I Just Watched My First Pewdiepie Video And Now I Feel Old And Irrelevant

I Just Watched My First Pewdiepie Video and Now I Feel Old and Irrelevant

Against my better judgment, I surrendered my credit card information to YouTube today so that I could watch the first episode of the first YouTube Red original series. It stars Pewdiepie, a Swedish man who's become very rich and famous by playing video games on YouTube. Until today, I'd never watched one of his videos. Well, now I have. I watched the show — titled "LEVEL 7 | I'M NOT CRAZY (OUTLAST IRL GAMEPLAY)" — and now I feel like garbage.

Pewdiepie (née Felix Kjellberg) is richer and more famous than I will ever be. This fact was highly distracting as I watch the 26-year-old pretend to navigate the halls of a haunted hospital. The premise of LEVEL 7 | I'M NOT CRAZY (OUTLAST IRL GAMEPLAY) involves Pewdiepie sort of acting like he's in a video game except he's actually on some weird set full of actors covered in fake blood and delivering scripted lines. He's got a camera strapped to his chest to capture his reactions as he pretends to accomplish tasks that will help him get out of this totally invented conundrum. Quite predictably, Pewdiepie makes it out alive and swears a lot in the process.

Is this what kids are into these days? I don't get it. I get that some people like watching videos of other people playing video games. (I don't actually get it, but I get that it's a thing.) But paying to watch a 20-minute video of some guy feigning fear in some grand capitalist experiment in content creation? It doesn't help that the last time I heard about Pewdiepie was when he was stumping for YouTube Red by shit-talking ad blockers. As someone whose job exists because of ads on the internet, I get this, too.

But I still don't get the Pewdiepie phenomenon. As our sibling site Kotaku said this week, he's now "just plain famous". With over 42 million subscribers, Pewdiepie is the most watched person on YouTube. He's got his own logo, his own app and his own bro army. This, despite the fact that Pewdiepie took fire for making rape jokes in his videos a few years ago.

None of this makes sense to me, and I don't even have the energy to try and figure it out. Why? I'm 31-years-old and feel death looming ever closer — and my teen years are ever farther away. YouTube fame makes me wary, I think, because I remember a world without social media fandom, a world where we were a bit less self-centred. We lost that years ago, and lots of great things happened. YouTube itself is a great thing that I'm happy exists. Pewdiepie's new show? Not so much.

Having wasted 20 minutes, I now know more about Pewdiepie. He's handsome and energetic, and I wish him happiness. I'm cancelling my YouTube Red subscription immediately, though. The free version of YouTube makes me feel old and sad enough. No need to waste money on more.


Comments

    100% agree, i asked in kotaku yesterday why people enjoy this and what the appeal is, most people replied with... "i dont like him but obviously people do"... so i asked my friends, i got the same response... i asked randoms on other forums i get the same response...

    So far ever person i ask tells me they dont get it or watch his content... yet he has 42 million subs.... who is watching it?

      Congratulations, you just figured out people like things different to what you like. In other news water is wet.

      Why do they have to justify why they like PewDiePie? They enjoy it, Deal with it

        oh yay look another one of you people.... thank you for telling me what i can and cannot ask out of genuine curiosity, without people like you i might learn something new.

    Yep 100% agree with your sentiments.

    Meanwhile, Ive never understood the level of love (or hate) for Pewdiepie. He is ....meh.

    He seems to be the Kardashian of the internet. Famous, good looking, but pretty much useless.

    He was just in the right place at the right time...humorous for some very droll for others. I guess getting paid for something you enjoy is a good thing, but his farcical nonsense is not for me.

    The article saying that he was finally 'famous famous' and not just 'internet famous' was basically bull. The people who write those fluff pieces have a pretty short memory, but Chris Crocker and Fred were a lot more present among 'normal' people than PewDiePie is. No one knows or cares who he is off YouTube.

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