The Game Theorists is a popular YouTube channel ran by Matthew Patrick (MatPat). The channel currently has 14 million followers. Patrick is a well-versed host that thoroughly dives into theories that surround video games. Through his skill at creating enticing videos, he has amassed over 2 billion views on The Game Theorists Channel.
The Game Theorists channel began in 2011. Originally, the channel was used to upload various clips from Patrick’s theatre days. The channel has grown massively since the beginning. His most popular video — MatPat’s Game Lab, a YouTube original series —has 71 million views.
The Game Theorists covers an array of video games like Legend of Zelda, Assassins’s Creed, Fortnite and many more. MatPat tackles common and not-so-common theories about games with logic and comedic commentary. His videos are well-rounded works of research and passion.
Mario’s fire power
A recent upload from Game Theorists which theorizes Mario’s Secret Fire Power is a great example of MatPat’s style. The video begins with a short comedic intro. An old-school version of Mario — voiced by MatPat — gains a fire power which he uses to defeat a mushroom opponent. In the intro, Mario contemplates the ethics of using a fire power or crushing his opponent. Mario is quickly proven wrong when the fire power is used. The mushroom opponents dying words are “Why couldn’t die like my brother, Tony? He was crushed in a single instant.” In the intro, viewers are able to grasp MatPat’s comedic sense and knowledge about Mario.
The video then transitions to the opening sequence that can be seen on several The Game Theorists videos. The sequence puts you in the place of an ultimate game enthusiast. The music and graphics pull the viewer in. The music is upbeat and could easily be used as background sound for gameplay. The graphics follow paths and open doors to bring the audience into the main portion of the video. Also, the sequence utilizes game characters and backdrops.
In this video, MatPat dives into three pertinent questions about Mario’s fireballs. The questions are “What can be set on fire?,” “What bounces off the ground?” and “What Burns Underwater?” Here, we see the common trend of MatPat applying logic to the illogical. Through the 14-minute video, MatPat deconstructs the fireballs using diagrams of chemical compositions. Finally, MatPat comes to the projected formula for Mario’s fireballs. The conclusive formula is aluminum powder, ammonium perchlorate and silicone rubber. The formula is comparable to rocket fuel for spaceships.
The draw in the theories MatPat presents does not come from their conclusions but from the stories and means to get there. MatPat sets his videos up for a wide audience, not just game enthusiasts. His ability to deconstruct the subjects in his videos is what makes him successful.
With his ability to explain ideas in an entertaining manner, he developed more YouTube channels. These channels cover theories surrounding film and food. MatPat style is consistent through these channels as well.
The Film Theorists
The Film Theorists channel is nearing 10 million subscribers with over a billion views. The channel offers theories for Anime, Disney as well as TV show theories. This channel offers viewers who may be more inclined to listen to theories about TV & film a place to enjoy the presence of MatPats commentary and ideas.
The Food Theorists
The Food Theorists channel is less than a year old with more than 2 million subscribers. With this channel, viewers get another side of MatPat only this time it revolves around food. It would not seem that food would have so many theories to unpack, yet MatPat found a way to do just that. In a recent upload where MatPat uncovers the history behind Oreo cookies that the common person would’ve never thought to be real.
In 2013, MatPat posted a “Draw my life” video where he tells the story of how he came to make The Game Theorists channel. Originally from Ohio, Patrick is an only child with a momentous drive to succeed in his education and hobbies, theatre, math and science. He explained having perfect grades and test scores made him the class valedictorian.
After high school, he went on to college where he met his wife and continued to use his drive. After college, he moved to New York to live out his dreams of the starving artist. In this stage of his life, he was feeling a bit directionless yet started The Game Theorists channel. At the time of this video, MatPat had just reached 500 thousand and for that, he explains his gratitude for the opportunity YouTube has given him.
Now millions of subscribers later, MatPat continues to entertain his audience and has the means to expand his brand. MatPat’s popularity does not come from his content but, his passion and the essence of his personality. He comes off as truly authentic which is not always achievable for YouTubers. MatPat created a community of millions organically from his passion to bring entertainment to others.