Well, it looks like it’ll probably take me longer than usual to post my regular review post (I had a feeling Quest for Quintana Roo would be time-consuming). Thankfully, my days in the newspaper industry required me to always have ideas to fill column-inches, and to me the same thinking applies to the empty space of the Internet. So I thought I’d pay tribute to my personal favourite video game bloggers and vloggers. Not surprisingly, most of these guys are classic gaming nuts like myself, although some of them tackle more modern fare as well.
Classic Game Room. Mark Bussler is the grand old man of video game vlogging, with his earliest work pre-dating YouTube by several years. Bussler, whose online persona approximates a game show host who moonlights as a disco-era MC, loooves the Vectrex, rarely missing an opportunity to share his love for that tragically-unsuccessful system. However, his channel covers games and systems ranging from the Channel F/Atari 2600 era to today, as well as arcade games both video and pinball. Mark has a lot of content and his channel tends to be addictive, so be sure to clear room in your schedule.
Arcade USA. If you think you’re an old-school gamer, then you haven’t met William “Willie” Culver (well, I haven’t met him either, but you know what I mean). Willie’s video game experience literally goes back to the days of Computer Space and his channel is full of fun stories about early encounters with the likes of Asteroids, Pac-Man and the Fairchild Channel F. Willie doesn’t so much review games as he just plays them for an audience, but his childlike enthusiasm for such old fare is infectious (you’ll be hard-pressed not to pull out whichever version of Space Invaders you own after watching one of his features on its many variations). His channel is not just about arcade and console games, either, as he also covers classic toys and electronic handhelds both ancient and modern.
The No-Swear Gamer. If you wanna make money on YouTube these days, you’ve gotta be family-friendly, and Phil from The No-Swear Gamer has that covered right in his channel title. The No-Swear Gamer probably has the most straightforward and consistent structure of all the vlogs on this list: there’s an introduction (usually involving an action figure), a description of the game (usually late-‘70s to late-‘80s era), Phil’s opinion of the game and, finally, his ranking of the game compared to other titles for the console in question. Phil’s approach is friendly and laid-back, and although his videos’ rigid structure doesn’t always make for the most exciting reviews, I tend to agree with his assessments most of the time.
Video Game Critic. To this day I’m not sure if Video Game Critic is written by one very busy person or a whole crew of reviewers, but the site covers games from the entire history of video games including about 90 per cent of the titles for the Atari 2600. A presence on the Internet since 1999, Video Game Critic is comfortingly old-school in its layout and has had a huge influence on myself as a video game reviewer. In fact, I hope to beat its already sizable number of Atari 2600 reviews.