As you all know, video game glitch channels and series are a dime a dozen on YouTube. From
A+Start Show to Aurum, Mety333 to Stryder7X, it seems everyone and their dog has made videos about video game glitches at some point or another. They’re like challenge videos before coinless became a major thing, a major trend everyone seems to want to capitalise on, quality be damned.
And unfortunately, that’s led to many lazy, poorly done or otherwise unethical videos and creators becoming popular on the platform. Most notably, ones which don’t credit the original sources of the glitches they feature, and make mega bucks off of other people’s discoveries without giving them so much as a shout out in the video description. It’s an infuriating issue, and one that’s actually led to some speedrunning communities and dataminers outright hoarding information from the public in case those sneaky influencers and celebrities take the credit for it.
But while the bad actors often take the spotlight, there are exceptions out there. Such as today’s interviewee on Gaming Reinvented, DPadGamer.
And unlike many other video game glitch focused YouTubers, he does everything right on the ethics front. He works with communities to find out what’s going on, and makes sure to cover glitches that are taking off in the speedrunning scene. He gives full credit to people whose work is featured in his video, with named shoutouts right there next to their footage.
Hell, he even goes back to older games he’s already covered when new discoveries warrant it. Like with the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, where he went back and made a four part series about a two year old game simply because of how important (and interesting) all the glitches found in the meantime were.
So if you want to know how he makes his videos, how he choose what glitches to include there and how he became so successful on the platform, keep reading!
Let’s start out with a bit of personal background first. Who are you anyway?
My name is Sam, a twenty four year old dude. I’ve made videos of varying quality on YouTube since as far back as 2008, on a bunch of different channels until landing on my current channel; DPadGamer.
And where did your username come from? Why ‘DPadGamer’?
Unfortunately, its not a very interesting backstory. Back in 2011, I was offered to be partnered through a now defunct MCN (Multi Channel Network), but I had to make a new YouTube channel to do it. I brainstormed for a few days, making lists of every game, term, and what not that I could come up with. In the end I landed on “DPadGamer”, which admittedly is a bit uninspired but it fit the arbitrary criteria I came up with;
- It should be simple, and straight forward.
- It should be a name that I’m comfortable saying in public.
- When heard aloud, it should be easy to spell.
- And finally; I wanted it to be clearly related to gaming, without specifying a genre.
What about your interest in video games? How did that originally come about?
My interest in video games definitely came about because my brother, who is a good deal older than me, liked video games. As far back as I could remember, we’d have at least some kinda home console / handheld, which would trickle down to me after my brother had moved on.
Were you a fan of the Zelda series early on?
Definitely. Ocarina of Time came out when I was four, so my first experience with the series was with the 3D games. I thought they were awesome. Looking back, I played just about every installment, and I think I enjoyed them due to their combination of fun gameplay / puzzle elements.
Caption: Well DPadGamer actually started with the N64 version, but come on, that trailer was getting old by this point.
What other games did you enjoy anyway?
I’ve always loved Banjo-Kazooie, which is still my favorite game despite Banjo-Tooie being an objectively better game in comparison. Aside from those two stand-outs, I played and enjoyed a bunch of different games over the years. GameCube was definitely my most played console, as it was the first home console that I remember actually “owning”. It was a hand-me-down.
Caption: Given his affinity for Banjo-Kazooie, it’s no surprise DPadGamer made a challenge video about it recently.
Super Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Mega Man Battle Network (1-6), the Dark Souls series, Adventure Quest on PC, as well as eventually World of Warcraft were very memorable.
Which games are you playing at the moment?
I jump around a lot to be honest, but I occasionally play matched of League of Legends. After it came out I blasted through most of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice but i have yet to actually finish it. And theres a few games I often go back to that I have recently played like Terraria, Minecraft, and Stardew Valley.
Okay, enough of that, onto your content now. What made you decide to set up a YouTube channel anyway?
I’ve had at least seven different channels over the years. Back in 2008, my very first channel was actually made because I needed a channel to be able to comment on videos. I vaguely remember wanted to angrily defend the Nintendo Wii… And the only videos I uploaded to that channel were ‘anime music videos’…
And why did you decide to make it a gaming channel?
As for my current channel, the goal for a long time was to make Let’s Plays; episodic video game playthroughs where I talked over them. They were not very good, but that was my ideal form of content as it’s what I really enjoyed at the time.
Were there any other YouTubers that inspired you here?
I’m sure there were others, but when I first made ‘DPadGamer’ was definitely inspired by LPers like Chuggaaconnroy, Proton Jon, NintendoCaprisun, and StephenPlays.
Either way, it’s your glitch videos that many people subscribe for. Why did you decide to make videos about glitches anyway?
Its my glitch videos that definitely bring in a lot of subscribers, but my easter egg videos have arguably brought a comparable amount of people.
I initially started my current ‘era’ of content on DPadGamer with “Easter Eggs in Banjo-Kazooie”. It was my easter egg videos that let me prove to myself that I was capable of scripting / editing a decent video. Thats in comparison to over a thousand lazy let’s play episodes over the years.
As for my glitch videos, they came forth because put simply I really like glitches in video games. Its like bonus content, in a way. Another way to enjoy a game that I had already seen top to bottom.
Often, they’re like obscure windows into a game’s inner workings which is also really cool as I’ve always thought being a game developer and making my own game would be cool.
And how do you decide which games to make these videos about? Just general popularity online?
It’s changed, over time. Initially, I picked games that I enjoyed and knew there were glitches worth covering. After two years of making videos, I’ve already covered a lot of games so these day’s I’m often covering games I might not have played previously.
While I do consider a games popularity, at this point the most simple requirement is “Does this game have enough content to warrant a video.” After years of making garbage lets plays, I don’t want to make ‘lazy’ videos.
How about the choice of glitches to include? What makes you decide to cover a certain glitch in a certain video anyhow?
I don’t have a clear set of guidelines, just a vague sense over the years. Generally, I want to cover as much as possible without making it boring. So; if a game has a hundred different wall-clips, I’d only look at the few most interesting.
Like I said before, I think glitches are interesting. My videos are a way of sharing those interesting things with others; so if I find a glitch cool, you can expect it to be included.
One of the most famous sets of glitch videos on your channel concern the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, with three lengthy videos documenting almost every major bug in the title. What made you decide to create more glitch videos based on this game?
If we’re being very technical, my Breath of the Wild series is actually one my only series of videos looking at the same game, as until recently I only looked at one game per video.
After a year, I decided to revisit Breath of the Wild because another content creator I was talking with mentioned they enjoyed my first video and I decided to look and see if anything new had been found. Turns out, a LOT was found, so after researching the revisit I realised there was too much to cover in just one video.
One thing were found refreshing with said videos was how they were released a few years after the game came out, giving the community time to actually find interesting glitches. Are you going to be releasing similar videos for other games going forward?
Well, a LOT of my videos are for games that are years old. I don’t often cover that many new games. I do like making videos that feel “complete”, so allowing time for glitch to be discovered is definitely worthwhile.
If so, what games would you consider for a similar series? Maybe Super Mario
It really comes down to whether or not a specific game has enough content to warrant a series. Also, it has to be a game I really enjoy because it can be extremely taxing to constantly play, record, script, and edit videos of the same game day after day for multiple weeks, which is what it took for Breath of the Wild.
Either way, it’s nice to see someone with a sizeable audience cover a game that’s actually got things to discuss rather than just whatever’s in the news at the moment. Do you wish more YouTubers acted like this?
Personally, my favourite YouTubers are the ones who cover games / topics which genuinely interests them. So as long as they’re doing that, I think any topic is fine.
Caption: Pannenkoek2012 being the ultimate example of this. He is practically obsessed with Super Mario 64, and his videos are really interesting because of that.
Still, it’s not just glitches you talk about. You also seem to make videos about challenges, secrets and mods too. Do you think diversifying your content is the way to go on YouTube nowadays?
I’ve seen so many channels come and go over the years. In my opinion, the ones that last are the ones who are open to trying new things. Sticking to just one kind of content and game is a great way to be successful in the short term, but it’ll lead to the eventual death of a channel, at least in my opinion.
What do you think about the boom in challenge videos in general? Seems like everyone and their dog is making videos about whether you can beat game X without doing Y…
Caption: As shown by previous interviewee Ceave Gaming, challenges are getting more varied than ever.
