What is a "V-Tuber"?

December 15, 2020-Games JournalismGuides

Over the past several months, a new genre of content has exploded across the internet. Billions of watch hours have been spent observing this curious anomaly, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

The most common form a V-Tuber takes is usually a character visually depicted in a style reminiscent to japanese anime, and usually behaving in a child-like manner.

A camera running facial recognition software detects an actors expressions, and translates them onto a digital avatar, which is either a 3D model, or a 2D image which is distorted to match the actors expression.

Tune into moontaku.com later this week for a tutorial on how to set up your own virtual avatar.

The term "V-Tuber" can be broken down into two parts.

  1. "V" stands for "Virtual", since the characters visual appearances are entirely digital
  2. "Tuber" is a colloquial term for "Potato", due to the simplistic flavor of each V-Tubers character, usually based entirely off of the mannerisms of an average child.

V-Tuber stands for Virtual Potato.

Animal V-Tubers

Possibly the most popular category of V-Tubers is the animal group. In order to achieve an even higher tier of escapism, the characters are further simplified using the behavioral traits of animals.

The idea seems to be that the socially inept audience is unable to even befriend children, and as such, these actors must pretend to be animals in addition to children in order to boost their audiences confidence during interactions.

Shark V-Tuber prepares to make a charged political statement into their camera

V-Tuber MP4s and WebMs

In addition to everything else, you may encounter discord users who religiously post short video clips non stop in various discord servers. It is a common practice among V-Tuber connoisseurs to collect various images and videos of these children in their downloads folders, and attempt to indoctrinate new victims into their favorite V-Tubers fanbase.

Undoubtedly, this Multi-Level-Marketing style structure is the cause of this trends quick growth.

The videos are usually out of context clips of V-Tubers doing something highly specific, like sneezing quietly, having trouble pronouncing a word like "Pepperoni", or getting their diaper changed.

Many clips are also uploaded of V-Tubers publicly shaming their fans after getting a tip from them, the V-Tuber usually says that their fan will never meet the love of their life, or get a job.

Unfortunately V-Tuber fans don't seem to want to stop posting their MP4s. Similar to conspiracy theorists, alternative medicine, or multi level marketers, the only way to stop them is to ignore them long enough or ban them from posting.

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