In the spirit of content creator appreciation week, I’ve put together a list of my favorite gaming YouTube channels about game design, critique, analysis, development, and industry issues (even some comedy) to help inspire your video game writing! Let me know which you like the most and please share any channels like these that you watch in the comments. I’m always looking for new channels to subscribe to!
Extra Credits Gaming
Extra Credits is most well known for its history series, but they have great videos about gaming too! Most Extra Credits gaming videos are around 10 minutes and focus on game design, development, or the game industry, complemented with adorable hand drawn graphics.
Short videos aren’t your thing? You want meaty, unbelievably long videos about a wide range of titles? Well Matthewmatosis has you covered. Best known for his reviews and comparisons of Zelda titles, the Dark Souls series, and Metal Gear, among many others, Matthew has some very interesting insights into game design and writing. One of his most popular videos is a 6 hour commentary on Dark Souls with over 1 million views. Is it worth a watch? Yes. Yes it is.
For some nice middle ground, we have Errant Signal, whose videos tend to run 10-30 minutes. I really enjoy this channel because he often covers lesser known games or indies you might not have heard of and has a very down to earth style to his commentary.
This is a game design theory channel! Design Doc usually focuses on specific genres or game design elements, often from within specific subgenres. He also has an ongoing series comparing good and bad design in many games you’ll recognize.
Super Bunnyhop largely focuses on game critique and design breakdowns. His occasional videos about the game industry and journalism are actually my favorite of his videos, which range from 10 minutes long to an hour depending on the type of video. His style is a bit more sarcastic and critical than many others.
Noah does incredibly in depth, cerebral, long form video essays and retrospectives about titles from all eras of gaming, with a tendency for covering retro games. If you want something low key and chill to watch or listen to, Noah’s your guy. I’m a huge fan of his “A Thorough Look at…” series.
Games As Literature
The Game Professor’s channel is exactly what it sounds like – Games as Literature. Similar to the Video Game Literary Classics Community Collab we did a while back, Games as Lit dissects video games from the perspective of academic literature analysis, as we all have in the past during high school or college for classic literature. This is a perspective you don’t see very often in video game analysis and will be right up your alley if you enjoyed the aforementioned collab.
This one is more of a humor series, but it’s great for a few hours of binging. Girlfriend Reviews rates the backseat gamer experience of having a boyfriend who is into playing a particular game. Overflowing with good humor, well edited meme cuts, and amusingly accurate observations about each title in question, this channel is sure to make you grin. (Plus most are actually really good reviews.)
Noclip is a small, Patreon supported documentary studio that produces incredibly high quality documentaries and docu-series about game development studios and the stories behind the creation of specific games. Their series on the Witcher 3 is particularly good, but all of their documentaries are without a doubt worth a watch.
8-Bit Music Theory
8-Bit Music Theory is hard not to love if you are/were musician or have an interest in the thought that goes into the music composition or soundtracks in games. My inner band geek from high school gets all giddy when I recognize weird time or key signatures, or other off beat (hah!) musical elements he is describing. 8-Bit Music Theory will have you thinking in whole new ways about the music in your games, but some of it may be hard to parse if you don’t come from a music performance background.
Joseph Anderson offers long form critique, thorough analysis, and great game clip captures in his thoughtful videos. Ranging anywhere from a half hour to sometimes several hours, I love putting his videos on in the background while I draw or game on my Switch. He has a soothing voice and compelling arguments. Joseph’s content reminds me a lot of Noah’s, but he focuses more on the game design and Noah focuses more on the story and overall writing.
Game Makers Toolkit
Game Maker’s Toolkit is a channel that focuses on specific elements of game design that you might never have thought about before. Some of these seriously blew my mind when I first watched them. Learning about behind the scenes game design strategy and elements will broaden the way you think about the games you play.
Rayvevick is another long-form critique Youtuber I really enjoy. He is similar to the others I’ve mentioned before, but his title choices vary nicely and cover games the others don’t. His Mass Effect series retrospective is super solid.
Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’?
Last but not least, HAWP is a perfect palette cleanser with short comedy skits about video games from days gone by. She doesn’t post actively very much these days (last video was posted in March this year), likely due to her voice acting work in the game industry. You’ll recognize her as the voice of Tiny Tina from Borderlands, Chloe from Life is Strange, most recently Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, and also the unknown protagonist of upcoming Red Lantern. There are many years worth of uploads to watch, so sort by “most popular” and go nuts!