach the audience’s hearts.
My name is Byf
Written by Shawn Khoo
While other YouTubers in this article may be more hands-on with their content, there are certainly other types of content creators that deserve a mention. To me, Byf immediately springs to mind.
Byf caters to a very specific part of the gaming community, dealing mainly with the lore behind Destiny 2, with a touch of Warframe, Borderlands and other assorted goodness. Although the thought of lore may, to some, be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, Byf’s passion for this niche shines through. This is perhaps most evident in some of his multiple-hour-long narrations and expositions about Destiny 2’s guardians and the stories behind them.
Even as someone who enjoys Destiny 2 for the grind and for the first-person gunplay, I still leave Byf’s videos on in the background while I play. I must admit, even though I’m no fan of lore-heavy dialogues in games, the supplemental nature of Byf’s content is likely to grow on you as it has for me.
If you’re playing a game that has a lot of mindless grinding or repetitiveness, it may be worth it to turn down the music and give Byf a go – you may just enjoy the world he weaves with his words.
Written by Alex Darbyshire
George Weidman, in my opinion, is one of the most thorough and intelligent video game journalists in the business, or at least on YouTube. With laser-focused attention to detail, Weidman’s videos are packed with information, joyfully edited and show a level of polish that puts many others working in his industry to shame.
I first encountered BunnyHop when he was featured on TotalBiscuit’s Co-Optional Podcast. It’s a long podcast, but Weidman manages to keep things interesting alongside the late John Bain.
It was here I discovered Weidman’s trilogy of videos on The Witcher, which was an excellent analysis of both the games and the novels. Among his body of work are ludological analyses of the entire Metal Gear series, several video essays on the design of Resident Evil, and a deep look into the controversy around Hideo Kojima’s exit from Konami. You don’t see content like this every day.
What I appreciate the most about George Weidman’s content is the sheer amount of energy he brings to each project he works on. It’s clear that his content is fueled by his passion for history, game design, and pulpy, postmodern narratives.
Weidman’s writing has a hyper-detailed, fanatic style that never fails to critique. It’s a well-researched, consumer-positive and great watch. BunnyHop is much of what I aspire to be as a writer and critic, and you owe it to yourself to give his videos a try.
Written by James Troughton
If you’re a fan of history and gaming, then Ahoy is perhaps the perfect YouTuber for you, as he combines both into digestible, well-researched and incredibly performed documentaries that can span from a measly 10 minutes all the way through to an in-depth hour and a half.
Whether it’s the anniversary of Half-Life, the celebration of FPS’s beginnings with Doom or a deep-dive into the history of a weapon type such as the Glock, Ahoy has content for it, and he doesn’t just cover shooters, as he’s also lent his time to The Secret of Monkey Island and the Polybius legend, as well as more general pieces such as the history of gore, video games themselves, piracy and graphics.
The thumbnails are a great indication of what you’re in store for when you boot up an Ahoy video, as they’re stylistic, well-designed and utterly brilliant from every standpoint. The narration is classy, with a deep and booming British accent taking you on an adventure down gaming’s memory lane.
If you need something to put on in the background whilst you grind out for Concord Kept’s in Dark Souls 3 or if you’re just playing a mindless shoot-em-up to kill time, then Ahoy’s videos are perfect. He gets a lot of views, often in the million+ range, and yet he slips past many people’s radars, unjustly. His content is passionate and credible, making him one of the best YouTubers on the platform.
It’s a lot less personality-driven than others on the platform, but he makes up for it with projects that could quite easily run as specials on Netflix, Amazon Prime or whatever other streaming platforms you so desire. There’s a lot of production value behind his work.
Featured image credit: u/probertson3 (Reddit) & @nakeyjakey (Twitter)
Last modified: 12th April 2020