Web Video / Game Theory (Web Show)
aka: Game Theory

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"Hello, Internet. Welcome to Game Theory."

Game Theory is a comedy web series created by Matthew Patrick, where he engages in Wild Mass Guessing by analyzing video games to provide answers on a wide variety of questions, from scientifically determining if something in a video game could be achieved in real life (example: could someone survive being headshot a la Fallout: New Vegas?) to tackling some of gaming's biggest questions (example: what is the Pyro's gender?) to some game changing accusations. (example: should Dr. Light be considered a villain?) The show is accompanied by pictures and diagrams, which often aid with what he is saying, or they are just there for visual puns. There are a lot of puns.

On June 2nd, 2015, MatPat created another channel named The Film Theorists which has a Spin-Off to Game Theory, which is called Film Theory. It tackles theories on not only the subject of film, but television shows as well. Other related shows on the channel include Did You Know Movies (a spin-off of Did You Know Gaming?) and Frame By Frame (which examines film techniques used by famous directors).

On September 14, 2015, MatPat created yet another channel, GTLive, which posts live streams of Matt and Stephanie playing video games.

In 2016, MatPat started another show called Game Lab. This series is similar to Mythbusters by having MatPat going on camera to test the episode's topics. The series is currently exclusive to the subscription-based Youtube Red with the pilot episode available for free.

Game Theory is a part of the Game Theorists, a group of game-based shows that analyze video games for a certain reason. See "Game Exchange" and "Digressing And Sidequesting". Not to be confused with the fanfic of the same name. Nor should it be confused with the study of strategic decision making.


