INFINITE IMPROBABILITY: YouTube introduces a week for geeks
First Posted: 7/29/2013
As if we don’t already spend enough time watching YouTube videos, next week is the website’s first ever Geek Week, celebrating all the dorky entertainment you can find amongst its billions of uploads.
“There’s never been a better time to be a geek. From ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ to ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Avengers,’ geek culture is everywhere, attracting and connecting ever-expanding audiences. Today’s obsession with all-things-geek has sparked a global community on YouTube, enabling fans around the world to express their love of superheroes, comics, gaming, science and sci-fi,” the staff at YouTube posted on their blog.
“With more than half of our top 20 non-music channels dedicated to geek culture, YouTube has become a top destination for fans everywhere to create, share and watch geek content.”
It’s no surprise that the geeks have inherited the Earth – we’re into all the coolest stuff! It’s about time that people turn off the Sunday game and veg in front of their computers for a few (hundred) hours on Aug. 4-10. Each day is hosted by a different “channel,” not only showing just how many different content creators there are out there, but premiering new content as well. Here’s the schedule:
Blockbuster Sunday: “A celebration of the iconic characters, movies and shows that define geek culture – plus a spotlight on the best original YouTube sci-fi, fantasy and animation.” This is how many people are discovering comic books and novels these days, so this one is a no-brainer.
Global Geekery Monday: “Anime from Tokyo, comic book heroes from Delhi, and a celebration of ‘Doctor Who.’ Explore geek culture from around the world.” Some of the best entertainment is imported, and I say that as a lifelong Monty Python fan.
Brainiac Tuesday: “Science, education and knowledge channels that make YouTube the world’s biggest platform for learning.” There’s an educational side to many interests, but science doesn’t have to be boring. From “Mythbusters” to “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” knowledge is not only power, it’s downright cool.
Super Wednesday: “From hilarious parodies to real-life superpowers, explore superheroes, the supernatural and the super-weird.” Hosted by Marvel Comics godfather Stan Lee’s awesome channel? An exclusive release of the “Thor: The Dark World” trailer? My Wednesday is shot.
Gaming Thursday: “A gamers’ paradise, with live play-throughs, video games in real life, game-inspired original series and much more.” I’m not much of a gamer these days, but when it comes to the classic cartridge days, I’m a sucker for nostalgia.
Fan Friday: “Sci-fi-themed cooking, incredible cosplay and impassioned nerd debates as YouTube’s biggest fans take center stage.” It’s amazing how geekery has infiltrated almost every facet of life, from food and cars to clothing and philosophy. I think I’m obsessive until I meet some of these people.
Some of the best entertainment I’ve seen in the past few years wasn’t produced on a Hollywood sound stage, but right in someone’s home. From the Angry Video Game Nerd to the Nostalgia Critic, some creators even owe their livelihoods to a dedicated online fan base. I recently came across Bat in the Sun (youtube.com/user/batinthesun), which produces an addictive series called “Super Power Beat Down.” After choosing two fictional characters who will likely never “meet” in traditional media, they allow fans to decide who would win in a fight and then have lifelike cosplayers and a professional crew bring the battle to life. It’s glorious.
It’s the kind of stuff that big studios just won’t touch, worrying too much about advertisers and ratings to see the goldmine that lies beyond traditional production. As this model becomes increasingly stable and convenient, don’t be surprised if your boob tube goes the way of YouTube.
So if the aforementioned schedule wasn’t enough to entice you, there will also be “Easter eggs” to discover throughout the week, allowing users to collect badges, even though we don’t need no sticking badges. The Nerdist and Channel Flip are working with YouTube to make this thing a reality, so youtube.com/geekweek will be the place to be next week.
Let’s face it – you’ll probably be watching funny cat videos on YouTube anyway, so you might as well tune in.
-Rich Howells is a lifelong Marvel Comics collector, wannabe Jedimaster, and cult film fan. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.