So, my husband and I have this YouTube channel thing.
I was pretty skeptical about the idea, to be completely blunt. There’s myriad Let’s Play videos on YouTube and many more of them are far cleverer and more interesting than I believe myself to be. That said, I agreed to the idea on the strength of my husband’s very obvious enthusiasm and the hopes that his accent would be more interesting to hear than my own fat face. About two months removed from our launch, I think I can outline my thoughts on the project at this early stage.
Our aim is pretty simple, really – to invite people in to our home and just have fun playing some videogames with or against each other, as well as to try and entertain those who do visit with our banter and some generally silly skits on the occasion. Essentially, we’re trying to show that a gay married couple is not too different from any other gamers in “the scene”.
The format was (rather obviously) borrowed from the Game Grumps, since playing some games for a couple of hours yielding at least four or five short-form episodes was the best option for our work schedule. As far as content output, I think we’re in good shape overall. We’ve got a line of videos in the pipeline that require generally minimal editing and have a format that yields the best results for our time.
With that said, as attempted entertainers, there’s no end of very minor frustration when some of your efforts get literally no views whatsoever.
I think the disappointment is more deeply felt by my husband, a man who has lived five years of his own life on daily YouTube vlogs and has gone to university with the idea that he would be able to entertain and perform for people. To that point, I try to keep him propped up and remind him that this sort of thing isn’t about becoming internet famous or YouTube famous. That it’s about enjoying yourself and that having fun is more infectious than anything else.
It’s a long, slow burn. But it’s still a burn.
I’ve had a very low opinion of most YouTubers for a long while now to the point where I’m considering installing a filter for the comment section. It’s always been my feeling that most people who create content on YouTube are caricatures of themselves – attempts at becoming living cartoons. With our own channel now live, I’m reminded of the axiom about hunting monsters and becoming one yourself…though I can only offer my word that reactions while playing are genuine. I would scream like a moron while getting in to a game.
Having had some experience in the process of creating YouTube gaming content, I have to say that my opinion isn’t changed too much…but I now can better appreciate the levels of effort that are required. The “larger” channels are operating under immense pressures and under deadlines that have to feel like they’re closing in, all while keeping up a perception of good times and general upbeat feelings lest their audience assumes something is amiss and subscriptions dwindle. That is a lot to deal with…so perhaps it’s not a big shock when many people splash against those rocks and turn in to sea foam.
In the still-infant world of digital media production, there’s a lot of things to learn and assumptions to shatter yet. I think that, over time, my own prejudices about YouTube, its content makers and its audience can be adjusted. As it stands now, though, I’m trying to keep focus on the mission statement, or if nothing else I’m trying to stir together an audience. And I’m also just trying to have some fun with it all. Really, that’s the best thing I could personally ask for from this experience. I still foolishly feel like an audience can happen given enough persistence – the fact that you’re all still reading the stuff I write is testament to that and is an honor that I’ll never get over. It’s my fervent hope that my husband will feel the same way
We’ll see where this new adventure takes us, I suppose.