Tag Archives: youtube

PewDiePie Is Having Second Thoughts About The Whole YouTube Thing

A profile of YouTuber Pewdiepie in the New York Times titled “What Does Pewdiepie Really Believe?” does not quite answer that question. In fact, Pewdiepie himself does not seem to know.

New York Times writer Kevin Roose spoke to Pewdiepie, nee Felix Kjellberg, in the aftermath of March’s shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a shooter opened fired in a mosque after saying, “Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.” The conversation came about, Roose wrote yesterday, when Kjellberg’s publicist called him shortly after the shooting because Kjellberg wanted a chance to explain his views. Roose provided an example of what he calls one of their “futile exchanges.”

“Are there any politicians who excite you?”

“No.”

“Like, anywhere in the world?”

“I couldn’t name one, no.”

“What did you think about UKIP endorsing you?” I asked. On Twitter, the far-right British party had recently told its followers to subscribe to his channel to stop T-Series from overtaking him.

“It’s kind of funny how a political party would post about a meme,” he said. “But it’s also kind of like, Ehh, don’t drag me into your politics.”

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This exchange makes clear that, while Kjellberg has Mr. Magoo’d himself into politically charged controversy after controversy, he does not seem to understand how to grapple with his level of fame and influence.

“My job is just: I go to my office; I record a video in front of a camera,” Kjellberg told Roose. “It’s weird for me to be in this position [of influence], because I don’t really want to be in this position.”

While this apathy toward politics might seem unlikely, I do find aspects of it relatable. I’m often completely oblivious to the one sided relationship that people all over the world have with me over social media. I write a lot of my tweets on the toilet—it feels bizarre whenever one of those missives is given any kind of weight or importance. While Kjellberg might have started his YouTube channel with the intention of just saying stuff on the internet, he’s no longer in the position where he can just let it sort itself out.

Though much of the article is more a reflection on YouTube culture as a whole and a recap of Kjellberg’s various controversies, near the end of the profile, Kjellberg speaks specifically about his ambivalent attitude towards his channel.

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Roose asked Kjellberg if he’d ever delete his YouTube channel. “Don’t tempt me,” Kjellberg answered. “I kind of question if the positive outweighs the negative…. It’s a lot more than I think I signed up for.” He clarified to Roose that he wouldn’t do so. “Deleting his channel is not something he would really go through with,” Roose wrote. “Like many other extreme ideas, it’s just something he plays with from time to time.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Investigative Report Digs Into The Strange Story Of A YouTuber Who Founded A Religion

People Make Games, a YouTube channel founded by former Eurogamer video maker Chris Bratt and animator Anni Sayers, has concluded a year-long investigation into Bachir “Athene” Boumaaza, a YouTuber who got his start with troll-y video game antics but went on to form a pseudo-religion called Neuro-Spinozism and is now the face of an organization called The Singularity Group.

The investigation alleges that Boumaaza is responsible for manipulation, misogyny, emotional abuse, and a lack of accountability at the top of the organization. Anonymous ex-members of the group discussed emotional manipulation and gaslighting behind the scenes, while Boumaaza made statements like “girls have evolved to be emotional manipulation machines” with cameras rolling.

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The video culminates with a lengthy conversation between People Make Games and Boumaaza, in which the latter calls the investigation a “hit piece” among other things, denies some of the allegations, and offers his view of others.

The investigation is an extremely compelling piece of reporting. The full video is lengthy, complicated, and at times deeply frustrating, but well worth a watch.

Source: Kotaku.com

Someone Beat Minecraft Without Mining Any Blocks

Minecraft is a game where you sometimes mine stuff and sometimes craft stuff. But one player decided to skip the whole mining bit of Minecraft and decided to beat the game without ever mining a single block. This isn’t easy and involves a lot of scavenging, some expert bucket skills, some luck and a lot of patience.

First spotted by PC Gamer, Reddit user SpikyHedGey posted a video on the Minecraft subreddit on October 4 showcasing a highlight reel of everything they did to beat the game without mining. The impressive accomplishment was a huge hit with Minecraft players on Reddit, racking up over 11k upvotes already.

