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Let's play

Let's play

Let's Play refers to the presentation of a computer game, usually with a camera view of the player and / or comments on their subjective experiences with the game. Often these videos are characterized by humorous or critical comments from the player, which distinguishes this format from an objective source of information for progress in the game. Let's play is usually recorded and uploaded to video portals or transmitted to live streaming portals.


The term "Let Us Play" first appeared on the Something Awful website in 2006. Forum threads were created in which the player posted screenshots of the game progress with his comments. The other forum members were able to reply directly to it and partly suggest what the player should do next. The first known Let's Play in video form with live commentary was started on January 5, 2007 by Something Awful user Michael Sawyer. In the years that followed, the concept became more popular and YouTube soon established itself as a platform for Let's Plays. Here they now make up a not insignificant part of the video views. For example, PewDiePie, known for its horror let's plays, is currently the most subscribed YouTube channel worldwide.


In contrast to complete solutions, the focus is not on playing through a game, but on the individual gaming experience of the player. The Let's Play is accompanied by commentary, which also gives it an entertaining character. Often this entertaining character through the moderation is even more important for viewers than the choice of the game itself. In order to create a distinction to the commentary format, it has become common practice that a video is only referred to as Let's Play if the moderation is live during of playing is recorded. Some Let's Plays are played "blindly", which means that the player is playing the game for the first time and therefore does not know the solution either.


Let's Play videos are considered a cheap way to market game titles, especially for smaller developers. Some developers even designed their games specifically to work well with Let's Play videos. The popularity of Let's Play and similar video commentary has also led to changes in the development of some video games. The let's play approach favors extraordinary and weird games that grab the viewer's attention, so some developers target these characteristics in their games. Let's play videos can also draw more attention to a niche title than the traditional gaming press.


  1. Deadpool Gameplay - Part 1 - Walkthrough Playthrough Let's Play on "PewDiePie" (23.0 million views until September 2019, published on 07/05/2013)
  2. SHOW SOME MERCY on "Undertale # 1" (11.1 million views until September 2019, published on May 29, 2015)
  3. World's Quietest Let's Play on "Markiplier" (11.1 million hits until September 2019, published on 07.01.2016)


Some of the most popular players who create these videos have become celebrities on the internet and are considered some kind of "professional fan". The viewers of these videos want to get a different perspective on games and therefore resort to Let's Plays more often than to professional sources. Felix Kjellberg, known under his online pseudonym PewDiePie, produces videos on his YouTube channel Let's Play, which by September 2015 had over 40 million subscribers and over 10 billion views. PewDiePie's influence on game sales is significant, and games featured in Let's Plays on its channel often see large increases in sales, also known as the “PewDiePie effect”. Some other successful Let's Players are Achievement Hunter, The Yogscast, Smosh Games, Jacksepticeye, Markiplier, DanTDM, Game Grumps, Stampylonghead and


  • #commentary
  • #facecam
  • #gaming
  • #letsplay
  • #livestream
  • #pewdiepie


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