Tropes found in Game Theory:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Touched upon in his War Thunder Tanks video when he finally reveals a real life attribute that is not accurately represented in the game (that being the very significant rates at which the real tanks break down just from locomotion without even seeing combat), only to then state that the developers did spend some time deliberating as to whether or not they should add that trait into the game and ultimately decided that having your tank cripplingly malfunction at random was not fun.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Downplayed, lampshaded, and later subverted here.
    "The Binding of Isaac. Man, this game is depressing, disturbing, dark, even some adjectives that don't start with D, like uh… baffling, obtuse, just plain weird."
  • Adorkable: MatPat himself. The entire show resolves around analyzing video games. It was bound to happen.
  • All Just a Dream: One of his final FNAF theories suggests that the entire tetralogy is the coma-induced nightmares of the fourth game's protagonist.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Hoo boy. invoked
    • Princess Peach is actually paying Bowser to kidnap her.
    • In a two-part episode, he described Mario as an animal abuser, misogynist, sadist, and mass murderer.
    • He theorizes that The Angry Video Game Nerd (the character, not James Rolfe, who plays him) has a serious mental condition.
    • In his Toad's Deadly Secret episode, he proposes that Peach is the true Big Bad of the Mario franchise, using her parasitic followers to run the goombas out of their native homeland, with Bowser as the tragic, reluctant Big Good just trying to combat a parasitic threat.
    • Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2 already got a decent amount from fans, but Matt also theorizes that Jack actually has borderline personality disorder and gives examples meeting 7 of the 9 criteria.
    • Bowser's habit of kidnapping Peach is actually an attempt to give his son and seven adopted children the complete family Bowser wishes he'd had growing up.
    • In his analysis of Until Dawn, he comes to the conclusion that Josh has been experiencing poor mental health care, and, based off his symptoms, should be treated for schizophrenia.
    • In general, he does a lot of this in his videos. Of course, not many people like when he tries to do that.
  • And Ninety Nine Cents: Coincidentally, his calculations for the cost of Minecrafts Diamond Armor and New Super Mario Bros. 2's Gold Banzai Bills both end with 98 cents.
  • Angrish: Says this out during the Humans are Pokémon theory, during his reaction to the Wheel of Gaming's flipper lands on "Pokémon" the third time.
  • Animation Lead Time:
    • The likely reason why he posted his Five Nights at Freddy's video (theorizing that Mike Schmidt is the murderer, that the evil animatronics don't exist, and that the entire game is his guilt-ridden nightmares in his final days on death row) two days after the trailer and Steam greenlight information for the sequel rendered it impossible. He seems to have since quietly abandoned the theory entirely and makes no mention of it at all in his Five Nights at Freddy's 2 video.
    • It happened again with the same franchise when Part One of what was supposed to be a unified, loose-ends-tied-up theory for the trilogy went up 24 hours before the creator confirmed Five Nights at Freddy's 4.
  • Armor Is Useless: In the Minecraft episode, diamond armor turns out be Awesome, but Impractical. Sure, it looks awesome, but it would weigh about 1100 lbs (over 500 kilograms)… and because of the fact that it would be very easy to cut the armor by slicing it along 90–degree planes relative to the surface of the armor, due to the diamond's cleavages (that all crystals also have), making it easier to slice through the hard armor, you would risk wasting a few billion dollars when hit with a sword.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • In the episode "Video Games Predict YOUR FUTURE!":
    • In Watch_Dogs 2, he mentions how hackers can shut down your car, black out power grids, and slightly increase your home temperature, making it really hard to sleep.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Matt pointed out that the ingredients for human transmutation do not match up with the actual mass of elements found in the body as well as the cardinal sin of scientific calculations — inconsistent measurement units (going between grams and kilograms in the same list).
  • Artistic License – Law: Zig-zagged - In MatPat's video about Ace Attorney, he starts off looking at it from the perspective of the US courts. The Ace Attorney series' legal system is based on the Japanese one, with elements of the US system. Since he brings this up part way through, and debunks his previous points, it's clear that he did it on purpose to add a twist. However, he then goes on to accuse Phoenix of tampering with the crime scene in 'Turnabout Sisters' despite the fact that he disclosed all of his actions to Gumshoe and so wouldn't get in trouble.
  • Ass Shove: The line "Let's diagnose" in the AVGN episode is accompanied by a picture of the host giving the Nerd a prostate exam.
  • Author Tract: The Wii U-centric theories are this regarding MatPat's opinions on the console, although a more obvious example would be the sociopathic Mario theory.
  • Berserk Button:
    • YouTuber "The JWittz", having done 375 videos about Pokémon at the time, was furious when MatPat complained to him about having to do more than six Pokemon videos.
