Reasons Why I Love the Weird Side of YouTube

I like weird YouTube. I really do. Of course you are more than welcome to watch your fairy-light-strewn, ukulele-background-music and quirky-but-attractive-millennial-who-also-has-a-book-deal videos but, to be honest, I get a bit bored of those. I thrive on the strange, off-beat, and nonsensical uploads. I see a video platform such as YouTube as a place where we can escape to for a while. Want to watch some weird videos on your own time? Here are a couple of recommendations to get you started:

Maybe you use YouTube to watch music videos? So do I. It’s a good place to go and most musicians nowadays have a presence on there with tour videos and sneak peaks being released. It’s also a good way to interact with fans. One musician I’ve discovered recently is That Poppy.

That Poppy has been uploading videos since 2014 and that are directed by Titanic Sinclair. She does not have many songs out but released an EP last year, Bubblebath, and also uploads experimental albums to bandcamp. I would liken her music to an Electra Heart era Marina and the Diamonds. However, the most compelling thing about That Poppy is that she currently uploads a new video every day, such as this one:

The videos can be from 20 seconds to 5 minutes and longer. There does seem to be some sort of narrative to them since there are other characters such as Charlotte and Plant, but most of them are just strange. They have inspired a plethora of reaction videos and theories about whether Poppy is part of the Illuminati or what it all actually means. I’m personally not sure whether I am trying to figure out what is going on or whether I just want to be part of her internet fan-cult but nevertheless I find myself watching and watching and—

Now I honestly do not know where you have been if you don’t already recognise my next pick. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is a series of videos formatted like a children’s TV show with fun colourful characters, songs, and messages— except you probably should not show your children.

Above is the fourth video in the series but you won’t get any spoilers from watching them out of order. Again, this series has a cult following of people trying to work out what on Earth is going on. Plus, it has released some cool merch with Lazy Oaf and has some weird music so why not have a watch? And remember, green is not a creative colour. The videos can be a bit unsettling and can possibly trigger seizures so watch at your own risk. 

 Getting away from the obviously-weird to the videogame-weird, there are several series from Polygon. Polygon is a game news website but its YouTube channel is dominated by a gaming series. Now before you click away in disgust, I would recommend some let’s plays (they are not like that). The most popular, and my personal favourite, is Monster Factory in which Griffin and Justin seek out the weirdest characters they can construct and then play the game with them.

Sometimes they only do a single episode a game or, as with the game in the video above, they do several. They get into some of the weirdest places in games and utter the oddest things. One of my favourite parts of the videos is later in the Second Life series when Griffin tries to get Boy-Mayor campaigning and ends up shouting: ‘I THINK DOGS SHOULD VOTE!’ Before he gets kicked off of the server. It’s funny because it is strange and relies on the hilarity of the ridiculous. I would definitely recommend Monster Factory if you need a laugh.

Other Polygon series you may want to check out are Car Boys, Peacecraft, Touch The Skyrim, Law Abiding Citizen and the podcast Cool Games Inc.