56 episodes, 500,000 subscribers… One life…you’ve changed forever… This… is the story of Game Theory…. [GAME THEORY INTRO MUSIC] Hello, Internet. Welcome to Game Theory! Remember, if it doesn’t say MatPat on it, somebody else probably made it. Wait… can we stop here? ‘Cause if you look at that old subscriber count there, Half a MILLION people have subscribed to this channel. Half… of ONE MILLION. Can I get real with you for a minute? I work with numbers every day. And that stat, as a collection of digits, makes sense. But when you stop to think about what that number actually means, that there are hundreds of thousands of people, actual PEOPLE in front of their computers, waiting for your next upload, it’s humbling. And honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful, because you 500,000 people, and GROWING pulled me through the most challenging period of my life and have, without trying to sound too melodramatic, changed the course of my existence. Yeah. YOU. And I think it’s important for you to know that story. The story of “What Happens When You Watch a Youtube Video” So, here it is. Game Theory’s origin story told as a “Draw My Life” video.
Because they’re fun. And because I really like the way this girl draws. So, let’s get started shall we? To really understand the origins of Game Theory, you have to know a little bit about me first. Hi, I’m Matthew Patrick, but you know me as MatPat. A nickname I got in 6th grade, and one that my elementary school friends were super upset that they hadn’t thought of themselves. It seems so OBVIOUS after the fact. I’m an only child who grew up in Medina, Ohio Two facts that are important for the following reasons: The first led me to video games My first memories are of my Mario-themed bedroom, and of playing Castlevania So video games have been a part of my life literally for as long as I can remember.
My Ohio roots lead to my second passion: performing. In the mid-west when surrounded by cornfields you have two options: sports, or show choir. My glasses naturally dictated that I avoid option one, so I got involved in theatre. Really involved. I sang in five choirs before glee made it cool I was both president and dance captain. I played viola in the orchestra, and I performed in around six stage shows a year. Ah what was that people called me? Yeah there was some of that. Oh yeah, thats.. thats the one But there was one other title near and dear to my heart Nerd I loved school I loved to learn! And I studied, A LOT Overloading on classes, sacrificing lunch periods, So I could enroll in courses with names like, Creative Cooking, and Survival for Singles. All just for fun! I even spent summers, taking extra lessons on college campuses. Needless to say, I was… Pretty cool, And was hangin out at all the Partaaays! But, all the work payed off. As I was graduated valedictorian, Scored a perfect 1600 on my S.A.T, Received an academic scholarship to college, Aaaaannnnd this is feeling braggy… So let’s move on to the depressing stuff. But first! College. Which came and went, without too much excitement. I mean! I did meet my future wife in a video game programming course, Where we worked together to make a “Legend of Zelda” parody called the “Epic of Stew” (Matpat sarcastic voice) But you know, no big. Oh Ho! And she TOTALLY thought I was this (on screen), for like the first half year we knew each other. Any who, video games were very much still apart of my life. As I was a resident assistant for the freshman for 3 years. Instead of frat parties, I hosted fondue Friday game nights! Where we played old school Zelda and DDR. (Matpat Sarcastic Voice) Once again, very clearly, the cool kid. I studied theater because I wanted to act and direct after I graduated; And neuroscience because I needed a backup plan, and neuroscience was the “obvious choice” right? Anyway, after graduating in 2009, I moved to New York. Started auditioning, toured around in shows for about two years and had just about as much success as a starving actor could wish for. If you dig deep into this channel, and I mean REALLY deep, you can find some videos from those early days. I’ve never had the heart to take them down ’cause I think it’s interesting to look at those old videos on channels and see just how far people have come and how much it’s changed but, even though I was constantly working, it didn’t change the fact that I was still a starving actor, and I quickly learned that for many reasons, theater wasn’t the life I thought it would be. Spiderman Turn Off The Dark, I’m looking at you. I was at cross roads, I needed to change but to what? Since preschool, I had known I would be in theater. That was suppose to be my destiny. Neuroscience wasn’t a backup, it was… Well, let’s be honest here, it was just cool to say “Hey I’m majoring in Neuroscience.” Quite honestly, I was lost but the world was in no mood to help me out. You see, companies don’t care about your string of perfect grades, test scores and countless extras curriculum. They don’t understand what working as a director actually means. I was just a weird theater kid with no real skills in their mind. At first, I didn’t get it. I applied to creative, innovative companies, thinking they would love to have a fresh, independent thinker around staff. Maybe television, movies, games- nothing! and things got desperate in a hurry, for nearly two years I was out of a job sending out resumes everyday and hearing nothing back. I went from a guy who breezed through life who was born and raised to think and indeed fully believed