Smash That Play Button
by Stephen A Adegun | published Feb. 23rd, 2019
YouTube is one of the most prominent forms of media in the modern day, and some of the larger YouTubers are as well known as mainstream celebrities. With the thousands of YouTubers that make content, there are way too many to keep up with. Plenty of great creators end up falling through the cracks, such as the many diverse gaming channels and Let's Players.
A Let’s Play is a video series in which a person plays through a video game to entertain or inform their audience members. Let's Plays can be solely for exhibiting gameplays, a venue for fun (both for the viewer and creator), or they can be for informative purposes providing walkthroughs for those interested in learning about a game. Some YouTubers even blend these purposes with each other — teaching viewers at the same time as making them laugh.
If this sounds intriguing, here are a few who — while they aren’t as well known as others — all make videos that are full of hard work and filled with entertainment.
Someone who easily fits within my top five YouTubers, if not being in the number one spot, is a Let’s Player who goes by the name Chuggaaconroy.
Chuggaaconroy is one of the pioneers of Let’s Playing and has been consistently uploading since March of 2008. In the nearly 11 years since he first started his YouTube career, Chuggaaconroy has done playthroughs of nearly 40 games, all of them exclusive to Nintendo systems. His own style of Let’s Playing is an effective blend of both entertainment and information.
His playthroughs are never blind — he is very knowledgeable about the content of the games he plays. While watching one of his series of playthroughs, viewers can doubtlessly come away having learned something new about the game, even if they knew a lot about it already.
Throughout his career, Chuggaaconroy hasn't changed much; he is just as cheerful and humorous as he’s always been. His community is — by modern standards — fairly small, with a little over 1.2 million subscribers. His videos are very family friendly, therefore they can be enjoyed by all ages. The fact that I’ve watched him for a decade now, throughout my childhood and the entirety of my adolescence, is a testament to the timelessness of his content.
For those interested, I personally recommend many series. Xenoblade Chronicles is his favorite game of all time and one of his largest projects to date. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is a personal favorite from among his earlier works. Any of his Pokemon series would be a good place to start as well, since they are all extremely detailed.
For video game lovers — especially Nintendo fans — who want to watch informative, high quality content, Chuggaaconroy's channel is the place for you.
Reese Wheeler is a YouTuber who is known online as Lucahjin. Similar to Chuggaaconroy, she has been uploading content on YouTube since 2008. In fact, she started only seven months after him. Lucahjin is one of my favorite YouTubers by far.
Unlike Chuggaaconroy, Lucahjin plays on a variety of gaming systems. Some of her playthroughs are blind, so she experiences them live with her fans. Her main focus is to simply enjoy the games she plays.
The experience of watching her figure things out and seeing her reactions is one of her main draws. Watching one of her blind playthroughs feels like having a new experience with a friend, or watching a friend's reactions to something you already know while they're none the wiser. After a long or stressful day, watching her videos is a great way to pick yourself up and have a laugh.
In addition to her YouTube videos, she regularly streams on Twitch. However, her streams are fairly different from her videos. They're much longer, offering fans a way to interact with her in real time and allowing her to show off different kinds of games, such as the Sims or Final Fantasy XIV.
So, some fans might prefer to watch her on one platform rather than the other. Regardless of the platform you use to watch her content, you'll join a small community that makes you feel at home. Lucahjin’s fanbase of 192 thousand is just enough to avoid getting lost in a large, possibly toxic viewer base.
Lucahjin is definitely meant for a more mature audience. She has quite the adult vocabulary, and her sense of humor is much more mature. That might be off-putting to some, but until you give her a try, you’ll never know if she might be up your alley.
For people who might not like the idea of Lucahjin’s more raunchy, adult content, I recommend either of her Suikoden series. Suikoden I, and especially Suikoden II, are some of the games that she knows best. They're also among her more serious series, though they still retain her personality and sense of humor.
Newcomers will enjoy any of her blind playthroughs. I recommend her Pokemon, Ace Attorney and currently ongoing Danganronpa series.
While Lucahjin is a more mature YouTuber, and certainly not for everyone, those who find her content and brand of humor enjoyable are sure to stick around in the long run.
This next YouTuber is unique as he runs two different channels, each offering different kinds of content. Stephen Georg’s first channel, StephenVlog, has been consistently uploading since November of 2009. As the name suggests, it’s a vlog that keeps track of his daily life.
This addition to the regular Let's Play content on his other channel allows his fans have witnessed all of his highs and lows — the exciting and the mundane. They’ve been there for his college graduation, his wedding, he and his wife’s adoption of their cats, as well as more personal and health complications. Whenever Stephen and his wife are with their friends, viewers of the vlog get to be with them as well. The people in Stephen's life form a sort of recurring cast that fans become familiar with.
In addition to the personal nature of the vlog, Stephen’s modest fanbase of 72 thousand adds a sense of intimacy to his channel. StephenVlog also has question-and-answer videos and videos featuring fan mail in order to complement his vlogs.
Separate from his vlogging channel is Stephen's Let’s Play channel, similarly named StephenPlays, which he’s been updating consistently since February of 2011. Stephen plays a variety of games and uploads videos daily. He has several series running at once, so there’s always something for someone to watch.
In addition to his uploads, he also has community selected highlights called Memorable Moments, as well as weekly videos of him playing games with his friends on Saturday evenings. Although they are separate channels, StephenVlog and StephenPlays are definitely connected as several of his friends who regularly appear on the vlog appear from time to time on his Let's Play, and his wife is a frequent co-host.
For people interested in the vlog, there is the colloquially coined “Journey,” which is just a marathon of the entire vlog. It would be an incredibly daunting task to undertake — even I haven’t done it. Rather than doing a journey, people can just jump into the vlog at any point without getting horribly lost. It’s easy enough to pick up on things from past vlogs as you watch.
For people who would prefer StephenPlays, I have a few personal recommendations. One of his first Let’s Plays was of Earthbound, which is his favorite game. His Let's Play of Pokemon LeafGreen is unique, since he had family and friends draw pictures of all of the game’s creatures to make his own mock Pokédex. For people with a friend or loved one that they like to watch videos with, his co-op Mario Kart series that he did with his wife would be a fun way to introduce yourself to his content.
Stephen Georg's two channels offer a large host of content for those curious enough to take a look. From a nice, relaxing look into his everyday life to fun to consistent and varied gaming videos, there's something for just about everyone to enjoy.
There’s no shortage of YouTube creators and Let's Players to follow. Hopefully, one of these creators might have piqued your interest. Perhaps checking out one of them might lead you to more YouTubers you can grow to love. After some time, their intros and outros will stick with you, as they have with me.