I watch a lot of Let’s Plays. More than some, fewer than my son, to be sure, but not a day goes by that I don’t watch at least three of four YouTubers yell, joke, and swear their way through games ranging from triple-A titles to free Flash games.
What are Let’s Plays? It’s the 2K17 version of hanging out with your friends while they play video games.
We all have fond memories of lying on the floor, BSing with our friend/sibling/cousin/whatever as we prayed at the plastic altar to deities named Nintendo, Sony, or Sega. Now, in the age of streaming video, gamers all over the world spend time, money, and energy to record themselves playing games for our entertainment and education.
So what’s the appeal? “Watching other people play video games? Just go play them yourself!”
The appeal comes from the personalities. I’m nowhere near as funny as these people and I never will be. Through Let’s Plays, I get a bunch of laughs and maybe an Internet crush or two thrown in for free, and I get to experience games I would normally miss out on for one reason or another. The majority of new games I’ve bought and loved for the past year or so were introduced to me via Let’s Plays.
I’m gonna tell you straight out that a lot of the big names in YouTube gaming are dicks. Take a white male gamer (Already scary, right?), add exposure and an audience, stew them in our current American political climate, and you’ll have an idea of what’s out there.
Not so with Monster Factory.
I’m actually a little scared to tout anyone on the Internet these days because the receipts run dark and deep. I’ve had to withdraw my love and support from a couple gamers I’d bonded with and that shit legit hurt me. But to quote David Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China, “How seldom it works out? Yet we all keep trying, like fools.”
Monster Factory is a special segment of Polygon’s official YouTube channel. Currently at 40 videos (updated every other Friday), two witty, lovely brothers pick games with robust character customization and just make the most horrid, ridiculous, monstrous creature they can and then fuck about in the game for a bit.
Titles include Dark Souls, Skyrim, The Sims, Second Life, Fall Out 4, Wii Sports Resort, and Black Desert Online. For the most part, it’s a one-and-done kinda deal (just like me and offspring), but some games carry so much potential for shenanigans that they warrant multiple episodes.
Let me be your smile sommelier and point out just a few of their tasty menu items.
Fallout 4, episodes 1, 2, and 3. This is classic Monster Factory and one of my first experience with these beautiful boys. Start here. If you don’t love Final Pam I don’t know what to say to yo, but it wouldn’t be good.
Failing to Clone The Rock in WWE 2K14 is such a joy to watch that I’ve gone back for seconds and thirds and whatever comes after that. I had tears streaming down my face the fist time I watched it and I wasn’t even high. I don’t think. When The Pebble comes out and does his little intro before entering the ring it’s just fucking MAGIC.
Melting Bart Simpson in Black Desert Online is so much fun I’ve watched it like seven times by now. The journey you take through Black Desert’s insanely pretty and granular character customization is with the view alone.
Making a Rowdy, Dirty Boy in Darks Souls 3 is weirdly just nice to watch? The Junker is a sweet boy and I like watching him run around Dark Souls 3 with his little stick and scrawny body.
Randomly Generating Horrifying Faces in Darks Souls 2 is the first episode of Monster Factory and a good taste of what was to come. This is my son’s favorite episode, and who doesn’t love a Squirting Turtle Man?
I just hit 666 words, y’all.