New games are coming out faster than anyone could hope to play them. Thankfully, there are Let’s Players who go through it, recording the experience for the benefit of many. Naturally, this has become monetized, often in the form of video blogs with ads. For some, the process goes really well, and they’ve been able to make a living off of it. With every success story, however, comes a herd of people trying to emulate them and maybe get a little bit of their fame. By asking yourself a few questions up front, you can create a blog that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Choosing a Type of Game
Whatever games you pick, you should be able to get good quality screencaps or video.
In addition, you’ll have to consider where you’ll be hosting the let’s play. YouTube is the obvious choice for videos, but some people choose to host more image-based Let’s Plays on specific forums, to take advantage of the community.
Choosing a Purpose
Why do you want to share these games? Because of the great stories? To make funny commentary? To show a good experience with you and your friends? If you feel there’s a purpose that hasn’t been fufiled, that could be a strong, unique direction to help guide your development as a blogger.
This is a question of personal safety and comfort: how much of yourself are you okay with appearing? Some let’s players choose to record themselves as they play the game, so the watchers can see their expression, get the full emotional range from them. Others are more comfortable just voicing over the gameplay. Many more choose to opt out of any sort of appearance at all, choosing a more text-based approach to hide their appearance entirely. This can lend a sense of anonymity that can be good for someone wanting to try something new. In addition, it has in the past been chosen by groups more prone to harassment (women, people with stutters or strong accents) to have a fun experience that they don’t have to worry about.
Whatever you choose, it’s important you make the decision for yourself. Don’t let your friends or readers pressure you into appearances you don’t want to make.
Take on a Character?
As people use different forms of communication with different groups (sending an email to the boss vs calling your friend), people take on different personae. There are times when you’ve got to be more professional or charming. However, when it comes to blogging, it’s up for you to decide. Some people deliberately make up another persona for their online presence, playing up or adding traits they don’t actually have for the sake of this new character (this is most common with video reviewers, but certainly not exclusive to them). While it may be tempting to go into let’s plays acting like someone you’re not, just be sure to understand that it’s another layer between you and your reviewers, and a little extra commitment to your blog. Consider the possibility, and figure out what’s the best for you.