In a few short years gaming has all but taken over YouTube. Tutorials and Let’s Players are exploding with top gaming creators routinely raking in hundreds of thousands or even millions of views. A single game, Minecraft, accounts for more searches on YouTube than any other individual topic except for music. Of course if you need more proof the gaming is king on YouTube then look no further than the very top of the charts. The most subscribed man on YouTube is also a gamer, the undisputed king of subs, Pewdiepie. Gamers have made YouTube their home and along the way they’ve changed the way the gaming industry itself works, but how did it happen?
Technology certainly plays a role in the gaming explosion. The YouTube revolution itself didn’t really hit full steam until every device from laptops to mobile phones contained a camera. That level of technological saturation allowed anyone and everyone to capture relatively clear high quality footage and with a simple wifi connection upload it to the internet. Just as webcams and camera phones gave birth to vloggers readily accessible capture technology gave rise to the gaming resolution. Gaming PCs now come preloaded with software that allows users to share or record footage directly from their screens. External capture cards and cameras that can record digital inputs are commonplace. When these tools were in place it was only a matter of time before the gaming community would start sharing their biggest moment and a new niche of YouTube culture was born.
Of course hardware and software aren’t the only reasons that gamers have been multiplying on YouTube. The gamer experience used to be a fairly solitary one. Whether on a console or a computer screen games were relegated to a solo activity. Now almost all major gaming releases are social. Networks allow gamers to come together and form communities online, to play with friends and peers around the world, and to interact in totally virtual gaming environments. When gaming became a communal activity the impulse to share your accomplishments in video form surely increased.
Gaming is no longer a niche hobby enjoyed by the stereotypical teenage boy. Moms, dads, small children, all typically engage with gaming in some way be it via mobile games, consoles, or computer games. As the pool of gamers and potential gamers grow so too does the audience for gaming content. Gamer culture is universal and every day there are more people looking for tip and tutorials or just games based entertainment to scratch the itch when they can’t be playing themselves.
All of these factors contribute to making gamers the silent majority of YouTube. In a case of perfect positive feedback the gaming industry has generally embraced YouTube gamers. From major publishers down to independent developers most corners of the industry have acknowledged YouTubers as powerful influencers able to swing public opinion and even drive sales. This kind of acceptance from the gaming industry, unsurprisingly, drives even more viewers to the gamer audience camp.