On April 8th, YouTube channel The Game Theorists uploaded a video about Persona 4 entitled 'Game Theory: Persona's LOST Shadow... FOUND!'. The premise itself, raised a few eyebrows throughout the Persona community, but that's not where the problem is. In this article we won't be talking about the game, but rather how MatPat approached the video and angered so many people. If your interested in what was wrong with his evidence and the theory overall, the video below goes through it point by point, however, it does have spoilers for most of the Persona series.
MatPat starts of the video differently than he usually does, in the first 15 seconds, he makes out that the games don't make sense as a whole, and that the fans of the game won't like his video. It comes across as very attacking, which caused a lot of people who enjoy these games to come into the video and expect it to be bad, basically because MatPat said it will be. His mentioning of the series lore overall is unnecessary because the entire video focuses on a single game. He then goes on to say even though its a theory that might not make sense, don't poke holes in it, which defeats the whole purpose of a theory. After this he mentions that he doesn't think the video will do well, due to the nature of the video, stating that it will be de-monitized, repeating that the fans won't like it and that no one else will watch it. This comes across like he didn't want to make the video, which makes it feel rushed and like he made it for no reason. At the time of writing however the video has 1.4 million views and a good like to dislike video, which tells me that most of the views in fact did come from people who hadn't played Persona 4. Interestingly enough you can find the answer to the question who is Yu's shadow by googling 'Yu's Shadow' and going to images.
Why Everyone Got Mad
Like i said earlier, MatPat came across aggressive and put anyone who played the game on the defensive by effectively insulting them, even if it was a joke. This lead a lot of viewers to find problems with the video; He called a character the wrong name, ignored other sources of canon lore for Persona 4 & calling two thing address in his video 'two great mysteries' despite the fact the game solves them, just to name a few. A lot of the people I saw talking about the video however, already had a distaste for MatPat, since he comes across as corporate, and the personality he shows in his videos seems condescending. On a side note, a lot of people think he rushed this video to be out in time of the Persona 5 Anime release. Of course he continues to insult the series and fans throughout the video, which doesn't help his case, and because of his fan base, anyone who gave him legitimate criticism, angrily or otherwise, were swarmed with comments like 'LOL looks like you were right again MatPat!' which only serves to make the fans of the series angrier since they are now arguing with brick walls. To make this even worse, MatPat's initial reaction, which has now been taken down, flamed people with criticism and set his crusaders out for blood.
I'd just like to say that no matter how hard I look i couldn't find the first comment he referenced, despite it apparently being half of them. Obviously, people were not happy about this. A few communities I'm apart of started making memes about it, others were banning people for bringing it up entirely. Later, this comment was replaced with a legitimate apology;
I'm not going to go into this in great detail, since a lot of people already have, and a lot of it comes across as if he's trying to say 'it's not my fault' which is ridiculous, but I will admit this is much better than his initial response. If you want to know what's wrong with it, here is someone explaining it.
The Lesson to Learn From This
- Make sure to do your research
- Check with fans where you should be looking, you don't need to tell them what your doing for this
- Don't insult your target audience, especially if you aren't sure how credible your work is
- Take time to make quality content, don't rush half finished things for views/clicks
- Don't take theories so seriously
- Don't defend a content creator, this isn't your job, if they deserve criticism, let them have it otherwise they won't get better, this applies to games as well
- Like what you like, don't let other peoples opinions drastically change yours
What do you think? Was MatPat's video as fundamentally flawed as it seems? Or was it a victim of a rushed development? Let me know in the comments.