    JWittz: Six? SIX? Try three-hundred and seventy-five! Video after video, week after week. Creepy Pokémon, cool Pokémon, sexy Pokémon, weak Pokémon. Pokémon games, Pokémon manga, Pokémon CARDS. Blue, red, white, black, X & Y? PURPLE!? I can't talk without saying Pokémon puns anymore!
  • Big Bad Friend: The theory posted that Phone Guy is the Golden Freddy Murderer after seeing Five Nights at Freddy's 2. Despite Five Nights at Freddy's 3 supposedly refuting that theory, he instead managed to solidify his theory with it, though the "Golden Freddy" part is disproven.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Invoked. MatPat calls Scott Cawthon out on making the key-pad tiles in Five Nights at Freddy's 3.
      MatPat: Scott, seriously? Seriously, Scott? Oh look! Here's a wall. Let me just dial in my phone number. Beep boop boop beep boop boop! What?! When did we jump from a point-and-click horror game to magical fantasy? This thing is like Platform 9 and 3/4, I expected Harry effin' Potter to Apparate into Pirate's Cove or something.
    • After FNAF2 was announced, MatPat never brought up his FNAF1 Theory.
  • Big "NO!": Suffers one in the Stinger for the second half of the part two of his FNAF 3 video when he learns how Five Nights at Freddy's 4 was announced just a day after posting the first part of the video.
  • Boom, Headshot: There's a scientific look into how the Courier survived their headshot. Long answer: Yes, but only under certain conditions and the Courier likely wouldn't be the same afterwards. Short answer: Doesn't matter, because Benny actually fired twice, with the second aimed at the temple, aka the squishiest, most vulnerable part of the head.
  • Break the Cutie: Matpat's experience with Five Nights At Freddy's became this as he spoke fondly of the lore in his FNAF 2 episode but he jokingly states under the title of the playlist "All the theories on Five Nights at Freddy's, FNAF 2, FNAF 3, and FNAF 4, AKA: Why MatPat has developed an anxiety disorder".
  • Butt-Monkey: Ronnie of Digressing and Sidequesting is frequently mocked in Game Theory videos and end slates.
  • Call-Back:
  • Cannot Tell a Joke:
    • Happens in the "Surviving the Assassin's Creed Leap of Faith" Episode after disproving its chance of survival. Which also somehow involves the AC world's gravity being greater than ours.
    MatPat: Leap of faith? Hah! They wish they had the chance! More like tumble of… fatigue. I don't know, I can't come up with any good punchlines this week.
    It's really just a little baby moon, little moon-in-training, Goodnight Moon, Moon Jr… Junior Mints, Moon Over Miami, moon, moon… there's a joke here, and I can't figure it out.
  • Catchphrase Interruptus:
  • Critical Research Failure: invoked MatPat claims that Scott Cawthon did not do proper research when creating Five Nights at Freddy's 4 in regards to frontal lobe damage and its effects on dreams specifically nightmares.note 
  • Crossover: There are a number of guests that appear in various episodes.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: MatPat was extremely pleased to appear in YouTube's 2015 rewind for "a glorious 22 frames, 0.92 seconds".
  • Dead All Along:
    • The center of the Link is Dead episode.
    • Rosalina Unmasked suggests this of Princess Peach, or at least an alternate version of her as well.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Hello, Neighbor! theory is that the Neighbor is committing unholy rituals with victims trapped in his basement as payment for whatever he got in exchange for such a deal.
  • Demythtification: Does this to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He gives real world answers as to how the poisoned apple worked how Snow White woke up instead of magic and the power of love.
  • Deus ex Machina: Repeatedly lampshaded in the Composite Superman episode.
  • Drunk on Milk: Well, more like "addicted to milk", in the Candy Crush Saga episode he claims to have an addiction to Diet Coke.
    • Has reached the Running Gag status by now. "#NotSponsored, #JustAnAddict."
  • Early Installment Weirdness: MatPat says outright that the show was inspired by Extra Credits, and before he found his own voice, artifacts of that style can be seen in the presentation.
  • Epileptic Trees: invokedThe whole purpose of his theories.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: invokedIn many theories, MatPat uses obvious or supposed symbolism as evidence.
  • Expy: The speculative theory on Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is that the game's recurring enemy The Blighters, are modeled after various real world London gangs of the time such as the Elephant and Castle Mob and Forty Elephants Gang.
  • Fake Boobs: There is an entire episode about which video game characters have fake breasts and which ones have natural breasts.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The satire before the FNAF video.
  • Fetish: When The JWittz rants about all the different types of Pokémon he's made videos about, he mentions "Sexy Pokemon". MatPat promptly types the phrase into Google.
  • Freudian Excuse: Part of the "Bowser's Broken Home" theory posts that Bowser is villainous because he grew up an orphan, using real world studies regarding criminals with parentless upbringing.
  • Freudian Slip: Matt sure has a hard time saying "Kremcroc."
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: MatPat actually apologizes for saying the word "poop" in one episode. This "Political Correctness" hasn't been quite received well by other people.
  • Happily Married: To his wife Stephanie.
  • Hive Mind: The Zerg episode focuses on the functions of a hive mind, or swarm intelligence, and goes on to theorize that humans operate on the same mentality as the Zerg thanks to the Internet.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Subverted. While PeanutButterGamer interrupts an episode about Majora's Mask (MatPat blames a YouTube glitch), it's by no means hostile, or even intentionalnote  on PBG's part.