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A lot of the run early on is spent visiting villages, pyramids, and other special locations. Each of these areas could have useful items and materials for SpikyHedGuy, like armor, food, and buckets. (The buckets are very important.) The keyword here is “could.” These areas, which spawn randomly in the world, aren’t guaranteed to provide any useful items. So a lot of searching was needed.

The full video of how SpikyHedGuy pulled this off.

Once they had some basic supplies they then began digging into the world and getting into hidden temples. This involved a few different methods. Luring Creepers, enemies who explode when they get close to the player, was one common method. It is dangerous and a bit hard to control. Crafting TNT with materials from dead Creepers allowed SpikyHedGuy to place explosives where they needed. But supplies were limited and breaking blocks with TNT isn’t as precise as using a pickaxe. Both of these methods can destroy materials and items in the process, so less mining and more controlled exploding.

SpikyHedGuy then used a bucket and lava to create obsidian blocks in a specific pattern which activated a portal to the Nether. This is a very important step if you want to beat the game. SpikyHedGuy needed to farm some Blaze Rods to create Ender Eyes, which are needed to open the final portal to the last area of Minecraft, The End.

Fighting the big dragon at the end of Minecraft
Screenshot: HedGey (YouTube)

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Once there, SpikyHedGuy fought the big dragon boss and using some scavenged food, armor, weapons and even the bucket, they were able to defeat the end boss and beat Minecraft.

I’ve never even beat Minecraft, let alone beat it without mining. A lot of things could have gone wrong during this run, including not finding nearby villages, spawning inside blocks in The End area or various other setbacks. So some luck was needed to pull off this impressive Minecraft run.

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Source: Kotaku.com

Ninja Sings ‘Old Town Road’ In A Giant Ice Cream Costume For The Masked Singer Premiere

Have you heard of The Masked Singer? It’s a Fox competition show where a group of mysterious contestants dress up in outlandish costumes and sing for a panel of judges. Over the course of a season, each singer—referred to by their costume—gives clues as to who they really are (the competitors are all minor celebrities of some sort) while one by one they are eliminated and unmasked. It’s a little bit Eurovision, a little bit pro wrestling, and maybe the closest thing we have to a Power Rangers reality show.

On The Masked Singer’s second season premiere this week, one of the first performers to be eliminated was Ice Cream—a friendly looking man-sized Pistachio cone with sprinkles that was revealed to be Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, streamer extraordinaire.

In his brief but illustrious career as Ice Cream, Ninja sang songs like the Devo classic “Whip It” while a robot Ladybug danced:

And also “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X’s breakout hit of the summer.

If you want to know how close The Masked Singer’s panelists—which include Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, and noted anti-vaxxer Jenny McCarthy—got to guessing Ninja’s identity, they very quickly suggested “YouTuber” when Ice Cream gave his clues, and PewDiePie was guessed just before the reveal, which I’m sure made Ninja feel great.

The Masked Singer is a trip.

Source: Kotaku.com

Some Of The Best Games Hidden Inside Other Games

GIF: The Easter Egg Hunter (YouTube)

Sometimes when I’m playing a game and it ain’t great or I’m bored, I’ll wish I was playing something else. That usually means exiting the game and loading up a new video game. But there are some devs that have kindly tossed in a whole different game inside another game, letting players take a break from fighting to play some Breakout.

Over on YouTube, The Easter Egg Hunter released a video this week showcasing some of the best and oddest games hidden in other games.

For example, in Hitman (2016) players can actually play Minesweeper on a computer found in the game. To access this game a player will need to have an explosive rubber ducky and place it underneath a specific pole in the world. Once that has been done, for some reason, Minesweeper becomes available to play.

This isn’t a list of every instance of a hidden game inside another game. But a few of these I didn’t know about. This video also got me thinking about one of my favorite examples of a game in a game, which was Test Drive: Overdrive on the PS2. It had a playable version of Pong during loading screens. The game wasn’t great, so my brother and I ended up playing a lot of Pong instead of racing.

