Video games are awesome and they've evolved into a bigger things that they were. The time has passed since we were tasked with simply saving the princess, because since then we've been tasked with deciding the outcome of a galaxy and its different citizens or traveling through time to find the templars' secrets.
Because of the complexity of games has changed so much it's no wonder that they've spawned a new culture of youtubers that dedicate themselves to analyzing the games, culture and even the industry itself. There are dozens of these youtube channels around, but these are my top 5.
These particular channels leave me thinking and in fact are part of the reason for why I write about video games today. Remember, this list is a personal opinion.
5. Rev3Games (Link)
This channel has one of my favorite people in the industry,Adam Sessler (as well as Tara Long), but the channel itself is a shotgun blast into the industry. There's news, reviews, opinion, fan mail and tons more types of videos, but the channel has two particular series well worth diving in.
The Internet Rabbit Hole videos are quite interesting (though they definitely have the copied feel of the PBS Idea Channel), but my favorite videos are the Sessler videos. They can range from news to fan mail, but every so often he'll jump on his soapbox and rant about the state of the industry and in other videos he will question the industry as well as talk about its future.
4. Extra Credits (Link)
Extra Credits can be considered a pioneer in the youtube industry as the series itself has had quite a history starting as a hobby before being picked up by The Escapist and gaining some funding (I think). Extra Credits is unique in that it examines game design and elements of story telling. Mostly an educational channel it does leave viewers with questions and asks them to analyze their favorite games.
3. PBS Game Show (Link)
The PBS Game Show is the video game focused brother of the PBS Idea Channel and poses interesting questions like the validity of video game worlds and the importance of the difficulty of games. This channel not just makes the question but also invites viewer interaction by commenting on the video, with select responses being highlighted in the following video.
2. Feminist Frequency (Link)
FemFreq has been one of my personal favorite channels for a long time. As a man in a male dominated industry, this channel first opened my eyes to the male dominance and how offensive the industry can be, thus explaining why it often scares away women.
FemFreq's main series Tropes vs Women, a series that analyzes the role of women in video, was a victim of male oriented ignorance and hatred. Host Anita Sarkeesian was the subject of tons of hate male and threats due to this series.
I do agree with what she does analyze, I don't often agree with her tone or choice of words, and the series often makes me feel like a bad guy for being a man that enjoys video games. However, I still watch the series, even if it does take 4 to 8 months for each one to release (and I also don't understand why she needed a kickstarter to make these videos... ugh.)
1. The Game Theorists (Link)
This is one of my favorite channels on youtube, not just because of its intelligence, but also because of its variety of shows. The main series Game Theory applies real world science and physics to explain in game logic such as examining the true speed of Sonic the Hedgehog, the true history of space weapons, and even looking at the gravity in the world of Assassin's Creed.
Other series in the channel include Game Exchange, Crossover, and DNSQ. Crossover is a 7-steps-to-bacon type series where outlandish connections are made to connect games like Mario Bros. to Gears of War, while DNSQ examines the the industry from a consumer and fan-based point of view.
Game Exchange, hosted by youtuber Gaijin Goomba, deals with the anthropology of video games by examining culture and language within game. Gaijin Goomba (Link) also has several series that I enjoy (even if I don't like his voice), but among these is the Learning Japanese with Games which I enjoy quite a bit.
Two channels that didn't make the list that are worth checking out still are DYKGaming, PBS Idea Channel, and a new channel I've recently found is EducationIsCool.
DYKGaming (Link) which is a trivia based channel (and website) posts videos and images depicting trivia in game franchises.
The PBS Idea channel (Link) is mostly centered on pop-culture, but questions video games everyonce in a while such as controlling vs being the avatar.
The last I've found is EducationIsCool (Link), another educational channel, but I like his counter-arguments against the Tropes vs Games videos. He does have a blind like argument, as he just counters but doesn't offer very many solutions.