Summoning Salt’s Videos Make Me Care About Games I Never Thought I Would

There’s no YouTuber I have my channel notifications on for. I watched a lot when I was a teenager, sat in front of the family PC in the lounge, headphones on while my parents watched EastEnders and Coronation Street. Getting my first smartphone was revolutionary. I could finally watch YouTube videos in bed, as late as I wanted – as long as I pretended to be asleep any time my mum peeked her head in to make sure I wasn’t still awake. Still, no matter how much I loved the platform, I never saw it as anything more than a way to fill my spare time.

There are a few channels I regularly keep up with, butI’ll go through phases where I’ll binge one person for a week and then move on to the next. I’ll get dragged back in when one of their videos pops up on my homepage, while most have been lost to the annals of internet history. Probably for the best. I haven’t unsubscribed from anyone since I made the account when I was a tween, so who knows what cringe-inducing horrors rest in that video graveyard.

All this changed once I discovered Summoning Salt, or should I say when Summoning Salt discovered me? His videos are all about the history of speedruns, and no YouTuber has managed to invest me in a game so quickly. I’m not even a fan of speedrunning, and yet the second Summoning Salt posts a video and that notification pops up on my phone screen, it’s all I can think about.

He’s the only channel I’ve hit that bell icon for, because I simply must know about the history of Mega Man 2 world records, even though I’ve never touched Mega Man in my life beyond battling him in Smash Bros. There’s a tension and drama weaved throughout his scripts that keep me hooked. It’s remarkably effective, especially considering the retro, homely aesthetics of the videos themselves. It doesn’t feel like anything more than a man offering his passions to the world, and yet millions of us watch every single thing he puts out, no matter how obscure the game or specific the level.

If you look through his channel, you’ll see he started out as a speedrunner himself, posting his best times of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. It makes sense then, that the first speedrunning history video he put up is on that game. As a journalist, I’ve heard of the game, sure, but it’s because of Summoning Salt I care about it. I’d never heard of Super Punch-Out, but after 54 minutes of gasping at every new strategy, significant improvement of the world record, or surprising new contender, I know more about it than many childhood favourites of mine.

Even if you think you couldn’t care less about how fast people can beat Wii Sports Resort Golf, trust me, you are wrong. Click subscribe, hit that bell icon, and take a deep dive into one of the best YouTube channels out there.

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