PewDiePie, or Pewdie is the YouTube alias of Swedish gamer Felix Kjellberg. He is known for his Let’s Play videos, often choosing horror-themed games. As of August 16th, 2013, PewDiePie became the most subscribed YouTube channel of all time, surpassing the previous record held by the sketch comedy duo Smosh since January 2013.
Felix Kjellberg began his YouTube account PewDiePie on April 29th, 2010 with a Minecraft playthrough video showing a zombie that had spawned in a minecart. In the first few months following this video, he began uploading playthroughs of Call of Duty: Black Ops, Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Dead Space 2.
In October 2011, a single topic blog F*ck Yeah PewDiePie was created for fans of his videos, which has gained 2200 followers in the span of 8 months. PewDiePie’s YouTube channel has over 1,400 uploads, including playthroughs of over 40 games and 30 Amnesia custom stories sent in by the fans, 1,000,000 subscribers and fares an average of 253,391 views per day. Outside of YouTube, Pewdie’s Facebook fan page has 195,528 likes, his official forum has 11,000 members and a wiki about his videos has 45 pages. In addition, posts and fanart about PewDiePie appear on Tumblr under the tag “pewdiepie” and there are more than 8700 pieces of fan art for PewDiePie on deviantArt.
Throughout his videos, PewDiePie talks to props in the games as if they were real people. The first character he created was introduced in a run of a custom Amnesia story titled “Abduction,” uploaded to YouTube on April 17th, 2011. In the video, PewDiePie finds a golden statue in a bookshelf and names it Stephano (sometimes spelled Stefano).
Over the course of PewDiePie’s YouTube series, the object gained a fearless personality with a French accent. When PewDiePie is scared or distracted, Stephano advises him to not make noises or complete actions that will alarm enemies. However, he will often place Stephano on the nearest shelf immediately after telling the creature to keep quiet.
A Servant Grunt, one of the monster classes that appear in Amnesia, was given the name “The Bro” in another playthrough of the game. The Bro often appears in PewDiePie fan art and cosplay (below left) as one of his recurring enemy characters in the series. PewDiePie has also named rotting pigs found in Amnesia’s kitchens and cellars “Piggeh,” giving them the personality of a sexual predator that often is found in fan art (below right) as well.
PewDiePie also calls chairs that he throws at enemies in any game “Mr. Chair” and created a fake language called “Chopnese” during a playthrough of “Afraid Of Monsters.”
PewDiePie is also known for hating barrels (below left) that are seen throughout Amnesia, since they create loud noises and attract Servant Grunts. He also considers Teleporting Naked Guys, a type of “jump scare” characters that catches the player off guard in Amnesia custom stories, to be one of his biggest enemies. In one of Pewdie’s videos (shown below, right), a Teleporting Naked Guy apparently startled him so much that he had to close the game and look at pictures of kittens.
On February 1st, 2012, PewDiePie entered the King of the Web contest, a social media competition that awards cash or merchandise prizes to the winners of a weekly competition. After receiving more than a million votes, he was crowned King of the Web on February 29th, 2012. After receiving the cash prize of $6750 in April, he donated the entire amount to the World Wildlife Foundation.
Since then, PewDiePie has also donated over $34,000 dollars to St. Jude Hospital out of funds he recieved from being a YouTube partner (shown below, left). Furthermore, PewDiePie has also encouraged his fans to be active in charity. After gaining 10,000,000 subscribers on YouTube, he posted a video encouraging fans to donate to the charity: water association to provide clean water for developing nations (shown below, right). Though the initial goal was intended to be at least $25,000, the “Bro Army” amassed over $100,000 in the span of two days. PewDiePie would eventually decide to personally donate $1 for every 500 views the video in question recieved.
YouTuber UberHaxorNova began uploading playthrough videos of the flash game Happy Wheels on October 8th, 2011. Months later, when PewDiePie began his series of Happy Wheels videos on February 1st, 2012, fans of the two YouTubers began arguing over whose playthroughs were better, making their cases through user submitted levels in the game, deviantArt polls and fanfiction. In May 2012, PewDiePie contacted UberHaxorNova via Twitter to offer to make a collaboration video.
On March 3rd, 2013, PewDiePie posted a series of collaborative videos with UberHaxorNova, TheCampingTree (“Sp00nerism”), and frequent guest commentator ChaoticMonki (“Cry”). The group played Worms: Revolution in an attempt to end the fanwar.
“Adults React To PewDiePie” Controversy
In 2012, Something Awful Let’s Players slowbeef and Diabetus expressed interest in doing a Retsupurae parody of PewDiePie’s videos due to fan request. The duo claimed that they wanted to do something special with the parody, given PewDiePie’s rapid rise in popularity, though they were also somewhat ambivalent due to concerns that the video would upset the “Bro Army”, and possibly put the channel at risk due to some of YouTube’s policies. PewDiePie eventually gave them a seal of approval in the form of a letter to slowbeef.
slowbeef and Diabetus eventually called on their own fanbase to post comedic reactions to clips of PewDiePie’s content. The resulting video was called “Adults React To PewDiePie”, which was released on October 14th, 2012 (shown below, left). A “worksafe” version of the video (cutting out various reactions alluding to drugs and violence) was released the following day (shown below, right). Both videos were met with largely positive reception from the YouTube community and harshly negative reception from a majority of PewDiePie’s fans. Due to the controversy surrounding the video, “Adults React” became the most watched and liked video on the channel in the span of a few days.
Following the release of the video, fellow Something Awful user General Ironicus posted his own interpretation as to why the video gathered the praise it did, as well as to give a critique to PewDiePie’s fanbase. In addition, slowbeef and Diabetus held a podcast discussing the fallout of the video, opinions concerning PewDiePie himself, and special thanks to those who contributed content. A follow-up podcast discussing Retsupurae-related news, as well as a couple of corrections to the previous podcast, was also posted shortly thereafter.
Eventually, the parody would warrant a response from PewDiePie himself: Pretty funny I’ll admit! :)
But seriously though, have you never heard: “If you don’t like it, then don’t watch it”?
Actually never mind, keep watching! Your extra views gets me extra cash!
This message generated negative responses from both PewDiePie’s fans and Retsupurae’s fans because it implied that he was only concerned with money. In addition, a number of users that watched the video were appalled by his frequent use of the word “rape” as a punch-line, eventually leading to his decision to stop making rape jokes. PewDiePie would later create a video apology for his comment, as well as an apology for any offense taken to the jokes related to rape (shown below).
As of August 2013, the following videos have over 10 million views.
Felix Kjellberg was born on October 24th and lives in Göteborg, Sweden with his dog Maya. On March 28th, 2012, PewDiePie did his first newspaper interview with Swedish site Expressen.se, noting that he was able to make his YouTube channel his full time job and will be moving to Italy with his girlfriend, Marzia Bisognin. Online, Bisognin is known as CutiePie and the couple often appear in videos together. Kjellberg also maintains his own Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter account and deviantArt page. CutiePie, like her boyfriend, has also run for Queen of the Web.