he was capable of doing anything to questioning my worth, my smarts, my reason for being. I was stuck, trapped. I needed just one person to open a door but no one would. Game Theory was born out of this desperation. Recognizing that my theater experience was meaningless, I needed a resume booster. Something that I can point to and say “Hey look! I can research and video edit and do math and understand the Internet culture!” I was watching another web series, “Extra Credits”, and it was around that time, that they released an episode on tangential learning. Learning through gaming, and that gave me an idea. “Why didn’t someone do a show that fused education and games, that used game discussion as a means to teach? For weeks, I studied other popular gaming shows. Everything – from their logos to their color scheme, to their pace and editing style . I was too poor for a good camera and game capture stuff. So I just grabbed images from online and manipulated them using what default tools my computer had. My apartment was echo-y, so I recorded in the closet. So yes, as fate would have it, I would eventually come out of the closet. When I needed a break from sending out resumes, I poured everything I had into the show. Game Theory was my rest pit. The one place I could go to where I felt productive, worth while in a midst of so much rejection and self-doubt and then it started to grow. People, YOU, stumble across it and liked what you saw, thanks to people and websites like Pat the NES Punk and Reviewtopia, Screwattack and Game Trailers. My videos started to get attention and as I became more invested in YouTube, I started to put those years Of AP math to work, crunching the data to figure ways to reach more people. I started to put the years of directing experience to the test by revising the show to it more compelling. I was relatively new to video editing, so each week I tried to include new trick, make it little bit better. Fans started to submit content I could never dream about with my technical limitation. Spelling failure with the logo in opening the song, numerous other theorists with intros and suggestions. It was my show but it was yours too. And as it was grew companies started to take note. At this point, Game Theory was at the top of my resume. I trumpeted that I knew how to grow an audience just as YouTube network started to develop. My big selling point was my balance of creativity and math. My ability to make data-driven decisions yet retaining the sensibility of a content creator. After many more months of pestering and knocking on doors Even giving out free work, a fellow Ohioan finally gave me a chance. At first, they weren’t quite sure how to best use me. But I quickly carved out as a new role as a YouTube Audience Development Consultant and worked alongside some of the platform’s biggest channels to help them expand. To this day, Game Theory stills fuels everything I do. Where I experiment to see what works and what doesn’t, what you respond to and what you don’t. But at this point it’s far from my primary source of income. Eventually, I’d love to be doing it full time. But for now I really strive hard to get out a new episode every other week, because in the end, whether it’s Game Theory or helping out other channels, my job is to make you happy, to give you the best entertainment possible and it seems to be working. At the beginning of this year, Game Theory was barely over sixty thousand subscribers and, well, now we’re doing a half a million episode. I started this video off by saying one life changed forever. But that’s not true. By supporting this project, yes, you helped me. But with my life changing, so have many others. Game Theory success allowed me to be in a position to help other people and shows that I believed in, which in turn brought on Ronnie and Gaijin Goombah. The success of the channel opened up new job prospects where I work at growing the audience’s of other channels, helping those creators, and, by proxy, all their viewers and as those of you who follow on the Twits, Failbook and G+ know. Man we have Subreddit too now? Jeeez that’s a ton of stuff. Anyway, as you loyal theorists know, I just got back from a vacation in China and Thailand with my wife and best friend Stephanie. Things that never could have happened if it hadn’t been for your support of this show and I was still jobless. In short, by watching a show – not even a show when it’d first started – a slightly evolved version of a YouTube slide show that I started making in an attempt to prove that I was worth hiring. You have changed thousands of lives, some directly and lots indirectly, and the spiral continues as you keep watching this show gets more promotion on YouTube Allowing it to reach more people, educating them on whatever crazy topic we, as a game theorist community, have come up with for that week. So let me close out here by thanking my parents for their love and support, Stephanie for her endless faith and patience, my friends and fellow online creators who’ve helped me out here but the most of all to each and every individual that makes up that enormous number right there. Growing up it was always my theory that. Haha. It’s always my theory that they actions of one person could make a world of difference and it’s true. I’m living proof but hey, that’s just my theory and this is Game Theory. One million, here we come!! We love you Matpat! 00:11:24,000 Never stop what you’re doing, you really are making the world a better place. And you the viewer can make just as big a difference too.