How an Outsider’s Perspective helped Matt and Shelby score high in the gaming world

If you bought a game recently, chances are that you’ve been influenced by a game reviewer.

Game reviewers are an important part of the gaming eco-system. While they play, they share facts about the game, explain the gameplay, inform on differentiating features, and emphasize other important details the buyer might need to consider before parting with his money. Some go as far as to score a game, making it easy to benchmark against others. Expected content is quite formulaic, as these are the basic blocks necessary to inform, evaluate and build trust. So, aside from personality, how might a Game Reviewer stand out vs. the many already competing for attention on YouTube?

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Girlfriend Reviews launched on YouTube at the end of 2018 with a review of Red Dead Redemption 2, to answer the question:

“Should your boyfriend play it?”

Shelby (the girlfriend) challenged the typical review perspective from the player of the game (the boyfriend, Matt), to “what it’s like to live with someone that plays it” instead.

When Matt was playing Breath of the Wild, he kept opening the map every 30 seconds… and Shelby went crazy listening to the map sound every time this happened. They thought it would be interesting to review games “from the perspective of a girlfriend that has to listen to it all day.”

With the huge popularity of streaming video games, and the relatability of simply watching a game’s storylines and graphics unfold without the stress of actually having to be good at playing the game, their point of view (with well-produced videos) is very relevant, inviting gamers and non-gamers alike.

What started off as a channel to “make fun of the games we play and satirize gaming journalism by analysing the hobby from the outsider’s perspective” has resulted in Matt & Shelby standing out among hundreds of thousands of other game reviewers. Aside from the explosive growth of their YouTube channel, they were nominated for the 2019 Streamy Awards for best Gaming Content and have shown up on Top 10 lists for best Game Reviews.

It goes to show that even in Game Reviews, a (literal) view from the outside in can help differentiate and unleash new possibilities for growth.

Here’s their OG debut video on Red Dead Redemption 2 for your enjoyment.


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