Source: Kotaku.com

Rewatch the Most Popular YouTube Videos From Exactly a Decade Ago Using This Site

Image: AFP / Staff (Getty)

I’m a sucker for those “On This Day” reminders from social media sites. Without fail, I’m delighted when Facebook resurfaces a picture I posted a decade ago of friends, and I like it when Instagram reminds me of a picture I posted a few years prior.

That said, I was also pretty excited to discover YouTube Decade this week, a site that resurfaces the most viewed videos exactly 10 years ago today.

On August 31, 2009, for instance, people were really interested in a video on how to tell if silver is real posted by Pawn Stars and were rocking out to Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina’s jam ‘Stereo Love’ which I’m fairly confident I had never heard until this morning when I was researching this post.

Videos are broken down by category on the site, and only the top video is shown for each category. Options include Music, Comedy, Entertainment, News & Politics, Sports, Gaming, and Pets & Animals.

Screenshot: YouTube Decade

If you hate today’s selections you an also move back in time to look at what was popular 10 years and some change ago. You can’t; however, move forward in time and look at what was popular 10 years ago tomorrow or next week. Spoiler proof!

Source: Kotaku.com

Control’s Hidden Puppet Show Is A Horror Masterpiece

Control could be called a horror game. It’s creepy and unsettling, right down to the title cards that pop up in every new location. But Control is also a good action game, with fun, bombastic gunfights. It’s probably best to just call it a thriller—at least, until you find the first episode of Threshold Kids, an inexplicable puppet show you can find clips of in the game. Those puppets? Definitely horror.

It doesn’t take long to find Threshold Kids—if you’re attentive in the game’s first hour, the first tape is pretty easy to spot playing on a TV in one of the mail room’s side offices. At this early point in Control, previous videos have all been of men smoking and monologuing, or men in lab coats enthusiastically talking about their work.

Threshold Kids is different. It appears to be a children’s show set in the game’s Federal Bureau of Control, where Topher and Meg, two macabre-looking puppets, deal with the intricacies of FBC protocol. It feels out of place in a way that’s amusing at first—the latest in Remedy’s long tradition of putting parody TV shows in their games—but it pivots to feeling wrong pretty quickly.

Here’s an example, which is my favorite of the first few episodes and is found early in the game.

In this episode, “Missing Momma,” puppet Meg is distraught because her mother seems to have died on an FBC mission. The heavily-redacted letter she’s received about it doesn’t make the cause of death clear. It’s already unnerving to have a withering satire of bureaucratic inhumanity depicted via a children’s show, but “Missing Momma” takes a hard left turn when, after Topher confesses he doesn’t know where his mother is either, Meg says they’ll look for her “togetherrrrr,” dragging out the last syllable as she looks to the camera. The shot holds long past the point of comfort.

Later episodes—and I won’t spoil them here—follow a similar pattern. Meg and Topher encounter something strange and potentially supernatural, and then grapple with the relevant FBC regulation for dealing with it. The show hones in on the incongruity of Control’s world, where paranormal events with horrific outcomes are met with drab bureaucracy and paperwork. Inhabiting that world could conceivably break a person, leading them to make something like Threshold Kids—a maybe-successful attempt to pass that brokenness off as normal to impressionable kids.

Threshold Kids really sticks with me, partly because I stumbled across it late at night alone in my home, but also because it also aligns with a very particular kind of horror. It feels like the creepy oeuvre of WhamCity Comedy, famous for “Too Many Cooks” and “Unedited Footage of A Bear,” which present themselves as a ‘90s sitcom and pharmaceutical ad, respectively, and then slowly devlove into murderous horror. Or the abrupt, disconcerting puppet videos of YouTuber Jordan Walker, formerly known as Jordan Underneath, who pivoted without warning from run-of-the-mill videos about games and such to surreal shows about Sesame Street-esque puppets that are equal parts friendly and monstrous.

