YouTube gaming channels. There are SO many out there, yet they all seem to fall into a few distinct niches:
So, where does that leave YouTube’s newest celeb-turned-streamer, Jack Black? Yeah, that’s right. THAT Jack Black.
Let me caveat my upcoming statements by saying this: I’m no fan of Jack Black. I find his style of “comedy” to be obnoxious and annoying. I just don’t see his appeal. Still, he’s a popular personality, and he’s gotten himself quite a following. So, there’s that.
The comedian/actor started a gaming channel on YouTube recently, and it’s left me….a bit perplexed, to say the least. The channel has been up for almost two weeks (as of this writing), and he’s already got just over 1,000,000 followers. Calling his channel, “Jablinski Games”, Black uploaded his first video on December 21. Titled “Hello, Jack Black Here”, he briefly talks himself and the channel up, and calls out a couple of big YouTube names in the process. “It’s going to be bigger than Ninja. Bigger than PewDiePie,” Black boasts.
So with that out of the way, let me tell you why I am decidedly not excited for Jack Black’s new foray into YouTube.
Here’s the thing about gaming channels, friends. There’s a huge glut of them on YouTube, Twitch, and so many other streaming services. The market is just oversaturated. So, one has to wonder: What’s going to set Jablinski apart from all the rest – apart from the fact that the host of the channel is already an established personality in Hollywood, and already has tons of fans around the world?
My theory is…nothing. There’s a couple of things that stand out for me about this move. First, Black seems to have very little to do with gaming. Sure, he’s got a few video game credits to his name – most notable of which is the PS3 title Brütal Legend. In that game, the lead character of Eddie Riggs was not only modeled after Jack Black’s likeness, but voiced by Black himself. Brütal Legend also got a lot of positive feedback from critics and gamers alike, but then kind of fell into near-obscurity. Then, of course, there’s some of Jack Black’s other video game credits. He’s voiced a character for the point-and-click adventure game Broken Age, and his comedic musical duo Tenacious D (in which he performs with fellow actor Kyle Gass) has had their music featured in games like Guitar Hero: Legends of Rock, Rock Band 2, and Rock Band Unplugged. Finally, Black also reprised his film role of Carl Denham in the game Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie back in November of 2005. These are cool credits and all, but does that really give Jack Black any further clout in the world of gaming? In my opinion, no. The actor hasn’t really ever (to my knowledge) spoken at any length about a love for gaming, nor does he ever really talk about any games he plays at all.
Black also doesn’t seem like the type of person who will stick with a gaming channel. As of this writing, he does have two videos up, but the second is just an absurdist one congratulating himself for getting to “one billion” subscribers, before doing the cliché thing of pretending like he’s talking to someone off-camera, who corrects him that he has one million subs. You would think that, if you’ve got what you’re calling a gaming channel on YouTube, you could maybe…post some gaming content? I mean, that’s kind of the crux of being a gaming YouTuber, isn’t it? Someone may want to tell Jack that proper branding is one of the keys to success in the world of YouTube. Picking a genre and sticking with it goes a long way to keeping an audience’s interest, and getting consistently high view numbers (not that someone of Jack Black’s notoriety necessarily needs the views for monetization).
All in all, this (to me, anyway) smacks of a publicity stunt. I highly doubt that we’ll be seeing any solid gaming content from Jack Black / Jablinski Games anytime in the near future. Instead, I get the distinct impression that we’ll be seeing more of Black’s absurdist attempts at comedy, slogging his way through trying to make himself relevant to a younger fanbase, and a lot of unnecessary close-ups and face-making into the camera. Are the 1,000,000 people who clicked the ‘Subscribe’ button on his Jablinski Games channel really expecting gaming content? If they are, I would venture a guess that they’ll be disappointed when nothing of the sort shows up.
Seriously, Jack. If you’re going to actually do this, learn from those who have been doing it for a good long while. Take notes from gaming YouTubers who have run their careers free of scandal, and those who pay attention to their fans. As for me, wake me when you’ve got some actual content worth watching.