I spend a lot of time on YouTube. I mean, a lot. I’m a big fan of the platform and the creators that inhabit it. In 2014, I put together a mega list of 12 YouTube Channels Every Nerd Should Be Watching, and while most of that list is still relevant today — I feel that my own personal tastes have evolved and it’s time for a new generation of creators to be recognized for their hard work.
This list is in no particular order, so be sure to read through to the end.
CleanPrince Gaming is a relatively newer YouTube channel, that’s only been uploading to the platform for roughly the past year. He does unique, video essay styled videos that are in-depth, creative and informative as thought pieces regarding game series. One of my favorite series by him is his “It was murdered” series, where he talks about why a certain franchise is dead or dying, and what lead up to it. He also goes into the history of the games, the issues that surface, changes made from the inception period of the game to the finished product we play today, and so much more. He regularly releases a few videos a month, so there is always something new popping up on his channel.
Get a taste for his content and style with one of my favorite of his videos below.
Pop Culture Detective
Maybe I’m just really on a binge of these “Video Essay” style videos, but this is another channel that does a lot of think piece/thought experiment video essays. What originally started as a channel with random videos has now evolved into a really thought-provoking channel brand that questions tropes in our television shows — that are usually dismissed under the guise of “Comedy”, such as Toxic Masculinity, sexism, etc.
The first video from Pop Culture Detective that really piqued my interest was “Adorkable Misogyny”. This video discusses the nerdy stereotypes Hollywood exploits in one of the most popular TV shows in this era, “Big Bang Theory”. It also dives into the history of nerds in film culture and detailing the rise of the nerds on the big screen.
If the above video made you ‘woke’, there are plenty of other in-depth, thought-provoking pieces on their channel. After taking some time to watch his videos, I noticed that my take on sitcoms has changed a bit, and I’m starting to become more aware of certain tropes that I never noticed before.
Ok, I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve been on a kick of “Video Essay” channels lately… and when it comes to Magic the Gathering, it’s no different.
RS does video essays regarding certain magic cards, the impact they have on a release and when they were released, and the lasting impact they have on formats. They also dig deep into how synergized the cards are during that time and plenty of other MTG related topics. He also does in-depth thought pieces on artists, card borders, and even the game meta. As someone who has played MTG for way longer than I care to admit, there are a lot of his videos that have changed the way I think about certain cards and even the way I play. Even his video on Jace, the Mindsculptor, inspired me to write my essay in regards to the unbanning of the card. (Thanks, btw!)
This channel has really opened my mind and gave me a different approach to the game, while also showing me the value and a deeper meaning than “just a card game”.
I recently discovered this channel, and I’m hooked. The channel is hosted by the Green Brothers (Hank and John) where they teach a variety of subjects in small, easy to digest 12-15 minute videos. They do courses on World History, US History, Theories, Philosophy, and so much more. They also have quite a few other hosts and YouTubers join them for other topics and additionally have Mike Rugnetta (PBS Idea Channel) teaching Mythology courses. The videos are not only informative but actually interesting with a great cadence in the narration, beautiful illustrations and animations, and overall solid content being taught and how it relates to your daily life.
If you’re super into history, or just love learning, this channel is a MUST.
Our Favorite Anime YouTube Channels
I could easily do a full section on these people, but to save you all the headache of finding out how much I really love Anime, I wanted to group them all together with my favorite video from each channel. Each of these channels focuses on videos about anime, from reviews, reflection on the impact of certain animes, and other such videos. If you’re an anime fan, someone that is interested in anime, or generally enjoys anime-style comedy, I highly recommend each of these channels.
Anime America is better known for their “Top” lists. The videos are done with great animations, cuts, and some awesome banter and commentary.
Gigguk does a great job of doing seasonal anime reviews. If you’re super into anime and need to answer “What did I miss?” or “What should I watch?” check out his channel.
Digibro (formerly Otaku Gonzo Journalism)
Digibro (formerly Otaku Gonzo Journalism), is a unique review and meta commentary regarding anime as a whole. There is so much I could say, but I feel that his content is strongest when you fall down the binge rabbit hole on his channel and watch video after video after video. There’s something captivating about his editing and voice, along with the choice of background music that ties this channel up so neatly. It will make you laugh, it will make you reflect on yourself and cry… And it’s just all around – let’s shoot the shit about anime and have some fun.
Mother’s Basement isn’t going to be one of those in-depth, thought-provoking channels. But it is one that makes us laugh to the point of crying. In fact, this channel embraces the funny and positive nerd stereotypes and often challenges popular opinions amongst the anime and gaming communities. He also goes out of his way to point out logical failures in storylines, such as how Sword Art Online would have been the worst selling video game of all time based on the sheer numbers provided within the franchise. It’s a fun way to analyze animes. There’s been plenty of times he’s pointed something out and I’ve just thought, “Wow, that’s exactly how I’m feeling about this show”.