Monday, August 4, 2014

Using YouTube Playlists

     YouTube playlists are a great way for you to organize your fighting game research. I have used playlists to compile videos for multiple characters across various fighting games. This is a great research method for people who either do not have the time or inclination to discover things in training mode. Do not get me wrong, though. Playlists are usually a great way to learn the basics and a few tricks, but they are no substitute for practice in training mode or against opponents.

     I once used playlists for a game's entire roster. Very quickly I found this to be overwhelming. So to better focus my thoughts, I chose to have playlists for each character I play, and also a playlist of general information for that character's game. I enjoy the lower number of playlists because of the lack of clutter. Each playlist has general tips, specific setups and combos, and of course intermediate to high level gameplay of the character across many match ups.

     Playlists provide me with a way to visually train situations outside of training mode. I can begin to commit certain setups and situations to memory so that I can react appropriately during real matches. The playlist is also much faster than training mode, where I would have to take time navigating menus and recording what the computer opponent should be doing. That takes for granted the existence of a recording/playback system in the training mode. This is something that all fighting games should have, but all do not.

     Playlists are also usable on the road. Please drive safely, and if you happen to have an easy and safe way to observe fighting game videos while on your commute, it is a great opportunity to use time that would usually be lost. This also goes for down time at work, or any other time when you have access to an internet ready device, but not your gaming platform.

     There are limitations to the usefulness of playlists. Eventually the information may become outdated, or you have memorized it and no longer have a need for it. Also, all characters do not have an equal number of content creators committed to them. High tier or otherwise interesting characters are more likely to get tutorials, in-depth guides, and other really useful goodies. Eventually your information well will run dry. The realization that all your character's information cannot be found on YouTube is a wonderful transition into my final topic.

     I have spent a lot of time using playlists, subscribing to others' channels, and favoriting videos. I love that these people have spent their valuable hours creating and uploading this content for me to enjoy. Now, as I have finally gotten over my need to have playlist for each and every character, I find myself wanting to produce some sort of content on my own. I encourage everyone who utilizes content from other sources to consider producing valuable content of their own. Video tutorials, matchup videos, or simple text-based or image-based documents are all valuable contributions.

     YouTube playlists are a great way to find content for your fighting game of choice. More can be gained by compiling the efforts of numerous people than relying solely on yourself. However, you should take all that you have learned and then apply it to furthering the publication of quality content for your game/character of choice. It's all a big circle, right?
Nathan Shields PowerUp Founder

Fighting game enthusiast, martial artist, and teacher. Nathan Shields ran three regional events, two of which were part of the Road to EVO Championships in 2011 and 2012. He continues to run local FGC events and supervise the growth of his scene and the PowerUp brand.

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