I don’t remember exactly how I first came across Random Butler’s YouTube channel, besides seeing a video from it in the “Related Videos” sidebar when I was watching something else, and while I can’t say I know much about YouTube’s algorithm for selecting “Related Videos” I suspect the sheer number of videos on the channel helped it get in my window. Since creating his YouTube account on April 24, 2006, Butler has uploaded 1,219 videos—an average of about one a day. And while there are many YouTube users who maintain frequently updated vlogs, Butler’s is the only one I’ve encountered that shifts the video diary’s role from an emotional outlet to a creative one. Instead of focusing on the user’s persona, it presents a direct record of what he sees and what goes on in his inner world. Butler has pointed his web cam at the television as he wins Zelda, and uploaded several “multimedia messages” that show views of a computer screen or out a car window, taken on a Nokia 6102. In recent months, he has been uploading fewer web cam and cell phone videos and spending more time on experiments that distort clips from games and cartoons. A favorite source has been King of the Hill. Like any diary, Butler’s YouTube channel is composed of incremental fragments and best considered as a whole, but nonetheless, I’ll offer a few highlights here.
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by Elvia Wilk on Feb 18th, 2015