The Compulsive Squire

Where Outstanding Humour Meets Desperate Boredom

Category Archives: My YouTube

My Youtube: [Video Essayists]












The video essay is a hard craft to gain proficiency in. To create one is to challenge yourself to keep a viewer enticed with an overly verbose rhetoric, on a subject the viewer didn’t ask to listen to, and you sporadically thought researching about was a good use of 4 days and 2 packs of Nescafé. To create a youtube gallery of these works is to frequently endure a rigorous process to researching, scripting, editing, releasing and refinement, often to little praise, and a lot of useless knowledge that wouldn’t even get brought up in a pub quiz. And yet, despite youtube’s indulgence of 26 hour long gameplay streams and vlogs about rural Japanese marketplaces, these quality video essay channels are finding an audience. Frequently appearing on the trending videos list, despite lacking a regular upload schedule. It turns out you can go a lot of good with a breadth of research, a tasteful sparsity with the graphics and a british accent.

Video essay channels are hot stuff. They’re the new One Direction to traditional documentaries’ Backstreet Boys. Explaining a familiar cultural touchstone with an assured authority while providing some lesser known insight, gives value to an audience, as well as making them feel intelligent for being able to follow what you’re talking about in the first place. It’s why people loved the first two seasons of The Big Bang Theory. Education can be given in a variety of different ways. Some prefer a classroom, some prefer text books, some prefer 480p interviews cut interspersed with Arial font captions and the top 3 lines of a google image search. The style and quality of these channels’ work is what keeps their audiences coming back, anyone who does more research and analysis than the QI Elves deserves all the views they can get. It could be argued it’s somewhat wrong to analyse something as expressionistic and subjective as a film or comedy routine. Others could say it’s the best mix of science and art since my paints exploded in the lab. But I believe if someone could take the most immature of topics like Pokemon, South Park and a guy whose name is literally “childish“, and deliver enough factoids with the slick confident passion of Don Draper, that person has added to the world in a good way.

Although, whenever a geek pushes their glasses into the bridge of their nose with a smug, “actually…”, the torrent of trivia that follows is probably due to recharging their nerd batteries watching these channels. So who can really say how much good they’ve done. Click any of the logos above to go to their associated channel.


My YouTube: The Game Theorists

What if the Legend of Zelda contained a weapon with speed 10x faster than the world’s fastest rollercoaster and force 20x greater than earth’s gravity? Could dressing up in a red bikini win you a fighting game tournament? What’s up with that gap in an Energy Sword in Halo?

Hello internet, and welcome to a channel that wonderfully combines economic and scientific hypotheses, with enough moving images to keep a hyperactive toddler adequately entertained. Have you ever found yourself wondering if there could be any realistic grounding behind your favourite video games, only to realise there is almost nothing less depressing than spending a friday night researching if it’s possible to do a double jump? If so, do I have the youtube channel for you. Introducing Matthew “MatPat” Patrick, a charming man with 2 first names for an identifier and head of Game Theory. Each video he proposes a theorical idea around a video game character or aspect, and then logically explores the scientific possibility of the notion. A doctorate in deductive reasoning isn’t essential…but it may help.

But, if over-analysis to the point of a diagnosable neurosis isn’t your thing, The Game Theorists have a lots of other strands of fun gaming-based content, with a few more friendly faces to keep you happily entertained. Gaijin Goombah presents Culture Shock, a series exploring detailed japanese culture hidden throughout video games. I’m sure for every thousand views, one more american books a flight to Japan that they exclusively refer to as “returning home”. Trailer Drake also helms Smash History, a series giving a deeper insight to the origins of Super Smash Bros. various attacks and stages. It’s like a Nintendo history lesson but you don’t have to buy £50 worth of NES eShop games to get it.

In addition they also have the other channels, The Film Theorists for theories within movies and GTLive for their recorded gameplay streams. MatPat once ordered a pizza through an iPhone in Minecraft and then he and his wife, Stephanie, invited the pizza girl inside to join them. Sadly the similarities to the world’s greatest porn script ended there. And soon he’ll have a new Youtube Red series Game Lab, which brings video games to life and chucks in a full 360 experience for you as well.

Whew. That’s a wide array of stuff to get through. Amazingly, they all hold up individually, but also work as an overall unit. It’s slightly reminiscent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Could interconnected youtube channels and playlists be like undercover Marvel movies? What if youtube videos and networks linking content back and forth to one and other, is like the new (or old) expanded universe? Hey, that’s just My YouTube theory. Thanks for reading.

