Rise of the YouTube Video Games?

By  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

YouTube is a wonderful promotional tool for video games, among other things, but as a gaming platform itself? A couple creative examples show that it’s possible.

To promote both the Chrome Web browser and Adobe Flash, which is now integrated into the browser, Google put together Chrome Fastball. It’s a set of simple mind games using APIs from other websites, all strung together by video clips of a Rube Goldberg device. So, at one point you must answer a trivia question on Twitter (anonymously), and at another point choose the best way to travel between two points on a map. Each successful answer moves your ball along the contraption towards the finish line. It’s a cute little game that actually works just fine in other browsers, too.

The funny thing is, Chrome Fastball isn’t the only YouTube game I played today. To celebrate the premiere of Twilight: Eclipse, Benny and Rafi Fine created Twlight Eclipse: The 8-Bit Interactive Game. This series of YouTube videos is actually a choose-your-adventure with NES-style animations and audio. At the end of each clip, players must make decisions that send them on multiple branching paths. It’s a nice way to waste an afternoon even if you’re not into young adult vampire drama (I still can’t believe that’s a genre).

Obviously, YouTube can’t have full-blown games with controllable avatars, because it just wouldn’t be YouTube anymore at that point. But there’s potential to do some clever things with the interactivity YouTube does allow, as these games show.

One last note: Both games back up Google’s point that Flash is still relevant; neither one works on the iPhone’s HTML 5 version of YouTube.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    > Both games back up Google’s point that Flash is still relevant

    I disagree. Both games can be done in HTML5 and work on more devices, iOS is not suffering for lack of games, YouTube on iPad is by far the best YouTube experience, and even if all of that weren't true, you still have Flash security issues, administrative overhead, crashes and Firefox struggling with how long Flash can hang before killing it.

    I was working on a Windows PC today testing websites in IE and IE crashed and then the PC crashed and after a restart it turned out it was the FlashPlayer v10.1 auto-updater that had done it. Just not worth it.

    Google themselves would tell you Flash is dead 2-3 years ago. This latest embracing of Flash by them is a kind of propaganda.

  2. Leslie Says:

    Interesting. It was so nostalgic to see the Nes-style video game lol. How I get it to be interactive? Is it only available in Google Chrome? I'm not sure what to feel about interactive Youtube videos though, if you actually control the players in the video, it will be just like flash right?

  3. BreWii Says:

    I'm not surprised that YouTube would have video games on their platform. It fits their target demographic perfectly, and people are on there so much it's insane. I bet in a year or less you will see a whole channel, or spin off site by Google that will have a foothold on the video game market.

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