Digging Through The Garbage
It’s 2015 and Youtube has been alive for more than ten years now. My mother uses Youtube, which should say something towards how much of a cultural phenomenon it has become. With its increased popularity, however, comes an increase in the amount of complete garbage that is uploaded onto Google’s servers every minute. To make this worse, Google has no intention of making it easy to wade through the crap, because they have an invested interest in promoting trash that appeals to the lowest common denominator. Ever click on a Buzzfeed video by accident and watch 8 seconds before turning it off, just to return to your homepage to find 12 Buzzfeed videos in your suggested feed? That’s the new Youtube we live in. Instead of letting the ‘geniuses’ at Google curate our video viewing experience, I thought it would be a good idea to suggest a better alternative; here are the top five Youtube channels I think you should subscribe to right now. Each consistently uploads interesting, informative and entertaining videos.
If you enjoy movies and TV shows, Cinefix will provide exactly what its name suggests; it’s my one stop shop for my movie and television news, trivia and discussion. The staff over at Cinefix is a diverse mix of film school buffs, comic book fans and artists that work their asses off to produce great Youtube videos on their favorite hobbies. They dabble in the poppy, pulpy content, like their Top 8 Things You Missed series, but also provide amazingly informative pieces on film production and history in the form of their Film School’d series. Cinefix is for the film buffs of the world, but can also be enjoyed by just about anyone with a Netflix account. Here are some great example of their work:
Mr. Sterling, God bless our souls, is a semi-famous video game journalist making the transition from paid corporate pig-dog to independent video game personality. He is living proof that being a Youtuber is no longer a badge of unprofessionalism. Jimmy may delve into the comedic side of games journalism, but underneath his clear coating of satire lays a man who pulls no punches and shows exactly what’s right and wrong with the gaming industry. He’s not a fear monger, preaching about the end of games as we know them, but is also not a product of the corporate machine whose primary goal is to sell Mountain Dew and Doritos.
Sterling’s long running show, The Jimquistion, is to gaming journalism as The Daily Show is to American politics. He’s not just topical for the sake of SEO, Sterling takes a bite out of whatever gaming controversy deserves the focus of his wrath. Are sexist nerds being abusive assholes to female game developers? Jim is on it. Are Game companies abusing downloadable content and pre-purchases through deceptive marketing? Thank God for Sterling. His smaller videos focus more on the Steam Greenlight phenomenon, which has pumped out some of the worst excuses for video games in the past two years. This provides near endless entertainment, while also providing a very well-informed look at the gaming industry as a whole. Here are some of his best videos:
Sometimes Youtube is about marveling at other people’s talent and sitting back to relax. Igor Presnyakov is eager to showcase his incredible guitar playing talents and you should listen to him. It’s actually that simple. Each video showcases Igor focusing on a famous song from any genre and transforming it into a masterpiece of guitar playing fantasy. Sit down, dim the lights, close your eyes and listen to these videos:
Ok, so the Facts youtube channel is going to be a tough sell. They’re one of many channels that mimic Buzzfeed’s successful “person of a specific group tries something they’ve never tried before” video series, except this time their cast are all Irish people. It sounds really dumb, just like the Buzzfeed videos it tries to imitate, but Facts successfully takes videos with very little intellectual or educational value and makes them interesting and informative. A video of Irish people tasting American food may not sound cool, but their staff are all really funny and take their time to talk about the cultural differences between the United States and Ireland. Facts takes a simple video about Irish names that are hard to pronounce and turns it into a lesson on Irish history and culture that is laugh out loud hilarious and entertaining. My mind says that I shouldn’t like Facts, because they’re so blatantly a copy of something awful, but their charm and honesty keeps me invested in each new video they upload. Here’s a selection of some of their best:
If VSauce is the Bill Nie of Youtube, then Tom Scott is the Neil Degrasse Tyson, in that he skips over the ‘trying to make science and technology approachable to the basic folk’ and goes straight for telling it like it is without over simplifying things. Not everything that Tom Scott talks about is mind-blowing or revolutionary, but I always walk away from one of his videos with at least a basic understanding of something I had no idea even existed previously. He went from baking fish in a dish washer to talking about the dangers of cyber security failures and now sticks to a healthy regiment of educational videos that all deserve a place on Reddit’s /r/todayIlearned subreddit. If a weekly reminder that there’s a whole world out there full of wonderful things to discover would brighten up your day, I suggest checking out one of these videos and subscribing to his channel: