Sunday, 18 September 2016

'Erm, why are you now Epicsugarwolf'?

So, what does Dan TDM, PythonGB, Stampy Cat (Longnose) and CorvxKenchin all have in common? Anyone? You do, of course, have to know who (yes who, not what!) they are to begin with. Well, duh! Where have you been if you don’t know? Not watching You Tubers playing Undertale/Geometry Dash/Minecraft on one device while you actually play Undertale/Geometry Dash/Minecraft on the other, that’s for sure! So get a life! You’re so embarrassing! *rolls eyes then slams bedroom door*

‘I didn’t have any of this!’ I tell my kids, sounding like my mother when 5 channels instead of 4 became a technological TV revolution. ‘I was happy with my typewriter and Tippex!’ Neither of them hear me through their headphones, of course. It was certainly true, apart from making crappy mix tapes of the top 40 every Sunday afternoon and spending far too much time winding back tape into cassettes and charging my – ehem – rechargeable batteries (I was posh, obviously). I wasn’t a gamer back then as I didn’t know such things existed, that came later at university, and I enjoy a good dose of Elder Scrolls Online as much as the next geek (I’m a pretty high level 220 champion, if I’m allowed to boast), but the day my daughter accidentally changed my google username to Epicsugarwolf (link provided for anyone interested!) while setting up her You Tube channel was the day I realised I’m actually very far behind the times.

Having a blog isn’t enough, it seems. She is excited to have a handful of subscribers, while my niece has over 100, so that’s big news for her. They have never done a ‘face reveal’ (look it up), as they’re far too young, but instead do voiceovers of themselves playing games such as Movie Star Planet, Minecraft, Roblox (a game that is totally swag, or so I’m told) and Animal Jam. Instead of physical items for Christmas they want Robux (eh?), gems and diamonds. Virtual ones, of course. Despite some reservations (my daughter is heavily monitored and I can keep an eye on her You Tubing), I am quietly impressed that she has trained herself on computer software so she can put together videos, and is one of many kids who want to be a You Tube hit. Realistically it’s about as probable as me becoming a bestselling author (I still dream!), but who am I to tell her she’ll never achieve it? It’s currently number 2 on career choices for 11 year olds, and I’m not surprised. My son’s heroes and favourite celebrities aren’t on that old box sitting in the corner of the living room, but instead exist online and at conventions such as Insomnia where kids can get a glimpse of their favourite vloggers.

I’m not completely immune to it myself, I do enjoy the weekly delight that are Rosanna Pansino’s cakey bakey skills in Nerdy Nummies, but I can feel the generational gap between my children and me and what they consider entertainment. They laugh when I suggest their own kids and grandchildren will, in years to come, think what they are doing now is lame (or whatever the equivalent word will be!). Perhaps they are right, and it won’t be actually so different, except television will be obsolete and all fame, with the possible exception of movie stars, will be accessed over the internet.

All I’m saying is, if you want not to suck next time you’re talking to a switched-on 10 year old with a love of Minecraft, check out a You Tuber or two, such as Dan TDM, who has like a massive house and pugs and dyes his hair blue ‘n stuff and like a bazillion followers – sorry, subscribers (DUH). Oh yeah, and he also has a dead swag diamond minecart. Virtually, of course.

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