Threshold Kids feels like discovering something that lurks in a space that’s impossibly big—in the case of the above YouTubers, it’s the internet; in Threshold Kids, it’s a video game. This kind of comedy-horror makes clear that you can’t really know everything about a space, no matter how often you occupy it. The creepy, offbeat nature of Threshold Kids reminds me that games, and the internet, are things that are just too big to believe our narrow slices of them are representative of the whole.

You click on a YouTube video, or round a corner in the corridors of Control. You stumble upon a video that feels wrong, like it shouldn’t be there, but is. You’re reminded of how narrow your perception of a thing really is. And you spend a little bit longer falling asleep that night.

Source: Kotaku.com

YouTuber Jared “ProJared” Knabenbauer has posted a video denying allegations from three months ago t

YouTuber Jared “ProJared” Knabenbauer has posted a video denying allegations from three months ago that he supposedly had exchanged nude photos with two underage fans. Knabenbauer acknowledged that he did exchange nude photos with other fans, clarified that this was “consensual,” although there was a “power imbalance” between himself and his fans.

Source: Kotaku.com

I May Never Stop Watching YouTube Tutorials And Actually Play This Strategy Game

Image: Paradox Interactive
Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.  

For the last couple months, I’ve been trying to get into Stellaris in a big way—partly because the game is one of the few 4X games to get an uncompromised console port, and partly because I think space stuff is rad. Since I’m not a PC guy, I’m still pretty new to games in the 4X mold. The “Xs” are an abbreviation that still cracks me up; it stands for “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate.” As someone who is into two out of those four Xs (the first two), I figure it’s time to see if these games are for me or not. Which means I have been spending a lot of time on YouTube. And not that much time playing the games. Not yet, anyway.

The reason I’m stuck in a YouTube hole is that games like Stellaris are almost completely inept when it comes to tutorials. In Stellaris, tutorialization takes the form of thorough and elaborate tooltips. Every time you open a new menu, a window opens up telling you what that menu is for and what can be done in it. You’re also given nudges at various points about what you should do to get the wheels of your spacefaring civilization going. From all this, I mostly understand how the game works. It’s just not very fun.

This is because tutorials like this are bad at telling you what to do in that crucial stage between the latter portion of early-game play to the mid-game meat, when formative decisions transition into interesting dilemmas. I know how to mine for minerals and issue orders, but I’m not really sure why, or when to do what task during the mid-game. I haven’t had to deal with that in action yet, because I’m just getting started. But I just don’t feel prepared.

So I turned to YouTube, which has actually been a good resource as long as I dodge videos with titles like “Which Game Publisher Is The Worst Company Ever Founded” or “How Women Completely Ruined Star Wars” that keep popping up even though all I’ve typed in the search bar is “stellaris help.” It has been nice to have someone just lay the game out for me. So nice, in fact, that I have just stopped playing Stellaris altogether.

One problem is that the videos I like are just too long. I’m in the middle of a (really quite good) Stellaris tutorial video, and it’s a whole series, each part pushing 40 minutes! There are at least three; I’m scared to see how many there are. As good as the series is so far, I’ve felt some bitterness creep in about other things I could be doing, like rewatching Happy Endings or Hannibal (this time with commentary.) Or, you know. Just playing another video game. Maybe even Stellaris.

One of my deeply-held beliefs is that some of the best games teach you how to engage with them purely through play. That’s not a hard and fast rule for me; games should challenge us, and taking the time to engage with something complex and obtuse can lead to something very rewarding. For example, I love learning all the rules to a complicated board game. 4X games seem a lot like board games, actually, except I can play them by myself.

Unfortunately, this also means 4X games lack the tension that comes from not having someone immediately across the table from you making decisions to which you must respond. They also lack the benefit of an in-person pal who knows the rules front and back that can explain all sorts of weird edge case scenarios for me. Sometimes I’m just gonna have to read the rulebook myself, but no one is ever under the illusion that that’s fun. I guess it bums me out that a game like Stellaris—which I still, believe it or not, think I’m gonna love—hasn’t figured out a more fun way to get players right into the thick of things.