    • In fact, the only real moments of hostility (if you can call it that) are when PBG jumps the gun and trys to say "A Game Theory!" before the proper point.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: At the beginning of the boobs episode, he sings a song of these to the tune of Offenbach's "Orpheus In The Underworld Overture".note 
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: MatPat has a cat named Skips, though he also nicknames it CatPat in the livestream.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: If you saw the thumbnail for the second part of the Rosalina Unmasked theory before watching the first, then Princess Peach being Dead All Along won't come as much of a surprise to you.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: MatPat acts terrified in the satirical beginning of the Five Nights at Freddy's episode, but once he actually gets jump-scared, he stops being scared of it in the slightest. Until Golden Freddy shows up, at least.
  • Magic Feather: One of the Zelda episodes focused on the various strength and health items, and then goes on to explain the Placebo Effect.
  • Massively Multiplayer Crossover:
  • Messianic Archetype: Discussed in Chrono Trigger episode, where MatPat claims that the whole game is actually a retelling of the Bible.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: In his first FNAF video:
    Hello, internet! Welcome to Game Theory, where fear is our middle name. Matthew Fear Patrick! It's a very strange name.
  • Monty Hall Problem: Half of "Monty Hall, Plinko, and Probability" concerns this and how by switching your door, you're 2/3rds more likely to win.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The Five Nights at Freddy's episode. Who expected him to bring up a real life murder incident that took place at a Chuck E. Cheese?
    • At the end of the 2nd part of the Watch_Dogs episode, where he ends on a dark note about how vulnerable we are to hackers, so much so that they could kill people… immediately follows it up with a light-hearted advert about a shaving website.
  • Nine out of Ten Doctors Agree: In one episode, he calls GT the show "Ten out of ten doctors agree...they don't watch."
  • Overly Long Gag: In an episode discussing whether Pokémon supports animal abuse, the screen stops on a shot of a cricket match. While MatPat is talking, the subtitles comment that he's never stayed on one shot so long before. They then go off on a random tangent for about a minute, before reminding you that MatPat is still talking in the background and you should probably rewind to hear what he said.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Claims in a FNAF video that he's not going to use any more Jump Scares, before invoking the trope.
  • Path of Inspiration : One episode was dedicated to examining the religion-themed antagonists from the Final Fantasy games.
  • Poe's Law: While they tried to defy this with the opening of the Five Nights at Freddy's episode, (where MatPat deliberately made it blatantly obvious that he was faking it), some people who failed to sit through the first two minutes apparently believed it.
    Game Theorists: YouTube Rule #13: Make sure all obvious satire in a video comes with a large red label on screen that says "OBVIOUS SATIRE." *cough* first two minutes *cough*
  • Reality Ensues: The focus of some episodes is to determine if some concepts, like a flying city, diamond armor, or the Morph Ball are actually feasible.
  • The Reveal: Subverted. Near the end of the two-parter concerning Rosalina, Matt thinks a little more and starts to think that she isn't Peach and Mario's daughter, but Peach and Luigi's… before dismissing it. Though his latest Mario Timeline episode seems to imply he accepts this theory.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Performed whenever the Wheel of Gaming is involved.
    MatPat Wheel of Gaming, spin around, give a franchise that is profound.
  • Running Gag: MatPat is really fond of them.
    • Ever since the episode where it was the main topic, MatPat has frequently used his claim that "Wario is 10 feet tall" to highlight inaccuracies in his videos, and also for general Self-Deprecation.
    • He frequently expresses his goal of beating PewDiePie in subscribers.
    • As of his theory on Video Game Movies, he also likes to randomly throw a fez on characters and graphics.
      • Though, supposedly, this is done not as a random joke, but for copyright reasons - by doing this to the images, he avoids any potential lawsuits that might occur from using them in unaltered form.
    • His fear of, out of all the scary things in there, the fan in his Five Nights at Freddy's theories. Moreso when it's now purple in the fourth game.
    • And before finally doing it, mentioning the dating sim episode.
  • Rule of Sexy: Mentions the controversy about Smite and its original character model for Kali (and other characters) being overly sexualised to draw the attention of males.
    • Justified, as MatPat goes on to argue, in that most mythological art of female goddesses are practically half-naked. Kali's already been showing her boobs since BC times, so Smite isn't really giving us anything we couldn't have seen after a quick search on the internet.
  • Rule of Three: During his Humans are Pokemon theory:
    MatPat: Wheel of Gaming, spin around, to give me a franchise that is profound.
    (Wheel of Gaming lands on Pokémon)
