It may seem like being a “Let’s Player” on YouTube is the easiest job in the world. All you have to do is record yourself playing videos games and talking about them, right? Though that’s certainly a big part of it, there’s a more intricate process that goes into the making of these videos. Mark Fischbach, aka Markiplier on YouTube, talked to Rhett & Link about what “Let’s Playing” really entails on “Ear Biscuits.”
Fischbach may have a more demanding schedule than other Let’s Players on YouTube since he puts out two videos a day, seven days a week. His release times for roughly the past year have been 8am and 12pm, meaning he has to rise early to get the videos prepped and uploaded on time. Fischbach tends not make videos in advance, so he’s literally playing games every day, editing and polishing as he goes.
On the day of this “Ear Biscuit,” for example, Fischbach woke up at 4:30am (he had “accidentally” taken the previous day off) because he had to record both of his daily videos prior to the 8am release due to some doctors’ appointments scheduled for later. That’s a lot of work, as Fischbach described. “I don’t have an editor; I’m a team of one,” he said. “I do all the scouting for games, I do the boarding, and then I do the editing afterwards. It’s kind of an endeavor, but everyday it’s just an interesting adventure.”
Working hard seven days a week does get tiring, of course. “I’ve built my life around this schedule, but I’m going to have to get ahead of it at some point, because otherwise I’m going to lose my mind.”
In the meantime, Fischbach may lose his mind for other reasons. He’s played some very dark games, such as a suicide scenario simulator and even an ISIS simulator (the latter was too disturbing and terrible to put on his YouTube page). “You’ve got to take risks,” Fischbach explained when it comes to trying new games, and he finds it important to stay up to date, playing the newest, most interesting games as they become available, and not just ones from major publishers (the ISIS one certainly wasn’t).
Fischbach’s bent for discovery also helps keep his videos authentic. “I like to go into games completely blind,” he said. He does this to avoid putting “anything fake” on his YouTube channel. After all, it’s hard to fake a reaction to a game you’re experiencing for the first time. Also separating him out from the masses of Let’s Players is Fischbach’s hesitancy to make lots of jump cuts to the more exciting parts of his videos. To him, every part of a new game is exciting. “I’ve always found that people like the whole experience,” Fischbach said. Of course, he’ll cut out moments where he gets lost and derails the flow of the game or is totally silent. However, Fischbach isn’t often totally silent.
“I’m very good at talking — that’s my one skill,” he attested. Listen to Fischbach elaborating on that skill (he’s got a top notch radio voice) and explaining the art of the Let’s Play video on “Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link.”
An earlier version of this article misspelled Mr. Fischbach’s last name. That has been corrected; we regret the error.