Video games. Obviously you love them, some more than others, and you spend hours on end trying to master their every turn, competing against friends or trying to soldier through a single player campaign. But there's more to them than just playing the games, as several creative programmers have come up with a way to celebrate their beloved art form – through original programming on the Web.
Some do it to comedic effect, while others pay tribute to video games, making them what they are today. With that, we've scoured the YouTube channel (and put up with various Gangnam Style videos, thank you very much) to select some of the best web programming you can view today. They're definitely something to kick back with when you're not knee deep in uppercuts and aiming down the sights of an assault rifle. View and enjoy!
Madden 13 Tips (http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimaGamesVideo)
Of course, let's get off on the right foot and talk about the videos you really want to see – ours! The Prima Games Video channel is overflowing with all the tips you need on Madden NFL 13, provided by the pros that know it the best. Considering the season is winding down into playoff mode, wins are more crucial than ever in the football world, so you'll want to use this advice to your advantage. Learn about team strategies, offenses and more. New videos are added regularly, so be sure to check back. You could be very well on your way to the Super Bowl…if you can beat us.
The Guild (http://www.youtube.com/geekandsundry)
Running well into five seasons and just about ready to wrap up its sixth (the season finale premieres January 8th), The Guild is the brainchild of writer/producer/star Felicia Day, who's also appeared on such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. She plays Codex, a worrisome online gamer who's part of the Knights of Good, featuring a rather unique blend of characters – a carefree stay-at-home mom, a 40's-something warlord wanna-be and others. They've delivered on their hilarious antics throughout the years, not only in episodes from the show (season five is the standout, as they visit an expo and create havoc on Nathan Fillion and Kevin "Hercules" Sorbo alike), but with special music videos like "Do You Want To Date My Avatar" and "I'm the One That's Cool". This is one of the many highlights on the Geek and Sundry channel, and it's never too late to become a fan.
Gaming Culture x History x Attitude (http://www.youtube.com/user/theoriginalpsp)
This series, which has just gotten started, pays loving tribute to the classic days of gaming. Patrick Scott Patterson, a long-time video gaming journalist who has been playing since the old school days of Pac-Man and Vectrex, headlines the series, interviewing various stars from the gaming industry, mostly veteran programmers and players. On this channel, Patrick also pays tribute to certain gaming locations. Just recently, he discussed the arcade that served as the filming location for the 1983 sex comedy Joy Sticks. Patrick provides a devoted, knowledgeable take on everything old school, and his shows are definitely worth watching. (It doesn't hurt to have him around as a friend too. Snarky VGA's for life, brother!)
Rooster Teeth (http://www.youtube.com/roosterteeth)
One of the best web-based channels you'll find out there, Rooster Teeth delivers a plethora of gaming-oriented content, whether you're in the mood for laughs or competitive gaming. One of the bigger highlights is the show Red vs. Blue, which features pre-rendered footage from Halo match-ups and creates hilarious situations with original characters, including the goofy Caboose. That's just a snippet of Rooster's programming, as it also has a great competitive show called The Gauntlet, as well as the gut-bustingly hilarious Rage Quit videos, which features a completely temperamental dude playing video games. His Sonic the Hedgehog video is the stuff of epicness. (Warning: frank language). Here's the link.
Angry Video Game Nerd (http://www.youtube.com/user/JamesNintendoNerd)
James Rolfe has been running through classic games for years as the Angry Video Game Nerd, a guy who provides commentary on everything he plays – even utter garbage like Silver Surfer and Back To the Future. He does so with a "don't-hold-back" attitude, and comic aplomb aplenty, as he rips each game apart. He even has humorous skits during some of the reviews, like with Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout, where he engages in an all-out fistfight with someone dressed like the iconic Warner Bros. character. And you haven't lived until you've seen the trailer for the (supposedly) forthcoming Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, where he hunts for the iconic pile of E.T. Atari 2600 video game cartridges supposedly buried in New Mexico. He may be on to something…
Christopher Walkenthrough (http://www.youtube.com/user/GameSocietyPimps)
The Game Society Pimps have been producing a number of great videos related to video games, but nothing really comes close to the Christopher Walkenthrough clips. Featuring a voiceover actor that sounds incredibly close to the actor, the clips have him running through a variety of video games, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to Hitman Absolution, providing ridiculously funny commentary along the way. His latest video, which has him tag-teaming with Morgan Freeman for Borderlands 2, is an absolute must-see, if only to hear the two talking about "pwning" the competition. You can view it here. (And no, he doesn't need more cowbell.)
Mario Warfare (http://www.youtube.com/user/beatdownboogie)
One of the better web-produced series out there, Mario Warfare is pretty much what you'd expect from the title – a recreation of Mario's universe, but in the real world. You've got Mario and his brother Luigi unleashing all sorts of havoc as they attempt to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of the evil Bowser. But this ain't no game – and it's not affiliated with Nintendo. It's fantasy-based, but with the kind of over-the-top violence you could expect from, say, early John Woo films. You can view the first episodes above, and take part in the project's Kickstarter if you want to see more. It's already met its goal, but it's not too late for you to reap in the rewards.