I think challenge videos are cool.
Why do you think they’ve become so popular anyway?
Seeing people beat games in odd ways has always been enjoyable, but the recent boom came forth because content creators found a way of conveying them (longer, scripted almost like documentaries) which appeals to a much wider audience.
And what do you think the next big thing might be anyway?
Honestly, no clue. Whatever it is, it’ll be something that doesn’t have much content now, or is a twist on a popular genre that makes it appealing to a wider audience.
Onto some future talk now though. First things first, have you got any interesting videos lined up?
Definitely interesting to me; within the next year I plan on covering Glitches in all of the Dark Souls games. Each game in the series is just bursting at the seams with really cool stuff, and I love the games, though I have no clue if they’ll be received well by my audience.
Also, within the next month or so I plan on making a “How Many Jumps Does It Take To Beat Banjo-Tooie” because I hate jumping, I guess.
What about ones based on topics you don’t usually cover? Any plans that don’t involve glitches, mods, challenges or easter eggs?
I’m always trying to think up new stuff to cover, but at this time I don’t have any specific plans.
How about collabs with other YouTubers? Got any of those planned for the future?
I don’t collaborate all that often, but I will be visiting E3 2019 alongside a bunch of my fellow members of “Minus World” a YouTuber group that consists of NathanielBandy, the HoboBros, Nintendrew, and a bunch of other cool bois, and we’ll definitely be recording some kind of videos together.
One thing we do find interesting is that you don’t have a Patreon for your channel, instead relying on merchandise sales. What made you decide to do that?
I did have a Patreon for a while, at least a year I think, but ultimately I chose to cancel it as I never felt I offered that value much to my patrons. Doesn’t feel like a good fit for my kind of content.
Also, I don’t actually rely on merchandise sales, its just the only other form of monetization that I have at the moment.
Have you considered any other ways of monetising your work?
Diversifying your sources of income is the way to go. Currently I just rely on ad revenue, the occasional sponsorship, and a small number of channel memberships (from really cool people).
How about alternatives to YouTube altogether? After all, the site isn’t exactly focused on helping its video creators all that much now, and it feels like one small mistake could spell the end of an entire channel…
Well, I don’t think YouTube has ever been that great about helping it’s video creators if I’m being honest. And the issue of “a single mistake” meaning the end of a channel isn’t just a YouTube only issue.
I’ve tried streaming regularly on Twitch, but streaming just isn’t really my thing. I am definitely open to alternatives to YouTube, but as it stands there’s not a lot out there.
Finally, what advice would you give someone wanting to start up a new gaming channel, and why?
I’ve made videos on various channels for over eight years until I saw any kind of success, which involved a lot of luck. It can be a valid job these days, but I’d never suggest anyone (gaming or otherwise) make a channel with the goal of being successful and making money.
Make videos that you enjoy, stay honest to who you are, and don’t do it for the money. Otherwise, you’re likely to get burnt out before too long.
Also; always try to improve and be open to change.
Wise words there DPadGamer. Especially the one about how you made videos for over eight years before you saw any kind of success.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what success looks like for most people and channels. It’s not a random lottery win type of success where suddenly their work blows up online and they’re a billionaire, it’s a hard earned slog that takes months or years of hard work to finally pay off.
But people don’t see that. They see the final product, the success story with thousands or millions of fans/users. They see the news stories about people like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. They see instant (or near instant) success and assume that’s the norm in society.
Caption: What people assume success looks like
It’s not. Just as in the startup world most successful entrepreneurs are 40 year olds running B2B businesses, most successful YouTubers are people who put years into their channels before seeing any real returns. They’re people like Boundary Break, Slopes Game Room, SNES Drunk, people who slogged through years of uploads before reaching fame and fortune.
And that’s true of almost anyone. Even your average celebrity, with Markiplier taking a good few years to become successful and PewDiePie taking 6 years to reach a million subscribers.
So don’t get disheartened if your new channel doesn’t immediately take off. Most don’t, and that’s perfectly normal. Instead, make the videos you enjoy making, get better at editing them and eventually, you too may be as successful as DPadGamer or Boundary Break.
Thanks for reading.