There are lots of wonderfully talented people on the Internet!
These days I tend to find that it’s passionate individuals, not commercial, corporate sites, that provide the most interesting and enlightening content about the things I’m into. The people who do it for the love rather than for the metrics.
Whether it’s posting informative articles about anime, entertaining videos about gaming or interacting directly with their community by streaming, I thought it was high time I shared some of my favourite content creators with you. Hit the jump for a non-exhaustive (just in case I forget someone!) list, in no particular order.
Kris Asick, also known as Gemini and producing YouTube videos under the name of “Pixelmusement”, is someone who is very knowledgeable about a number of things to do with programming and technology — particularly old DOS games.
His channel combines in-depth explorations of classic (and obscure!) DOS PC games as well as an ongoing series where he and his Patreon supporters trawl through a two-CD compilation of shareware shovelware from the mid-90s.
He also frequently shares tips and tricks on game development and updates on his own personal projects. He’s a friendly guy who is always happy to engage with comments on YouTube and Twitter, and his videos are pleasantly chilled and comfortable to watch. If you’re interested in old DOS games and shareware, you should definitely check out his channel.
The Game Chasers
The Game Chasers was originally conceived as an online “TV show” that followed a similar format to American Pickers. Longtime friends Billy and Jay went out to retro gaming stores and flea markets in an attempt to track down classic games and systems to add to their own collections and enjoy the things they grew up with.
Over time, the channel has grown and expanded to include a variety of content, including nostalgic discussions of Billy, Jay and the extended cast’s childhoods, well-produced mini-documentaries, “Top 5 Fridays” (featuring Billy’s delightful theme song) and plenty more besides.
The thing I love most about The Game Chasers is that watching their videos makes you feel like you’re being included in their group as a friend. They’re irreverent, funny, silly and flatulent — but also highly knowledgeable and nostalgic about a wide variety of retro video games, systems and toy lines. Their channel is a great source of entertainment for anyone over the age of 30 in particular.
8-Bit Eric was introduced to me as a friend of The Game Chasers and frequent collaborator, but he produces some highly entertaining content in his own right. At the time of writing, he’s on a bit of a hiatus following a move to Hollywood for a new job, but his channel features a ton of content to enjoy, primarily focusing on reviews of Nintendo Switch games.
Eric has taken it upon himself to try and review as many Switch games as possible — including the smaller-scale, less well-known and digital-only titles, which means you’ll see games here that you probably won’t see given much time anywhere else. He also does a wonderful job at mocking “clickbait culture” on YouTube with his hilarious video thumbnails and light-hearted “passive aggressive” response videos to haters.
And he’s also delightfully irreverent, very likely to get naked… and capable of some absolutely astonishing belches!
Game Dave has one of the slickest channels on YouTube, featuring extremely high quality video and excellent editing… plus it helps that he’s a highly charismatic, genuinely amusing host, too.
Game Dave knows his stuff, having clearly been a gamer for all of his life. He’s particularly knowledgeable about the NES era and its Japanese equivalent, the Famicom, even going so far as to have a Famicom-specific “show” on his channel.
This summer, he’s been experimenting with a more robust schedule for his content, which includes an excellent “podcast” of sorts called Digitally Distracted, after his channel’s slogan. This simple but well-produced show features some wonderful discussions that will be of particular interest to anyone over the age of 30 or so.
Game Sack is a gaming variety show hosted by a pair of longtime friends who know their stuff about retro games. Each episode focuses on a specific topic rather than individual game, and highlights a number of classic games around that theme — be it subject matter, host platform, mechanical genre or anything else.
Game Sack is amusing and irreverent but knowledgeable and convincingly authoritative thanks to the fact their episodes are clearly well-researched prior to production. Each of their episodes also concludes with an amusing skit, which are typically just as well-produced as the main episode itself!
ProJared is a gaming YouTuber who has been around for quite some time. His main channel features well-produced videos that focus on specific games, while his ProJared Plays channel features Let’s Plays of a wide variety of games, ranging from mainstream hits to Zelda randomisers and unusual indie titles.
His main channel seems somewhat less active at the time of writing, but he’s churning out a variety of interesting playthroughs on ProJared Plays. Each of these are made even more entertaining thanks to the contributions of “Miss Editor”, who adds her own text-based comments to the game footage, often engaging in “dialogue” with Jared over the course of a playthrough and mocking him when he’s missing something obvious.
Jared is at his best when he’s engaging with something that really resonates with him. Particular highlights from his playthroughs include the retro PC Dungeons and Dragons games he’s tried, his Zelda randomiser playthroughs and his explorations of story-centric indie titles.
Lazy Game Reviews
Lazy Game Reviews is another channel that has been around for a good few years now, and it’s one that’s evolved and changed greatly for the better over time. Today, his channel features a combination of in-depth explorations of classic DOS and Windows games, retro PC hardware restorations, thrifting and plenty more besides.
