×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Untold Truth Of The Game Theorists

Original content on YouTube is relatively hit or miss most of the time. Gaming channels can be as simplistic as a livestream with voice over, or as involved as a 40-minute video detailing theories about Five Nights at Freddy's that took weeks to research and piece together. Both formats have their pros and cons, but viewers have to be impressed with the amount of work that goes into those in-depth channels.

Matthew Patrick (aka MatPat), the founder of YouTube channel The Game Theorists, takes research, dedication, and attention to detail to a whole new level. Watching any of his videos makes it clear that hours upon hours of work goes into each one of his theories. He covers everything from why Mario might actually be Communist propaganda, to what might be inside a Companion Cube. But the originality of his channel also makes viewers wonder, what kind of mind comes up with these sometimes far-fetched theories?

While most avid gamers hear the name MatPat and recognize it for his FNAF theories or his videos on the React channel, there's a lot more to our favorite theorist than most know.

MatPat scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT

Watching any of MatPat's theory videos automatically clues viewers into the fact that he analyzes media way more than a casual fan. Each theory video pieced together takes at least 100 hours of work. But to come up with the ideas for the videos in the first place, someone would need not only dedication, but the smarts to think outside the box.

It's clear that MatPat is a smart individual. There's a reason he refers to his show as "The smartest show in gaming." But just how smart he is might not be quite as well known. Matthew Patrick managed to score a 1600 on his SAT. That's a perfect score. While musical theater was his passion, he also excelled at math, science, and other areas of study. The combination of these skills are what make The Game Theorists a channel that stands out from the crowd. It's clear that this intelligence is put to good use in his thorough videos.

He double majored in neuroscience and musical theater

It only makes sense that someone smart enough to get a perfect score on the SAT would probably do well in college. Before starting his Game Theorists channel, MatPat attended Duke University where he double majored in neuroscience and musical theater; two majors that seem on opposite ends of the spectrum. He also met his wife Stephanie in a video game programming class at Duke where the two made a Legend of Zelda parody called The Epic of Stu.

After graduating, MatPat moved to New York to pursue his love of musical theater and acting. He toured in shows for two years before deciding he wasn't advancing like he wanted to in the field. Since MatPat had been banking on musical theater being his life and wasn't seriously considering going into neuroscience (his other major), he began applying to many creative companies, looking for some way to utilize his various skills. This led him to the idea of creating The Game Theorists.

He created The Game Theorists to combine his love of gaming, acting, math, and teaching others in interesting ways

Feeling that you're meant to do one thing in your life, only to realize that that thing might not pan out can be a crushing blow to anyone's life plan. But sometimes, out of the adversity, something even better is born. Though MatPat did receive some success in New York and was able to tour with a few shows, he soon realized that he'd never have the success he'd hoped for in the theater. He also realized that making a living in that line of work was difficult. Because of this, MatPat tried to find a way to marry his passions into something marketable.

The Game Theorists arose from MatPat's desire to be creative while still utilizing his aptitude for math and science. Thinking that there was a market for smart content regarding video games, he created a channel where he would use real world science and math to prove that various outlandish theories in video games could actually be true. With this, he managed to achieve his goal of creating entertaining content that also educated viewers without being outright lectures. It was a way to make learning fun and relatable.

MatPat utilized his various skills to create Theorist Media

After MatPat found so much success with his YouTube channel The Game Theorists, he decided he could put all of the knowledge he had learned on his own to good use helping others. In 2013, MatPat began working with Defy Media as their head of audience development. There, he used his analytical skills to help grow viewership for the company, while still working as a consultant with other YouTube channels. During this time in 2013, MatPat's consulting company Theorist Media was born.

Theorist Media originally worked closely with Defy Media, but over time, the company grew its list of clients to include many independent brands. By 2016, MatPat's consulting services had become so popular that they had a full client roster and even represented many Fortune 500 companies from around the nation.

MatPat met Pope Francis to discuss dealing with haters

With great power comes great responsibility, including in the influence that YouTube stars have over their fans and viewers. Reaching millions of different people daily, what a content creator says will influence those viewers for the good or the bad.

In 2016 MatPat and nine other YouTube celebrities met with Pope Francis in Vatican City. The purpose of the meeting was for the Pope to remind the YouTube stars just how much influence their words and actions have on those around them. He advised the celebrities to use their influence for good and even handed out some helpful advice about how to deal with those who would try to bring you down.

While learning from the Pope, MatPat gave the ecclesiastical leader a copy of the video game Undertale, stating that the theme of the game would be very symbiotic to Pope Francis' message. 2016 was the year that Francis was focusing especially on forgiveness and compassion; MatPat felt that these were attributes portrayed throughout the whole of Undertale.

