What’s A Let’s Play And Who’s Making Them?

Unfortunately, I’m not here to offer a complete history lesson of the infant genre. That may come at a later date. To keep it short, the term “Let’s Play” is said to have origins stemming from the mid-2000s on an internet gaming forum. The thread aimlessly contained the words “let’s” and “play” in it.

Simply put, Let’s Play is a genre of visual entertainment where a person or group of people play a video game and dub their commentary over it. Their commentary ranges from helpful hints to absurd shock value comedy.

People making Let’s Plays are “Let’s Players.” These same people often broadcast live on Twitch.Tv, where viewers can actively engage with the Let’s Player. Let’s Players also upload their content to websites like YouTube to earn money from ads, allowing them to put food on the table, and maybe purchase a house or two. Some uploaders blur the lines among the terms “walkthrough,” “playthrough,” “gameplay” and “Let’s Play,” including them all in their titles.

The Let’s Play community is made up of mostly millennials. You know, the guys and gals without jobs who grew up playing Sonic The Hedghehog. It’s one of the easiest industries to buy into, considering the buy-in is usually under a thousand dollars for the right gear. At the same time, it’s one of the riskiest if the plan is to quit everything else to become a Let’s Player.

In total, Let’s Players make a combined total of, well – we’re not sure yet. Content creators post their content and get paid through advertisers. The more clicks received from viewers, the more the content creator earns. If Let’s Players have more subscribers, then the payout might be even higher. It sounds nuts, but it’s an actual viable solution to earning a quick buck if you’re a decent entertainer.

PewDiePie, arguable the most famous (infamous?) uploaders in the world rakes in millions upon millions of dollars every year. He posts hid videos on YouTube, and the 60 billion-dollar-a-year AdSense pays him out. He’s currently the highest paid YouTuber. For the longest time, his channel was owned by Disney. Yea, the company behind massive super hero movie productions. There’s so much money to go around, everyone wants their hands in the advertisers pockets.

He’s just not everyone’s tea. Fear not, there are other entertainers out there. For most, a great alternative and only go-to source would be the Game Grumps. They treat their channel like a television show, having a sing-along intro.

From what’s gathered, they have a loyal skeleton crew and homemade sound stage to create top notch gameplay vids. My understanding is that The Game Grumps are owned by Polaris, a sub-company of Maker Studios, currently under negotiations to be bought out by Disney. Again, lots of money in this.

Not everyone is as famous as some of the people above though. Like other artists in other mediums, lesser known gamers are actively attempting to reach the top, spending their own money on homemade studios, video games, and rent. One group, admittedly friends of mine, work their behinds off to maintain loyal watchers, and do a swell job at doing so. They’re Dog & Wolf Gaming.

Dog and Wolf take their craft seriously. They have scheduled Twitch live streams and upload to YouTube regularly. They might not have an unreadable amount of subscribers like PewDiePie, but they’re here to stay, with a healthy 1,152 YouTube subscribers, rigid Mon-Fri 8pm Twitch stream, and an active Patreon account that helps them stay afloat. You’ll love the unique couple dynamic and warm comedic timing during their streams.

I’m a member of this next team, but haven’t had time to participate, because like I mentioned earlier, this culture will swallow your time. Distract Mode’s their name, and video game playing is their game.

Distract Mode consists of filmmakers and gamers who came together to do two of their favorite things. Although Distract Mode creates a wealth of videos weekly, the success of their videos reaching viewers has been low. Their conviction keeps their minds at ease, constantly playing and creating.

Here’s one of their favorite videos.

Oh, and another one below.

So as seen above, Let’s Players are either living the life or trying to make their hobby lucrative. Anyway you look at it, Let’s Players are here to make waves for an indefinite amount of time.

Why play video games, when you can watch them?

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: User 2HeartsDesire on Etsy.com.

Daniel Mihailescu
danjamllc@gmail.com