Let's Play Wiki

Welcome to the Let's Play Wiki

What is a Let's Play?

A Let's Play (LP) is a video or series of videos in which the author records gameplay of a video game, while providing commentary in the form of an informal and ideally entertaining chat with the intended audience. The goal is to provide the easiest gameplay experience, so that the viewer doesn't need to own the game itself, any hardware (or emulator), or even go through the effort of actually playing; while also giving the chance for the author to enhance further the experience by providing expert insight about the game's knowledge, secrets, production, franchise, backstory, etc. or just otherwise by making jokes or witty commentaries.

Despite all the hard work of researching, planning, executing and otherwise producing a "Let's Play" worthy of being watched, most games considered to be classics have multiple LPs easily accessible on streaming video sites such as YouTube.

Let's Play Types

The emerging Let's Play community is constantly coming up with new ways and variations on how to do their videos. Here we try to categorize and explain different modes of LP-recording. In most cases LPs that use any of the variations below state so by using the respective words in it's videos' titles.

  • Blind: A blind LP is one in which the author is playing the game for the first time as he records the videos. This has the advantage of capturing more spontaneous reactions (say, in a horror game where the player doesn't know what to expect) at the cost of the author making more mistakes, getting stuck at certain points, etc. Non-blind LPs usually are richer in information, as the authors usually have more knowledge about the game itself, while doing any kind of pre-recording research would defeat the purpose of doing a blind LP. This type of LP is also easier to record as there is no preparation or planning involved save configuring and testing the recording software.
  • Let's Play Together: This is when there are two or more players and/or commentators recording the LP - who could be playing a multiplayer game or simply recording a single-player game together in order to add more entertainment value through dialogue, also possibly having more game-related knowledge as opposed to that of a single person in a solo LP.
  • Let's Quickly Play: While normal LPs try to be comprehensive, if not perfect, runs, a quick LP aims at finishing the game in a decreased amount of time, at the cost of missing parts of the game and/or less in-depth analysis and study of it. While this might seem easier on the author, it may require as much or more preparation than a normal LP in order to find the shortest path to beat the game. This type of LP is preferred by viewers who don't have as much time (or patience) to watch normal LPs, which can be as long as 40 hours of video. This can be seen as speedruns accompanied by commentary.
  • Versus: A type of Let's Play in which two commentators come together to play a game to a race to the finish. The videos are usually set up and edited so that there are two screens in the video that show each players progress, as well as a HUD that shows each commentator's progress.
  • Lettuce Play: An LP in which the author(s) take a decidedly non-serious tone, often using gimmicks for extra comedy effect. 
  • You Play: An LP in which audience participation reigns supreme, and the LP author acts only as a "conduit" for the desires and decisions of the audience.
  • Let's Break: This kind of LP involves the specific use of exploits, glitches, bugs, and other technical avenues within the game as well as optimal strategies to essentially "break" the game, producing unexpected or powerful results. Let's Break-stye LPs are almost always informative, and often have crossover with the speedrunning community (which is the source of many LP glitches). 

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Let's Play Cooking Mama Cook Off 1 Minestrone (Madame Wario)

Madame Wario cooks up a storm in the game Cooking Mama Cook Off!

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