Youtube is no longer a meritocracy, it’s a snake pit.
It was once popular opinion that talent rises to the top, that quality will-out.
To discover whether talent truly rises to the top, we must first ascertain what constitutes ‘talent’. I shall define talent as the natural ability to create engaging and interesting content. An example of widely accepted talent is Idubbbz. An example of a lack of talent is MrGear (1000 degree knives etc). Now we’ve established talent, all we need do is observe the latest Youtube stars and their video quality.
Leafy popularized bullying autistic kids on the internet for money. His content rarely dabbles into the realm of talent and relies solely on reusable jokes and repetitive gameplay. His videos are not engaging, nor interesting from a subjective point of view, objectively, they are lazy, needlessly hurtful and borderline harassment. To combat these accusations, most commentary channels have a disclaimer at the beginning of every video telling their fans not to harass the people they talk about. Leafy does not do this, he instead puts a disclaimer at the very bottom of his considerably large description, it reads as follows:
*Please don’t go out of your way to “witchhunt” anyone that I have talked about in these videos. This channel’s purpose is to entertain people and not to spread hate to anyone else’s channels. I have no ill will towards anyone I make videos about.*
Of course, these disclaimers are bullshit. All they do is attempt to mitigate any damage his videos create, to claim these videos don’t result in trolling is unfounded. You can go to the videos Leafy discusses and find many commenters coming directly from his channel to berate the subject. Many are aware that leafy rose to ‘fame’ in the last few years, this is my first example of talent failing to rise to the top and, in its place, a talent for clickbait.
Jake Paul is a Disney channel twink who incessantly clickbaits and manipulates his young audience. Jake is a key example of talentless success, his vlogs stretch long past the 20 minute mark and fail to contain anything of any substance in this long half hour. Yet, he has amassed a massive following in little over three years. It is worth noting the vast majority of his fanbase are aged 10 and upward (estimated by the age of his audience in this video). Young, impressionable fanbases tend to be the driving force behind a lot of these ‘creators’.
I would suggest that a Youtuber who has a passion for creating and entertaining his audience wouldn’t need to emotionally manipulate their audience. I would argue that there isn’t a single good creator that attempts to swindle and lie to their fans. Knowing this, would you be surprised if I said Jake Paul made a video in which he, apparently, gets married? Now, excuse me for jumping the gun, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is bullshit. This could be one of the most flagrant examples of lying to a fanbase I’ve ever seen. The minister even asks in the video if this is a ‘Marriage for fun’, people with talent don’t need to lie. Jake is not talented, he is a shill.
Diamonds in the rough…
As this isn’t a dissertation, I lack the time and word count to create a larger, more balanced essay. Taking this into consideration, let’s get on to the second part of the blog!
I’ve shown examples of talented people rising to the top, therefore, there must be examples of talent unable to succeed.
TRS is a commentary channel amongst a sea of commentators, but his fin sticks highest out the waves. TRS plans, scripts and meticulously crafts each video, subjectively, I am always entertained and engaged. Objectively, we can observe a careful and considered approach to each topic that offers a balanced and well-rounded argument. The editing involved requires time and effort (most commentators that just stitch in face-cam and gameplay footage). Although I do not agree with all of his stances on certain topics, I can appreciate his point of view as it is always defined clearly and with reason.
If TRS is the definition of talent Jake and Leafy are its antithesis. Not even their fans can say that Jake and Leafy create their videos to the same standard. I struggle to even compare these creators because there are no likenesses between them. TRS is on a completely different level to these two, it’s like comparing Kendrick Lamar and MattyB. There is one thing that Leafy and Jake do better, and it is the only thing stopping TRS from succeeding. Clickbait, without clickbaiting impressionable people, Jake and Leafy would be nowhere. TRS obviously considers himself above clickbaiting, and therefore will never stoop to that level but this is the reason Youtube will keep him at the bottom of the pile.
“I make Rust videos”
Ramsey makes Rust videos. Most Rust videos are just people yelling memes and killing people, Ramsey creates a story. Each one of his gameplay’s take days to film and possibly days to edit. These aren’t funny moment montages, these are finessed, each video a small beginning-middle-end heroes journey. Ramsay hunts for the human moments in Rust, he could just make endless base-raiding compilations but instead, he captures the small, charming (and not so) interactions one can have in Rust. His emphasis on story and player is uncommon in any gaming channel, and for that, I think he deserves far more recognition than he gets.
Again, Leafy and Jake pail in comparison to Ramsey, there is no comparison. If Ramsey’s videos extend past the 10 minute mark, its not because they have to, its because they need to. Nothing is done for money, for clickbait, no decisions are made because they would get more likes or because his fans might buy more merchandise. Choices aren’t made to suit the algorithm, they’re done because the video required it. Everything is done because it makes the story better because it better conveys a message. This is a creator with Talent and passion.
I struggled to find any new talented creators that have achieved the success that Leafy and Jake have had. The only new talent I could find is still struggling by at the bottom of the pile while the waters take up their seat at the top. So, if you do see a creator who you think needs more subscribers, subscribe, like and share.