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YouTube’s Game Show

March 21, 2011

Title of video: Truth or Fail: Episode 1 with Hank Green

Uploader: truthorfail

Date posted: June 28th, 2009 (although the very first Truth or Fail was uploaded March 4th, 2009)

Context: It’s been one year since YouTube launched annotations. Annotations is a feature that enables clickable buttons over videos that link other YouTube videos or pages. Users are still exploring the possible ways to utilize annotation capabilities to enhance their content. This is around the time when YouTubers started to really grasp the value of interactivity and audience interaction, including within the videos themselves.

Subject: Truth or Fail is presented as a game show in which the viewer is a participant. A host presents two “facts” and the viewer clicks on the one he or she believes to be true. Each choice is an annotation that links to a subsequent video revealing if the selected fact was true or fail, then a new pair of facts is offered.

Analysis:
Truth or Fail was the very first YouTube game show. It’s hard to calculate the cumulative views of the series because it is spread out on a multitude of channels, but sporting 85+ episodes since it launched two years ago, this weekly game show is an indisputable success story. Organized and often hosted by Hank and John Green aka the “Vlogbrothers”  the show is effective because of it’s ingenious collaborative, horizontal approach to content creation and distribution. Truth or Fail taps the talent and star-power of established YouTube personalities to attract new viewers/players. Guest hosts are matched to a subject matters appealing to their pre-established audience for their episodes. For example, English weblebrity CharlieIsSoCoolLike hosted an episode centered around England, Craig the WheezyWaiter, recognizable for this facial hair, hosted an episode of beard trivia, while “Wizard Rock” star Kristina italktosnakes‘s Harry Potter edition episode is the most viewed of them all. (Although this is of course due in part of the popularity of the subject matter.) Truth or Fail is the seed that has spawned many variations of a YouTube game shows engaging annotations. Dan Brown‘s “Who Wants to Be A Youtubillionaire” was actually shown on the real Who Wants To Be A Millionaire when Dan was a contestant! Additionally, fans of the series have even created their own unofficial episodes, such as Max ConstellationLCD‘s  Disneyland themed game. Interactive video pioneer, Truth or Fail has set the standard for more quality YouTube games of the future.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. weildbet permalink
    March 26, 2011 12:00 pm

    Truth or Fail is fun! Thanks for pointing it out,

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