I’ll let you in on a little nerdy secret of mine: I love watching gamers on YouTube. It’s fascinating and so enjoyable to me. I’ve always loved video games but I never thought I’d enjoy watching people play them. Why watch when I could play? Then I discovered a specific band of YouTubers and I’ve been watching them for years.
It all started with GTA V. I was obsessed with the game and I had heard about a few money glitches for GTA Online. Who doesn’t want easy money? In searching YouTube for this glitch, I stumbled across a video all about glitches from Vanossgaming. This video wasn’t about exploiting game mishaps for financial gain, it was all about finding hilarious glitches in the game with his friends and experiencing all the mania that ensued. From massive explosions to rag-dolled bodies, it’s amazing to see how games react when programming misses something.
While the glitches were interesting and funny, what prompted me to watch more videos (eventually hundreds) from Vanossgaming was him and his group of friends. The atmosphere they created was exactly what got me into video games to begin with. Growing up playing Mario Kart with your friends always involved someone throwing a controller, trash talk, bragging, and just laughing and telling jokes. That’s what his channel featured. His featured friends were all people he’d met in the gaming and YouTube communities, showing how you can actually make real friends online. Vanoss is Canadian but his friends were from the United States, Britain, even Ireland, and they played together all the time, just recording the hilarity that occurred when they played. It was exactly what I needed at the time, an escape that involved something I already liked while introducing me to a new community.
After watching most of his videos at the time from my college apartment and between classes, I began subscribing to his friends. Moo Snuckel, I Am Wildcat, H20 Delirious, and Terroriser still take up my feed today. My favorite of the original Banana Bus Crew (yes, inside joke) came to be Daithi De Nogla, an Irishman who, once amped up by dopamine or anger, would spout out unintelligible nonsense and have some of the funniest one-liners that would bring tears to your eyes. To this day, I get notifications on my phone for all of them.
It’s the epitome of playing video games with friends. There’s uncensored trash talk, expletives, dark humor, and best of all, they aren’t professional-caliber gamers. This isn’t Optic of FaZe gamers being recorded. It’s a group of friends playing games, some are good at certain games and others are awful, but they each bring their own personality and almost every video is entertaining.
They play a little bit of everything but primarily focused on GTA V, Mario Kart, Garry’s Mod (an open-world, low-quality, hilarious computer game), and other games would temporarily be featured for a period of time like Dead By Daylight and Battlefield. At their inception, many of their channels featured ninja defuses and funny challenges in the Call of Duty games but once GTA V premiered, they couldn’t run out of funny stuff to do.
Still think it still sounds like just a bunch of nerds in their parents’ basements? Evan Fong, the name behind Vanossgaming, has a net worth of $7.8 million dollars and makes $12,000 per day in content royalties and sponsorships. Each of the YouTubers I’ve named do YouTube as their full-time job, a few having quit other, more stable, jobs and some even leaving universities to focus on their dreams of doing what they love and having fun full-time.
People can talk trash all they want but there are really about less than 5% of people who are truly doing what they love to do each day and are happy. These guys definitely fall into that category. The requirement that one must work an awful, emotionally-draining job in order for it to be considered a “real” one are awfully misguided and probably unhappy with their choice of occupation. Many people disassociate success and happiness but are you really successful if you aren’t happy? We’ve seen throughout history many millionaires have been depressed and suicidal and we’ve seen many people living paycheck to paycheck who love what they do and are happy. Who’s the real winner there?
Have you ever watched any YouTube gamers? If so, who do you watch? Do you subscribe to any hobby/interest-based YouTube channel that you watch almost daily?