His years of musical theater led him to appear in game-themed musicals

Even if musical theater didn't quite work out the way MatPat had hoped, that didn't mean that he never used those skills again. In fact, MatPat has appeared in many YouTube videos that showcase his vocal talent. He's even appeared in a few gaming-related musicals on YouTube.

In 2016 YouTube channel Random Encounters, a channel known for creating gaming musicals, made a Five Nights at Freddy's musical. This entertaining interpretation of the famous Scott Cawthon game starred well-known influencers Markiplier and Nathan Sharp. The surprise guest at the end of the musical was MatPat, who got to take part in a musical rendition of the game that has been MatPat's biggest success and biggest headache over the years.

A year after the Five Nights at Freddy's musical, Random Encounters made another musical starring MatPat and his vocal talents. Based on the indie hit game Bendy and the Ink Machine, the Bendy and the Ink Musical was created, starring MatPat as the title character. With the success both of these videos have seen, it most likely won't be long before MatPat and Random Encounters team up again.

He and Rosanna Pansino appeared together in Escape the Night

Collaboration is a major aspect of growing your brand and growing your viewership. This is why the frequent collaborations between MatPat and Nerdy Nummies' Rosanna Pansino have worked out so well. At first, the two began working together on the cooking show that Pansino uses to create nerdy and delicious pieces of edible art. Over time, however, the collaboration has expanded into other outlets.

YouTube Red original series Escape the Night is a show starring Joey Graceffa where he brings together a group of famous internet personalities into a murder mystery-type situation. The participants team up to solve various mysteries and puzzles but at the end of each episode, two or more of the players must compete against each other, the loser facing a fictional death. In Season 3 of Escape the Night, MatPat appeared as a detective while Pansino portrayed the jetsetter. This series not only brought both parties more exposure, but helped solidify Patrick and Pansino as a collaboration made in heaven.

MatPat also has a channel called The Film Theorists, and a YouTube Red series called MatPat's Game Lab

Part of staying relevant in the information age is being able to diversify your portfolio into many different branches and interests. This is something MatPat has been able to recognize and execute, thanks to his analytical mind.

Not only does MatPat run the hugely successful YouTube channel The Game Theorists, but he also heads two other projects on YouTube. His channel The Film Theorists, as one can probably guess by the title, is in the same vein as The Game Theorists, though the bulk of his content focuses on movies and television. This channel helps to keep his content separate for those only interested in one or the other, while still being connected enough to cross-promote the content to his viewers on each channel.

As of 2018, MatPat has also teamed up with YouTube to create his own YouTube Red series, MatPat's Game Lab. In this series, MatPat tries various video game tasks, achievements, and scenarios in the real world. Much like Game Theory where he uses real-world science and math to explain video games, MatPat's Game Lab lets MatPat put the theories to use in a practical application. The first episode of Game Lab is one particularly endearing to Game Theory fans, as MatPat and other YouTube stars live out a real-life Five Nights at Freddy's simulation.

MatPat and Scott Cawthon have a friendly virtual cold war going on over FNAF

Though MatPat's channel has theories on numerous games, the game he's most famous for covering is Scott Cawthon's Five Nights at Freddy's. Patrick's extensive and in-depth analysis of this franchise has given him a bit of a monopoly on that corner of the YouTube market.

MatPat's coverage of the FNAF franchise is so popular that the game's creator, Scott Cawthon, not only knows about MatPat, but has had a bit of a friendly cold war going on with the YouTuber. It's become almost an inside joke among FNAF fans that mere days after MatPat releases a new theory video detailing an idea that takes a painstaking amount of work to execute, Scott Cawthon will release new information about his beloved FNAF that totally and completely contradicts MatPat's theory.

The friendly trolling war has become so involved, that Scott Cawthon has actually written messages referencing MatPat's theory videos in the source code of his site. He's even made comments on Reddit under the name Animdude, about how MatPat has gotten the closest of anyone in figuring out all the secrets FNAF has to hide. It seems like this ongoing battle is both a blessing and a curse for MatPat.

MatPat is one of the very few successful gaming YouTubers who have been dubbed "family friendly"

On YouTube, quality gaming content and clean language don't always go hand in hand. In fact, oftentimes the opposite is true. Gamers are known for their unpredictable language while filming, especially during horror game playthroughs where being startled can bring out the most candid in anyone.

Though MatPat hasn't taken a stance against foul language or even pioneered the cause of gaming channels that can be watched by all ages, he has inadvertently become someone that has earned the title of "family friendly". Because MatPat's theory videos are heavily scripted, recorded, and edited, it makes it easy for him to keep the content parent-approved, but even his live playthrough videos are without any f-bombs in sight. Because of this, MatPat has been able to capture a wider demographic than most gamers, effectively breaking down the walls keeping young gamers from watching gameplay on YouTube. This combined with the positive attitude of his videos has given MatPat something that sets him apart in the world of online video.