Youtube was created by two young men who had a dream of a website filled with brilliant, original, humorous and insightful content. Instead, we have people lighting themselves on fire.
This rancid group of videos is one of the most popular. A search on Youtube for "AMV" brings up a mighty 874,000 results, and far too many of them are set to that one waffle song.
Best comment: "LOved it!!! esspecially how all the clips was of characters being very serious looking and then Gir!!!"
Seen above is an example of one of the two major kinds of AMVs, which we will dub "sing-along AMVs". Key features include:
The other kind of AMV, into which we will pigeonhole everything else, is known as the "tribute AMV".
These often have a higher production value than sing-along AMVs, and the producers (they did technically produce something) often aim to put a certain atmosphere into the video; that particular atmosphere happens to be "driving goth rock-fueled energy explosion". Authors tend to go for anime/songs that nobody else knows about, which is ironic when you consider that the primary function of a tribute AMV is so you can listen to copyrighted material.
Recently, a third category of AMVs was discovered by Youtube-ologists, which fall into the category of "fucking horrifying". Their only known function is to scar your mind.
Best comment: "i rly wish aerith was real irl (///_-)...this video makes me sad that shes not :( i would give it 5/5 stars...I guess ratings are disabled cuz of the TROLLS who cant appreciate anything artistic..."
The female population, being the perennial cockteases that they are, have seen fit to put themselves on Youtube, dancing and/or removing their clothing in a suggestive manner. Some of these videos are uploaded by wronged and vengeful friends or significant others (and quickly taken down due to Terms of Service violations), but many more are uploaded by girls who, for some reason or another, feel the need to let strangers know what their booty would look like if it were ever placed in a paintshaker.
These videos are particularly popular with two crowds: 1) youngsters who can't view actual porn due to parental controls and so they go for the next best thing, and 2) stalkers/pedophiles. For everyone else, there's Google.
It should be noted, however, that it doesn't take much for your striptease video to turn into something else entirely:
Best comment: "just pretend the dresser is a man and its all good hahah EPIC FAIL"
vlog ('vlog), n.: what happens when a typical Youtube commenter gains access to a video camera/discovers Windows Movie Maker.
Best comment: "Okay, so this video is probably not extremely mature or whatever, but it's our choice if we like miley or not, it's NOT YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM!!!"
Several years back, the Something Awful forums created the concept of the Let's Play, wherein somebody would videotape themselves playing a videogame while making observational, insightful and witty commentary. The denizens of Youtube eventually discovered what these people were up to and mistakenly thought "Hey! I can do that just as well as this guy!" So while SA still often has brilliant video game playing threads,Youtube has this:
Best comment: "He sounds like a really pissed off Ned Flanders."
For some mind-boggling reason, people on Youtube seem to think that watching them die over and over in the same part of a level for ten minutes is quality entertainment. The concept of video editing/quality is lost on them completely; in addition to the constant dying, these Let's Players will often record their gaming with a video camera or something else that induces poor video quality. The problem eventually got so bad that the "Let's Play" subcategory of Youtube videos eventually acquired its own equivalent of Mystery Science Theater 3000:
If you desperately need to watch somebody else play a video game through while making commentary, you know where to go, and it's not this site.
Studies have recently confirmed what everybody already knows: teenagers are stupid. Specifically, the part of the mind that considers long-term consequences has not fully developed in your teenage years, which is why teenagers make shitty drivers. It also makes teenagers do stuff like this:
Best comment: "Who's stupider: the guy lighting himself on fire or the four guys around him letting him?"
Youtube is full of videos featuring people, usually teenagers, doing stunts that any normal person would put a halt to during the "planning" phase of the operation. They all watched and loved jackass but, like any self-respecting teenager, completely ignored the "don't try this at home" portion of the progam in what we can only presume is an attempt to gain street cred and maybe have sex with easily-impressed girls, which may be difficult considering they are about to tear their testicles off with a spinning bicycle tire:
Of course, we'd be remiss if we suggested that teenagers are the only people potentially mutilating themselves. People as old as forty are getting in on the jackass action (jaction), long past the point where their brains have developed properly. The sensible parts of their brains might have been damaged at some point, or perhaps they're willing to sacrifice their remaining health for internet fame, or maybe they simply never had a good grasp of the physics principles that explain why their bicycle-speed shed jump was doomed from the start.
