From the get-go, it is important to point out that the purpose of this post is not to bash video game YouTubers or Twitch streamers. I have benefited tremendously from these content creators both from an informative and entertainment standpoint, not to mention that I am a video content creator myself with the TVGA YouTube Channel. There are some truly dedicated gamers whose channels are a wonderful resource to the gaming community. But as with any form of media that is presented to you, make sure you know exactly what you’re consuming.
The “influencer” culture is very significant in this day and age. Influencing others by default isn’t a bad thing. We as human beings inherently influence each other within the framework of our social interactions on a daily basis. Many times, we aren’t even aware of it. But when it comes to organizations and brands, influencing others becomes a much more deliberate activity. Within social media, it has been discovered that content creators can push people towards products just as effectively as television, radio, print, and other advertisements. It’s like word-of-mouth on steroids because the messages on social media reach millions across the globe. And the best part for organizations is that they are getting a whole new platform to promote their brands.
One of the reasons I believe influencers are continually growing in prominence is because of how they connect with their followers. Social media in the current age allows for people to interact with celebrities and other personalities that would have otherwise been inaccessible. The followers begin to feel like they personally know the influencer and look to them for advice and guidance like they would a good friend. So if the influencer suggests something, there is a chance that the followers will take it seriously.
I do not follow or use Twitch, but I have several video game YouTubers that I follow and subscribe to. In terms of providing informative content while also staying true to their own gaming preferences, I enjoy HappyConsoleGamer, Radical Reggie, Yong Yea, Clemmy Games, DashieGames, and SOFTDRINKTV. Along with keeping me up to date with the latest news, they also have provided recommendations for games that I researched on my own and ended up happily adding to my collection. HappyConsoleGamer is the reason I bought Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Radical Reggie pointed me to Dimension Drive, and A I Gaming was responsible for my purchase of Angels Fall First. Video game YouTubers can be fantastic resources for gamers.
On the contrary, there are video content creators that can come off as shills for a company. They tend to only push products from one specific company. Furthermore, they will never be critical of those products in any way even when such scrutiny is warranted. These content creators present everything as if it is the greatest thing that they’ve ever seen and even use over-the-top thumbnails to draw you in. Now, I don’t know any of these people personally so whether or not they are genuinely excited about what they are presenting in their videos is not for me to judge. Yet understand that some of these content creators are getting paid by companies to push the content they do in their videos. Some are more upfront about it than others. So at the end of the day, I do believe that it is wise to exercise caution and to do our due diligence when consuming any type of social media.
Then there are the content creators that hate everything and spend their time “exposing” everybody and everything. Their negativity is contagious and they draw like-minded followers that just can’t wait for the next person to be “exposed” or the next video that negatively discusses the latest game. While I will always respect the right that people have to their opinions, sometimes certain groups of people aren’t just content with sharing their beliefs and being respectful to other perspectives. Instead, they feel inclined to invade other communities and attempt to proselytize them to their ideologies by any means necessary. It doesn’t matter if they come off rude and cruel. They believe they are right and, as a result, that justifies any behavior that they exhibit. Steer clear of these people because they will never let you enjoy anything.
Everything that I’m discussing in this post is to make you aware of what you are getting into each time you are on websites such as YouTube and Twitch. And I don’t believe that content creators that are paid by companies to promote products are bad people. They are simply doing their jobs that they agreed to for the company. That does not make them morally corrupt. It just lets you know that their content is not where you should go when you are searching for something balanced and objective. Other than that, they have every right to make their money and build their social media account however they see fit as long as they are not doing anything illegal.
With any bit of information you take in, a great rule to live by is just to always be aware of what is going on.