The rise of Let’s Plays (LPs) and livestreaming has been one of the big game-changers in games media over the last decade with video content transitioning from a novelty to the centerpiece of existing game sites. It’s also opened the doors for individuals with ambition and a webcam to build their own audiences. Dan (aka Silentc0re) was a guest at the recent Game On expo in Sydney and we caught up with him to talk about Youtube, gaming culture and his own video-making career.
Fergus: So my first question was about your history – you started off making Runescape videos correct?
Dan: Yeah. I started in 2007 making Runescape videos and then things went from there.
Fergus: Cool – so is there an arc to your video-making career? Where did you go from there?
Dan: I stuck with Runescape for a number of years actually. [For] maybe five or six years I just did Runescape [videos] and, [after] I felt I got as big as I could get in the Runescape community, I wanted to branch out and cover a lot more different games for lots of different companies rather than just one. So I sort-of reformed my channel into a gaming news and gameplay channel rather than just a Runescape channel.
Fergus: I actually read somewhere that you actually worked for Jagex at one point?
Dan: Yeah, I was contracted by them for a few months. They hired a few different people to run their Twitch channel.
Fergus: That must have been cool
Dan: Yeah, it was a pretty good opportunity.
Fergus: So, can you run me through your process when it comes to making videos? What’s your approach like? Do you plan ahead or do you pick whatever game strikes your fancy on the day?
Dan: I guess it depends on a lot of things. It depends on the time of year – coming up to E3 next month and there’s a lot of games to talk about and a lot of games being announced and coming out so, there’s a lot to cover and, as a Youtube channel, it gets pretty intense.
Other months, we get to be a bit more creative – but when there’s lots of gaming news coming out there’s lots to cover.
Fergus: Right, so what would you say is the number one thing that you want people to get out of your videos?
Dan: I guess just being entertained and informed at the same time. [Which is good because] they have an entertaining video to watch and [it] also [it lets us be] a one-stop channel for finding out about new games coming out.
Fergus: Bit of a generic one but do you have any advice for people looking to get into the Youtube-gaming scene?
Dan: For sure! I think the two biggest pointers I could give are to be consistent and also [to] find a niche – I think it’s really important nowadays. There are so many gaming channels out there and you’re better off finding something niche and something focused [than doing the same thing as everyone else].
[You] see a lot of people making channels and just posting all sorts of stuff and I don’t think that’s really going to get you very far. I think you’re much better off finding a specific game or category and be[ing] the one-stop channel for funny moments or Assassins Creed.
Just be a channel that has a general theme to it rather than one that does lots of different things.
Fergus: Do you feel like there’s a big difference between the Youtube and the gaming communities? How do you feel about that whole culture and where it’s at at the moment?
Dan: That’s a pretty good question. I think gaming in Australia is a little bit behind – just because of the internet – [and] just because with livestreaming you need a good connection. So I guess Australia is a little bit behind other regions and there aren’t that many gaming channels out here. But I feel like normal channels are a little bit more collaborative, I feel like gaming channels see each other too much like competition.
Fergus: Youtubers have found themselves in this interesting position in the gaming world where their opinions are valued almost as much as traditional reviewers. How do you feel about this shift?
Dan: I feel games journalism is definitely changing and a lot of people aren’t going to sites such as Gamespot or IGN to find out about games so much and are more now going to Youtube personalities. I feel that when an article is written you don’t really know what kind of games that person likes whereas with a Youtuber you know what games they like and their personality. [I guess] I feel like when a Youtuber recommends a game, more than a blank-faced website, it’s a little more influential.
Fergus: Alright, last question – what’s next for you?
Dan: In the future I would like to continue working in the Youtube space whilst running my own channel – I really enjoy it. I’m going to E3 next month and I’ll be seeing lots of games before they get released and that’ll be a big opportunity.
Fergus: Cheers, thanks for your time.