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My YouTube: Yungtown

On your knees mortals, you are now in the presence of the gaming rap god. Yungtown has rhymes harder than the bill on his snapback with video game references that would make you just lose it. He writes and performs a number of videogame centric raps, many of them available across youtube, bandcamp etc. talking about everything from The Legend of Zelda, to The Legend of Zelda HD. He’s got so much material if he released an album, the iTunes sales alone would soar higher than a mockingbird in a hurricane. You wonder why artists don’t bring together rap and gaming more often. Maybe because it’s pretty hard to find something that rhymes with ‘experience points’.

Yungtown also runs Super Smash Academy, an advice channel for Smash Bros for anyone not afraid to take on the competitive scene in a game where Mario punches Yoshi right in the eggs without a guilty conscience. And if you’re up for reviews of video games of a time gone by, look no further. Yungtown has taken on such fondly-remembered gems like Lego Star Wars II and Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. It’s like if Macklemore made songs showing off his incredible collection of vintage clothes…oh wait.

At their core, Yungtown’s positive, down to earth persona comes across in all his videos; even if his artform is sooner associated with gang violence, hedonism and the devaluing of women. And not only has he combined the looks and lyrical intricacy of Logic with the voice and approachability of a drive thru employee, but we made you learn what perfect shielding is too. You could lose yourself in all that niche.

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My YouTube: Mental Floss


First things first, you may be wondering whose face that is gracing the “My Youtube” thumbnail slot at the moment. No, it’s not the asian guy from the Big Bang Theory, it’s Kumail Nanjiani. Why he is there though is a little harder to answer. As far as I can tell, he was on the cover of the magazine once. But suddenly, look! We’ve all learned 2 new things. And it’s that kind of quick fire learning blast that the youtube channel behind our non-10 season sitcom starring comedian friend, does multiple times a week. This is mental_floss on YouTube.

As well as being a US magazine, Mental Floss’ youtube channel exists with the decided purpose of adding to the collective pool of general knowledge. It’s a smart show that isn’t embarassed to let the world know it, but it doesn’t talk at you like a condescending mother-in-law, but engages you like a quirky know-it-all cousin. Its subject coverage is impressive and its backlog is far-reaching and relentless. The main website is to the Discovery Channel, is what BuzzFeed is to TMZ. And the funniest thing about that is, the exact same jokes work for the Vsauce channels and now I can’t use them again.

There are 3 different strands to Mental Floss; ‘Big Questions’, ‘Misconceptions’ and ‘the List Show’, presented by Craig “WheezyWaiter” Benzine, Elliott “The Morgasm” Morgan and John “The Fault in our Stars” Green respectively. I don’t know about you, but I like a list probably a bit more than the next guy. Even though there’s nothing less sexy than irregular numbering patterns, if it’s produced by the mind behind Paper Towns, his brother as well as some other fine people, I think it can be forgiven. I mean this the closest thing we’ll get to Stephen Fry and the QI Elves running a youtube channel that isn’t just TV excerpts. Although both names make good titles for indie folk bands.

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My YouTube: Cyanide & Happiness


Early squires may remember my endorsement of a cohort of stateside comic artists, and their Irish forth ninja turtle. For around a year and a half now, those brave men and women of the C&H crew, while churning out their daily comics, have grown from the infancy of their flash animations of yore to writing and directing weekly short animations. And despite losing one of their members, they continue to move from comedic strength to comedic bulimia-ridiculing, psychological disorder-deriding strength. Don’t worry, the original callous attitude of the Explosm machine and the rebellious emotion of a gang of sick weirdos is still palpable in their internet shorts. They’re like Robots with feelings.

Yes, like 50 shades of grey, their controversial spank-filled torture-fest has made the transition from literary to visual. And similarly, you probably won’t want to watch it with your reiki healer. Also, get rid of your reiki healer. C&H primarily use Rob’s character design, a drawing style that a sympathetic stickman would call “big boned”, and punchlines so deranged they’d happily tell an OAP their tumour is benign full in the knowledge that’s a lie – just for the laugh. And they’ve only gone and produced a web series called “The Cyanide & Happiness Show” too! The result of a rejected Comedy Central deal, a successful kickstarter and a merchandise store more random than that draw in your kitchen, the show features 10+ minute episodes made up of random, disjointed scenes. Some are longer, some shorter, some with recurring gags – think Louie but animated, and not going on about his kids so much. Powered by Lowbrow Studios, the animation force behind other internet goodies as the Dorkly Bits, 16-Bit High School and Sonic For Hire, C&H have managed to realise their sick jokes in just the right way. Whether or not it would have been compromised if brought to Comedy Central, who can say? We are talking about the network that put on South Park and gave Anthony Jeselnik a show. At least they’ve got a decent background artist now.
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