I think about this a lot, and I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts. Particularly those of @Sardonic Pickle , who has produced an impressive library of game videos himself, and no doubt knows a lot more about the genre than I do.
For those who are not in the know, JonTron is a pretty swood guy who has been making game videos on the internet since 2010. His work has evolved dramatically in that time, going from a one man project filmed at his parent's house, to a big production with a set, and a crew.
Here's a sample of 'Season 2' JonTron:
If it isn't painfully obvious already, I'm a big fan. As stated, I think he makes the best game videos on the Internet. And while there are a lot of things that make him great, there are two factors which really set him apart from others doing similar things.
First is that, by and large, he doesn't use games everybody is familiar with already as his subjects. He really pushes to go for weird stuff that people have either forgotten about, or never even heard of. Particularly since the start of Season 2, I don't think I had heard of any of the games he ised before seeing his videos.
More importantly, the source material isn't really the focus of any of his videos. He doesn't review the game. He doesn't try to communicate any serious information about the game to you. It's not his job to tell us whether or not a game is good or not. JonTron's job is to ENTERTAIN. He uses games as a springboard for absurdist humor. It's a vehicle, but he never lets the focus drift away from the comedy.
There's an interesting parallel to be drawn with sitcoms. Situation Comedies. The primary job of a sitcom is to make you laugh. You don't really care about the characters or the story being told. You may grow tocare about those things, but nobody watches Friends because they think Ross and Rhachel have a fascinating relationship. They watch Friends because it makes them laugh. The story and the characters are vehicles for the comedy.
In a way, I wonder if JonTron is just the furthest step along an evolutionary chain that begins with Siskel and Ebert turning their movie reviews into an entertainment TV show. Comedy reviws have been around for ages. And gradually, they become less and less about the reviw, and more about the comedy.
Anyway,, I'm blathering. What do you think?