Am I right?

Very few video streaming sites that feature original content from everyday people can compete with Youtube. Millions of people visit the site everyday. And yes many of those people are gamers.

So another platform to get your opinion heard about video games. Let’s Play, reviews, previews, alpha tests, Youtube has them all. Then it would make sense that developers and publishers would find this medium as a positive source to reach a new audience. And with any great idea, corruption is soon to follow.

In case you missed the news, some extremely popular Youtube Let’s Players have been paid to give positive reviews of certain games with little to no transparency to the viewer that the Youtuber was in fact paid to give the review. It becomes an ad at that point. And if you don’t tell your audience that they are watching an ad, then you are doing a disservice to your them by giving your opinion under false pretenses. You could imagine the implications with something like this. Especially if the content creator has millions of people being notified whenever a new video is posted.

Much like review scores, people put a ton of weight in something so small. We’ve talked about this before. In the end what matters is the content of the game, not the person talking about it. But it’s hard not to get attached, to relate, or confide in certain people. I personally love having fake arguments with Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb because he knows more than me about the industry. We don’t agree on much but I respect his opinion.

But he doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know I exist. And he really doesn’t care what my opinion is. The people who do care are my friends and family. The ones to who come to me for advice before buying indie games and the ones I speak with at length about their gaming experiences. Their opinions matter to me more than anything. As those around your personal circle should as well.

It may seem like a swell idea to get in good with a Let’s Player, maybe even pay to a little dough to get your game played, but what have you accomplished? Sure, you’ll get the eyeballs of millions of people but to what end? Are they going to turn around and buy your game at full price on Steam right now? Probably not. Sure you’ll get a few, but even those will feel like they have had their fill just by watching some comedian play haphazardly through your game. Making snide jokes and poorly timed toilet humor.

Who really matters are the ones that you’ve touched. The ones that you’ve talked to personally, answered their questions, shown them some cool screen shots, gave them a piece of you from inside your game. Those are the ones that matter. Because they are the ones that will tell their friends and family. They will talk about your game with passion something a Youtuber could never do. Because you made that happen.

Never forget that when you connect on a personal level with someone about your indie game, that passion rubs off on them. It is transferred to the next person, and the next person, and the next person. Don’t put too much stock into a stranger with a video camera and microphone.

The connections you make is what matters. Make some friends.

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Eric M Hunter

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