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Why are so many gaming videos' titles on Youtube prefaced by a "Let's Play"? Is some official company or entity sponsoring each video, that these users are working for? Is each video submitted to a weekly contest or something like that? Or is just a collective meme for gamers on Youtube?

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It has become almost a genre unto itself. – Raven Dreamer May 7 '11 at 2:03
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Supposedly it started at Something Awful, where people would play games and put their own humorous commentary over it. Since then, it's expanded and expanded, but the whole idea is just the style

There's even a website devoted to Let's Play content, the Let's Play Archive, head over there or read their About section for more info. TVTropes also has an entry on it.

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It's just a meme. To put it in context, it's like these other types of gamer-related media:

  • Guide/how-to
  • FAQ
  • Walkthru
  • Review
  • Secrets list
  • High score lists
  • Etc.

"Let's Play" simply emerged as a new way to categorize the introductory walkthru/tour/demo videos that are becoming more popular as more people have access to videocast software and upload sites like Youtube,, and

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"Let’s Play" videos are typically (but not necessarily) play-throughs of video games with live commentary by the gamer.

Some LPs are "blind", which means that the gamer hasn’t played the game before.

There are also "Let’s Show" videos, which concentrate on some specific parts of games, e.g. special strategies, hard boss fights, easter eggs, etc.

Some LPers make a living out of it (ad revenue). Some publishers support famous LPers by donating games (sometimes even before release), because they feel it would be a good promotion for their games.

Wikipedia article:


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