Matthew Patrick is the creator of The Game Theorists, a well-known YouTube channel with nearly 8 million subscribers as of the writing of this post. On the channel, MatPat (as he is more commonly known) discusses his unique and often controversial theories about video games. His latest project is a bit different, however, as he jumps into the world of VR.
MatPat’s The Global Gamer takes gamers on a journey across the world. The first episode takes us to the place where gaming was born and continues to thrive today: Japan. He explores temples, marketplaces, and restaurants, and participates in Kendo, a type of martial arts. It’s currently sitting at around 1.5 million views on the Game Theorists YouTube channel, with 63,000 likes.
The video has a strong narrative, and the story is driven by the different locations MatPat visits. It’s a perfect story for VR. There are things going on all around, and when some areas are a bit bare, there are pop-ups with pictures or extra information. There’s a portion of the video where the camera is moving through a marketplace, but the motion is very smooth and not too disorienting. At the end, he straps the camera to his head, which was a bit nauseating to watch through a headset, but because it didn’t last long, it wasn’t too bad.
The most fascinating part about this video isn’t the content, however. The quality of this video is amazing – it’s one of the first 8K videos on YouTube. It’s also one of the longest VR videos ever, and this combined with the high quality required special programming to work on the website because of the large file size.
Additionally, this video utilizes 3D to create possibly the most immersive VR experience I’ve ever had. While watching it, I completely forgot where I actually was, and even tried to ground myself in reality a few times to remind myself that I was sitting in a dorm room in Kentucky, not walking through a marketplace in Japan.
The 3D, however, did bother my eyes at a few points. It felt similarly to how I feel if I turn the 3D on my 3DS up too high. This was mostly just a small annoyance, though, and didn’t bother me too much.
The file size could cause issues for people with slower internet connections, as many commenters on the video have noted. Many people have internet connections that can barely handle normal YouTube videos, so a high-quality, 3D, VR video is out of the question. Accessibility is definitely an issue here.
Works well for VR
High quality and innovative
A bit disorienting at times, both because of 3D and because of movement
Difficult to watch with slow internet connection
Overall, MatPat’s The Global Gamer is a fascinating, innovative, and immersive experience. Once your video buffers and your eyes adjust, prepare for one of the best VR experiences yet. Watch it here.