I was browsing games today and saw a video on the Dragon Age Series, which is a franchise I love, so I thought I would take a look. About ten minutes in I started to notice that the narrator was lingering on every tiny detail and completely neglecting the value of brevity, or the greater picture. He had barely gotten into the first of three games. I moved the mouse and noticed I had clicked on a
long video. Ten minutes listening to the narrator's droning voice was more than I could handle, let alone over two more hours of it, so I quickly closed that video down.
I know there's often a lot to say about a game. Especially if you're looking at multiple games, or even an entire series. But I have recently noticed a slew of them coming from every direction, and the pace at which these things come out is definitely speeding up. From a critique of Death Stranding that added up to over
critique of a single Witcher game (with two more on the way), to a
, to a
, to a
, and each of the videos I've linked was from a different youtuber. Trust me when I say I've just scratched the surface. There are an astounding number of these enormous projects coming out.
And the most notable thing about every single one of these videos is that none of them needs to be that long. They all feel the need to delve into every single irrelevant detail even when a majority of those details contributed nothing to the video, or to the overall message or flow of it. Watching these videos feels like someone's reading a thesis to you – except they could only find enough real points to fill a page and the rest is just filler. And when you get to the end, you almost always end up with the feeling that you could have squeezed the content of the video down into a fraction of the time without losing anything of value. This is rarely helped by the weak structure of these videos, which inevitably happens because it's impossible to stay on topic and stretch a video out to that length. Topping it off is the fact that most of the narrators speak in a complete monotone, almost never varying up their style or cadence, because they have two more hours of reading to get through and don't have the energy to make it interesting. I've tried to sit through a lot of these videos, sometimes because I have time to kill and sometimes because I just really love the game/franchise in question. But it sometimes feel just flat out insulting that a youtuber thinks their viewers' time is worth so little that they should sit around and listen to them detail every single side quest in a game.
There have been video game analysis videos for a long time but I seem to remember they used to be shorter. Channels like Errant Signal, Jacob Geller and Razbuten clearly have a lot to say on any topic, but manage to cut down their videos so that the information is concise. This results in videos which are well edited and easy to watch. But this format seems to be becoming less and less popular.
When I looked at the channel Raycevick, I noticed a distinct trend – the longer and more drawn out a video was, the more views it had. This is despite the fact that the shorter ones are almost always more concise and contain less filler. And this seems to be the same in many of the other channels I've looked at (which produce both long and shorter videos).
The general push seems to be for longer and longer videos from these kinds of channels, and I cannot explain why.
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