“One of our generation’s greatest problems”
Ein- und Ansichten des vielleicht interessantesten YouTube-Gaming-Hasens
Aller guten Dinge sind (immer noch) drei – also macht sich RUDOLF INDERST diese Woche auf, um einem weiteren Lieblings-YouTuber, der sich mit Gaming-Kultur auseinandersetzt, ein paar Fragen zu stellen. Nach Games as Lit. 101 und dem Gaming Historian gehen wir nun auf Hasenjagd – mit Super Bunnyhop.
Rudolf Inderst (RI): Hi George, would you please introduce yourself to our readers. You also might want to add what it is you are doing on YouTube?
George Weidman (GW): My name’s George Weidman, and I pretend to have agreeable opinions about video games for profit. In all seriousness, I run a channel called Super Bunnyhop where I produce video editorials, reviews, reports and interviews for an audience of about 180,000 fans who berate me for not liking The Witness.
Episodes come out every Thursday and tend to be about 10 to 15 minutes each, and I try to give each episode a writerly style by using my passion and education in Journalism to give the videos some semblance of authority. Every video has a one-to-three thousand word script attached to it, ther’es no improvised rambling on my watch! That’s not true. It’s actually a lie. I have done two Let’s Play series, and even then each episode had a big page of bullet points and pre-prepared stories to go along with the unpredicted commentary.
RI: What else do you do besides all the work on YouTube?
GW: I have a day job that I maintain alongside Bunnyhop. It’s only part time and not very demanding, but is just enough of a safety net to keep me from worrying about finances if the YouTube ship suddenly sinks with no warning whatsoever. Keeping up with a day job and a YouTube channel is tough, but it’s really just a matter of perspective. When I started the channel I had 3.
RI: If our readers only had time for three of your episodes which ones would you suggest and why?
GW: “Kojima vs. Konami: An Investigation.” This is probably my proudest example of “actual” journalism on the channel so far, using anonymous insider sources to dig into a scandal that ended up becoming a scandal of its own when Konami tried to remove the video from YouTube. That’s how you know it’s good journalism!
“Critical Close-up: Metal Gear Solid 2” is something I find impossible to re-watch today, but I’m not ashamed that I poured my heart and soul into this thing when I was making it. Back then I thought these shots were the coolest thing ever, but as long as you can stomach some god-awful appearances of me acting like I think I’m Morpheus or something you might discover some of the most cognizant writing on MGS2 around. Months of researching into weird-ass avant garde post modern theory that’s actually relevant to the game was a lot of fun to write about!
“Game Novels” is a video in which I discovered the endlessly enjoyable insanity of dime-store video game novelizations. Did you know there was an entire trilogy of DOOM books? And that they were about sadistic space Mormons surviving the post-apocalypse hellspawn by living in a fortified Salt Lake City? And that there’s 8 pages of a Hitman novel spent describing how Agent 47 orders a Grand Slam Breakfast at Denny’s! This was easily the most fun I’ve ever had making a video, each step of the process was hilarious. Reading the books, writing the script, recording the audio and editing the video had me giggling out of a shit-eating-grin every step of the way!
RI: How do you feel about the whole topic of game coverage today – especially on YouTube? In regard to that – which channels and colleagues can you recommend?
GW: It may surprise most fans to hear that my two favorite channels are on the opposite end of the stylistic spectrum from me. Super Best Friends Play and the Game Grumps are old standbys, and channels that I regularly take notes from in terms of tone, humor, and perceived audience relationships. They’re also great sleep aids. How flattering! But I don’t really have any other favorites among the Let’s Play crowd outside of those two, really. MrBTounge, MatthewMatosis, Errant Signal and my close friend MattVisual all create some of my favorite writing in game videos, and that’s a niche that’s YouTube’s game coverage isn’t built to fill well.
Regular, frequently-uploaded videos are what do well commercially, and the level of speed that YouTube’s audience demands isn’t one that quality writing can match. It’s not commercially viable. Or it wasn’t, until Patreon figured out how to finance this sort of thing. But even then, Patreon-funded YouTube entrepreneurs still face a real problem of accountability. We have no fact-checkers or editors unless we go out of our way to hire them ourselves, and there’s no incentive to do that when a loyal fanbase can monetize a bad video regardless of the accuracy of its information. In fact, oftentimes the more inflammatory (and faux-centrist) a video is, the better! In fact, I think this might turn out to be one of our generations greatest problems going forward. What’s going to happen to a generation of kids who are raised idolizing YouTubers, perhaps thinking that they are a reliable source of information? I know I’m not!
RI: To wrap things up: Please complete the following sentence for us? „For me games are…!“
GW: …all LGN-tier Sega Saturn garbage unless they’re Metal Gear Solid 3.
RI: Thanks again for your time!
Gerne könnt Ihr George auch auf Twitter folgen.