Do you remember when YouTube first came around? I do. It was, in my experience, a music explosion. People took to YouTube like it was a pile of pure gold coins just waiting to be taken. I tried my hand at it, created an account and began sharing my songs with anyone who would watch. (Spoiler: no one did.) Once the music scene became over crowded other types of content took center stage. Some of that content was focused on gaming. Anymore, the majority of my entertainment is found on YouTube. My DVR is almost full of shows I’ve set aside for the daily content I get on the video site. Game play, music, comedy, vlogs, scripted shows, and so much more. All of these things fill my subscription list and keep me entertained for hours. No really, hours. Do you think that’s strange? Maybe it is. I mean, who spends hours on the Internet watching other people who spend hours on the Internet? Well, more people than you think. If you want the truth then you need to realize that the Internet is not some foreign, odd thing. People that reside there are not less human because they exist there; in some ways you could argue people are more obviously themselves on the Internet. I know I’m speaking to the choir here, but it needs to be said. YouTube creators are just like other creators, and often more original. Why does that matter? Because the people and content that has most influenced my life can be found on YouTube. People like Dodger, Jesse Cox, TotalBiscuit, Boogie2988, the majority of the YOGSCAST, and many other people and channels. They have made gaming their life, their job, their passion, and it shows. These people create videos that range from game play, to news, to original music, to parodies. They have a good time, and they are basically my heroes. Sorry mom and dad, but it’s true. These channels have introduced me to all kinds of things. Growing up I was a bit deprived. My parents didn’t exist in the geek world. They didn’t take us to movies, they didn’t watch much TV, they monitored every minute we spent on computers (even though we were in high school before we got them), and they always frowned when I asked for a new game. We didn’t own consoles, I’m a pure PC player because of it, and we didn’t even delve into tabletop games. Really, I was deprived as a budding geek. If it weren’t for YouTube I wouldn’t own Dead Space, or Don’t Starve, or The Witcher. I wouldn’t know about the Humble Bundle, or Loot Crate, or Steam. I never would have played Portal, or Mirrors Edge, or Mass Effect (arguably my all time favorite game series), or so many others. The YouTube copyright scandal wouldn’t mean anything to me, and it should mean a whole lot to everyone. YouTube, no, not YouTube. The artists, creators, talents, and writers behind YouTube channels have literally changed my life. I’m not going to argue the reasons why creators on YouTube deserve more respect than they’re getting right now. I’m not going to tell you how terrible things are and why I think it all needs to be turned around. I’m here to tell you simply how important this website is. These people who sit at their computers and make jokes or rip on games for bad FOV sliders, they have saved lives. What they do is important, not just for their viewers but for the entertainment industry as a whole. Content creators that have established themselves on YouTube have proven time and again just how amazing they are. I’m here to tell you to go check them out. Subscribe to a hundred channels if you want, or only two, but I promise you will find someone making content that you will love. YouTube is just a platform, a stage. The people in the videos, the ones who are willing to shamelessly create just because they can, they are worth your time. Don’t be afraid to give it to them. Support them as much and as often as you can, because that will make all the difference.