“I keep on telling him, like, yeah, you can come over, Jack,” says Richard Blevins, better known in the streaming community as Ninja. “Happy to have you, but I just feel like buying a Playstation 3 and a copy of Brutal Legend is probably going to cost less than a round trip to Detroit.”
It’s been almost 4 months since Jack Black launched his new gaming channel, Jablinski Games, on YouTube. Over the span of fourteen videos, Black has amassed almost 67 million views and 4 million subscribers. His newest video, however, “Hopscotch and Good Ol’ Fashioned Catch,” has gamers concerned.
“Look, I don’t think that anyone is denying that School of Rock was a masterpiece,” says YouTube commenter BarryWaves, mimicking a platitude that was shared by almost every constructive comment. “But I don’t watch gaming commentary to see people go outside. If I wanted to see outside, I’d go outside, and I don’t want to go outside. I want fart jokes, Megaman, and casual racism. Unsubbed, man, sorry.”
While it’s hard to make the argument that a channel that’s garnered 4 million subscribers in as many months is starting to lose traction, the discourse around Black’s videos is far from encouraging: many gamers are starting to ask where the games are.
“And Brutal Legend doesn’t count,” says Reddit User PhenoTech. “It never counted and you know that.”
Some commenters have defended the channel’s style, saying it’s a nice change of pace to see a vlog-style approach to the gaming commentary scene, and that it’s great to see Black giving publicity to different arcades during his videos. Other viewers, however, have commented, “what the hell is an arcade,” and “the
If Jablinski Games is anything, it’s an interesting study of a counter-culture inside of gaming—still technically part of the genre, but going against the grain of the game-of-the-month system on YouTube, always leaving us wondering which version of checkers he’ll be playing next.
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