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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The New YouTube Gaming Site - A Quick Review

Today I received an interesting email from YouTube. It seems YouTube has a new website just for gamers.
So of course I clicked on the link (https://gaming.youtube.com/) and had a look at it. Here's what I found.


This looks a more than a little like the layout for Twitch. I suppose there are only so many ways to present a live stream with menu choices, but they might have been a little more circumspect about it. We'll see if Amazon has any qualms about it.

The first thing I noticed was this screen did not default to my game account. Before Google decided to tie everything to Google Plus, I had a Google Plus account and a YouTube account, Mabrick's Movies. This is showing my Google Plus account. Mabrick's Movies is now a page under my Google Plus main account. Fortunately Google quickly realized the errors of their ways with by trying to force the integration of both accounts, so for most of the Google Plus years I have been able to choose which account I wanted by clicking on the profile picture. This new site is no different. When you click on your profile picture you can choose what account you want to see by clicking on Switch accounts.


After switching to my gamer account under Mabrick's Movies, I still had the same screen as above with a different profile. As you can see, there are a bunch of Google selected channels down the right side of the screen. These are not my favorite channels, but it is easy to bring all your subscriptions into the new site. Just click on Import from YouTube (the plus with a circle around it in the contracted menu) when you have the profile selected from which you want to import. You will then be presented with your subscription list. Select the star to the right of each one you want to import. Then click Done at the bottom of the list. Once complete your subscriptions will show in the right side navigation strip.



The left side navigation strip starts off with ten Trending Games. Below trending games are 50 Popular Games. From these lists you can build a favorites list of games above the trending list by clicking on the start next to the game you want to add.


There is another way to add games and channels to the appropriate navigation strip. Using the search box at the top of the page, just enter the game you want to see. For example, World of Warships is not trending or popular, so I did a search for it. Here's the result.



Clicking the star next to Add puts the game in the My Games list in the left strip. Live broadcasts have the Live annotation in the lower right corner. Other channels are standard YouTube channels. There are several menu options above the channel listings which are self-explanatory. However, there are some undocumented behaviors I've noticed of which you should be aware.

If you are Exploring, channels in your My Channels list will show up more frequently than others, even though there is a separate My Channels menu item. At least that is my experience when I click Explore. As a test I brought up the posts for Minecraft. I only have one person I subscribe to and she plays it infrequently. The showed up three times in the first eight channels. I don't think that was really a random draw there. I don't know if that's by design or a mistake, but knowing Google they just had to leverage all that big data they have.

If you want to see new channels you'll have to use one of the three Popular options. However, this will not show you channels which may be diamonds in the rough, and it still seems to cater to your My Channels list more than it should. This makes finding new channels a bit difficult, but I suppose YouTube has always been that way.

To add a channel to your right side strip, you must go to that channel. There is an Add star on the lower right side of the video window. This works pretty much just like a subscription. Be advised, all the AutoPlay options are once again set to on. That is truly, truly annoying. Thanks Google.

And that's my quick and dirty on the new YouTube gaming site. Let me know what you think if it in the comments. Cheers!

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