    MatPat: Huh. Uh, sorry, no, we've done more than enough Pokemon episodes, thank you very much. Let's try this again. Wheel of Gaming, Spin, Span, Spun, land on a series that's super fun.
    (Wheel of Gaming lands on Pokemon again)
    MatPat: Ha Ha, very funny, Wheel of Gaming. Wheel of Gaming, I'm getting weary, give me a game to do a theory.
    (Wheel of Gaming lands on Pokemon the third time)
    MatPat: (Angrish)
  • Sand In My Eyes: MatPat goes through this when bringing up Latios' death in the Raticate episode.
    MatPat: That Latios scene man... oh... seems someone is always cutting onions when that scene is on. (tearing up) So strange how that works. I don't even like onions!
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • In his Fallout: New Vegas video, after saying that 10 percent of people shot in the head survive, he remarks that "you have better odds of surviving a headshot than I do of writing a decent joke for this show."
    • This gem from "Problems with Princess Peach" episode:
    MatPat: Hello, Internet, welcome to Game Theory, hailed by critics as "Fast edits with mildly impressive Photoshopping".
    • He's repeatedly referenced his Critical Research Failure in evaluating Wario's fartillery, in which he says that Wario is ten feet tall.invoked
    • Ronnie while talking during Digressing and Sidequesting has a Greek Chorus calling out most of the flaws in what he says.
    • Game Theory's 2015 rewind was just a montage of MatPat saying "FNAF", "Freddy", "Scott", and "Purple Guy".
  • Shipper on Deck: Throughout the streams of Life Is Strange MatPat is desperate for Max and Warren to get together. Stephanie on the other hand is desperate for Warren and 'Drone Girl' (Brooke) to end up in a relationship.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: The whole point of the show.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase:
    • "But hey! That's just a theory: A Game Theory! Thanks for watching." He also sometimes uses variations of this when mentioning other theories like "string theory", "scientific theory", "crime theories", and so on.
    • When doing two-parters, he ends with "In the meantime, that's just a theory!"
  • Soft Water: Defied in "Surviving the Assassin's Creed Leap of Faith", where he notes that the surface tension of water makes hitting it at high speeds just as bad as hitting concrete, and hay would actually break the assassin's fall better.
  • Spoiler Opening: Subverted with his Film Theory opening in regards to the Hunger Games. The opening shows Katniss next to a chart that shows her chances of winning the hunger games are very low. However, when he actually did the theory on Hunger Games, Katniss was actually slated to win.
  • Stock Epileptic Trees: Many of his theories are some of these:
    • Link being in purgatory.
    • Mario being the villain.
  • Stylistic Suck: The opening of his video on Five Nights at Freddy's plays out like a really bad Let's Play.
    *whispering quickly* I am so scared right now, I am so scared, can't you tell how scared I am right now?
  • Subverted Catchphrase:
  • Subliminal Seduction: Proven to be laughably ineffective in an extremely early episode on Pokémon with his main evidence being "Gotta Catch 'Em All" and "I Love Satan" aren't even close to having the same syllables whether forwards or backwards.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Matt's thoughts about Josh from Until Dawn.
  • Take That!:
  • Take This Job and Shove It: MatPat's reaction to the wheel of gaming insisting he make a seventh video about Pokémon.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: invokedOne of the videos shows that the games that sell best are usually not too different from the ones we've already tried, and that the games praised for being "innovative" rarely sell as well.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: From the beginning of "Is Link dead in Majora's Mask?" episode:
    MatPat: Wheel of Gaming, turn, turn, turn, tell me the fanbase I should burn…
    (wheel stops on The Legend of Zelda)
    MatPat: Oh geez…
  • Trademark Favorite Food: MatPat loves Diet Coke.
  • Two First Names: The host of the show, Matthew Patrick.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Invoked when MatPat made an episode on how many LGBT characters are portrayed; as villains, mentally unstable, inhuman.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: According to the "Who is Mega Man's TRUE villain?" theory, due to Dr. Light's inability to program roboethics, Dr. Wily managed to manipulate the robots into serving him, by convincing them that by the time they have finished their work, they would be scrapped, and thus, joining him in his quest for world domination is the only way to survive, resulting in the events of the original Mega Man series.
  • Up to Eleven: If you thought Aerith's death wasn't tragic enough, MatPat's Game Theory manages to make it much worse.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Half of the "Five Nights at Freddy's" episode posits that the game is based off of a real life incident that took place at a Chuck E. Cheese on December 14th, 1993.
  • Visual Pun: Multiple ones per episode too.
  • Voice of the Legion: During the final episode of the Fran Bow livestream, when Mabuka, Queen of Darkness appears, Matt and Stephanie spontaneously decide to Speak in Unison. The effect is very unsettling.
  • Worthy Opponent: MatPat and Scott Cawthon can be considered this as both sides have had an impact on the other. ''Five Nights At Freddy's can be seen as MatPat's magnum opus and both him and Scott have mentioned the other with MatPat trying to solve the mystery and point out flaws while Cawthon adds more complications to the lore and does credit Game Theory in a post about FNAF 4's ending.