Host Clint Basinger has an enormously comforting voice that is a delight to listen to, whatever he’s talking about. He’s highly knowledgeable about his areas of expertise, and genuinely enthusiastic about the things he covers. It’s infectious; it’s hard to watch an episode of LGR Thrifts and not immediately want to head out into the great wilds of Goodwill to try and track down some bargains!
Classic Game Room
Classic Game Room host Mark Bussler has abandoned YouTube in favour of Amazon Prime Video, but his classic episodes are still available on his “Turbo Volcano” channel.
Bussler has a very specific style that, I’ll level with you, probably won’t resonate with everyone — but if you can handle his peculiar but enjoyable delivery, his wonderful voice, his surrealist comedy and his relentless enthusiasm, there’s a whole lot to enjoy here. Over the course of his original YouTube videos and his new Amazon Prime videos, he explores a variety of retro games and systems in detail — warts and all.
His new show on Amazon Prime is a longer format show that explores several topics in a single show, and is clearly an experiment he’s becoming increasingly comfortable with over time. Having seen his frustration with how YouTube does things today, I sincerely hope he finds some success there.
This guy can burp like a fucking animal.
I Drink and Watch Anime
There are a ton of WordPress anime bloggers I want to give some love to, but I tend to think of Irina as a bit of a “hub” for everyone, as she’s often someone I see organising community events, collaborating with other creators and generally supporting everyone’s work.
Her site features episodic reviews of anime, collaborative discussions with other anime bloggers, in-depth essays on various topics and a delightfully conversational, amusing tone.
Also, as the name suggests, most of her articles suggest appropriate drinks and drinking games to accompany anime series and visual novels. Take care if you choose to pursue these challenges; I suspect most of them will have you on the floor by the end of an episode!
Arthifis is an absolutely charming anime blogger who is passionate and enthusiastic about his efforts to tell the world about his favourite media… and is also a delight to have in one’s comment section!
Just recently, he’s relaunched his site with a clear schedule of content and a variety of fun-sounding weekly features, so be sure to check it out if you’re into anime and gaming.
If you have an interest in the Atari 2600, this underrated blog is where you should be. Featuring an ongoing effort to catalogue and review every title on the platform in alphabetical order, Woodgrain Wonderland is a great source of information on both the most well-known 2600 games out there… as well as obscure titles from back in the day, homebrew games and weird experimental prototypes.
The Well-Red Mage
Almost as frustrated as I am with the current state of modern games journalism, Red set up The Well-Red Mage as an alternative to the absolute garbage spewed by the big commercial sites today.
Eschewing kneejerk, immediate coverage of current events in favour of in-depth explorations of a wide variety of games, old and new, the site as a whole now has a huge staff of contributors, each of whom bring their own unique experiences and knowledge to the mix, making for a wonderfully diverse site that is consistently a pleasure to read.
If you’re a fan of Sony’s underrated, undervalued underdog of a system, the PlayStation Vita, you need to check out Kresnik’s work.
Featuring a variety of content exploring the Vita’s substantial library, Kresnik’s site is a great source of information and opinions of Vita games as well as classic PSP and PS1 games that work on the platform.
Pretty much the only site on this list that isn’t gaming-specific, Professional Moron is a delightfully irreverent, amusing site with a distinct sense of humour that tickles me in all the right places. It’s kind of hard to explain, really; just go check it out.
Shout-out to the site’s esteemed editor Mr. Wapojif for being a very kind supporter of MoeGamer and regular commenter.
Annie Gallagher is that regrettably rare thing these days: a modern, progressive, feminist critic who doesn’t subscribe to the “blind outrage” trend favoured by the most obnoxious of social justice advocates.
She takes the time to explore controversial titles like Valkyrie Drive and Senran Kagura from a feminist perspective, and gives them fair, honest treatment rather than kneejerk outrage. She also delves into classic retro titles… and the very worst that Steam shovelware has to offer. Voluntarily! She is a braver woman than I. (She is also 100% more of a woman than I, so by definition she is a braver woman than I, I suppose, but you get what I mean.)
A supporter of my work since my time on USgamer, a close personal friend since that time and my podcasting partner in crime, Mr Chris Caskie is an immensely talented pixel artist and craftsman, and you should most certainly check out his work and give him money.
Last but by no means least, EriChannel is one of the few Twitch streamers I actually take the time to watch when I’m actually awake at the same time he’s online! Focusing primarily on Japanese games of various descriptions, host Joe is knowledgeable and enthusiastic, non-judgemental and highly inclusive… just generally a pleasure to hang out online with.
He also appeared on the most recent episode of the MoeGamer Podcast at the time of writing, so be sure to check that out!