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YouTuber Mythpat: We are called ‘influencers’ for a reason

Having won a Streamy for International Creator of the Year, Mumbai-based Mithilesh Patankar AKA Mythpat speaks on the future of gaming content creation, while reflecting upon his milestones and challenges

When Mithilesh Patankar AKA Mythpat hit 10 million YouTube subscribers in October, he decided to revamp his content. He wants to keep evolving not just for his subscribers on YouTube and followers on Instagram ( he has 1.6 million of them) but also for himself, to stay motivated. Mithilesh also recently crossed the two billion channel-view milestone, cementing himself as a Indian YouTube powerhouse.

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Whether he is building an underground house in Minecraft or fighting his way through level 80-something on Brain Out: Can You Pass It?, the 23-year-old gamer and content creator keeps fans entertained with his own brand of excitement.

‘The Academy Awards for the Internet’

All the above was enough to win him a Streamy for International Creator of the Year. The category saw him go toe-to-toe against Japanese creator Tokai On Air, UAE-based vloggers Anasala Family and Brazilian Enhaldino. Other winners this year include Avani Gregg, Will Smith, Bailey Sarian, Dream, Doctor Mike and Addison Rae.

Considered to be the Academy Awards for the Internet, the YouTube Streamy Awards is an annual awards show presented by Dick Clark Productions and Tubefilter. The first edition took place in 2009 and has since had an annual live awards show in Los Angeles. Owing to the pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 (December 11) editions took on a virtual format.

Also Read | How video gaming emerged as a productive lifestyle in 2020

The Streamys are a coveted standard for online content creators because of its unique ‘no voting’ system. The independent judging panel is why Mumbai-based Mithilesh respects the awards show more than others.

He elaborates, “It is not always about the number of followers but about the quality and type of content. Even someone with 1,000 followers can create path-breaking content while someone with one million followers can create mediocre content. It is always the content that should be valued. I would like to see more award organisers practising this system of judging.”

The business of content

To many people even now, it seems to be a crazy notion that one can enjoy a lucrative career making videos on the internet. Mithilesh never forgets that 10 or 15 years ago, there was no space for this, let alone for a whole economy based on it. “No one ever thought that gaming or the creator economy would scale at this level. Bagging an award under the ‘international category’ is a big achievement as the gaming and content creation industry is still at a nascent stage in India. I feel like I am part of something big that has happened in the West and is yet to happen here.”

Also Read | Not just timepass, you can make a lucrative career out of gaming in India

Content creators who want to avoid stagnation often find themselves going down a messy path of pushing out questionable content that could do more harm than good. Not wanting to fall into that, Mithilesh believes in responsible creation and also keeping his fans safe on his channel. “I strongly believe that YouTubers and content creators have to understand their responsibility. We are called ‘influencers’ for a reason, and therefore being mindful of the content that we create is extremely important.”

Age is a huge factor in considering the content type. “Usually, digital creators and especially gamers are watched and followed by an audience set of young and vulnerable age groups. Therefore, it becomes even more important how we react to a situation while playing a game or live streaming with our audiences.”

He sets the bar for himself, he says by creating a personal set of guidelines for his content, apart from abiding by a platform’s community guidelines. “Keeping an eye on the audience demographics and then creating content is the best way to be responsible while being entertaining. While recorded videos allow creators the freedom to go back and edit, one has to be mindful about the language, words, behaviour and gestures while live-streaming. Also, constant learning about objectionable words and slurs is important, so that one doesn’t use them unknowingly.”

Mithilesh, like most Gen Z content creators, observes “robotic promotional content” should be a thing of the past. Now, creators want to be conscious of not just the kind of brand they team up with but also how they promote them; the same attitude lies with brands. “Startups, too, have started investing in content marketing via influencers or content creators. For me, an ‘ideal brand sponsorship’ is where the brand allows me to be as creative as I can. I usually say no when there are lots of restrictions or limitations which hinder my creativity.”

He also has been keen to not just keep his content to video formats; in August, he started The Mythpat Podcast in which he talks about gaming trends, Internet culture, and the creator economy.

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