A response article

Yesterday afternoon, I came across a unique article over on CNET titled “Meet the angry gaming YouTubers who turn outrage into views“, an ironic article for various reasons, but more on that later.

This article is focused heavily on popular YouTube channels that have garnered many followers and subscribers over the years, seemingly for negative content based primarily on gaming media.

As a journalist, and as a connoisseur of gaming media, I can attest that many of these popular YouTube channels do indeed resort to negative rantings and often angry responses to the gaming media as a whole.

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But why?

What the CNET article fails to acknowledge is exactly what these ‘angry YouTubers’ are ranting about in the first place. Let’s take a step back and be honest with ourselves for a minute here—the gaming industry is far from perfect. It has evolved in many ways over the years, utilizing new tactics and strategies not only to provide the best in gaming experiences, but to secure as much money as possible from users as well.

Full disclosure, I never watch said ‘angry videos’ because I’m drawn to negativity. I certainly like to think of myself as an optimistic individual who loves video games and playing them with friends and family. That said, the trends of the industry have grown so incredibly toxic in recent years, to the point that major AAA publishers are laying off hundreds of employees despite record sales.

There’s a fine line between being negative and calling out an issue. While nobody wants to hear bad news and negative ramblings, sometimes it is necessary. Sure, there are plenty of people who push the envelope on YouTube. At the same time, these people are often calling out actual issues in the industry. Why shouldn’t their voices be heard?

If not for the ‘angry YouTubers’ bringing these issues to light, they would simply get swept under the rug like everything else. It is simply not ethical, nor is it a healthy business practice. It’s certainly not the state of being that I would like to see the industry of my favorite pastime in.

He’s Jim F’ing Sterling, son

I have long been a follower of Jim Sterling, a popular YouTube persona. Jim has always had a reputation for being on the edgy side. He is known for creating content that may not exactly be seen as ‘child friendly’. That being said, Jim has always spoken his mind freely and objectively. He works diligently to help bring light to said issues throughout the gaming industry. Not for his own personal gain mind you, but for the consumers personal gain.

Jim and other YouTubers alike are constantly calling out fallacies within the AAA gaming industry. They address how companies such as Bethesda rely on road maps to bail out games like Fallout 76. They report when company CEO’s like Randy Pitchford can’t correctly identify what microtransactions are (and throw tantrums about it on Twitter). These ‘angry YouTubers’ simply bring to light all of the poor business practices and fallacies in the gaming industry. I believe that these are issues that educated consumers should be aware of before investing money into an expensive hobby such as gaming.

Ironically, in the case of the above mentioned CNET article, the only real gain that I see coming from this is backlash and easy attention. Isn’t this the exact premise that the article is supposedly slamming YouTubers for? The article exploits individuals and throws negative attention at their work. Does this not generate the same negative energy that the article is accusing said artists of using? Ironic, to say the least.

You do you

The thing about it is, everyone is free to watch news and media the way they want. Happy or sad, positive or negative, it’s their choice. There are no magical mind games forcing them to do it. That’s our right as consumers, and we should feel comfortable to exercise that right whenever and however we choose to.

It is hard being a journalist in 2019. Coming up with in-depth, meaningful content is often a challenge. Couple this with the need for attention—to garner support and media hype—to generate revenue, and it becomes a real nightmare. There are better ways to do this though. I respect every publisher’s freedom to create and share their opinions in an open media. I also think it is important to be honest and offer up all sides of the dilemma at hand.

Take this all with a grain of salt, though. After all, I’m just another gaming journalist.

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