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How to Start a Gaming Channel and Share Your Expertise With Fans Around the World


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Child playing on a computer

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Video games have a massive presence online thanks to platforms like Twitch and YouTube. If you're a gamer, and you frequent YouTube, chances are you're subscribed to a few gaming channels. If you ever wondered how to start a gaming channel yourself, this is the article for you.

Before you jump into creating your gaming channel, you need to nail down the basics first. What will your channel focus on? Who's your target audience? Do you know how to dress up your profile and videos? Let's go over a few common questions most people have when starting a gaming channel.

What Is a Gaming Channel?

Man on a game keyboard

Photo by Soumil Kumar from Pexels

Gaming channels, and specifically YouTube gaming channels, are ways for you to share your expertise with fans around the world. It's a platform that lets you show off to an audience what you know about gaming. More than that, it's about your personality! You don't need to be the outgoing type to engage an audience and keep them coming back for more.

Part of how to start a gaming channel is about nailing down who you are. The way you present yourself is just as important as gaming your content, if not more. We'll get into that later on. For now, let's get into the basics of where to start out when creating your gaming channel. While you can go in blind, it helps to have a general idea of where to take your first steps.

How to Start a Gaming Channel

Since you're thinking about how to start a gaming channel, have you considered what type of content you want to produce? Gaming channels can focus on certain types of videos, or they can have a range of different content. It's up to you to decide what you'd like to explore. Take a look at the following categories and see if any of them are a good fit for you.

Comedy

Any gaming channels that have funny videos are comedy channels. These can range from humorous game clips, satire videos, purposely bad and/or funny gameplay, or scripted comedy content. Your gaming channel doesn't have to be strictly comedic. Some popular YouTubers like AngryJoe feature funny skits as introductions to informative game reviews.

Lore

There's a great variety of lore channels that focus on the history, characters, and settings of a game or series. VaatiVidya has found success in producing well-researched lore videos on games developed by FromSoftware. He dives into the backstory of the games, sharing enlightening details on things that players may have missed. If you're an expert in a series' lore, consider compiling your research into these types of videos.

Let's Plays/Walkthroughs/Tutorials

If you'd rather stick with gameplay, then this is a category to think about. Voicing over your gameplay videos with commentary for a Let's Play is great for showing off your skills. Or if you want to help new players, walkthroughs and tutorials are your answers. Walkthroughs typically require more commitment, as these are usually full recordings of an entire game with or without your commentary. Tutorials are better for more specific aspects of a game that players might have trouble with.

Reviews

It's true that the most prominent gaming outlets have a monopoly on game reviews. But there is still a niche out there for lesser-known games. These titles typically go ignored by the bigger outlets, since they don't have time to review everything. You can carve out that niche for yourself by reviewing the unknown gems. Or you can do your best to fit in with the rest of the review market.

Shaping Your Channel's Identity

Man playing video game

Image by Tomasz Mikoajczyk from Pixabay 

Once you decide what type of videos you'd like to produce, decide how you want to present your content. Your format will define your channel's identity. Will you produce informative videos with jokes thrown in your script to get your viewers laughing? Would you rather make a name for yourself as the next popular game reviewer? Or are you more comfortable with pure gameplay with zero commentary?

This largely depends on your personality and your strengths. If your goal is to help gamers be better players, then choose a format to reflect that. If you want to entertain your viewers, do that instead. Your style will become your brand. Viewers will want to keep coming back for your brand. You are your own unique person with a passion for gaming and for YouTube. Take the time for some deep reflection and figure out how to reflect yourself in your work.

If you're an avid YouTube viewer, see if there's something missing in the market. Is there a type of gaming channel you haven't seen anywhere before? Is it something you think viewers would enjoy? If it's something you would want to see, then trust your instincts and go from there.

Choose Your Audience

Scope Out Your Competition

Figure Out Your Brand

Make a Memorable Intro and Outro

Decide on Your Channel's Variety

Handling the Video Production

The more technical aspects of video production can be intimidating. If you don't have any experience with creating and editing videos, you may have your work cut out for you. This will depend on the content you want to produce. With game reviews and scripted comedy content, for example, the editing can make or break the quality of your videos. However, pure walkthrough videos don't have this hurdle. You may wish to base your channel's content around your technical experience, including how much you're willing to learn.

Game Capture Software and Hardware

For whichever type of content you produce, capturing your own gameplay footage is a fine option. When writing your script, you might want a specific shot of your character doing something. Having your own footage gives you more ways to be creative with your content. Consider picking up some game capture software and/or hardware. Depending on whether your game is on console or PC, you will need a setup for your computer to record everything. Research these online and find what works best for your budget.

Lighting, Camera, and Microphone

This also depends on your channel's niche and variety. If you show your face, you will need to make sure that viewers can see you. This means having a good, balanced light source in your filming area. The quality of your camera matters, too. While a laptop's standard camera can work, the video may be blurry or grainy. The same goes for your laptop's internal microphone, as your voice might not sound so great in your videos. If you can, find a dedicated camera and microphone within your price range.

If you're not showing your face and only recording your voice, you have other options to experiment with. There are some neat tricks to enhance the acoustics of your voice through your microphone, like recording in your closet or in your car. Being isolated this way is a lot like recording yourself in an isolated voice booth. Make sure your voice is clear and easy to understand in your videos. Viewers won't stay for your content if they can't hear you!

Tips on Promoting Your Channel, Engaging with Your Viewers, and More

Once you get past the initial hurdles of how to start a gaming channel, you want your audience to grow. Make it your goal to reach as many viewers as you can. Producing your content is one part of the process. The rest involves working with YouTube's algorithm on the site, along with promoting yourself off of the site.

Make Sure Your Audience Finds You

Keep Viewers Watching Your Content

Balance Your Calls to Action

Interact with Your Viewers

Build a Social Media Presence

Learn How YouTube's Advertising Works

Stream Your Gameplay on Twitch

Know When to Take a Break

Conclusion

Starting and maintaining a gaming channel is quite an involved process. But for the gamer dedicated to sharing their knowledge with the world, this is an amazing outlet. You get to broadcast yourself and help, entertain, and/or inform viewers with your unique personality. It's a wonderful way to engage with viewers who share your love for gaming. Producing content for a dedicated audience offers unforgettable experiences that people will carry with them long after they've finished watching your video.

While getting started does involve a lot of effort, research, and resources, these steps are manageable. If you're passionate about the prospects, why not go for it? Give it your best shot. In giving viewers quality content with your personal voice, you just might find your lifelong career.

Featured photo via Pixabay

Written by Torque Smacky

Other things I've done, written and pooped out can be found in one place: www.platypuscomix.net. I am also the founder and editor of BANG! The Entertainment Paper, a Portland publication spotlighting creative talent.

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