That said, I did watch a very long video explaining Twilight Imperium once before I met up with some friends with whom I played a whole nine-hour game. So maybe I’m just a hypocrite. Or I need to make a friend who can explain Stellaris to me. Until then, I’ll keep watching YouTube videos.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Chill YouTube Comments On Game Soundtracks Are A Pleasant Surprise

This hour-long video on YouTube, whose title roughly translates to “One hour corridor ‘Chrono Trigger,’” plays the same three-minute “Corridors of Time” track from the game over and over again. It has over 1 million views, and it also has one of the most pleasant comment sections I’ve seen, full of viewers devoted to celebrating the music and the game it’s from. Some people replay games, others watch replays on Twitch, and others—like me—enjoy collectively remensicing to a 16-bit tune.

“Am I butterfly dreaming I’m a man? Or a bowling ball dreaming I’m a plate of sashimi? Never assume what you see and feel is real,” reads one of the 759 comments currently under the video. It’s a quote from Doreen, one of the characters who lives in the Kingdom of Zeal where the Corridors of Time music plays. This line of dialogue is a reference to the writings of the Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi, and it perfectly captures the vibe of the music and the original location. Another person responded with the quote “All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu. This is the truth! This is my belief!…At least for now.”

Dozens of highly trafficked gaming music videos were taken off YouTube earlier this week following copyright claims by Nintendo. An entire channel, BrawlBRSTMs3, was taken down by its owner who cited concerns over Nintendo’s new crackdown. While a lot of video game music has moved to Spotify, where it’s officially distributed by the game publishers that own it, there’s no easy replacement for the experience of listening to beloved soundtracks on YouTube.

One of the special things about listening to video game music on YouTube is users’ ability to upload customized tracks, specifically looped versions of tracks that extend the listening experience uninterrupted (with the exception of the occasional rogue YouTube ad). Most video game music is designed to be played in perpetuity. Who knows whether you’re going to finish the dungeon or beat the boss in a few minutes or a few hours. In arcades, the music loops until the lights shut off. Even at home, with endless distractions only a few swipes or clicks away, video games provide soundtracks for more than just what’s happening on screen. More than once I’ve let the Persona 5 song “Tokyo Daylight” loop for hours after I’ve fallen asleep on my couch.

Game soundtracks on YouTube lend themselves well to late night study sessions, ambient background music for work, or in my case, falling asleep. But they’ve also become home to some of the loveliest gaming communities I’ve ever encountered. Far away from the snark on Twitter, the toxicity on Reddit, or the outrage across so much of the rest of gaming YouTube, soundtrack pages tend to be a place where you can fall in love with something all over again and share it with others simply by listening to a few tracks.

In the comments section under a 12-minute version of Silent Hill 2‘s “Promise Reprise,” people quote letters found in the game. Some share stories of their own losses that they’ve coped with while listening to this music.Others offer one-off lines of improvised poetry. Others just want more. “Make a 10 hour version,” asked one person.

On the page for an extended version of “The Opened Way” from Shadow of the Colossus, people share stories about listening to this music as they waited for school to be over so they could go home and play the game. On the page for a 10-hour version of “Zora’s Domain” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, people share stories about the passage of time. “This brought a tear to my eye. All the sad memories of being a child. Loving my parents. Enjoying the serenity of the game, while not having a care in the world,” writes one person. “Played this game as a kid. Zara’s domain was always my favorite song. Now it’s my 8-month-old’s lullaby. Amazing,” writes another.

The hour-long cut of Corridors of Time video is still my favorite. The looping graphics of a city floating in the sky, the music, and the people who have converged there are one of the more beautiful social happenstances I’ve ever witnessed. Some of the commenters have been around long enough to remember posting on earlier uploads of the video that were subsequently taken down. Hopefully they will always keep coming back. 

Source: Kotaku.com