Sunday, June 10, 2018

How I became a PewDiePie subscriber

For years and years I didn't really even know who the YouTuber PewDiePie was. I had, of course, heard that name, and had heard that he's the YouTuber with the largest amount of subscribers ever (which is rather extraordinary given that he is, essentially, just an individual vlogger, rather than some kind of big-budget show, a big media corporation, or the like). However, I had never seen even a single video of his, and knew next to nothing about him or what kind of content he makes. I only had a vague concept that he probably makes let's play videos of games.

Then, some time ago, the Wall Street Journal incident happened. All anti-SJW channels were talking about how the Wall Street Journal had written a slanderous hit piece attacking PewDiePie, which caused both Google and Disney to immediately and permanently drop all commercial deals they had with him, probably costing him millions of dollars in revenue.

It was speculated, and I believe that with good reason, that this was not really an attack on PewDiePie himself, but the actual target was YouTube itself, which had become too large in the eyes of the traditional media, and PewDiePie just happened to be the perfect tool for an attack against YouTube, being the biggest YouTuber ever. Either way, the hit piece was really slanderous, and I really have to wonder why PewDiePie never contested it nor took it to court (given that this attack clearly fulfills all legal definitions of slander).

Anyway, because of this, I just went and subscribed to his channel. Just out of principle, to show support. Not that one more subscriber among the 60 million he already had would make any difference, but it was a matter of principle. I didn't even care what kind of content he actually makes or whether I would enjoy his videos, I subscribed anyway.

Of course the hit piece by Wall Street Journal wasn't the end of the story. Other media outlets jumped on the bandwagon and started also writing hit pieces against YouTubers, some even against PewDiePie himself again. Regardless, rather than hurt him in terms of susbcribers, he has only grown since. When I subscribed, he had less than 60 million subscribers. At the moment of writing this, he has 62 million.

So, are his videos enjoyable? Does it make sense that he's the biggest YouTuber?

Actually yes.

It's my understanding that for years he was indeed mostly a let's player, who would post almost solely videos of him playing video games. However, as he turned out to be a somewhat talented comedian, he has moved more into making all types of other kind of videos, relating to memes, world events, and so on. He still makes some let's play videos occasionally, but they have become rarer. (Even then, some of those videos are absolutely hilarious. Not all of them, of course, but some are. Sometimes he really has a talent for improv humor.)

Is his channel the best in existence? No. But it doesn't have to be. It's much more enjoyable than most others. It's not the cup of tea for many, but I like most of his content. As a bonus, it's nice to see at least one celebrity who isn't a social justice warrior.

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