Yesterday, the Game Grumps announced that they would be doing a live show in Los Angeles. There was no word on what game would be played, but it seems as though it will be in the format of a typical episode, starring the primary Game Grumps, Arin Hanson and Dan Avidan. As a devoted “Lovely” (a term used by Arin and Dan to identify their fanbase), I jumped at the opportunity to see the Grumps in person. Unfortunately for me, the show sold out in a matter of hours.
If you told me a few years ago that a couple guys doing a YouTube show where they play video games and chat with each other had sold out a live performance of that show, I would have called you a lunatic, and then stolen your wallet (I was really into pickpocketing back then). But times are changing, and we may be looking at the future of live entertainment, or at least some of it.
Now, this is hardly the first time YouTube has seeped into the “real” world. YouTube stars host panels at conventions, podcasts, such as Polaris Networks Co-Optional Podcast do live shows . While not technically Youtube (at least not originally), the brothers McElroy have done numerous live versions of their podcasts over the years .
So how is this any different? Well it’s the first time (that I know of) that a YouTube show (not a podcast) has stood on it’s own as a live event. Clearly expectations are high, given the short time the tickets sold out in. That being said, there’s a lot that could go wrong. For those unfamiliar with how Game Grumps work, it is a Let’s Play series: one or both of the Grumps play a game, and then they chat with each other, sometimes about the game, often not. Can they maintain their rapport with an audience of fans screaming “Mycaruba!” “Wolf Job!” and other comments and criticism? Will they involve the crowd, or keep the relatively isolated feel? Will anyone be able to hear Dan under the pile of undergarments he will no doubt be buried in by fans overcome with lust?
Only time will how well the Let’s Play format will do live, but if it does succeed this could be an interesting path for YouTubers as a whole to take.
The transituon from live performances to YouTube is a fairly easy path to tae. Any stand up comedian or musician worth his or her salt tends to have a vast archive of YouTube clips of their popular routines and performances. Many musicians and comedic actors even got their start on Youtube. However the Let’s Play format is unique to Youtube. Unless you count the growing world of eSports, the idea of sitting in a live venue and watching people play video games and chat is a new concept, one that I for one am excited about. Who knows, maybe someday soon people will bring a bundle of shopping bags onstage to do a live haul video. Or a crowd will pack an amphitheater to watch someone unbox a set of electronics. Or the Staples center will sell out as people clamor in excitement to watch a group of kittens extricate themselves from a box. I know I’d buy a ticket.