by Joseph Sweeney | staff writer
It’s been several years since many of us have had any real social interaction, and due to the arrival of the latest world-wide crisis, it seems that many of our social endeavours will have to be delayed much further while we sit back and wait for this pandemic to end. In the meantime, YouTube is a viable option for many of us in terms of entertainment; not only is the service free, at least if we’re not counting how many ads they shove down our throats, it also has something for everyone, be it gamers, history nerds, or bookworms. With that in mind, here are some YouTube channels you might want to check out to kill the time in quarantine.
The Runaway Guys, often abbreviated as TRG, is a collaborative gaming channel created by the trio of Emile Rosales, Jon Wheeler, and Tim Bishop, known online as “Chuggaaconroy,” “ProtonJon,” and “NintendoCapriSun” respectively. They started in 2011 by meeting up during popular gaming conventions such as PAX, where they would “run away” to record large quantities of videos for the channel.
Their content is a mix of cooperative and competitive gaming, though they have begun delving into single-player games in more recent years, be it ones where they take turns playing each level or have a fully single-player experience where two of the guys attempt to guide the other throughout a game they have never played before. The three also occasionally bring on guest commentators to take on the role of a fourth player in certain projects.
The trio almost-exclusively play Nintendo games such as the Mario Party franchise, which has become an annual series since piloting the channel with Mario Party (1998). Other popular series produced include various versions of Wheel of Fortune: The Video Game, as well as their four year long sporadic playthrough of the multiplayer RPG title Dokapon Kingdom.
Videos range from being extremely laid back to hardcore-competition, with reactionary humor mostly relating to what is happening in game, or them just talking about their times hanging out together. They often keep up running jokes across each series and have sort of built their own mythology based on things that happen to them in game.
The three also host live streams on Wheeler’s Twitch page, which are then reuploaded onto his secondary YouTube channel. During these meetups, you can expect to see former guest commentators from the main YouTube channel, or other friends that they may have not otherwise introduced.
Even if you feel you have no interest in whatever videogame it is they’re playing, it can still be entertaining to watch the trio just to see the interesting stories they have to tell. Currently, Bishop is being guided through the game Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube by his co-hosts, with parts being uploaded three times a week. The group’s annual live-streamed charity event, The Runaway Guys Colosseum, is scheduled for broadcast later this month (April 17-19), also on wheeler’s Twitch page, where the guys will meet-up online with their group of 20 or so competitors.
Merphy Napier hosts her eponymous YouTube channel, and is a prominent face in the “BookTube” community. Rather than just focusing on reviewing one book at a time, Napier’s content instead focuses on more broad topics regarding the medium as a whole. These can range from rants, to character analyses, to looks at more specific series such as Harry Potter.
Each month, Napier gives an update over what she has been reading, giving a quick synopsis and thoughts of each book, then showing her the next month’s to be read list. She also posts reviews of many classic books from her childhood to see if they have held up over time. This later led to her “…doesn’t make sense” series, where she takes further looks into certain novels to point out flaws others don’t seem to notice.
Napier also heavily bases her content on having a sense of viewer input, be it in terms of reading her viewers comments in videos or having them occasionally choose what books for her to read for a month. The “Dear Authors…“ series is a great example of this, which revolves around collecting viewer-submitted ideas of what tropes they are sick of seeing in modern literature, with each part of the series focusing on a different element of story-telling. “Unpopular opinions…” features the same presentation, with Napier attempting to either argue with or find what she agrees in each viewer-submitted comment.
The channel is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy hearing about books that aren’t the latest teenage dystopian fantasy, and even if you don’t enjoy reading, it can still be fun hearing other people’s ideas about a subject. Napier posts new videos every two to three days, and are all diverse enough that, even if you don’t find yourself interested in her latest work, you’ll still be able to find something recent of her’s worth the watch.
Not to be confused with the more eccentric Mr. Beast, Mr. Beat is a middle school social studies teacher who makes videos regarding American history and world geography. While maybe not as practical for studying as channels like Crash Course, Beat still offers a wide variety of content that feels more suitable for learning something new and interesting rather than just what school wants to teach you.
Among his videos produced include Story Time with Mr. Beat, a guide through smaller events in history, ranging from the colonial period to modern day America, the Compared series, with Beat taking a look at two related geographical locations to see what they do and don’t have in common, and Supreme Court Briefs, which covers both famous and more obscure Supreme Court decisions in the United States. Beat has also produced and completed a series reviewing the history of presidential elections in american history, covering the primary and general election seasons from each time period.
New videos are uploaded to the channel every Friday, with live streams hosted every once and a while as well, the most recent of which was Beat’s tier list over every president of the United States. A secondary channel, The Beat Goes On, is also updated once a month or so, with lookbacks on classic musical artists and their stories.
As a wise man once said: “With great internet speeds comes great opportunities.” And while the most popular content on YouTube is polarizing to most viewers, the next best idea can be found simply by searching for whatever it is that interests us. All sorts of people upload their content to the internet, so it’s ignorant to say that a platform is terrible just because something you hate just so happens to be a large part of an ecosystem of many other talented creators. With something to think about, this has been Joseph, reminding you to make it a great day, or not, the choice is yours!