When I decided to start this feature, Bear was watching some fun shows. But for the last week it has been all FGTeeV and while kids love it I need something, anything, more.
FGTeeV is “Family Gaming Team”. The dad leads the videos, and I assume is in charge of recording, editing and so on. There are some videos that showcase birthday parties or family adventures. But my kid has been watching the game play videos. If you’re unfamiliar this is a big thing on YouTube. One camera on whoever is playing a game and a smaller picture in picture of the game footage as they play. “Why would anyone watch this,” you ask. If you’re millennial this is the norm. If you’re Gen-X, honestly tell me you never went to a friend’s house and watched while they played a game. If you’re older than that you grew up with three channels and would still watch faint images as the TV “warmed up”. We all have things.
The dad plays video games with his kids, against his kids, or on his own to test out a game before the kids play. Sometimes mom is around too but mom and the oldest daughter look a lot alike and if I’m not sure who is who the video gets a little creepy.
Speaking of creepy, the show frequently plays “jump scare” games. I hesitate to call them horror, because things like gore and violence aren’t present. Usually two of them are going through a maze of some sort and then AH! something appears from the shadows. Everyone jumps and screams then the game continues. There is a far too long series involving a Bigfoot game and I’m glad we have no way to play it at home. Or so we tell Bear. Nope. Can’t play that game at home. It won’t work here.
While some channels have an entire family enjoying making videos together, this is all dad. He is the star with his opinions, jokes, and demeanor at the forefront. I ‘know’ kids and moms from other channels as individuals but this dad could honestly borrow a neighbor kid and I wouldn’t know the difference.
If you really want to know how popular such a channel is, videos get millions of views within a week and there’s a few over 100 million. Mostly the video game inspired music videos. I would not be surprised if there was an attempted rap album in his maybe pre kid past and that creative desire has been shifted to YouTube.
None of this means the dad or kids are bad in any way. He plays video games with his kids. I’m sitting here typing and studying my kid. These activities aren’t that different. But, while I understand playing games and/or watching someone else play – video games have never reached that level with me. For a more “mainstream” adult example – it’s like craft beers. Someone could hand me a new beer and I’ll enjoy it then maybe never touch it again. It might even be months before I touch any beer again. Then there are the craft and IPA and etc enthusiasts who blog, vlog, and journal every part of it.
That’s right, I just compared my five year old watching YouTube to academic alcoholism. That was a jump scare for both of us.