Tropes found in Film Theory:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:invoked
    • He theorizes that Christian Grey is brainwashing Anastasia into going along with BDSM, pointing out all the times the movie coincided with the steps of real life indoctrination process.
    • He also speculates that Dory is Obfuscating Stupidity to hunt prey especially since her species does that in nature...only for another, very crucial part of his theory note  to be disproven in the first five minutes of Finding Dory. This and the one on The Force Awakens probably proves that it's probably best for him to avoid making theories on stuff that hasn't come out yet,not that it stopped him.
    • He theorizes that Salad Fingers was an abandoned child who went insane after losing everyone in his life and projects himself onto Hubert Cumberdale.
    • The United Federation of Planets is a fascist government. Matpat also theorizes that the entire franchise is based upon unreliable narration due to the frequent framing device of the "Captain's log".
  • Bittersweet Ending: His interpretation of the ending of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared. Essentially, Roy no longer sponsors Red's show, but Red has finally pulled the plug on Roy's influence on both the show and his son (Yellow Guy) and the characters can finally have the freedom of their show back, even if they're on a smaller budget.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: The entire point of Matpat's video on the controversy surrounding PewDiePie's supposed anti-semitism.
    Matpat: Nothing ruins a joke faster than analyzing it. Sooo let's do that!
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • One episode of justifies this in The Walking Dead by showing that spending a large amount of time shooting loud guns in places with echoes (which the characters do constantly) would result in them starting to lose their hearing, allowing Walkers to constantly sneak up on them.
    • Lampshaded in the video for Hitman: Agent 47. MatPat discovers and discusses a plausible material for creating bulletproof sub-dermal body armor only to realize by the end that Agent 47 specified that John Smith's bulletproof skin was titanium.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: "But hey! That's just a theory: A Film Theory! Aaaaaaand, cut!"
  • To Serve Man: The theory on WALL-E is that the co pilot Auto had been given direct commands from the president in 2110 to keep the humans in space as earth has become uninhabitable. Since there is a large disappearance of corpses and not enough food to last seven hundred years, Auto had resorted to secretly converting the corpses into food in order to have enough for humans to survive for decades.
  • Who's on First?: MatPat deals with this at the start of his second Doctor Who episode, when someone calls to tell him that there's a TV marathon of famous fictional doctors, and says "No" when asked who's on first, because Doctor Who is on second (and Dr. No is on first).


But hey, that's just a theory! A Game Theory! Thanks for watching.

Alternative Title(s): Game Theory

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WebVideo/GameTheoryWebShow?from=WebVideo.GameTheory