Last week on the podcast, I said that my children would rather watch YouTube videos over anything else, and I mean ANYTHING. Cartoons. Movies. Netflix. Mickey Mouse. Sesame Street. Adventure Time. Heck, even Pixar (the gold standard in children’s entertainment) doesn’t hold a candle to Best Cat Vines or Toby Turner branded videos.
Kenton was having a hard time wrapping his head around what exactly these videos are all about, so to enlighten him (and you) I have compiled a top five list of my kids’ (and my) favourite YouTubers.
5. Pewdiepie – Actually, this guy isn’t one of our favourites (GREAT start, Dan!) I include him in this list only because he is currently the #1 YouTuber in the world. He has more than 31 MILLION subscribers and averages around 15 million views per video. I like to think of Pewdiepie as an unexplained phenomenon, an unsolved mystery if you will. He’s not really my cup of tea, but teens love him. I just don’t get why he’s become so popular, so fast. YouTube stat-tracking website SocialBlade.com estimates that Pewdiepie makes up to 16 million dollars a year by posting goofy videos of himself playing video games online. Yeah.
SocialBlade grade: A++
Plays: All kinds of stuff, but mostly known for horror-genre games. Lot’s of screaming involved here.
4. TobyGames – This second channel of Toby Turner (a.k.a. Tobuscus) was one of the first to jump aboard the “video game video” gravy train. There have been many imitators since he started by uploading Halo gameplay videos four years ago, but no one can duplicate Turner’s quick wit and voice acting ability. He’s one of my personal faves, someone I started watching back in 2009.
SocialBlade grade: A
Plays: Lots of Minecraft, and usually takes on the big Xbox or PS4 titles as they’re released. Has found a cool, hilarious niche playing Happy Wheels.
3. The Diamond Minecart – My kids came across this young British lad while searching for Minecraft videos on YouTube, and he’s been a regular go-to ever since. Dan TDM (as he’s commonly known) is a regular Minecraft player, as his name implies. Mostly he focuses on playing mini-games against other players on his Minecraft server. Not particularly funny or witty, he’s as straight-ahead as it gets but does have considerable skill in this arena.
Plays: Almost exclusively Minecraft, but has ventured into Spore and The Sims 4
SocialBlade grade: A
2. Stampylonghead – Another Brit, Stampy is my daughter’s favourite YouTuber and is known for his trademark greeting and infectious laugh. Stampy uploads a new Minecraft video every day, but does play other games as well. His signature series takes place in “Stampy’s Lovely World” and sees him undertake a number of adventures with his online crew. My kids absolutely adore him.
Plays: Minecraft, Terraria, Disney Infinity, The Walking Dead. Lots of other stuff.
SocialBlade score: A
1. Ssundee – The consensus in my house is that Sundee is the bomb when is comes to Minecraft videos. His high-energy delivery and hilarious commentary provides entertainment for all ages, and he usually opens each video with a solid joke. Sundee concentrates almost solely on Minecraft mods, that is alterations or additions to the game’s core programming. He usually debuts a lot of new mods, and so has become somewhat of a news source for keen Minecrafters looking for the next big thing.
Plays: Minecraft, Minecraft and more Minecraft
SocialBlade grade: A+
Non-Minecraft honourable mentions include HankGames, Zack Scott, Chuggaconroy and Game Society Pimps. There are others, but those are some of my favourites. These are guys who play video games for a living, every nerd’s dream.
After to speaking to other friends of mine with kids of similar age, it’s clear to me that this content is hugely popular with the under-10 crowd. As this generation grows up, I think we’ll see a massive shift in viewing habits away from traditional cable television to online platforms like YouTube and Netflix (it’s happening already!) I’m waiting for a TV network to jump on this bandwagon with video game play-along content of their own, or for these YouTubers to be featured on TV. We’ll see who jumps first.