I am a huge fan of user generated content. I spend more time watching user created videos on YouTube lately than watching actual studio backed scripted television or financed film. There are some truly exciting things that are occurring on YouTube that I think are going criminally unseen by pretty much everybody. So today this induction into the TBK Hall is going to honor my favorite YouTube content creator of all time. As an avid video gamer and the resident Chief of all things gaming here at the site, I like to think that I am firmly entrenched in the culture. I don’t just play games though, I also like to watch people play video games. There’s a whole network of YouTubers who specialize in playing video games whether they be speed runs, retrospectives detailing storied franchises, top 10 lists of their favorite things about gaming, etc.….
The amount of content available to the consumer pertinent to the world of gaming is a vast one and can seem daunting when trying to pick someone who’s work you want to be supportive of or at the very least follow. What I look for in a content creator is someone with passion, personality and knowledge. I want to follow someone who loves what it is that they’re doing and isn’t solely in it for the money to be made. My pick for the Hall is a gentleman who is not only a super passionate video game nerd not unlike myself but is also someone who is, when it comes down to it, an exemplary human being that we should all aspire to be more like. So today, I offer to you the latest induction into the Hall … Jirard “Dragonrider” Kahlil… better known to his fans as… THE COMPLETIONIST.
I’ve been a fan of Jirard’s for the better part of 3 years now. I had stumbled onto his videos one day when searching YouTube content based around Dark Souls II: Scholar of The First Sin. It was my first foray into the series not counting my extremely limited time spent playing Demon’s Souls. If you’re even a passing gamer, you know that From Software is notorious for their games featuring extreme difficulty spikes. This includes such titles as the Dark Souls Trilogy, Bloodborne and more recently Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. I was extremely intimidated by this game and I was in search of some tips and tricks to better augment my play through so that I wasn’t constantly getting my ass kicked. A lot of the content I had found was basic run of the mill generic fluff that really didn’t help in any significant way. When I found The Completionist channel, it opened my whole world up in ways I hadn’t previously thought of. A lot of gamers on YouTube have a penchant for perhaps coming off as slightly “elitist” or their channels not always being inclusive to the widest possible gaming gamut. While watching The Completionist, I felt empowered to not only best a game that I previously thought out of my reach but I felt like I was doing it with a friend. Remember in the days before online play when people would host LAN parties or play 4-way Goldeneye split screen on a barely 28-inch tube tv? The tech sucked at the time but those memories of getting together with your best buds and uniting over who got “got” by the Golden Gun first while running from OddJob will be with you till the end of your days. The sense of community that surrounded something you all cherished together is a really powerful feeling to hold onto. It’s this exact feeling I get every time I watch one of Jirard’s new videos. He imbues all of his content with a heavy mixture of humor and intelligence and plenty of warmth to spare. There is simply nobody like him or his team out there in the YouTube space right now and it’s a damn shame more people aren’t subscribed.
THE COMPLETIONIST, for those who are unaware, is a channel in which Jirard picks a game to play to “completion.” By that, I mean scouring every nook and cranny the game has to offer for every collectible, playthrough and trophy/achievement. Even though you may “beat” a game, there is a stark difference between beating it and completing everything it has to offer. This is where Jirard and his crew come in. Most YouTube channels are happy to deliver standard play through and speed run content, and to be honest there is nothing wrong with that. I have just as much fun watching people play as I do playing the games myself. Where The Completionist team stands apart is that they play a game all the way to its bitter end. Each video runs about 20-40 minutes and acts as both a review of the game itself as well as a diary of the road to completion. These videos are often hysterical, sometimes very emotional but always entertaining. I always walk away from his stuff with not only a bigger appreciation for what he does but a bigger knowledge base for gaming as a whole.
I feel like the artists and creators we follow should be pumping out content that we not only enjoy digesting but should on some level enrich our lives as well. If you can take away from a song or a movie or a YouTube video something that you could use in your every day life that betters you in some way, then that’s the hallmark of something truly special. Jirard’s work on The Completionist and his myriad of other endeavors does just that for me. I don’t think there’s anything that can make me a bigger video game nerd than I already am, but the thing that keeps me coming back to his channel is the humanity behind the voice. The decency of the man behind the creation is the kind of stuff you don’t really hear about in this day and age. The ever-constant news cycle is more opt to bring you the salacious often disparaging details that turn heads. They’re more concerned with the tearing down and destruction of social norms because that’s what sells these days. Decency always seems to take a back seat to opulence.
I love video games and will always love video games, and that was my initial pull into The Completionist. His excitement is as infectious as anything can be. Even for titles that I might not necessarily be interested in playing myself, Jirard has a way of always piquing my interest even if he wasn’t the biggest fan of the stuff he was covering. I’ve watched every video of his I can get my hands on. I also follow his Super Beard Bros channel which leans a little more towards strictly “playthrough” style content. One of my favorite things he has ever done was the multi-part “video thesis” statement on the cultural impact of the original Final Fantasy 7 remake. That video is unfortunately not widely available at the moment due to some legal concerns but if you search hard enough, you’ll find it. He speaks with an unbridled passion for something that I also felt a passion for. He gives voice to a culture that is often looked down upon as a bunch of basement dwelling clowns who never graduated past puberty. Being a gamer can come with a rather nasty stigma from an uneducated populace and It sucks. However, the Dragonrider is here to swoop in and dispel all of those overly blown out preconceived notions.
I genuinely get excited every time my phone goes off with a notification for a new video. It as exciting to me as was watching a new Game of Thrones episode. While my fandom of gaming goes a long way to broaching the kind of world that The Completionist presides over, I would challenge even non gamers to not fall in love with the work that Jirard and his friends are putting in on his channel. In a world of divisiveness, these are people who seek to build a community of inclusiveness and togetherness. This is why I’m putting him in the Hall.
I could fill this article with a boatload of showy analogies and larger than life adjectives when describing Jirard or my fandom of him. Honestly, getting down to brass tacks, it’s just super fucking fun to watch his videos. Yes, my being a gamer also adds to my love for what he does, but like I said earlier that was simply my in to his world. What keeps me coming back is the man behind the channel. I feel it’s my duty as a lover of gaming and a fan of his work to spread the word so that maybe more of the world could be exposed to the great and fun things that he does. Even though he and I have never met and have never spoken, I feel like we’re close friends…. Brothers united by a common love of video games and pop culture. I hope that this article gets seen by as many people possible so that they too will patronize The Completionist and all its related channels and content. He’s a funny, intelligent and sincere individual who adds much needed levity and sunlight into a world that sorely needs it.
Jirard, if you ever read this, know that from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate everything it is that you do and are and I hope you keep going strong. Yours is a unique voice in a sea of many like minded individuals. When we reach the other side of this crisis and the world struggles to find its footing, it’ll be people like you who help prop us up when the strength is fading. Don’t ever change. To my dear TBK readers and patrons… it has been my sincerest pleasure to induct The Completionist into the Hall. If you love video games, are a video gamer or are simply looking for something fun and insightful to watch, give his channel a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.