Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Gift of Knowledge

Well, it's Christmas time and while I can't give you readers any actual presents I can offer you the gift of information. In this case links to some video game "youtubers" who I've grown fond of this year. Here are the names and a little background information on five in particular that I think are somewhat special.

Far Lands or Bust - (link)
Probably best know for his charity driven Minecraft videos, Kurt J. Mac also plays driving games, mixed in with the occasional online FPS or aerospace flight-sim. What really makes his channel unique though is the man's passion for astronomy and spaceflight. As far as I can tell no one else has made videos going into depth on the features of software like Celestia, Space Engine or Stellarium. If you never heard of any of those titles then you are in the same situation I was until I paid his channel a visit.

Minecraft and More - (link)
More of the same?  Well...yes, but Paul Soares Junior has a slightly different take on things.  Most of his videos are more roleplaying oriented, and his "Survive and Thrive" series serves more like a TV style tutorial for Minecraft and it's myriad of features than anything else.  I'm partial to his XCOM let's play videos, but I doubt it will continue much longer considering the relatively low number of views.  Among other things, he does a sporadic "Indie Test Drive" series and frequent zombie themed survival games.  Check his videos out if it sounds like your cup of tea.

Epic Name Bro - (link)
This guy is a Dark Souls fanatic and as such could very easily be considered the definitive source of information on the title.  When Marcus isn't doing guides, Q and A or let's play videos of his favorite game he will dig out Binding of Issac, a 1.3 version of Final Fantasy: Tactics or some other Japanese game of note (incidentally, he lives in Japan so he sometimes has access to information that other people don't).  Not much else to say...if you're a fan of Dark Souls or just want to enhance your understanding of the series by all means watch a couple of his videos and see what you think.  That's what I did and I was thoroughly impressed.

The Procrastinauts - (link)
Lead by Pleborian, this channel is mostly dedicated to Kerbal Space Program.  And while the first youtuber I mentioned in this list also plays KSP, this intrepid Brit goes above and beyond all the rest with his heavy use of mods.  Base building, planet scanning, custom parts, you name it and he's tried it.  He's also the only guy on youtube that I've seen build multiple dedicated spacecraft only to have them all fail for one reason or another.  But hey that's part of the fun, right?  He also has some videos about FTL, Sonic and a few other games, but sadly the low view count on those make this channel the underdog of this list. Still, he's definitely worth a look.

WTF is - (link)
Totalbiscuit has a number of channels on youtube, but his video game focused "WTF is ~" series is great for gamers who just want the lowdown on a particular title.  This energetic Englishman also does his homework, giving his videos a brisk informed quality to them. That's not to say he's above personal opinion,  but at same time he doesn't straight up review games either. It's a unique take on game critique which is worth checking out at least once.

So, there you have it.  Not the best gift ever, I'm sure.  But hey...If your feeling board over winter break now you got some some stuff you can check out on youtube.  Incidentally, I specifically did not mention guys like "Two Best Friends Play" because I felt that, while funny, their crass sense of humor doesn't fit well with the holiday spirit.  One of the nice things about all the above mentioned is their voices are quite pleasant to listen too, which for better or worse is an important part of being a successful youtuber.   

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