Keep that gene pool nice and healthy, boys!
As stated above, Youtube has some Terms of Service in place, and some of them detail how you can't upload indecent sexual material to their website. All this means, though, is that you're not allowed to show any indecent body parts or explicit sexual activity. While you would think that this covers everything, there are some leftover videos that don't need sex to induce arousal in their target audience. Once you strip out the conventional stuff, the videos left over are, to put it bluntly, creepy as fuck.
Best comment: "Best thing that could possibly happen: a hot girl gets stuck :)"
If you had ever wondered why someone bothered to upload a video of girls getting their cars stuck in the mud, now you know: these videos are jerkoff material to a surprisingly broad selection of dudes. You'd think that the boobs hanging out and such would be the main draw, but "girls stuck in the mud" is its own subcategory on Youtube. Somewhere out there is a guy jackin' it to that rear left wheel spinning futilely, or perhaps to the girl yelling in frustration "I am SO stuck!"
If that's not your thing, maybe you'd prefer to watch a guy eat nuts.
Best comment: "Would love you to chew my food for me then feed it to me. Very sensuous. Very artistic. Very beautiful. More, please!"
Apparently for some, masturbation stems from mastication. As before, people eating things or just showing off their mouths is a small genre of fetish videos on Youtube, though this particular user (username "maleteeth") seems to have a large number of them himself, showing off his chompers in a way that we're sure is turning some people on, but really is just making us a bit nauseous.
We do, however, prefer nauseous to out-and-out disturbed.
Best comment(s): "Why do women like being giants? " "becuse the get paid 4 doing it. "
Probably the most horrifying kind of fetish video found on Youtube is the "giantess vore" category, which involves gigantic women sensually consuming tiny men. None of what we just wrote is a metaphor for anything. If you search "giantess vore" on Youtube, you'll come across a number of badly edited videos of tiny men being eaten alive in a slow manner, disturbing us on a level that only our grade school gym teacher has been able to achieve before. The video above is the most frightening example we managed to find in our minutes of searching; we honestly don't know what happens at the end, since we made it only about halfway through before we had to leave and scrub our eyes with bleach.
This is one of the more popular categories of Youtube video, generally because it takes very little work and has a big payoff. Obtain a cat, wait for it to do something cute, then film it and watch the hits roll in. We were going to write more about how lazy this approach is, but we were distracted by a kitten attacking a watermelon.
We know that this entire page has been an exercise in disillusioning our readers, but we are glad to say that not only does good original content exist on Youtube, it can actually thrive if it is properly handled.
If you've got a larger crew available, as well as a pile of funds (or some metal sporks and a nearby 7-Eleven), you may want to try going the high-budget route. Have someone rig up a few props, get somebody on board who has decent video editing skills, and of course finding a professional actor who doesn't mind working for free never hurt anybody either. The benefit of working with a large amount of people is that the odds are at least one person will recognize when an idea is completely retarded (excepting the crew who decided to light poor Foley on fire).
Of course, not everybody has a lot of money on hand with which to make a super high-quality video. Luckily, that's okay too, as long as you have a discerning eye for quality. If your script is good (have someone else read it to be sure - trust us on this), then you can just start recording, as long as you know how to edit and splice video clips together. We're sure some of those AMV folks may be willing to lend you a hand in exchange for critiquing their latest lip-sync masterpiece.
What about those of our readers who are friendless misanthropes, without any other dependable crew members and only five seconds of footage to work with? Well, if you just throw stuff together, you might just be able to baffle your viewers into enjoying your video, as long as you have a healthy sense of irony.
Please, PLEASE keep in mind that irony is harder than it sounds. Your random-ass clipfest with strange noises for music is not an instant recipe for success.
Best comment: "I didn't know crack allowed you to change the effects of gravity! 8D must try it."